Patterico's Pontifications


Jay Rosen to CBS: Release All the Unedited Interviews

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:02 pm

Jay Rosen has an excellent suggestion for CBS — one that CBS will never implement:

CBS would be wise to think about innovations in openness, an area where there has been very little thinking, experimentation or change in the news business. . . .

A simple example of a different approach: Sixty Minutes publishes on the Internet (transcript and video) the full interviews from which each segment that airs is made. All interviews, every frame. Even the people who were not used. It would instantly have to become more accountable for these interviews and the selections made from them. And in my view that would strengthen the journalism, make for better work; it would also be a revolution in accountability. CBS would also be creating more value, although it would also be more open to criticism and scrutiny.

. . . .

CBS News: are you up to it?

Publish the full interviews.

I think it’s a wonderful idea. Why do I say it will never happen?

Here’s why:


Blogger Heaven on Hugh Hewitt

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 4:42 pm

It’s blogger heaven on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program today. First came Bill from INDC Journal and Matthew Sheffield from, both of whom acquitted themselves quite well. I just heard Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. Coming up is John Hinderaker of Power Line. Great stuff.

Dan the Empty Suit

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 3:46 pm

An interesting tidbit from page 14 of the Memogate report:

Rather does not appear to have participated in any of the vetting sessions or to have even seen the Segment before it was aired.

Hey, I understand. I didn’t read this post before it was published.

Power Line on the Memogate Report

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 2:43 pm

Hindrocket from Power Line has weighed in on the Memogate report. Here are the highlights of the post, from my point of view:

Finally, what are we to make of the fact that the Panel specifically found that the 60 Minutes report broadcast on September 8 contained repeated misrepresentations? . . . Competitive pressure does not cause a reporter to make affirmative misrepresentations and misleading statements. If it wasn’t political bias that drove the show’s inaccuracies and misleading content, what was it?

To me, the misrepresentations (and omissions) are the key issue, not whether Mapes was driven by political bias, as opposed to the desire to get the big story.

Either way, there was a willful blindness to those aspects of the story that contradicted the angle Mapes wanted to pursue — whether because of political bias, a desire to make a splash, or (more likely) some combination of the two. The fact of that willful blindness is a much bigger issue than the specific motivation behind it.

The second issue that the report fails to address is the communication and apparent coordination between 60 Minutes staff and the Kerry campaign. We now know that there was more communication than had previously been acknowledged. . . . The relationship between the Kerry campaign and the 60 Minutes story is a subject that badly needs to be investigated, but the Thornburgh group did not pursue the issue beyond noting the communications between 60 Minutes staff and the Kerry campaign.

I agree. With the new information, I don’t think this is going away.

Look for Hindrocket on CBS News tonight.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren at Volokh contrasts the report’s view that bloggers were motivated by political motivations with its view that CBS News wasn’t.

Nice. If you admit you have a political bias, then everything you do is assumed to be driven by that bias and not by the desire for the truth. But if you deny that bias — no matter how unbelievable your denial is — then Thornburgh et al. will refuse to declare that you were driven by your bias.

UPDATE x2: I just saw Mr. Hinderaker on Special Report with Brit Hume. I had not seen him on television before. He was very articulate.

John Fund Mentions Stefan Sharkansky

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 11:59 am

My blogging colleague Stefan Sharkansky, the founder of Oh, That Liberal Media, got a nice mention from John Fund today for his coverage of the Washington gubernatorial election. Congratulations to Stefan.

Budget Proposal To Be Released Today

Filed under: Government — Patterico @ 11:49 am

Dan Weintraub reports that the Governor will release his budget proposal at 1 p.m. today. We’ll look tomorrow to see how the L.A. Times spins the proposal on education funding. Based on the paper’s previous performance on this issue, I’m not optimistic.

Here’s a Recommendation for You: Report the Truth

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 10:52 am

My initial impression of the CBS report is that the report does an excellent job of collecting the facts, but doesn’t do enough to highlight in the executive summary (the only part most people will read) that CBS had all sorts of information contrary to its story line, and didn’t report it. This is a common failing in Big Media, and I’d like to see it given more prominence in this report.

The report makes a number of technical recommendations, such as creating a senior Standards and Practices position, or maintaining a list of qualified document examiners. These recommendations may be helpful, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. The report’s primary recommendation should have been: Report the truth, whether it supports your story line or not.

UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link, and welcome to Michelle’s readers. If you agree with what you see here, please remember to bookmark my main page.

Memogate Report Released

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 9:17 am

CBS has released its report on the forged documents scandal. Four people have been fired, including Mary Mapes, the producer of the piece.

You can read the report here.

This is obviously the big story of the day. I have the day off and will likely have more on this later after I read the report.

P.S. I will be particularly interested in how the L.A. Times spins this report. Remember that this is the paper that hastened to tell readers that Dick Thornburgh “has a connection to Karl Rove, a longtime Bush strategist” — neglecting to mention that their “connection” resulted in them being on opposite sides of a lawsuit.

UPDATE: For those who simply must have an instantaneous analysis, Captain Ed has a pretty good preliminary look at the report.

My initial thoughts are here.

UPDATE x2: Don’t miss the response of CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.

UPDATE x3: The L.A. Times‘s first cut at this story looks okay. There’s no revival of the paper’s previous touting of the myth that Thornburgh and Rove are bosom buddies. But let’s wait and see what they print tomorrow.

UPDATE x4: Jim Geraghty has Mary Mapes’s response.

UPDATE x5: And Hindrocket knocks down her pathetic misrepresentations, so I don’t have to.

L.A. Times Continues to Call a Big Increase in Education Spending A “Cut”

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:53 am

Today, the L.A. Times peddles (once again) the myth of the shrinking California education budget, in a story titled Teachers Unions Blast Governor’s Merit Pay Plan:

[Governor Arnold] Schwarzenegger’s merit pay proposal comes as the governor is also seeking a $2-billion cut from public schools in the coming year’s budget and suspending a voter-approved initiative that ensured that schools would receive at least 40% of state spending each year.

Nowhere does the story explain that, as Dan Weintraub noted the other day, the Governor is actually proposing a “big increase in the school budget” — that’s right, “increase” — of over $2 billion.

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

By the way, if anyone thinks that it’s impossible to have a fair reporter in Big Media, you’re wrong, as the example of Dan Weintraub proves. Weintraub is a model of fairness. The authors and editors of today’s L.A. Times piece could learn a lesson or two from him.

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