Posted by: johnhourihan | November 9, 2013

CBS, “60 Minutes” and bull


I am retired from about 30 years in newspapers.  I warned about this when people started using Yahoo and The Daily Show as their source of daily news. Now it is becoming painfully obvious that one of our checks and balances is dead.
On Friday, CBS News aired information that “60 Minutes” had aired a segment that was a lie.
Those in charge put together an entire segment on the 2012 attack on a US. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The report was false.
The source was lying.
Lara Logan believed him, and “60 Minutes” believed him.
No one did any in depth checking, so we got to watch bullshit on ”60 Minutes.”
Why?
According to an Associated Press story, the executive producer of “60 Minutes” Jeffrey Fager, said it was because there are many people out there who have the potential to deceive a news organization.”
Really? This is something new?
He said “We do our best, and I think we do very well at spotting them.”
What he didn’t tell you is why it wasn’t spotted.
It used to be a rule of thumb that before publishing a “news” report, you had to get the facts from three sources.
Then those who owned newspapers decided that they needed to “cut back” so they could make more money.
In newspapers across the country about 30 percent of the workforce was let go. Those who were left were told they would have to do more work for less money and be thankful they had a job at all. then even more work was added, followed by more cuts, leaving the basis of most news stories in the country unsupported because there weren’t enough people to do the work.
The public decided the Internet and TV were the best way to get news and changed most reputable newspapers into unreliable tweet sources, editors now shout, “Get it tweeted,” then, “Get it on your blog. We have to be the first. Get it on our website.”
Most initial reports are now false. They are tweeted, blogged and get a primary position on the newspaper’s website. It is usually at least a little wrong. Today there is no retraction. There is only, re-tweet re-bog, change in the story on the web. This means that anyone who saw the initial story, which is as I said most often wrong, believes the nonsense and never sees the new edition.
Who goes back and checks a story several times to see if it is true or not?
How many people who watched “60 Minutes” will go on believing the story about Benghazi?
This Benghazi story is not a one time thing to be blamed on bad people deceiving poor news organizations.
Our “news” will be more and more like this, because there is hardly anyone  checking this stuff out any more. They got “let go.“ “cut back.“ I have to laugh at Jeffrey Fager’s assessment that bad people took advantage of a poor trusting new show. I blame this on those in newspapers (where this stuff used to be checked out) who gave away their newspapers free on the Internet making newspapers obsolete. I blame it on those who made up their lost profits by firing people, and on those who decided reading anything past 150 characters is too much for their third-grade brains.
And I blame it on CBS and “60 minutes” for wanting so bad to hurt people they jumped at airing this story without checking it out.
This is the future of you “news,” and it happened because someone wanted to make a few extra bucks.

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Responses

  1. This is an excellent article, John!

    • Thank you Pat

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  2. It must suck when people don’t listen until the rock finally does fall on us?

    • It does

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