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CBS Lauded For Lack Of Weiner Coverage

From a bouquet throwing Associated Press:

Weiner story lets new CBS anchor carve path

By David Bauder, AP Television Writer Thu Jun 16, 2011

NEW YORK – If CBS anchor Scott Pelley succeeds in creating an evening newscast that’s a clear alternative to his rivals, embattled New York Rep. Anthony Weiner may someday be seen as the coal mine’s canary.

During Pelley’s first week, the "CBS Evening News" devoted less than a third of the time to the sexting episode that put the New York Democrat’s political career in jeopardy than either NBC’s "Nightly News" or ABC’s "World News."

Andrew Tyndall, a consultant whose ADT Research logs the content of news broadcasts each night, noted that Pelley had "kept to the hard news high ground" in choices on the Weiner story.

What a smutty way of putting it.

From the on-set recreation of a map that used to hang behind Walter Cronkite to resurrection of theme music that played when Dan Rather was anchor, Pelley’s first broadcasts have sent welcoming messages to old-time news traditionalists.

We certainly all remember how both Cronkite and Rather shied away from any Republican scandals.

Weiner’s June 6 admission that he lied when first denying that he had sent lewd photographs to Twitter followers coincided with Pelley’s first night as replacement for Katie Couric. The Weiner story led NBC’s top-rated "Nightly News" that evening, yet Pelley did not get to it until after the first commercial break and reports about Afghanistan and Iraq.

The next night, ABC’s Jonathan Karl had a "World News" report exceeding three minutes that talked about Republican calls for Weiner’s resignation and addressed the question of what happens when private behavior becomes a public issue. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell also reported on "Nightly News" about Republicans on the attack. CBS did not mention the story.

A Claire Shipman report on "World News" on Wednesday stretched over two minutes, focusing on the pregnancy of Weiner’s wife. O’Donnell talked primarily about the pregnancy in her "Nightly News" report. Again, Pelley steered clear of the story.

Now that is ‘courage’ in the words of Dan Rather. In fact, Mr. Pelley should be in line for the media’s version of the medal for ‘courageous restraint.’ In fact, this article might very well be it.

Last week, NBC’s "Nightly News" spent a total of 8 minutes, 54 seconds on the Weiner story, according to the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism. ABC devoted 8:16 to Weiner, while CBS spent 2:33 on the story, Pew researchers found.

"The message of last week could be reclaiming CBS as a more serious-minded news organization," said Mark Jurkowitz [sic], associate director of the Pew center’s journalism project. He cautioned, though, that it could be risky to draw conclusions from such a short period. Experts like Tyndall have contended that CBS had a strong hard news focus even before Couric left.

The Pew journalism researchers also found that during Pelley’s first week, CBS spent more time on international stories than the other two broadcasts, although ABC anchor Diane Sawyer was in Afghanistan at the beginning of the week…

After all, Mr. Obama still polls well on foreign affairs. (Why, we will never know.)

A CBS spokeswoman denied there was any intent to send a specific message with its editorial decisions. "They were typical CBS News editorial decisions, the kinds of which are made every day," said CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair

And that is exactly the problem.

CBS has a history of asserting its news values in story selection.

The hell you say!

A decade ago, Rather gave little attention to the case of a missing Washington woman, Chandra Levy, even as other news outlets were spending considerable time on the story because of a congressman’s possible involvement.

And it had nothing to do with the fact that the congressman involved was a Democrat. Meanwhile, let’s see a breakdown of CBS’s coverage of the Larry Craig or Mark Foley non-scandals. Or the more recent ‘shirtless’ Chris Lee non-scandal.

Restraint on the Weiner story could be a popular stand: A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press last week found that 63 percent of Americans said the news media were giving too much coverage to the story

And we believe them, too. After all, it should be clear by now that nobody is interested in the Weiner story.

Let’s get back to talking about Mr. Obama’s successes in Afghanistan and his ‘green shoots.’

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 17th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “CBS Lauded For Lack Of Weiner Coverage”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    At yesterdays press conference the hecklers offered more pertinent questions than the dogged media.
    But here’s one for ya, “Larry Flint of Hustler Magazine fame has offered Weiner
    a job in their internet group. Offering 20% more than what he was making as a Congressman including all the perks.”
    When you cast your pearls before swine…….

  2. JohnMG says:

    Sooooo………CBS has set the stage for ignoring the continuing high-unemployment figures. And the failure of the stimulus spending. And the housing debacle. And the poor performance of Obama and his foreign policy. And another war in Lybia. Or the increasing death toll from that “good war” in Afghanistan.

    Yes,, CBS has its standards……standards that elevate them head and shoulders above the other alphabet ‘news’ organs. Such paragons of unbiased reporting.

    It is to laugh

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If ever there was a benchmark of moral superiority, CBS would have to be it. Not.

  4. oldpuppydixie says:

    So CBS refused to cover news detrimental to a Democrat??? I guess we’re ALL stunned by THAT!!!

  5. eaglewingz08 says:

    Yes, let’s see how CBS “traditionalists” handle the next republican/conservative sex scandal. If the past is any guide, it will be the lead on CBS for months after the scandal ends, and there will be pious hand wringing at CBS over the state of the republican party, etc.
    The only reason CBS didn’t cover the story is because it involved a leftwing liberal democrat doing things that CBS has no moral qualms about.

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