CBS News is seeking a replacement for Dan Rather, and they’re getting desperate:
“We have to try and reinvent that,” he said. “One of the ways we’re looking at is making it younger and more relevant, something that younger people can relate to as opposed to that guy preaching from the mountaintop about what we should and should not watch.”
Asked twice, Moonves wouldn’t rule out a role on the evening news for Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, whose “The Daily Show” skewers politicians and the news media each night. Moonves is co-chief executive of Viacom, which owns both CBS and Comedy Central.
Well, at least CBS’ anchor would be openly peddling fake news, so I guess it would be a step up.
We’re eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.
Hugh Hewitt spent a good part of the day (and all of his radio show) prodding conservative bloggers and asking why we haven’t made a bigger fuss over the CBS News report on Rathergate. If you read through Hugh’s blog entries today, you’ll see that Hugh sees the report as a whitewash, and that he thinks the big guns of the Blogging Right appear overly concerned about their reputations among the mainstream media. Hugh thinks we ought not show mercy in this case. I agree, and here’s why.
This situation strikes me as a kind of negotiation. We of the center-right blogosphere expected CBS News to offer something like this:
- report released on a Friday (to bury it)
- report released after announcing Rather’s successor (again, to bury it)
- a weak non-apology
- thinly-veiled contempt for bloggers
- support from ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
- denial of any pro-Kerry motivation, much less any actual coordination
- Mary Mapes fired
We were hoping for several results from this episode, including:
- report released on a Monday
- report released without a Rather successor announced
- an admission from CBS News that the Killian memos were forgeries
- due credit given to the blogosphere for unearthing this mess
- Dan Rather fired
- Mary Mapes fired
- top CBS News executives fired (including the president, Andrew Heyward)
- an investigation into possible coordination between CBS News and the Kerry/Edwards campaign
- help from CBS’ competing news networks in devouring it (motivated by fear)
To our surprise, CBS started off by offering us numbers 1, 2, and 6 on our wish list. Better still, they offered big chunks of numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7.
Think about it. The bigwigs at CBS News are clearly not bargaining from a position of strength, and it’s obvious they know it. Now keep in mind that in a negotiation, you never ever reveal your true position right up front. If this is where they’ve started from, imagine where we could push them to. By giving CBS News (and by extension, all of MSM) a pass on this baldfaced charade they called “news”, we’d be letting them return to lie another day.
Another thing: have you noticed the deafening silence among the lefty bloggers today? They tried very hard to ignore the CBS News report, hoping we’d lose interest. If they thought they could win the argument on the merits, they’d be in full cry instead. So the only thing standing between us and resounding vindication is … us.
Fellow conservative bloggers, stop worrying about what the other side thinks of us and go for the whole wish list, because they’ll tut-tut about “blogger triumphalism” no matter what we do. Learn from the GOP, which only climbed out of the electoral gutter after it stopped trying to play footsie with the Democrats. Rather, Mapes, and CBS News are scattered and fleeing. Let’s show some spine and mop ’em up.
Tune in to Hugh Hewitt’s radio show right now (or listen online). He’s going to spend three hours with the folks who brought down Dan Rather, and they’ll dissect the CBS Report released today. Everybody who’s anybody among bloggers involved in that mess will be on the air. You’ll be glad you listened in.
Power Line finally breaks its silence on the CBS Report here. An excerpt:
I keep picking out interesting nuggets from the CBS Report, starting with page 14:
CBS has finally posted a PDF copy of their report on the now-infamous 60 Minutes II segment where they tried to pass off forged memos as real, only to have the blogosphere expose their anti-Bush agenda masquerading as “news.”
So far the report has no appendices. Appendices and exhibits here.
UPDATE: CBS fired Mary Mapes, producer of the 60 Minutes II segment. Three news execs were also asked to resign … but not CBS News’ President, Andrew Heyward. His desk is buck-free, Buckhead be damned.
UPDATE 2: The CBS report can’t even get basic facts about blogs right. Footnote 86 on page 153 says “Powerline is a Minnesota-based blog run by John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson, both of whom are attorneys.” There’s a third blogger there, you dingalings. Ever heard of Paul Mirengoff, who blogs from Washington, DC? Try checking the three bios right at the top left side of the blog’s home page. You did actually go there and look at the site, right? Time Magazine managed to get the basics right (then again, Time is known for reporting actual news). And it’s “Power Line”, not “Powerline.” Geez, with this kind of attention to detail, how are we going to trust this report’s conclusions?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting spammed by a fancy restaurant in Miami. Mind you, this isn’t my Yahoo inbox I’m talking about. I expect to be spammed there. This fine establishment somehow found out my private e-mail address, the one my friends and family use. I never, ever enter it on a form online, so up ’til now it’s been almost completely spam-free.
I knew better than to click the handy “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the message. Doing so alerts the spammer to the presence of a human being at the other end of the spam pipeline, making one’s e-mail address much more valuable. Clicking “unsubscribe” guarantees that your address will be sold to every spammer known to man, and the tidal wave of penis enlargement and home mortgage refinancing will hit your inbox quicker than you can say “yes, I’ll help you hide your ill-gotten Nigerian gains.”
Being a semi-cagey netizen, I instead looked up the restaurant in the phone book to verify that the place actually existed. No sense in calling a phone number on the spam message if the whole thing’s a complete scam, right? I found that the restaurant actually existed, and I verified things by finding several reviews written by local newspapers.
I called to complain, and the runaround began. Every time Chez Fancypants spammed me, I called to politely complain. Every time, they told me that the person in charge of e-mail marketing was unavailable, had left for the day, hadn’t arrived yet, was busy, or had perished in a tragic blimp accident.
Today, Chez Fancypants excreted spam number nineteen into my nice clean inbox, so I decided to up the ante. Again I called the oh-so-smarmy maitre d’, and discovered that the Spammer-in-Chief was off on a pilgrimage to Yemen. I asked to be removed from the spamvertising hotlist, and again I heard the blasé brush-off beneath the pleasant response.
Ah, the power of the word “blogger.”
When I casually mentioned that I’m a blogger who’s well aware of how tenuous a good business reputation can be, and when I reminded the maitre d’ of what happened to Dan Rather, his tone immediately changed from oily condescension to palpable fear. These days, the spectre of Mike Wallace at the door pales in comparison to “John Hinderaker just sent you an e-mail.”
Said my new best friend, “I’ll get on the phone to our Marketing Director and I’ll send a fax to the e-mail marketing company we use, and tell them to remove your address from the list. What is it, sir, so I can send you confirmation of my success?”
I guess there’s a red phone to Yemen in the kitchen after all.
UPDATE: Just imagine the damage that Wizbang’s Jay Tea could do.
Whatever happened to the breathless coverage of important news stories like the tons of missing ammo in Iraq? George Bush’s AWOL escapades and the documents that proved it? Karl Rove’s leaking of an undercover CIA operative’s name for political advantage? The Bush Administration’s reckless indifference to Richard Clarke’s prescient warnings about the imminent danger of a 9/11 attack? Bush’s nefarious backroom conspiracies in cahoots with the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens?
Golly, I thought these were all Critically Important Stories™ that the public needed to know about in every detail. Suddenly, after November 2nd, things have gone quiet. I wonder why.