Please Help US Get Our “60 Minutes” Of Fame Before November

MoveOn.org informed members today, via email, that CBS has decided to push back an important 60 Minutes piece dealing with the invasion of Iraq until after the November election, saying it would be “inappropriate” to air the piece before the election since it might interfere with the political season.

I had read of the network’s decision a couple of days ago and was angered but hardly surprised. After all, CBS refused to air Child’s Pay several months ago. Child’s Pay was the winning short in MoveOn’s contest “Bush in 30 Seconds” but this apparently meant little to CBS, which cited a policy against running “advocacy” ads. As MoveOn points out, CBS then “turned around and aired millions of dollars worth of ads promoting Bush’s new Medicare plan, which wouldn’t come online for years.  It also aired controversial White House ads claiming that drug users supported terrorism.” 

Certainly CBS is reeling from it’s recent piece on Bush’s National Guard Service. We all know how much of an effect this story, with it’s questioned documents, has had on CBS, it’s flagship show 60 Minutes and it’s esteemed anchor Dan Rather. Now it’s hard to bring to mind the reasons for the story because suspicion of Bush’s honesty in regard to his simple service responsibilities has been transferred to CBS and “Memogate”. An independent investigation has been mounted by CBS to discover what went wrong with the National Guard report and recommend changes, but the damage may have been done. Various individuals and organizations are mounting campaigns to oust Rather for his “liberal media bias” and even his hometown radio station has dropped his daily news broadcast.

MoveOn thinks CBS might be too timid now to run important news critical of Bush and they may be right. But it behooves those of us who think the media in general has been too accommodating of the Bush White House to speak up. Won’t you please call CBS and tell them what you think of their decision to postpone the 60 Minutes report of new evidence concerning the Invasion of Iraq?

You can reach CBS and it’s parent company, Viacom, at:

Sumner Redstone, Chairman, Viacom
  (212) 258-6000

  Les Moonves, Chairman of CBS; co-President & co-CEO, Viacom
  (323) 575-2345

  Andrew Heyward, President, CBS News
  (212) 975-3247 or
  (212) 975-4321

You can also write to CBS at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml

You can reach CBS affiliates, linked at:

http://newslink.org/cbstele.html

Some final points that MoveOn makes may be worthy of consideration:

“CBS’ censorship decisions make its partisanship obvious. But here’s more: CBS is owned by Viacom, and Viacom’s chairman, Sumner Redstone, endorsed President Bush on Thursday, just one day before CBS pulled the 60 Minutes report on Iraq.”

“CBS overwhelmingly favored Republicans in its political giving, and the company spent millions courting the White House to stop FCC reform. According to a well-respected study, CBS News was second only to Fox in failing to correct common misconceptions about the Iraq war which benefited the Bush Administration—for example, the idea that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11.”

And CBS is the network that refused to air the miniseries titled The Reagans, “about former President Ronald Reagan which Republican partisans considered insufficiently flattering.”

Myself and MoveOn are just sayin’.

 

10 thoughts on “Please Help US Get Our “60 Minutes” Of Fame Before November

  1. I don’t think they’re afraid to be critical of the President… Rather’s always been fairly overtly left as far as I can remember.

    I wonder if this is just their way of saying “hey, wait a minute, we’re fact-checking.”

    Opinions based solely on reading this entry, haven’t delved deeper into it yet.  I have a low opinion of moveon anyway, and that may be my bias creeping in.  smile

  2. The Iraq story which was postponed had been scheduled to air Sept. 8th but was bumped aside to allow for Bush’s National Guard memo piece; fact checking may well have been completed. One can only wonder how different things might have been if they hadn’t made that decision.

    As for MoveOn.org, I’m glad it’s around.

  3. My gut feeling is that this has something to do with Dick Thornburgh being brought in by CBS to conduct a review of ‘operating procedures’ and figure out what went wrong with memogate.  The relationship between Thornbough, republicans and Karl Rove in particular, is twisted on so many different levels.

    As far as MoveOn.org.  I’m glad their around too.  They have their off-kilter moments but what 527 doesn’t?  I think they’ve done more good in getting people interested and out voting than they have harm.

  4. With 60 Minutes’ credibility in the toilet there would be little point in airing the Iraq invasion piece.  It might actually backfire, fueling accusations of “liberal media.”  Which leads me to wonder:

    The memos Rather used in his TANG piece were such clumsy forgeries that it almost had to be deliberate… by someone.  Who stood the most to gain from obviously clumsy forgeries in a report critical of the president?

  5. Maybe they decided not to run the piece because they knew that their current standards of piss-poor fact checking might backfire yet again, especially now that they know people are going to be looking over their shoulder.

    Just an idea. Of course, conspiracy theories are always more rewarding to believe in.  oh oh

  6. I realize that I’m “just Canadian” and may not know the full implications of letting the public know the truth about their leaders before they have a chance to decide on whether they actually want them as leaders, but in the name of truth and the American constitution, especially the first amendment, I believe the story about new evidence of the war in Iraq being highly illegal and wrong *should* be aired before the November elections, yes it might swing votes, but if the story in accurate what’s wrong with that? The media is there to let the public know what’s going on, so they can make informed decisions. If you don’t air this story on 60 minutes how can you sleep with yourselves at night when you air all the Bush propaganda? The adds vaunting his health care plan that won’t take effect for years, the allusions that if you buy marijuana you’re supporting people like Bin Laden. Yes I know you don’t wish to become targeted as a “liberal” news channel, and ostracized by all the other cool news channels but have some balls, make a difference, please, for the sake of the country you claim to love so much, you have a chance in the here and now to make not only your own country but the entire world a better place. Please do what’s right.

    This is the piece I wrote to CBS concerning this whole thing, please give me some feedback people, and GET OUT AND VOTE for god’s sake

  7. (Mike) I believe the story about new evidence of the war in Iraq being highly illegal and wrong *should* be aired before the November elections, yes it might swing votes, but if the story in accurate what’s wrong with that?

    *ding*ding*ding* We have a winner.

  8. Thanks, Mike, for your reasoned response to this issue. Just for this one election, Canadians should be allowed to vote. Thanks too, for sending it to CBS.

    I agree with you Decrepit (and others), that it possibly could backfire on CBS to air the Iraq piece and my suspicious nature imagined chicanery in the national guard memo story, but I think Americans are mostly in agreement that the “liberation” of Iraq turned out to be a large mistake and this is surely the best time to see the information.

    More than anything I’m disappointed with CBS saying it’s airing may interfere with the election. If that isn’t blatantly admitting with which party the network’s allegiance lies, I don’t know what is. Maybe they should get out of the news business if manipulation is more important than dispassionate revelation.

    As for MoveOn, again I have to take issue with it’s dismissal, at least with this subject. If what they’re encouraging us to do is fair and responsible, that’s all that should matter. We should respond to the issue, not the organization that presents it.

  9. Maybe the reason it shouldn’t be aired is because it ISN’T factual.  Kind of like the ridiculous 60 minute segment last night about the “Armored Vehicles”.  It was obvious that they only viewed one side – so much so that any junior officer could easily dismiss anything they said.  Did anyone notice that there were two burning “Armored HMMWVs” shown during the segment?  Does anyone know what a TOE is?  Or what those vehicles were intended for?  It’s too bad that a formerly decent news show has turned out to be nothing but a spin machine.

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