60 Minutes' interview with FBI chief James Comey was essentially an ad for the FBI, absent any critical scrutiny or questioning.
FAIR TV: Big Papers Withhold News, Curious 'Confirmation' of Israeli Gov't Claims, 60 Minutes Plays Softball
This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets–including the New York Times and the Washington Post– to not report news about a CIA drone base.
We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
At the top of his 60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Steve Kroft declares, "The White House offered us 30 minutes, barely enough time to scratch the surface of their complicated personal and professional relationship, let alone discuss their policies." Apparently what that meant was, "So I didn't bother to ask them about that policy stuff."
Newsweek has a feature called "My Favorite Mistake," where a famous person talks about something they've done wrong.http://www.fair.org/blog/wp-admin/edit.php This week (7/24/11) it's former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The mistake she cited was when she wore the wrong pin to a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and then said something critical about his Chechnya policy. (The best mistakes are the most self-serving ones, apparently.) When I saw the headline, I was half-wondering if she'd talk about her famous defense of killing Iraqi children on 60 Minutes (5/12/96): Leslie Stahl asks Albright: "We have heard that half a million children […]
The long 60 Minutes segment on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from last night (1/30/11) is definitely worth a look. But this set-up from correspondent Steve Kroft was certainly odd: Julian Assange is not your average journalist or publisher, and some have argued that he is not really a journalist at all. He is an anti-establishment ideologue with conspiratorial views. He believes large government institutions use secrecy to suppress the truth and he distrusts the mainstream media for playing along. Assange believes the government keeps important secrets? And that mainstream media play along? That is kooky.
Back in May, CBS' 60 Minutes aired a terrible report on the Air Force's use of drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan– see FAIR's action alert for all the details. CBS never responded to the criticism, but they did re-air the segment this past Sunday, without any major changes. To let CBS know how you feel about this one-sided reporting, here's the contact info: CONTACT: CBS 60 Minutes 524 West 57th St. New York, NY 10019 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (212) 975-3247
Writing for CJR.org (6/16/09), Media Bloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson finds that "former CNN correspondent-turned-PR consultant Gene Randall's video 'report' for oil giant Chevron might be unprecedented for how it blurred the line between public relations and journalism," but is still more worried that "the Randall/Chevron production raises not only ethical questions, but also the question of whether a surge of newly pink-slipped reporters might go, as one media critic put it, 'over to the dark side,' and how that might further muddy the line between news and corporate advocacy": As detailed in a recent New York Times article, when Chevron, […]
FAIR has a new Action Alert on 60 Minutes' May 10 broadcast extolling the virtues of unmanned drones, with no perspectives at all from critics of the weapons–who might have pointed out that they kill 50 innocent civilians for every Al-Qaeda leader they assassinate. Please copy your letters to 60 Minutes to the comments thread here.