CBS anchor Scott Pelley declared, "We are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.'" Well, that sounds like pretty dramatic self-criticism. But, as usual with corporate media self-critiques, Pelley's criticism mostly misses the mark.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might be excused for harboring some hard feelings towards a government that helped to try to overthrow your own. Which may be why U.S. reports rarely bring up the 2002 coup attempt–and when they do, treat Washington's involvement in it as another nutty Chavez conspiracy theory.
Giving viewers a quick sense of context and history is important in any story, but especially in the Israel/Palestine conflict. Doing a bad job of it is perhaps worse than not doing it at all. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley gave this summary on November 19: We wanted to remind you tonight of what Gaza is and how it came to be. The Gaza Strip was laid out in 1949 after the war that created Israel. It's home to Palestinians displaced in that war and to the generations that followed. Only 25 miles long, roughly ten miles wide, Gaza's population is 1.7 [...]
The election results in Greece and France sent a clearer message about austerity: Voters don't like it. That sentiment isn't hard to fathom; massive spending cuts and pay cuts aren't fixing the problems in their economies–they're making things worse. Media coverage seems to be clearer these days about what the public thinks of austerity. But the assumption that austerity is mostly "good" still seems firmly in place. Like this Washington Post lead (5/7/12): Voters in France and Greece redrew Europe's political map Sunday in a powerful backlash against the German-led cure for the region's debt crisis: painful austerity. It's not [...]
The February 23 CBS Evening News segment on hydraulic fracturing gas drilling, better known as fracking, revealed how journalists can cover a highly controversial subject by removing the controversy. The report started off with references to high gasoline prices; the implication, then, is that domestic gas drilling will help solve that problem. As anchor Scott Pelley kicked things off: President after president has called for energy independence for America, but somehow it never seems to happen. But Anna Werner talked to an oil man today who is predicting that it's coming, and in just a few years. That oil man [...]
The Monday broadcast of CBS Evening News (12/19/11) began with big news, with anchor Scott Pelley announcing: The secretary of Defense says tonight that the United States will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. In an interview with CBS News, Leon Panetta says that despite efforts to disrupt their nuclear program, the Iranians have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less. To ratchet up the drama, Pelley told viewers that Panetta was aboard "the jet nicknamed the Doomsday Plane. This is the command post where he and the president would [...]