It seems that the producers and staff of CBS Evening News are a bit thin-skinned. Recently, CBS News Reporter Katie Couric recently produced a series of “reports” on Iraq. CBS has taken a considerable amount of criticism over these pieces ever since. In fact, they’ve taken to insulting people who criticize their work.
So now, I’ve taken to writing my own letter of criticism over the way CBS news insults people who criticize. My letter is written to two senior producers at CBS Evening News, Jim McGlinchy (email@example.com) and Betty Chin ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dear Mr. McGlinchy,
I am a member of MoveOn.org. I also follow several different blogs and actually receive the bulk of my national and international news via these blogs (for local news I on rely on newspapers). Not only do I read the blogs, I actually write one! As a bit of personal information; I am retired from the US Navy, earned a 4 year college degree, work in a professional occupation, and even hold membership in the high IQ society “Mensa.”
I tell you this for a reason. Today I have learned of an e-mail recently sent to CBS Evening news by a MoveOn.org member as follows:
From: [MoveOn member]
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 12:42 PM
To: CBS Evening News
Subject: Couric report from Iraq an embarrassment to journalists everywhere
I started watching Couric’s series of reports hoping to learn something valuable. All I learned was that CBS is content to produce puff pieces scripted by the institutions it purports to be investigating.
I did not hear Couric push for real answers on one single issue! She simply took everything she was told and parroted it back to the masses.
I’m embarrassed and saddened. You should be too.
The response from your news department was published as follows:
From: CBS Evening News < Evening@cbsnews.com>
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 11:45:01 AM
Subject: RE: Couric report from Iraq an embarrassment to journalists everywhere
Actually most intelligent people were very impressed by the quality of our reports from Iraq and Syria …Apparently you missed most of the interviews that were done over there…imagine you got your information from a blog somewhere…
Actually, Mr. McGlinchy, I was not impressed with the reporting of Ms Couric’s reporting. Even without contrary information received from sources other than CBS, I can still recognize puff pieces and parroting of canned talking points. However, I do have information I believe to be accurate from sources including blogs that clearly show (to me) Ms Couric produced reports that were shallow, inaccurate, and highly biased towards a particular viewpoint.
So, does the fact that I was not impressed by the quality of her reporting make me a “not intelligent person?”
The blog I write is about personal and family events. Although, in the great scheme of world events, my news is fairly low-key, I work hard to make it accurate. Does my writing this blog make me a fair target for ridicule? How about the few readers of my lowly blog – should they be held up to ridicule?
I’m angry by the response written by a representative of your news organization. You should be embarrassed.
[angry low-intelligent blog reader/writer]
cc: Ms Betty Chin
As always, I’ll post any response. In the interest of fairness, of course. Far be it for any CBS News Reporter to accurately accuse this humble blog writer of a bias against Republicans…
Update September 17, 2007: I’ve located the source of the original e-mail that so offended CBS. This Blog Post describes the entire chain of events to date. It’s rather interesting to see just how thin-skinned CBS Evening news really is – they’re now allegedly threatening to sue the blog author for his reporting on what at first was a minor “puff piece” news story of it’s own.
One would think that a major news organization like CBS would recognize and respect our constitutionally-protected rights of free speech and a tradition of a free press. To the great credit of WebProNews.com, they’re not backing down.