CBS: Just how out of touch are they? Just look at their board of directors...and it goes downhill from there.

The New York Times has a pair of articles about the termination of two of their previous golden boys Les Moonves and Jeff Fager.

There is a certain tone deafness to the article on Moonves, and what kind of board of directors are there. If CBS is supposed to deliver news, those aren’t the kinds of directors you ought to have on your board, and it explains a lot about how the trouble came to be in the first place:

One director, Joseph A. Califano Jr., a former cabinet secretary under President Jimmy Carter, was especially vocal, insisting that Mr. Moonves be suspended or terminated immediately for cause.

No separation between media church and state, kids. Election coverage may not be all that balanced, but there is another mentioned in the article:

“We are going to stay in this meeting until midnight if we need to until we get an agreement that we stand 100 percent behind our C.E.O., and there will be no change in his status,” said one board member, William Cohen, a former congressman and senator who was defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, according to directors who heard the remarks and other people who were briefed on them.

Yay, Bill Clinton’s crony! And he supported a man accused of workplace sexual harassment!

But really, how objective can CBS be in reporting on that era’s war-mongering? Not at all, but the sexism doesn’t end with just those from the government realm being on the board:

Another director, Arnold Kopelson, an 83-year-old producer who won a Best Picture Oscar for “Platoon,” was even stronger in his defense of Mr. Moonves, the directors and others said. “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” Mr. Kopelson said in a meeting soon after the conference call. “Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”

The word of one man is more credible than of thirty women? Well, that tells you we cannot expect balance reporting on an entire gender. Bravo, CBS!

This is five hundred ways wrong, and explains a lot about why US broadcasting’s coverage of hard news is so very skewed.

But the effect moves down the food chain.

In fact, the obliviousness of 60 Minutes staff is truly one for the books:

“I think it’s a terrible day for CBS News,” Sharyn Alfonsi, a “60 Minutes” correspondent, said in an interview before the specific contents of Mr. Fager’s text message were known. “I think it is awful. I don’t understand how you get fired over a text message.”

You don’t understand as a journalist what can be said in a text? And you’re a correspondent for 60 Minutes?


But it gets worse:

By Wednesday afternoon, before the “Evening News” report aired, more than 60 members of the “60 Minutes” staff — including the building’s security guard — had joined Mr. Fager for drinks at P. J. Clarke’s by Lincoln Center, the show’s regular haunt.

People were teary-eyed as they showered Mr. Fager with praise and hugs. Several said they were concerned that “60 Minutes” could be dismantled under new leadership.

“Jeff Fager is a wonderful boss,” Mr. Whitaker said, looking somber on a bar stool. “So much of the magic of ‘60 Minutes’ is because of him. He treats his staff as adults. He trusts his people.”

Yes, because screw how he may have treated other people. It’s all about your backsides.

Just because someone is nice to you, doesn’t mean they are nice toward everyone.

As a journalist, you always have to agonize and keep looking at different angles. An actor can be great to his fans and abusive to his underlings.

And is that all it takes to shut off critical thinking skills? How sad.

When coverage is carried out by those who do not see the rot in their own backyards, there is no actual news. It is just make pretend and those playing are out of touch with the real world.

These pair of scandals have decimated the crown jewel of broadcast news permanently. If 60 Minutes is this dysfunctionally blind to their own work environments, they are a sham.

And it is the reason the world needs to try again in how they get informed...