Fake news on fake news: Don't pin it on your ideological enemies. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Fox News Channel has this agitprop on their menu:

“Black Eye: Dan Rather and the Birth of Fake News”

That title is fake news itself.

Fake news has been going on long before 1968, too, Politico.

For as long as there has been communications, there has been propaganda.

That is not a “left” or “right” invention.

It is a people invention…

If 60 Minutes was always a toxic place to work, then how credible was it?

60 Minutes is getting rapped on the knuckles for what that little clique tolerated and fostered over the decades.

After how many decades?

It was a Good Old Boys club, and its original leader Don Hewitt had abused a female underling, ruining her career, and the network has had to pay her millions.

Who watched these watchmen?

No one, apparently.

It does not surprise me. I recall Spy magazine making mention of it, but as usual, no one else picked it up.

I am not surprised by this report one bit. The press is quick to praise itself and paint themselves as martyr knights, but don’t buy the hype…

Starting over in a Post-Journalism World, Part Twenty-Four.

Façades and empty gestures are rife in public life. If it is a choice between a plain box with the solution to a problem or an empty box with an ego-stroking and colourful façade, there would be a bigger line-up for the empty box than the quiet one that had substance without the flash.

CBS’s fictional show Murphy Brown is back and it is a preachy monologue about journalism, an irony as the its mother network has booted out three of their male titans for very bad behaviour, and now are rudderless with their Great Men façade.

60 Minutes is still being touted as hard investigative journalism, when it has mostly been advertorials for books, tycoons, celebrities, and Ivy League schools. That’s not investigative journalism.

What it had was the façade of investigative journalism. The ratio of filler to actual stories was bigger than what was being presented in their own hype.

Just tell the little people just how important you are, and the rubes will parrot you.

But not everyone is a rube.

Not everyone buys the veneer of gravitas. If they did, the Three Kings over at CBS would still be employed.

There are those in journalism who knew how to employ stratagems — feints and ruses — in order to seem more important than they actually were.

It had nothing to do with the substance of information gathering.

The alternative looks at what is inside the box, and deconstructs the box itself.

Not just in covering events, but ensuring its own profession doesn’t become all hype and no substance in the bargain…

Be careful how you parse your denials: how people in journalism still do not get this whole technology thing.

Jeff Fager tried to downplay his ouster:

The company…terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.

Well, CBS News has released the content of the text he sent:

[Fager] sent a text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan with a warning over the network's coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him. 

On Sunday, Duncan reached out to Fager for his response to allegations in The New Yorker that he had groped or touched CBS employees at company parties.

"If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me," Fager replied. "Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem."

Wow, there were people who lost their jobs trying to harm him.

That is a very serious threat to make to a coworker who is doing a story on you. Not just “harsh,” but life-altering.

I have heard similar threats when I worked on stories. This is the way people try to shut down the truth from coming out.

CBS was painted as tyrants for kicking him out over some silly little text, and they merely put out that very text.

See? Technology. It gives tangible evidence. I still have all the voice mails 60 Minutes left on my answering machine in late 1993 and 1994.

The move is worse now because we now have a credibility problem: that denials will not be believed, and that a network could allow that kind of behaviour go on unchallenged.

And 60 Minutes is hit the worst of all: for all those decades they were the moral ones who stood up to people who made those kind of threats…and they were playing the same games all along...