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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"60 Minutes" and "Pissing Off the Left"

Lloyd Grove, one of my old Crawdaddy writers, at the Daily Beast joins those saying "60 Minutes" hasn't done nearly enough to probe its Benghazi scandal.  And why not?
One salient difference from the 2004 experience is that nine years ago, the network was being targeted by an organized campaign by conservative activists; this time, the attackers are largely liberal bloggers and press critics like David Brock of Media Matters.
“It’s a lot safer pissing off the left than pissing off the right,” said a veteran journalist with hard experience in these issues. “The left raps your knuckles, and the right cuts off your hand and serves it to you for lunch.”
But the main reason will be because many media experts/writers--such as Nicholas Lemann, quoted by Grove--just don't think it's that big a deal and CBS just needs to do a little tinkering.  I'll write more on this later.

UPDATE  Paul Waldman at The American Prospect raises much the same theme, that is, CBS not worried about liberal noise machine. 
The plain fact of it is that news organizations like CBS are afraid of the right, but they aren't afraid of the left. Big media outlets like CBS are terrified of right-wing pressure campaigns, precisely because most journalists are, in fact, liberals. That doesn't mean the news has a liberal bias (there are lots of biases in the news, and reporters injecting their ideological beliefs about policy into their stories is about the 20th most consequential), but it does mean that they're overly sensitive about being called liberal. The way they usually handle that fear is to bend over backward to be contemptuous of Democrats and to take every opportunity they can to prove that they aren't what conservatives say they are.
And if Logan got fired for this—or if anybody got fired for this—well that would only be taken by the right as evidence that those liberals at CBS will do Barack Obama's bidding. And that's the last thing they want to be seen as doing.

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