Posts tagged ‘CBS’

Good Stuff at Scrappleface

First, Scrappleface reports:

After a week of tough negotiating by France, Germany and Britain, the Islamic Republic of Iran has conceded to reduce the size of nuclear warheads it will use in the eventual bombing of Paris, Berlin and London.

I might have thought this was humor until I read this line, which seems all too real:

Iran has pledged to stop enriching uranium, while retaining 20 operating centrifuges, and continuing to process plutonium

LOL.  Even better, Scrappleface also reports that CBS is considering emulating recent moves by the Ukraine press to abandon bias:

Inspired by a public pledge from Ukrainian TV journalists to provide unbiased reporting from now on, CBS News has launched an internal investigation to assess the potential impact of such a move.

Go read it all.

Help Choose Dan Rather's Replacement!

Dan Rather will be leaving his anchor position at CBS Evening News.  I haven't really gloated about this online, despite my dislike for what CBS News has become, mainly because I don't see any evidence that CBS is really going to fix anything.  I mean, one clue that they are not really serious about change is that Dan Rather will be refocusing his time on 60 Minutes, the very forum that caused many of his most recent troubles in the first place.

Anyway, who should replace Dan?  My gut feel is that they will choose some stiff who has put in his time for decades at CBS, but I don't think that will do much to improve ratings.  What would?  How about these suggestions:

Improve ratings approach #1:  Finally get rid of the pretense that anchors are journalists rather than pretty talking heads.  Hire Nicollette Sheridan, or maybe Terri Hatcher.  Or, if you feel CBS News deserves more gravitas, in the Murrow tradition, how about Meryl Streep?

Improve ratings approach #2:  Go with comedy.  Bring in David Letterman from the Late Show to anchor the evening news.  "Tonight, we start with the growing UN oil for food scandal.  Uma - Anann.  Anann - Uma."  Or, if you want to segment the market differently, how about Tim Allen and the CBS News for Guys.  Or, if CBS wants to keep hitting the older demographic - what about Chevy Chase - certainly he already has anchor experience from SNL.

Improving Credibility Choice:  No one in the MSM really has much credibility left after the last election, but there is one man who would bring instant credibility to CBS News -- Bob Costas.  CBS should hire him away from NBC, like they did with Letterman.  Make him the evening news anchor.  Heck, if Bryant Gumbell can make the transition to the news division, certainly Costas can.

Become the acknowledged liberal counterpoint to Fox:  Hire Bill Clinton as anchor.  Nothing would generate more buzz than that hire, and he is at loose ends anyway (and think about all those wonderful business trips away from home...)  If Bill is not available, try James Carville.  I might even have to watch that.

Let the public decide:  Forget making a decision, and just create a new reality show like ESPN's Dream Job to choose the next anchor.  Each week the 12 finalists can be given a new task.  In week one, they have to pick up incriminating evidence about the President at a rodeo.  In week 2, they have to forge a believable set of documents from the early 70's, and survive criticism from about 10,000 bloggers.  They can kick one off the island each week based on the viewers votes.

Leave your own ideas in the comments section!


I want to expand on the idea in the comment below.  I think it would be a great idea to just run "best of" news broadcasts when Dan is out, like they did during Carson's frequent nights off late in his tenure.  The interesting part would be to see if anyone noticed.


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For a more serious handicapping of replacements, check out and at RatherBiased.

Caveat on Social Security Reform

I had some links on Social Security reform here

One thing I forgot to mention -- No matter what we decide to do, please, please do not let the government invest social security funds in private equities.  I am all for giving individuals control of their social security funds and allowing these individuals to make their own investment choices.  But, allowing the government to invest in equities will lead to all sorts of problems:

  1. The most obvious is creeping socialism and regulation, particularly of companies that are not well-loved by the intelligentsia.  Mad at Dick Cheney?  Pass a law that the trust fund can't invest in Haliburton.  Don't like Dan Rather?  Pass a law that the trust fund can't invest in CBS.  You get the idea.  The mere threat of disowning the company's equity from the trust fund investments portfolio would force companies to kowtow to the populist notion of the moment.
  2. If you worry about private individuals manipulating the stock market, just wait until the government has the incentive to get in the game.  The government has all kinds of ways, from small (control of economics data) to large (interest rates and SEC regulations) to manipulate the market for short term gain. 

Marginal Revolution also has an interesting post on whether the historic equity premium would still exist if the government invested massively in equities.

CBS News Ethical Priorities

CBS News really is falling to some new lows.  Courtesy of is this article from Reuters that CBS is firing the producer who had the temerity to break into a top-rated show (CSI-NY) with news that a major world figure had died (Arafat):

CBS News has fired the producer responsible for interrupting the last five minutes of a hit crime drama with a special report on the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), a network source said on Friday.

Great.  CBS has an hour-long show using documents my 10-year-old could see were forged attacking a presidential candidate a few weeks before the election, and no one gets fired - and no apology to viewers is issued.  But, pre-empt a few minutes of a top rated show to announce that one of the most prominent world figures of the last 50 years has died, and you get fired (within hours) and CBS publishes an apology to viewers. 

CBS has lost it, part II

OK, Uncle Walter no longer does much for CBS other than act as their sort of hood ornament, but his statement on Larry King, via Drudge, is even wackier than Dan Rather:

Former CBSNEWS anchorman Walter Cronkite believes Bush adviser Karl Rove is possibly behind the new Bin Laden tape.

Cronkite made the startling comments late Friday during an interview on CNN.

Somewhat smiling, Cronkite said he is "inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."

Um, right. I am sure Bin Laden is sitting in his spider hole waiting to do everything the Bush Administration asks him to do. And, if Bin Laden is in custody, why would Bush use that fact only to generate this tape, and not just trumpet to the world that the US has, in fact, captured Bin Laden, which would have far more impact. It is incredible to see Cronkite saying things that Michael Moore might even think twice about. And, to have Larry King just let it slide - no followup question or anything, as if Cronkite's statement was the most natural and obvious thing in the world.


It was pretty funny to watch Dan Rather last night during the election coverage. Brokaw at the end of the evening looked like he was going to cry, but Dan really lost it a couple of times. He really lost all pretense to objectivity. I wish I had a transcript. It would be hilarious to put up a montage of video clips from network anchors from 7PM EST (when exit polls were signaling a big Kerry win) and midnight when it was pretty clear Bush would win. I know the differences in body language and demeanor would be startling, and would go well beyond what is explainable just from being tired.

CBS is Pathetic

To this day, CBS and Dan Rather have still not admitted that the documents they used in the Bush National Guard story were forged. Pathetic.

Today we get this, via Drudge.

News of missing explosives in Iraq -- first reported in April 2003 -- was being resurrected for a 60 MINUTES election eve broadcast designed to knock the Bush administration into a crisis mode.

Two obvious questions. What is the public justification (vs. the real one, which is obviously to influence the election) for re-running an 18 month old story and calling it new news? And, how can people keep flogging this story when NBC, who had an embedded reporter on site the day after liberation, continues to report that the stuff was not there when the US arrived?

This is not to let the NY Times off the hook, for beating CBS to the punch on this weak story, but I have built up a particular ire over the years against CBS News. Besides, this is a lame issue - kind of like the museum looting urban legend revisited again. Is this the best October surprise the left has? Maybe Karl Rove has a better one for his side coming up.

It would be interesting to know if Kerry is happy or sad about this. Probably both. So far, the original story is getting more play than NBC's debunking of it, so that must help. However, I saw him on TV Monday and most of the soundbites, at least on CNN, were of him slamming Bush over this story. He can't be happy having the rug pulled out from under him yet again, as happened after the Bush ANG story. Maybe he needs to wait 24 hours after NY Times or CBS stories come out to see if they still hold up before putting his reputation behind them.

Be Careful Forwarding those Emails!

Got another email today from a friend sending around the "Its time to panic they are going to reinstate the draft" email. This is the third time in a week I have been forwarded this email. Unfortunately, the email is an urban legend at best, or a campaign tactic at worst, and has been debunked all over - the best is at I guess I can forgive my friends, since CBS News fell for it too. I once embarrassed myself forwarding a similar fake email about a change in credit privacy laws. I sent it indignantly to senators and web sites and friends. OOPS, all a hoax.

Please, please. Before you pass on these emails to your friends and embarrass yourself like I did, Google it. Just plug in the email subject line, like I did here for the draft email. You will see a bunch of fairly ideological sites promoting the same story - with exactly the same language - this should be big red flag. You will also see a number of credible 3rd parties and urban legend sites debunking it.

The point of this post was about crazy emails floating around, but given that I mentioned the draft one, the house voted down the draft bill sponsored by a Democratic representative 402-2 today.

PS - if you have not seen, check it out. They seem as fair as anybody in terms of equal opportunity debunking of both political parties.


Never trust men over 60 with the computer. Our Vice President managed to direct tens of millions of debate viewers to, which is a anti-Bush/Cheney site. LOL. Perhaps even funnier, by the time debate viewers found the real site at, they likely saw this headline on the front page:

Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts. Getting it wrong about combat pay, Halliburton, and

OOPS. Dick, just answer the question yourself.