Now it’s just embarassing

CBS CBS oh what happened to CBS (well, we all know, but I like to lament sometimes). Back in the day, the news operations of the networks were considered loss leaders. The best reporting brought the most audience and advertisers liked that. News itself didn’t make money, but it increased viewership numbers which helped the network big time.

Of course those days are over and of course the 22 minute half hour of network news today is little more than a string of press releases followed by a story about a four year old who dialed 911 and saved her mommy and her puppy. Great stuff.

But once in a while they make an effort. And certainly there are still some superb people working for the nets, people like Richard Engel on NBC.

CBS News – once called The Tiffany News Network – decided to do a big serious story about the economy. Here’s Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly (my linker gizmo isn’t working! Wonder what that’s about) :

CBS News sent around a press release yesterday afternoon about a special “In Focus: Debt and Deficit,” hosted by Katie Couric.

The release noted, “With this year’s record-breaking deficit of $1.5 trillion — the biggest ever in U.S. history — and the national debt reaching a whopping $14 trillion, Americans are now faced with making tough choices in order for the country to dig itself out of its national financial mess.”

The press release happened to be wrong. The deficit isn’t $1.5 trillion; it’s $1.29 trillion. The deficit also isn’t “the biggest ever in U.S. history,” neither in real terms nor in percentage of GDP. The national debt hasn’t reached a “whopping $14 trillion” yet, either. All of these errors were in the first paragraph.

8 responses to “Now it’s just embarassing

  1. The media is seemingly getting weaker when it comes to across-the-board reporting.

    Nowadays, it appears like our so-called ‘news’ providers have the memory of goldfish;


  2. Hey Moe.

    We disagreed about Jon Stewart’s rally. But I just finished watching Rachel Maddow where she interviewed Jon. If ya didn’t see it, or didn’t tape it, go here:

    I left very much impressed with Jon.


    • Actually, I taped it and haven’t gotten around to watching it – shall do pronto is it’s got pino’s imprimater!!!

      (Did you see his 8 minute monolgue at hte end of the rally?)


    • pino. I watched it yesterday. Rachel came out badly. You’re right, he was impressive. I think the best line, which she didn’t get or was in denial about, was that he and she were not doing the same thing: he said “you’re playng on the field, I’m in the stands yelling at you.” Perfect.

      Did you ever see his many years ago appearance on the old Crossfire on CNN? It was Robert Novak and — can’t remember, maybe Michael Kinsley; it was one of the “I can shout louder than you” shows. Stewart was brutal to them to their faces. He said ‘what you do is very bad for America.” Brave.


      • Did you see his 8 minute monolgue at hte end of the rally?

        I think you posted it here, right? I did watch it and I did NOT like it. He didn’t come across very well.

        On this interview, however, he was amazing.


  3. Let me know when you’re going to watch it. I’ll bring the pizza.


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