In a commentary on October 22, 2008 (How does media bias affect Presidential election) we made the observation
“It is the purpose of the media to ask questions, tough questions, of the potential candidates. It is their purpose to inform the public of facts and comments of note by the candidates. It is the fact that they receive more attention and response than bloggers of most any size that we rely on them.”
At the time this was relevant as few major media outlets were willing to address the failure to vette then-Senator Obama, which was revealed after the election as an intentional bias (if any doubt remained after the revelation of Chris Matthews and his chills on hearing Obama speak). But for all the bias in 2008, there was still some objectivity eeking through. There was a pretense of fairness, and an attempt to at least pretend that an all-out Democrat push was not underway in the majority of news media.
In 2012, CBS took the step over the cliff, in our opinion. The concept of a news organization even pretending that they held objectivity was lost in a single interview. The interview with President Obama, after the Benghazi attack on the U.S. consulate on September 11, 2012. 60 Minutes did something that would make Ed Morrow turn in his grave.
The offense is not just that the interview, after the first death of a U.S. Ambassador since 1979 and 3 other Americans, was edited to remove critical questions about a key topic in the public eye at the time. It’s not that CBS failed to release the edits until after the 2nd presidential debate. No, it’s that the only reason to remove facts and selectively release information is to benefit a political candidate.
We know few of our colleagues in the media will say this so bluntly. We are not afraid.
CBS withheld critical information from the public, because they have a bias to support that President. How else can the fact that when the news of the missing parts of the 60 Minutes interview were released it was just the portion that made President Obama and Candy Crowley look good?
“CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror. It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that.” – Candy Crowley during the 2nd presidential debate
To try and say they were objective, you need only ask the question – would President Bush have gotten the same treatment? Only the most politically jaded would even try to argue that Bush would have been treated the same.
Why is this a big deal?
President Obama lied to the American public. As has been determined through the efforts of a handful of news organizations that maintain some journalistic integrity, the CIA reported
“1:15 a.m.: CIA reinforcements arrive on a 45-minute flight from Tripoli in a plane they’ve hastily chartered…The first idea is to go to a Benghazi hospital to recover Stevens, who they correctly suspect is already dead. But the hospital is surrounded by the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Shariah militia that mounted the consulate attack.”
So when President Obama spoke to the American people and failed to say this was a terrorist attack, he mislead the public (unless an attack on an American consulate is something anyone wants to argue is not information the President would be advised of). Further, when he was directly asked about that on 60 Minutes, his response was a lie. This was compounded by the weeks of disinformation and a speech at the UN that equally was wasted breathe. Even when President Obama spoke at the 2nd Presidential debate, he lied when he would not state that the group responsible were known.
This kind of information would devastate any President’s Administration. It would surely sink a re-election. 2 facts that are clearly known to CBS and 60 Minutes. It is also the kind of news story that news organizations salivate over. It virtually guarantees viewership in droves. Yet CBS sat on the video, and the facts. They hid the information from the public.
Critical to note is the first question – Steve Kroft: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?
Releasing the full edit of the missing 60 Minutes interview, late in the evening the day before the election, without any press release or public announcement, is an attempt to slip something past the American public. It allows CBS to say they did their constitutionally protected duty, without dampening the prospects of their political favorite.
How many votes might be swayed by the full truth? How many people will vote based on the incorrect information from the 2nd presidential debate, and the selective and edited information from CBS? How is that anything but corrupting the election process and media bias in the worst form?
Whether President Obama wins or loses the election, America has lost. Because the ability of Americans to vote based on all the pertinent available facts has been denied them. Because a news organization has forsaken its duty. Because the political preferences of a few directly usurped the free will of the public – even if anyone wants to argue that even 1 person has been affected. The very freedom that the news media is meant to protect has been enslaved instead.
Will CBS survive this slap to the public’s face? Very likely. Will CBS remain on the favored list of President Obama if he secures re-election? Without doubt. Will Fox News, particularly Bret Baier in this case, be demonized for bashing President Obama? Do birds fly?
The real question then is this, how long until news organizations openly revert to the yellow journalism of the past? How long until news media openly manipulates voters to ensure that political favorites maintain power? How long until such actions whittle away the very freedoms that Americans rely on the media to protect?
Sadly too few will read this before they vote on November 6th. Worse, too few will realize that the nightly news they are watching has an agenda and they are now the pawns to that end. Truly this is shameful, and that is the kindest words we can use to describe it.