Dan Rather

A Sad Day For CBS

If I seem pre-occupied by cartoons of late (see this Cold War classic), you may be right. I've haven't really thought about it, but do freely admit my affection for Peanuts and Charles Schulz's Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and gang. Cartoons, though, have been in the news recently and not always for the most noble reasons. First, the Charlie Brown Christmas special was preempted, somewhat controversially, athough ABC later rescheduled. Now we learn that CBS has corrupted the legendary Frosty The Snowman cartoon. It mashed up an online promo (a "mash" is one medium mixed into another) where it uses actual Frosty scenes to front foul-mouthed audio from two of its sitcoms (See FoxNews.com). The result is an indecent Frosty, zapping Christmas innocence out of any children who may happen upon it thinking it's the real Frosty.

Ironic that this comes from CBS where, at one time, as I discussed earlier this week, it actually cared somewhat about Christmas. But it isn't a network that has distinguished itself in recent years, what with Dan Rather and its news division's pretense of objectivity (See Media Research Center). Cartoons, especially this time of year, especially the classic ones, represent the last remnant of Big Media's family-oriented culture, of a different, slower paced time, when people and families could gather for a common nationwide experience. Especially during the Christmas season, when parents can pass along the times of their youth to their children. CBS' move was a step to debase that.

Whether it's news or entertainment, CBS and its fellow Mainstream Media cohorts fall exceedingly short. Although an obscene rendition of Frosty The Snowman isn't necessarily shocking anymore (unfortunately), most critics do at least find it disturbing. Which still, rightfully, makes it a sad day for CBS, although less sad for any unsuspecting child (or family) who happens upon this trash.

Campbell Brown, Baby, Exposes Herself

We're sure most of you do not believe there's a left-wing media bias in Mainstream Media. Uh-huh, right! Did anyone catch former Richmonder Campbell Brown on CNN last night? (See transcript and video here.) She grilled John McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds over Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials and asked him to name one instance in which she commanded the Alaska National Guard. It turned out to be quite the donnybrook. It wasn't Bush 41 vs. Dan Rather all over again, but it was pretty intense. Bad enough, in the McCain camp's view, that the senator cancelled a live, previously scheduled interview for last night with Larry King. To be fair, it didn't help that Mr. Bounds was not all that competent.

But for those who do not think the mainstream media is biased, please explain this quote from Ms. Brown to Mr. Bounds as she ended the interview:

I appreciate you coming on and taking the time to have this debate (emphasis added). I think it's important. ... We're not beating you up here. We're not trying to.

Debate? Debate? Since when is a journalist supposed to debate a guest? Journalists are supposed to get information, not advance an opposing view. While it was clear Mr. Bounds did not have the answer to her question, he should have said he would research it and get back to her. In lieu of that, she should have prompted that from him and moved on to the next question. (Eventually, a slate.com writer confirmed Governor Palin's command experience and Brown announced it later during a panel discussion.) Instead, Ms. Brown was intent — repeating the question, in one form or another, six times with increasing agitation in her voice and body language — on nothing more than making political points as if she was the opposing camp's PR hack. 

If she wasn't trying to "beat him up" she certainly was trying to belittle him with this quote, sarcastic facial expressions and body language included:

All right. Tucker, I'm just going to give it to you, baby. We'll end it there. (Emphasis not added.)

"Baby"? Are you kidding me? "Baby"? Imagine if Bill O'Reilly called a Democrat spokeswoman that — there would be shrieks for his head by leftist feminists, sort of like when Barack Obama called a reporter "sweetie." Actually, that's not a good comparison since the hypocrites said nothing about it.

Speaking of Senator Obama and Ms. Brown: Does anyone credibly think she would press him, or one of his aides, with the same intensity in asking him to name just one significant accomplishment? The double standard is pretty clear. He's been running for president for two years and he can't name one and the media isn't interested. (By the way, speaking of Senator Obama and Fox News: How is Barack Obama going to negotiate with Iranian and Russian despots when he won't even talk to Fox News, despite his promise to O'Reilly?)

Some commentators are saying this is the year journalism ended. Some of us have considered it long gone. But if there was any doubt, last night at least one in the mainstream media — Campbell baby — exposed her true colors.