Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 6, 2006
POLITICS: Katie Rather

Lest anyone think that CBS has changed its spots by signing Katie Couric as the permanent replacement for Dan Rather, check out the Media Research Center's 15-year "greatest hits" list of Couric's on-air liberal leanings. Many of these aren't that damning in isolation, but the overall pattern - negative characterizations of Republicans, conservatives and their ideas, aggressive, loaded questions for conservative guests and softballs and sycophancy towards liberal guests in general and the Clintons in particular - paints a compelling picture of a standard-issue liberal Democrat who brings her biases to work. I suppose marrying her to the existing institutions of CBS News kills two birds with one stone (although Matt Lauer, the surviving Today Show lead, isn't much better).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:02 PM | Politics 2006 | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

I found Bob Schieffer to be a breath of fresh air (stylistically, more than politically, but I also found him less political) in his time replacing Rather. I don't really see Couric as an improvement.

Posted by: Jerry at April 6, 2006 11:07 PM

My favorite Couric behavior is her wearing black for 3 days after every Bush election.

I dunno what CBS is up to but obviously they've decided they don't have a perceived bias problem that they need to address.

Then again, I'm not sure they're wrong. The media environment is changing in such fundamental ways that I'm not sure it makes much difference what the big 3 network news shows do anymore.

Posted by: Dwilkers at April 7, 2006 7:55 AM

So she has a liberal bias. So did Cronkite, and so what. People have a right to an agenda. Bill O'Reilly has one, yet he hosts a news program. Guess what, people have a right to have their views, and those with soapbixes to air them is their privelege. If you don't like it, the ultimate recourses are either don't watch, or write the sponsors and let them know.

Loaded questions? Loaded or tough to answer? Loaded questions always are. Reagan was always asked what people called loaded. The Gipper handled them as only he could. When you have an appropriate answer, the so-called loaded question becomes a trap for the questioner.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at April 7, 2006 9:48 AM

Oh please. Bill O'Reilly's show is not a news program, it's opinion. Apples and oranges. If they rename the "CBS Evening News" "The Couric Factor" and have Katie start every other sentence with "you know what I think?" I won't have a grievance. (I'd still complain about slanted or distorted news, but not about bias or point of view).

Posted by: The Crank at April 7, 2006 9:56 AM


As Daryl said, so what?

FOX News is a news program, I'll grant that. It's also very slanted to the right. So what?

Posted by: Mike at April 7, 2006 10:08 AM

I do think people expect different things from the broadcast networks than from the cable ones (and also expect more editorial slant from something like Nightline or 60 Minutes than from the nightly news). But people become reporters in part because they find things like politics interesting, so it's not surprising they will have political views. It's up to the audience to decide if they are letting those overwhelm their objectivity.

Posted by: Jerry at April 7, 2006 10:35 AM


When will movement conservatives get over their hyperventilation about media bias? Its boring. As Daryl said above, of course there's bias in the media...left and right. Hume's not much better than O'Reilly, just more civil. And CBS has long been a liberal bastion. This is all common knowledge, and unlikely to change anytime soon.

The problem, I think, is that as Americans we've swallowed the conceit that it is possible for news/current events to be objectively reported. Thats ridiculous. One person, one organization is necessarily at the mercy of its prejudices. Why do we grant journalists, in the abstract, an ability that no other human being possesses? It creates false expectations in the informed, which leads to bad info being regarded as fact, and makes insufferable blowhards out of many of the informers, who internalize the flattery our culture gives to their Olympian abilities.

Don't worry so much about it. Once upon a time- before Rush and FOX- only one slant was out there. Now there are two, and room for everything in between in the blogosphere. Thats really all anyone can ask for. Asking/expecting/demanding that individuals be "objective" is simply foolish. Getting worked up over their lack of objectivity compounds the foolishness.

Posted by: seamus at April 7, 2006 11:15 AM



Posted by: Mike at April 7, 2006 11:41 AM

I don't know that anyone here is getting "worked up" over the bias as much as just pointing it out. And I do think there's a difference between Rush and O'Reilly, who make no pretense of being objective, and the CBS Evening News, which claims it is.

Posted by: Jeff A at April 7, 2006 2:09 PM

If you say so.

Posted by: seamus at April 7, 2006 5:34 PM

Seamus, you do know the difference between the front page and the editorial page, right? The Crank had a link documenting Katie's bias, do have anything to back up "Hume's not much better than O'Reilly,"?

Posted by: abe at April 7, 2006 8:20 PM

"And CBS has long been a liberal bastion. This is all common knowledge, and unlikely to change anytime soon."

I know several people who get their news from CBS and other parts of the liberal media and have no idea that it is slanted that way. They have been watching it so long and have never encountered non-Left media that they truly believe they are calling it down the middle.

Posted by: andrew at April 7, 2006 8:48 PM

abe's and andrew's comments prove my point. We insist on believing that news/current events can be objectively reported. Only then does the assertion that they should be objectively reported make any sense. I doubt the premise, and so could care less about the distinction betw/ front page and editorial page. To the extent that such a distinction exists at all, its aspirational. Or, more properly, its the silliest example of the flattery we reflexively pay to the "profession" of journalism.

As for those benighted souls under the wicked tyranny of liberal media's bias, take up a collection to get them cable.

Posted by: seamus at April 8, 2006 8:36 AM


abe, I'll concede that my impressions of Hume are subjective. But then again, I'm not a journalist.

Posted by: seamus at April 8, 2006 8:41 AM

fair enough.

Posted by: abe at April 8, 2006 11:35 AM


Well explained in your 8:36 AM post. Nicely put.

Posted by: Mike at April 8, 2006 1:09 PM
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