In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly “Evening” viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.
At the center of Schlesinger’s piece was a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia woman who is “sick to my stomach” that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger claimed that Cocco was a Republican and portrayed her as an apolitical (even Republican) mom worried about the future.
Schlesinger did not disclose that Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal proscription, seeks to establish a “peaceful, rational foreign policy” by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesinger’s Cocco, the group portrays itself as “nonpartisan” although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any Republicans.
The group’s domain is registered to a man named Jacob Levich, a left-wing activist who in a 2001 essay compared the Bush Administration to the totalitarian government portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984.
CBS can’t see the news through the bias. You obviously don’t need a C, B, or S to spell the word integrity and you would think they would be a little gun shy after RatherGate. This just goes to show that their news division problems are systemic. That the firing of a couple people is not enough. The bias cancer has metastized throughout their news division. To allow a news story based on a e-mailed rumor goes beyond just bias among liberal reporters but goes beyond to pure political propaganda. They would have more credibility if they just went ahead and hired Terry McAuliffe as the anchor. The funny thing is I bet more readers of blogs read about the story than the rapidly declining viewership of CBS News did.
As a public service to CBS, since their requirement for facts is so low, is to offer them some upcoming show ideas that are equally credible.
- The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
- The true story of Maria Monk
- The Hitler Diaries
- Piltdown Man proves evolution
- The email tax
- Bush and the plastic turkey
- The Bush IQ test
The show I would like to see is Leonard Nimoy doing "In Search of .. Dan Rather’s integrity." This would be just as believable as all the other In Search of episodes.
Karas: "The truth of the e-mails were absolutely irrevelevant to the piece, because all the story said was that people were worried. It’s a story about human beings that are afraid of the draft. We did not say that this (e-mail) was true, it’s just circulating. We are not verifying the e-mail."
The point that the e-mails were irrevelevant to the piece was pretty much restated by all the CBS News employees interviewed. Why in the world would you make a point of showing irrevelevant material in a story. Not verifying the e-mail – do you spot a trend here. Will they soon do a story on all the opportunities for making money via your bank account and Nigeria? They tried to dodge the politically motivated issue by stating that the story said the neither candidate supports a draft. They mainly did news by omission. No mention that the person interviewed was an anti-draft activist, no mention that the e-mail has been debunked, no mention that the bill for the Draft was authored by two Democrats. It has been the Kerry campaign that has been making the secret plan for a draft charge so this story only plays into their hands.