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RUMORED OUT NEXT AT CBS EVENING NEWS, WILL KAPLAN HANG ON?
First came hundreds of layoffs. Then came the ousting of the executives who orchestrated the firings to balance the books after years of their own poor performance.
David Westin was out at ABC News, replaced by Ben Sherwood.
Sean McManus was out at CBS News but not before he finally canned the entire morning show anchor team he had so stubbornly stuck with: Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and weatherman Dave Price whose idea of a great seasonal live shot was to go to a cranberry farm and re-create the Ocean Spray Cranberry juice commercial (one of the show’s sponsors), reach down into the thigh-high bog of wet cranberries, and pull out — a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice.
McManus was replaced by the crackling insider/outsider team of Jeff Fager and David Rhodes who quickly booted CBS VP of talent, Barbara Fedida (who in full disclosure is a personal friend I adore), and EVP Paul Friedman, who acknowledged in his good-bye memo his nickname: “Darth Vader.”
In one of the greatest of ironies, he also noted the “cruelty of Page Six” and their misplaced sources at CBS.(Well, perhaps one greater irony was the unfortunately misspelling in the subject line (see below) of the memo which recounted his more than 40 years in network news, with references to “golden years,” ” high standards” and “quality now under assault.”
—– Original Message —–
From: Friedman, Paul -(CND)
To: @CND News
Sent: Fri Feb 18 12:06:56 2011
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I came here five years ago to help Sean make a great but wounded news division stronger. Now he’s going back to Sports fulltime, and I’m leaving. It’s been great. Simply put, the new guys need to have their own team, and I wish them all the best … Read the rest of this entry »
NOTE TO FELLOW REPORTERS: LET’S NOT VICTIMIZE LARA LOGAN A SECOND TIME
First, my beef today with some of the newsies: one had to resign after tweeting Lara Logan was trying to one-up Anderson Cooper, another says she and CBS were “complicit in a news cover-up.” Others have noted “something fishy” in her lack of details.
My guess is whatever veteran war correspondent Lara Logan is going to do or say, it won’t quite fit what some news people expect of her. Despite the trauma, the physical and psychic pain of a “brutal and sustained sexual assault, her news peers (and I use the term loosely) now are now examining the handling of her own horrific story. Shame on those who dare to judge her or CBS.
In today’s Boston Herald.com, columnist Michael Graham takes her and her network to task:
“Five days of silence — not even “60 Minutes” coverage of the Egypt story. No mention of the “mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy” who attacked their own reporter.
“How is that not news? adding, “I’m with liberal columnist Richard Cohen of The Washington Post,” who wrote, “The sexual assault of a woman in the middle of a public square is a story . . . particularly because the crowd in Tahrir Square was almost invariably characterized as friendly and out for nothing but democracy,” Cohen wrote.
“Watching the same complicit media we all saw, Cohen notes most journalists covered the mobs “as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve, stopping only at putting on a party hat.”
I agree with Cohen that most journalists covered the mobs as if they were reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve. (see daily Xpress February 6th, “…This isn’t Woodstock.)
But these are two separate issues; Lara Logan’s personal trauma is her personal story and it’s up to her when, how and if she ever wants to discuss it.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE , MICHAEL GRAHAM, TO LEARN HOW TO BEST REPORT ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CRIMES
So who is Michael Graham and why is he weighing in? Is he dedicated to upholding journalism standards? Is he an advocate for women’s rights? Has he been a part of an advanced dialog on the reporting of rape before now?
No! Michael Graham is a radio talk show host and it looks like this is his first op ed article on any of this. During the past month, while democracy was painfully birthing in Egypt, Graham wrote about Obama’s budget cuts, the Boston mayor’s “jihad” on Wal-Mart, and how his driveway looks like an amateur luge course. So I guess I have to ask why Matt Drudge linked to it high up on our daily news bible?
It would be different if Michael Graham, or any of the current critics, bothered to note the irony of the CBS Logan report appearing on the same day that a landmark federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., accusing our own Department of Defense of allowing a military culture that not only fails to prevent rape and sexual assaults, but often promotes the perpetrators of those crimes.
Which brings me back to my note to President Obama, our commander in chief. Read the rest of this entry »
BARBARA WALTERS TELLS PIERS: “I AM NOT A MIDDLE EAST EXPERT,” BUT IN FIVE MINUTES OR LESS, SHE OFFERS MORE HISTORY AND CONTEXT THAN ANYONE ELSE
I’m totally exhausted. After nearly two weeks of Egyptian protests which has included the promise of the President to step down in September and begin democratic reforms right away, followed by “thugs” entering Tahrir Square, the molotov cocktails and the roughing up and intimidation of foreign journalists, I’ve been busier than ever digging daily for research to supplement our great 24/7 American media.
Yes, we all love a demonstration by people yearning for democracy. But the coverage of Egypt as some kind of Woodstock has left me scrambling for something more. One of the low points for me was stumbling across Elliot Spitzer, excitedly telling viewers he can’t wait to see what happens next in Alexandria. Continuing on the primetime schedule for CNN was Piers Morgan, covering his first ever live news story. (Perhaps they might have tried breaking their new anchors in on a car chase or two.)
Over on Fox, Shep Smith was blaming Mubarak for sending thugs into the main square to attack peaceful demonstrators journalists. First I wondered how anyone knew who was behind the “thugs,” and then I wondered, as I did all week, why not one journalist worried in advance that it might turn as ugly as the 2009 protests in Iran.
Perhaps they subliminally knew not to paint Mubarak with the same brush stroke as Ahmadinejad who put an end to his country’s pro-democracy demonstrations in 2009 by cutting down people like Neda, the Iranian girl shot in the heart in front of her father.
What a joy it was to finally hear Barbara Walters join Piers Morgan mid-week and offer him, and us viewers, a history lesson. As he pressed with indignation to find out why Obama wasn’t insisting Mubarak step down immediately Barbara Walters gently, respectfully and very clearly, explained that the region is full of dictators and always has been. We support the ones who share our interests.
Yes, yes, yes! Finally someone spoke who was not giddy about the overthrow of Mubarak.
Like Barbara Walters, I will qualify my observations as those not of a mideast expert, but as a journalist with strong interest in the region who has covered stories there… certainly not as many as Barbara Walters who has sat down one on one with many or most of their 20th century titans.
Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote this weekend in the Daily Beast, “all who ignore this history are naive... The Muslim Brotherhood jumps immediately to mind… (for the potential to hijack democracy) but don’t overlook the potentially equal or greater threat … from Egypt’s beloved armed forces. The history of venomous domestic and foreign-policy pronouncements by the MB should keep us all awake at night. And never forget that the murderers of the great President Anwar Sadat were Muslim Brothers embedded in the army.”
Now I didn’t watch all channels all the time, so I might have missed the coverage where you get context and keen insights. But I’ve felt pretty much on my own. So as someone who has more than an average interest in both the story and how it’s covered, here’s my own personal briefing book for anyone else who might need it. Read the rest of this entry »