The artists at Cox & Forkum have it exactly right in this case. All this ballyhoo about the gay marriage issue being what those awful Christians used to snooker the electorate is just so much chaff but the Democrats won’t see it that way. After reading commentary around the blogosphere and in the various media this week, it seems evident that this issue is going to be welded into place as “conventional wisdom” as to why Kerry lost, regardless of the truth. I’m still forming up into words my take on why those referenda in the states passed as they did. I have suspicions…
No, not the one that allowed 60 Minutes to evicerate its own credibility by putting up a story based on documents every expert in America has said were forged. No, the – ahem – investigation is still out on that one. I mean the one who broke into CBS’s showing of CSI five minutes before the end of the show with news that Arafat had been finally declared dead.
|::::::::||CBS News has axed a news producer who cut into prime-time programming Wednesday night to report the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The staffer, a female senior producer for CBS’s overnight newscast Up to the Minute, broke in to CSI: N.Y. shortly before 11 p.m. with the report, outraging viewers who missed the end of the crime drama.
CBS apologized for the interruption Thursday, saying an “overly aggressive” staffer “jumped the gun on a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news.”
As for the producer’s dismissal, a CBS spokesperson said Friday, “We do not comment on personnel issues.” CBS planned to repeat the CSI: N.Y. episode Friday night to placate viewers.
OK, CBS’s management certainly has a reason to be annoyed with this producer. Cut into what is arguably CBS’s most popular show (and, thereby, it’s cash cow) 5 minutes before every station on the east coast is going to a news program? The news of Arafat’s death is hardly such an emergency situation that 5 minutes would have made any difference. It was that clearly present “gotta get the scoop” attitude by being the first to announce the news in the US. “[O]verly aggressive” is a correct term for it. But is that an actionable offense? The “Rathergate” scandal smells much more of inappropriate journalistic activity and those employees are still gainfully employed. Even CBS’s rivals are confused:
|::::::::||An executive at a rival broadcast network said the whole situation left them puzzled. “I think people here were scratching their heads over the decision to break in, and then scratching it even harder over the apology for breaking in,” the exec says. “And now we’re wondering what kind of process they have in place to take the network to a special report.”||::::::::|
If CBS does a whitewash over the forged memos story, they’re going to look even worse doing it after this.