January 29th, 2013

“60 Minutes” voluntarily becomes Pravda, and The Atlantic actually notices

Here it is again, the press’s big slobbering love affair with Obama.

The phenomenon has been discussed right into the ground, here and elsewhere, and analyzed almost to death (“Obama is not just the white liberals’ perfect dream of a black president, he’s the white liberals’ perfect dream of a black liberal president”). So I’ll skip further analysis here and just note the continuing dangerous phenomenon of the starry-eyed liberal MSM when faced with the glory of the man. And then I’ll point out a few things that seem a tiny bit new.

What’s new is not the fawning, sycophantic, soft-ball questions of supposedly tough “60 Minutes” reporter Steve Kroft when facing both Obama and heiress-apparent Hillary Clinton—who gets a pass on her mediocre-at-best record, and her alarming performance at the Benghazi hearings, because she’s another liberal darling, and a liberal woman to boot.

What may be new is that it seems to be too much even for a liberal outfit such as the Atlantic, which actually published a fairly scathing indictment of the interview, written by its somewhat conservative writer Conor Friedersdorf. Friedersdorf’s focus is on how the interview diminishes journalism, although it’s hard to see how it could be more diminished than it already has been in the last decade or so, and especially in the last five years.

Here’s Friedersdorf:

The 60 Minutes brand is associated with probing interviews, and Kroft is adept at using his tone and manner to create the impression of tough questions without actually asking any. For Sunday’s interview, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sat beside him, benefited from 60 Minutes gravitas while answering questions better suited to Ellen. It hardly matters whether Kroft is deliberately pulling his punches to secure ongoing access or is simply disinclined to fulfill the core journalistic duty of holding powerful people accountable for their actions; his Obama interviews ought to diminish his standing and the reputation of his employer.

Friedersdorf goes on to analyze some of the questions Kroft asked (the entire piece is well worth reading), and to contrast them with questions from a previous “60 Minutes” interview (by another journalist on the show, because Kroft hadn’t done one) with George W. Bush. Pretty different, as you might imagine.

But Friedersdorf’s attack is almost completely focused on the consequences of this failure for journalism, rather than for America. And it’s the latter that matters; I couldn’t care less about the former except as it affects the latter. And when “60 Minutes” becomes Pravda, we’re in a heap of trouble.

But of course, you already knew that.

My guess is that the Atlantic allowed this to be published because it carefully skirts clear of the deepest issues involved, and focuses on the black eye this gives to journalism. In a way, if you think about it, it’s a method of telling journalists, “Don’t be so blatant about your biases that even ordinary people can see what you’re up to.” Not that this is what Friedersdoft is trying to get at; but still, he should have pushed the larger point and connected a few more dots.

I continue to be mightily impressed by Kirsten Powers of Fox, however. I’ve written about her hard-hitting pieces before—and she has really come alive after the Benghazi incident, which seems to have outraged her regarding the performance of the administration and the news media’s collaboration. Watch her here; although she’s a liberal, she is much harder on “60 Minutes” than even Friedersdorf was, and that’s pretty hard indeed. He compared “60 Minutes” to “Ellen,” but she compares it to the “state-run media.” Bingo:

Of course, now that she’s on Fox, she can be safely ignored by liberals.

7 Responses to ““60 Minutes” voluntarily becomes Pravda, and The Atlantic actually notices”

  1. George Pal Says:

    It can’t be just me but aren’t ‘softball questions’ and ‘ass kissing’ now just euphemisms for the venereally debauched goings on between the Baraka and the MSM – it’s like porn for pundits.

  2. Stoopid Party: Paul Ryan Loves Hillary Clinton, Plus Immigration, Benghazi, And How To Stop Kerry And Stop Hagel, Part I — Hillary Is 44 Says:

    [...] will probably ask better, tougher (a.k.a. impertinent) questions to Hillary than the guy from Sixty Minutes thought of asking. We hope Greta won’t play pattycake with Hillary as did the “60 Minutes” reporter on [...]

  3. Sam L. Says:

    Why the MSM is losing readers and viewers–they lie, by omission, mostly, and commission, often.

  4. CV Says:

    John Podhoretz had an amusing take on the 60 Minutes lovefest/2016 endorsement in the NY Post:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_hillary_barack_show_sd0W692z1X3IiwbBAOYNnN

    An excerpt:

    “Pop quiz. Who said this: “There’s a sense of understanding that . . . sometimes doesn’t even take words.”

    a) Bella, speaking about her love of Edward, in “Twilight.”

    b) Hannah, speaking of her friend Marnie, on “Girls.”

    c) Penn, paying tribute to Teller.

    d) None of the above.

    “The answer is, of course, d. In fact, these rather overripe words were spoken by Hillary Clinton, about President Obama, on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, in a very peculiar but very telling joint appearance on the occasion of her departure from Foggy Bottom after four years as secretary of state.
    Steve Kroft was summoned to the White House for a mere 30 minutes so that the president could say “thank you” to Clinton for her outstanding work. She will be remembered, he said, as “one of the finest secretaries of state we’ve had.” That claim is, to put it mildly, overheated….”

  5. DaveindeSwamp Says:

    He called her secretary of states

    Harvard Law super star in chief

  6. Maggie's Farm Says:

    Weds. morning links…

    1 in 4 Swedish Women Will Be Raped as Sexual Assaults Increase 500% A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports’ Biggest Names Eggs not bad for you and the NYT is on it Student Loan Bubble Update: "This Situation Is Simply Unsustainable" Preach…

  7. WEDNESDAY GOD & CAESAR EDITION | Big Pulpit Says:

    [...] “60 Minutes” Voluntarily becomes Pravda – Neo-Neocon [...]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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