Ethics Hero: CBS’ Major Garrett

major_garrettDuring President Obama‘s Iran deal press conference,  CBS’ Major Garrett broke ranks with his softball lobbing colleagues  by asking, “Why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”

President Obama flared, reprimanding the reporter by snarling, “That’s nonsense, and you should know better.”

Garret was immediately criticized for being disrespectful. CNN’s Dana Bash criticized her colleague,  opining that “There’s a fine line between asking a tough question and maybe crossing that line a little bit and being disrespectful, and I think that happened here.” Bill Maher ran to fetch the typical weapon of last (first?) resort employed by Obama apologists since January, 2009: the race card. “Major Garrett is a huge asshole,” he tweeted.  “If U wanna “strike a nerve” with POTUS, why not just scream the N word? That should get his attention.” Garrett has been unapologetic.

No doubt: it was a hostile question. A decade or more ago, I might have thought it crossed a line. But the issue Garrett raised was an important and obvious one in the context of the President once again cockily taking a victory lap over a dubious achievement, and for this citizen, at least, it gave me hope that the mainstream media’s days of serving as a virtual Pravda to a leader’s every move might be slowly coming to an end. The media’s deference to this President has been disgraceful and has undermined our democracy, public discourse, trust in the press  and the right to know what our government is doing. CBS’s Steve Kroft actually admiited—proudly!—that his “60 Minutes” was a favored venue for Obama because he knew that he would be treated with kid gloves. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Which Reporter Would You Fire?

If this box of hammers can do their jobs as well as they can, should they really be journalists?

If this box of hammers can do their jobs as well as they can, should they really be journalists?

Stipulated:

  • The U.S. media establishment is in horrendous shape.
  • Its news coverage is untrustworthy, because so many of its members are untrustworthy.
  • The field of journalism is polluted with shallow, self-righteous, biased, narrow-minded hacks, and whatever genuine insight, ethics and talent the profession contains is usually overwhelmed by mediocrity.
  • Any hope of addressing the current grim state of the news media must begin with ejecting prominent reporters and journalists who have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the lack of temperament, standards, skills or values to practice responsible journalism.

With this as background, behold today’s Ethics Quiz, which is…

Which journalist, CBS News reporter Major Garrett, Washington Post reporter Suzi Parker, both, or neither, deserves to be asked to seek a career elsewhere? Continue reading