Thursday, November 14, 2013

CBS's only problem isn't that 60 minutes piece

I think the problem is that back in the oughts the right labeled CBS as a "liberal media" source and then embarrassed the network when the Dan Rather/Bush military service piece blew up. Since then the network has been working hard to avoid being perceived as liberal. but now it is running into the same problem with facts that other rightwing media outlets have: their stories don't hold up.

That's not a major problem for the likes of Fox News, theirs is a self-selecting audience that mostly just wants to hear what that their pre-established views are correct and doesn't pay attention when other sources rebut what Fox reports. But that is a problem for CBS, because their brand is not partisanship, it's being a credible news source for people across the political spectrum.

The people who run CBS's news division have a choice. They can start fact checking the bullshit they are being fed from wingnuts to rebuild their credibility with the non-wingnut audience. Or they can keep with what they are doing and become a kind of network version of Fox News. I don't think that the latter is a viable business model (I mean, Fox is going to be better at being Fox than CBS, and a 24 hour cable news channel is going to feed the rightwing outrage machine more effectively than a nightly news program plus 60 minutes on Sunday). So the answer seems obvious to me. But I'm also obviously biased.