This Video on Katie Couric and CBS News’ repetition of Bush Administration talking points and lack of critical reporting has stirred up quite the hornet’s nest at CBS.  We posted this over the weekend, along with a number of other folks, including:  KagroX at DKos; Nicole at Crooks and Liars; the folks at Brave New Films; and PoliticsTV

A member wrote CBS a polite note, criticizing the lack of skeptical reporting and the softball questions.  Here is that e-mail:

From: [MoveOn member]
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 12:42 PM
To: CBS Evening News
Subject: Couric report from Iraq an embarassment to journalists everywhere


I started watching Couric’s series of reports hoping to learn something valuable. All I learned was that CBS is content to produce puff pieces scripted by the institutions it purports to be investigating.

I did not hear Couric push for real answers on one single issue! She simply took everything she was told and parrotted it back to the masses.

I’m embarassed and saddened. You should be too.

[MoveOn member]

CBS’ response? Take a look:

From: CBS Evening News <>
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 11:45:01 AM
Subject: RE: Couric report from Iraq an embarassment to journalists everywhere

Actually most intelligent people were very impressed by the quality of our reports from Iraq and Syria …Apparently you missed most of the interviews that were done over there…imagine you got your information from a blog somewhere…  (emphasis mine)

Oh, I get it. Legitimate criticism from viewers can simply be ignored if you dismiss it as coming from a blog.  But not asking the critical questions, repeating talking points wholesale, failing to follow-up when you are being snowed and charmed, and buying military spin outright while feeding it by the spoonful to your adoring public is just peachy?  So much for the whole “journalistic integrity” canard.  And the tanking ratings.

The two senior producers at CBS Evening News are Jim McGlinchy ( and Betty Chin (  I’m working on e-mails to both them asking whether (a) this is the usual response of CBS to legitimate viewer criticism and (b) whether they would officially like to disavow this sort of customer non-service.  I’ll certainly let you know what, if any, response I get.  No matter how snippy the response may be, the dodge and weave on the real issues on journalistic integrity come across loud and clear.   Perhaps they should hear from you as well?

(As a reminder, here’s what real reporters ought to be doing:  here and here.  Do read all the links in both pieces, they are quite enlightening.)

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com