Saturday, June 03, 2006

What Just Happened Here?

Apparently the 'C' is for Censorship
Of course one is doomed to disappointment if one expects journalism from shows like CBS The Early Show, but this was really raw. Fluff jockey Tracey Smith was doing an interview with author James Bowman and an Army Reserve Captain regarding the alleged killing of civilians by Marines in Haditha.

Smith read a section of the Marines' Code of Conduct:
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Smith then asked the Captain, who was in the studio with her, how that sat with the alleged incident at Haditha; essentially an unaswerable question, the sort of crap "interview" that Katie Couric was infamous for on rival NBC.

Next, Smith turned her attention to Bowman, who was not in the studio, and asked if he thought it was good for the incident to be aired in public. Bowman said "no", then described the incident as a "clash of cultures", apparently leading into a comparison of Iraqi and American mores.

But Bowman threw Smith and CBS a curve. The "cultures" to which he was referring were the military and the news business. Now the interview was getting interesting.

Bowman was able to make the point that today's journalism depends on "revelations" and is invested in those revelations being true. Then Smith cut him off saying that they were out of time. Bowman disappeared and a visibly angry Smith glowered into the camera and announced a commercial break.

After a word from the CBS sponsors, it was back to token doofus white man Ira Joe Fisher and a discussion of clam chowder. So much for Saturday morning journalism.