Do you want to know, dear readers, how truly incompetent the CBS journalism is?
On the evening of February 19, 2006, the CBS program 60 Minutes discussed the cartoon controversy in Denmark. (Transcript here.) In a piece titled The State Of Denmark, Correspondent Bob Simon gave a biased presentation that misrepresented the situation so egregiously that many Danish citizens, journalists, and bloggers were offended.
The next day one of the Danish folk who had seen the broadcast wrote to Michelle Malkin. She posted his fairly long letter in which he contradicted the CBS portrayal of Denmark:
….as I am anxious to let off steam I hope you donâ€™t mind me writing to you….The reason for my upset is the CBS â€™60 Minutesâ€™ programme of last night. You see, I have always enjoyed this programme thinking it was based on sound journalistic research. But now I have gotten serious doubts.
This time I am in a position to judge the validity of the statements about Denmark made in the programme by Bob Simon as I am Danish and have followed the cartoon issue since the beginning….
Expose the Left was quick to point out the bias in the television program:
February 20, 2006
60 Minutes Piece Makes Danish Look Responsible for Muslim Riots
On last nightâ€™s edition of 60 Minutes, correspondant Bob Simon did the first investigative report about the Mohammed cartoons and how they have effected the Muslim world. In an extremely sarcastic tone, Simon referred to the Danish newspaper who published the cartoons as a â€œbastion of free speechâ€. The report makes Denmark look like an unfriendly country….
Kim Priestap summed up the situation with one well-aimed sentence:
It is unfair for the Danes to be portrayed the way they were by 60 Minutes. It’s slanted journalism at its worst.
Five days later, Blue Star Chronicles drew the obvious comparison between the Danish fairy tale and the bad journalism:
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Saturday, February 25, 2006
I watched a 60 Minutes segment the other night in which Bob Simon ‘investigated’ the roots of the Cartoon Riots. With an air of authority and superiority, he portrayed the Danes as child-like and living in a land of fantasy. He implied the whole affair had been set off by the naivete of the Danish nation. He implied the Danes were shocked by the realities of the world focused on them. Oh really? As I was watching this display of overt propaganda, I was seroiusly offended….
Yesterday, the Danish blog Punditokraterne posted a terrific response by a highly respected and impeccably credentialed Danish journalist. Samuel Rachlin, a Danish TV anchor, is a graduate of Copenhagen University and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and the Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. From his guest commentary on the blog:
The Correspondentâ€™s New Clothes
By Samuel Rachlin
The picture of Denmark presented by CBS and its 60 Minutes magazine on American TV as a country of aggrandizing, arrogant bigots, blond models and happy-go-lucky fools out of tune and touch with the real world has nothing in common with the country I call home….
This kind of journalism does not have much in common with the tradition of Ed R. Murrow or what his associate, Fred Friendly, taught me at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University when I took my degree there in the late 70ies. The snide asides and sarcasm that permeated the narrative do not mix with the high quality journalism I have learned to expect from 60 Minutes. What we got was a presentation so biased, distorted and corrupted by so many inaccuracies and innuendos that it was impossible to recognize Denmark. I am sorry to say it, but it is shameful for the profession that both Bob Simon and I belong to….
We urge our readers to visit Punditokraterne and read all of this excellent article.
We first discovered this piece through a post at Pia Causa, so a tail wag goes to that blog.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
60 Minutes: Go Dig Your Grave
Samuel Rachlin is sharp and to the point, – and he sums it up on behalf of all of us….
Do you want to know, dear readers, how truly incompetent the CBS journalism is? When we studied journalism (as an elective, not our main field of endeavor) we learned that the first rule was — to spell the last name of the subject correctly. If you got nothing else right, if you couldn’t spell, if you were dreadful at grammar, at least write down the last name of the person being written about, and make sure it was spelled correctly. Our teacher called it “the first rule of journalism.”
The whole cartoon controversy began when a Danish author of books for children had difficulty finding an illustrator who was willing to draw the pictures for the book. So this author is at the heart of the whole story. His name is KÃ¥re Bluitgen.
Here are some paragraphs from the CBS transcript:
….The riots, reaching from Jerusalem to Jakarta, can all be traced back to the most unlikely of places: a cluttered work space in the apartment of Kare Buitgen, a writer of childrenâ€™s books.
“Well, itâ€™s sad to see what happens now,” Buitgen says. “I wrote a book about the Prophet Muhammad to promote better understanding between cultures and religions here in Denmark.”
Buitgen had trouble finding someone to illustrate his book. Muslims donâ€™t permit representations of their prophet, and illustrators were afraid of offending the Muslim community in Denmark.
Buitgenâ€™s problem became known to the editors of Denmarkâ€™s largest newspaper. Its cultural editor, Flemming Rose, said he was offended by what he called this self-censorship. He explained himself in an interview that aired on the BBC….
CBS consistently misspells Bluitgen’s last name.
The Jyllands-Posten Cartoons: article
The Jyllands-Posten Editorial Cartoons: images
The Jyllands-Posten Cartoon Wars, A Perspective: article
Origins Of The Cartoon Wars: article
The Bluitgen Illustrations: images
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.