Award-winning CBS News writer goes off on NBC – UPDATED

You know Deacon Greg, right? Affable fellow, likes to write homilies and participate in Adoration? Doesn’t like yelling or gratuitous snark? Formerly an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer for CBS News? For almost 30 years? Blogs like a news miner, offering up choice nuggets without comment?

During the course of our long friendship he has been the guy psssting to me, “don’t you think you’re being too hard on the press? Must you piss on the press all the time? They don’t mean anything malicious. The newsroom is just a busy place; balls get dropped….yadda yadda…well, okay, you can sneer at that one…”

Well, today, this gentle soul’s last nerve
got fried, and it was Andrea Mitchell and NBC News that flipped the switch. Greg has prepared a brief memo for his fellow journalists, in which he throws up his hands, slams down the copy and says, “What the hell is wrong with you?”:

I’m tired. Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable. For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no. Calm down. They meant well. It was just a misunderstanding. A mistake. These things happen.” I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made. I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

But now?

Forget it. I’m done. You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you. You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more. You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.

Note to self: don’t try the Deacon too high, because when he finally blows, it ain’t pretty. I’m just going to put some yellow tape around this area, so while I’m doing that why don’t you go read the whole thing?

UPDATE I: Thomas L. McDonald says Mitchell and company even got the technical angle wrong, because Wa-wa’s screens are in fact, pretty impressive. So, they’re idiots about news and they don’t appreciate technology, too? For heaven’s sake, I thought it was the GOP was the gang of Neanderthals who didn’t get the greatness of technology and innovation!

Ed Morrissey:
Wow. Thank goodness Andrea Mitchell is an honest-to-goodness journalist, instead of just a talk-show host on an occasionally-watched cable channel … or worse yet, just a blogger. So, we can now assume that NBC News enforces no standards on truth or ethics on its own correspondents, and doesn’t just exempt the MSNBC opinion-show hosts, right?

UPDATE II: I don’t watch Fox News — I don’t watch any news unless it’s a breaking story, like a tsunami — so I don’t know if its any better; I somehow doubt it, but here is more cringe-inducing stuff from MSNBC

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dry valleys

    That happened to The Guardian when it published the leader of Hamas.

    Personally I stopped reading newspapers before that, when it occurred to me that their commentors, despite their belief in their own status as brahmins, are actually less intelligent and well-informed than the best bloggers. Gone are the days when you passively read “news” opinions handed down, and your choices were to accept it or get lost. And I do think those elements of the MSM that condemn bloggers can’t accept this.

    It also angers me that people read a few blogs and dismiss blogging. The most popular Britblogs are actually quite low-quality, and can be quite nasty places, Paul Staines for example. Yet being against blogging because of that is like hating pubs because your local is rough. As if there weren’t other places!?

    The really essential thing is that full-time journalism and investigative reporting survive. It is of course our job to make sure of this, by paying worthwhile writers for their efforts. And this, I think, is far more likely to happen by having voluntary donations to sites than paywalls for the web operations of the sorts of publications that have lost readers due to being unworthy of being read.

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    MSNBC is probably the most liberal, leftist news outlet in America. During the super-liberal Mcgovern for Pres. campaign I was a ward leader to get him elected. By the time I was done I had dropped my Dem. Party membership and become an independent.
    I had never experienced such a total disregard for the truth in my life. The attitude was that we were the good guys and the other side were very, very, bad guys so we had a right to say anything at all to bring them down no matter how full of lies our news stories or speeches were. The arrogance was as thick as wet cement.
    I see things haven’t changed much.

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  • Anthony Esolen

    I cancelled my subscription to the Providence Urinal when they ran what looked like a 5000 word feature in the sports section on gay figure skaters and AIDS. See, I couldn’t avoid the selection bias and the sexual craziness even in the sports section. What the heck would I buy a newspaper for? Almost everything in it is dumbed down; there’s no hard reporting; it’s like a transcript for The View or something appalling like that. Chuck it.

  • drawandstrike

    Great work there getting that epic rant out there, Anchoress!

    Oh, and the last update at the end about Scary Larry O’Donnell making fun of Ann Romney for riding horses to treat her MS: aren’t MSNBC’s last 5 viewers sickened by that? Or are they so gone in their hatred like the host they just chort-chort-chortle at how ‘clever’ O’Donnell is being?

  • Lavaux

    I’m a smart guy who hates gossip, useless speculation driven by false assumptions and cupidic motives, and endless dissertations concerning all aspects of the obvious. So of course I don’t read any newspapers other than the WSJ or watch any network news broadcasts, just as I find most conversations pedestrian and painfully boring. This is why I stopped consuming most traditional news media and moved over to the Internet for my daily doses of gossip, scandal, and informed speculation.

  • Manny

    The press has a Liberal bias? No, it’s mostly not a bias. It’s an outright support. Bias suggests an unconscious leaning. It’s beyond that, as our good Deacon now sees. I cancelled my NY Times subscription over a decade ago.

  • Ron G

    Just thinking of an explanation for MSNBC/NBC total disregard for rules of journalism. Maybe their desire to have Obama continue in office out-weighs their desire to preserve their credibility and reputation. Or worse, they are not aware that they are doing anything wrong.

  • doc

    Another dog bites man story. ABCNNBCBS. Is there really any difference between these clowns? They are all the Democrats’ self-appointed palace guard, committed to defeating the evil Republicans, no matter the damage to their tattered journalistic reputations. Their remaining customers must be part of the echo chamber, agreeing with every assault on a Republican or conservative, true or not. If not, what are you waiting for? Turn these clowns off. They don’t deserve an audience who still expect facts.