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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Former CBS News Prez Prefers NBC, Fox; Expects Moonves to Save the Day

Former CBS News head honcho Van Gordon Sauter all but says Rather and company at Black Rock had it coming, thanks to their penchant for letting liberal slant color their news reporting. Sauter, who ran CBS News during the early days of the Reagan era, writes in today's edition of The Los Angeles Times, that in more recent years he turned off Rather and CBS, preferring instead NBC and Fox.

Sauter thinks there is a future for CBS News in a new incarnation of what it long claimed to be, an impartial reporter of the news, and he has faith that Les Mooves is the man to make that happen:

"But my guess is that CBS Chairman Les Moonves, the most effective executive in broadcasting today, will try to use the current frailty of CBS News to reshape it. The insufferable hubris and self-righteousness of the organization have been replaced by apprehension.
"Although himself a liberal, Moonves will mandate a clear and defensible center for the news organization. CBS News long has been in third place — once an intolerable position. Much of that disaffected audience must be restored if CBS News is to be resurrected. Flavored news, of the right or left, won't work. Networks must offer nonpartisan, objective news."

I don't share Sauter's optimism about Moonves or the prospects for a rebith of a Tiffany Network-kind of CBS News, but Sauter is well worth reading, which you can do by clicking on the headline above.

By the way, there have always been good people in CBS News, but their voices were hushed by the pervasive culture of liberal values defining the network's news process. Bernard Goldberg is an example of such people, as is Sauter. There will be others coming out of the woodwork in the days ahead because the Rathergate report forces a new debate about what's wrong with CBS.