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Excuses, We Get Excuses

May 15th, 2007

Think Progress has good coverage of the CBS firing of retired General Batiste, which I blogged on recently. CBS originally claimed that they fired him because they don’t hire people who do advocacy–but then it was shown that several long-time CBS commentators have done quite a bit of advocacy for the war and the surge. Then CBS claimed that Batiste was fired because he was raising money for vets against the war–but it was clear that the ad was not intended to raise money. So now comes excuse number three:

Simply stated, it is the policy of CBS that it will not take any part in any partisan political process in any form.

That claim is so outrageous it makes the other two excuses seem halfway honest. It has already been established that CBS hires consultants and others who are involved in the partisan process, on the pro-war side. And then there is the fact that VoteVets, the group Batiste made the statement for, is a non-partisan group–Batiste himself being a strong conservative.

The CBS blog also states:

And the lesson seems to be that conflicts of interest – or merely the appearance of them – aren’t too popular in 21st century journalism.

Are they serious? That statement can be blown to pieces with two words: Fox News. 21st century journalism has become all about partisan politics–which is why CBS fired Batiste in the first place.

But then, can you really blame CBS? Who would want to admit that they fired an honorable man expressing his First Amendment right just because they’re spineless sops to the right wing?

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