The Best of the News

Today I am channeling my inner Bernie Goldberg. I am less focused on events themselves than the pathetic sources who bring us the misinformation.

(My words, not his…he is nicer than me.)

For those who have not noticed, the news is garbage.

I do not mean the sad sorry state of the world today. I mean the reporting of it. We have gone from Edward R. Murrow to absolute nonsense. It is one thing for Will Ferrell to play Ron Burgundy in Anchorman. It is quite another for Katie Couric to bring stupidity to CBS News by incorporating that into her inaugural broadcast.

Below is my list of the Top 10 people affiliated with the news in some form.

There were several criteria to make the list.

The news reporters had to present the news in an unbiased manner. This eliminated most liberal newsmakers, which eliminated most newsmakers altogether.

The content had to be hard news, not opinion. So for those who want to rant and rave about the evening programming on Fox News, that is opinion.

Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity all get eliminated based on the opinion criteria. Greta Van Susteren is unbiased, but she spends way too much time focusing on nonsense. She was made famous by Larry King, who also misses the cut for simply not asking tough enough questions.

I am not on the list because I know that I write an opinion column. I try my best to get it right, but being fair does not mean being neutral. I am biased and freely admit it. MSNBC and the JBT could fail to learn a ton from me.

Campbell Brown might have made a Top 11 list. She just missed the cut. Candy Crowley is not bad. Even George Stephanopoulis and Charlie Gibson have their good days.

(Van Susteren is much better than before, but she still does not spend enough time on hard news.)

Megyn Kelly is a brilliant legal analyst, but she also allows too many soft news stories.

MSNBC was obviously eliminated because they make the same mistake the Jayson Blair Times makes. They refuse to separate their news and opinion divisions, fusing them together in one long left-wing rant. Calling this a mistake is charitable.

Walter Cronkite did not make the list because he always had his liberal agenda. He was “respected,” which meant liberals loved their fellow liberal. Dan Rather and Mary Mapes were not on the list because this list is the very best, not the very worst. Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings helped Rather take the news and wreck it.

The cast of 60 minutes (before the show veered left) was good, with Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, and Harry Reasoner being rocks of stability.

The Wall Street Journal remains the best newspaper, with the New York Post getting an honorable mention. However, this is about individuals.

With that, here are the very best newspeople.

1) Edward R. Murrow, CBS News–Obviously he is the gold standard. He would role over in his grave if he saw what happened to CBS News after he left.

2) Tim Russert, NBC Meet the Press–He was the epitome of a man who put his biases aside to cover the news in a fair way. He also asked tough questions and even tougher follow-up questions. He was rewarded with a reputation that should be what every reporter today should strive to emulate.

3) Bernard Shaw, CNN–He may have been the man who inadvertently decided the 1988 presidential election. He asked Michael Dukakis how he would react to his wife being raped and murdered, and George HW Bush what would happen if he were to die the following day. Dukakis gave a cold, technocratic answer while Bush showed emotion and humor. The questions were tough and fair. CNN suffered when he retired.

4) Jim Lehrer, PBS–He gets to moderate many presidential debates because he is trusted. He says that before going on stage as the moderator, he looks in the mirror and repeats several times the phrase, “This is not about me.” Every newsperson should do that.

5) Chris Wallace, Fox News–He is best positioned to be the next Russert. He asks very tough questions, but without crossing the line into rudeness. The left hates him because he is on Fox New and not reflexively liberal, but he is plenty tough on both sides.

6) David Brinkley, ABC News–He was crusty and matter of fact. He was all business, which is what a news anchor should be. He had no patience for nonsense. His partner Huntley also deserves an honorable mention.

7) Neil Cavuto, Fox News–He is one of the few people with an economics show that is actually about economics. Lou Dobbs and Paul Krugman wish they were as respected as Cavuto. He asks hard questions of CEOs, but in an unfailingly polite manner. He is smart and likable.

8.) Carl Cameron/Major Garrett/Wendell Goler, Fox News–This trio of newsmen is a powerful hydra. When people attack Fox News, they are never attacking any of these men. They all cover the White House in an ultra-professional manner. While Fox News can be controversial, these men are as non-controversial as it gets. They are the men who put the news in Fox News, as they report without editorializing.

8 1/2) Bret Baier, Fox News–He is too new as the host of his program to get a full grade. Nevertheless, even when he moderates the Fox All Stars political panel, he does so in a fair and evenhanded manner. He is even tempered and keeled.

9) Hal Bruno, ABC News–The only reason he does not rank higher is because many people have no idea who he is. He moderated one presidential debate ages ago, and he struck the perfect balance of giving the candidates some latitude without losing total control of the event. A lighthearted moment after a very spirited debate occurred when he said that he was shifting to a much more quiet, non-controversial topic…abortion. The audience laughed, as he was quietly beleaguered but outwardly calm.

10) Bill Schneider, CNN Inside Politics–Long before political gabfests turned into shouting matches (Crossfire being the first), Inside Politics was a fun, easygoing political show. Bill Schneider has his trademark smile, but without a smirk or a hint of smugness. He is just a guy who loves reporting on and discussing politics. I still cannot figure out which side he is on, which tells me he is doing his job.

I hope that the rest of the people at discredited institutions such as the JBT, AP, Newsweek (which should be renamed Opinionweek) learn from those on this list. They have credibility, and the ratings in most cases to prove that honesty, integrity, and fairness will be rewarded in the short and long run.


9 Responses to “The Best of the News”

  1. The New Tork Times, the Associated Press and Newsweek are “discredited institutions?” By whom?


  2. Micky 2 says:

    ” By whom?”

    only us idiots Jersey…

    @ Eric
    You forgot Rick Santelli :-)

  3. Micky 2 says:

    My mother is a moonbat. She didnt get her computer til a couple years ago.
    5 years ago when I first got mine and actually became informed, shortly after one our usual political disagreements got launched.
    Her reply to me was “good grief ! where do you get this sht from ? You need to read the NYTs and Newsweek if you wanna know whats going on”

    Shes had her own computer for a couple years now…she doesnt argue with me over politics anymore.

  4. The problem, Micky, is that too many people are getting too little news from too few outlets. We need to look at lots of different sources of news. Our good host points out the WSJ and (all of things) the NYP. Both Newscorp outlets. If you only got your news from them, you’d be getting a very limited perspective on the world around you. Me? I read every thing. I read right stuff, left stuff, locl stuff, national stuff, global stuff, public stuff, private stuff – you name it. Eric’s list, heavily tilted to Newscorp employees (some of whom I quite respect as well), shows an ideological bent to certain sources of information. A well-rounded person should avoid that sort of biased consumption of information. If you simply ignore the NYT, then you’re really just being intentionally ignorant. The same goes if you ignore Fox. The open mind should be the objective, not pre-conceived ideological confirmation.


  5. Micky 2 says:

    Yeah. bla bla, weve had this conversation.
    The fact remains that the media majority is liberal. I had no idea how much crap I was being pumped full of by these outlets til I got a computer.
    What sparked my interest the most was partially due to the timing. Right in the 3rd-4th year of the Iraq war i was hearing a completely different story from the Marines at Kaneohe Marine Air Base than what I was hearing on CNN, NBC and the rest. So I went to the real source, the military blogs. Which somehow led me to “The Tygrrr” The rest is history.

    You of all people should know. I’ve always had credible sources. And they are rarely from TV news outlets.

  6. Micky, just because the “military” says something, that doesn’t mean that it’s true.


  7. Eagle 6 says:

    Jersey, I’m crushed!! Not that I speak for the military, but I thought it was common knowledge that if the military says something, it has to be absolutely true…just ask any of the generals in Vietnam, Jessica Lynch, or Pat Tillman’s folks…

  8. LOL! Eagle, sometimes you really have a way of reaffirming my faith in humanity, man!

    I think a lot of people in the military put out some very honest, good, and useful information – but as we all know, they’re really not supposed to. I mean, just look at this leak kid. Not a smart move. All he did we leak out a bunch of stuff we all kinda knew already and now he’ll probably spend the rest of his life in the pen – if he’s lucky! Sometimes military folks can be very helpful with sort of generalized (no pun intended) information – like how a certain front is going, or what morale is like, or what some personality is about. Eagle is fantastic with that sort of general, non-classified information. That’s great information.

    Sometimes, however, military information is sorta biased. I mean, DUH! If you ask me how things are going at the restaurant I’m currently working at as a shift manager, I’d tell you “Great!,” even if it wasn’t so great. We’re human beings, social animals, conditioned to see the things we engage in as positive and good. It can be dangerously mentally unhealthy to see the things we do as bad, or useless, or wrong-headed, especially if we and our friends are putting our lives up for it! No one wants to die or see their friends die for a mistake, or greed, or lust for power.

    So, while I’m always interested in what the military and military folks have to say, I do not always take it as gospel.


  9. Micky 2 says:

    ‘Micky, just because the “military” says something, that doesn’t mean that it’s true.’

    that still doesnt explain away the difference in pictures Jersey.
    the same logic could be applied to any of your sources. But there is a thing called “the horses mouth” for a reason. And while FOX may present one scenario and others present other scenarios none of them were saying what the horse said.
    The question that needs to be asked is ” whos motivated by any agenda”?
    And then you look at the end results.
    Soooo… what we had was a liberal media beating the crap out of Bush over Iraq several years. Now, we have a supposed liberal administration thats taking credit for successes that never were theres and and a media that was virtually silent when Biden gave him and his boss credit for what they always said was a mistake.

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