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Katie Couric Lauds Dan Rather, Objectivity


Katie Couric is such a company man for CBS that she can laud Dan Rather for upholding journalism standards with a straight face. It happened yesterday in South Dakota, where she was receiving the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. The Yankton Press & Dakotan reports:

CBS holds a tradition of solid journalism, Couric said, citing “60 Minutes” and “Face The Nation” as well as the “CBS Evening News,” she said.

“‘60 Minutes’ is a platform for some of the finest journalism you will see today on a weekly basis,” she said.

Couric also cited predecessors such as Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer. “CBS has a lot to be proud of. I try to uphold the standards that they produced,” she said.

Today’s advocacy journalism contrasts with objective, old-fashioned reporting, Couric said. Audiences tend to seek out news they agree with, which creates a “myopic” view, she said.

“If you hear your own view reflected back to you, it’s not exactly helpful to understanding the world,” she said.

Networks should educate and create awareness, Couric said. Today’s broadcasts include those blurring news and views, she said.

“As Walter Cronkite said, the difference between news and commentary is like the difference between the Bible and Playboy magazine,” she said.

Do these people really believe that objectivity is their brand, their promise, their watchword? They are the prim Puritans of the press corps, guarding against postmodern editorializing? Do they watch themselves at all?


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