President Of CBS News Knew 'Reporter' John Miller Would Go Back To NYPD Before His 60 Min Propaganda Piece Aired

from the so-why-did-the-piece-still-air dept

So we've already discussed the massively conflicted John Miller, employed by CBS News while clearly being about to take a job in counterterrorism, reporting for 60 Minutes the most amazing pro-NSA propaganda infomercial you can imagine. At the time, the rumors were already swirling that Miller was about to take the job as head of counterterrorism for the NYPD, though he denied it. He also, laughably, insisted that he'd asked hard questions of the NSA, none of which made it to air (assuming he actually did ask hard questions). In response to all of this, Miller insulted his critics as not being real reporters (despite the fact many of them were), and then confirmed the big conflict that most people expected, taking the job that everyone knew he was going to take.

A NY Times piece on Miller notes that the offer to take the job was actually "informally" given to him over dinner with incoming police commissioner (and close friend of Miller) Bill Bratton on December 5th. That's a week and a half before 60 Minutes aired its piece. And, among the "everyone" who knew he was taking the job was... David Rhodes, the President of CBS News.
“As soon as the reports came out that de Blasio” -- Bill de Blasio, the city’s new mayor -- “was thinking of bringing Bratton back, I immediately assumed that John would be going too,” Mr. Rhodes said in an interview. “It was literally the first thing that I thought of.”
And yet... he still allowed Miller's highly conflicted story on the NSA to air. That raises all sorts of questions, especially for CBS News, whose editorial failings over the past few months have received a tremendous amount of attention.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2014 @ 8:48pm

    Reuters, the Guardian, Techdirt. Now those are real news websites. If I want to watch the news on local television, then I turn to one of PBS's news channels (sorry Mitt Romney!).

    PBS airs all kinds of interesting news channels. RT news, Mhz news, Euromaxx news, and European Journal. Just to name a few of the news stations PBS airs.

    PBS does a great job of cover world news, including US news. Best of all, PBS channel news actually covers controversial events happening around the world. Unlike some of the more "mainstream" news channels who tend to ignore anything that goes against corporate and US government interests.

    CBS has only confirmed what most of use already suspected about mainstream US news. It's corporate and government propaganda for the most part. A complete waste of time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2014 @ 9:07pm

    I agree with you #1, mainstream media is a total waste of time to become informed with unless you like corporate and government spoon fed pap. As far as substance goes, they don't have it. I have no interest in what the stars did today, no interest in dumb crook news, and no interest in what they deem news.

    Since the buy up of all these major news outlets by major corporations, they have pretty much killed meaningful news. You can't beat the streets with reporters without reporters and in the interest of saving money on payroll and benefits they axed the good ones, it now shows in the content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2014 @ 9:09pm

    This article is about the media conglomerate named CBS Corporation

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 9 Jan 2014 @ 9:14pm

    These days journalism has more to do with increasing profits and providing value to shareholders than it does providing the truth to readers. Telling the truth isn't a very good business model.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AC720 (profile), 9 Jan 2014 @ 9:29pm

    After watching John Miller quite often on CBS Morning Show (or whatever they call it this week), I got to like his reporting quite a lot. He seemed to get it and the show made good use his talents. I thought he was a huge asset to the network.

    It's disappointing to hear he may have been telling us something less than the truth.

    On the other hand, he always did seem like the mission (whatever that was) was always first with him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pixelation, 9 Jan 2014 @ 10:41pm

      Re:

      "On the other hand, he always did seem like the mission (whatever that was) was always first with him."

      Unfortunately this time his mission was to hype the NSA. He is like the sports star found to be using steroids. Gosh, I thought he had great talent...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 2:37am

    "head of counterterrorism for the NYPD"
    Im not an american, would someone tell me why dont you have the counterterrorism seperated from normal police work?
    The two things are just so different, i dont understand why would you put them together. Or how it would not affect eachother and create a very agressive police and an inefficient counterterrorism group.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      The larger cities have rapid response teams to deal with terrorism , since 9/11 pretty much all police forces have a counter terrorism squad or a few officers trained for situations ..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Vincent Clement (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 5:50am

        Re: Re:

        Trained? Maybe. It's more about getting a piece of that counter-terrorism funding the Federal government is willing to dish out to keep people 'safe'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        jraymond (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, too little, too late, and therefore worthless, bought at exhorbitant prices while neglecting the real needs of the less paranoid and realistic among us. Are you actually proud of that?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jraymond (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      Absolutely right, and if you didn't realize that it has already happened and that even some minor crimes are labelled as "terrorism" to give the police unlimited powers, prophetic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 2:50am

    That raises all sorts of questions, especially for CBS News, whose editorial failings over the past few months have received a tremendous amount of attention.

    At some point you bash the trust of your audience so much that you become a laughingstock all around. Are we seeing the next Sun/Daily Mail or something being born?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 4:09am

    No it doesn't

    That raises all sorts of questions, especially for CBS New

    No it doesn't, those questions have been answered long ago. Any credibility 60 Minutes ever had is long since gone and CBS right there with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 10 Jan 2014 @ 7:23am

      Re: No it doesn't

      I disagree. Even still, 60 minutes has some good pieces. I thought the piece on Kim Dotcom was reasonably fair and did a better job of explaining all the issues than any other US piece on the situation.

      Was it perfect? No. But I haven't seen better.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guardian, 10 Jan 2014 @ 5:06am

    your nation is disgusting

    just pathetic utterly pathetic your nation has become

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Me, 10 Jan 2014 @ 5:41am

    If I were an up and coming journalist, CBS would be one of the last places I'd want to work. No real journalism anymore, and puff pieces to maintain access and keep that ad money rolling in on Sunday evening....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cow, 10 Jan 2014 @ 6:54am

    What about the people?

    How can voting citizens stay informed?

    Democracy is dead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 7:10am

      Re: What about the people?

      the people are only people when they're children until they come of age to harvest money to oil the gears of government and their training of our children to be good citizens of the future so they too can be exploited and so on and so on

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 8:38am

      Re: What about the people?

      It's not at all hard to stay informed.

      First, stop watching television news. Any of it. It's all worse than worthless: it's anti-news, leaving you with the impression that you're informed when you're not.

      Second, start reading a variety of news outlets, both traditional newspapers and online news, from all over the world and from all kinds of viewpoints. Deemphasize (but do not eliminate) US sources -- US news is some of the worst around.

      Getting your news from a variety of sources will leave you actually informed: the underlying facts of events will emerge from the various reporting styles and slants.

      Also, once a story has been reported, don't take it as fact and forget about it. Remember it. Time will reveal the truth, then you'll start to notice that certain news outlets tend to be much more accurate than others, and you'll start to get a handle on who deserves trust.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 8:26am

    Understanding any story necessarily involves having a grasp of both sides. Read articles here, listen to persons like Rand Paul and Ron Wyden, various public interest groups, etc. and you receive information that for all appearances is horrific, but in reality incorporates unsubstantiated assumptions.

    Now, you may criticize the 60 Minutes report for whatever may strike your fancy, but at least is began to shed some light on the other side of the story. Is all that was being presented based upon irrefutable facts. Not really, but then the very same thing is true of those parading all the possible horribles.

    Sounds to me as if the only side of the story you want to hear is the first, and that anything presented in the second is to be dismissed entirely and with nary a thought that it may very well contain information that provides context to the story.

    Reasonable minds can always differ on what should and should not be the subject of surveillance efforts, but to simply demand that a certain class of those efforts must stop without a firm grasp of what they actually entail is premature to a fault.

    BTW, despite all the blather about how collected info has been "abused", it might be a useful exercise to think about what abuse may be associated with what Edward Snowden has done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 8:45am

      Re:

      but at least is began to shed some light on the other side of the story


      That's the thing -- it didn't do that at all. It didn't contain enough unknown truth to do that.

      to simply demand that a certain class of those efforts must stop without a firm grasp of what they actually entail is premature to a fault.


      I think we do have a firm grasp on what the efforts actually entail. The NSA spokespeople keep insisting that we don't, but then when they explain, they are telling us stuff we all already knew. The real problem is that the NSA insists that we believe things about the programs that we don't believe, so they're making all the wrong arguments.

      Case in point: an NSA spokesperson recently said in an interview that people would be surprised how little they actually look into the database they've accumulated. First, that statement was highly deceptive, but ignoring that -- we already knew that. Even if the NSA only used the database a single solitary time, that doesn't address the issue or make anything better.

      it might be a useful exercise to think about what abuse may be associated with what Edward Snowden has done.


      And what abuse would that be? I haven't seen or heard anyone, not even the NSA, make a good case of that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2014 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re:

        Within the general population of persons being told this story, most are not technically literate, so grasping what is, for example, 215 metadata is not an easy task. Most comments I have read from such persons appear to assume that everything under the sun is being collected, including their conversations. We know this is not true, but the problem is they do not, which is a necessary precursor to an accurate discussion.

        Let's be clear. I am not taking the sides. Maybe too much metadata under 215 is being collected. Maybe not. I do not know. All I do know is that one has to have a firm grasp of what is being collected in order to have an honest debate.

        Snowden's abuse? Not saying they are absolutely, positively true, but some ideas can be found in the broadcast that is the subject of this article. A problem that perhaps some do not appreciate is that in matters of classified material organizations like the NSA are oftentimes unable to defend themselves in public because it would necessarily involved the disclosure of classified material. I would not at all be surprised to learn this was such a situation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 10 Jan 2014 @ 12:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          grasping what is, for example, 215 metadata is not an easy task


          It doesn't require technical knowledge to understand the concept. In my experience, almost everyone does understand what 215 collects. The NSA keeps harping on "this is only metadata" as if people don't get that, but I think most do.

          And they still (correctly) consider it spying.

          We know this is not true


          No, we don't. We know that 215 doesn't collect content, but there's a general (and not unreasonable) assumption that there are other programs that gather the content.

          some ideas can be found in the broadcast that is the subject of this article


          But every single one of those ideas was either incorrect or highly suspect.

          A problem that perhaps some do not appreciate is that in matters of classified material organizations like the NSA are oftentimes unable to defend themselves in public because it would necessarily involved the disclosure of classified material.


          I understand this, but the NSA could address facts that are now public knowledge. And they could have avoided repeatedly lying to everyone as the leaks progressed.

          As near as I can tell, all of the damage that came about was self-inflicted, not caused by Snowden. If the NSA had behaved properly from the start, there would have been nothing to leak. But they didn't.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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