If you’d prefer to listen to today’s newsletter, click play. Note to loyal PRESS RUN readers: Please consider subscribing for $6 a month. Thanks! Stay healthy. Be kind. Arriving for the first jailhouse interview with the Trump insurrectionist known as the "QAnon Shaman,"
What next? Is 60 Minutes going to bring back Lara Logan who when last seen as spreading fake news about antifa. She’d fit right in.
This is off topic but important. In the last couple of weeks the Washington Post has been having a huge hissy fit about the size of the Covid relief bill. First they published Larry’s Summers’s inflation hysteria article. Then there was an editorial using Summers’s argument and referring to him by name as well as Douglas Holtz Eakin, one of Bush’s econ advisers, as well as unnamed economists. Not one mention of the fact that 130+ economists had signed a letter supporting that bill or that both Janet Yellen and Jerome Powell who are both highly respected for their proven ability to manage our economy strongly support a big bill. In fact the Post then published an “optics” article clearly implying that it looks bad that the two of them are agreeing, claiming that
60 minutes is no different than any other mainstream news organization these days. To your point, get the story, get the ratings, f#&k everything else especially the facts. Trump followers, like Qanon, are a cult. There is no reasoning with them. Years ago did 60 Minutes attempt to interview "family" members of Charles Manson who carried out the brutal murder of Sharon Tate on his behalf, to better understand where they were coming from? What about followers of Jim Jones... well I guess they couldn't interview them since that entire cult drank Kool-Aid laced cyanide. The point is, today we are in a tumultuous time with the fourth estate playing games instead of doing their part to help heal and unit this country. There are many bad decisions that have been made over the last 30 years in regards to the degradation of our democracy. One of course is the SCOTUS ruling for Citizens United. I think a bigger one is the news media being purchased by a handful of billionaires who's best interest is not informing a public that needs to know but instead manipulates them to put even more money in their own pockets.
Not for nothing, but his mother is as delusional as he is - maybe more.
Another formerly reliable news program destroyed. I’m so glad I didn’t see the program because I don’t think my television would have survived the onslaught of footwear. I’m sad that another decades long news source is gone. All the moderators that went before must be spinning in their graves. RIP 60 minutes
Y’all know what to do. Email 60 Minutes expressing your distain for this show. Post on social media asking your followers to do the same. Bombard them with truth bombs about the harm they are doing. Tell them you are losing all respect. It probably won’t change a thing but they need to hear it anyhow. I stopped watching that show years ago and they’ve done nothing to inspire me to return.
I have a feeling these interviews have only just begun. And 60 Minutes just gave their nonsense legitimacy that will probably turn him into a martyr and hinder the prosecution.
He’s a 30-something year old man, but they’re interviewing his Mom like he’s just a kid? Giving him special food in jail? Treating him like he’s just a mixed up kid who doesn’t understand what the big deal is?
This at least would have been a good candidate for the both-sides format, where they interview victims of their attack, law enforcement, family of the dead, and lay out the facts of the event also. This is exactly what the both-sides format was supposed to be for. But alas, they chose their side. 🙄
This POS is the epitome of the song “Bang Bang” by Green Day from their album Revolution Radio. The entire album is like a prophetic dream of the birth of Q-Anon:
“I wanna be a celebrity martyr
A leading man in my own private drama
The hero of the hour
Daddy’s little psycho and mommy’s little soldier”
Ah, 60 Minutes. A true study of the transformation of the news industry, as documented in many books and journal articles. As Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Morley Shafer and others have repeated over and over in the decades since 60 Minutes began, CBS news did not begin as a profit center, and accuracy and objectivity ruled the day. But as Eric points out, no more.
Just a short time ago Leslie Stahl told Trump that this is 60 Minutes, and we "can't air things we can't verify." Stahl, who began her CBS career in 1971, might be forgiven for clinging to those heady days of accuracy and objectivity. Heck maybe many viewers are right there with her.
But interviewing Trump and expecting some sort of truth was not 60 Minutes' reason to interview Trump. Likewise the QAnon Shaman interview. The only way to compete with the cable news outlets, reality TV shows and internet news sources is to go big with the drama, and buzz. Few things generate buzz like an insurrectionist in a furry hat with horns. And the cost to 60 Minutes of getting the buzz? Well I suggest we are all paying it.
I have watched 60 Minutes my whole life. I still love many of the interviews (Leslie Stahl), but I often wonder how someone like Lara Logan, who appeared to be an excellent reporter for 60 Minutes, went off the deep end. I know she experienced a terrible trauma and maybe it's that simple, but she's somewhere now promoting full blown conspiracies. I agree Eric that it's mystifying how the Shaman and his mother are given full access to tell their 'human interest' story! It's not human interest it's the repeated story of 'white privilege'. That is definitely a big part of what it is! But, another piece that we ignore to our detriment is the pathology of Trump that has been unleashed and seeped into media and white, Christian rural America. It was always there, just look at the reporting from Dave Troy of decades long timeline that brought us to where we are today. It would really be wise for people to stop asking "why" or calling names like "crazy", "nuts", "whacko" (those words mean nothing) without understanding pathology. It would be wise to listen to mental health experts who have been for the past 4 years, like Dr. Bandy Lee, Seth Norrholm and Elizabeth Mika to trying to reach a wider audience to explain the "whys", educate the public and also to advise the media to stop giving voice to this pathology. More importantly, in order to begin healing, in part, those at the top have to be CONTAINED, and they were/are not! Not at all. This is critical to reverse the rabbit hole of authoritarianism we are headed down. Mental health experts (Mary Trump, yes, because she can talk about her uncle and is well spoken-I'm grateful for her, but she would also admit she is a different kind of mental health expert who is neither practicing or doing research, yet she is the voice of expertise). Ruth Ben -Ghiat (Strongmen) and Dave Troy are 2 people I am also paying close attention to these days. RB-G has spoken about "celebrity" and Hollywood being unique to our countries politics. Celebrity, Hollywood and machismo (some would argue misogynistic) brought us Schwarzenegger, Ventura, Trump and potentially Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock (WWE which is fake but has an enormous following and body building). The Rock has a new series. It's charming and funny, but disturbing at another level. Much like Trump who for decades has product placed himself, The Rock in his premiere reflected on his "beloved" father whose main value was "The gimmick". In other words, like WWE, the use of tricks and distractions is what will get you through life. Think about that. Yikes! All testosterone driven celebrities who out of some type of boredom decided to run for office and The Rock is now teasing a presidential run. It makes sense, from the standpoint of white middle America, celebrity and misogyny, the thread that is the Republican party, QAnon, conspiracies, conservative 'think tanks', projection of disgust for the other. It doesn't make sense from the standpoint of journalism and reporting. Making celebrity out of 'the shaman' is disgusting and completely counterproductive. So, yes, white privilege is at work here, as is a society that is bullied by white men, where the media and sports are run by white men (many of who have a secret love affair with Trump and his cabal). Media seems determined to preserve sympathy for "the victimhood of whiteness". I'm deeply disappointed in 60 Minutes for participating in this.
IF, and only IF, the story shows the background while contrasting it with the behavior or correcting it (think of how Murrow took on McCarthy--he said simply denouncing him for 30 minutes wouldn't do it), ok. But I bet it's otherwise, since 60 Minutes doesn't want to lose "heartland" viewers.
I'm reminded of an old inside joke at the show. Somehow the assignments got mixed up, and Harry Reasoner was sent to interview a death row inmate and Mike Wallace to do a story on girl scout cookies. Reasoner said, "Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to join us. So ... do you have any hobbies," while Wallace looked over his glasses at a little girl and said, "Now, let me get this straight. You go door to door, wearing THAT outfit, and all you're selling are COOKIES? Come on!"
60 Minutes is part of our failed political press; they exist in a bubble and so their “product" is really just for themselves. Their stories always have a whiff of amateur anthropology, “what makes the primitives tick?” It’s the broadcast equivalent of David Brooks claiming to go to an Applebee’s salad bar.
All of this is related to your SF Chron item: when newsrooms reflect the population, the news will improve. When 60 Minutes assignment editors reflects America, so will the stories. In the meanwhile 60 Minutes’ Margaret Mead cosplayers will continue to marvel at the ingenuity of square, fly-over states.
So many good comments and responses today. The audio clip feature must be a boon to those behind the wheel or juggling toddlers, etc., but I use a reading voice way more snarky, bordering on Key & Peele angry. Nice new option though. Finally, the James Brown track evokes Allen Toussaint for me. That and those BB King sessions with the Jazz Messengers. Thank you for all that and have a great weekend.
Exhibit 1400 that supports my contention that the mainstream media supports fascism. That premise explains media's behavior perfectly. And thank you all for helping me make my decision to cancel my WaPo subscription. I've been waffling but today's examples pushed me over the edge.
Not to rain on the SF Chronicle unjustly, but I wonder if some bean counter at the Chronicle is thinking "Good - the more women we have as reporters, the lower the total salary costs in the newsroom."
In lieu of or at least in addition to all the hagiography given those people, I’d love to hear detailed their vision of America. Is it just a bunch of opinions and shibboleths and stuff? What do they actually want? This week’s Dr. Seuss affair shows they’re opposed to the free market... Their ongoing support for the claim that Trump was re-elected notwithstanding the complete lack of proof, well...
Of course, given that a little much delusional, in denial fact-wise, maybe they can’t answer my questions like by definition.
I stopped watching CNN because of this article. I posted on many of CNN's most-watched news shows, that I was no longer going to watch CNN because of the Press Run article, and I gave the above link. It's all I can do.
I keep my subscription to the Washington Post so that I can quote Press Run, with links, in the comments' sections. (I subscribe to Press Run, and would donate too, if I was able to.)
Sans Trump cheesy click crap, many news outlets have switched to Biden cheesy click crap, like this pitiful piece in Politico: "Biden makes Wilmington the new Mar-a-Lago" https://www.politico.com/newsletters/transition-playbook/2021/03/05/bidens-mar-a-lago-492020
It only makes Biden look like the person he is: a devoted family man.
Notice that Politico is so desperate for click-bait that it calls Biden's home the new Mara-a-Lago. Sad.
I guess I don't have to point out that Trump cost all that money by going so often to his Prostitute's Palace.