tv Today in Washington CSPAN January 12, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST
it is a little bit different today. i did not feel any worry being there. i would not want to see every member of congress walking around with security. we have the obvious ones. i have no problem with that. i would not want to see members of congress walking route with security. read it is not the kind of country we are. i've been -- it is not the kind of country we are. i have been to a totalitarian countries. some of these countries, to visit and they are surprised that i drive to -- in my own car. i want to keep it that way. it would be a mistake if we put any more barriers. the one place we can be ourselves is that home. i want that to continue. the country is better off if we can. i would urge, i really would
urge -- i urge this for the right and left. everytime you disagree with somebody in public office, stop attacking their motives and describing some sort of nefarious motive. we have good men and women across the political spectrum who represent people in this country across the political spectrum. there are no easy answers to the problems facing america. there never have been. there were not any easy answers during the great depression. we had men and women who came together to stop the best interests possible to make this a better country. don't we owe that to our children and grandchildren? step back from the rhetoric.
go to substance. start working together. this is a great and wonderful country. we are a beacon to the rest of the world. let's make sure that this began as a little broader than it has been. r than it has been. >> should there be more talk about gun control? >> there will be, but i do not know if it will change. that is an easy answer. vermont has the lowest crime rates in the country. it doesn't have gun control. but i would not want those laws -- vermont laws to be in an urban area. we have to figure out what works best. thank you. i really appreciate you being
>> good morning and welcome back. again, my name is tony with the washington center for internships and academic seminars here in washington, d.c., an educational nonprofit organization that for 35 years has been providing internship opportunities for students from around the country and internationally here in our nation's capital. and abroad.
we're happy to have our students here with the inside washington 2011 academic seminar this week focusing on politics in the media and here to introduce our next speaker, faculty director, professor of telecommunications at ball state university, professor steve bell. [ applause ] >> it's a special privilege to introduce our next speaker because he was a friendly competitor when i was here in washington for abc news, marvin kalb was the diplomatic correspondent for cbs news and the abc correspondent for the state department was ted koppel and i want to tell you that that was a great team covering the state department from the american networks. dick lariani was nbc and the
three of them did remarkable things. and marvin no longer a friendly competitor but a friend and has agreed to come and really share with us this continuing conversation about how media and politics intersects with foreign policy and all the policies that end up being part of the government. marvin is a james clark welling presidential fellow at george washington university and he is the edward r. mur row professor emeritus at harvard's kennedy school of government. he is also a contributing news analyst for national public radio and fox news channel. in addition, he's frequently called upon to comment on major issues of the day as one of the chief contributors to the dialogue of how we go forth as a
country. marvin is distinguished the broadcast career by working for both cbs and nbc news. as i said, he was a diplomatic correspondent. he was also the moscow bureau chief for cbs before that and moderated "meet the press" in the nbc years. he has won the 2006 fourth estate award from the national press club. he's also won more than half a dozen overseas press club awards. lectured at many universities throughout the country and abroad. a graduate of city college of new york. and then from harvard and he's a continuing scholar who is currently just wrapping up writing a book on the american experience in vietnam. marvin kalb. [ applause ]
>> thank you all very much. it's a pleasure for me to be back. i was here last year, not in this building. somewhere else. and it was a good experience for me and when steve called and invited me back i said, yes, immediately. my pleasure. what i know about you is that there are about 130 of you here and you're here for a week or two and i think you're extremely lucky. and i wish that when i were in college i had the opportunity to sit in on a group like this and meet people like p.j. crowley who, in fact, are terribly important in the fashioning of american foreign policy. he's one of secretary clinton's closest advisers. what i would like to do is divide this hour in two. i'd like very much to hear your questions and i would like to have the opportunity of talking
about a few issues that i consider very important within the framework of what steve bell has outlined, which is the media, how it's evolved into its current shape, and power and importance. and then the impact that it has upon public policy. let me start by just asking you a couple of hands up kind of questions. how many of you read, not just the sports page, but read a daily newspaper every day? just raise your hand if you do. i'm guessing but it's less than half. how many of you watch a television news program every day? more than half. how many of you watch one of the sunday morning interview programs? again, less than half.
that's kind of interesting. but how many of you at the same time on any given morning will open up your computer and look at the yahoo! news or google news in order to get the headlines on what's going on in the world? almost everybody. which is absolutely an honest reflection of what is happened. we have moved from a society that for the most part lived by the daily newspaper and radio into a society where we are absorbed with cable news, occasionally hard news on cbs, nbc, abc and the internet. we are also absorbed with radio, surprisingly to a very high degree. there are generally speaking talk radio hosts who have
enormous political power. the number one being rush limbaugh who can attract 15 million people, 18 million people a week. that's a lot. and he's being paid an enormous amount of money to attract that kind of an audience. there is not a comparable -- excuse me -- a liberal representative of the world on radio. not a comparable one. there are people who try. cable television is where you have the most fiercely articulated political points of view. the question at the end of the day is, if cable television news, fox, msnbc, cnn struggling in the middle, if they exercised that kind of influence and
clout, what is there on the other side? what is called the mainstream media side. to sort of provide the underpinning for all of the opinion. and the answer is, there still are great and distinguished newspapers and the networks still provide a very important function with their evening newscasts. i mean, for example, evening newscasts of all three of the big ones, abc, cbs, nbc attract something in the neighborhood of 25 million homes. now, that's not bad. that's very good, in fact. but it doesn't measure up to the collective power of the internet, the computer systems, radio. not at all. i want to give you two examples of the danger in this world.
i'm going to be a little skimpy on names here because i don't want to get anybody into trouble. but npr which is reputed to be the finest radio news operation in existence in the united states, npr last saturday when congresswoman giffords was shot went on the air an hour or so after the bulletins first ran saying that she was dead. what was that based on? it was based on reports npr said. what reports? where did they come from? there were reports on the internet, on blogs, two particularly, which said that she was dead. so when npr went on the air,
what did it say? it didn't say she was dead flat out. it said there are reports that she is dead. now, in and of itself that sentence is accurate. there are reports that she is dead. but she's not dead. so what's going on here? what's going on is that npr was sucked in to the modern world of communications where so much information is out there in the ether that it requires a very good editor or producer or reporter to go through all of the chaff and to find something that is accurate. how is it accurate? how can you be comfortable going on the air unless you yourself as a reporter has checked it? and that is where we begin as a media writ large to fail. we're not checking things very
much anymore. because there is so many facts quote unquote out there that it is difficult for us to discern the true fact from the made up or the incomplete quote fact. it was only two hours later that npr corrected itself. another story. this has to do with cbs radio. in my time at cbs, we had a five-minute newscast was like four minutes and 28 seconds or something. newscast every hour. and we would provide spots for the news. and it was kind of fun. i enjoyed it a lot. you would do a 45, 50-second spot on something that was going on. something that you knew that was going on. you didn't concoct these things.
right now, cbs radio because of the phenomenal pressure in which journalism lives, cbs puts out bulletins any time it feels in the course of the hour between hours to its entire network. the network does not have to run them but the network is provided with these bulletins. now, supposing you are one of the writers and one of the broadcasters for these bulletins. and your editor does not get paid for the number of inserts, no. but is regarded as a pretty good editor of, let's say he or she can get three or four bulletins in the course of one hour. well, maybe five. so the pressure is there to produce. so if the pressure is there to produce, everybody is producing.
it's a kind of mass production and what suffers? what suffers is the absence of a check. journalism is only as good as the validity, the soundness of the information that is being conveyed. otherwise, in my book it's propaganda and worthless. so where are we today in terms of the media? not in a very good place is my answer. unfortunately. i am not one of those who believes that if we only go back 30 and 40 years it was a much better time. well, in some ways it was. and in some ways it wasn't. it was in the sense that there were reporters like steve bell who would go out and cover the war in vietnam and people like me and people like you were able to rely on what it is that he said. because you had a sense that
here was a guy who would check the information before he would go on the air and tell you about it. that was a wonderful feeling. it was a feeling of comfort on the part of the american people. walter cronkite who was the anchor of "the cbs evening news" the guy i worked for, walter was regarded as the most trusted man in america. which journalist today is the most trusted man in america? none. i'm sorry? [ inaudible ] i didn't hear it. say it again. >> stephen colbert or jon stewart. >> colbert and stewart are the most trusted men? wow. we have really come a long way. really come a long way. well, my point is that in those days, anyway cronkite represented legitimacy and respectability and solid news.
at the same time, when i arrived at the cbs bureau in washington, we had one woman reporter, two women editors and two women producers. today, poo. it's way over 50%. it's a totally changed environment but in those days it was very much a man's world. no question about that. and the people at the very top right now two of the three top evening anchors are women. so that in and of itself gives you a demonstration of the change. so we have come a long way from then, but then, time and time again i think the reporting was much sounder. let me give you one illustration. cbs had a marvelous reporter
named winston burrdett. no longer with us. winston covered italy. he covered the vatican. and it was his responsibility every now and then to wander off into the middle east. one day, at the state department i got a call from our washington bureau chief, terrific chief named bill small and bill said, can you please check with the state department and find out where the heck winston is? i said, why don't you know in new york? check with the foreign desk. he said the foreign desk has no idea where this guy is. we think he went to yemen. but we're not sure. yemen today is a pretty rough terrain. then even more so because we knew less about it. what happened was that winston and his crew simply left rome, went off to yemen and were there for three weeks without
communicating with new york but when they emerged in cairo as it turned out one morning they got in touch with new york and their stuff was so fabulous, their report from yemen, that cbs put a special on that night. and that's the kind of remarkable self generating news that was possible in those days. absolutely out of the question today. every news person walks around with a bookkeeper. everything has to be measured. how much money does this cost or that cost? when you're doing a program, if your program is not making money, you're out. there's no love affair as there was in the old days. it is business. and if you don't produce, you're out. profits ubit olis.
up and up with the profits. that has to do with a mind-set. what happens when that kind of pressure is on you every single day? every hour. literally, if you're in a radio business, or in an associated press world you are in this kind of work, under this kind of pressure at all times. how is it possible then to maintain the quality of news that existed 20, 30, 40 years ago today? and i would maintain that it's not possible. however, on the plus side, there are big advantages because of the explosion of the new technology, people who never in a million years could have imagined what the world was outside of their own village or town know what it is like today.
because of the advantages of modern technology. because of the advantages of reporters going out into the field, covering a war, covering a presidential campaign. doing something where they see and hear things. and then convey that to the public. in as honest a way as possible. that's a marvelous thing. the negative within that positive is simply the pressure to get it on the air first, no matter what. and the desire of major newspapers, even "new york times," of quite literally hoping that something ends up on the internet rather than on the printed part of "the new york times." they'd rather have it, i'm told, on the nytimes.com than even on the front page of the paper. that is the shifting between the old and the new journalism.
money. it is said as a great cliche money is the root of all evil. i would never go that far in journalism. i think some of the salaries are pretty terrific, particularly if you're getting them. but the value system of a news organization is money, then everything has to come in on the positive side of the ledger. or else you are in serious trouble. the pressure then is to produce profitable news. news that will make money. so, let's say you had a story about the economic life in cincinnati. as opposed to the sex life of the cincinnati mayor.
which story is going to get on the air? thank you very much. why? is that because the mayor's sex life is more important than the economic underpinning of the city? no. but it's because of what you all want to see and read and hear about. it all has to do with the relationship with the public. if the public is educated to the need for information about cincinnati's economy, it will demand it. and the people who run the networks will end up providing it. but if it is clear that the public would prefer something lower scale, believe me, you will get lots of lower scale. and you'll get it in spades. there was a murder here of a young woman about ten years ago.
and that murder created a big deal because instantly a congressman from california was involved. cbs at that time made a command decision by dan rather who was the anchor. cbs is not going to cover the story about the murder of this young woman except the first day to mention it and move on. nbc decided to go with the story every night for two weeks. and it was wonderful to see the ratings. cbs' ratings went like that. and nbc's ratings went like that. which i think says an enormous amount about the linkage between substantive news that is checked out and important and news that titillates and that is the verb. the news that titillates is the
news that you're going to watch and see. into this has come in recent years all of this opinion. i often think that the united states would be so much better off if we had no cable news at all. let's take a step back and eliminate all of the cable news operations. we would have no opinion. we would not have pundits telling us what to think. i cannot tell you how often i am surprised at a washington dinner party with very distinguished people, senators, congressmen, p.j. crowley, all of these people to hear them talk about what they heard last night on keith olberrman's program or
what was on fox last night and the thought that keeps running through my mind is, do these people who are our leaders spend that much time watching cable news, listening to opinion? it is -- it is opinion dolled out cheaply. i know pundits who know nothing about stories. who speak with total authority. pundits who may be terrific on domestic policy but know very little about foreign policy telling us about the value and the importance of the war in afghanistan. well, i must say that's very difficult for me to take because the longer i'm around the more memory goes back to times when that would have been unimaginable. to get on these programs you have to say thing that is are outrageous. if you are asked on the program
and somebody, the anchor asked you about what we're doing in afghanistan? what do you think and you answered, well, you know, there are -- i guess two points of view on that. you might think about it this way or you might think about it this way. you're not going to be invited back a second time. because what they want is crisp, aauthoritative answers based on what is not important. it is what comes through. i mean, we have been told all the time, since marshal mccluian told about the message. we live in a universe of messages today and those that convey the message are the people with influence and therefore with power. i would like at this point to hear from you folks so that if you have a question please come to either one of the two
microphones, but i want to make as you do that, i want to make this one other point, which is terribly important to me. when this country was formed, we had newspapers that were highly partisan. there were newspapers that were created by a particular party or institution and the newspapers supported that party. that was it. it only was there for that one purpose of supporting that one party. it wasn't there to give you the news. that only developed in the mid-19th century but the latter part of the 19th century we had owners encouraging reporters to just come up and create a war
between spain and america. that would be a marvelous thing. why? because it would increase the circulation in new york of this particular newspaper. the real what i would regard anyway as the area, the time in american history when we had relati relatively straight news was somewhere in the beginning of the depression in the 1930s right up to the end of the cold war in the 1990s. when there were news organizations, believe it or not, who really wanted to exist solely for the purpose of giving you the news. i want to believe because the first amendment provides a special place for the independence and the freedom of
the press and speech and of the press, why did they put that phrase into the first amendment? it was when you read some of the documentation, it was because they felt that people who are not questioned are apt to abuse the power they have. in other words, somebody who has power without anyone having the authority to question that power has absolute power. you have absolute power, you are one step away from the arbitrary use of that power. it is the act opposite of a democracy. this country was created with that idea in mind that people would be free. and one of the guarantors of freedom is freedom of the press. freedom for somebody to stand up and say, wait a second. that's not right. or, more classically, to be able
to stand up and provide the facts and let other people simply make up their minds about what it is that is right or wrong. i believe today that we are, oh, on the edge of sliding down toward a period in our history when we don't respect other points of view. i remember when president reagan was in office. the speaker of the house was tip o'neill, the massachusetts cambridge liberal. the two of them met most afternoons at about 5:00 for a drink and they enjoyed telling stories. good stories. dirty stories. i mean, they were -- there was a good time that the two of them had. they liked each other. they respected each other. even though they profoundly
disagreed with each other. we don't have that anymore. we don't have that anymore whether a republican is in the white house or a democrat. we don't have the kind of bonding, human bonding that takes place to soften the edges of political difference. and so, the edges get hardened in an atmosphere of cable talk opinion. if people can't talk without respect for the other side we're going to have lots of last saturdays. last saturday in my book, i know that there are a lot of people who say you can't link this to anything going on. i think that's nonsense. of course you can link it to all of the terrible talk that goes on in not only in arizona but across the whole country.
having to do with the nature of differences of political opinion. we must be able not just to tolerate but to respect another person's point of view. and not believe because you heard it on television that your point of view is right. because it may be dead wrong. it may be right only in your mind and in the mind of a pundit but it may be dead wrong and in any case an thet call to what this country represents which is openness to all points of view and the tolerance and accepting all of those points of view. okay. that's me. now what about you? [ applause ] i assume you'll identify yourself? >> yes. hello. my name's corey and i'm from quinnipiac university.
you said how they shorten down the complex issues into 30-second sound bites. what would you say is a good way of combatting the idea that the simplest, most just rudimentary not in depth ideas are the most important, to get more complexity into the news, to get people more informed of the issue that is are involved in -- >> corey, that's a terrific question. it goes to the heart of what he was trying to say. at the moment, i do not believe it is realistic to hope that the networks are going to change their operation. or even newspapers or magazines or radio will change its operation. however, you do have a double power. you are the consumer and if you don't want to consume that you don't have to.
you can turn it off and read a book, read a magazine. go into the internet, not for the blog necessarily but for all of the good things that are there. there's -- i finished a book on vietnam. when i had sometimes -- when was that battle? damn, i couldn't figure it out. you'd go in, google it and there it was. so it has enormous positive advantage. but the responsibility ultimately is going to end up being yours. all right. yes? >> hello. my name is monique, i'm representing the honors college at miami dade college. first, i'm solely -- i solely appreciate you appreciating the quality of journalism. it touches me. i just want to say. do you think your reputation public appearance and corporations income is worth
sacrificing for the sake of the first amendment? >> you mean, if you're making a great deal of money, is that enough to sacrifice? >> for example, your reputation or let's say what -- the example you gave of the money, like, holding a story. >> the answer to that is, i could give you a very glib answer and say under no circumstances must you sacrifice principle and i really believe that. but i'm also -- i've been alive for a long time. and i know that there are instances where young people like you have a job. it's a tough economic environment. and your boss wants you to write a story in more inflammatory way. and you're going to think, whoops. i don't want to say no to the guy. he hired me. and i need this job and you're apt to go along with it.
and that gets back to corey's question. there's a -- you're in kind of a slide now where things happen even though you don't want them to happen and even though your own instincts tell you it's wrong, but you go along with it the way these young people at cbs last saturday had to go along with the death of somebody. but they didn't know that she had died and, in fact, she didn't. but they did put it out. and that is -- that is the kind of -- it's a scandal, really. i did a book in the 1990s called "one scandalous story." it was about the way the media covered the clinton-lewinsky scandal and i'll never forget.
the story broke in "the washington post" on a wednesday morning. at 7:00 a.m., when the morning newscasts begin, the reporters who spoke about clinton's reported liaison with this woman spoke about it as a fact. what was their -- how did they know that? i mean, were they in the room? did somebody specifically tell them? no. the only way they knew it was that it was in "the washington post" that morning. that's lousy journalism. you've got to check things. you've got to be sure about it. and so, yes, do the best you can in sticking as closely as you can to the principles of the first amendment. and the idea of freedom of the press within i hope a society that will remain free for centuries.
so that at the end of the day you're the one who goes to sleep and you may review in your mind what you did that day. if you can sleep comfortably, your conscious in no way bothered, good for you. >> thank you. >> okay. >> hi. my name's kathleen. guy to the university of san diego. and i was wondering, do you really feel that there won't be a return to more substantive journalism and more true journalism in general? because there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction with the new that is produced? >> there's no question of the growing dissatisfaction of the news but as a people we're rather confused when we use that word, "news." that would suggest that the people in it are newses people. so you have to ask yourself the
question, is -- are most of the pundits you hear news people? many are. but not all. some are political people. fox, for example, hires politicians to do commentary. mike huckabee is on fox. sarah palin is on fox. now are they journalists? no. but they live in an environment in which news is a part of a structure that at the end of the day composes the public policy of the country. and news is an extremely important part of that. it's the -- it's the glue really that's smoothed out the edges and makes these things happen. we're right in the middle. the journalists are right in the middle of things. i was noticing p.j. crowley was speaking about in answer to a question over here and he said that the state department does
something and the media if it devoted a lot more attention to a problem would put the heat on a lead tore do something and then the leader and congress -- blah blah but the media's part of that circle of a making of a public policy. and i cannot -- i cannot alter the facts. the facts are that right now in my judgment we're in a down time of american journalism. can it come back strong? god, i hope so. i hope so for all our sake. but at the moment, i don't think we're there. and i really don't see the incentive for turning the current system around. if there were a way of producing solid news and not have to make money, you know, there was a relatively new outfit set up
excellent guy paul stiger. used to be the editor of "the wall street journal" and they're doing wonderful work. where do they get the money from? rich people in california gave them the money to do it. let's get the rich people from all over the country to give money to the journalists to create this news and take the pressure off them constantly to be making a profit. >> okay. thank you. >> all right. >> hi. i'm ashley and i go to suffolk university in boston. my question is, in 2009 "time" magazine poll stated that jon stewart voted with 44% of the vote to be the most trusted newscaster and coming in second was brian williams with 29% of the vote. do you think that this is not only alarming but an accurate e depiction of how people get their news today and who people trust in teling them the news? >> that's a very, very good question. and i could be dead wrong on
this but my sense is that people watch jon stewart to be entertained. and they watch brian williams to get the news. and that most people in this country, unfortunately, choose to be entertained much more than they choose to be informed. and so, more people may end up watching jon stewart. the fact is that brian gets, i don't know what? 20 times more viewers than jon stewart but jon stewart lives in this cable world which has emerged with enormous clout. jon stewart is capable of having a big event on the mall. why? because he wants a big event on the mall. i've never met jon stewart. i don't know the man. but i do know that most of my students would prefer to watch him than watch brian williams. but i don't think that's the
best testimony about my students. it's the difference between entertainment and information. >> thank you. >> okay. yes, sir? >> peter from the university of san diego. a few years ago -- >> you have a lot of san diego people here. >> a few years ago jon stewart and not to suggest i believe that he's the best news source but he appeared on cnn on the show "crossfire" and criticized and accused the news networks of participating in partisan hackery and the failure to hold public officials accountable. i think you seem to agree on that but do you think that this fuels the sort of polarization amongst political parties? >> the answer is, yes. i think it does feed the polarization of political parties and the polarization more importantly of political
opinion in this country among people who aren't politicians. just ordinary folks have a very specific view of what politics is supposed to be like. politics is tough. you are trying to find an area of reconciliation between two opposing views most of the time but if you approach that as warfare, you want to destroy the enemy. that's where we are today. i suspect that even after the tragedy in tucson we're going to return to if we haven't already the very rough and tumble world of modern-day punditry and laying the worse motivation upon the opposition rather than this idea of the reagan ability to
meet with the democrats and try to strike a deal. we're not there yet. i literally pray that we return to those days very soon because the problems in the world today have become so complicated and so dangerous that unless we have an informed citizenry prepared to live up to certain obligations we are all going to be in terrible trouble. i mean, crowley was used again an expression about if we don't have the money to continue an operation, for example, in afghanistan it's going to be very bad and that this started an administration or two ago and we simply have to continue it. okay. the right policy.
it could have been wrong. in which case it is wrong to continue a wrong policy. what does that mean? that means that you have to be able to discuss it. you have to be able to argue the point. but you have to be able to argue the point in a democracy where you respect not just tolerate but respect the view of the opposition. and i'm repeating myself when i say that i don't see us at least in the immediate future getting that point but it is certainly where we should be. yes? >>. >> haley from suffolk university outside of boston or in boston, and i think that the gatekeepers of past generations have done a really fabulous job of maintaining credibility and mai credibility in the media. i wonder if a limited number of gate keepers perhaps concerning. and i'm wondering if you think a hybrid system of network niz and
cable news could work if cable news was dropped to the news label and clearly identified as opinion or commentary. >> that's fascinating. i wish you would write a paper on that. that would be fascinating, to find out if there would be to bring traditional network news and cable news together. there have been discussions, by the way, between cbs and cnn about coming together. but there the motivation is money. the motivation is to try -- to try to stop the hemorrhaging of losses and to create a combination. cnn/cbs that would cover the news and make money. i mean, that's -- that's the -- the misery, the secret. and if you can uncover that secret, you have it made it would be a huge public service. so your question is right on target. you there are dozens of serious people working on that problem,
but i haven't seen -- not that formula, but i have not seen any document, any study that says we're closer to resolution from this fundamental problem. thank you. >> yes, sir. >> jerry from the university of san diego. >> yeah. >> i was wondering if you thought there should be some limit to the extent of what we consider the free press? you can't oorg eau with the fact that the press should be able to criticize the government or editorialize or factualize opinions, but to some extent, it feels like the press has overstepped that bounds and has overstepped -- overstepped those bounds in the sense that they can publish documents obtained illegally or opinions that aren't factually backed up, such as -- what they just automatically assume that the congresswoman from arizona was
dead, but they splished something completely untrue. but do you think there should be some extent where they have to have a factual basis or some kind of grounding of what they publish as opposed to being just carte blanche because of freedom of press? >> the answer to that question is absolutely yes. there ought to be a way, and the question becomes which way. if there was to be an outfit created by congress, or all of the universities represented in this room, the presidents of all of the universities were to get together and in good will, intelligently come up with a solution to the current problems of the media, and supposing "the new york times" listened to them and said what are you going to do about it?
you can't force -- unless are you going to the supreme court with a specific, legal infraction, your group, no matter how well intentioned, is irrelevant. journalism lives essentially -- it's very interesting. they live up here, and yet they are rooted financially in the business community. it is a business. and yet is it is the only business in america guaranteed its freedom by the constitution. so it's extraordinary, this business and it has to be treated with that kind of tender, loving care. which we are not provided. your point is very well taken. yes, sir. >> good morning, my name is samuel from jonas college. my question is from your point
of view, what is the psychological role that the media has on society, particularly on human behavior? from your point of view what is the psychological role that the media has on society, particularly in the human behavior? >> we're not very good a psychology. and i really don't know how to answer that question. let me answer it in this way. it's unsatisfactory. i worked for a network -- two networks for 30 years. every now and then, i came upon a boss accident who psychologically was open to different points of view,
different personalities and knew how to balance interests. the washington newsroom of cbs was loaded with ego. and only a certain amount of room on the cbs evening news, so you had to balance these things. it was the most delicate psychological problem. but my bureau chief did it very, very well. aside from him, i can't imagine anyone else who had in mind psychology in dealing with the news and presentation of news. as a matter of fact, i think deliberately, you went away from that toward introducing distance between yourself as the collector of reliable news, and the public and the source. i mean, there's that triangle. the source, the reporter, the public. and it's a triangle of crucial
importance. and it requires professionalism on all sides. but most important on the side of the public. the public has to demand something better. if it demands something better, i am absolutely certain it is going to get it. but until it demands something better it will get what we see now. thank you. >> thank you very much, marvin. >> my pleasure is your payoff. >> works very well. thank you. >> and now as we used to say, i'll tell you the rest of the story. paul harvey used to say that. he wouldn't tell us about it,
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