I called Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, prepared to do battle over the lack of on-air remediation. Even though Mr. Capus had personally investigated the error, issued two statements on the matter, taken disciplinary action against six employees and led a series of meetings to remind people of best practices, nobody on the “Today” show had explained what happened, or apologized for it, to the audience.
That seemed wrong to me. A network’s primary contract is with the viewers who tune in to its shows every day, one that is more important than any obligation it feels to journalistic pundits or Beltway politicos.
“You’re probably right,” Mr. Capus said right away…
“The reality is that we didn’t try to hide from it,” he said. “We did an awful lot of work after it happened. We did an exhaustive investigation, I did interviews with a lot of publications to get the message out, but we probably should have done it on our own air.”