Swapping Bias for Bias at CBS: Couric Out, Pelley In

By now, I’m sure you all know that Katie Couric, who must by law be described with the adjective “perky”, has stepped down as anchor of the CBS Evening News after several years of doing to her ratings what hiring an elderly mule as a CEO would do to the stock of Apple. Her replacement is likely to be veteran 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley. Pelley, as CBS was proud to note, is an actual journalist who is responsible for half the awards won by his former show over the past several years.

Of course, you know that if someone is getting accolades by the MSM, they can’t be good for anyone with a conservative view of the world, and Pelley certainly isn’t. He made a bit of a name for himself in 2006 when he equated those who don’t worship at the altar of Global Warming with Holocaust deniers:

Pelley’s most recent report, like his first, did not pause to acknowledge global warming skeptics, instead treating the existence of global warming as an established fact. I again asked him why. “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel,” he asks, “am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?” He says his team tried hard to find a respected scientist who contradicted the prevailing opinion in the scientific community, but there was no one out there who fit that description. “This isn’t about politics or pseudo-science or conspiracy theory blogs,” he says. “This is about sound science.”

But doesn’t the fact that there are a lot of Americans who are skeptical of global warming – not well respected scientists, perhaps, but ordinary people watching the segment – warrant at least some recognition of the other side? “There becomes a point in journalism where striving for balance becomes irresponsible,” says Pelley.

So, not only is he an insulting journalist but one who has taken it solely upon himself to decide what is and isn’t responsible journalism. This includes, you’ll notice, deciding who is “respectable” based on criteria to which only he holds the magic key.

Pelley’s global warming reporting since than has been both alarmist and oddly conspiratorial. In fact, in one report in 2008 he accused the Bush White House of tampering with the science in order to downplay what he considered the certain threat of global warming. In 2009, Pelley filed a report so full of distortions about The Eeeeevil Oil Companies (the global warming cult’s favorite villain not named George Bush or Dick Cheney) that even the Columbia Journalism Review felt the need to write a detailed criticism. He’s also swung his bias stick hard at coal companies and, in a non-global warming turn, gave the would-be builder of the Ground Zero Mosque a completely free field to hawk his project.

I could go on — believe me, there are plenty of examples of Pelley’s unchecked bias to fill a small book — but you get the point. CBS executives could have replaced the perky Katie Couric with a serious journalist who would be honest about his biases and work hard to overcome them. Instead, they opted for just another narrative-pusher, a carbon-copy talking head with an inflated sense of self-worth whose only real effect on the network’s news coverage will be to drive it even father into irrelevance.