The problem with broadcast journalism today is that many anchors or reporters on political talk shows have a political axe to grind and hold up their axe for all to see. There are fewer on-the-air personalities now who will challenge an outright falsehood. And one of those few is CBS’s Bob Schieffer, a journalist from the Edward R. Murrow/Walter Cronkite school of journalism. Indeed, I have consistently maintained that CBS should have replaced Cronkite with Schieffer.
And today we see another example. It came when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noon, a former Ronald Reagan speechwriter, called New York’s new Mayor Bill De Blasio a “former Sandinista.” Schieffer wouldn’t let that assertion stand. FOOTNOTE: as someone who was in the news biz, writing for newspapers from India, Bangladesh and Spain, and later working as a staff reporter for two American daily newspapers, Schieffer here reminds me of how MOST print journalists would respond during an interview with a source: the reporter would ask (or insist) for a clarification on that assertion. And, yes, like Schieffer, many reporters I know would chime in and say what Schieffer said with a polite smile.
You don’t see this as much on TV these days. Watch Schieffer in all of his great, old-school journalism glory: