CBS Promoting the GOP?

Can there be doubt that CBS News, in effect, promotes a bias that favors the Republican Party? Anyone who follows politics and watched the Scott Pelley interview of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell last night on Sixty Minutes had to be dumbfounded when Scott Pelley failed to utter any challenge to both Boehner and McConnell’s hubris about the Democrats obstructing legislation, something the GOP promoted as policy. You would expect Fox News to misinform on that count but not a major network.

The lead headline question Scott Pelley asks for the interview: “The job approval rating for Congress is 15%. What do you say to the 85% of American people who think Congress is doing a lousy job?”

“I would say they are right. I wouldn’t vote to approve this Congress,” said Mitch McConnell, like the fox who vilified the chicken that he ate for lunch, including its species. His response sounded reasonable on its face, but could be flushed like most of the excremental responses, prepared like campaign speeches, that followed by both McConnell and Boehner.

Questions about President Obama’s legislative goals and the good economic news drew hubris and misinformation the size of Mount Everest from both. Good economic news was discounted by McConnell , who said, “Who’s benefitting from this? The rich.” Quite a response from a champion of the rich whose party obstructed every attempt to continue unemployment benefits, raise the minimum wage, voted to repeatedly cut food stamps, and anything benefitting the majority.

Is “income equality a problem you want to address,” a question from Pelley.

“It is, and frankly the President’s policies have made income equality worse,” says Boehner. When asked about President Obama’s suggestion of free tuition for investment in community college, Boehner’s rehearsed answer was, “Obama has added more debt than all of the presidents from George Washington to George Bush.” In today’s dollars vs. past dollars that might be true, but it’s starkly true (never pointed out either) that past Republican presidents have put more things on the nation’s credit card than any recent Democrat, and with tax cuts for the rich increased the deficit many times the amount of Democrats, George W. Bush turning a Clinton surplus into a deficit early in his first term.

Scott Pelley said nothing to this misinformation.

Politicians in general are considered specious and dishonest, but both Boehner and McConnell have made livings equivocating, demagoging and deceiving. McConnell was the man who announced in 2010 that his onerous goal was to defeat President Obama. He is also the minority leader, up until a week ago, when he became majority leader, who obstructed any progress in the Senate, sanctioning filibusters for everything. Nothing happened in the Senate without his approval, save Senator Reid’s belated changing of the filibuster rule with a simple majority vote, arising from a special rule.

Ever vigilant to corporate needs and the Tea Party, John Boehner, in effect, rebuking loyalty to our country and to its people, led us through two shutdowns of the government and a credit devaluation, but the media, including Sixty Minutes, treated it like an overall political problem, not a GOP problem.

In addition, in past, less dysfunctional governments, his invitation to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to speak to the now Republican-controlled Congress regarding his opposition to President Obama’s Iran negotiations would be near traitorous, not just a rude slap in Mr. Obama’s face. Actually the Logan Act in 1799 still makes it illegal for unauthorized American citizens to negotiate with foreign governments.

Where is the media condemnation of John Boehner’s un-American invitation, an invitation that could easily scuttle delicate negotiations with Iran about abandoning development of nuclear weapons?  Bob Schieffer of CBS news said, “This really caught people by surprise over at the White House.” Nothing was said about how sneaky, disrespectful, unprecedented, and un-American it is from a Republican who already has demonstrated a proclivity to do and say things that harm our country, always putting politics ahead of the country’s interests – government shutdowns and credit devaluation, for example.

Sixty Minutes is not alone in misleading the American people, but it is so remarkably pro-corporation, and growing to be so unbalanced in its political reporting, that it appears to be Fox News without the vitriol and the rancor.

Don’t get me wrong, Sixty Minutes handled the Cleveland police scandal on the same episode well and generally does quite well on less political issues, but Lara Logan’s blatant snafu regarding an entirely false anti-Obama eye witness account about Benghazi and other stories by other reporters that equivocated Senate GOP filibustering show a systematic bias that excuses Republicans and takes sides against President Obama. Certainly Lara Logan’s unvetted Benghazi story all but demonized President Obama, and only media pressure gave Logan a short vacation. In addition, past scenes suggested Logan’s professed belief in an administration-led Benghazi conspiracy.

It is quite sad that a long-running program known for exposing injustices, with aplomb and fair treatment, has succumbed to the anti-Obama bias led by Republicans and monolithic corporations, against a president who guided offending Wall Street banks out of certain disaster, and this at the expense of the American taxpayers.

CBS seems to be in the mainstream gaggle of political mistruths that have helped to keep voters either misinformed or turned away from a political system captured by money, corporate power, and a lazy media.

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.