Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CBS 60 Minutes: Not Only Can't They Report--They Can't Even Count

Jennifer Rubin reports how Backlash builds over ‘60 Minutes’ hatchet job on Israel.

Instead of responding to Rubin's questions about the inaccuracies in the 60 Minutes report and whether there would be an internal review, CBS released the following statement:
We received an organized negative email campaign of the type we don’t count because all of them were duplicates of the same letter sent from the same organization, Christians United for Israel, which apparently wrote the letter and urged others to resend it to CBS News. So far they number a few hundred, far less than 500 and well below what other such organized issue-based responses in the past have generated.

The non-form letter response we received was of a fairly typical number: a few hundred. Nearly half of those were positive and slightly more negative. Thirteen million people saw Sunday’s broadcast. We believe the small amount of orchestrated response was probably because the 60 MINUTES report was fair and accurate. [emphasis added]
Disdain for criticism appears to be endemic at CBS.
So is inaccuracy.

Jennifer Rubin contacted CUFI and looked into the number of emails actually sent:
Christians United for Israel reports that, in the first 24 hours of its “action alert,” asking members to contact CBS to raise concerns about bias and inaccuracy, more than 29,000 e-mails have been sent. (I was given access to a screenshot of the e-mail tabulation, by the nonprofit group Convio, that supports CUFI’s claim, showing 29,602 e-mails have been sent.)

CUFI executive director David Brog told me in a phone conversation: “Their reporting on the number of email they received is as inaccurate as their reporting on the Middle East.” He described Convio as a “top” nonprofit tracking service. And as for the “form letter,” Brog said, “CBS is ignoring a large number of [emails] from Christians not in the Middle East but here in America. Whether a form letter or not, nearly 30,000 Americans felt compelled to write to CBS. This should not be discounted or ignored.”
Numbers should not be ignored.
Slanted reporting in general--and 60 Minutes in particular--should be.

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