Saturday, November 13, 2004
Dysfunctional CBS News: On Wednesday night, CBS News broke into "CSI: N.Y." to report the death of Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat -- angering viewers who didn't get to see the show's exciting conculsion! With just a few minutes to go before the 11 p.m. local newscast, this was a bad call. A crawl along the bottom of the screen was probably all that was necessary.
CBS News quickly took action, apologizing to its viewers, rerunning the show Friday night, and firing the producer.
In just about every job I've ever worked, someone has always done something which has made me wonder: "Just what exactly do you have to do to get fired around here?" The standard for firing someone always seemed higher than I thought was prudent.
At CBS News, it appears that the standard is bass ackwards. Here a producer is fired for cutting into a TV show, while Dan Rather, Mary Mapes and Andrew Heyward are still on the job after a failed attempt to use "fake but accurate" documents to smear the president and influence the 2004 election. Talk about totally out of whack newsroom management.