Do Not Let Bob Schieffer Be Next Man To Fall

My headline for this post is totally in jest, as I much respect and admire long-time CBS news reporter Bob Schieffer.  After waking up this morning I first heard that NBC Today host Matt Lauer was fired for sexual actions against a woman.  A few hours later I came back inside the house and looked at my updated news feed and learned that Garrison Keillor was fired by NPR for something also related to sexual improprieties.

So as I read about Keillor the first words from my mouth were “Seems like Bob Schieffer might be the last man standing.”

While there is no way that Schieffer would be in the same column with those who have made headlines and ousted from their jobs the point is that what is now happening seems too afar afield from reality.

I get it that there are leches and people who should be barred from normal society.  My mom told a story of an old geezer in Ozone, Arkansas who now almost 70 years ago rubbed up against her as she was in the store as a girl.  I knew there were guys like that who still worked in the statehouse when I was employed there and though times have changed too many men are still not aware of boundaries.

But having said that I also think it more than odd that a whole raft of very A-type names in media are being brought down.  President Bush 41 has been reported to have had his hands on the backsides of women, and a high profile Nashville agent has been sidelined for sexual antics.

If someone punches me and causes injury I am going to call the cops at once.  I would not hold a grudge for 10 years and then one day lodge a protest.  Yes, I understand that women feel concern about being labeled by their accusers and can feel the backlash from calling out men in power.  But how did all these women not come forward at the time the situation occurred?

So it does seem surreal to have the floodgates open all at once and have–as with the case today–two most powerful and star-studded names fired from events that seemed to have occurred years prior to the release of this information.    What was it about last year which made such an outpouring of grievances not acceptable and now it is a perfect season?

This in no way is blaming women.  But I simply do not understand what is now happening that by all common-sense could have just as easily been reported at anytime in the past.  And that does then call into question motive.

CBS News’ Bob Schieffer “About the News” Places Me Further Into 21st Century

As I have mentioned to my Facebook friends this summer another step was taken which placed me in the 21st century when I obtained an iPad.   I love technology but use it smartly in that I do not allow it to remove the parts of the past which I find warm and pleasant.  As such I still read printed newspapers and books, play albums, and live in a home where our phone is a land line.  We have no cell phone and I am totally pleased that James agrees that we do not need to be always connected via social media with others.  That is what the message machine on the desk is for.  In fact, the rotating messages we create makes for some laughter as those who call fully know.  At present there is a Country Time lemonade opening—given all the nice weather we have experienced in Madison.

But I do love computers, and all the ways technology has allowed curious people–which I count myself as being among–to dive in and learn about a never-ending list of topics.  So the iPad is nothing short of a wonderful world of apps which provides weather data, maps galore, news from every source under the sun, crossword puzzles, video capabilities, and last but not least, CBS News’ Bob Schieffer on a podcast.

Today after  mowing and working on the lawn I showered and grabbed a cup of coffee to enjoy while sitting outside.  I took the iPad and it was there I listened to my first podcast.  Ever.  CBS News’ Bob Schieffer along with H. Andrew Schwartz,  conduct a wide variety of news and political conversations on  “About the News”.   I went back to March and heard one of my favorite columnists, The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Seib, speak about the era of Trump and how it impacts journalism.

Schieffer, as always, comes with decades of institutional memory from both broadcasting and a political perspective.  As I listened to the truly interesting and thoughtful conversation I wondered what the news veteran thinks of the speed with which news is now transmitted via various platforms and how that speed has affected governing.  After all, there was a time when an action happened and leaders had the ability to think and deliberate prior to being sought out for a reaction.   I strongly suspect he would agree that while we have made gains we also have paid a price.

I am more conscious than ever of how much information is available with a touch of the finger and how many curious pursuits can be easily followed.  The problem is technology has not added an extra day to the week.  And when I asked Siri–which I changed to a male voice–about such a quandary he offered web sites on the history of time.  Perhaps I just need a more artful way of asking him.  Until then I have many more ways to stay busy after taking this latest step into the 21st century.

John Dickerson Expressed To Nation What We Need To Consider

John Dickerson provided for the essential ‘must see and hear’ moments from the Sunday morning news shows.  I loved the commentary that former host Bob Schieffer offered the nation each week, and knew that once Dickerson took over the reins there would be changes.  One should be allowed to make the show reflect the host.  But in this far too often up-side down world there is much to be said for seasoned and reasoned minds to ask the nation to take a breath and evaluate where we are with a dose of sanity.

That is precisely the role Dickerson played today.  I much appreciate his calm manner, his determined focus, his unrelenting drive to get facts, and then his ability to weave everything we have learned this past week into a powerful statement.

President Trump said President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

This week, the FBI director said there was no evidence of that. This wasn’t just a fact-check. It highlighted how lightly President Trump treats the presidency.

We have presidents and we have an office of the presidency. Opponents respect the office, even if they disagree with the occupant. Presidents are criticized, but the presidency is behind protective glass.

That’s why a president can come into office attacking his predecessor’s policies, but later celebrate the dedication of his predecessor’s presidential library. It is why George W. Bush prepared a smooth transition for Barack Obama, and why President Obama did the same for Donald Trump.

Once on the job, a president also gains respect for the presidency because they learn, as President Trump did this week, that the job is harder than it appeared from the campaign trail.

The historical continuity of the presidency is an heirloom and a tool. Presidents gain stature by hugging those who came before them. Donald Trump visited Andrew Jackson’s grave and compared himself to the seventh president, who also spooked elites.

These perks and protections are why presidents honor the presidency.

“I shall keep steadily in view the limitations of my office,” said Andrew Jackson. Break the limits, and you break the office.

Nevertheless, President Trump compared his predecessor to Nixon and McCarthy, called him sick and bad.

To break glass like that, a president must have a good reason and proof. President Trump had no evidence and no higher purpose.

Tending the presidency is important for a disruptive president like Donald Trump, because it shows people he knows the line between renovating the office and demolishing it. You measure twice, and cut once. You don’t cut without measuring at all.

Nation Stands With Police And Law Enforcement

The whole nation was reminded again this morning how dangerous the job of being a law enforcement officer is as we heard the tragic news from Louisiana.   I was also listening as Bob Schieffer from CBS News pointed out today where the vast majority of this nation stands on the issue. 

Last night, several of us were having dinner down by — by the lake. A group of Cleveland police officers came on bicycles. There were — must have been 50 of them. As they passed by the restaurant, everyone stood up as one and gave them a round of applause. That tells you what’s on people’s minds these days, and — and where this country is these days.

I trust Brenda Konkel was able to stop protesting and bashing the police long enough to catch today’s Face The Nation broadcast.

Bob Schieffer: Facts Matter!

Once again Bob Schieffer states what needs to be heard.  From this morning’s Reliable Sources on CNN.

STELTER: How much — about the polarization point, how much blame do you put at the feet of the news media or of the Internet, of the digital age? Justice Scalia, for example, said to the “New York Magazine” a couple of years ago, he used to subscribe to “The Washington Post”, but he couldn’t take it anymore. It was too shrilly liberal so he stopped subscribing. He did read “The Washington Times” and “The Wall Street Journal”, which have conservative op-ed pages.

Do you put some of the blame or much of the blame on media athletes that have become more partisan?

SCHIEFFER: You know, I — the problem here, look, if Justice Scalia didn’t want to read “The Washington Post”, he had plenty of other things he could read.

STELTER: Yes, that’s right.

SCHIEFFER: But I think that’s one of the problems we have now. People are basing their opinion now on different sets of facts, on different data. We’re not all basing our opinions anymore on the same data.

You know, when I was growing up, you had three networks, you had a pretty good newspaper in every town, you might not agree with the editorial policy, but you generally conceded that they wouldn’t put something on a front page if they didn’t think it was factual, you didn’t think it was true.

What’s changed now as we have all this information bombarding us, some of which is totally, totally false. Recently, you know, Barack Obama is going to settle 200,000 Syrian refugees in the United States. Totally made up of whole cloth, totally without foundation.

A story not so long ago, a couple of weeks ago, that Donald Trump in 1996 told “People Magazine”, “Look, if I decide to get into politics, I’ll run as a Republican because they’re the dumbest people in the world and they believe everything they hear on FOX News.” Totally false. There was no such interview. He never said anything like that. And that’s what’s different this time, Brian. All is the totally false information that you have to kind of sort your way through to figure out what the truth really is. 

Bob Schieffer Returns To CBS News As Political Contributor

Cheers all around with this news!

Bob Schieffer will be returning to CBS News as a contributor during the 2016 campaign. The veteran network correspondent and Face the Nation moderator, who retired last year, will be pressed into service through the 2017 inauguration.

As this campaign has already turned so many long-held assumptions upside down it will be most important to have a seasoned reporter with institutional memory bring his insight to the people.

Let the reporting begin!

End Of Era In Journalism With Bob Schieffer Saying Goodbye On “Face The Nation”

With humility and professional Bob Schieffer said goodbye from the Face The Nation news desk this morning.   Following an interview with likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush  and a thorough review of the various angles of national defense with CIA Director John Brennen the broadcast ended with Schieffer, who anchored the program for the past 24 years, standing alongside all those who helped make the program possible each week.  It was a classy send-off from one of the best journalists I have had the pleasure of watching over all these years.

By allowing his last program to about the topics of the week, and not about him, he made the statement in clear terms that he had been making each week during his long career.  The news business is about informing the nation on the happenings that we need to be aware of.

He spoke this morning of wanting to work with Walter Cronkite, and his other aspirations concerning broadcast journalism.  Cronkite was one of those mightily respected faces of the news business and Schieffer can rightly stand alongside him.  That is why Schieffer was so important.

People trusted him.

At a time when some reporters and politicians and celebrities failed to be forthright and above board there was always Bob Schieffer who could be counted on to be honest.  We did not know him personally but was sure he would be a gracious guest should he ever really come to our home.  We did let him in over the decades to inform us when we needed to better understand the world, and also to be calmed when events erupted and he provided insight so to allow us ways to cope with tragedy.  As was his standard he was diplomatic in making sure those who were reluctant to answer a question in the end did so.  We thank him for that, too.

There are many sound and professional men and women in journalism.  You and I turn to them every day.  But there are only a select few who have traveled with us week after week over a large swath of life and as such are like family.  Bob Schieffer was one of them.  He loved the news, politics, and reporting.  And he showed us why we needed to care, too.

Next week will arrive and I will tune into another edition of Face The Nation.  I am sure to like John Dickerson as I already respect his political analysis.  But I will know under the desk that the anchor is not wearing purple socks.

It just will never be the same.

Bob Schieffer On Why Reporters Matter

Famed CBS journalist Bob Schieffer was interviewed by CNN’s Brain Stelter on Reliable Sources.

SCHIEFFER:  You know, we’ve got to have journalists.  The need for accurate information is more important than ever, and unless – I mean, in our system of government, having access to independently gathered, accurate information is as important to our process as the right to vote.  You have to have that in a democracy like we have.

I don’t know where reporters are going to work in the future but whatever their platform, we have to have that information, and getting accurate information, Brian, is harder now than it’s ever been.

STELTER:  You think so even though the internet has made it more accessible?

SCHIEFFER:  Yes, because most of the information is wrong.  I mean, you know, we’re just overwhelmed by news.  There’s so much news that we can’t get to the news.  And, you know, that’s what our job is as mainstream journalists is try to cut through this great maw of information and tell them what we think is relevant, what they need to know.

SCHIEFFER:  You know, I have seen so many wheels invented, reinvented in the time that I have been in television.  I’m not sure you can reinvent this wheel.  I think you have to get back to basics.

What people want when they turn on a news program of any kind is news.  They want to know what it is that they need to know about that’s going to impact their lives.  And that’s what we’ve tried to do, and I think that’s what the success in recent years of “Face the Nation” has been.