- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In his exit interview after 40 some years as a TV reporter and news commentator, CBS’ Bob Schieffer said the media weren’t “skeptical enough” of Barack Obama as they greased the skids for his election in 2008.

But Schieffer, sitting down with Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, also said it isn’t the job of journalists to be adversarial with candidates, but rather to “get at the truth,” and that a candidate really has the job to vet his opponent.

The two had this exchange:

KURTZ: “Many people in this country, as you know, think the three broadcast networks are too biased, too liberal. Would you agree looking back that the media gave Barack Obama an incredible easy ride in 2008 and for much of his presidency?”

SCHIEFFER: “Well, I think the whole political world was struck by this fella who sort of came out of nowhere with this very unusual name, and when he won out in Iowa, I think people sat up and took notice.”

KURTZ: “But isn’t it the job of journalists to be skeptical, even of a young phenom?”

SCHIEFFER: “Uh yeah, it is. And, I don’t know, maybe we were not skeptical enough. It was a campaign. I, I — Howie, my feeling is, it is the role of the other, of the opponents, to make the campaign. I think as journalists, basically what we do is watch the campaign, and we report what the two sides are doing. I think it is the politicians who make the campaign.”

KURTZ: “But don’t journalists have an adversarial role to play when you have a presidential candidate in the chair facing you, you want to be tough on that person?”

SCHIEFFER: “Well, I think you want to get at the truth. What you’re trying to do is find out who this person is, and what he’s about. I don’t think that always has to be adversarial.”

Sounds like Schieffer is fully ready to retire.

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