Skip to comments.'60 Minutes' Creator Don Hewitt Dies
Posted on 08/19/2009 8:35:51 AM PDT by TomServo
NEW YORK (CBS News)
"60 Minutes"spokesman Kevin Tedesco confirmed 86-year-old Don Hewitt has died. Earlier this year, Hewitt was diagnosed with a small, contained tumor.
Hewitt was already a veteran CBS newsman in 1968 when he created "60 Minutes," pioneering the TV newsmagazine format. He served as executive producer of the program until his retirement in 2004.
Hewitt has been honored with the second annual Lifetime Achievement Emmy presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 1995, he was awarded the Founders Emmy by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
He's also won the Director's Guild Association Honor for contributions to American culture (June 2002), the 2001 Carr Van Anda Award for his contribution to journalism, bestowed by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and the 2000 Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from Quinnipiac College.
Hewitt is the author of Tell Me a Story: Fifty Years and 60 Minutes in Television (PublicAffairs, April 2001), in which chronicles his life as a newsman. He is also the author of the book Minute by Minute (Random House, 1985).
The Vietnam war one may be the sore point in that many identify being pro war as right wing and anti-war as left wing even though Republicans ended the war and Democrats were the ones who started and escalated the war (though the Republicans wanted to end the war with honor which is probably a major distinction?).
Too long ago...there’ll be another now.
I haven't watched the program for 20 years because once I saw a story on an area in which I had expertise and I could readily identify the half-truths, misrepresentations, and ignorance of the subject by “journalists” who abandoned what was the sine qua non of journalistic ethics - objectivity and a search for the truth. 60 Minutes became “a search for a scandal” with its personnel acting like prosecuting attorneys rather than truth seekers. And since the political leanings of “journalists” are overwhelmingly liberal, that bias showed up in its stories. 60 Minutes was “dirty journalism” - editing tape to make someone look guilty or foolish (Katie Couric learned this technique well by the time she interviewed Sarah Palin). They really began the politics of personal destruction. Some things were hammered again and again - anti-abortionists were always portrayed as lunatics; corporations were always evil; the military were a bunch of insensitive thugs and master manipulators; every story on race showed minorities as noble beings crushed by fate and white racism. the only real experts were those who saw everything from a liberal perspective. So 60 Minutes became a weekly partisan attack on conservatives.
This reached a pinnacle on the September 20, 2004 broadcast of one of the 60 Minutes spin-offs when Dan Rather, continuing a campaign to discredit President Bush's National Guard Service he began on a September 8 CBS News segment, produced documents which he claimed proved that Bush had lied about his service. The documents were such obvious forgeries that a FREEPER (apparently on his home computer, leading to the creation of the term “pajamas media”) was able to expose their obvious in-authenticity within 45 minutes of the broadcast. The CBS website now carries the following remark about the original CBS News broadcast:
(CBS) EDITOR'S NOTE: A report issued by an independent panel on Jan. 10, 2005 concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of this Sept. 8, 2004 broadcast.
Cronkite simply out and out lied to the American people about the outcome of the TET offensive (the U.S. was victorious, but “the most trusted man in America” waged a campaign to convince the U.S. had lost, and thereby undermined the American public’s support for the war). Many feel that Cronkite (along with John Kerry and associates) forced the U.S. into a precipitous retreat that resulted in thousands of needless casualties among American troops and also among Vietnamese who had supported the U.S. war effort.
But don't expect any of that to show up in the MSM.
That is interesting and awesome that you wrote this because just recently I read about the rise of the DC news magazine Politico which only report son insider Beltway issue and nothing else - a newspaper for policy wonks by policy wonks - insider baseball stuff and nothing elese - which revealed a theory of information that I found amazing. It stated that as information becomes easier to obtain people will specialize because - for example - if you are a foreign policy junky and just read about that subject day in and out in short time you become an expert or to be more accurate you become more of an expert than the generalist journalist who reports on the subject.
This means you and others are more knowledgeable than the people who report you the news on specific areas of interest.
So this creates a disrespect towards the abilities of journalists in general.
I apologize for going off on a tangent like that but your insight was an amazing one and it triggered my memory on what I had read.
I can't comment on the rest regarding left or right bias because I do not watch CBS News or 60 Minutes but that earlier sentence I found as an amazing proof for what I had read. I think it was in Vanity Fair (X-Mass gift subscription so don't laugh) ?
If I still have it in my bathroom I will look for the passage and let you know. Much obliged for your illuminating comments.
I first watched an episode of 60 min in 1977 while I was waiting to go overseas. Having never watched it before I had no misconceptions at the time about any bias or agenda. It quickly dawned on me that the story segments that they aired that night were told from a singular perspective and not very well balanced at all. It was the first time that I had seen the type of ambush journalism that quickly came to dominate agenda driven news programming on TV. Even then it was basically dishonest reporting of only one side of the story and I could easily tell that “lies of omission” was standard operating procedure for that show.
The leftward bent was subtle back then and has grown much more blatant in the intervening years. My main complaint against it wasn’t so much based on the politcal bias but more that I’ve always despised that type of dishonest reporting. Needless to say that I’ve rarely bothered to watch any other episodes of that show in the last thirty years.
In the fourth issue of Wired magazine, in the fall of 1993, just as the Internet was entering public consciousness, Michael Crichton, the author of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park, wrote an essay arguing that newspapers were doomed because they were too dumb. As information became cheaper, more plentiful, and easier to get, consumers, he argued, would become ever more immersed in their specific interests and understand that their more generally oriented paperat least in the matter of a readers special interest, but also by inference everything elsehad no idea what it was talking about.
Sixteen years later, the ultimate result of Crichtons theory about the fallacy of general-interest newsand, as a corollary, the answer to the riddle of whos going to report the news when traditional, general-interest news organizations stop doing itis, for better and worse, Politico.
Politico is the Web site (and accompanying newspaper) launched by two former Washington Post reporters to cover the 2008 presidential campaign, and which, with 100 or so staffers, is defying all reason and expectations by continuing to prosper beyond the election season. Not only is it, in its way, a direct manifestation of Crichtons observation about flaccid and dumbed-down news, but it is also something rather close to one of those sinister and unstoppable forces in a Crichton novel: more information than you want to know, as well as more than you probably should know and can know, altering the very metabolic rate of the people who supply it and of those who become habituated to trying to know it.
Please read my reply at #45 and at #47.
Let me know if your on the same wave length?
Re: “Hewitt allowed his show to be the mouthpiece for the Dems. Even St Peter at the pearly gates would be disgusted with this fool.”
Yep, I would have to agree with you!
Re: “Why the hostility? Because with 60 Minutes, Don Hewitt created a medium for the liberal elite in the media (but I repeat myself) to engage in left-wing, gothca, so-called journalism on a larger than ever basis.”
Yes, and I saw them do a real hatchet job on a former employer of mine, Sunkist Growers, back around 1981. It was awful the way they portrayed the organization but we had been warned beforehand that the ‘editing’ might be horrific. Some executives did not want to do the show but a few thought it overall to be a good idea. Those few were sorry later.
Welcome to FR.
One less leftist to deal with.
He’s the jerk that propped up Bill Clinton after Jennifer Flowers endangered his early campaign. He was an ideologue just like the rest of them.
May he rot in a very warm spot deep below the surface of the earth.
Too bad it didn’t happen sooner to that scumbag.
He openly claimed that it was his manipulative editing of the 60 Minute interview with billary about Gennifer Flowers that directly led to Clinton getting the nomination.
If you're going to compare anything to MSNBC, you're setting the bar mighty low.
I think that 60 Minutes regularly displays the same kind of partisan propaganda that can be seen at MSNBC - only they do it perhaps a bit more intellectually. Yes, 60 Minutes has lofty production values and doesn't engage in the over-the-top rhetoric that MSNBC does, but that doesn't mean that their stories aren't any less subjective or slanted.
60 Minutes doesn't even have a house libertarian, like a John Stossel over at 20/20. I've never seen a story on 60 Minutes that addresses wasteful government spending, except with respect to the DOD. I've never seen a 60 Minutes "gotcha" story with a Democrat politician. Nope, 60 Minutes is just as bad as MSNBC, only with better packaging.
To me, 60 Minutes is not of that caliber although I do see your point of view.