Schieffer Defends ‘Old Media;’ Dean Criticizes Fox News on Sherrod Story

By kevin Comment

At the close of Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” CBS anchor Bob Schieffer reflected on the week’s Shirley Sherrod to-do (which the NYTimes recounts here.)

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m old media with a capital “O,” proud of it actually,” said Schieffer. “And yes, we do operate differently than some in the new media…We still call people involved in a story to get their side, editors fact check, and we never publish or broadcast anything unless we think it’s true. Last week we saw what can happen when it’s done the other way.”

He continued, “I know the old media can always learn a thing or two from the new media — and I sure don’t want to lecture the young folks, even the older ones masquerading as new media — but hey, if you would just make a call every once in a while to check these things out before you put it on the web, you could save all of us a lot of trouble.”

It was just last week that Bill O’Reilly criticized the “old media” — as well as Schieffer himself — saying, “The old-guard mainstream media makes decisions based on ideology, race, and elitism. The new media, of which Fox News is a part, covers what Americans believe is important to them.”

Meanwhile, over on “FOX News Sunday,” Howard Dean and Newt Gingrich discussed the Sherrod controversy, and Dean was quick to criticize the network. “I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist,” Dean told host Chris Wallace. “They had an obligation to find out what was really in the clip. They’d been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony black panther crap, and this business, and Sotomayor and all this other stuff.”

Full clip below:

In the clip, Wallace points out that Sherrod’s name had not appeared on the network prior to her firing. Fox News Senior VP Michael Clemente responded in a statement: “As we said this past week, some people such as the failed candidate Dean reflexively blame Fox for almost anything.”

The Sherrod incident has some looking back at Megyn Kelly’s coverage of the Black Panther voter intimidation scandal. When that story blew up, Schieffer had taken some heat for not pressing the Attorney General on the matter. The AP’s David Bauder suggests that Kelly’s relentless following of that story “perhaps goaded the Obama administration into its bungling of the Shirley Sherrod case.” “The story promotes an underdog mentality within Fox that it is not a respected part of the mainstream media, even as the network’s ratings far outdistance its rivals,” Bauder writes. “It promotes a political narrative about the Obama administration attractive to a majority of Fox’s viewers. It promotes, ultimately, Fox.”