Scott Pelley was the only evening news anchor to report from Iraq this week as President Obama announced his plans for action against terror group ISIS. And “CBS Evening News” executive producer Steve Capus says Pelley’s reporting helps separate CBS News from the rest of the pack.
“When I first started talking about taking over this job,” Capus told us Friday, “Scott said to me the commitment to first hand reporting is what stands out at CBS News, and it’s a differentiator for us.”
That reporting found Pelley in Kurdistan, a northern region in Iraq, right in the middle of the Kurdish military’s fight with ISIS. He also interviewed a man who narrowly escaped being murdered by ISIS, escaping from a mass grave (watch after the jump). “When I was hit [by ISIS bullets], I didn’t want to make a sound, because anybody that made a noise, they’d come over and shoot them in the head,” Sayid told Pelley. “When it was all over, Sayid crawled out of the grave,” Pelley said.
“We can see speeches from Washington DC, we can have reporters standing on the lawn of the White House giving us reporting, but the real context is going to come from the people who make the commitment to cover the stories,” Capus continued. “Scott’s a reporter, and that’s what brought him to this job in the first place. It’s not in his DNA to simply show up and ‘quote unquote’ have presence on the scene.”