TV News Bosses Discuss Media Criticism Following Tucson Shooting

By Alex Weprin 

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Following comments from ABC News president Ben Sherwood and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes yesterday, Broadcasting & Cable‘s Ben Grossman and Andrea Morabito talk to CNN/U.S. boss Ken Jautz and NBC News president Steve Capus about what role, if any, the media played in provoking the tragedy.

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik started the discussion when he said politicians and the media need to tone down the violent rhetoric so often used to describe political campaigns.

“I think the sheriff was making a broad statement about our culture and about the media, and I think it’s an important point,” [Jautz] said. “The media has become so large and from so many platforms and with organizations of different sizes and standards, it is a point worthy of discussion. People in my position should take a thoughtful comment worthy of discussion and say, ‘How does this apply to us?'”

“I think that the media puts a mirror on, in this case, the political world,” Capus said. “There’s no doubt that there is a toxic, highly charged environment surrounding many political matters these days. And we tend to cover that. I think it’s very difficult to figure out when to ignore the most outrageous statements; I think we ignore outrageous statements at our own peril. But I think that the coverage of what has taken place in this country in recent years has been an accurate depiction of what is going on, and I think that that’s what you’ve seen.”

Jautz and Capus also addressed the fact that many news organizations reported that Giffords had died, when in fact she had not.

Read the entire B&C story, here.