Bias Book Spiked by ABC, CBS & NBC; Goldberg Recounted Angry Reaction from His Colleagues to Him and the Idea of Liberal Bias
1) Despite having a New York
Times best-seller, Bernard Goldberg has been blacked out by ABC, CBS and
NBC, he told Howard Kurtz on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He reported that
"many people" at the three broadcast networks "agree with
what I've said," but "none of them either are stupid enough or
courageous enough...to come forward and say anything."
2) An excerpt from the chapter
of Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, in which
Goldberg offers an inside account of his CBS colleagues went ballistic
when hey learned of his 1996 op-ed on liberal media bias as exemplified by
a CBS story. As for a seething Dan Rather, "I could have taken out a
full-page ad in the New York Times saying Dan Rather wears black
stiletto do-me heels and red miniskirts behind the anchor desk, and he
wouldn’t have gotten as mad as when I said we have a bias problem in the
3) As read by Marines,
Letterman’s "Top Ten Reasons I Joined the Marines."
>>> NQ now
online. The February 18 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC’s
bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes
in the liberal media, is now online thanks to the MRC’s Mez Djouadi and
Kristina Sewell. For the all the quotes, go to:
To view a likeness of the hard copy seen by
snail mail recipients, access the Adobe Acrobat PDF version:
CBS and NBC have blacked out Bernard Goldberg. On Sunday’s CNN Reliable
Sources, Bernard Goldberg informed host Howard Kurtz that though he’s
been interviewed on many overseas shows and on "about 25 programs on
cable," he’s been shut out by ABC, CBS and NBC. The author of Bias:
A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, also reported that
"many people" at the three broadcast networks "agree with
what I've said," but "none of them either are stupid enough or
courageous enough...to come forward and say anything."
On the February 17
Reliable Sources, Kurtz asked Goldberg how his book has been received.
been overwhelmingly heartwarming. But really, the more important point is
that it's been overwhelmingly civil. Many people, as you know, like the
book, some don't. But both sides, even the people who don't like it, have
been civil, except for a sliver of people who you work with at The
Washington Post, Howie. But beyond that, what I find fascinating is
that this book has been written about, or I've actually be in -- been
interviewed in places like England, Australia, Canada, Brazil, New
Zealand, China, Israel, Russia. That's just a short list. I didn't have
time to do the Italian "Nightline," or Sweden or Mexico....I've
been on over 350 radio stations in the United States, and about 25
programs on cable TV.
only three places, Howie -- and this is fine with me, because I could use
what little free time I have -- but the only three places I haven't been
at any time of the day or night -- and I'm including 2 in the morning or 4
in the morning, anytime -- are ABC, NBC, and CBS, which is either
hilarious or pathetic."
"I would like to know why, since you are the number one book, the
author of the number one book, why you believe, for example, ABC and NBC
-- let's concede you're probably not the most popular guy at CBS -- isn't
interested in having you on. Are they afraid of having you on? Are they
afraid of the subject?
suggested: "I don't know if they're afraid of the subject, but they
probably think, If we don't talk about this, the issue's going to go away.
Well, they're dead wrong about that, just as they were dead wrong about
thinking that nobody out there except some, you know, people with no teeth
and who married their sisters or cousins would be interested in this book.
So the issue isn't
going to go away because ABC, NBC, and CBS aren't interested. It isn't
going to go away because the Italian Nightline is interested, but the
American Nightline isn't interested. There's a good chance that over the
next five years, one of the three network evening newscasts will go away
before this issue goes away.
added: "The problem is, the problem is this, many people at the
networks -- and I know this for a fact -- at CBS, NBC, and ABC -- agree
with what I've said. I know this for an absolute fact. I've been told this
by people at all three networks. But none of them either are stupid enough
or courageous enough, or however you want to look at it, to come forward
and say anything. Okay, that's an intellectual copout on their part, as
far as I'm concerned. But none of them are brave enough to come up and
say, Wait a second, we don't have to like this book, but is he really a no
talent hack? Nobody will criticize anybody else in the media."
referring to an attack piece by Washington Post TV reviewer Tom Shales. As
recounted in the January 8 CyberAlert, in a vicious screed against
Goldberg, Shales described the former CBS News correspondent at a
"full-time addlepated windbag." Shales complained about how
Goldberg has hauled "out the old canard about the media being
‘liberal’ and the news being slanted leftward," calling it
"the first refuge of a no-talent hack." For more:
holiday, an excerpt from a chapter of Bernard Goldberg’s book Bias: A
CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, an excerpt I planned
to include in a CyberAlert in early December, but never seemed to have
enough room to fit. In chapter 2, "Mugged by ‘The Dan,’"
Goldberg recounted the very angry reaction inside of CBS, especially from
Dan Rather, to his 1996 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about
liberal media bias as exemplified by an Eric Engberg story ridiculing the
The top CBS News
personnel went ballistic when they learned of the op-ed in which he argued
that "the old argument that the networks and other ‘media elites'
have a liberal bias is so blatantly true that it's hardly worth discussing
anymore." Goldberg lamented how "many of my colleagues, the news
liberals who had always preached openness and tolerance, stopped talking
CBS News President
Andrew Heyward maintained that tying him to the idea of liberal bias would
"have been like raping my wife and kidnapping my kids!"
Engberg’s reaction to learning of the op-ed: "Engberg listened
without saying a word. When I finished he said, ‘Okay, Bernie, here’s
my response: You’re full of shit.’ Then he hung up and has never
spoken to me again.
As for a seething
Dan Rather, "I could have taken out a full-page ad in the New York
Times saying Dan Rather wears black stiletto do-me heels and red
miniskirts behind the anchor desk, and he wouldn’t have gotten as mad as
when I said we have a bias problem in the media."
For a transcript
of the now infamous February 8, 1996 CBS Evening News story which prompted
Goldberg’s original critique, along with a RealPlayer excerpt of it:
For a summary of
Goldberg’s 1996 Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Engberg piece:
Now, the excerpt
from Goldberg’s Chapter 2, "Mugged by ‘The Dan,’" as typed
in by long-departed MRC intern Don Goodman:
It wasn’t a phone call I was anxious to
make, but I knew I had to. The Dan was Iowa on February 12, 1996, covering
the presidential caucuses. I was at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York.
I wanted to give him a heads-up, an early warning about the Wall Street
Journal piece that would be coming out the next morning.
"I wrote apiece for the Wall Street
Journal, Dan, and my guess is you won’t be ecstatic about it."
I hadn’t given him any particulars yet,
so before I could go on, he assured me that it couldn’t be that bad.
"Bernie," he told me, "we were friends yesterday, we’re
friends today, and we’ll be friends tomorrow."
"So tell me about it," he said,
sounding mildly curious but not especially concerned. I told him it was
about a story that had run on his evening newscast a few days earlier.
That it was about how the story was cynical and biased and loaded with
cheap shots aimed at one of the candidates running for president. I also
told him about how the supposedly objective news story was part of an
ongoing problem at the networks.
When I finished with my early warning, my
friend the anchorman, who wasn’t going to let some Wall Street
Journal piece stand in the way of our friendship, told me, "I’m
getting viscerally angry about this."
Angry, I was expecting. What came next, I
Rather’s voice started quavering, and he
told me how in his younger days he had signed up with the marines -- not
once, but twice!
What the hell did that have to do with
He emphasized that this happened during
"peacetime" -- to his credit, he was trying not to sound like
some kind of war hero. Rather was famous for coming close to tears on
the air when he had a patriotic story about Memorial Day or the
Vietnam Wall or something like that. Now he was doing it with me, over the
Where was he going with this? I was telling
him the media elites have a liberal bias, and he was telling me he was a
marine who loved his country!
And then it hit me: somehow, Dan Rather,
red, white, and blue American, Texan, ex-marine-and-damn-proud-of-it,
thought that if I believed the CBS Evening News (and the ABC and
NBC news programs, too) tilted left then I must be suggesting that it’s
just a short hop from being a liberal to being...an unpatriotic
American! Sure it’s crazy, but why else would he tell me that he
signed up with the marines, twice?
I also spoke to Heyward and Engberg,
dropping an advance copy at Heyward’s office. When Heyward called me it
was obvious that steam was coming out of his ears. What I had done, he
told me, was "an act of disloyalty" and "a betrayal of
"I understand how you feel," I
told him, trying to defuse a bad situation. "But I didn’t say
anything in the piece about how even you, Andrew, have agreed with me
about the liberal bias."
Instead of calming things down, my comment
made him go ballistic.
"That would have been like raping my
wife and kidnapping my kids!" he
screamed at me. If there was an instant when I knew just how dark things
would get, this was it. This one, frantic statement -- that would have
been like raping my wife and kidnapping my kids -- told me everything
I needed to know about the magnitude of my sin.
Writing an op-ed piece was like raping
his wife and kidnapping his kids. Criticizing, publicly, what I saw as
bias in network new was like raping his wife and kidnapping his kids.
This is how self-centered the media elites
can be. These are people who routinely stick their noses into everybody
else’s business. These are people who are always telling us about the
media’s constitutional right to investigate and scrutinize and a lot of
times even embarrass anyone who winds up in our crosshairs. These are
people who love to take on politicians and businessmen and lawyers and
Christians and the military and athletes and all sorts of other Americans,
yet when one of their own writes an opinion piece about American
Journalism, then you’ve crossed the line...because taking on the
media is like raping their wives and kidnapping their kids!
Engberg was just as angry -- but not nearly
as enchanting. I called him at the CBS News Washington bureau and told him
what the op-ed was about. I said it was an issue that needed to be
discussed, and that since no one would listen in-house, I felt I had to go
public. I told him "my intent is not to hurt you or anyone
Engberg listened without saying a word.
When I finished he said, "Okay, Bernie, here’s my response:
You’re full of shit." Then he hung up and has never spoken to me
Dan Rather, the man who assured me "we
were friends yesterday, we’re friends today, and we’ll be friends
tomorrow," hasn’t spoken a word to me, either. I could have taken
out a full-page ad in the New York Times saying Dan Rather wears
black stiletto do-me heels and red miniskirts behind the anchor desk, and
he wouldn’t have gotten as mad as when I said we have a bias problem in
the media. Dan Rather, the ex-marine, felt as if he had just been shot…by
one of his own troops.
In a flash, I had become Richard Nixon and
Spiro Agnew and every other "right-wing, ideological nut" who at
one time or another tried to take Dan Rather down.
Right after the WSJ piece came out,
I was taken off the air, pending some decision on whether I would be
fired. I sent Dan two letters, which I made sure were hand-delivered,
explaining why I did what I did and telling him my intent wasn’t to hurt
him personally but to finally get conversation going about this bias
He ignored both.
Many of my colleagues, the news liberals
who had always preached openness and tolerance, stopped talking to me,
fearing my radioactivity would rub off on them. But then, in the elegant
phrase of the journalist Brian Brown, liberals these days have forgotten
how to be liberal. After a quarter of a century at CBS News -- half my
entire life! -- I had become a nonperson.
The day the op-ed piece came out I got a
phone call from Asa Baber, a close friend who writes the "men"
column in Playboy. "I just read your Wall Street Journal piece,"
he said, "and I would suggest you call the FBI and see if they’ll
put you in the Witness Protection Program."
If I had had the number handy, I would
CBS News has always like to think of itself
as a family. Bur from where I was standing -- isolated, off the air, and
under fire as part of the vast right-wing conspiracy -- it was looking
more and more like the Manson Family.
When Michelle Greppi of the New York
Post interviewed Rather and asked about my op-ed piece, he told her,
"The test is not the names people call you or accusations by
political activists inside or outside your own organization."
Time to take a taxi back to Earth, Dan. Here’s what I would have asked
The Dan if I had had the opportunity, which I did not, since he wasn’t
talking to me:
1. When did I sell out and become this
2. What have I ever done to deserve that description?
3. How long had you known about my "political activism"?
4. How is it that you never called me a "political activist" before
I wrote the op-ed piece?
5. Could it be that I became a "political activist" at precisely
the moment I pointed out this liberal bias that only you and a few others
still deny exists?
This was the strategy The Dan had settle
on. Protect your own image by ripping your accuser. If Dan could discredit
me and divert attention from what I wrote about the media elites, if he
could focus attention instead on my newly discovered right-wing ideology,
then -- who knows? -- maybe he could convince people that there really is
no liberal bias in the news and that I really am a political activist,
maybe even on the payroll of Jesse Helms. Anything is possible.
Isn’t this exactly what politicians do
all the time -- often with great success -- when they get caught doing
something they shouldn’t be doing? They attack their accusers. If
politicians could get away with it, why not big-time television news
In the same New York Post interview
Greppi told Rather, "Peter Jennings has said, to the chagrin of some
people at ABC News, that he thinks the conservative voice is sometimes not
heard in network news. Bernard Goldberg said much the same recently in the
Wall Street Journal."
Rather came back with one of those
off-the-wall and over-the-top salvos that sound kind of funny until you
realize he’s not joking.
"I will put up billboard space on 42nd
Street. I will wear a sandwich board. I will do whatever is necessary to
say I am not going to be cowed by anybody’s special political agenda,
inside, outside, upside, downside."
So I wasn’t simply a "political
activist" as far as The Dan was concerned. I was a "political
activist" with a "political agenda." How in the world had I
survived twenty-five years CBS News, much of that time working for Dan
Rather himself, if I was a political activist with a political
What made Dan’s rant even more
transparent was that just four months earlier, when I returned to the CBS
Evening News after seven years away in prime time, on 48 Hours
and Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, Rather looked into the camera and
told millions of people in his audience, "Tonight on the CBS
Evening News we’re pleased to welcome back to our broadcast veteran
correspondent, colleague, and friend Bernard Goldberg to share his unique
perspectives on events of the day."
How was it that I was such a pro in October
of 1995 when Dan welcomed me back to the evening news and such a bum in
February 1996 when my WSJ piece came out? How did I go from being a
featured reporter on the CBS Evening News with my own special
segment -- "Bernard Goldberg’s America" -- to such a
right-wing scoundrel, virtually overnight?....
END of Excerpt
To learn more
about the book and how to buy it, not that it needs any sales help, go to
the page set up by its publisher:
The Regnery home
features a photo of President Bush carrying Goldberg’s book as he walks
across the South Lawn to Marine One.
To watch Goldberg talk about reaction to
his 1996 op-ed:
For an excerpt
from the chapter in which Goldberg recounts media bias quotes gathered by
For an excerpt in
which Goldberg recalled how when Connie Chung beat Dan Rather to Oklahoma
City following the bombing, Rather was so miffed that he "spent hours
and hours on the phone with TV writers, blasting Connie Chung as a
second-rate journalist." Go to:
For quotes from
and a video clip of Goldberg on CNN debating media bias with former ABC
News political director Hal Bruno:
February 14 Late Show with David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/)
as announced by members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp
LeJeune, North Carolina, the "Top Ten Reasons I Joined the
Marines." Copyright 2002 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. I always loved jumping off landing
craft and hitting the beach under heavy fire
(Staff Sergeant Barbrina Chandler)
9. Couldn't stand one more day of waking up
later than 5am
(Lance Corporal Mike Gregga)
8. My mama was a Marine
(First Lieutenant Phillip Walter)
7. I'd always heard great things about
(Lance Corporal Phillip Simmons)
6. It was either this or beauty school
(Captain Stan Holland)
5. I happen to look great in camouflage
(Corporal Alan Stowers)
4. Army movies star Pauly Shore, Marine
movies star Jack Nicholson
(Lance Corporal Jeremiah Maddox)
3. To serve my country and fulfill
patriotic duty, and shoot some big-ass weapons
(Sergeant Julie Matthews)
2. Every Spring we go to Daytona to
establish a beachhead
(Lance Corporal Michael Renuard)
1. Give me that eagle, globe and anchor
(Corporal Sean Holcomb)
Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on NBC’s
Olympic Tonight Show, which will air 35 minutes after the conclusion of
Olympic coverage, at about 12:05am EST/11:05 CST and at about the regular
time in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.