Last week, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reported from Iraq, but her stories largely repeated the Bush administration’s talking points. On Sept. 2, Couric even admitted on CBS’s Face the Nation that her rosy reports were based on “what the U.S. military want[ed]” her to see:
And so, you do see signs of life that seem to be normal. Of course, that’s what the U.S. military wants me to see, so you have to keep that in mind as well. But I think there are definitely areas where the situation is improving.
A MoveOn.org member recently wrote to CBS, expressing the opinion that Couric’s reports appeared to be “puff pieces scripted by the institutions it purports to be investigating.” CBS’s response questioned the “intelligence” of the person, adding that he or she probably found the “information from a blog somewhere”:
CBS’s viewers evidently agreed with the MoveOn member. Last week, Couric’s ratings “averaged 5.4 million viewers, the lowest ratings on record since the current ratings system took effect in 1987, according to Nielsen Media Research.”
UPDATE: A C&L commenter received this response from CBS: “Sorry you didn’t get a chance to see much of the reporting from Iraq….if you had, you wouldn’t have written such a note…imagine all your info came from a blog…too bad.”
UPDATE II: Christy Hardin Smith at FDL is writing to the CBS Evening News senior producers and “asking whether (a) this is the usual response of CBS to legitimate viewer criticism and (b) whether they would officially like to disavow this sort of customer non-service.”