CBS’ Bob Schieffer, who retired Sunday from the network after 46 years, including the last 24 years hosting Face the Nation, was interviewed by Fox News’ Howard Kurtz to discuss how the media have changed, and whether or not there is a liberal bias:
Kurtz: Many people in this country, as you know, think the three broadcast networks are too biased, too liberal. Would you agree looking back that the media gave Barack Obama an incredibly easy ride in 2008 and through much of his presidency?
Schieffer: Well, I think the whole political world was struck by this fellow who sort of came out of nowhere with this very unusual name, and when he won out in Iowa I think people sat up and took notice.
Kurtz: But isn’t it the job of journalists to be skeptical of the young phenom?
Schieffer: Yeah, it is, and I don’t know, maybe we were not skeptical enough. It was a campaign. Howie my feeling is it is the role of the other—of the opponents—to make the campaign. I think as journalists basically what we do is watch the campaign and we report what the two sides are doing. I think it is the politicians who make the campaign.
In a perfect world, maybe, the reporters would just report on the campaign. But in the case of Obama, the media were so enamored of him that they chose not to scrutinize him in the same way they did with McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012.
The media normally love digging up dirt on politicians, but in Obama’s case they gave him a free ride all the way to the White House.