Pity the poor eye.
At one time, CBS News was called the Tiffany network in part because of its brilliant commitment to news. Even when Walter Cronkite stepped down and was replaced by Dan Rather, one got the sense that the network's interest in reporting the news in a way that was actually fair (not balanced; we'll get to that in another post — balanced is not a good thing) and presented the news in an unbiased, less-filtered way.
For all of the things you could say about William Paley, he knew how to run his business, and he knew how important the news division was to the rest of the network.
Now, Viacom doesn't seem to know what to do with the news division, and their latest move is one of the strangest.
Beginning today, Jeff Ballabon becomes Senior Vice President of Communications for CBS News. According to CBS News Chief Sean McManus, Ballabon "will oversee all media relations
and public affairs for CBS News, including strategy and planning,
day-to-day publicity, internal and external communications, and
coordination with CBS Interactive regarding CBSNews.com."
Why should we care?
Because a formerly reputable news organization has hired itself a Republican mouthpiece. Isn't it bad enough we have to deal with Fox News? Now, we have to worry that Ballabon will play Roger Ailes at CBS?
Previous to this position, Ballabon Group, a lobbying and right wing consulting group. One of the testimonials on his web site comes from none other than G. Gordon Liddy, who says, "When Jeff Ballabon tells you he can do something, consider it done, and done well."
According to Ira Forman in the Huffington Post, Ballabon said the following during the 2008 campaign; "Obama is incredibly dangerous."
Forman also recounts a time when he personally debated Ballabon in New York:
Washington, he became convinced that Democrats are inherently bad
people and Republicans are fundamentally good people.
Gee, it's good to know that CBS will be so "Fair and Balanced," run by a guy who thinks Democrats are bad and Republicans are good.