Steve Capus Oversaw 'Erosion of Journalistic Values'

"The Baltimore Sun's" David Zurawik doesn't mention the acts of outright journalistic fraud committed under Capus' scandal-plagued tenure as NBC News president (which ended Friday), but he does at least nod to the elephant in the room:

Ending a tenure marked by the costly decline of the 'Today' show, the failure of the newsmagazine 'Rock Center'  and an erosion of journalistic values, Steve Capus Friday resigned as president of NBC News after almost eight years on the job. …

lost any respect I had for Capus as a news executive when he hired Chelsea Clinton as a "special correspondent" for "Rock Center" and tried to justify it by saying how qualified she was.

It was, he said, as if Clinton "had been preparing her whole life" for the network news job.

Given that Clinton not only hadn't studied or practiced journalism, but had refused to even talk to reporters during her mother's 2008 presidential campaign, it is one of the most disconnected-from-reality statements I have ever heard from the mouth of a news president in 30 years of reporting on the networks.

How can a news division have any credibility when its president is making such outrageous and patently false claims?

Even worse, Capus was technically in charge of MSNBC, and so, he bears some responsibility for its egregious embrace of ideology at the expense of journalism in the last two years.

Thus far, outside of Breitbart News, this is the harshest criticism of Capus I've read yet. Other than that, the media's sorry propensity to protect one another marches on.

You would think five documented instances of outright journalistic fraud from a single news division would result in a little more outrage from our journalistic overlords. You would also think that those who believe in the ethics of their profession would speak out , or that those with competitive instincts would leap at the opportunity to ding a competitor.

But media has its own version of a the Blue Code of Silence. Every once in a while someone plays Serpico, but for the most part, they cover up one another's sins.

My guess is that happens in part to protect the powerful left-wing institution the mainstream media is. But also, by varying degrees, they're all so corrupt they fear that once the levee is breached the whole rotten thing could come down.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC               


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