An attempt by the CBS News blog Public Eye to provide an opportunity for CBS Sunday Morning producer Rand Morrison to answer criticism of correspondent Rita Braver's interview with Lynne Cheney appears to have backfired, as writers to the site have lined up almost solidly on the side of the critics. In his response to the initial criticism, which had appeared on Jim Romanesko's journalism blog on Poynter.com, Morrison had dismissed complaints that the interview represented a conflict of interest since Braver's husband represents Lynne Cheney in her dealings with publishers. Braver, he said, had "disclosed her husband's role with the Cheney book ... for all of our viewers to know." He also maintained that the interview was far from "fawning," as some writers had suggested, and insisted that Braver had asked some tough questions. But one writer to the website, which seems to attract broadcast journalists, suggested that Morrison needed "a refresher course in Journalism 101 and media ethics, given this conflict [of interest]." As for the "tough questions" asked by Braver, another writer commented, "I didn't even watch the interview and I know how she answered." Only one writer came to CBS News's defense, commenting, "I find it hard to believe that [Braver's] relationship to Cheney altered the interview in any form. ... Is she supposed to be forbidden from interviewing Lynne Cheney simply because [her] husband helped with the publishing of Cheney's books?"




10/10/2007