Sunday, August 23, 2009

Remembering Don Hewitt

Don Hewitt, the creator of "60 Minutes", died last week at the age of 86.

Nowhere in this toadying, boot licking, supine obit that would make my dog look like a curmudgeonly cynic in comparison is there any mention of "60 Minutes'" Audi sudden unintended acceleration item of 1986.

That day, National People's Radio ran a retrospective of Terri Gross "Fresh Air" interviews with Mr. Hewitt. Her questions had all the ferocity and incisiveness of a Beanie Babie too fond of valium. Should you have been sufficiently bereft of luck to tune in, you would have listened in a great deal of vain to have caught even a glancing reference to that hit piece.

The one that nearly bankrupted the company. The same one where the demonstration was rigged. "60 Minutes" was a pioneer in more ways than one. It would be another seven years before Dateline NBC performed its own fauxreporting.

At least Dateline apologized.

It is undoubtedly bad manners to speak ill of the dead, but the hagiography, amounting to no more than self-congratulatory spittle, in the face of his arrogance and unwillingness to let facts get in the way of a good story is really too much to stomach.

2 Comments:

Blogger Harry Eagar said...

He did worse than that. He ran stories pushing quack cancer cures featuring smiling 'survivors' who by the time the show aired were dead of cancer.

He made a hell of a lot of money, though, so it was all good.

August 26, 2009 11:14 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

I had been a 60 Mins regular until the Audi story, then I avoided it for about five years.

I was stuck in hotel room (early 90s), and thought I'd give it another try.

One segment was about the Pentagon's procurement of a surface-to-air missile system.

Now I have no idea how bad the Pentagon's contracting and management truly was.

However, I can, as an authority, say this: Hewitt must have super-power antibodies to anything approaching an objective fact, as virtually every word was so wrong that, no matter how superhuman the effort, there was not one smidgen more wrongness to be had.

All of this makes the incestuous smugness of the MSM crystal clear. Not one moment of any of the hagiographic retrospectives gave so much as a glimmer of his pervasive allergy to the truth.

August 26, 2009 6:36 PM  

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