Book Flub

By Bill Maher

So 60 Minutes got punked on Benghazi. They put a source on the air – a security contractor at the diplomatic outpost there – who’s since been thoroughly discredited. Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS and executive producer of 60 Minutes, called this “as big a mistake” as 60 Minutes has made in its 45-year history. Lara Logan apologized. She’s usually a great reporter. It happens.

The real scandal is the backstory of how this guy got on the air in the first place. CBS owns a right-wing publishing company called Threshold Editions, which publishes guys like Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Jerome Corsi – you may remember him as the non-Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Obama biography, Where’s the Birth Certificate? Well, Threshold needed to sell a few copies of their new quack book on Benghazi, and somehow got their clown booked on 60 Minutes.

This is a perfect illustration of the myth of the liberal media. CBS is one of the six media conglomerates that decide what the world sees and hears. It’s not a liberal media. It’s a corporate media, hungry for viewers of all stripes. These companies don’t discriminate based on ideology. They just want your money. And as much as 60 Minutes doesn’t like to admit it, it has the same primary goal as Two and a Half Men: eyeballs.

We shouldn’t just be holding 60 Minutes responsible; we should be holding CBS responsible. Shouldn’t somebody be asking what the company’s doing investing in this kooky book publisher and allowing it to infect its mainstream news operation? Shouldn’t they be erecting stronger barriers between their fiction and non-fiction divisions? To me, this is much more disconcerting.