Former CBS News “Face the Nation” moderator Bob Schieffer, one of the most widely recognized reporters of our time, delivered the concluding address today at “The President and the Press: The First Amendment in the First 100 Days” at the Newseum.
Addressing the rise of “fake news” and distractions used as political tools by campaigns, Schieffer used the example of the presidential election.
“No matter what the conversation people are having at a dinner party, if you throw a dead cat in the middle of the table, the conversation immediately turns to the dead cat. Donald Trump threw cats dead and alive on the table… And suddenly the attention was back on what he was talking about and on him,” Schieffer said.
Turning to the animosity with some government officials and the low public approval rating of the media, Schieffer concluded that journalists cannot dwell on name-calling.
“This year they hung less clever but really nasty names on us. This is all part of the job. It is something that we all know about and expect. That part is not to be taken seriously.”
Schieffer concluded by challenging journalists and the media to remain dedicated to the purpose of the industry, saying they “must give people news to improve their lives.”
“I have been a reporter for sixty years. And I have never been prouder of my profession than I am today.”
Bob Schieffer has been active in journalism since 1963, starting at the Dallas Star-Telegram. He has worked at CBS News since 1969 and moderated the Sunday CBS news show Face the Nation from 1991 to 2015.