It’s impossible to feel any sympathy for Yahoo here. When they made Katie Couric their “global anchor” on the apparent belief that she was some sort of serious journalist, they either knew what they were getting into or were so ignorant of the real truth that they were investing in their own demise. And Yahoo has enough problems apart from the fact that the face of its news operation is a lying left-wing propagandist masquerading - and not very convincingly - as a news professional.
I seriously doubt that most Yahoo executives are all that acquainted with the nuances of journalistic ethics, or ever assessed with any depth Couric’s credentials or lack thereof. They just figured: She’s well known, she’ll make us look credible and serious. Let’s get her. They’re not news people. However much of this crap Couric pulled during her previous gigs, it wasn’t as easy as it is today for someone to get ahold of the original audio and post it on the Internet, so no one ever knew. (And if you think this is really the first time she ever did anything like this, yeah . . . )
So once they realized this was actually a problem (i.e. conservative media started talking about it), Yahoo execs convened an emergency meeting in which hands were wrung, and that’s about it:
Company insiders reveal that an emergency meeting of senior executives was rapidly convened after it emerged that eight seconds of silence had been added to an interview in her documentary “Under the Gun” — which she made outside of her Yahoo role — making it seem as if anti-gun-control activists were stumped by a question.
But Yahoo didn’t launch a formal investigation into why their “global anchor” ended up having to publicly apologize for the misleading footage. Couric said in a statement that she had asked director Stephanie Soechtig about why she had inserted the silence, and added, “I regret that those eight seconds were misleading and that I did not raise my initial concerns more vigorously.”
Major network insiders are stunned that Yahoo didn’t hold a postmortem before continuing to publish Couric’s work. Said a senior staffer at a Big Three network, “Any time there’s a mistake here, there’s a thorough review and consequences where they’re appropriate. You look at the system and say, ‘How did this happen and how do we prevent it from happening again?’ I don’t think any of that happened at Yahoo.”
The Post’s story goes on to say that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer “expressed support for Couric” in the meeting, whatever that means. It probably means that Yahoo has spent a ton of money on Couric and Mayer doesn’t want to turn that into a sunk cost with no return given how much she’s experienced that sinking feeling since leaving Google to take over Yahoo.
Yahoo doesn’t have to follow the established rules of journalism if it doesn’t want to, but just in case they’d be interested to know them: If a “journalist” intentionally edits video to make it look like people couldn’t answer a question, when in fact they answered immediately, directly and confidently (regardless of whether you agree with the answer), your “journalist” is a dishonest hack and the only respectable course of action is immediate firing.
That’s if you want to be taken seriously as a news source in any meaningful sense. If all Yahoo wants is to get clicks and provide respectable CPM for its advertisers, I’ll concede it’s possible that running Couric’s nonsense might achieve that. They just need to understand that’s what it is. It seems to me that Yahoo has held on too long to enough bad investments, and it wouldn’t want to repeat the same mistake with it’s lying, hack, propagandist “global anchor.”
Calling emergency executive meetings and taking no action is also one way of doing business. I wish Yahoo much wisdom in its decision-making.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com
A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.Commenting Policy
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