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January 19, 2005
How Does CBS Recover Its Crediblity?

Hugh Hewitt has a great show tonight, discussing Les Moonves' oddball ideas about revolutionizing CBS News with measures that appear to do nothing but throw a bit more window dressing on the disgrace. He's asking his listeners to call in with their ideas, just as if Les Moonves was sitting in Hugh's booth and taking notes.

After a calling in and losing my cell signal, and getting locked out of the full bank of calls Hugh draws, I sent Hugh an e-mail instead:

My suggestion for CBS was going to be to quit rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I don't care if you have one anchor or fifteen. CBS News needs to clean house and hire people who didn't grow up kissing Dan Rather's rear end. Fire Heyward and everyone who thinks like him, and retire the fossils across the board. Get a managing editor who actually knows news (hint: The Five Ws is not a girl group from the 60s) and establish a set of ethics and put the accountability necessary to make them stick. As long as Heyward and Rather are allowed to remain at Black Rock, accountability is a joke.

After that, we'll see what they do. They'll have to prove to me that they've learned by the product they put out.

I did finally get through (thanks to the Generalissimo), and Hugh challenged me to name the new anchor. When I said it made no difference, Hugh disagreed, making a good point about the influence that Brit Hume has at Fox in professionalism and round-table discussions.

So here's my choice: Chris Wallace. He has credibility with conservatives, and as Mike Wallace's son, he has some entre with the old guard at CBS. He's sharp, he's good on camera, he's not just a pretty face, and he exudes professionalism and detachment.

Who would you choose?

UPDATE: Hugh doesn't care much for Chris Wallace as an anchor, but one of his listeners suggested Tony Snow -- a great choice, if Les Moonves has the guts to do it.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 19, 2005 7:06 PM

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