Attention: Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews and Laurel Erickson:
I worry about NBC News
October 16, 2005
I have been an avid news consumer for many years, and I am deeply concerned citizen troubled by the evolution of the news media. I watch television news and C-Span regularly, I subscribe to three newspapers and two newsmagazines, and I visit news sites on the Internet in an effort to gain a balanced perspective.
As for my background, I am 66 years-old. I have been married for 46 years and my wife and I raised three children. I have worked in the criminal justice system for 40 years, 20 years in law enforcement and 20 years as a defense investigator. I have a law degree, and I am an Eagle Scout. My parents and grandparents were Democrats. I was a registered Republican until 1992 when I changed my registration to independent. I am the author of several books including, Letters to the Editor: From the Trenches of Democracy. My letters have been published in many newspapers and newsmagazines, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine.
This letter is directed to NBC News because, until recent years, I obtained most of my news from watching NBC, reading my local newspaper and the Los Angeles Times. My comments and complaints would be the same for all three network news organizations, cable news and most major newspapers.
What is most disturbing to me is that NBC News programming, including Channel 4 NBC News in Los Angeles, is so biased in favor of liberal ideologies and the Democratic Party that you could be considered a party-propaganda organization, and the NBC News branch of the hate Bush movement.
Today, for example, I watched Tim Russert's Meet the Press. Prior to the election of George W. Bush, I thought Russert to be one of the few television journalists with any integrity. His biased, disrespectful interview of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as compared to his respectful interview with Democratic Senator Carl Levin, and his completely negative (Clinton defender) interview of former FBI Director, Louis Freeh, gave me another reason to watch him even less.
Then I watched The Chris Matthews Show. As usual, he spewed his anti-Bush rhetoric among three media liberals, while marginalizing his token conservative, Christopher Hitchens, which was no easy task. I used to have some respect for Matthews and his Hardball program because he was interesting and balanced. Sadly, since his nasty personal attack against George W. Bush, right after he was elected, NBC elevated him to the full time Bush attack dog.
After that, I watched the local Channel 4 News segment, News Conference, with Laurel Erickson and her biased, disastrous interviews with Republican Tom Campbell and Democrat Craig Brown over California's Proposition 76 budget initiative. Laurel Erickson was once a reliable, informative reporter for Channel 4 News. Now, other than being loud and unreasonably interruptive, I don't know what she is.
I think the basic problem with the news media is that you are an exclusive club that competes among yourselves, and talks to yourselves and the liberal elite, rather than properly informing the public. And that's dangerous. What I resent more than anything is how I was swayed against the Vietnam War because the media joined the anti-establishment, anti-war movement, which lost the war at home. It was a necessary war, as was the Korean War, to stop the advance of Communism. Now you are trying to do the same thing with the war against terror and the war in Iraq, primarily because of your contempt for President Bush and the Republican majority in Congress. What is frightening, is that you are winning the fight to misinform the people, which could result the demise of our country.
Sadly, NBC News seems to be terminally inflicted with a liberal compulsive-obsessive disorder. I, and probably most people, feel strongly that the arrogant, selfish interests of the news media, and journalism schools, have failed to live up to their responsibilities guaranteed by the First Amendment. You have grossly misled and betrayed the American people, and you are shamelessly anti-democracy. But please don't underestimate the people. They are getting better informed all the time. Hopefully it won't be too late.
Daniel B. Jeffs, founder