Why Charles Lewis left 60 Minutes and the corruption of news

Among many news watchers, the venerable CBS News program 60 Minutes is seen as a hard-hitting investigative show. I was never overly impressed with it and never watch it unless I am pointed to a segment for some reason or other. A real investigative reporter Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity that produces some excellent news stories and whose work I have long admired, recounts his own story of being hired as a producer on that show and also working at ABC News.
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Health panics

By all accounts, Ebola is a deadly disease, now ravaging parts of west Africa and taking a dreadful toll on people there. But for the US media, there is no scare in any part of the world that cannot be made into a scare here. We have seen one media-fuelled panic after another over the past few years, with bird flu, swine flu, SARS, and I forget what else. If ever a real epidemic hits, we have more to fear from being crushed by mobs of people running around wildly in panic than from the disease itself.
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Shameful behavior by the New York Times

When the Bush-Cheney regime went on an orgy of torture, they denied that what they were doing deserved that label and the US media became extremely coy about calling it that, although the practices such as waterboarding had been unambiguously condemned as torture when done by Japanese on American prisoners of war and the perpetrators had been executed. The New York Times was one of the worst culprits during that period, routinely using the phrase ‘enhanced interrogation’ that the Bush administration wanted them to use instead of calling it torture.
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The Israeli propaganda playbook

In January 2009, Israel took advantage of the period before Barack Obama’s inauguration to unleash a yet another massive assault on Gaza, killing over 1,400 Palestinians, again mostly civilians and children. Operation Cast Lead, as it was called by Israel, created a major worldwide outcry because of the sheer brutality of the Israeli bombardment, similar to what is happening again now, and even led to a UN commission to investigate.
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