Jan. 10, 2005: Journalism's Black Eye

— You might think that those of us who compete with CBS take some satisfaction or even glee in today's report—what the Germans call schadenfreude.

In fact, a far more common thought is, "there but for the grace of God go I." That's because all of us -- faced with competing pressures of deadlines, accuracy and fairness -- sometimes fall short. In a political season, those pressures are particularly acute.

For journalists, the easy way to avoid the mistakes we've heard about tonight would be to back off of aggressively reporting on political figures -- up to the president of the United States.

Perhaps the better approach would be for every newsroom in America to prominently display the famous slogan that once hung on the wall of the old city news bureau of Chicago. A training ground for such journalistic legends as Mike Royko and Seymour Hersh.

The sign read: "If your mother says she loves you -- check it out."

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