Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kudos to CBS Sunday Morning

On Air Force One, 22 November 1963, Lyndon B. ...
On Air Force One, 22 November 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office as President of the United States following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy earlier in the day. Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff at bottom left holds a dictaphone to record the event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
CBS News may have bungled the Benghazi story, but as usual, CBS Sunday Morning did the network proud. It always does. This show is television at its finest.

The topic this week, Nov. 17, 2013, was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

There is something about this news show. I can't help but note what a superb job they do in their news magazine-style coverage.

It is not specifically entertaining as is most of television news these days; instead its real news value is gripping and engaging. After all, there is so much more to the Kennedy story than its sad ending.

It would have been easy to simply cover the horrific, sensational events in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. That day is one in which thousands of words have been written. It is a story in and of itself. But CBS News did so much more. They always do.

In their coverage, they painted a picture of the time. They covered Kennedy's Presidency, including the Cuban missile crisis and the cold war with Soviet Union, and the enormous appeal and presence of Jacqueline Kennedy. They even touched on the huge, though slightly lessening number of Americans that don't believe the official Warren Commission Report identifying Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunmen that killed the President. They spoke to the niece of Jack Ruby, the man who assassinated Oswald while America watched. They even talked about the late Vaughn Meader, the hilarious comedian who impersonated Kennedy, whose rapid rise to comedic fame died the day Kennedy was killed.

I was just a child, and our family was not very political, but I remember Meader's comedy album. In those days making fun of a President was done with good humor. Even Kennedy joked about it. What a contrast with today when making fun of the President is done in the name of hatred and malice.

The day Kennedy died was the day America lost its innocence. There remains a glimmer of it now and then, but so much more than a President died that day in Dallas. One of the country's greatest losses has been trust.

But every Sunday morning, I am reminded of the sustaining quality of the kind of television I grew up with. CBS Sunday Morning does a good job. This is a good journalism that I think is still worthy of my trust, with much credit to Charles Osgood who is a quality, old-school journalist. So in these dark days of television, may this shining light continue.