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October 30, 2011
By Steven Greer, MD
CBS’s “60 Minutes” has long been one of the most respected and trusted “TV News” sources. Now, even that bastion is crumbling as the old media world slowly becomes more obsolete and viewers switch off.
The interview with the Madoff family tonight has generated plenty of outrage. But the bigger story is how poorly CBS and 60 Minutes handled the opportunity.
CBS gave two con artists, Ruth and son Andrew, the biggest forum of its kind in the world to spew poorly told lies and distortions in an attempt for Andrew to regain some form of a normal life. Andrew is clearly peddling a book that his bizarre “fiancé” will profit from, as she serves as a money laundering mule and shield from the bankruptcy lawyers.
Morley Safer and the 60 Minutes producers made very little attempt to question the accuracy of any of the Madoff claims. Ruth claims that she was never the bookkeeper of the Ponzi scheme after 1960, for example. There are plenty of experts who could offer evidence refuting that. The son claims he knew nothing about the Ponzi scheme, a virtually impossible reality, and Morley Safer barely questioned him.
There were no experts, like Harry Markopolos or the bankruptcy lawyers, to offer a counterpoint and blow the Madoff lies out of the water. This would have been like shooting fish in a barrel for Markopolos.
60 Minutes clearly lowered their standards and cut some form of a deal to get the exclusive for interview with the Madoff’s. As rating in TV slip, the networks are lowering their standards.