New CBS News President McManus: “I Don't See” Any Liberal Bias On CBS News

At a Tuesday meeting with CBS News staff, new CBS News President Sean McManus asserted that the people of CBS News “do a darned good job at” shutting out their political opinions and so “I don't see” any liberal bias in CBS News coverage. Vaughn Ververs recounted in a Tuesday evening posting for the “Public Eye” blog on CBSNews,com: “Asked if he feels the need to address perceptions that CBS has a left-wing bias, McManus said no, adding, 'it’s very difficult for any reporter or producer to completely and totally shut out his political opinions, but what I’ve seen at CBS News, people do a darned good job at doing that. I guess if I saw that creeping into our coverage I would have to address it, but I don’t see that in our coverage, I think we have been falsely accused of that at times.'”

McManus, who is maintaining his job as President of CBS Sports, has succeeded Andrew Heyward who considered liberal bias a fantasy of “extremists of the right.” (Heyward's 2000 remarks follow, as well as a fawning question McManus' father once posed to Fidel Castro.)

An October 26 NewsBusters posting (with video) recalled how “in 2000, appearing on C-SPAN the day before the start of the Republican convention in Philadelphia, Andrew Heyward denied a caller's contention that CBS reflected a liberal bias and denigrated MRC President Brent Bozell and the late Reed Irvine of Accuracy in Media as 'activists and extremists of the right.' Heyward argued that viewers confused 'tough questions' to 'the establishment' posed by CBS reporters with liberal bias and went so far as to seriously maintain that of 'the people I work with, many of them are surprisingly conservative.' Plus, he said with a straight face: 'Our job is to communicate the truth to people.'"

In a July 21, 1991 ABC Sports special before the Pan Am games, Fidel Castro: One on One, Jim McKay, the father of Sean McManus (McManus took the family's real name), “asked” Castro:

"You have brought a new system of government, obviously, to Cuba, but the Cuban people do, I think, think of you as their father. One day you're going to retire. Or one day, all of us die. Won't there be a great vacuum there? Won't there be something that will be difficult to fill? Can they do it on their own?"

Since his retirement, McKay has touted his liberal beliefs. One wonders how far the apple has fallen from the tree.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center