The CBS News program 60 Minutes is celebrating its 50th anniversary. A special edition aired on Dec. 3, 2017, with highlights of past stories including snippets from its very first show.
It was created by Don Hewitt, who by all accounts was not a fan of hour-long news programming and documentaries. He thought that a series of short 10- or 15-minute segments would hold people’s attention. And he was right. The news magazine is the longest running broadcast in primetime television history.
If you didn’t get a chance to see it, the show is available online.
I was watching with my folks and one segment, or rather an admission, had me hitting the rewind button on the remote and the record button on my phone. Jeffrey Fager, executive producer, admitted that sometimes the stories reported have been inaccurate or incorrect. How could that be? What has been used an example of incredible journalism all these years has actually aired incorrect information?
In this era of “fake news,” is 60 Minutes one of the bad guys now?
Not in my view. And not in Fager’s view either.
According to Fager, “I think the most important thing is to own up to it, to help the viewer understand how we made the mistake, and to move on, one story at a time, earning our credibility back.”
Indeed. We’re human. We make mistakes. What we do from that point forward will make all the difference. And in the case of 60 Minutes, I’m willing to guess it will lead to another half-century of bringing important news to the forefront every Sunday evening.