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  • I welcome these hearings because of the opportunity

  • that they provide to the American people

  • to better understand why the tragedy of 9/11 happened

  • and what we must do to prevent a reoccurrence.

  • I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum

  • where I can apologize

  • to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11.

  • To them who are here in the room,

  • to those who are watching on television,

  • your government failed you.

  • Those entrusted with protecting you

  • failed you.

  • And I failed you.

  • Good evening. I'm Will McAvoy.

  • This is News Night, and that was a clip

  • of Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism chief

  • to President George W. Bush,

  • testifying before Congress on March 24, 2004.

  • Americans liked that moment.

  • I liked that moment.

  • Adults should hold themselves accountable for failure.

  • And so tonight I'm beginning this newscast

  • by joining Mr. Clarke in apologizing

  • to the American people for our failure.

  • The failure of this program during the time I've been in charge of it

  • to successfully inform and educate the American electorate.

  • Let me be clear that I don't apologize

  • on behalf of all broadcast journalists,

  • nor do all broadcast journalists owe an apology.

  • I speak for myself.

  • I was an accomplice to a slow and repeated and unacknowledged

  • and unamended train wreck of failures

  • that have brought us to now.

  • I'm a leader in an industry that miscalled election results,

  • hyped up terror scares, ginned up controversy,

  • and failed to report on tectonic shifts in our country.

  • From the collapse of the financial system

  • to the truths about how strong we are

  • to the dangers we actually face.

  • I'm a leader in an industry that misdirected

  • your attention with the dexterity of Harry Houdini

  • while sending hundreds of thousands of our bravest young men and women

  • off to war without due diligence.

  • The reason we failed isn't a mystery.

  • We took a dive for the ratings.

  • In the infancy of mass communications,

  • the Columbus and Magellan of broadcast journalism,

  • William Paley and David Sarnoff,

  • went down to Washington to cut a deal with Congress.

  • Congress would allow the fledgling networks

  • free use of taxpayer-owned airwaves

  • in exchange for one public service.

  • That public service would be one hour of air time

  • set aside every night for informational broadcasting,

  • or what we now call the evening news.

  • Congress, unable to anticipate the enormous capacity

  • television would have to deliver consumers to advertisers,

  • failed to include in its deal the one requirement

  • that would have changed our national discourse

  • immeasurably for the better.

  • Congress forgot to add that under no circumstances

  • could there be paid advertising

  • during informational broadcasting.

  • They forgot to say that taxpayers will give you the airwaves for free

  • and for 23 hours a day you should make a profit,

  • but for one hour a night you work for us.

  • And now those network newscasts,

  • anchored through history by honest-to-God newsmen

  • with names like Murrow and Reasoner and Huntley

  • and Brinkley and Buckley and Cronkite and Rather

  • and Russert-- Now they have to compete with the likes of me.

  • A cable anchor who's in the exact same business

  • as the producers of Jersey Shore.

  • And that business was good to us,

  • but News Night is quitting that business right now.

  • It might come as a surprise to you

  • that some of history's greatest American journalists are working right now,

  • exceptional minds with years of experience

  • and an unshakeable devotion to reporting the news.

  • But these voices are a small minority now

  • and they don't stand a chance against the circus

  • when the circus comes to town. They're overmatched.

  • I'm quitting the circus and switching teams.

  • I'm going with the guys who are getting creamed.

  • I'm moved that they still think they can win

  • and I hope they can teach me a thing or two.

  • From this moment on, we'll be deciding what goes on our air

  • and how it's presented to you based on the simple truth

  • that nothing is more important to a democracy

  • than a well-informed electorate.

  • We'll endeavor to put information in a broader context

  • because we know that very little news is born

  • at the moment it comes across our wire.

  • We'll be the champion of facts

  • and the mortal enemy of innuendo, speculation,

  • hyperbole, and nonsense.

  • We're not waiters in a restaurant

  • serving you the stories you asked for just the way you like them prepared.

  • Nor are we computers dispensing only the facts

  • because news is only useful in the context of humanity.

  • I'll make no effort to subdue my personal opinions.

  • I will make every effort to expose you

  • to informed opinions that are different from my own.

  • You may ask who are we to make these decisions.

  • We are Mackenzie McHale and myself.

  • Miss McHale is our executive producer.

  • She marshals the resources of over 100 reporters,

  • producers, analysts, technicians,

  • and her credentials are readily available.

  • I'm News Night's managing editor

  • and make the final decision on everything seen

  • and heard on this program.

  • Who are we to make these decisions?

  • We're the media elite.

  • We'll be back after this with the news.

I welcome these hearings because of the opportunity

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B1 congress failed news broadcast circus electorate

The Newsroom 2012 - Disculpas / Apologies (subs. incl.)

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    吉兒 posted on 2013/06/20
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