Best of CES Awards debacle: CNET’s side

CNET News:

…we were told that we must use the official statement and that we must follow corporate policy to defer all press requests to corporate communications.

We were in an impossible situation as journalists. I could have quit right then. Maybe I should have. I decided that the best thing for my team was to get through the day as best we could and to fight the fight from the other side.

Going forward, I will do everything within my power to prevent this situation from happening again.

Anyone else want to join me in calling bullshit on her statement? She didn’t do “everything within my power” to stop it this time. What makes us believe that she will next time?

  • If she wanted I’m sure they could have posted their original choice of Hopper with a disclaimer that CBS, their parent company, is in ongoing litigation. That’s transparent.

    It would have really pissed off the head office, and there may have been some repercussions to the staff at CNET, but it would have been “within her power.”

    This statement is just weak sauce and not sincere or believable.

    • “they could have posted their original choice of Hopper with a disclaimer…” That’s * EXACTLY* what they SHOULD have done.

  • samdchuck

    To late, the damage has been done, they don’t have the integrity or authority to say no the next time since they haven’t now, precedent has been set, CBS is pulling the strings now and it knows it.

    The combination of “We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.” and “Going forward, I will do everything within my power to prevent this situation from happening again.” are pretty much saying the opposite.

  • It’s the end of CNET, and it’s parent company destroyed it.

    I love it.

  • marv08

    She will next time, because for the next couple of shows some legal guys will be part of the crew, and “everything within her power” will be: nothing.

    Otherwise you are of course right 🙂

  • Ben Randolph

    Her quote leads me to believe that she doesn’t have much power.

    • Her inability to stand up to her bosses shows me she in fact has none.

      • Ben Randolph

        Or no backbone. It’s ironic that events like this still take place in today’s instant news feedback cycle. Of course CBS come from “old” media, but should still have known better.

  • “We were in an impossible situation as journalists.”

    Well, of course you were. Your boss is Les Moonves. Journalism is now an expensive luxury.

  • Boo

    Yet another example of the news media becoming the news and the sad state of journalism in this day and age.

    Haven’t visited CNET in forever. I get all I need to keep me informed from the Loop, 5by5 and AMB.

  • franksspam

    I agree with what everyone is saying but the part of her post that really struck me was, “We were in an impossible situation as journalists. The conflict of interest was real — a legal case can impact the bottom line of our company and introduce the possibility of bias”

    By removing the review and award they DID introduce bias. There was no longer the possibility of bias, it was created by them when they made the changes. They became biased AGAINST the company they were in a legal dispute with. This is exactly what they claim to try to be avoiding and that is the travesty of the situation.