Richard Salant Quote

“Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”

~ Richard Salant

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

I, for one, am through with other people deciding what I ought to have!

Jake, Kansas City, MO

So, what's new, eh?

Sheldon, Cortez, Co

I thought this is what was going on! So very true, thats why I give it 5 stars for Salant's honest confession.

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ray    7/30/05

Is it any wonder why the people are in such a mess with sodomites and liberals running our once GODLY country! Even our “christian” president [Yeah Right!] is doing this exact same thing!

Me Again
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Me Again    7/31/05

Such s the truth about propaganda. Some things never change. A good quote to put on a T shirt.

Me Again
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    Me Again    7/31/05

    That is "Big Brother" talking. Only He knows what's best for US. hahahahahahahahahahaha. A joke but a sad joke at that. Hmmmmm......

    Bill the Libertarian, Sarasota, FL

    This is a great quote because of the candid admission it contains. Media elitists think that they know what's best for us to KNOW, much as statist politicians in Washington D.C. and elsewhere think that they know what's best for us to DO. The campaign finance "reform" Act(McCain/Feingold) passed by Congress and signed into law by Pres. G.W. Bush in 2004 is a blatant example of how government and media conspire to keep the populace in the dark and under control, by its prohibition of advertising by issue advocates (you and me and our friends) for the last 60 days before an election. This guarantees that the government/media complex will have the last word on shaping voter positions on issues.

    Bill the Libertarian, Sarasota, FL

    As the lyric goes: "Those who know what's best for us must come and save us from ourselves..." - RUSH from the song 'Witch Hunt' Scary, but no doubt true. And politicians really believe it, too. Remarking upon the court's striking down as unconstitutional the City of Sarasota (FL) anti-camping ordinance designed to drive the homeless out of the city, Mayor MaryAnne Servian (a registered Democrat) said: "We're just trying to protect people from themselves." The road to serfdom is paved with good intentions ... (with apologies to Friedrich August von Hayek).

    Mike, Norwalk

    five stars for an accurate statement, thumbs down for what its done to this country

    jim k, austin

    This quote also goes for CNN, ABC, NBC, and NPR.

    Waffler, Smith

    Thank goodness someone pays attention to quality. You can get what you want, porn, "pro" wrestling etcetera all over the TV. And you can especially get the garbage you want on Fox News and Limbaugh radio. Anyone who lives in this country and can not get what he or she wants just does not have their eyes open. Quote probably a little bit out of context and not a complete rendition of Salant's real thinking, so what is new, all publications and news orgs have editorial policies.

    Waffler, Smith

    Another Salant quote: "If newsmen do not tell the truth as they see it because it makes waves, or if their bosses decide something should or should not be broadcast because of Washington or Main Street consequences, we have dishonored ourselves and we have lost the First Amendment by default." Examples of the above occurring is the previous administration bringing home our dead soldiers in secrecy and the hiding of environmental science by the far right media.

    cal, lewisville, tx

    Jim K, don't forget to add MSMBC to your list. Chris Mathews makes me want to puke when he talks of that warm tingle in his leg when he thinks of Obama. I believe he is urinating on himself to get that feeling.

    Anonymous, Joy, Hansville, WA

    This is certainly what is being done now by the liberal media and those in all three branches of our government. They all think they're smarter than we are. Even Thomas Paine was afraid of this, as were those who wrote our Constitution.

    warren, olathe

    One of the best most accurate quotes from a mass media mogul ever. And this from a man who lived before it got truly bad. Of course it looks even worse now because we have some decent news available (fox) and the internet to get more than one side of the story.

    warren, olathe

    By the way I knew it was left leaning even when I was a liberal hippie and thought the same as they did. I believed it was slanted because they knew better that the general public. Now I can see that the problem is that people of that political bent seek out those jobs plus people from the left see nothing wrong with preventing the opposite view from being expressed.

    E Archer, NYC

    Freedom of the press belongs to those who have one. There is no such thing as objective reporting. Salant can report on whatever he wants (or whatever his bosses want if he wants to keep his job) that is their right. What we need is more reports from other sources. And today we have it. Whatever happened to "don't believe everything you read"? Doesn't that include TV, too? Maintain a healthy skepticism when listening to reporters of any kind -- and consider to what and whom they are beholden. I've worked in television and radio stations, and often if everything is fine reporters are panicking about finding some story to keep people from turning the channel -- bad news sells!

    Mary - Michigan

    That's MSM for you. Slant the news and feed the people propaganda!

    Barry Kruse, Petaluma, CA

    I'm reluctant to infer too much from this sound bite quote. He could have simply meant that he wasn't willing to stoop to pandering to the lowest common denominator. I think we should keep in mind that during Salant's tenure, CBS News was respected as a balanced, fair source for the news. Every media venue has to make decisions about what to present based on the time available and the stories competing for attention.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Barry, time available is a constant given, it is the chosen topic that is the problem. If media (any media) were to delve into real news, we might see a competition develop. If the media were to actually be in the news business, things such as Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin's birth place would be resolved with more evidence than with a photo-shopped / still-in-layers government published doc - inclusive of an out-of-order numbering, his assassinations of non-tried Americans, his illegal bankruptcy of GM, his immoral / illegal reorganization of GM, his payoff to foreign banks in his dollar giveaway programs, his unconstitutional executive orders, his alleged boy friends influence on current policy, his close relationship with known terrorists and their influence on getting Americans killed, events such as Benghazi, mass election fraud to get him re-elected, his inciting race divisiveness, his actions to destroy the American economy, his lies about the real numbers of unemployment, etc., etc., etc. would become competing news stories. (and that's only talking one man)

    J Carlton, Calgary

    "By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise."
    Adolf Hitler.

    jc, Waukon, IA

    To jim k from austin: This quote also goes for the FOX network.

    Patrick Henry, Red Hill

    In this nation, in this day, journalism is hardly being practiced.

    Necessarily so, since those who comprise the contemporary American journalistic class, virtually en masse, steeped in statist ideology as they are, want for probity, integrity, moral authority, gravity and credibility.

    Without alternative news media, which in this day constitute, effectively, a latter day American rendering of the Soviet era Samizdat, the informational terrain would be an utter wasteland.

    Tragically, the Fourth Estate long ago became a Fifth Column.

    Robert, Somewhere in the USA

    five stars for its irony and minus five for its stupidity...

    E Archer, NYC

    The bias of the mainstream media has never been more apparent. After 8 years of kissing Obama's ring and his "scandal-free" term in office, the wrong dupe got into the Oval Office. During the Ron Paul years, he was consistently ignored although his message rang true with the republican ideal. Had the media given him a platform, he could have gotten the nomination -- he won all the debates. The media is essentially controlled by the Council on Foreign Relations, of which every MSM talking head is a member as well as nearly every presidential candidate -- I do believe all past presidents have been members.

    But now that the card game has been 'Trumped,' the mainstream media has gone nuts. It's no-holds barred attacking the lawfully elected President including promoting impeachment for merely not being liked by the opposition. I think it is great, though, because I turned off that crap over 20 years ago and have been trying to get my family to turn that 'programming' off. Just a bunch of parroting the party-line. The propaganda has never been more obvious.

    Liz, St. Louis

    Such a typical liberal statement. They want to do this with everyone but themselves. What a joke they are and such lying fools!

    Mick, Manchester

    "what we decide they ought to have" is long hand speak for what people need to and not necessarily want to know. Who is making those decisions and who is setting the agenda is the important thing. Revelations, Wikileaks, most recently the Paradise Papers leak in the UK are sheading some light on the corruption associated with the 'great and the good' and are a step towards breaking the 'truth' monopoly.


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