Pre-convention watch: Margaret Sullivan gets it right!

TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2016

Giant star Stahl fails to serve:
Lesley Stahl has been money-grubbing rather aggressively over the past few months.

She has written an utterly pointless book about the way modern grandparents love love love their grandchildren. She's been making the rounds on "TV news" shows promoting this pointless new book.

(Avert your eyes from the name of Stahl's book. It's called "Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting." That's right—the new grandparenting!)

Stahl hopes her stardom will lead us rubes to purchase this pointless new book. Along the way, it seems that the big famous TV star has let her attention wander.

On Sunday night, Stahl was assigned to interview Candidate Trump and his wife, an expert mimic, for the TV show, 60 Minutes. On two occasions, Stahl seemed to vouch for the candidate's bogus claim that he opposed the war in Iraq from the start.

Everyone knows this claim is false—every but Grandma! In standard fashion, Stahl didn't just ignore Trump's bogus claim on the show. At two points, she seemed to affirm it.

How many millions of dollars do stars like Stahl feel they need? As she's been pimping her silly book, Trump has been inventing a "fact" which could influence many voters.

Like the gruesome Anderson Cooper before her, Stahl seemed determined on Sunday night to keep Trump's fake fact in place.

Like so many others before her, Lesley Stahl played the fool for Candidate Trump Sunday night. But in this morning's Washington Post, a very unusual moment occurs. Margaret Sullivan pushes back hard against this big network star.

Granted, Sullivan's piece is buried inside today's Style section, on page C5. (It should be on A1.) Granted, her piece runs less than 500 words.

But Sullivan has done a very rare thing in this morning's Washington Post. She has specifically challenged a big famous star for her abject failure to serve.

How hapless was Stahl's performance? Famous TV stars like like Stahl would throw their grandkids off the Golden Gate Bridge before they'd step up to the plate in the way Sullivan recommends in her piece. Stahl's lazy performance on Sunday night continues a year-long tradition.

We have written, again and again, about the way our biggest "TV news" stars have helped Trump invent his fake fact about Iraq. Sunday night, on 60 Minutes, Grandma did it again.

Trump opposed Iraq from the start! Thanks to people like Cooper and Stahl, millions of voters have seen their favorite "TV news" stars affirm this invented fact.

There isn't money enough for stars like Stahl. There's little they won't do to get it.


  1. Someone could write a serious book about grandparenting that would be worth reading. They would need to know something about it and age alone is not a qualification.

    For some reason celebrities think that writing kids books or writing books about being a father doesn't take any expertise. Mothers yes, fathers no. Only Aziz Ansari did actual research on the content of his book on relationships. But making fun of this book because it is about grandparenting seems to obscure the fact that there are actual things that can be said about the role in today's families. I agree that Stahl probably isn't the best person to do so.

  2. Wrote to CBS making the same point re Trump's lie. Said that it would be journalistically responsible to have a fact correction to that interview. Don't expect to see it any time in my lifetime. But thanks for trying to keep them honest.

  3. Ollie Angie NusoldcootJuly 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    Thank heavens Bob Somerby was never interested in fame or fortune.