Skip to comments.Fired Producer Portrays Bob Schieffer as Bigoted (Woman Drops the "R" Bomb On CBS)
Posted on 04/11/2006 6:54:19 AM PDT by MindBender26
An African American producer who had been at CBS News for 13 years is attributing her March termination to racial discrimination, noting that "not one of CBS News' eight broadcasts is in any way directed, influenced, or shaped by an African American or any minority holding a senior position on that broadcast.
"There is not one single African American person holding a rank above producer on any of CBS' eight separate broadcasts," states a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed by Raylena Fields, 52, who said she earned $185,000 a year.
"In the last eighteen (18) months, at least five African American women were, in one way or another, forced out of their jobs at CBS News. Only one African American male has been promoted to a producer position at CBS News in the last decade."
Her complaint, which her lawyer told Journal-isms was filed March 30 at the EEOC offices in New York, paints an unflattering picture of "CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer, who has won praise from critics and viewers for his avuncular, folksy style since taking over from Dan Rather 13 months ago.
"My termination is also retaliatory," the complaint reads. "It came almost one month to the day, after I filed a complaint that CBS Evening News anchorman Bob Schieffer asked me to answer his phones, something a veteran similarly situated Staff Producer, would have never been asked to do. When I responded that I would find someone to help him, Mr. Schieffer raised his voice at me in front of his quests and said, 'Well, if you can't be bothered!' I chose not to be intimidated and ran down to the newsroom and found an entry level person to handle Mr. Schieffer's phones until his secretary got in.
"Bob Schieffer has a reputation for bigotry," the complaint continues. "Mr. Schieffer frequently and publicly refers to a newsroom assistant as 'Brownie' due to the complexion of his skin.
"I personally witnessed Bob Schieffer address a veteran African American correspondent as 'Hey, Boy.'
The complaint comes just as CBS is winning kudos for appointing Katie Couric as the first woman to anchor a prime-time newscast solo during the week, and a week after it named Russ Mitchell, who is African American, as its Sunday evening news anchor.
In expanding on her claim that her firing was partly in retaliation for complaining about racial matters, Fields wrote, "in January 2006, I complained that I was troubled by the reporting and tone of a story done by Washington correspondent, Gloria Borger regarding the questioning of Judge Sam Alito," who was successfully nominated for the Supreme Court. "I stated that the tenor of Ms. Borger's piece was that Democrats questioning Sam Alito on issues of race and gender, and possible bigoted behavior, 'crossed the line' because it made his wife cry. Somehow the wife crying trumped this critical line of questioning.
"In February 2006, I prepared a story relating to a black death row inmate in Louisiana, who was exonerated due to the intervention of a group of attorneys from England and Australia.
"I was told by Senior Producer Reid Collins that talking about race in the story was 'veering off point.' I argued that 72% of all the people incarcerated in Louisiana are black and that you can't discuss the American criminal justice system without discussing race. Mr. [Collins] declared that our viewers were not going to like my story.
"Without my knowledge, Reid Collins telephoned one of the characters in my story, questioning my reporting. This was an unprecedented departure from standard policy. Similarly situated veteran Staff Producers are not subjected to the same treatment."
In 2000, the (government)announced it had settled a major sex discrimination lawsuit against CBS Broadcasting, Inc., for $8 million in financial compensation for approximately 200 female workers. "The suit charged CBS with subjecting a class of female technicians to a pattern and practice of discrimination in regard to salary, over time, promotions, and training; creating a hostile work environment that included sexual harassment; and retaliating against female employees for complaining about the discrimination," it announced in a news release.
Fields joined CBS after having been at ABC, where she had been acting senior broadcast producer for "Good Morning America's" news segments and director of talent recruitment and development at ABC News.
At CBS' "60 Minutes 2," she said, she was "the only black producer on staff, and the only producer that the show frequently required to work without an associate producer." Hartman, who joined the "CBS Evening News" in January, accused her of low production on both shows, Fields said. She argued that "terminating me for purportedly not doing as many stories as other Staff Producers, while ignoring the fact that I produced many more investigative and enterprised stories than my peers, is evidence of a pattern and practice of disparate treatment of me and of the disparate impact that CBS' policies have on African Americans.
"Twice, on stories relating to Osama Bin Laden's family, and following the trail of the 9ll hijackers, my investigative work resulted in major 'scoops' which excited senior staff. Each time, however, my bosses insisted that those 'scoops' be turned over to other producers who were white."
The complaint also alleges that terminating her contract violates the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. "The enormous stress due to discriminatory treatment I received at Sixty Minutes Two, brought on a condition diagnosed as Cervical Ridiculitis. I had to take several weeks of full medical leave and undergo physical therapy over a two-year span.
"At times, I came to work at the Evening News while taking prescribed narcotic painkillers, wearing a neck brace, and using heating pads to cope with the pain," the complaint said.
Bryan Monroe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said tonight, "We are deeply troubled by the assertions in this CBS complaint. NABJ is in contact with Ms. Fields and [we] are looking into the allegations."
#1 I would make some remark about the the oh so PC media being accused of actions that are not Uberliberal, but that of course would be linked to the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black" and of course, that would be so very biggoted too...... < ? >
#2. Quotas, quotas, quotas
#3. "I don't do phones" I love it. When I was at network, whenever there were huge stories breaking, suits from all over the building, some of them $350,000 sales VPs, would come down to help with phones, xeroxing, even running out for coffee and Danish.
#4. Friends at CBS say it was very simple. She was an unqualified and lazy Affirmative Action hire and promotion. Others double checked her work because they had to. ... and CBS will pay off because they are cowards.
>Senior Producer Reid Collins
PS, one of the best in the business.
Maybe it's because all the talented, competent, responsible african americans are all conservatives.
Many have learned how to play this game.
...perhaps was he doing 'a heck of a job'?
She can always get on the next "Apprentice".
Hey Schieffer. Call me. Oh I don't like CBS and you leftists in general, but hey, for 185,000 dollars, I'll answer the phone!
I once worked for a company where the President would answer the phones for the receptionist when she went to lunch! What's the woman's problemo? ..........
His favorite snack is probably brownies. I wouldn't put it past this woman. I feel good when the propagandists get a taste of what they promote.
I like the phones bit. I once worked for a guy whose startup company eventually sold for several hundred million dollars.
He personally asked two questions of every job applicant at every level: if you take the last cup of coffee, will you make more; and if you see a piece of paper on the floor, will you pick it up?
There were no job descriptions at any level.
Looks like ineptness really sucks but accountability rules!
Guess what lady. AfricanAmericans are not the only ones who have no inoput into CBS. White manhattan liberal dem's are the only ones.
Indeed....I would stand on my head in a bucket of sh!t and juggle if I knew there there was a $185K paycheck at the end of it.
Sometimes I think the Big Media is trying to "buy off" the minorities by becoming shills for their Point of View in exchange for silence on things closer to home. Kind of like the way Clinton got a Rape and Abuse License from NOW in exchange for certain "PC" positions.
Yeah? Well, there is not one single conservative or Republican holding a rank above producer on any of CBS' eight separate broadcasts as well. Where's your outrage, lady?
I have a word for her.
noting that "not one of CBS News' eight broadcasts is in any way directed, influenced, or shaped by an African American or any minority holding a senior position on that broadcast.
Until I searched for the meaning of her condition, Cervical Ridiculitis, I thought it meant she had some kind of ridiculous sex disorder.
"not one of CBS News' eight broadcasts is in any way directed, influenced, or shaped by an African American or any minority holding a senior position on that broadcast."
and this is the only reason CBS should put a minority in power, just because there isn't any now... can you say, "gimme gimme gimme, I need" ? or entitlement?
If I were making 185K for doing a pie job, I sure as hell wouldn't rock the boat.
Her claim sounds ridiculous, but I'm assuming she meant cervical radiculitis. I don't see how just 'stress' could have brought this condition on. Cervical radiculitis is inflammation of the root of a spinal nerve. This condition is the result of direct pressure from a disc or inflammation around the nerve. Maybe it was just bad posture at her computer?
LMAO!!! This one had my jaw dropping until I got to "Cervical Ridiculitis" near the end. Truly excellent satire.
The problem is, it is excellent satire because it is rooted in truth. Many large companies are reluctant to hire blacks because of the risk of hiring someone like the woman depicted in this story.
When Affirmative action meets a failing business, Afrimative action must be sacrificed.
Raylina found what Anita Hill and others learned the hard way..... In the real world, pretend credentials don't hack it. (it's not a racist thing..... ask the governor of Lousiana)
"The enormous stress due to discriminatory treatment I received at Sixty Minutes Two, brought on a condition diagnosed as Cervical Ridiculitis.
Her job caused her to have a ridiculous cervix?
Thanx for the insight
I am sure when she receives her "greenback poultice", her "Cervical Ridiculitis" will go away!!
BTW -- is Ms. Raylena Fields related to Cynthia McKinney? She is using the same MO!
This is the one assertion of this woman that I could believe. Schieffer is a creep.
Well, she's half right.
That is a brilliant strategy for hiring someone. It tells you all you'll need to know.
As a former white male TV news producer, let me assure you that I took phone calls for the anchors and the news director when they wanted me to or were out of the office, etc. What makes her think she's better than anyone else?
I could tell some nasty stories about what people said in the newsroom I used to work in and hurt their careers, but what's the motive?
Sounds like revenge here and with CBS sensitive to "diversity" and such I worry about who might get it for this.
Who knows, maybe Schieffer will hit the street early this summer.
I have a word for her.
PS Did you give Helen Thomas a big smack on the lips after dinner?:)
In other words, I was so offended by his condescension that I decided to treat someone under me equally as crappy to offset.
I don't have any way of knowing for sure, but Schiefer doesn't seem like the type.
Those are good questions, but many would lie. On my second consulting project, the Senior Manager told us that if we drank coffee, we were required to make at least one pot a day. There is no faster way to make the client staff unhelpful and hostile than to be a coffee puke.
Cynthia McKinney is having a hard time making the race card a winning hand right now. But you need to make it more of a last card in the hole -- she came right out playing it and that's harder.
Cervical Ridiculitis. That's really good.
Watch mah results.
Is it possible that CBS promoted the complainant beyond her ability level just because of her color/gender, just because they wanted to appear diverse and it backfired on them? Is there some gaping irony here?
A racist incompetent against a lying liberal organization that forges documents to make news?
No matter which one loses this battle, we win.
I love it when liberal policy turns around bites liberals on the a$$.
Somebody at CBS is a Republican?!!
I have two words for her; "cervical ridiculitis"?
Even though no DNA of Mr Schieffer was found in or on Raylena Fields, she will still go forward with her charges.
Easily solved. Quotas.
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