CBS' new advertising campaign makes an audacious claim: that the network "invented original reporting on television."
The 30-second commercial debuted on the "Early Show" on Thursday. It opens with the question "What is original reporting?" and shows shots of Scott Pelley with President Obama, Steve Kroft with Julian Assange, Lesley Stahl in Jerusalem and other members of the CBS news team in action. It also takes jabs at the other networks, describing original reporting as "telling the story no one else will — or can" and "substance over showmanship."
The commercial cuts to archival clips of “60 Minutes” as the voiceover sarcastically says, "But hey, it’s not like we invented original reporting on television." Then the voiceover quips, "Oh wait -- yes we did."
But did it? CBS debuted the first regularly scheduled television news program in 1948, but NBC aired the first television newscast in America in 1940.
CBS also broadcast the newsmagazine show "See It Now" with Edward R. Murrow from 1951 to 1958. And, yes, "60 Minutes" was kind of a big deal. But NBC also had "Meet The Press" in 1947. Are interviews original reporting? This seems like a bit of a gray area overall. Still, the commercial is pretty cool.