Y2K and 60 Minutes

December 9, 1998

A recent 60 Minutes program on Y2K represented one of the first times that a major TV newsmagazine has covered this issue in depth. I believe that this was the first time this particular program paid attention to the issue.

As you might expect, Steve Croft said that there might be a catastrophe ahead. But what was troubling was the continued unwillingness of the mainstream media to question Vice-President Al Gore about the issue. President Clinton was only mentioned in passing when it was said that he appointed a Y2K czar. But Al Gore was nowhere to be found. And yet he is supposed to be the administration's point person on computers and the Internet. He is always talking about the globalization of information and has pushed for every school to be wired to the Internet. Yet he was absent on the program.

Another puzzle was the lack of questioning of the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He was seen once briefly to say that Y2K could be an electronic El Nino. But when he was questioned at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, he had no answer as to whether the military would be used if the Y2K crisis became significant. Canada already has a contingency plan to provide emergency services and protection in the event of a Y2K-induced breakdown of community services. George Bush used the military during the LA riots in 1992. But there was no discussion of this issue either.

So I guess I can give 60 Minutes a few points for covering Y2K, but I am disappointed that they left so many questions unanswered. They left most viewers with the feeling that this is a crisis without a leader and without a contingency plan.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International