CHESTER, Conn. (AP) – Veteran newsman Morley Safer has criticized fellow journalists, saying superficial reporting has overtaken in-depth coverage of major stories such as wars.

“We don’t cover the news anymore. We skim the news,” he said in a talk at his synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester on Saturday.

While he said he and other correspondents aired documentaries on Vietnam during the war, there is less interest now in similar coverage of the Iraq war, he said.

Safer, who covered the Vietnam War and has been a correspondent on CBS’ “60 Minutes” since 1970, also said too much focus is given in the presidential campaign to the gender of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the race of Sen. Barack Obama.

“We lose something when we elevate this into something unique,” he said.

Safer, 76, said one of his most difficult interview subjects was actress Katharine Hepburn. She initially resisted, but eventually agreed.

However, she warned Safer that if he was late by even a minute, the interview would be off.

On the day of the interview, Safer was stuck in a New York traffic jam. He ran 20 blocks and arrived with 10 seconds to spare, he said.

“You almost did not make it,” Hepburn told Safer.

Information from: The Hartford Courant,

AP-ES-02-03-08 1639EST

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