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Should We Mourn the End of Network News?

James Joyner over at Outside the Beltway [1], notes a few stories announcing the arival of Blogs at the aminstream, given the busienss with the forged documents presented by CBS and outted by the Bloggers.

While we can be wistful that there is no equivalent to Walter Chronkite, a unifying figure who Americans from all walks of life trusted for their news, this event shows that the alternatives are mostly better at getting information out. No matter how well intentioned, concentration and centralization have some rather huge downsides.

I tend to agree, but I took a little umberage at the word ‘wistful’, in this context. I responded:

>>I’m somewhat taken aback by your last ‘graph… which seemingly was tossed of before really thinking the implications through.

Wistful?
Hell, man, I’m THANKFUL that no such ‘unifier’ exists… Because without the side checking, we’d never know what kind of unity we were dedicating ourselves to.

Many times in the past I have suggested that the example of left wing bias that is Dan Rather is not limited to him but is endemic to the breed of cockroach that infests West 57th. If Rather is biased, and the org behind him, (And I think the idea that both are so is unquestionable)… what indication do we have that Cronkite was not, when he ran the show.. particularly given Cronkite’s more recent history?

Can you imagine what kind of chance the truth would have, had Dan Rather been the smooth talker that Cronkite was? Can you, for example, see the kind of questions we now see being raised about Rather’s bias, and his truthfulness in general, and these forged Bush/Guard documents in particular, 30 years ago, when Cronkite ran the show? I know I can’t.

Granted that most of the current problems rather has involves fact checking by the Internet. But such fact checking would be harder to get started, I think, if Rather had the Cronkite Pipe and Slippers aura.

Then again, perhaps the cross checking done by the net of today, would have prevented that aura from taking on the stature that it did. Which to my mind raises some degree of question about the history of the 60’s. Think; Conkite, since his retirement, has exposed himself as a far leftist, which more or less confirmed our mostly unspoken (at that time) fear about the MSM.

One wonders, then, if the man didn’t succeed is inflicting more damage on us than he might have, when he was on the air, had he been a less capable communicator. Since the victors write the history books, (and in the context of the US, the Intelligencia is unabashedly leftist, they also are the ones who teach history) we may never really know.

In any event, it seems to me trust of the MSM in the future will be earned at a much higher price. And I don’t see any one individual able to claim that particular crown.

Given what we’ve had with such royalty in the past, I can’t say I’m displeased at all.