Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cronkite and the Killing Fields

From Big Hollywood here:
It was a Golden Age, all right - a Golden Age of enforced unanimity and bogus consensus hidden behind the strained-serious face and stentorian oration of St. Walter. It was an age of media liberalism unchallenged by anything like a conservative alternative. And it was all encompassing. In recent days, many have watched the footage of Cronkite announcing the death of John F. Kennedy. But if you watch the footage for a few minutes before his genuinely moving final bulletin, you’ll hear his innuendo hinting that Kennedy has been shot by disgruntled right-wingers. It must have broken his heart to find out that JFK had been murdered by a commie loner with an affinity for Castro.

Think of the proudest moments of the heroes of the media’s “Golden Age” - the McCarthy expose, the Watergate hearings, Cronkite’s own infamous thrust of the rhetorical dagger into the back of the fighting men in Vietnam (and of the Vietnamese who hoped for freedom) that was his Tet Offensive editorial. It’s like a liberal greatest hits album. There’s nothing, nothing even remotely conservative in the pantheon - because nothing conservative would have ever even occurred to the media heroes like Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and the rest. Their prized objectivity was really only a tool that justified their own biases and opinions - if they did it, by definition, it was “objective.”

Cronkite was supposed to be the voice of the people of Middle America, but he was really just a loud voice speaking at them. And soon after they turned and rejected the man Cronkite dubbed the smartest of presidents - Jimmy Carter!?! - and elected Ronald Reagan, he threw in the towel. He passed the torch to Dan Rather, and the sun set upon the Golden Age of Media Liberalism. For all his faults, at least Cronkite maintained a certain dignity, but Crazy Dan is a catastrophe. When Rather dies, the quickest way to find his obits will be to Google the terms “Texas Air National Guard fraud” or “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

Yes, I remember the Reagan years without Cronkite. It was filled with screaming about the missiles Reagan wanted to put into Europe to protect them from the USSR. We had our fill of Rather and now of Katie C. I don't know anyone who watches the News on the networks anymore. They are dinosaurs. Just like Cronkite. But he knew when Reagan won, the winds had changed and he got out. God Rest his soul.

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