18 July 2009

Cronkite and his legacy

The news media will do their usual gloat and celebration when one of their own dies, so I'm sure we'll have wall to wall coverage of how great the man was.

Good riddance, I say. Cronkite changed the face of the media after proclaiming the Vietnam War was lost after the Tet Offensive. Any objective reporter would look at the facts of the battle and realize that it WAS a slaughter - but it was the American forces doing the bulk of the killing, and not the other way around.

With his holier than thou opinion of the battle, and by pushing his own views into a news story, Cronkite changed the face of the media - a change that exists today.

Opinion is treated as fact. Opinion is treated as news. And we find ourselves mired in a situation where up is down and down is up with a news media incapable of reporting objectively and honestly. Forget informed debate. What's more important is ad hominem attacks, ridicule of anyone who doesn't share an inside the beltway view and chastising of anyone who dares to question the news media's grip on the power of information. Cronkite started the trend, and it continues unabated today.

He will not be missed.
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