Some Pork To Chew On | Main | Tuesday Morning Quarterbacks
September 20, 2005

Fear and Loathing In Dan Rather's Brain

Wish he'd made the Nixonian announcement that we "won't have Dan Rather to kick around anymore" and just gone away:

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career.

...

Addressing the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, occasionally forcing back tears, he said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order."

I know the New Man should be unafraid to display his emotions (well, I guess he has to pretend to have emotions, and then display them), but seriously, this guy goes on more crying jags than Sally Field in Soapdish.

Or, for that matter, he cries as much as Aaron Broussard, so upset by the death of his friend's wife he couldn't remember if she'd died five days ago or only two.

Seems about as emotionally-centered, too.

He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.

The "atmosphere of fear" is caused by people having the desire and technology to talk back to you, Dan.

The media is in crisis. For a long while they enjoyed a not-very-well-earned imprimatur of credibility. They've squandered that, and feel the loss of that power -- and this is about power -- in their very bones.

But rather than attempting to rebuild that credibility, earn it, most prefer to whine about its eroision. "People should listen to us," they feel in their marrow. "We went to good schools and are filled with good intentions and we're brave and conscientious and wise."

Well, eff that noise, Dan.

Rather sort of gives the game away here:

...

Rather praised the coverage of Hurricane Katrina by the new generation of TV journalists and acknowledged that he would have liked to have reported from the Gulf Coast. "Covering hurricanes is something I know something about," he said.

"It's been one of television news' finest moments," Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

"They were willing to speak truth to power," Rather said of the coverage.

"Speaking truth to power" is of course an obnoxious slogan of left-liberals, reeking of sixties revolutionary funk like an MC5 8-track MacGuyvered into a makeshift bong.

It's a gassy bit of nonsense filled with questionable assumptions (whose truth? And whose power will you speak it to?), but I'm pretty confident that Rather speaks for 80% of the press corps when he says this.

You can either be advocates and agents of change or you can be disinterested reporters of news. You're entitled to do either, but you cannot claim to be doing both simultaneously.

The unexamined lie at the heart of journalism is that these two contradictory missions can be reconciled through the "professionalism" learned at j-school.

They can't be reconciled. Rather's idea that they can be reconciled is based on his assumption that his liberal agenda, being the One True Way, is objective truth, and hence both of his missions -- advancing progressive liberalism, reporting the news without fear or favor -- are basically just different names for the same thing, to wit, "Speaking Truth to Power."


digg this
posted by Ace at 11:45 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Alberta Oil Peon: "I have a suspicion if it was put to a vote, death ..."

BourbonChicken: "Twitter is like an open sewer pipe that flows by a ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "This should be a high scoring game. 2 teams that l ..."

Skookumchuk: "216, joncelli, Deplorable Yet Fuzzy - I'm watching ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "GnuBreed, the snack aisle of Long's Drugs containe ..."

Anonosaurus Wrecks. Now worse than Hitler!: "What I really want to see imported from Australia ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "I got a hogshead of books from the library so I pl ..."

Bandersnatch, gentleman cad: "Since this thread can't seem to agree on oo's orga ..."

Anna Puma: "All Hail Eris, work and projects is the plan. Vous ..."

GnuBreed [/i] [/b]: "It's one of the standard TV/movie tropes to have p ..."

Flyboy [/b] [/i] [/s] [/u]: " Pre-ONT good evening all. Any plans for the weeke ..."

Mrs JTB: "Grammie, How are your parents doing? Keeping the ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64