Ed Driscoll.com Ed Driscoll.com
Cronkite Gives The Game Away
By Ed Driscoll · March 8, 2005 12:30 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!

Last we heard from Uncle Walter, he was blaming Karl Rove for defrosting Osama bin Laden out of cryogenic suspension in the London basement of the Ministry of Defense (where he was kept alongside Austin Powers, Evel Knievel and Vanilla Ice) just in time to influence election Tuesday. In a short AP piece this week, Cronkite thinks that Dan Rather should have stepped down "a long time ago":

But Cronkite did not heavily fault Rather for his role in last September's discredited story about President Bush's military service. Rather anchored the "60 Minutes Wednesday" story.

"We all know he made a mistake by now," Cronkite said. "But would we have done much the same? I would not be sure that I wouldn't have followed my producers and accepted what they had to offer."

And that's the whole problem with the concept of the evening news anchorman, as Burt Prelutsky notes:

You can go back to Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor and Walter Cronkite. We treated them all with a deference that was totally out of proportion to the work they did. Essentially, the job description requires that they read the captions to the news footage weíre watching and to introduce the on-site reporters. Do you really think that constitutes the mental equivalent of heavy lifting? For doing what your uncle Sid could do -- and with a lot more pazazz -- theyíre paid enormous amounts of money. On top of all the dough, they are constantly the honorees at testimonial dinners, but thatís fine, so long as I donít have to attend. But the trouble is, theyíre regarded as important people by way too many of us, and thatís not good. Why? Because it makes us all look like a bunch of saps -- what H.L. Mencken called the boobus americanus and what P.T. Barnum simply labeled suckers.

Because these anchors get to spend their entire careers talking about important events and important people, they naturally come to regard themselves as important. Self-delusion is a form of insanity and we should not encourage it by fawning over them.

When they finally sign off for the last time, you notice that the testimonials inevitably mention how many political conventions they covered, how many space missions, how many inaugurations, assassinations, uprisings and wars, as if they had had a hand in any of these earth-shaking events. It wasnít their hands that were involved, it was their behinds, as they sat year after year at those desks, declaiming in those store-bought voices what we were seeing with our own eyes -- all thanks to the journalistic peons who actually went places and did things and took risks so that we could sit home and watch it

Now, Iím not saying we should kill the messengers. Iím just suggesting itís time we stopped canonizing them.

Well, the Blogosphere certainly isn't. But it's curious that many traditional journalists long to become the man who does the least reporting--who follows his producers and accepts what they have to offer--and then reads their copy on the air.



Since 2002, News, Technology and Pop Culture, 24 Hours a Day, Live and in Stereo!

(And every Saturday on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.)

What They're Saying

"Ed Driscoll does the important, difficult, work of keeping Western civilization afloat..."--Jonah Goldberg, National Review


Navigation
Weblog
Ed TV
Podcasts
Twitter Feed
Articles
Essays
Interviews
Links
About Me
FAQ
Photos

Home

Support the Site

Search

Archives
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002

Etcetera


Bookmark Me!

Blogroll Me!

Steal This Button!

Syndicate this site (XML)
Podcasts Feed

AddThis Feed Button

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

youtube_logo.gif

Our Podcasts' Apple iTunes Page

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

Site design by
Sekimori

tumblr site counter
Copyright © 2002-2008 Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. All Rights Reserved