Monday, February 12, 2007

The media legend, Walter Cronkite, has come out of his retirement to provide his two cents on the state of nation, and lately the national media. Once called “the most trusted man in America”, Cronkite is hoping to broker that reputation into continued credibility for his tales of left-leaning fantasy.

His recent campaign involves telling tales of the loss of media independence. Corporate mergers and lax FCC laws have reduced the variety of opinion, he argues, as the stations must answer to their corporate sponsors. Fewer newspapers and fewer companies controlling those newspapers also mean that there are fewer and less diverse voices for the “people” to hear. This, at least, is how it is in Mr. Cronkite’s world.

He, of course, ignores the incredible explosion and diversity of opinions on the internet or even the increase of voices in cable news, sources that were not available in his heyday. There’s also the slight handicap of his tarnished legacy. Where once Walter Cronkite was looked to as the conscience of middle America, now he is seen for what he was; simply another leftist hack.

You need look no further than a review of history. During the Vietnam War, Cronkite was often seen as the best and most objective source of news regarding events there. What even he has admitted to, and what we can see from reviewing the actual events of the war, Cronkite consistently put a negative spin on events. He opposed the war, but felt the best way to express his opposition was to deceive the viewing public. His reason is a classic liberal argument. The ends justify the means, and he did it for our own good.

This came to a head with the reporting of the Tet Offensive. Cronkite famously pulled off his glasses and pronounced the war lost. Of course, now we know the war was far from lost. In fact, the Viet Cong was almost obliterated by their part in the Tet Offensive and the North Vietnamese Army divisions that had participated were mauled by U.S. Army and South Vietnamese divisions. There are still some, especially among the Left who view the Tet Offensive as the ultimate example of the failure of U.S. “imperialism”.

Now we hear Cronkite lament that “objective” reporting, you know, the kind he used to do when he was lying about U.S. success in Vietnam, is as scarce as hen’s teeth these days. I think it’s safe to say “objective” for Cronkite means left-leaning or flat-out left-skewed opinion. Even though there has been consolidation, there has been an explosion of news outlets, both professional and amateur. There has also developed an extremely diverse base of opinions, from the left to the right.

This is Cronkite’s imperfect America. Perhaps he could explain, if it’s not too much trouble for him to tell the truth, how all this true diversity is a bad thing. Maybe he’ll finally be able to own up to his past bias and take his place among the myriad and equally shrill voices of his darling Left.

And that’s the way it is.



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