A New Low
I have always been a news junkie. When I was a teen I used to watch local at 5:00, national at 5:30, McNeil-Lehrer at 6:00, and then another national at 7:00. I’d’ve read three newspapers earlier and would scan the three PBS stations my Dad’s cable service ran for anything else good to watch that night.
I’ve been an avid recipient of American journalism for 35 years, and watching it sail over the cliff into utter mediocrity--only to be horrorstruck as it morphed into outright propaganda on the way down--has been one of the most distressing experiences of my adult life. I still have the personally signed copy of The Camera Never Blinks by Dan Rather I got in 1984; what a different, trusting, optimistic time of my life that was.
Long, long before I became a watcher for Media Whores Online, to be sure, and yet as the events of the last weeks unfolded even I was surprised at the new lows: journalists on the white house payroll and a fake conservative plant thriving for years at the white house press office. Even I didn’t think it had got this bad, I really hadn’t.
I will fight back in my own puny way, of course, but naturally there’s nothing to be done but hope new media technology germinates new companies and structures, for the current journalism corps looks hopeless.
Most days. Even at this very dark hour many journalists are still my heroes, and some will surprise you sometimes: Maureen Dowd has written 2 good-to-very good columns in a row.
Dowd’s first was a piece on Clint’s latest movie and the GOP’s use of distracting culture wars that was smart, concise, and well written. Today’s is a decent-to-good work on Condi Rice—I just have a little trouble with the lead subject transition, that’s all. Dowd worked hard and went 33 words over but it wasn’t too long, and I simply enjoyed reading it.
I have been viciously mean to Maureen Dowd, who truly earned it and asked for it. Well, she earned good praise this time.