Wednesday :: Mar 15, 2006

The Medium Is The Bu$hCo Messenger

by pessimist

It's no secret that most of the medic - especially television - is in the Bu$hCo back pocket. But in a Russ Feingold moment, Keith Olberman revealed that Bu$hCo loyalty can be cracked:

Keith Olbermann, appearing on C-SPAN, said: "There are people I know in the hierarchy of NBC, the company, and GE, the company, who do not like to see the current presidential administration criticized at all. ... There are people who I work for who would prefer, who would sleep much easier at night if this never happened.
On the other hand, if they look at my ratings and my ratings are improved and there is criticism of the president of the United States, they're happy."
If my ratings went up because there was no criticism of the president of the United States, they'd be happy.

This is the key to separating Bu$hCo from their Mini$try of Truth. Advertisers are what keeps television (and radio, by the way) flush with the filthy lucre. Marketing information companies like AC Nielsen and Arbitron measure just how many more viewers Jon Stewart has than Bill O'Lielly, or how many more listeners Janeane Garofalo has than Rush Limbaugh (who just lost another outlet!)

But it doesn't help when an old war horse drops out of the troop - one who isn't likely to be replaced.

Veteran CBS newsman Mike Wallace said Tuesday that he plans to make this his last season on "60 Minutes" but is stopping short of complete retirement as he wraps up 38 years on the venerable Sunday night newscast.

"I've often replied, when asked, 'I'll retire when my toes turn up,' " Wallace said in a phone interview, reading from a statement he had just written and relayed to CBS News executives.

Well, they're just beginning to curl a trifle," he added, "which means that as I approach my 88th birthday, it's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be, and the prospects of long flights to wherever in search of whatever are not quite as appealing."

The 87-year-old had already lessened his workload at "60 Minutes" in recent years.

Nevertheless, his departure from the program marks a significant turning point for "60 Minutes," which has maintained a roster of veteran correspondents at a time when younger broadcasters are getting the top jobs on other newscasts.

The departure of Mike Wallace from serious news reporting - joining Walter Cronkite as alive but largely inactive - could prove to be detrimental for the United States.

Cronkite - who was awarded a moon rock and NASA's Ambassador of Exploration Award in recognition of his decades covering the US space program, still tries to get a word in, declaring the war on drugs is an expensive failure and it should be ended. We can only hope that Mike Wallace sees fit to chime in in a similar manner.

Michael Tennant at is wondering whether there is someone who can fill the role played by such staturesque journalists as Cronkite and Wallace:

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a largely Bush-sympathetic newspaper, editorialized recently:

"For Lyndon Johnson, it was Walter Cronkite. Will it be Bill Buckley for George Bush?

"LBJ felt he had lost the American people when the former CBS News anchor said victory in Vietnam was not possible. Now Mr. Buckley, the conservative icon, says 'our mission has failed' in Iraq. Certainly the beginning of America’s endgame in Iraq is upon us."

Let’s hope the editors are right.

One has to wonder if they aren't when, as Tenant quotes Rush Limbaugh defending Buckley for making such statements:

Perhaps because he considers Buckley "like a surrogate parent in a way," Rush Limbaugh was much less quick to condemn Buckley’s opinion as the ravings of a senile old defeatist. In fact, Limbaugh made what must have seemed a startling admission to most of his audience:

[Limbaugh] "You know, a lot of people look at conservatism and see a monolith. You know, one conservative is the same as all, and as you know, as being a conservative, most of you are yourselves. There are many different derivatives out there of our so-called movement. I mean, you've got some great social conservatives who are protectionists. You have some other great conservatives who have one view on foreign policy that differs from the president's. Some would say the president is not actually a conservative when it comes to foreign policy." (Emphasis Tenant's.)

Now if only America had a Wallace, or a Cronkite, a Huntley or a Brinkley, a Howard K. Smith - someone to stand up and expose the fact that the Empire has no clothes!

Keith Olberman has revealed the strategy - now we need someone to execute the tactics. Evangelicals Are Bolting the GOP, and there is an opportunity to break the Bu$hco stranglehold on the news and end the travesty of Imperial America.

If you know of one, promote him! Tell us here who he or she is! Ratings are everything in this war! Let's use them for our advantage for once!

Have you sent your thanks to Russ Feingold yet?

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