Sunday, September 12, 2004

slow news. . .for me

With all my usual sources for inspiration focused on the collapse of CBS as a credible news reporting agency, I really have found little reason to post lately. I think that it is amazing how thoroughly and voluminously the blogosphere has debunked the "truth" asserted in those memos that Dan Rather put on 60 minutes the other day. I think the story--as it has developed--is very interesting. And I gotta tell ya'--if Rather goes into the sunset with this as his final act of public "service". . .well, as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't have been any more fitting if it tried.

I remember watching CBS coverage of election night 2000. I remember distinctly how Rather reacted when Florida was taken off the "Gore" side and put in the "undecided" column--it was literally the straw that broke the camel's back. That night was very tough on the news reporters--so much fluidity in an "institution" (that being our national elections) that hadn't known that kind of volatility in a looooong time. Rather looked totally exasperated when the producers informed him that their earlier declaration of Florida for Gore was being rescinded. . .even at the time I thought his reaction was overdone for a "non-partisan", as I foolishly thought major news anchors to be at that time.

Now I have no beef with Rather as a person, because I don't know him. But he clearly doesn't take his role as an ANCHOR very seriously. This 60 Minutes spiel should have been the work of an investigative reporter, somebody who lives day in and day out in the world where credibility is the only way to put food on the plate. Rather hasn't had to do that kind of work in a while--and the sloppiness of this "investigation" smacks of that rusty amateurness. But more to my point: as a consumer, I expect some degree of moderation from the people telling me the "news". If you want to put spin on it, save it for the guest spots. I know that anchors, as people, have their own beliefs and therefore have their own horse in every race. But I don't want that to seep into their public persona--I WANT to believe that the facts they present to me are, indeed, factual. I guess that's too much to ask of the mainstream media, though. . .

Which would be a really sad thing to acknowledge--if I didn't know where to go to get my factual fixes. Long live the blogosphere!!!


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