Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

The End of Context

In jest, Tom Heald of TVBarn commented that " President Bush will now have the chance to appoint at least three network news anchors." Not funny if you think of the reports that the White House has let it been known that they prefer that Bob Schieffer is now anchoring the CBS Evening News. But that is less worrying to me as Schieffer is still the same species of newsman that Jennings et al were. However, that species is going the way of the Wooly Mammoth, to be replaced by CNN & Fox News, or the mighty blogosphere.

Quite frankly, with the blogosphere taking the example from cable news to be First, Fast and Opinionated, and well, if accuracy falls by the wayside so be it... it's already old news and it's already been processed and discarded.

Frankly, this seems to be the affliction that has affected the White House press corps. They actually seem to be people who are trapped in a "Groundhog's Day" existence where information learned and stories written days or weeks ago are simply forgotten. (My favorite instance of this occurred several months back in the Washington Post. After several months where Bush got nowhere with his signature push for social security privatization, the Post posted this article asking "Was the Bush mandate was oversold?" Unmentioned was that the Post was there selling the mandate back in November.)

Generally, back in the day when network news was king, in the environment Jennings was educated, there was the attempt to always bring context to the story, to report why someone should care about something happening in, say, Lebanon.

Today, Lebanon wouldn't be in the news unless a pretty white girl got lost there on vacation, but if somehow if Lebanon did make the news, it would be the subject for about 12 hours before moving on to the next circus, or if there's no circus we'll go on to the political gasbag sideshow. This is the end of deliberation, I fear, in favor for shallow political posturing and voyeuristic peep-shows and the nutball crime story best suited for Fark.

Goodnight, Peter Jennings.
Tags: media, politics

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