Unless you’re over 45, you probably never heard of Walter Cronkite, much less watched him. He was “America’s Anchorman” back in the 60’s and early 70’s. For 19 years, we tuned in to watch him tell us what was happening in America and around the world. He was the most trusted man in America. If Walter told you something, you believed it. He was there when Kennedy was assassinated. He was there when we landed on the moon. He was there throughout Vietnam, and he left his anchor chair shortly after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president.
Since that time, the four major networks have scoured the globe to find someone that came close to Cronkite in his believability and his trust factor. They’ve all failed. In fact, nowadays, we as a nation trust the media in this country to be truthful about as much as we trust Congress. A whopping 6% of us believe that they have a lot of confidence in the media. And while 90% of us say it’s extremely or very important to have your facts correct if you’re a member of the media, 40% of us can remember a specific time when the media screwed up. It’s happening all of the time.
No one ever knew Cronkite’s political leanings (and he was an unabashed liberal) while he was anchoring the CBS Evening News. You couldn’t tell, because his delivery of the news was unbiased. That was the way journalists were back then. Today? Today, they not only wear their hearts on their sleeves, I’m surprised they don’t wear “Trump” or “Hillary” buttons on their lapels. It’s changed and not for the better.
So, as a former member of the media for 35 years, I have to apologize. I always felt that what I did (which wasn’t news) was to bring a form of entertainment to the people. And while I’m obviously very passionate about politics, what I did on the air had nothing to do with politics. That needed to stay on the sidelines. So, I’m sorry for my younger brethren that obviously feel that the need to trash the opposing viewpoints is more important than bringing you the news in a fair manner. It’s silly to think for a minute that when someone like Fox News comes along and delivers something that is “fair and balanced” and that by the way, means middle of the road that the left loves to condemn them for being right wing. I know some of those guys, and believe me…some of them are NOT right wing! And neither is their reporting. It’s just that they aren’t as uber-left-wing-biased as their competitors so it only SEEMS they are. Truth be told, they’re closer to Cronkite’s delivery today than anything else on television.
So, we’re right in not trusting the media. We’re right in believing that they’re playing everything with an agenda, and we shouldn’t believe anything that they report as gospel. That means we need to get out there and do more work ourselves…and that means we don’t need the media at all. If we’re going to have to do the research, why do we need reporters in the first place?
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!