Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fox News Gets Bad Case of Cronkitis

“I have a feeling that it [Osama bin Laden’s new videotape]could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.”-- Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite on CNN’s Larry King Live, October 29, 2004.
Is anyone else flabbergasted at how many times Fox News has called Walter Cronkite “The Most Trusted Man in America”? I’m glad to see Debbie Schlussel hasn’t lost any time putting Cronkite back in perspective.

I hope Fox News will begin to see some pushback from their saner commentators. As a Fox watcher, I was already thoroughly sick of the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage, but at least Jackson didn't betray American GIs. I anticipate a long week of surfing off of Fox every time the old footage comes on of Cronkite crying during the moon shot. (BTW, get a load of the look on Wally Schirra's face as he endures Cronkite's ego during some of the old moon coverage.)

Fox News exists largely thanks to its faithful viewers’ appreciation for a news alternative to a liberal media establishment of which Cronkite was the founding father. The leftist media’s biggest historical triumph is still having forced America to lose in Vietnam, and Cronkite was the journalistic icon of that defeat. Every time an MSNBC or New York Times reporter said we were losing in Iraq, he had to pay Cronkite a royalty.

Cronkite got the “most trusted man” handle in 1973, when he ranked ahead of the president and vice president in a national poll.
As if beating out Nixon and Agnew was a tough assignment in 1973, the year of Watergate, Agnew resigning, and the American decision to bug out of Vietnam for good, a tragic decision we’re still paying for.

At the time, Americans were OK with that decision because we’d been fed a steady diet of Cronkite’s version of what was at stake. In other words, 1973 was the lowest point of one of the lowest decades in American history. Trusting someone like Cronkite was only a part of the pathology.

Fox picking up and repeating that "most trusted" handle without context--and without challenge-makes as much sense as calling Obama “The One” because the slave media does so without apology.

As can be seen from Cronkite's stupid statement about Karl Rove quoted above, he lacked a balanced perspective, or even common sense. He also shared the fatal flaw of liberal journalism, which is the belief that the whole world agrees with his opinions, except for a few hayseed dummies (like the dopes who watch Fox News).

Is it just a desire to boost ratings that has Fox News trying to out-CBS the mainstream media's lionization of Cronkite?

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