The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, January 13, 2005
 

Is Howard Fineman barking?


My initial thought on reading his two cents on the Rathergate Report was that he should be looking for change.

His piece has a gimmick - the idea of the American Mainstream Media Party:
the notion of a neutral, non-partisan mainstream press was, to me at least, worth holding onto. Now it's pretty much dead, at least as the public sees things. The seeds of its demise were sown with the best of intentions in the late 1960s, when the AMMP was founded in good measure (and ironically enough) by CBS. Old folks may remember the moment: Walter Cronkite stepped from behind the podium of presumed objectivity to become an outright foe of the war in Vietnam. Later, he and CBS's star White House reporter, Dan Rather, went to painstaking lengths to make Watergate understandable to viewers, which helped seal Richard Nixon's fate as the first president to resign.

Is that a useful oversimplification, or the birth of an Aunt Sally?

A case for Occam's Razor, I instinctively feel - analogising the US news media as a political party doesn't seem terribly useful, or, indeed a credible analogy at all.

Yet Jay Rosen calls it a great column and the good people at CJR Daily deem it worthy of notice (though not agreement).

I may come back to it.


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