Friday, May 13, 2011

The Little Demigods of TV

‎"I'm concerned about the little demigods of TV who make an instant analysis of complicated events. There should be bounds on what TV men do, so much of which is delivered with flippant abandon." Douglas Cater, special assistant to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, in 1968, recorded in Victor Lasky's "It Didn't Start With Watergate."

To say Faux News did it first and still does it best skirts the issue that especially in politics, the news media of any stripe has been up to these shenanigans for years.

"You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war." William Randolph Hearst, 1898.

As entertaining as Jon Stewart and Co. are, it's shameful that we have sunk to the point that only on a non-news entertainment show does anyone say what Stewart and Colbert say and are believed. I don't believe in the bounds that Cater mentions, but I do worry about the "little demigods" of TV, whether they mix a little tiny bit of news with commentary or throw entertainment into the mix to take the curse off it.

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