Rather's New World Order
a. Dumbed-down coverage
b. Tarted-up coverage
c. Pressure from nasty corporations
d. 24-hour cable news
e. Profit-motivated news execs
f. Watch-dogging bloggers
If you guessed "f," thinking perhaps that since it was bloggers that hounded him from his job, you'd be wrong. He didn't even mention them at his recent speech at Fordam University.
If you guessed "e," which is quite likely the biggest cause of fear in the news room, you'd be wrong, too. Rather lamented that today's bosses did not exude a feeling of security to reporters going out on a big story, but didn't put the blame there.
If you guest "a," "b," or "d," nope.
The Number One reason why reporters today run scared, in Rather's view, is that the big, bad corporations they're trying to cover put pressure on the big, bad corporations that own the media. Rather is letting his Leftist petticoats show, as most normal folks don't spend much time thinking about big corporate conspiracies since they don't accept as true the hours of TV programming every night that portray businessmen and women as morally bankrupt criminals.
Casting around for big, bad corporations, we immediately find Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco and the other corrupt empires, and of course Halliburton. None of them have experienced a lack of negative media coverage.
What about the political influence of corporations? Do their GOP CEOs call the media and demand fairness for Bush? If they do, it doesn't appear to be working, as evidenced most recently by Dean Reynold's lengthy, futile casting about for an anti-Bush comment from Katrina evacuees.
But that's no more compelling as evidence to Rather than was the lack of kerning capability in 1970-era typewriters. And it's certainly not evidence of bias, eh?