Cronkite, Murrow, Huntley, and Brinkley Why I Miss

Cronkite

Why I Miss Cronkite, Murrow, Huntley, and Brinkley

Politicians constantly criticize the media for being biased and of using entrapment to make their stories more substantive, more astonishing.  I agree with them, for the most part.  The last person I knew who would ask direct, hard hitting questions, and not allow the interviewee to spin or talk their way out of giving an answer, was Tim Russert, who passed away in 2008.

In an interview with NBC’s Carrie Dann, Jeb Bush was allowed to soften the destructive effects of his brother’s Presidency.  She failed to ask him the tough questions and allowed him to begin his 2016 campaign for the Presidency, while mollifying his surname.

He said that “the public will view his older brother, former president George W. Bush, more favorably as time passes”.  This would have been a great opportunity for a real journalist such as Edward R. Murrow to bluntly ask him:  “Really?  Lying to the American people, presenting false testimony before congress and the United Nations Security Council, invading two sovereign countries on false pretenses, which cost our country thousands of lives and billions of dollars, and turning his back while the banking industry was allowed to bankrupt the country for the sake of greed, these actions are his legacy, and these actions are what will make him memorable.”

His interview was part of a media blitz to promote his book “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.”  In it the only meaningful statement is that he believes in comprehensive immigration reform.  But his ideas are incomplete.  Ms. Dann had the opportunity to pin him down regarding every proposal made by the Obama administration, but she didn’t.  What she allowed him to do was promote himself and his book.

It’s also interesting that he is on every television show that will have him immediately after Rand Paul staged his own publicity stunt on the Senate floor.

Watch carefully, America, you will see these two before a camera whenever the opportunity presents itself.

With the recent poll by Quinnipiac showing Hillary Clinton would defeat the men who most Republicans consider possible front runners, they see an opportunity to put public focus on themselves.  And, it’s a good plan.  None of the men mentioned would defeat Ms. Clinton in the general election, so they saw a potential, and used it.

Illegal or not, campaigning for the next Presidential election begins on the Wednesday following the last election.  The advantages of early politicking is that names and faces will be remembered, and there are no attack ads.  When ‘legal’ campaigning begins, their hope is that their image will be difficult to defame.

I will always continue to be FOX News biggest critic, because it is “unfair, and unbalanced”.  It is no more than a Republican tool.  But all news services “soft ball” questions to political figures today.  Why they do it is simple.  The rules have changed.  Politicians control the media today, and not vice versa.

When television news was not a “for profit” program, it was honest, took ½ to 1 hour to inform the American people, and did not tell us what to think, it simply stated the facts, encouraging us to make our own decisions.  If a reporter asks ‘difficult’ questions today, they may not be called on at a news conference.  The station manager may be called and warned that if their “behavior” continues, sources inside the government will cease to exist, or “dry up”.

I have acquaintances in places whose security clearances are higher than most Senators.  Of course they would never reveal details of anything that is classified, but one comment was made to me years ago. “When you read or watch the news remember; most of it is a lie.  Journalists only report what the government wants you to know.”  It’s simply a case of selling advertising for airtime.  And television news is the most profitable segment on the airwaves.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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