You can go back to Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor and Walter Cronkite. We treated them all with a deference that was totally out of proportion to the work they did. Essentially, the job description requires that they read the captions to the news footage weíre watching and to introduce the on-site reporters. Do you really think that constitutes the mental equivalent of heavy lifting? For doing what your uncle Sid could do ó and with a lot more pazazz ó theyíre paid enormous amounts of money. On top of all the dough, they are constantly the honorees at testimonial dinners, but thatís fine, so long as I donít have to attend. But the trouble is, theyíre regarded as important people by way too many of us, and thatís not good. Why? Because it makes us all look like a bunch of saps ó what H.L. Mencken called the boobus americanus and what P.T. Barnum simply labeled suckers.
Because these anchors get to spend their entire careers talking about important events and important people, they naturally come to regard themselves as important. Self-delusion is a form of insanity and we should not encourage it by fawning over them.
When they finally sign off for the last time, you notice that the testimonials inevitably mention how many political conventions they covered, how many space missions, how many inaugurations, assassinations, uprisings and wars, as if they had had a hand in any of these earth-shaking events. It wasnít their hands that were involved, it was their behinds, as they sat year after year at those desks, declaiming in those store-bought voices what we were seeing with our own eyes ó all thanks to the journalistic peons who actually went places and did things and took risks so that we could sit home and watch it.
Now, Iím not saying we should kill the messengers. Iím just suggesting itís time we stopped canonizing them.
During "Rather-gate", a Vietnam veteran who I know once told me that he met Dan Rather and wasn't surprised to see Rather hoisted on his own petard. Well, actually, he used more colourful language but you get the point.
He said he'd just come back from a difficult combat mission where they'd lost a couple of buddies. Rather met them, well inside the safe zone, and stuck a microphone in my friend's face and asked "What's the body count? How many did you lose?" at which point my friend suggested Rather back off before things got ugly. Rather sneered and said "I'm just trying to get the story." and my buddy said "You didn't ask for a story. You asked for a body count." and Rather walked away.
Anyway... back to anchor-dudes... What exactly does Peter Mansbridge do but read the lines? When he bothers to "interview" someone, it's almost always a Liberal and Mansbridge has scripted softball questions for them. Pathetic.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You can attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum