On Friday, Walter Cronkite channeled a variation on Peter Jennings’ infamous “temper tantrum” line from election night 1994 to Larry King. Or maybe it’s a reissue of Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech. In any case, Uncle Water is none-too-happy with the American people at the moment:
We’re an ignorant nation right now. We’re not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course.
“We’re an ignorant nation right now“, he says, because the majority of voters didn’t see eye-to-CBS eye with the mainstream media’s candidate. If in 2008 they do, then we won’t be as ignorant. Until 2012, or 2016.
But if “the majority of our people making the decisions that have to be made at election time” are “not really capable”, who’s fault is that? Doesn’t Cronkite and CBS play some role in this state of affairs? Given that his network and its two large competitors with exactly the same ideological worldview dominated the mediascape of this country for half a century, Walter could have said much the same thing after Novembers in 1968, 1972, 1980 and in 1984.
But he probably wouldn’t have. As I’ve written before, the combination of Fox News and the right half of the Blogosphere has been liberating to many older media types, who are far more willing to discuss their biases–and in Walter’s case, his contempt.
And if “The Most Trusted Man In America”, as he was once known, wants to say that he doesn’t trust his former viewers, well, who are we to stop him?
(Via Mike Austin.)