As Tom Blumer writes in Newsbusters, put down all beverages before reading this quote from Al Neuharth, extracted from his column in today’s edition of USA Today:
In the olden days, some newspapers actually were backed or funded by political parties. Not only did most endorse candidates, but news coverage often was slanted or opinionated.
Now most newspapers try to be fair and objective in news columns.
OK, to be fair, if you define “the olden days” to mean the era before the national radio networks, that’s reasonable–and the era that followed, which was centered around a unified mass media, served the American public reasonably well until about 1968. But Victor Davis Hanson writes today, as I noted in an earlier post today, that era was shattered by the rise of the World Wide Web and replaced with a hyperpartisan advocacy media–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long consumers know that that’s what their getting, and not a continued feint towards objectivity.
An increasing number of journalists understand that. But to borrow from an earlier post, there are those stragglers, such as Neuharth, whom every year sound more and more like the mythological Japanese soldier discovered on a desert island years after World War II ended, who doesn’t realize the war’s over, and how it concluded.