Ed Driscoll

The Birth of the MSM — and its Discontents

“Those seeking to discover the wellsprings of the public rage against the national media that has been the fertile ground from which have grown Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Hannity, Beck, and the entire Tea Party, scores of millions of people shaking their fists at the liberal journalistic-academic and Hollywood and Wall Street establishment, need look no farther than this book,” Conrad Black writes in the New York Sun, in his review of Douglas Brinkley’s new biography of Walter Cronkite:

The whole Cronkite-Brinkley thesis that “Nixon [was] the anti-hero [and] worked on the dark side of politics” was a monstrous defamation of a capable, though sometimes neurotic, president, and an almost mortal wound to America as a political society. Until liberal America comes to grips with what it did in Vietnam and Watergate, or at least abandons its affectation of moral certitude and exaltation about them, there will be no workable political consensus in America. And barring another Reagan miracle (the avoidance of which was the main reason Brinkley’s mentor, Stephen Ambrose, recanted his phobia about Nixon in his verbose three-volume biography of Nixon and lamented the move to impeach him), there will continue to be failed presidents and venal Congresses (of both parties).

Douglas Brinkley was once commissioned to review a book of mine and reviewed me instead, and I will not do the same to him. Readers should be aware that he is as much of a Democratic hack as Cronkite. He is also notoriously discourteous, a contributing editor of the vulgar lowbrow glossy Vanity Fair, and one of the chief propagators of the myth of John Kerry as an enlightened war hero altogether imaginable as president. But he is an adequate writer and competent researcher. There’s nothing wrong with being a Democrat, but relentless partisanship isn’t history. This is an informative life of Walter Cronkite, but more importantly, a demonstration of the size and vigor of the virulent liberal aneurysm that still threatens the American political bloodstream.

Read the whole thing.