Williams and the Myth of the Evening News

In our 24/7 news environment it is sometimes hard to remember the central role that the national evening news broadcasts played in American life prior to the cable revolution. But though those programs still exist and have a considerable audience, their importance is greatly diminished. That’s why the controversy over NBC News’ Brian Williams’s lies about his experience during the 2003 invasion of Iraq is significant, though not quite as earthshaking as it once might have been. But while the toppling of yet another mainstream media giant is still a big deal, it also points out the fallacy inherent in the way most Americans once regarded the institution of the evening news. Far from being the source of objectivity and integrity, these shows were, and are, the product of news organizations that are not only flawed but also saturated with liberal bias. It is that lack of intellectual integrity and bias that led to the success of the alternatives to these programs in places like Fox News and talk radio. The diminished audience for programs like the one Williams hosts (at least for now) is rooted in the lack of faith in the integrity of the mainstream media that his prevarications have once more illustrated.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Williams and the Myth of the Evening News

Must-Reads from Magazine

Trump, CNN, and the Corruption of Conservatism

Power over principle.

When a handful of obdurate conservatives vowed to oppose Donald Trump even if he were to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, they did so for two reasons. First, he seemed destined to lose. Second, they feared that Trump, by virtue of his malleable boosters in conservative media, was uniquely able to redefine conservatism. This concern has proven prescient. Trump is leading conservatives to embrace liberal political objectives purely out of spite. His Justice Department’s effort to block a merger between AT&T and CNN’s parent company appears to be an example of this corruption.

16
Shares
Google+ Print

When Politicians Aren’t Moral

Last podcast before Thanksgiving

audio: https://soundcloud.com/commentarymagazine/when_politicians_arent_moral

In this COMMENTARY podcast, the gang (minus an under-the-weather Noah Rothman) discusses Donald Trump’s anti-presidential attitude and whether there’s an upside to it. We also consider the new partisan turn in the response to ongoing sexual-misconduct allegations. Give a listen. 

4
Shares
Google+ Print

Only an Outsider Sees the Obvious

A sensible policy on Iran and North Korea.

Almost a year into the Trump presidency, this administration’s foreign policy could be best described as confused. Reports suggest that the president is in a constant state of displeasure with his subordinates in the foreign-service establishment, and the feeling is mutual. On issues ranging from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s conflicts in Yemen and Qatar to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the president and the administration he leads frequently contradict one another. Trump’s reckless antagonism toward strategic competitors like China strikes a perplexing contrast with his conciliatory appeals toward Russia. And no one in the White House seems to know what the trade deficit is.

14
Shares
Google+ Print

The Opportunist

A conversion of convenience.

While Republicans are wrestling over whether to fully embrace a lecherous scofflaw, Democrats are finally breaking with one. This is how the latter party would prefer the nation’s narrative-shapers frame the left’s apparent determination to confront the allegations against President Bill Clinton. The fact that this great coming to terms occurs at a moment of utmost political opportunity is, they’d contend, pure coincidence.

20
Shares
Google+ Print

The Democrats’ Faith-Based Initiative

Myths and fables.

The Democrats seem to have three and only three principles when it comes to tax policy.

17
Shares
Google+ Print