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

Awaiting the Trump Comeback Narrative

The new "comeback kid."

The internet is nothing if not a source of instant gratification. What the news cycle delivers, it can unceremoniously take away. Opponents of President Donald Trump who are celebrating a dip in his job approval ratings today are celebrating prematurely. Their imprudent revelries are only creating the conditions for Trump to claim vindication when those ratings improve.

2
Shares
Google+ Print

The Persecution of Planned Parenthood’s Exposers

Will journalists speak out for journalism if it targets Planned Parenthood?

Anyone who doubted that the abortion provider Planned Parenthood is a sacred cow for the left had those doubts dispelled on Tuesday night courtesy of California’s Department of Justice. The state pursued and secured criminal charges against two filmmakers who allegedly violated the law when they made a variety of secret recordings of Planned Parenthood officials. While defensible, the facts of this case and those of similar cases California chose not to prosecute stain these charges with the appearance of political persecution.

22
Shares
Google+ Print

The Voting Rights Act’s Injustices

The country has evolved since 1965. It's time for the VRA to evolve along with it.

Discerning observers can reasonably conclude that nuance is an elusive, if not impossible, feature in American political life. The disintegration of our discourse has made methodical, dispassionate analysis of the important issues with which our national conscience grapples nearly inconceivable, and nowhere does this dispiriting phenomenon find a more glaring example than in our debates surrounding race.

9
Shares
Google+ Print

The U.S. Sharing More of the Anti-ISIS Campaign Burden

The Trump administration puts more skin in the anti-ISIS game.

During the campaign, Donald Trump vowed: “We are going to convey my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS. We have no choice.”

6
Shares
Google+ Print

The Real Trump Link in the Threats on Jews

How media created the very climate of hate they sought to preempt.

The arrest of a Jewish American-Israeli teen for making hundreds of bomb threats against American Jewish institutions in recent months seems to put paid to the favorite explanation advanced by both American Jews and the broader American left–i.e., that Donald Trump’s election empowered right-wing anti-Semites, leading to an upsurge in anti-Semitic acts. Yet the fact remains that the number of threats did jump dramatically following Trump’s election, to a degree that seems hard to attribute to mere coincidence. Now, new disclosures by the Israeli police provide a way to square that circle. It turns out the sudden increase was, in fact, connected to Trump’s election–not because of anything Trump did or didn’t do, but because of media’s hysterical reaction to it.