Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Waiting for Cronkot

My dad seems to think that Katie Couric's leaving NBC is big news.

"She's going to be taking that seat that was occupied by Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather," my dad said. "That's big."

"I don't think it is, Dad," I said. "The history of the CBS anchor seat is interesting but it has no greater effect. It is no more interesting than the history of the World Heavyweight Championship belt."

"It's bigger than that, I think," he said. "People care about that sort of thing, just as they care about who's the editor of the New York Times."

But I don't think they do care -- at least not people of my generation or younger. For the most part, I feel that the news business has managed to alienate most people younger than my father's generation, class and race. Of those of us who do pay attention, we tend to make the editorial decisions on our own, collecting news from various sources.

Critics of the Internet utopian vision often reference this fact as a sign that the news world is going to hell in a hand basket. Fair enough that having each person serve as his own filter for the world runs the risk of creating people who do little more than reinforce their own views, but I doubt Katie Couric is the wise sage who can guide me through this world. I doubt anyone at CBS thinks she is, either.

The news business feels like a waning religion, sometimes. Sure, there are still people out there spreading the gospel of journalism in new and exciting ways, but I am increasingly losing faith in the Church of News I was raised in.


Samsung said...

I read the New York Times because I feel like it's my civial duty to do so. I am continuously amazed by the articles they put out, although few people are any more (my local newspaper is a shame, disgrace). I don't watch TV, especially TV news. It plays too much to our senses, the violence, blood, the horror, instead of being purely educational.

And most of my generation is apathetic to things political. They don't read the newspaper, they don't know who Karl Rove is. If they do want to know something, they watch the Jon Stewart show.


Anonymous said...

Your church is riddled with rot, and the priests are fucking the altar boys.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

They are still getting the sports scores correct, though.

littlegoat said...

I worship at the altar of the News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Boy is it dry, but they basically just tell me what happened and make a couple of eggheads argue about it for a few minutes. That's a news show that I do actually trust.

Crystal said...

Who is the editor of the New york Times?

Anonymous said...

Rich, does your dad think Chrissy's taking over the anchor seat is bigger than when all my Jericholics watched me become the first unified champion in wrestling history!?

PS Where's my loverboy CD, Rich?