Jul 20, 2009

Critical mourning

An ardent critic of mainstream media standards, Glenn Greenwald contemplates Walter Cronkite's journalistic legacy and concludes with this:
In the hours and hours of preening, ponderous, self-serving media tributes to Walter Cronkite, here is a clip you won't see, in which Cronkite -- when asked what is his biggest regret -- says (h/t sysprog):

What do I regret? Well, I regret that in our attempt to establish some standards, we didn't make them stick. We couldn't find a way to pass them on to another generation.

It's impossible even to imagine the likes of Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw and friends interrupting their pompously baritone, melodramatic, self-glorifying exploitation of Cronkite's death to spend a second pondering what he meant by that.

The preening ponderous might not take the time to reflect on Cronkite's words of regret, but there's an interesting debate about them, the proper role of journalists, and Greenwald's thesis, in the comments section.

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