Monday, November 29, 2004

Dangerous Dan and Brokaw

So what are we to make of Dan Rather’s and Tom Brokaw’s imminent departure from the network airwaves? Rather’s certainly past it, and is also quite frankly barking mad. Brokaw, the consummate Midwesterner, wants to ride into the sunset with a guitar playing melodiously and his reputation intact. I don’t have much time for his successor, Brian Williams. That leaves our favorite Canadian, ABC’s Peter Jennings! Hooray for Canada! (Although Jennings is a U.S. citizen now, he hasn’t chucked away his Canadian passport — might come in handy, depending on how bad things get in this country.) Still, network news-land isn’t all it used to be — a point underscored yet again by a Pew Research Center post-election survey showing cable TV outgunning the networks. Pew found that cable TV news was cited by 40 percent of voters as their primary source of campaign news — compared to only 29 percent for all the networks put together. And can you guess who was top of the cable pile? Yep, Fox! Who else?

BTW, for you media hounds out there: It’s worth checking out the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It’s highly regarded by most of the non-loony political elements out there; its director, Andy Kohut, is a regular talking head on TV; and — this is the best bit — he really isn’t barking mad!


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