With the passing of Walter Cronkite, it’s nice to reflect on the life of a journalist who’s integrity allowed millions to trust him to tell them the unbiased truth, as well as hold politicians accountable for their actions.
With the advent of the 24-hour news cycle, viewers are increasing treated to biased opinions attempting to spin a news item. How many times have you tuned into CNN or MNSBC to find a left-wing hack and a right-wing hack shouting talking points at each other, as “journalists” become reduced to nothing more than referees.
It seems to me that the likes of Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, and Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report, are doing more to hold politicians and journalists accountable than any other mainstream newsman.
Cronkite’s death reminded me of a segment a couple of years back when Jon Stewart appeared on the CNN politics show Crossfire. In his 14-minute excoriation of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, he argued that political discourse, as constructed on most news shows, was overly simplistic, excessively confrontational, and exceedingly damaging.
Prior to his appearance, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey to discover that Stewart was the fourth most admired journalist in the media. He was tied with Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, and Anderson Cooper.