The term “paradigm shift” was coined by the late professor Thomas Kuhn, and was described in a book he wrote while still a graduate student, well before it was published in 1962 as The Structure of Scientific Revolution.
Kuhn questioned the traditional notion of scientific progress as a gradual, cumulative acquisition of knowledge based on rationally chosen experimental frameworks. Instead, he argued that the paradigm determines the kinds of experiments scientists perform, the types of questions they ask, and the problems they consider important. In other words, a rigid orthodoxy seems to be in control, until some radical development occurs—usually introduced by some young outsider.
While Kuhn’s book applied to science, it was not long before the concept of paradigm shifts was extended to such disciplines as political science, economics, sociology, business management, media, as well as the popular culture.
Oft cited examples of events causing paradigm shifts are the introduction of agriculture, the invention of the printing press, the discovery of water chlorination, the advent of electronic mass communications, and the development of the Internet.
These days, though, the term is being applied to the assumed aftermath of the spectacular fall of Dan Rather and possibly the entire CBS (or C-BS, as some would render it) news organization, over the incredibly inept and outrageously biased 60 Minutes II story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service, based on obviously forged documents. All this being exposed by the plucky group of bloggers on the Internet. We on the Right can certainly take pleasure in the long overdue fall of this overblown group of arrogant lefties, even as we try to evaluate all the past damage done.
As I have mentioned in earlier articles, the “most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite, treasonously abused this trust when, as anchor of the CBS Evening News in the late 1960’s, he not only portrayed our devastating victory in the Vietnam War’s Tet offensive as a defeat, he went on to say that we couldn’t win, and should withdraw. Many in the US Government at the time argued that the entire CBS news organization should be put into prison for undermining our war effort.
It would be many years later that Cronkite would finally be unmasked (for those who somehow didn’t realize it anyway) as an inveterate Leftist, and a rather simpleminded one at that. At least, Cronkite paid his dues as a World War II correspondent, and had some genuine on-air charisma.
In contrast, Dan Rather, a product of lowly Sam Houston State College, and always in awe of the CBS Ivy Leaguers, tried too hard. From his rumpled “journalist” look, replete with suspenders and loosened tie, to his faux country witticisms, he was anything but real. Add to this his unashamed behavior as a Democratic party flack, to say nothing of his perennial last place in the TV ratings, and it’s not a pretty picture.
His touting of the forged documents is by no means his first excursion into the realm of over-the-top bias. It’s just the first time he has been publicly excoriated for doing so. You’d think the mainstream media (MSM in the blogosphere) might wake up and smell the coffee, but the offical tone is still denial.
To make things even more hilarious, in a ten page NY Times Sunday Magazine article (26 September 2004) that finally acknowledged that bloggers exist, do you think they talked about the conservative blogs that have shaken the very foundation of the MSM? You know, the ones making all the news? Like Powerline, Little Green Footballs, Allah Pundit, and Free Republic. Surprise, surprise. They focus instead on the left-leaning and quite amateurish Daily Kos, Josh Marshall, and Wonkette.
The liberal bias and the insularity in the elite media runs so deep, then, that even in chronicling the blog phenomenon, they simply can’t bring themselves to discuss the very news makers in a news story!
But, what can you expect from nearly four generations of inbred self-assured over-schooled and undereducated clones, who just know in their heart that despite reality, they must be correct?
It almost makes you feel sorry for them. Almost.