I must admit that I can’t get terribly worked up regarding the Dick Cheney hunting gunshot incident. Cheney made the mistake of shooting someone on a slow news day, and the unbiased media was out for blood, I guess. On the other hand, there was some entertainment value in watching the unbridled hysteria of NBC reporter David Gregory and others trying to manufacture a story that wasn’t there.
At the same time, they missed other stories, such as Al Gore’s seditious speech a few weeks ago in Saudi for the Jeddah Economic Forum. I can’t do any better than Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds who noted that, “Only Al Gore could come up with the idea of criticizing Bush for not sucking up to the Saudis enough.”
Maybe we should cut Gore some slack. After all, he did flunk out of both divinity school and law school. Take a beat, as they say in Hollywood, and ponder flunking out of divinity school, if you please.
Moving back to the Cheney thing for a moment, while there are surely people who enjoy it, the entire notion of hunting leaves me cold. First of all, very few people actually have to be out there shooting their food. The local grocery store has rendered the whole business moot, don’t you think? Isn’t this sort of like writing a novel these days with a quill pen? [Or maybe a quill pen juiced up with the latest high-tech ink feed.]
Hunters will say that it is sport, but the quarry isn’t shooting back. True, firing at a large charging animal such as a grizzly does even the odds a bit, but that sort of exercise would be less than prudent, and is attempted by a precious few. As it is, it is dangerous enough, apparently, being in close proximity with a bunch of pampered, out-of-condition old guys, who want to mess with their guns.
Frankly, the thought of all those high-powered deadly weapons in the hands of a cohort of prescription drug-impaired codgers scares the Hell out of me. But for those who wish to partake, go for it!
This latest example of a media feeding frenzy makes some folks long for the days of objective journalism. The only problem is that if those days ever existed, they were well before the broadcast era. The recent film Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) presents a hagiographic picture of Edward R. Murrow, widely regarded as a media icon and role model for journalists.
Today’s audience would have a difficult time getting past his chain smoking and steely beady-eyed look, but like his contemporaries and his descendants, he was far from unbiased. Truth be told, he was an unabashed Leftist, like Cronkite. Worse, according to the late radio commentator Averill Berman, whom I knew personally, Cronkite and Murrow deliberately softened their hard Left stance, at least on the surface, to boost their careers. Berman did not, and ended up on the outside looking in.
Murrow’s good buddy Laurence Duggan was outed as a Stalinist agent by Joe McCarthy, and committed suicide. Of Duggan’s guilt there is absolutely no doubt, but Murrow’s reaction, in 1948, was to denounce McCarthy—a classical case of killing the messenger—and that was to set the tone from then on. “McCarthyism” was born. Evidently, going after the evil McCarthy took so much of the “unbiased” media’s time, that they had nary a moment to investigate Commies in sensitive positions, who sadly were not exactly in short supply.
Another defining Murrow moment was when Eugene Dennis, William Z. Foster, and ten other leaders of the American Communist Party were convicted—in a case that went all the way up to the Supreme Court (1951)—of conspiring to advocate the forcible overthrow of the United States. His reaction? The beady-eyed nicotine addict entoned, “We can’t legislate loyalty!” Again, it is undeniable that Dennis was a source for Soviet Intelligence, and Foster was a fanatic anti-American and blind supporter of Soviet communism, who died in Moscow.
No doubt, Murrow had plenty to say against the Nazis during the war, but now we see that he was little more than another garden variety “Anti-Fascist.” Totalitarianism on the other side didn’t seem to bother him a whole lot. Some icon.
Thankfully, the antique elite media is fading fast. Good night, and good luck.