The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Eulogy For The Nightly News
We control trust. And so that is how we operate with news, too: We can get the source material on the web or via CSpan to judge the facts for ourselves; we can follow the track record of reporters and news organizations to see when they mess up and whether we should believe them; we follow the links of those who have not led us astray; we can see who is being transparent and who is not and judge accordingly; we decide what stories are important for us; we get to question those in power thanks to new media. We are in control.
The idea that we should just sit there and watch as someone reads the news to us is -- now that we see the alternatives -- quaint at best, condescending at worst. Why the hell should we ever have let Dan Rather decide what's important to us and how we should should look at it? How did we ever tolerate listening to the news from him without taking the opportunity to talk back?
And just look at what happened when we did talk back: Dan Rather could not stand the idea that bloggers in PJs [*] could have facts and a voice; he attacked those who only tried to help him get to the truth; he showed that he cared more about his position on the pedestal than about the truth or serving his public. This led to his downfall. Dan Rather wasn't made to listen, only to speak. When he was forced to listen, it destroyed him.
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