Brian Williams is taking a sabbatical until he’s no longer the laughing stock of the internet - this is HUGE! I can tell because even Maureen Dowd can’t seem to find the humor in it. It’s as if she senses something more existential (yes, I said it) is at stake here. It may be starting to dawn on her that the broadcast (and print) journalism franchise is flailing. Like Radio Shack, who continued to hang around providing inferior product and service long after they had lost sight of their objective.
Here’s MoDo’s take on the situation:
Although Williams’s determination to wrap himself in others’ valor is indefensible, it seems almost redundant to gnaw on his bones, given the fact that the Internet has already taken down a much larger target: the long-ingrained automatic impulse to turn on the TV when news happens.
As the late-night comic anchors got more pointed and edgy with the news, the real anchors mimicked YouTube.
I wonder what’s worse, being obsolete, or redundant?
Or perhaps both:
I guess I can see how such existential dread could lead you to generate “self-glorying fantasies.” I’m just surprised MoDo picked up on this; I wonder what tipped her off to the pending end of the world as she knows it? Was it the acrid smell of mendacity?
The frightening confrontation of a delusional mind?
Or perhaps it was finally confronting the depravity of absolute narcissism?
Whatever it was that put MoDo on the truth trail after all these years, I’ve got to admit, she nailed it: 30 years after many of us first began to get wind of it. Better late than never.
Social media — the genre that helped make the TV evening news irrelevant by showing us that we don’t need someone to tell us every night what happened that day — was gutting the institution further.
The nightly news anchors are not figures of authority. They’re part of the entertainment, branding and cross-promotion business.
As the performers — Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Bill Maher — were doing more serious stuff, the supposedly serious guys were doing more performing.
Unfortunately doing “more serious stuff” is a very low bar indeed when we’re talking about nightly newscasts that are “rife with cat, dog and baby videos, weather stories and narcissism,” all of which can likewise be viewed at your convenience on the innertubes. So there’s that whole redundancy thing again, eating away at your relevance. Everybody gets the news tweeted out to them long before the evening network news hits the air.
So here’s my take: anytime you have a story that gets Maureen Dowd and Mark Steyn on the same page, it’s got legs.
Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair didn't kill American journalism. But the absurd self-aggrandizement of journalism…is a big part of the narcissistic culture that lures a competent well-coiffed teleprompter reader down the path to fake war stories.
And that’s nearly as bad as telling tall tales about your dying mother’s being denied insurance coverage in order to pass your legacy healthcare legislation.
As a wise man once noted: “Teleprompter readers: you can’t live with them butt you sure as hell can live without them.”
In other news, members of the
royal Obama family dined with Thomas Nides and Virginia Moseley in their swanky Washington home last night. Nides is vice chairman of investment bank Morgan Stanley. His wife is a CNN executive. My guess is they were just trying to secure Malia’s future while the getting’s still good.