The Peabody award to Dan Rather drives home the point that the mainstream media have learned nothing and are thumbing their noses at their critics -- and ultimately at those readers and viewers who are looking for enlightenment, rather than spin.
Abraham Lincoln said that you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The steady erosion of the audience that watches CBS, ABC, and NBC television news, and the declining circulation of the leading newspapers, all indicate that more and more people are unwilling to be fooled.
The swift rise of talk radio, Fox News and the bloggers all reinforce the conclusion of a growing disillusionment with the mainstream media that once had a monopoly and abused it.
A reader recently suggested this formula: Monopoly plus discretion minus accountability equals corruption. That kind of corruption can be found not only in the mainstream media but also in two of our most important institutions, the public schools and the federal courts.
Both the schools and the courts flatter themselves that their job is to change society. So does much of the media. But what qualifies these people to be world-changers? They are usually poorly informed about science, uninformed about history and misinformed about economics.
And who elected them to change the world while pretending to be doing something else and betraying their trust?