A media monopoly dies

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2004

Commentary by Michael Reagan

The long reign of the liberal-dominated old media is over, and Dan Rather and CBS gave it the coup de grace.

It’s been in its death throes for quite a while, ever since talk radio and internet bloggers and Fox News arrived on the scene and began to tell the other – and true – side of the stories the mainstream media had been spiking or slanting leftward for decades.

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But the old crew of far-out liberals still had plenty of clout left, especially the networks which were the sole source of news for millions of Americans. Now, thanks to Dan Rather and his crew of 60 Minutes lefties, the credibility of not only CBS but the other two networks will always be open to question. From now on, their biased slant on the news will be open to question and carefully monitored by the alternative media which have proven their credibility once and for all.

CBS’s bias has been obvious for a long time – they’ve been recognized as being practically an adjunct to the liberal Democrat party. But it took Rathergate to expose the extent of the network’s slavish obeisance to the Democrat party line.

You have only to ask yourself why the people who passed the forged documents passed them to CBS, and not to ABC or NBC – both bastions of liberalism – and the answer jumps out at you. Those forgeries were manufactured for just one reason: to defeat President George Bush in November, and the forgers and those who abetted them knew that Rather and CBS shared their burning desire to see the president lose his re-election bid and would join them in their bash-Bush campaign.

Think about it – both ABC and NBC have their own investigative shows similar to 60 Minutes. Yet as far as we know, they were never approached by the forgers. And for good reason – they knew whom they could depend on to join them in smearing the president with their phony documents and attempting to change the outcome of the election, and it was CBS.

Rather and his producer Mary Mapes, in fact, proved to be so eager to inflict serious damage on the president that they were willing to ignore all the warnings from their own experts that there was something so fishy about the documents that the network should not have used them. Those who fed the forgeries to CBS were confident this would be the case.

Had they approached NBC and ABC, the documents would have ended up in the trash can. They may be as liberal as CBS in many ways – ABC’s Peter Jennings certainly is – but they are not stupid. They would have recognized the documents as frauds and that using them would sound their own death knell as it has for CBS and Rather.

So CBS bit – and got bitten.

What is important to remember is that CBS would have gotten away with the scam if it hadn’t been all those quick-witted bloggers, the talk show hosts, internet journals and Fox News who told the world what the bloggers had revealed. The alternative media displayed their awesome power and put the old media on notice that their monopoly over reporting the news had ended.

What is most important to remember is the fact that in this episode the new media established their credibility as news sources and gave their fellow Americans an alternative to the liberal media, which in cases such as the New York Times Jason Blair scandal and the Washington Post Janet Cooke fraud showed the public that the old media cannot be trusted.

The new kids on the block have shown the big media bullies that their days of pushing people around are over. Like murder, truth will now out.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan. Send comments to mereagan@hotmail.com

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