Dan Rather and The Great Fear

George Neumayr at American Spectator has further insights into the real meaning of Dan Rather’s discovery of a “climate of fear” controlling the mainstream news media.

The “new journalism order,” said Rather at Fordham, is defined by a climate of “fear.” This is just another euphemism for the loss of liberal monopolistic power and emergence of conservative competition. By “fear,” what he means is that liberal journalists who could once spread their propaganda without looking over their shoulders now have to.

That Rather is fighting back tears these days is due to the shock of ending his career on a forgery ferreted out by the new journalistic order, and the unwillingness of CBS to back him up on the bogus report. As far as I know, he still hasn’t disclaimed the forgery; O.J.-like, he is apparently still in search of letters confirming the “core truth” of his story. Through his tears, he is in effect saying to CBS: you guys didn’t check my work for decades. Then you sideline me because of the complaints of some right-wing bloggers and media outlets?

Rather recalled for the Fordham crowd the glory days of old when conservatives couldn’t drive a wedge between him and management. “There was a connection between the leadership and the led … a sense of, ‘we’re in this together,’” Rather said.

In short, the “climate of fear” consists in the fact that the liberal media’s claim to non-partisan neutrality no longer serves as an impenetrable shield against critical examination of the media’s own motives, agendas, and truthfulness. What James Kalb has called “The Tyranny of Liberalism” has begun—but only begun—to break down before our eyes. Yet there’s not much comfort here for traditionalists, since, alongside the modest loss of liberal power, that which is called conservatism keeps moving to the left, and the net power of liberalism keeps increasing.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 21, 2005 04:27 PM | Send

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