William Randolph Hearst never said, “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.” Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast didn’t panic America. Ed Murrow’s “See It Now” TV show didn’t destroy Sen. Joseph McCarthy. JFK didn’t talk the New York Times into spiking its scoop on the Bay of Pigs invasion. Far from being the first hero of the Iraq War, captured Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch was caught sobbing “Oh, God help us” and never fired a shot.
But the best part was at the very end:
For all Mr. Campbell’s earnest scholarship, these media myths are certain to survive his efforts to slay them. Journalism can’t help itself — it loves and perpetuates its sacred legends of evil power-mongers, courageous underdogs, dread plagues and human folly. At the end of the book, Mr. Campbell offers some remedies for media mythologizing, urging journalists, among other things, “to deepen their appreciation of complexity and ambiguity.” Good luck with that, professor.
Yeah, good luck indeed. For instance, good luck expecting any depth or perspective in the PC tsunami that will wash over us from the national media as they thrill over the idea of “an Indian-American woman” becoming governor in the South. Never mind what she would do as governor, the simplistic identity politics narrative overrides all…