Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2004 / 29 Elul, 5764

Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Who's Looking Out For You? | There are a lot of amazing elements to the CBS/National Guard document story: CBS's initial "how-dare-these-internet-bloggers-question-us!" hubris, Dan Rather's refusal to see the writing on the wall, and Kerry's supporters' sheer stupidity in fueling this story in the first place. But when "no spin"-meister Bill O'Reilly chose to weigh in, it wasn't what you might have expected--namely, Bill didn't blast the elites at Viacom who are allowing the story to fester due their failure to take responsibility for the fishy documents. Instead, O'Reilly took the occasion to blast "right wing conservative talk show hosts" for pushing the story of the memos. "Because of the internet, everything has changed," he lamented, "It's just nuts."

But to millions of Americans, who listen to talk radio, scan the internet, and watch cable news, even more "nuts" were the days when the television news world was dominated by the likes of CBS, NBC and ABC. In those "good old days" Walter, Dan, Peter and Tom were the gatekeepers. And if we little people had problems with the bias, or with the stories that were never covered, well, it was just too bad. In those days, we little people didn't have folks like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, and enterprising bloggers holding the elites' feet to the fire when they needed it.

"Believe me, I know Dan Rather. In just a self-interest arena, someone like Rather or O'Reilly or Brokaw," O'Reilly insisted, "We're not going to do anything fraudulent, because our careers would just go-POOF!" Of course by that logic, none of the top execs at Enron or Tyco could possibly be guilty of any wrongdoing either because their careers would just go POOF! Ditto for any politician accused of wrongdoing.

Who knows why O'Reilly, once an elite-buster extraordinaire, seems to be in the middle of an extreme image makeover. Maybe it's more fun to shoot the breeze with P. Diddy than it is to shine the light on CBS. Maybe you get cooler cocktail invites by perpetually reminding everyone that you're an independent. Maybe the seductive pull of the New York elite media was just too much for him. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure-Fox News, talk radio, and internet news sites have broken through by challenging the elites, not by becoming like the elites.

Donate to JWR

Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the Dallas Morning News are all covering the CBS/National Guard documents story largely because of the work of ambitious bloggers who did the initial leg work. Yes, talk radio listeners want to hear the latest on this. Why is that disturbing to some? Who is to say that this story is any less legitimate than 24/7 hurricane coverage? Broadcast networks demand accountability-as they rightly should-from the Bush Administration in its handling of Iraq, the economy, and even the President's National Guard Service. So why do they resist the public holding them accountable in their reporting?

The network dinosaurs won't admit it, but they prefer those "good old days" when they were the only game in town. It was much easier when they reported and you listened. You can't blame them for being bitter, really. They know their days are numbered. We don't need them anymore. And this infuriates them. Tom Brokaw, in a speech to the National Press Club, targeted "right wing radio" as "jingoistic." Peter Jennings has made no secret of his own disdain for this brave new media culture. All those people out there, listening to talk radio, and wearing flag lapel pins! What is this country coming to?

O'Reilly has chosen an odd moment in history to embrace the old media. We were tired of their arrogance twenty years ago and it's no more charming today. And we don't plan on ceding their monopoly back to them. Conservatives in 1964, 1974 and 1984 were just as frustrated with liberalism as they are today, but the difference is, back then they had no media outlets where their views were heard. Now they do.

Power to the People.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Laura Ingraham is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show and the author of the just released "Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America". Comment by clicking here.

07/19/04: Let them be heard
07/01/04: Our runaway Supreme Court
06/08/04: The Reagan legacy: It was about more than his optimism
03/30/04: Friends, What Friends?
02/27/04: Order in the Court!
02/17/04: Have they no decency?
01/22/04: The Dean bubble
01/09/04: Jumping conservatives at the border
11/20/03: The Media Misses the Point — Again
10/29/03: The attack of the open border elites
09/11/03: Blame America redux
09/04/03: Back To School, or Back to...Sex?
08/27/03: The elites' anti-religion obsession
08/14/03: Dems whine, democracy shines
08/12/03: What would Reagan do?
08/06/03: Hillary, courtside
07/30/03: Gray skies just got darker
07/23/03: Sticking it to the Children
07/08/03: He's not invincible
07/01/03: It's time to take back the Constitution
04/01/03: Peter Arnett's MOAB
03/25/03: The Dems' Michael Moore Problem
03/18/03: Dixie Chicken out
03/11/03: The real predator drones
03/04/03: The French PR machine crashes
02/25/03: Keep us safe --- let's be more like Europe!
02/11/03: Hollywood loves dictators
02/05/03: First Amendment frauds in Cincinnati
01/28/03: The elites versus the voters
01/22/03: Playing (and losing) Homeland Security politics
01/14/03: What have you done for the free world lately?
12/17/02: Who is the better leader: Gore or Lott?
12/10/02: Who, more than anyone else, is actively advancing the cause of civil liberties around the world?
12/04/02: 'Tis the season to hope for the worst
11/27/02: The Federal P.C. Police Versus Small Business Owners (Cont'd)
11/19/02: Bipartisan moves to reward illegals
11/13/02: Eminem, a rebel? You gotta be kidding!
11/05/02: In defense of low turnout
10/30/02: Hell, no they won't go!
10/22/02: Where are the moderate Muslims?
10/15/02: California dreaming, cont'd
10/08/02: Slick Willie's running
10/01/02: Euro-worries about wall flower status
09/26/02: How lucky we are that the Straight Talk Express drove off the cliff!
09/18/02: What Jackson and Sharpton know about conservatives
09/12/02: The Today Show v. guns
08/27/02: Bush not attending the UN-sponsored "bash Amerika" conference!?
08/20/02: The NEA: Let the anti-American indoctrination begin!
08/13/02: Bubba's revenge
08/07/02: Bilingual bust continues its drag on our schools
07/30/02: Dems love for big lawyers=big opportunity
07/23/02: No time for vacation
07/16/02: Is Homeland Security all wet?
06/25/02: The firing season has arrived
06/18/02: Picking the next chief
06/11/02: Intelligence coup, with much more to do
06/07/02: The Bush administration's foul ball
05/30/02: Post-feminism in the aftermath of 9-11
05/23/02: The press gunning for Ashcroft
05/19/02: El Jefe basks in Carter's Light
05/15/02: Former presidents who don't understand the word "former"
05/07/02: Ozzy deified, many mortified, drugs glorified?
05/01/02: Bush: "California here I come ... sort of"
04/27/02: The good news about conservatives versus Bush
04/17/02: While the cat's away....
04/09/02: Preview of 2004: See how Dick runs!
01/29/02: A kinder, gentler human-rights violator?
11/27/01: Military tribunals provide streamlined justice
09/07/01: Scariest animal wears pants
08/17/01: Depressed after seeing uncut version of Apocalypse Now --- and for good reason
07/20/01: The other, maybe more important, news
06/22/01: Washington's pro-Bono worship is unnerving
06/01/01: Burying conservatism
05/17/01: Ashcroft's abuse of power

© 2002, Laura Ingraham