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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A New MSM Obit Comes in the Wake of Rathergate, Confirms Rise of "Blogger Nation"

Newsweek's Howard Fineman says in his MSNBC.com column this morning that the party is over for the MSM because the Rathergate debacle is merely the tip of the iceberg. This is a significant not only in what it says about how the once-dominant influence of the MSM is gone but also because Fineman pinpoints the fundamental hypocrisy behind the objectivity pose from the first day Walter Cronkite editorialized against the Vietnam War.

"The crusades of Vietnam and Watergate seemed like a good idea at the time, even a noble one, not only to the press but perhaps to a majority of Americans. The problem was that, once the AMMP declared its existence by taking sides, there was no going back. A party was born," Fineman said.

That AMMP acronym means American Mainstream Media Party, Fineman's way of saying Dan Rather and the rest of the MSM's powers-that-be functioned much like a partisan political party, their claims of objectivity notwithstanding.

Fineman is not the first MSM voice to acknowledge the reality behind the objectivity claims, nor is his column today the last we are likely to hear in the wake of the Rathergate report. I think what we are now seeing is the first stage of the essential step in recovery - MSMers admitting the seriousness of the problem. You can click on the headline to this post to go to the full Fineman column.