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Will Katie Couric Have the Last Laugh?

Commentary by Greg Lewis / NewMediaJournal.US
April 18, 2006

It's just a rumor, but I have it from reliable sources that CBS is going to add a laugh track to the evening news when Katie Couric takes over. Ahh, thank goodness for the big three networks as they continue their quest to blur the line between news and entertainment, not to mention the line between news and advocacy journalism.

NBC has done its part recently, also. An e-mail from one Tarek El-Messidi that at first seemed like it must have been planted but which turned out to be real, put out a call for "men who actually 'look Muslim'" and would be willing to participate in a racism sting operation. NBC planned to turn these "Muslims" loose at a NASCAR event in Texas, and then to follow them around with a camera crew in the hope that some rednecks would insult and harass them, or, better yet, beat them up. NBC's cameras would, of course, be right there to film the mayhem, all in the name of bringing the "news" to its viewers. This staged event would apparently have been further evidence that everyday Americans are irredeemably racist, and this would, in turn shore up a sagging liberal agenda, one of the cornerstones of which is "diversity." Never mind that diversity invariably turns out to mean suppression of Christianity and freedom of speech in the name of having a minority agenda shoved down your throat.

It's one more case demonstrating how the mainstream news networks are becoming more and more like propaganda machines and less and less like legitimate news organizations. Couric's hiring is yet another example of this trend. Of course, Katie only came under consideration for the evening news anchor job at CBS because Dan Rather conspired to perpetrate a story based on shamelessly forged documents which allegedly demonstrated some dishonorable behavior by President Bush back in the early 1970s when he was in the Texas Air National Guard. The fact that Bob Schieffer is in contravention of the unspoken law that a new anchor cannot continue to appear on television more than one year after being embalmed is another reason Katie got the nod.

Prior to Rathergate, CBS had been blurring the lines between news and entertainment since the Walter Cronkite era. For those of you who don't remember the patron saint of advocacy journalism, Cronkite was (and still is) a committed leftist who helped make "body count" a household phrase during his crusade against United States interests during the Vietnam War.

Let me review that time briefly. While lapping up recent Presidential candidate John Kerry's false witness about American atrocities after he (Kerry) had returned from his few months in Vietnam, American journalists in the early '70s all but ignored the Hue massacre committed by the North Vietnamese against the South. The massacre of more than 3,500 Vietnamese civilians, you'll recall — wait, you probably won't recall, because Walter Cronkite and his cronies hushed it up — was perpetrated when the battle for the town of Hue turned against the Vietcong, who proceeded to slaughter the men, women, and children of several villages surrounding that besieged city after discovering that South Vietnamese support for their cause was less than expected. After the Hue massacre it was understood among the South Vietnamese that, as local provincial chief Le Van Than said at the time, "the Vietcong would kill them, regardless of their political belief."
America never suffered a military defeat in Vietnam. The infamous 1968 Tet Offensive resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of enemy troops (for those of you who don't remember, "enemy" refers to North Vietnamese troops and not, as Cronkite and the media of the time tried to convince us, American troops). No less a personage than North Vietnamese Commander General Vo Nguyen Giap told a French television interviewer that "his most important guerrilla ally during the war was the American press."

In addition to leaning more and more toward entertainment/advocacy journalism, the leftist-oriented news media are also in the self-fulfilling prophecy business. Just as Cronkite's insidious misrepresentations about the war helped fuel the anti-war movement that eventually led to a militarily unsatisfactory end to the War in Vietnam, so today journalism's anti-American advocates would accomplish the same end in Iraq. If today's journalistic techniques are a bit more sophisticated, involving as they do staging news events and reporting them as legitimate news, as well as relying on poll data skewed by the very fact that the Americans who respond to the polls get only a single point-of-view from the mainstream media, they are no less underhanded than those employed back in the 1970s.

If it's difficult for President Bush to get the message out, that might well be as much a function of the leftist news hegemony that is American journalism as his own staff's so-called "tin ear." Having Katie Couric in the CBS Nightly News anchor chair might well be just what is needed to finally demonstrate just how grotesquely slanted today's journalism really is. In that light, a laugh track might at least indicate that network news hasn't totally abandoned its stated mission.


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