Our corner of the internet - Part 1: The TV news era

Posted On: Tuesday - August 17th 2021 4:44PM MST
In Topics: 
  Internets  TV, aka Gov't Media

Some of our posts come from thoughts in previous posts that would otherwise digress from and increase even further the lengths of them (and you know how long they can get...) This is another such post from a week or two ago.

Most of our Peak Stupidity readers will remember, I am guessing, that there used to be 3 main channels of TV and those channels had half hour national news programs on simultaneously at 5:30 or 6:30 PM (depending on your time zone). As far as video reporting*, the anchors of said news programs were known by almost all Americans and watched by a pretty big share.

Just to give the reader an idea of how important and (unfortunately) powerful they were, I will list the CBS news anchors and their "terms if office" since the beginning of TV:

1) Douglas Edwards: 1948 - 1962.
2) Walter Cronkite: 1962 - 1981.
3) Dan Rather: 1981 - 2005.
4) Bob Schieffer: 2005 – 2006.
5) Katie Couric: 2006 – 2011.
6) Scott Pelley: 2011 – 2017.
7) Jeff Glor: 2017 – 2019.
8) Norah O'Donnell: 2019 – present.

My comments:

(1) Never heard of the guy. That was before my time, but additionally, at least the first 1/2 of his "reign" was a period in which TV was not by any means ubiquitous in American households.

(2) Almost everyone over 40, even those who could not have possibly watched his newscasts, has heard of this guy. That was the age right up through the beginning of cable TV, which was to bring some choices other than 3 channels and those high falutin Educational people. That was 19 years of this guy being THE NEWS GUY for something like 1/3 of TV watching Americans. (The "TV Watching" part being right up on 100% by halfway through that period.) That included your blogger here for about 6 of those years.

(3) Holy Moley! That guy was on for 24 years! TV was till big at the time he retired. By about 1/2 of the duration of his reign, I'd had enough of TV national news (though there was a 5 year period in which I had better things to do than watch any TV anyway - no TV set was available, in other words). I can remember, though, in the

BTW, for 2 years, 1993 - 1995, a lady named Connie Chung was co-anchor with Dan Rather. I'm not sure why she bailed out or was terminated - were they worried she would fold like a cheap pants suit and give out the frequency. ("What's the flequency, Connie?!!") Dan Rather showed "courage!" on the matter.

I can distinctly remember moving to a new place in 1998 in which my roommates had a subscription to cable TV and seeing this guy named Bill O'Reilly with a conservative viewpoint. "WTF?!", I'd never seen anything like it**. That was Fox News, which I'd never heard of before that day. Yes, CNN had been around a good while already, but they were a channel that still just featured news reporting over and over, as far as I knew, before the era of the dedicated pure opinion-giving talking heads.

(4) and (5) I know the names Bob Shieffer, and Katy Couric but I had no idea they have been TV news anchors. This was well after my time of believing TV news anchors.

(6), (7), and (8) Never heard of these people. Has anyone else?

This was going to be a post about the internet. That'll be Part 2.

* As far as reading goes, there were a much greater number of newspapers being published and a much greater proportion of the population who subscribed to and read actual physical newspapers,

** Sure, I know now that he was no real Conservative, but that was a different me and a different time. I thought Fox News was the bomb for a few years anyway.

Wednesday - August 18th 2021 10:36AM MST
PS: Yeah, I just picked CBS as one example out of the 3, Mr. Blanc. I didn't want the post getting too long. I am most familiar with CBS from way back, but I think it was NBC news that I watched when I still watched national news on TV in the middle 1990s. Then, I'd watch the local news, or if I didn't, I'd stay up till 11 to watch it plus then Andy Griffith reruns.
Wednesday - August 18th 2021 10:10AM MST
PS Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and Beethoven’s 9th. Streets ahead of Cronkite. Good night, Chet. Good night, David.
Wednesday - August 18th 2021 5:13AM MST

Oh, and “thank you friends, thank you contestants, thank you Don Pardo”
Wednesday - August 18th 2021 5:07AM MST
Mr. Alarmist,
We’d feel we hadn’t done our jobs if anyone actually got the answers- also it was back when, even if you were a liberal you were allowed, Steve Sailer style, to notice things- for example, ever see a black guy fishing in a boat? Didn’t think so, thus the following Final Jeopardy:

Category: Those Crazy Negroes

Answer: Negro atomic scientists do this from the shore.

Question: What is nuclear fission?

Had to be there, I guess. If any of our Jeopardy boards were to resurface neither of us ( nor, probably anyone else at the party) could ever run for office.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - August 18th 2021 3:28AM MST

“Alex, I’d like ‘Subjects only I could know the answer to’ for two-thousand dollars.”
Tuesday - August 17th 2021 9:27PM MST

Mr Alarmist , you are correct, but. let’s not forget that the anti war fire was already beginning to burn.k

The US should have walked away in 1954, or even 1945.

Or perhaps let Diem stay on. He wasn’t the “Churchill of Asia” as LBJ famously described him, but he was OK, as dictators go . We’ll never know, though.
Tuesday - August 17th 2021 9:19PM MST

When my pals and I were young, we would throw two parties a year- a Halloween extravaganza, and then a theme party in the spring. We eventually stopped because they got too big!

Well the centerpiece of the soirées was a round of Jeopardy! My buddy and I would write the categories and questions- funny, irreverent stuff, with a decidedly liberal slant, as that was what we were back then.

My friend and writing partner worked on the edges of the media in our Midwestern metro area; as a result one of our regular contestants was the ten o’clock news anchor on the local NBC affiliate. He was a good guy, and very funny, as well as a good sport. And VERY good looking!

At one of our events our anchorman was entertaining a bevy of sweet young things, and I happened to hear one of then remark “ It must be interesting to be a journalist” . He replied “ I suppose it is. You should find one and ask him, I just read the news”

I always liked that fellow.
Tuesday - August 17th 2021 6:20PM MST
PS: I think we didn't have any independent channels where I was growing up (most of the time) just due to lack of a big enough economy. Yeah, I'll get at the programming in the next post, in internet terms.

The local newspaper had the usual syndicated columnists, and, as usual, attracted the lefties as employees, but there was room for plenty of rogue Conservatives and/or local kooks of all sorts. Same on local radio.
The Alarmist
Tuesday - August 17th 2021 4:52PM MST

Vietnam was lost when Uncle Walter (2) expressed his doubts.

In the old days there were three main channels (the networks) and then one or two local independents plus a PBS channel. We were probably no more programmed as a society as we are with a few hundred channels plus the internet.

In fact, one of the great disseminators of otherwise restricted info was the Mimeograph®️ machine.
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