Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walter Cronkite was a bore

Since when are people who read news on television deserving of posthumous panegyrics befitting a Nobel Prize winner? What did Cronkite do, other than deliver in the same flat bass the most trivial, intellectually deadened factoids, such as the alleged precise time President Kennedy died?

A trained monkey could have done better.

One of the reasons television is one of the worst sources of information is precisely because of individuals such as Cronkite, who devoted his life to perpetuating the stultifying deception that they were delivering news, when all they were doing was reading headlines.

It's the broadcast pretense of seriousness, conveyed merely through a particular ton of voice, that allowed millions to be deceived into voting, against their own best interests, for people who sounded and looked as smooth as Cronkite. It was Cronkite who taught Americans that TV form outweighs substance: how else could Ronald Reagan, a man who at best play acted the roles of governor and president, ever have been elected?

Reading is today a kindergarten skill. Reading clearly and audibly can be learned by the end of elementary school. A male bass voice develops in junior high school without any particular training. So, where's the achievement of using these abilities in front of a camera?

1 comment:

Anne said...

I wasn't a Cronkite viewer, mainly because I wasn't able to...although today I watch my own "specialist".

There have been all kinds of reasons people use tv news. It used to be that tv was more or less free (minus tv cost & antenna) for everyone, for some folks Cronkite just might have been a one and only reliable visitor.

Newspapers are not without their own biases and will generally reflect regional politics. Cronkite may have been a bore, but then, so can reading be.

So, chacun à son goût.