That’s the astonishingly disingenuous argument put forward by David Broder in the Washington Post this morning. He blames the collapse of media ethics on the evils of competition:
“When the Internet opened the door to scores of ‘journalists’ who had no allegiance at all to the skeptical and self-disciplined ethic of professional news gathering, the bars were already down in many old-line media organizations. That is how it happened that old pros such as Dan Rather and former New York Times editor Howell Raines got caught up in this fevered atmosphere and let their standards slip.”
Note that, in Broder’s world, Dan Rather and Howell Raines are journalists without the “ironic” quotation marks. They’re the real deal, even though they’ve shoveled nonsense to their readers and viewers. The bloggers who called them on it are “journalists,” and their very existence forced Rather, Raines, etc. to run demonstrably false news stories.
Somehow connecting the rise of Fox News and NRO to the fall of Rather is beyond irrational. It’s bizarre. It’s the sort of illogical, self-serving argument once only found in free weekly papers run by ex-hippies.
For a far more logical look at the fall of the MSM, stick with Victor Davis Hanson.