In case you’re in danger of thinking that the campus isn’t the best place for time traveling back into Hippiethink, see a sad Princeton revival of that old CNBC show starring Phil Donahue and Vladimir Posner (or Poznir, if you’re feeling Russian). The old Soviet stooge insists to the student body that America has had a government-controlled media since the Vietnam era. In case you missed it, “all information” goes through a military review first before it’s deemed acceptable for public consumption. Donahue modifies that theory slightly, suggesting that Americans can’t abide anti-war views, so that his brand of far-left “truth”-telling just can’t get a fair hearing.
Donahue also insisted that in today’s oppressive climate, “Walter Cronkite could not get a job.” I suppose if you inserted young Walt into today’s news arena, focus groups and consultants would think he wasn’t handsome enough for the anchor chair (less hair on the face, please, more on top). But if Cronkite had held on to his desk for dear life (as Rather does) throughout the Reagan era, I would suggest that his “most trusted man in America” halo would have rusted. He is, after all, just as liberal as Dan or Peter. That just wasn’t as noticeable back in the pre-Reagan years.