As one of those hoping to play a small role in the demise of the mainstream media’s hold on both fact and opinion, I find Ted Koppel’s editorial in today’s Washington Post particularly validating.
Koppel waxes nostalgically about some idyllic time when virtuous, altruistic wisemen at the three television networks controlled the flow of news, being the only ones smart enough to be trusted with gathering and reporting relevant information. Koppel sees the opening of the door to a greater breadth of opinion as a genuine threat, and, in his words, “not good for the republic.”
Koppel’s hypothesis that people need someone else to think for them initially was disproven with a little social experiment 234 years ago, and things have worked out just fine since. Moreover, the root of this more recent revolution is reflected in Koppel’s own words in which he claims the wise men of old were “relatively unbiased.” “Relatively?’ The media’s unwillingness to admit its bias has incited this insurrection and it alone has made the most compelling case for its overthrow. Get ready, Mr. Koppel, the townspeople are coming! And this time the laptop is the torch, social media is the pitchfork and the Internet is the guillotine.