The giant cable universe, and the polarization of viewers to separate viewing camps, is well-documented in a recent Time cover story. The magazine examined how, when polled, liberals and conservatives say they now choose their news sources based on their perceptions of the news organizations' leanings -- you know, the "CNN is liberal, Fox News is Bush TV" thing.
Well now, CBS anchorsaurus Dan Rather, long painted as a liberal by the right wing, has gone and done it, and dipped himself in tar and feathers with the big Bush-National Guard "Memogate," admitting that memos about the President's military service during Vietnam could not be verified.
It just adds to an infamous list of Big Media screw-ups in recent times, from New York Times to USA Today, and this one ain't pretty.
Rather's story is two things: a black mark on a long career (and could it be the catalyst to oust him from his third-place anchor chair?), and a GOP dream: yet another distraction from issues and real answers in the last weeks of the president campaign.
Swift Boat Veterans, Dan's disaster...what war, where?
I even stunned myself recently with the how right I was in a recent column about the video prerequisites for political TV spots in 2004. In back to back commercials the other night aired for Richard Burr and Erskine Bowles, I saw the following: slow-mo walking shots of the candidates, and my favorite cheese: candidates hangin' with supposed factory workers that includes at least one minority person (b-roll means: "I'm still a millionaire, but I can get down with the blue- collar brothas").
Feel free to use it as a drinking game: "Spot the cheesy political spin video."
EMCEE RESCUE Extra whipped cream on the Jell-O for WCNC-TV reporter Mike Redding, who stepped in at the last minute to emcee a September 11 charity event by CREW Charlotte, a women's real estate organization. WWMG-FM, formerly "Magic" radio, was a sponsor and on the program, but bailed at the eleventh hour after their format change from old pop to new pimp.
Would not be surprised to see Shelia Stewart pop up at another Charlotte radio station despite her firing last week by WPEG-FM. The longtime news and public affair director was bounced after reportedly sending out a press release for her charity foundation on WPEG letterhead.
E-mail at Shannon.Reichley@cln.com