- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mass media, R.I.P.

“A moment of silence, please, for the imminent death of the old Mainstream Mass Culture. …

“In lieu of flowers, friends may send checks to the ‘Bring Back Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw Emergency Fund.’ …

“This was the year in which Hollywood, despite surging DVD and overseas sales, spent the summer brooding over its blockbuster shortage, and panic swept the newspaper biz as circulation at some large dailies went into free fall. Consumers, on the other hand, couldn’t have been more blissed out as they sampled an explosion of information outlets and entertainment options: cutting-edge music they could download off Web sites into their iPods and take with them to the beach or the mall; customized newscasts delivered straight to their Palm Pilots; TiVo-edited, commercial-free programs plucked from a zillion cable channels.

“The old mass culture suddenly looked pokey and quaint. …

“Some 38 years ago, Walter Cronkite, the trusted paterfamilias of ‘CBS Evening News,’ helped precipitate U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam when he used his exalted network perch to declare the Indochina War unwinnable. Cronkite is long gone from his evening post, and no anchor today commands such respect. On the other hand, today practically anyone with access to a video camera and a forwarding function can flog the nation’s conscience. The new Uncle Walter may be Cindy Sheehan. … But 15 minutes of fame do not a bully pulpit make.”

— Reed Johnson, writing on “Mass media’s last blast,” Sunday in the Los Angeles Times

Grinch watch

“Merchants trying to make Christmas a generic, cash-cow holiday are losing money. The ‘Return Christ to Christmas’ backlash against the unholiday peddlers has driven some to retail repentance. …

“Then there are the unjolly faces … telling us we have to keep Christmas out of public places. …

“One would hope that instead of pushing the rest of us to evict Jesus from His birthday party, they’d busy themselves investigating why it is that for two millennia, hundreds of millions of people of all ages, races, classes and nations have worshipped, lived and died for the Christ of Christmas.

“[H]ow long will it be until the unholiday forces are trying to outlaw our decorated homes and lawn creches because they might offend our non-Christian neighbors? These displays are publicly visible so ‘they’re not really private,’ will be the complaint.”

— Jan LaRue, writing on “The Unholiday,” in a Monday column for Concerned Women for America at www.cwfa.org

Ruining westerns

“Except for an occasional movie like ‘Silverado,’ ‘Pale Rider’ or ‘Tombstone,’ Hollywood keeps trying its best to ruin the spirit of the western. And, they wonder why most of the westerns Hollywood has been making in the last 25 years don’t make much money.

“‘Brokeback Mountain,’ a modern homosexual cowboy movie … is twisted, laughable, frustrating, plotless and often boring. It’s also politically correct. Thus, it’s sure to reap many awards this year from the leftwing media throughout the world and the leftwing elites in Hollywood, including the so-called ‘Gay Mafia.’ …

“[T]he ultimate goal of the filmmakers behind ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is to send a politically correct message about how awful American society is in its treatment of homosexuals.”

— Ted Baehr, writing on “Homosexual cowboys,” Dec. 15 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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