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Big Media Get Smaller

Big Media Get Smaller

Making Sense by Michael Reagan

It's been happening right under their noses but it took Dan Rather's Memogate disaster to alert the TV network bosses that their days of dominating the news are over.

And they brought it on themselves.

After decades of peddling all the news that fits their extreme liberal bias, while being the sole source of news for tens of millions of Americans, the three national networks are now in the process of rapid decline, with such upstarts as Fox cable news running circles around them.

Imagine, Fox cable news led all three networks in covering the conventions. A few years ago that would have been unheard of. And all it took to disprove the legitimacy of the CBS memos was a crew of alert internet-savvy ordinary Americans more devoted to the facts than Dan Rather and CBS proved to be.

Having lost their virtual monopoly on the dissemination of the news, the networks and the elite print media giants are also being humiliated by talk radio and, even worse, by the ordinary Americans who use the internet to monitor their output and do the fact checking their news staffs arrogantly avoid in their mistaken belief that their viewers have no choice but to swallow the swill they have been feeding them.

Those days are over, as Rather's Memogate is demonstrating.

It's perfectly clear where Rather's sympathy lies; does anyone really believe that he isn't going to vote for John Kerry and isn't dedicated to helping him win the election? It's obvious that in pushing the memos, which he may or may not have known were phony, he was hoping to show President Bush as a slacker in the Air National Guard who refused to obey orders and got away with it because of undue political influence.

Rather has joined John Kerry - who has spent more time talking about Vietnam than he spent in Vietnam - in going back over three decades to refight the Vietnam war. It seems the left doesn't want to talk about today's issues, they want to focus on Kerry's alleged heroism and George Bush's alleged dodging service in Vietnam by getting into the National Guard.

But it blew up in Rather's face and all he can do now is continue to defend the indefensible by stonewalling in the face of undeniable facts.

He's not alone in playing the old big media game of slanting the news to the left, a tactic that has now helped bring down the networks. NBC's contribution to the networks' anti-Bush campaign has been to showcase trash author Kitty Kelley on their Today show and promote her slanderous new book on the Bush family for three days running, which is three more days than they gave to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their legitimate doubts about Kerry's Vietnam service and his turncoat anti-war activities. The Swifties are simply ignored as potential guests by CBS, NBC and ABC.

Kitty Kelly has no credibility. She's written books about the Kennedys, she's written about the Sinatras, the British Royals, and Nancy Reagan; the tawdry things she has alleged in those books about her subjects have been thoroughly discounted. While she has been sued and won because of her First Amendment rights to be free to say whatever she wants to say about public figures, the bottom line is she's nothing but a tabloid author writing tabloid trash.

In defense of NBC I have to hand it to Matt Lauer because he's done a great job of unmasking her in the things she has said, such as her allegations that George Bush did cocaine at Camp David when his father was president. That claim has been vehemently denied by the president's former sister-in-law who Kelly identified as her only source for the claim.

Despite Lauer's gutsy interrogation of the woman, his bosses at NBC are guilty of putting their leftist bias on display by giving Kelly three days of valuable air time to peddle her trashy book and slime the Bush family, three generations of whom have served this country nobly.

One of the wonderful things that has emerged in this election campaign is the rise of the alternative media, now the major source of real news for millions of Americans.

Another is that we may also end up getting rid of both John Kerry and Dan Rather at the same time.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Comments to for Mike.

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