Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rathergate Anniversary - 50 days and counting - General William Westmoreland

Click here for previous editions of the Rathergate countdown and discussions of media revolution that Rathergate symbolizes and accelerated.

General William Westmoreland died two days ago. His death reminds me of a chapter in media history that demonstrated to me in 1982 the oppressiveness of the media. Little did I know that we were even then on the verge of an historic revolution.

Westmoreland fought a well known battle against CBS when a 1982 CBS documentary edited Westmoreland's words in a misleading way. CBS implied that Westmoreland had manipulated casualty lists during the Vietnam war and withheld bad news from President Johnson. Westmoreland sued CBS but eventually settled the lawsuit.

Had the blogosphere existed in 1982, CBS would have suffered a much larger blow to its credibility as a result of the exposure of the CBS clever editing techniques. As I recall, TV Guide presented a lengthy refutation of the CBS documentary, but one article cannot compare to the swarming power of multiple blogs demanding answers and exposing falsehoods 24/7.

The difference between 1982 and 9-8-04 is enormous.

Debbie Schlussel also commented on this yesterday.

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