Walter Cronkite's death this week really brought into sharp focus for me just how much we've suffered journalistically since Cronkite retired in 1981. Gone are the days where we can view our news media as fulfilling their obligations as the Fourth Estate and using the freedom of the press to hold DC accountable for their actions, as originally envisioned by Jefferson:
"No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth whether in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter."
Sadly, it appears that all we have in the media now is sycophants and censors and very little--if any--free press. And our democracy is mortally crippled by it.
As for this Sunday's offerings, if you are sick as I am of the poor downtrodden privileged white men threatened by Sonia Sotomayor, I don't recommend watching Sen. Jeff Sessions on State of the Union. WH Budget Director Peter Orszag will be making two appearances to reassure us that all is going along with the stimulus plan and the Goldman Sachs bonus bonanza is proof that it's working. And we're still talking health care on The Chris Matthews Show and with HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius on Meet the Press. But what I'm looking forward to--space geek that I am--is Buzz Aldrin and Sen. John Glenn reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
ABC's "This Week" - Pre-empted by British Open golf tournament.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.; former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Clarence Page, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks and Kelly O'Donnell. Topics: Is the cost of health care reform President Obama's greatest vulnerability? Who got the better deal out of the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton coalition? Meter Questions: Will Obama sign a health care reform law this year? YES: 12
NO: 0; Will the Republicans support a health care bill with new taxes?
YES: 7 NO: 5.
CNN's "State of the Union" - White House Budget Director Peter Orszag; Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; Rev. Jesse Jackson.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Rwandan President Paul Kagame sits down with Fareed to discuss his nation's 15 year journey from genocide to economic growth and autocratic, but stable governance.
"Fox News Sunday" - Orszag; Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.
So what's catching your eye this morning?