This story caught my eye in yesterday's Washington Post, probably because I'd been wondering what sorts of stories Carl Bernstein has been working on over the past 35 years.
Or maybe because I'm tired of hearing newspapermen complain about how no entity other than a bloated big-city daily circa 1960 can really deliver the sort of gritty, investigative series that take years of time and gallons of whiskey to produce.
Animal Watch: Kitten Is Rescued from HOV Lane
INTERSTATE 395, July 25. A man driving on I-395 noticed a kitten in the HOV lane. Unable to make a U-turn, the man drove into the District and headed back toward Virginia to pick up the 7-week-old tortoiseshell cat. While being driven to the Animal Welfare League shelter, the kitten wedged itself behind the gas and brake pedals of the vehicle. A shelter staff member removed the kitten from its hiding place. A veterinarian determined that the kitten was healthy except for a small scrape on its mouth. The kitten was placed in foster care and is to be put up for adoption when it is older.
Sadly, the Post couldn't put this Dan Rather column up for adoption. The former CBS News mainstay's piece also appeared in yesterday's paper and will make even the most ardent MSM fans wonder what's the frequency:
You don't have to care about media companies or reporters to care about the state of the news, because if it's in trouble—and it surely is—this country is in trouble. That's why, while speaking recently at the Aspen Institute, I called upon President Obama to form a commission to address the perilous state of America's news media....I want the president to convene a nonpartisan, blue-ribbon commission to assess the state of the news as an institution and an industry and to make recommendations for improving and stabilizing both.
Not just a commission, but a blue-ribbon commission! Now that's a solution! Rather's main bit of evidence that the media is in trouble?
An intense period of corporate consolidation over the past 25 years, aided and abetted by deregulation by the Federal Communications Commission, has reduced to a mere handful the sources from which most Americans get their news.
Worse still, those corporate overlords consolidated Rather out of broadcast and over to HDNet, one of those new-fangled sources by which Americans are (thank god) inundated by more news and different perspectives than ever before. Whole thing here.
Related: You Know The Real Reason The New York Times Is Losing Readership (and Credibility)? The Content (Puppy Dogs Edition)! and You Know The Real Reason Why Time Mag Is Going Down the Drain? The Content!