Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald ripped into the popular media a few days ago in the wake of Walter Cronkite's passing. Much like the death of journalist David Halberstam, mainstream television and print reporters are using this occasion to slap themselves on the back in celebrating the achievements of one of their own. Greenwald notes that today's celebrity journalists are often little more than shills for the government and corporate America. They praise Cronkite while ignoring that, in 1968, the CBS news anchor told Americans on live TV that the government wasn't being honest with them and that the Vietnam War would end in nothing better than a draw.
Those eulogists had their chance to step forward with equivalent truth-telling but instead they spouted the party line on Iraq. Greenwald quotes one network reporter as saying it's not his job to point out to Americans when their government is lying. Cronkite himself wrote in 1999 that "there has been an abdication of responsibility within the profession..." And that's the way it is.