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What Happened in 1987 to Make the Media What It Is Today?

What happened to balanced reporting?

by Eric Holdeman / February 23, 2021

One of the items in our lexicon today is the phrase "culture war." I have been thinking that maybe I should blog on that term since I read and hear it all the time. But, "nah!" Figure it out for yourself, depending on your viewpoint on the term and issues.

However, I learned something today that I did not know. What tripped the switch that allowed "the media" to say whatever they want with no basis in the truth or for providing a balanced viewpoint on what is being reported? 

There were two things that exploded the old notion of trying to provide a balanced story with as neutral an opinion as possible (if that ever did exist). I had always thought it was the arrival of the Internet that got us to the point where we are today. However, it was this event back in 1987 that helped it along its way: "Reagan’s Veto Kills Fairness Doctrine Bill."

I picked up the above from this The Daily podcast: "The Legacy of Rush Limbaug‪h‬."

It is important for us to get our news and information from a variety of sources. Just recently I tuned into Fox News to see what they had to say about current events. The one item I remember was that a guest was advocating that money being allocated to schools to get them physically up to snuff for learning in a pandemic environment would be better spent by giving it to the parents of the children, since they are the ones who have been doing the teaching. This would then be the "opposing viewpoint" that was supposedly killed back in 1987. 

I've read stories about how there are classes now in schools about how to be a discerning reader and consumer of information. My nextdoor neighbor was a history teacher and he would also cover current events. He says that he was very careful to tell his students if he was providing an opinion versus information that could be backed up with facts from a reliable news source. He advocated reading a national newspaper, which I have also advocated to my own semi-adult grandchildren. 

Many sources of "television news" today are more akin to opinion factories than being hard, cold facts. I think Huntley-Brinkley and crew are rolling over in their graves these days over the infotainment "state of news" today. 

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