What Happened to the News? From Walter Cronkite… to Sean Hannity

Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman
Brooklyn College

Eric Alterman (Ph.D., Stanford) is a CUNY Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College. The author of eleven books, he has been a columnist for The Nation, The American Prospect, The Guardian, MSNBC and Rolling Stone, and a contributor to The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Professor Alterman has won the George Orwell Prize, the Stephen Crane Literary Award, and the Mirror Award for media criticism (twice). He is the author of It Ain’t No Sin to be Glad You’re Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen, as well as many articles about Springsteen. Alterman has seen Bruce in concert over 200 times since 1977.

 

Overview

Would the great gatekeepers of the “old” media, Walter Cronkite, James Reston, Walter Lippmann, even recognize the media of today? How did we go from the guy who told us “That’s the Way It Is” every night on CBS to the screaming, propaganda spewing likes of Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson? What happened to the mainstream media that led it away from the attempt to give an objective picture of the day’s events to try to gin up outrage about just about everything? And what role did this transformation play in creating an opening for the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump?

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