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The Crumbling of theFourth Estate A Commentary on the Sad State of the News Media

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The Crumbling of The Fourth Estate: A Commentary on the Sad State of The News Media


Jude Acosta 

The other day, these were the headlines on Yahoo.com. Some were accompanied by pictures of panic or of catastrophe, as the situation indicated.

Fed cuts rates as economy slumps, hoping to stop recession (AP)

AP - Scrambling to shore up the faltering economy, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to the lowest point in nearly four years Wednesday as the nation teetered on the edge of recession. 

Senators ask Pentagon to reopen Air Force contract probe (AP)  

US report says al-Qaida gaining strength (AP)  

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DNA confirms IDs of czar's children, ending mystery (AP)  

Documents show US considered using nuclear weapons (AP)  

Texas officials looking at possible abuse among FLDS boys (AP)

And then there was that crucial piece of information I'd been waiting for all day...with baited breath, so to speak....

David Blaine held his breath for longer than anyone else. (AP)

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Thank God. Now, I can exhale. 

Here Now The News.

I may be one of the fortunate ones still left on the planet that can remember the soothing yet serious basso of Walter Cronkite’s voice as the evening news came on. His voice matched the style in which he gave his report. No matter how chaotic the news item, he was unfailingly calm, factual, honorable. When Cronkite spoke, people listened. And they trusted him. It might well have been misplaced, but somehow I personally doubt that. In the days of the Vietnam War protests, the Cold War, the threat of nuclear catastrophe, and civil rights marches, not to mention the regular conflagrations in the Mid-east, Africa and South America, he was a bastion of sanity, of solidity, of reporting the way it was supposed to be done—with just enough detachment to pursue truth not partisan politics, professional pride not personal vanity, and the basic assumption that Americans cared about the important things, not just about their weight, their erections, how many babies are being born in Hollywood or their flat screen televisions. And I can’t believe for a minute that Cronkite thought people cared more about him than they did about the news.

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Judith Acosta is a licensed psychotherapist, author, and speaker. She is also a classical homeopath based in New Mexico. She is the author of The Next Osama (2010), co-author of The Worst is Over (2002), the newly released Verbal First Aid (more...)

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