The Tedium Twins

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Members of the mainstream media are not like you or me. They are a special class of exalted beings. They are the Fourth Estate, an imaginary extension of the rigid class structure of pre-Revolutionary France from the Estates General. In the Ancien Regime there was the clergy, the nobility, and lastly, the bourgeoisie and commoners. The Fourth Estate sees themselves on an equal par with the first two elevated classes, and above the third. It is the aristocratic notion that gentlemen and ladies of the press serve a vaunted “public interest,” and do not soil themselves with activities of a rank and sordid commercialism. Such endeavors would be a violation of their hoary journalistic ethics. They have a public trust to enlighten the masses in their duties to their betters, those who compose the state and their adjunct servitors in the kept press.

No two members of the press more exemplified this profile than The Tedium Twins, those paragons of soothing banality and stentorian objectivity, Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer of the PBS MacNeil/Lehrer Report, as masterfully deconstructed by the late Alexander Cockburn. Broadcast infotainment posing as journalism has changed dramatically since the heyday of this less-than dynamic duo and the passing of other worthies such as Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Chet Huntley, and David Brinkley. It is more boisterous, shedding all pretenses of disinterested civility and prudential reflection.

The age of the staid lumbering dinosaurs has truly past into obscurity. It has been succeeded by the present media era of shrill carnivorous ideologues and unctuous, ubiquitous regime stenographers. But the fundamental profit-making base objective has never changed: disseminate disinformation masking as news for their elite ownership – the military-industrial complex and its adjuncts of defense contractors, Wall Street banks, Big Pharma, etc. which form the Corporatocracy of ruling oligopolies seeking control of governance and domination of its lowly vassals and useless eaters.  

1:02 pm on July 29, 2013