It is not a good time for network news' carefully staged images.
Journalism reminds me a lot of the Catholic Church -- once the final word of all ideological matters in Western thought and always portrayed as the avatars of morality.
Then came those who were abused by those authority figures, and while the church was rocked, it still had clout, and now the clout is dwindling as people no longer see the institution as being superior in moral affairs than they are -- and a lot lower.
And we are strictly talking about abuse of children. If we were to put other dark deeds of the past on the table -- such as their aiding and abetting the fascists who slaughtered Serbs during the Second World War, as well as other dubious dealings, their image would be much, much worse.
But the networks are now in the same boat: looking sketchy and deceitful. It would have been easier if their ratings and hold on public mindsets were stronger, but they aren't.
No one actually ever to bother to watch these watchmen. They got away with things because like the Wizard of Oz, they managed an air of mystery as they made themselves look larger than life. They had gravitas, glamour, and mystique, and that brought them decades of clout.
Today is a different story. Even the Fourth Medium we call the Internet is fragmenting and losing sway on many fronts, but the Third Medium television is in far shakier ground, and the reason these stories are emerging, which is miraculous, given the nondisclosure agreements that are typical in network television...