Rather Falls Victim to Online & Cable Echo Chamber

Dan Rather wrote an editorial on Huffington Post about how the online and cable news media took his “watermelons” comment echoed it widely creating the perception that he was being racist.

…I can understand why someone who just happened upon my comments could take offense or want clarification. But what has caused this comment to “go viral” is the trumpeting of an online and cable echo chamber that claims the banner of news but trades in gossip, gotcha, and innuendo. Furthermore, even for those who brook no prejudice, when everything is condensed to 140 characters or a small YouTube clip, many people who got this “news” did so without any context, just a headline that popped up on their phone or inbox.

I know that there are many people who are reading this who have preconceived notions about me. I am sure that the comments section will be filled with a gamut of First Amendment expressions. That is our precious right as Americans. Politics has always been part sport, and if my choice of language falls into the bloody heavyweight bout that has become life in Washington today, so be it. Chris’ show is a fun, freewheeling political talk show and I enjoy coming to Washington to participate. Our republic has flourished because we as citizens can be provocative in our political discussions and challenge our leaders and our own assumptions. There is a time and place for this, but it can’t be allowed to dominate what we call news.

What saddens me is what this experience has made all too clear. Much of what we call news, isn’t. Much of what we Tweet, or post, or chat away at under the guise of news, are distractions…

Rather’s editorial speaks to the reality that media echo chambers now exist which make it difficult and often impossible to talk about real issues like race.

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One Response

  1. Wow I’m honestly the first comment to this great read!?

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