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11:37am on Sunday the 22nd of September
WEDNESDAY'S GREGALOGUE: TED'S DREAD

So Ted Koppel was on the BBC to discuss a survey that finds roughly 60 percent of news executives thinks journalism is headed in the wrong direction.

Here's a surprise. He, and his hair, agree.

Listen up, up-listeners.

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8616838.stm>

So there you have it, a venerable old-fogey harkening back to the good old days when no one had cell phones or breast implants -and all the news came from three boxes - NBC, CBS, and ABC - or more to the point: old fogeys like Ted Koppel. As the world changed, Ted became less important. No wonder he's grumpy. I want to give him a big hug.

Now I'm 45, and I remember those good old days. Those good old days sucked. We had three networks, all pumping out the same crap, day in, and day out. Was it all factual, like Koppel remembers? I don't know - since there was no choice - it didn't matter.

All I remember, as a young teen in my Partridge Family foot pajamas, was the sameness of everything, and how it trumpeted the suckiness of America. It was all driven by a media who concluded that Vietnam and Watergate made us the bad guys.

And the media - the good guys.

So in 1976, if you turned on the set, here's what you got:

-homelessness, homelessness, homelessness. At one point you couldn't tell the difference between the news and a Dead show.

-the evils of nuclear power. Koppel forgets that much of the "facts" were presented by folks who cried during Silkwood.

-evil corporations. This common theme, put to great use on 60 Minutes, often overlooked the fact that corporations are made of people, and they pay all the taxes. But they also made guns, cigarettes and guns that look like cigarettes. So they were bad.

-Gerald Ford falling.

Sadly, according to Koppel, the real evil now is competition via cable and the web. Because of Fox News, you'll now find other stories the old media thought unimportant.

I think this is good news - which is something Koppel probably wishes I wouldn't report.

And if you disagree with me, you probably hate unicorns.

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