Reporting from the big cable TV industry event this week, Broadcasting & Cable's Andrea Morabito writes (5/22/12):
Hardball host Chris Matthews argued that because of the rise of opinion-based news networks, the non-critical aspect of the media is gone, going as far to say that the reporting that verified the U.S. administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002 would not happen today because of cable news.
"I would like to think there would be a reckoning we didn’t have then because of modern media," Matthews said. "24/7 is good because it's not only breadth, it's depth. Without cable, it is just network [television] thinking, embedded thinking, which is dangerous in a democracy."
Umm… He's aware of the fact that cable news channels existed in 2002, right?
In fact, here's some of what he and his cable colleagues were doing:
—MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews asks of World Bank/IMF protests in Washington DC: "Those people out in the streets, do they hate America?" Conservative pundit Cliff May responds: "Yes, I'm afraid a lot of them do. They hate America. They align themselves with Saddam Hussein. They align themselves with terrorists all over the world." Hardball correspondent David Shuster later adds that "anti-Americanism is in the air."