Today is the 39th Anniversary of Cable News Network, the first cable news channel, started by Ted Turner in 1980.
It is now hard to recall that before CNN, and later MSNBC in 1996, and the infamous Fox News Channel, also in 1996, the face of electronic journalism was only CBS, NBC, and ABC.
This author and blogger grew up as a devoted fan of CBS and Walter Cronkite and the other great journalists of that channel, with sometimes focusing to a lesser extent on NBC and ABC.
One also recalls how Richard Nixon complained about the “constant barrage” of TV news nationally 22 minutes out of the 30 minute nightly newscast, which was actually only 11 minutes out of 15 before 1963.
Now, we are overwhelmed by so much electronic news on cable channels and the internet, but at the end CNN still stands out as a quality news organization.
CNN has made mistakes and blunders, but it has also educated us mightily in the past 39 years, and has been strengthened by a tyrant named Donald Trump who claims that channel and MSNBC, along with the three major networks are “fake news”. The constant attacks as well on the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, the three best print papers in America, have only made educated people realize how significant all these and other news sources as well, are in keeping us free and informed.
It is the role of journalism to speak the truth, expose scandal, and insure our freedom and democracy, and they are working hard to overcome the greatest threat to America since World War II, far greater by comparison to that presented by Richard Nixon a half century ago.
No one is trying to give Richard Nixon a pass as a major threat historically, but the present “clear and present danger” of Donald Trump is an alarm bell warning us of the danger of infiltration by a foreign power which has always wished us ill since 1917, and now reconstituted in a different manner but no less dangerous than the old Soviet Union.
So to undermine our foreign policy and our loyalty to our allies in NATO, and in East Asia is a danger to the national security of America and to the world community at large, and CNN, MSNBC and others and the print media are working full time to keep Americans alert and informed.
So Happy 39th Birthday, CNN, and many more!