W. Joseph Campbell

Media myths: FAQs

In Media myths on November 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I completed the author’s promotional questionnaire for Getting It Wrong today. It took several hours over several days.

One section of the questionnaire was devoted to FAQs about the book. Here’s a sampling:

Q: So what are media-driven myths?

A: They are well-known stories about and/or by the news media that are widely believed and often retold but which, on close inspection, prove to be apocryphal or wildly exaggerated. Media-driven myths are dubious tales that often promote misleading interpretations of media power and influence. They can be thought of as the “junk food of journalism.”

Q: Give me an example of a media-driven myth.

A: There are many of them. Certainly well-known is the tale that two young, intrepid reporters for the Washington Post brought down the corrupt presidency of Richard Nixon. It’s an appealing story, evoking David vs. Goliath and all. But it’s a media myth. Nixon’s fall was the consequence of his criminal conduct, which was exposed in the convergence of many forces—newspapers being among the least decisive. Journalism’s contribution to Nixon’s fall was modest at best. But it’s far easier to focus on the exploits of the two heroic journalists than it is to grapple with the intricacies and baffling complexities of the Watergate scandal.

A similar dynamic helped propel the media myth of Edward R. Murrow’s television program in 1954, which supposedly unmasked Senator Joseph McCarthy and ended his virulent, communists-in-government witch-hunt. Many factors combined to bring about McCarthy’s downfall, not the least of which were his own excesses and miscalculations. But the notion that Murrow was the giant killer is very appealing, readily understood, often taught, and easy to remember.

Q: And where do media-driven myths come from?

A: They arise from many sources—including the tendency to believe the news media are very powerful and sometimes even dangerous forces in society. Media myths also are appealing because they offer simplistic answers to complex issues.  Stories that are too good—too delicious—to be checked out also can become media myths. Those three factors—media power, simple answers to complex questions, and a sense of being too good not to be true—help explain the emergence and tenacity of one of the most famous media myths—the purported vow of William Randolph Hearst to “furnish the war” with Spain. That anecdote is rich, telling, and delicious—and fits well with the image of Hearst as an unrestrained war-monger. But it’s almost certainly apocryphal.

Sloppy reporting, and anecdote-driven reporting, can give rise to media myths, too. We see that in the myth of “crack babies” of the 1980s and 1990s— that children born to women who took cocaine during pregnancy were fated to become what journalists called a “bio underclass.” Doing crack while pregnant is lunacy. But the much-feared social catastrophe, the “bio underclass,”  never materialized.

High-quality cinematic treatments can be powerful agents of media myth-making, too. Millions of Americans born after 1954 were introduced to the famous Murrow-McCarthy confrontation through Good Night, and Good Luck, a critically acclaimed motion picture released in 2005. Good Night, and Good Luck cleverly promoted the view that Murrow stood up to McCarthy when no one else would or could.

More later. WJC

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  3. [...] more, as I write in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, “Johnson did not have—could not have had—the abrupt yet resigned reaction that so often [...]

  4. [...] many media-driven myths, this one’s certainly a juicy story–almost too juicy to be false. Like many media [...]

  5. [...] myth on February 19, 2010 at 9:06 am The Buffalo News today offers readers a double dose of media myth, in a column ruminating about the journalism of Diane Sawyer, the anchor of “ABC World News [...]

  6. [...] Morozov’s article is a reminder of how tempting it can be to overstate, or over-presume, media power. This is a theme raised in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book debunking media-driven myths. [...]

  7. [...] More accurately, though, it’s one of American journalism’s most enduring and appealing media-driven myths. [...]

  8. [...] both are media-driven myths that are examined in my forthcoming book, Getting It [...]

  9. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, the Post’s reporting on Watergate had only a marginal effect on the outcome of the Watergate [...]

  10. [...] note in the book–which addresses and debunks nine other media-driven myths–that Eric Sevareid, Murrow’s friend and CBS colleague, chafed at the misleading [...]

  11. [...] I write in my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, Getting It Wrong, the flawed and exaggerated reporting that characterized the aftermath of [...]

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  19. [...] Did he say it? A curious Murrow quote In Debunking, Media myths, Murrow-McCarthy myth on March 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm Edward R. Murrow’s bravery in taking on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in a televised report in 1954 is the stuff of legend–and of media-driven myth. [...]

  20. [...] All 15 were English-language films. At least three of them have contributed to, or helped solidify, media-driven myths. [...]

  21. [...] my post, I discuss three of the media-driven myths examined in my forthcoming book, Getting It Wrong, which the University of California Press will [...]

  22. [...] is true, for reasons I discuss in my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, Getting It [...]

  23. [...] Joseph Campbell, a professor of communication at American University, busts some media myths in his book, “Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American [...]

  24. [...] Watergate myth on April 16, 2010 at 9:29 am It’s a sure sign of tenacity and hardiness when media-driven myths cross linguistic barriers to become embedded in other [...]

  25. [...] It’s what I call the heroic-journalist myth, and it’s addressed, and debunked, in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths. [...]

  26. [...] Otherwise, the Post’s report steered well clear of considering the news media’s central role in spreading “misinformation” about “crack babies,” a topic is explored in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths. [...]

  27. [...] 11:45 am A column posted today at a Canadian online news site achieved the feat of working three media-driven myths into a single [...]

  28. [...] The event represents first book-event exposure for Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book that addresses, and debunks, 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  29. [...] Another movie list, another myth invoked In Cinematic treatments, Debunking, Media myths, Washington Post, Watergate myth on April 26, 2010 at 11:52 am The cinema can be a powerful propellant of media-driven myths. [...]

  30. [...] Advance pub for ‘Getting It Wrong’ In 1897, Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths, War of the Worlds, Washington Post on April 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm The online site of the School of Communication here at American University posts today a Q-and-A with me about Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book that debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  31. [...] Cronkite-Johnson anecdote is one of 10 media-driven myths that I address, and debunk, in my forthcoming book, Getting It [...]

  32. [...] about bra-burning–a topic addressed in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths–the commentary is more than a bit tangled and [...]

  33. [...] Thomas embraced the media-driven myth of William Randolph Hearst’s purported vow to “furnish the war” with [...]

  34. [...] at 10:07 am The opening chapter of Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming work debunking 10 prominent media-driven myths, is available at the Web site for the book sponsored by the publisher, University of California [...]

  35. [...] I devote a chapter to bra-burning in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths. [...]

  36. [...] That turn of phrase inspired the title of the chapter about “crack babies” in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book that confronts and debunks 10 media-driven myths. [...]

  37. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, the “international spotlight … has never fully receded” from Lynch, a waif-like [...]

  38. [...] It Wrong–which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–is being published by University of California Press. Reed Malcolm, the acquisition editor [...]

  39. [...] Here’s the book trailer for Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book that addresses, and debunks, 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  40. [...] Media myths on May 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm The flexibility and wide applicability of prominent media-driven myths is little short of astonishing sometimes. Cronkite in Vietnam, [...]

  41. [...] program that night became grist for a prominent media-driven myth, one of 10 that I discuss, and debunk, in my forthcoming book, Getting It [...]

  42. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, public opinion had begun turning against the Vietnam War months before the Cronkite [...]

  43. [...] of course, is among the most appealing and enduring of the many media-driven myths–stories about and or by the news media that are widely believed and often retold but which, [...]

  44. [...] status as an adaptable, hardy, all-purpose anecdote,” I write in my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, Getting It [...]

  45. [...] with further disclosures about his mythologizing his wartime record, Blumenthal’s candidacy will be [...]

  46. [...] I incorporate in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, a telling observation in Lembcke’s book about the tenacity of [...]

  47. [...] review specifically discusses a variety of media-driven myths, including William Randolph Hearst’s purported vow to “furnish the war” with [...]

  48. [...] At HuffPo books In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths, Washington Post, Watergate myth on May 22, 2010 at 8:27 am Check out my guest post at the Huffington Post books page about Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths. [...]

  49. [...] Media-driven myths have been mistakenly credited with bringing on wars and bringing down presidents. But bringing about a decline in household luxuries? [...]

  50. [...] imprecision that alters or distorts an anecdote in its retelling–can be a marker of media-driven myths. Cronkite in Vietnam, [...]

  51. [...] point raised in Getting It Wrong, my soon-to-be-published book that debunks prominent media-driven myths, those false, dubious, or improbable stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  52. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my forthcoming book about media-driven myths, the prolonged guessing game about the identity of “Deep Throat” help solidify the [...]

  53. [...] discussed Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, and it was a fine show. (Audio is available [...]

  54. [...] ‘Commentary’ reviews ‘Getting It Wrong’ In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Murrow-McCarthy myth, Reviews, Washington Post, Watergate myth on June 4, 2010 at 11:27 am The June 2010 number of Commentary magazine includes a fine, favorable, and thoughtful review of Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths. [...]

  55. [...] But the claim about Hearst, yellow journalism, and war is an exaggeration, a media-driven myth. [...]

  56. [...] are three components of an especially tenacious and popular media-driven myth, all of which I address in a chapter in my new book, Getting It [...]

  57. [...] Spanish-American War on June 10, 2010 at 11:52 am I’ve noted from time to time how some media-driven myths–those false, dubious, improbable stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  58. [...] vowing to “furnish the war” with Spain in the late 19th century–one of the media-driven myths that I debunk in Getting It [...]

  59. [...] book addresses, and debunks, 10 prominent media-driven myths–stories about and/or by the news media that are widely believed and often retold but which, [...]

  60. [...] further note in the book that media myths can “be self-flattering, offering heroes … to a profession more accustomed to criticism [...]

  61. [...] It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, was launched at a terrific program yesterday at the Newseum, the $450 million museum of news in [...]

  62. [...] is described in Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, versions vary as to what the president supposedly [...]

  63. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, the power of the so-called “Cronkite moment”  lies “in the sudden, unexpected, [...]

  64. [...] also discussed the media-driven myth of “crack babies” and the famous 1938 radio dramatization of The War of the Worlds, [...]

  65. [...] Diário de Notícias includes a write up about Getting It Wrong, my new book about prominent media-driven myths–those those false, dubious, improbable stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  66. [...] Discussing ‘Getting It Wrong’ with AU alums In Cinematic treatments, Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths, Media myths and radio, War of the Worlds, Washington Post, Watergate myth on June 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm I met in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood last night with a terrific group of American University alumni, at a program that featured a discussion of Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths. [...]

  67. [...] airs on WMJI, Majic 105.7 FM, and I spoke with hosts John Lanigan and Jimmy Malone about several media-driven myths addressed and debunked in my new book, Getting It [...]

  68. [...] is no media-driven myth to address here. Instead, it’s the troubling prospect of planting a $75 million  commercial [...]

  69. [...] Men. The movie–as I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking prominent media-driven myths–helped solidify the notion that two young and intrepid reporters for the Washington Post [...]

  70. [...] Despite the staggering, record-setting heat (temperatures reached 102 degrees in the capital), an engaging audience showed up for my talk about Getting It Wrong, my new book that busts 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  71. [...] in Canada In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths on July 10, 2010 at 9:28 am Media-driven myths not only can be remarkably hardy; they often find use and application in contexts well beyond their [...]

  72. [...] ‘Persuasive and entertaining’: WSJ reviews ‘Getting It Wrong’ In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Furnish the war, Jessica Lynch, Media myths, Murrow-McCarthy myth, New York Times, Reviews, Spanish-American War, War of the Worlds, Washington Post, Watergate myth on July 12, 2010 at 6:05 am Today’s Wall Street Journal reviews Getting It Wrong, characterizing as “persuasive and entertaining” my new book debunking 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  73. [...] meme is a durable media-driven myth, one of 10 debunked in my new book, Getting It Wrong. The meme resurfaced the other day in a column [...]

  74. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking prominent media-driven myths, public opinion had begun turning against the Vietnam War weeks and months before Cronkite’s [...]

  75. [...] on July 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm I wrote the other day about the international appeal of prominent media-driven myths, an observation that was reconfirmed yesterday in the Correio do [...]

  76. [...] In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths, Year studies on July 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm Prominent media-driven myths tend to “ascribe power, significance, and sometimes great courage to the news media and their [...]

  77. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, “rival news organizations such as Los Angeles Times and New York Times did not ignore [...]

  78. [...] discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking the “Cronkite Moment” and nine other media-driven myths, Johnson was in Austin, Texas, at the time Cronkite intoned his “mired in stalemate” [...]

  79. [...] Media-driven myths, those improbable tales about the news media that masquerade as factual, endure for a number of reasons–not the least of which is their value in scoring points about contemporary American journalism. [...]

  80. [...] media love to indulge in, and inevitably mangle, some of American journalism’s best-known media myths. Cronkite in Vietnam, [...]

  81. [...] as I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths,  it turned out that Lynch was no hero; she never fired a shot at Nasiriyah. Her injuries were [...]

  82. [...] A silly season stew: Serving up the Watergate myth In Debunking, Washington Post, Watergate myth on July 30, 2010 at 9:01 am The silly season of journalism is upon us, producing a summer stew of media-driven myths. [...]

  83. [...] be next in my research. Maybe a sequel to Getting It Wrong, I replied, adding that universe of media-driven myths isn’t confined to the 10 addressed in the book. [...]

  84. [...] for a fine discussion about Getting It Wrong, my new book that addresses and debunks 10 prominent, media-driven myths. At the Tattered [...]

  85. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book about media-driven myths, forcing Nixon’s resignation “required the collective if not always the coordinated [...]

  86. [...] 2010 at 11:34 am I’ve written from time to time about the striking international appeal of media-driven myths, those dubious and improbable tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  87. [...] as it is misleading. And the “golden age fallacy” contributes to the tenacity of media-driven myths, those dubious and improbable tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  88. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking prominent media-driven myths, the Gallup Organization reported in October 1967 that a plurality of Americans (47 percent to 44 [...]

  89. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking prominent media-driven myths, the Post published a sensational, front-page report on April 3, 2003, that  said Lynch had [...]

  90. [...] Media myths on August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm In Getting It Wrong, my new book dismantling prominent media-driven myths, I discuss a phenomenon I call “the perverse appeal of the would-be [...]

  91. [...] Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking the “Cronkite Moment” and nine other prominent media-driven myths, Johnson did not see the Cronkite program when it aired. Nor is there evidence he watched the [...]

  92. [...] The Washington Post ‘wrecked’ Nixon’s life? Sure it did In Debunking, Media myths, Washington Post, Watergate myth on August 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm I’m tough on the Washington Post in a couple of chapters in Getting It Wrong, my new book that addresses and debunks prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  93. [...] in American journalism,” I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking 10 prominent media-driven myths–among them the myth of superlative reporting in Katrina’s [...]

  94. [...] But the article was pretty much spot-on in characterizing the media’s over-the-top reporting about the violence, mayhem, and anarchy that Katrina supposedly unleashed on New Orleans. It’s a topic discussed in the closing chapter of Getting It Wrong, my new book that debunks prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  95. [...] Debunking, Media myths, Murrow-McCarthy myth on August 29, 2010 at 11:11 am Confirming anew that prominent myths of American journalism travel far and all too well, a columnist for a South African newspaper [...]

  96. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book that debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, the coverage of Katrina’s aftermath “was in important respects flawed and [...]

  97. [...] In Cronkite Moment, Debunking, Media myths on September 2, 2010 at 9:40 am Sometimes, media-driven myths are just too juicy and delicious to shun, even if the narrator is unsure about their [...]

  98. [...] Two days later, the Post published its sensational account of Lynch’s supposed heroism, an account “unlike any to emerge from the war,” I write in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  99. [...] the “golden age” fallacy in Getting It Wrong, my new book that debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  100. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book debunking prominent media-driven myths, bra-burning is a “nuanced [...]

  101. [...] I discuss in my new book, Getting It Wrong, “bra-burning” is a media myth that has morphed and taken on fresh significance in the years since 1968. “Bra-burning” [...]

  102. [...] How the protest on the boardwalk gave rise to the “nuanced myth” of bra-burning–or bra-smoldering–is discussed in my new book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  103. [...] For many reasons, then, the “Cronkite Moment” is a dubious anecdote, a media-driven myth. [...]

  104. [...] legendary “Cronkite Moment,” one of American journalism’s hardiest and best-known media-driven myths. Cronkite in Vietnam, [...]

  105. [...] the “going newsless” phenomenon in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  106. [...] Moment” also is a chapter in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–those dubious and improbable tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  107. [...] Kennedy-Nixon presidential debate just days away, it’s a fair bet that a particularly hardy media myth will make frequent appearances in news reports recalling the 1960 [...]

  108. [...] report on McCarthy on March 9, 1954–the 30-minute program that lies at the heart of the myth–did not have the outcome so often claimed for [...]

  109. [...] all, few media-driven myths are invoked as routinely or as matter-of-factly as the legendary occasion when CBS anchorman Walter [...]

  110. [...] of the historic Kennedy-Nixon presidential debate has sparked references to the hardy and enticing media myth of TV viewer-radio listener [...]

  111. [...] anyway, is the widely told media myth that has come to define the first presidential [...]

  112. [...] is just too good, too delicious to check out–a factor that often characterizes the telling of media-driven myths. It’s a point I make in Getting it Wrong, my new book that debunks 10 prominent media myths. [...]

  113. [...] however, is a media-driven myth–a dubious tale about the news media that masquerades as [...]

  114. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book that debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, Woodward and his Post colleague Carl Bernstein, “did not uncover defining and decisive [...]

  115. [...] Post on October 6, 2010 at 10:51 am The Los Angeles Times indulged the other day in the tenacious media myth about the Pentagon’s concocting the hero-warrior tale about Jessica Lynch early in the Iraq [...]

  116. [...] revisited the tale in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–dubious and improbable stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  117. [...] My new book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, those dubious and improbable tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  118. [...] an easy meme: Juicy, delicious, easy to remember. It’s also a classic media-driven myth, a tall tale about the news media that dissolves under [...]

  119. [...] dominant narrative about the Lynch case–one of 10  media-driven myths I examine in my new book, Getting It Wrong–has shifted decidedly away from the Post to focus [...]

  120. [...] factors certainly do characterize media-driven myths, which are prominent stories about and/or by the news media that are widely believed and often [...]

  121. [...] also a classic media-driven myth, one that ignores the failure of diplomacy that led to the Spanish-American War and offers a [...]

  122. [...] I point out in Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, one of the reporters who wrote the “fighting to the death” story “made clear in [...]

  123. [...] Getting It Wrong, my new mythbusting book, I point out that the most resilient media-driven myths often are those that are distilled “to a catchy, pithy [...]

  124. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my new book that debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, legend has it that Murrow “single-handedly confronted and took down the most feared and [...]

  125. [...] This thin slice of Watergate arcana certainly is intriguing. And it testifies to how movies can propel media-driven myths. [...]

  126. [...] Q-and-A with Big Think blog was posted today. In it I discuss Halloween’s greatest media myth–Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds dramatization, which aired on CBS radio 72 years [...]

  127. [...] Library is a special place, and more than 120 people were there as I reviewed three of the 10 media-driven myths that are addressed and debunked in my latest book, Getting It [...]

  128. [...] I discuss in Getting It Wrong–which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–the notion of bra-burning stems from the women’s liberation protest at Atlantic City on [...]

  129. [...] point: The tale is believed–and is often retold–because it is believable. Like other media-driven myths, the “Cronkite Moment” resides on the cusp of [...]

  130. [...] enduring myth about Hearst and the war was invoked yesterday, in a post at the Atlantic online site. The [...]

  131. [...] Or something to that effect. As I point out in Getting It Wrong, versions vary markedly as to what the president supposedly said. And acute version variability can be a marker of a media-driven myth. [...]

  132. [...] from the audience was what message should students take away from a book that identifies as media-driven myths some of the best-known stories in American journalism. The implication was that mythbusting may [...]

  133. [...] As I discuss in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, the Cronkite program on Vietnam quite simply did not have the powerful effects so often attributed to it. The “Cronkite Moment” is one hardy media-driven myth. [...]

  134. [...] point out that media myths take hold for a variety of reasons: Because they delicious stories that are almost too good not to [...]

  135. [...] stories, I replied. But more often the reaction has been one of some surprise that these tales were myths. Others have said they had rather suspected these tales were too good to be true, I [...]

  136. [...] talk centered on three of the 10 prominent media-driven myths debunked in  my latest book, Getting It [...]

  137. [...] lengthy interview about Getting It Wrong, I discuss why it’s vital to debunk media-driven myths, those dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  138. [...] Two days later, th&#1077 Post published its sensational tab &#959f Lynch’s supposed heroism, an tab “unlike any to emerge from th&#1077 war,” I write &#1110n Getting it Incorrect, m&#1091 new book debunking 10 prominent media-obsessed myths. [...]

  139. [...] Looking forward, do new media present an opportunity to debunk these myths, before they get [...]

  140. [...] In both cases, Olbermann bought into tenacious media-driven myths. [...]

  141. [...] A fine crowd was on hand last night for my book talk at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center about media-driven myths. [...]

  142. [...] it is with the mythical “Cronkite Moment,” one of the most tenacious myths of American [...]

  143. [...] Moment” in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. I point out that Johnson didn’t even see the Cronkite program when it aired on CBS on [...]

  144. [...] can be a hazard of media-driven myths, and there’s also no denying that stereotype is embedded in the [...]

  145. [...] myths, to be sure, are quite unlike media-driven myths, the subject of my latest book, Getting It Wrong. Media-driven myths are false, dubious, improbable [...]

  146. [...] fallacy also is addressed in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent myths about the news media. Among them is the heroic-journalist myth of Watergate–the notion that [...]

  147. [...] a way, “follow the money” is like media-driven myths that have gained popularity abroad–among them, the mythical Cronkite Moment, the [...]

  148. [...] That’s akin to the point I make in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, about how cinema can propel and solidify media-driven myths. [...]

  149. [...] recount this episode in my latest book, Getting It Wrong–in the chapter puncturing the myth about CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and his half-hour television report on McCarthy in March 1954. [...]

  150. [...] write “bring down a government that has it coming” — that’s to indulge in a media-driven myth, the beguiling heroic-journalist myth of [...]

  151. [...] “Media myths … tend to minimize or negate complexity in historical events and offer simplistic and misleading interpretations instead. Edward Murrow no more took down Joseph McCarthy than Walter Cronkite swayed a president’s views about the war in Vietnam. Yet those and other media myths endure, because in part they are reductive: They offer unambiguous, easily remembered explanations about complex historic events.” [...]

  152. [...] After all, the original “Cronkite Moment” of 1968 was a media-driven myth. [...]

  153. [...] vow, as I write in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, is almost certainly apocryphal. But like many media-driven myths, it lives on as an anecdote too delicious not to be [...]

  154. [...] heroic-journalist interpretation of Watergate is one of those hardy media-driven myths to have produced its own spinoff or subsidiary [...]

  155. [...] movie, I write, helped ensure the heroic-journalist myth “would live on by offering a neat, tidy, and vastly simplified account the Watergate scandal, [...]

  156. [...] media myth has it that President Lyndon Johnson watched the Cronkite report and, upon hearing the [...]

  157. [...] Today’s New York Times offers up a double-myth story, a rare article that incorporates two prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  158. [...] The New York Times certainly was casual and superficial in likening TV comedian Jon Stewart to Edward R. Murrow. Not only that, but the discussion about the absurd comparison has been accompanied by the appearance of media-driven myth. [...]

  159. [...] In the run-up to the anniversary in April of the Bay of Pigs invasion, we’ll no doubt see frequent references to this media-driven myth. [...]

  160. [...] It’s too bad Gazeta didn’t point out that both cases are media-driven myths. [...]

  161. [...] not at all,” in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–among them the heroic-journalist interpretation of [...]

  162. [...] The uncertainty as to exactly when the purported exchange occurred is one of many signals the tale is apocryphal, a media-driven myth. [...]

  163. [...] media-driven myths are more enticing, delicious, or retold as often as the so-called “Cronkite Moment,” [...]

  164. [...] out the new trailer for my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths–those dubious stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  165. [...] claim caught my eye, given that my latest book, Getting It Wrong, addresses and debunks the media myth that broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow put an end to McCarthy’s communists-in-government [...]

  166. [...] Atlantic City protest was the genesis of the media-driven myth of flamboyant bra-burning, [...]

  167. [...] a newspaper’s credibility, too. As I note in Getting It Wrong, my book debunking prominent media-driven myths, “a central objective of newsgathering” is “that of seeking to get it [...]

  168. [...] also a prominent media-driven myth–a well-known but dubious or improbable tale about the news media that masquerades as [...]

  169. [...] address and debunk 10 prominent media-driven myths in my latest book, Getting It [...]

  170. [...] Indeed, demonstrative bra-burning was not an element of feminist protests of the 1960s and 1970s; that it was is a hardy media-driven myth. [...]

  171. [...] Sunday, Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, rubs shoulders with a tenacious media myth linked to the newspaper’s reporting in the run-up to the Bay of Pigs invasion nearly 50 years [...]

  172. [...] no media myth: Pepco personnel can be downright rude to their [...]

  173. [...] As I discuss in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, the anecdote about Hearst’s vow is almost certainly apocryphal — a media-driven myth. [...]

  174. [...] was published in summer 2010 by University of California Press, addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths — those dubious tales about and/or by the news media that masquerade as [...]

  175. [...] many media myths, “follow the money” is pithy, accessible, and [...]

  176. [...] my latest book, Getting It Wrong, the cinema can be a powerful agent in propelling and solidifying media-driven myths. Indeed, All the President’s Men, in its mediacentric focus on the supposed exploits of [...]

  177. [...] taken lightly, dismissed or ignored,” I write in Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths — those dubious stories about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  178. [...] Moreover, the quotation seems too neat and tidy to be authentic — which can be a marker of a media-driven myth. [...]

  179. [...] serves “to abridge and misunderstand the scandal and to indulge in a particularly beguiling media-driven myth. The heroic-journalist interpretation minimizes the far more decisive forces that unraveled the [...]

  180. [...] Trerise, though, assured me the photograph was legitimate. And her confirmation effectively represents a challenge to claims that feminist bra-burning is a media myth. [...]

  181. [...] presidency. And Safire used an “On Language” column in 1984 to challenge another hardy media myth — that Nixon ran for president in 1968 claiming to have a “secret plan” to end [...]

  182. [...] (I had had my suspicions given that it looked almost too good to be true — which can be a marker of an unethically edited photograph and a media-driven myth.) [...]

  183. [...] It’s a not-infrequent claim, that feminist bra-burning was a media invention, a media myth. [...]

  184. [...] not that Woodward has been making such mythical claims. Rather, they pop up in fawning news reports about his [...]

  185. [...] I note in Getting It Wrong that “to explain Watergate through the lens of the heroic-journalist is to abridge and misunderstand the scandal and to indulge in a particularly beguiling media-driven myth. [...]

  186. [...] also note in Getting It Wrong that “media-driven myths are neither trivial nor innocuous. They can and do have adverse [...]

  187. [...] is the case with all media-driven myths, there are elements of accuracy in that narrative. Woodward did periodically discuss Watergate with [...]

  188. [...] I note in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which includes a chapter about the media myths of Watergate, Post reporter Bob Woodward was quoted as saying in 1973 that those crucial aspects of [...]

  189. [...] in his column offered overviews of some of the 10 media-driven myths dismantled in Getting It Wrong, including the notion that “Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of [...]

  190. [...] gave a talk about media-driven myths yesterday on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University, where years ago I earned my undergraduate [...]

  191. [...] I write in Getting It Wrong, my media-mythbusting book that came out last [...]

  192. [...] “effectively” brought down a president, is the stuff of legend. It’s a powerful media-driven myth that offers a simplistic and misleading interpretation of the country’s greatest political [...]

  193. [...] such, journalists are known to flub it — or indulge in media myths — when they do take up the past. Consider, for example, the Bangor Daily News in Maine, which [...]

  194. [...] To argue that “the Post’s reporting led to the downfall” of Nixon is to misread the history of Watergate and to indulge in a beguiling media-driven myth. [...]

  195. [...] media myth about Vietnam often revolves around the so-called “Cronkite Moment” in February 1968, [...]

  196. [...] no small amount of myth to unpack in that paragraph. Most [...]

  197. [...] many media-driven myths, the false narrative about the Pentagon offers a simplistic, easy-to-understand account of an event [...]

  198. [...] claims for the Watergate reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein seldom are very modest. The mythical notion that their reporting brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974 is among the most cherished [...]

  199. [...] as I discuss in Getting It Wrong, my media-mythbusting book that came out last year, neither Kennedy nor anyone in his administration asked or lobbied the [...]

  200. [...] emasculate, or sanitize the article it published April 7, 1961, which lies at the heart of this media-driven myth. Szulc of the [...]

  201. [...] than any other single factor, the movie All the President’s Men propelled the media myth of the heroic journalist — the beguiling notion that Woodward and Bernstein’s [...]

  202. [...] most prominent media-driven myths — those dubious or apocryphal stories about the news media that masquerade as factual — [...]

  203. [...] point is not that there were inaccuracies….of course there would be. This only happens every time there is an event like this. My point [...]

  204. [...] many consensus narratives and media-driven myths, though, the Times-Bay of Pigs suppression tale is too neat and tidy, too rich and delicious, ever [...]

  205. [...] time to time at Media Myth Alert, I’ve noted how American media myths have been embraced with gusto by news outlets [...]

  206. [...] It Wrong, which was published last year by the University of California Press, debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, which are dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  207. [...] my latest book, Getting It Wrong, the purported “Cronkite Moment” a prominent and hardy media-driven myth — a dubious tale about the news media masquerading as [...]

  208. [...] “Follow the money,” the line so readily associated with the Washington Post and its Watergate reporting, is freighted with no fewer than three related media myths. [...]

  209. [...] I’ve posted more than 275 essays at Media Myth Alert, nearly all of them calling attention to media-driven myths that have found their way into traditional or online [...]

  210. [...] It’s based on a single, unnamed source, and it draws sustenance from a media-driven myth. [...]

  211. [...] of my favored characterizations of media-driven myths, those dubious tales about media power that masquerade as factual, is that they’re the [...]

  212. [...] well said, too. It’s a characterization that offers insight about the rise and diffusion of media-driven myths, 10 of which I debunk in my latest book, Getting It [...]

  213. [...] striking how several well-known journalists and news outlets have indulged over last six months in media-driven myths, those dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  214. [...] offer evidence in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, that bras were  set afire, briefly, during the protest on the Atlantic City boardwalk on [...]

  215. [...] Media-driven myths have a variety of perverse applications — including value in scoring points in arguments. [...]

  216. [...] The Zhou comment also represents a reminder about the often-irresistible quality of pithy and apparently telling quotations — a topic discussed in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  217. [...] myth of viewer-listener disagreement — that television viewers and radio listeners had starkly [...]

  218. [...] discussed a number of the media-driven myths debunked in Getting It Wrong, including, in some detail, the mythical “Cronkite Moment” [...]

  219. [...] their extreme, media-driven myths are hero-worshipping devices, invoked to venerate journalists as [...]

  220. [...] the claim was long ago demolished as a media-driven myth, it remains too good not to be true, too delicious to [...]

  221. [...] purported vow to “furnish the war” with Spain is a particularly tenacious media-driven myth — a prominent but dubious tale about journalism that masquerades as [...]

  222. [...] many media-driven myths, the tale of inspiration is almost too good not to be [...]

  223. [...] It Wrong addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths, those dubious tales about the news media that masquerade as [...]

  224. [...] it has receded in time and memory, the Watergate scandal of 1972-74 has become ever more prone to myth and misleading interpretation. Bernstein in 2009 (Newseum [...]

  225. [...] buttress that point, the usually well-reported Economist turns to a media myth — the discredited notion that press baron William Randolph Hearst, the timeless bogeyman of [...]

  226. [...] building a reputation for indulging in media-driven myths, [...]

  227. [...] “Turns of phrase that sound too neat and tidy often are too perfect to be true,” I write in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  228. [...] book, Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, repeats the hoary media myth that the yellow press of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer brought on the [...]

  229. [...] so, the media myth about Woodward, Bernstein, and the Post — the heroic-journalist myth, as I describe it in my [...]

  230. [...] Rich, in a lengthy New York magazine screed about Rupert Murdoch, invokes the hoary media myth that William Randolph Hearst’s “papers famously fomented the Spanish-American War and [...]

  231. [...] But the Post-Watergate trope, of course, is a powerful media-driven myth. [...]

  232. [...] the 37th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation, to direct attention to the myth and hyperbole that embrace the best-known line of the Watergate scandal, the line that supposedly [...]

  233. [...] I also expect to note there are personal reasons for blogging as well. By blogging, journalism historians can test emergent ideas and hypotheses. Blogging can reinforce (and direct attention to) previously published work — much as Media Myth Alert seeks to do in promoting my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  234. [...] 113th anniversary of the effective end of the Spanish-American War — and offered up a hoary media myth in discussing newspaper coverage of the [...]

  235. [...] In that way, it’s akin to other deliciously irresistible quotations that are just too neat and too tidy to be true — a topic I discuss in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which addresses and debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  236. [...] Embracing that interpretation of Watergate, I write my media-mythbusting book, Getting It Wrong, “is to abridge and misunderstand the scandal and to indulge in a particularly beguiling media-driven myth.” [...]

  237. [...] The heroic-journalist interpretation of Watergate, I write in Getting It Wrong, is to “misunderstand the scandal and to indulge in a particularly beguiling media-driven myth. [...]

  238. [...] exaggerated tales of Watergate, Hurricane Katrina, and crack babies were the principal media myths I discussed the other day in an interview on KPCW Radio in [...]

  239. [...] out in my latest book, Getting It Wrong (which does not discuss the Jefferson-Hemings controversy), media-driven myths “tend to minimize or negate complexity in historical events and offer simplistic and [...]

  240. [...] As superb and influential as it was, Kane took liberties and in doing so helped popularize a powerful media-driven myth. [...]

  241. [...] the media myth, anyway. Like many media myths, it’s a good yarn but thinly documented. There’s scant [...]

  242. [...] tale about “furnish the war” was debunked as a media myth years ago, for [...]

  243. [...] impressive how strictly American media myths can win such eager embrace in international contexts. A certain American president leaves [...]

  244. [...] Version variability is the imprecision that alters or distorts an anecdote in its retelling, and it’s a marker of a media-driven myth. [...]

  245. [...] Calgary Herald was the latest to indulge in the myth that “follow the money” was guidance offered by the high-level anonymous source [...]

  246. [...] a myth, as I discuss in my latest book, Getting It Wrong. But it long ago became the dominant narrative of [...]

  247. [...] a delicious media myth that The War of the Worlds radio dramatization 73 years ago set off nationwide panic and mass [...]

  248. [...] The radio show aired October 30, 1938, and supposedly stirred panic and hysteria across the United States — a delicious narrative that I debunk in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, as a media-driven myth. [...]

  249. [...] also spoke about my research into media-driven myths, those prominent, well-known stories about and/or by the news media that are widely believed and [...]

  250. [...] the Watergate break-in, which gave rise to the greatest scandal in U.S. politics — and to the media-driven myth that Washington Post journalists toppled a president. Woodward: 40th anniversary [...]

  251. [...] Moment” is a yardstick of any kind, it’s a measure of how profoundly the media myth has become embedded in the lore of American [...]

  252. [...] of the year” not only because of its significance but because of its relevance to busting media myths, those delicious but dubious tales that masquerade as factual and offer distorted views of [...]

  253. [...] Hope,” a satirically named radio show in Gainesville, Florida, to speak about several of the media-driven myths debunked in my latest book, Getting It [...]

  254. [...] Even so, the false narrative took hold and lives on, an ugly media-driven myth. [...]

  255. [...] Journal’s flattering references to the artist, serve to undercut a tenacious and prominent media-driven myth, an anecdote that ranks as one of the most popular in American [...]

  256. [...] embracing simplistic explanations is an important way in which media-driven myths — those false, dubious, improbable stories about the news media that masquerade as factual [...]

  257. [...] the famous CBS News anchorman from 1963 to 1981, likewise is the subject of a durable media-driven myth — that his editorializing about the war in Vietnam in February 1968 forced President Lyndon [...]

  258. [...] take-it-for-granted reporting can be a factor in the emergence and durability of media-driven myths, the subject of my latest book, Getting It [...]

  259. [...] April number of Vanity Fair brushes against an entrenched media myth in declaring that the cinematic depiction of the Washington Post’s Watergate reporting [...]

  260. [...] post that so blithely repeats the dubious claim and contributes to perpetuating a hardy seasonal myth. And one that does so without data or [...]

  261. [...] notion that “bra-burning” was a widespread element of feminist protest is a media myth that’s probably too engrained, and euphonic, ever to be thoroughly debunked. Fashion [...]

  262. [...] I call it a “nuanced myth” in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, which debunks 10 prominent media-driven myths. [...]

  263. [...] not an infrequent claim, that feminist bra-burning was a media trope, a media myth. That it “never actually [...]

  264. [...] in a flattering writeup recalling the occasion, CBS invoked a prominent media-driven myth — the notion that Cronkite’s on-air assessment in 1968 about the war in Vietnam exerted [...]

  265. [...] National Press Club indulged in a couple of tenacious media myths about Watergate in announcing the other day it was giving its top award to Bob Woodward, one of the [...]

  266. [...] colorful, the tale of the purported Hearstian vow is a media-driven myth, one of the hardiest in American [...]

  267. [...] critic Howard Kurtz invokes one of American journalism’s most tenacious media myths in a review today about the forthcoming biography of Walter Cronkite, the CBS News anchorman from [...]

  268. [...] reason is that the epithet isn’t entirely outlandish.  Like many media myths, the “most trusted” claim rests on the cusp of plausibility. Cronkite was an esteemed [...]

  269. [...] is the first of five posts addressing prominent media-driven myths about the Watergate scandal, which began unfolding 40 years ago with the foiled burglary at the [...]

  270. [...] is the second of five posts addressing prominent media-driven myths about the Watergate scandal, which began unfolding 40 years ago this week with the foiled burglary [...]

  271. [...] is the third of five posts addressing prominent media-driven myths about the Watergate scandal, which began unfolding 40 years ago this week with the foiled burglary [...]

  272. [...] is the fourth of five posts addressing prominent media-driven myths about the Watergate scandal, which began unfolding 40 years ago this week, with the foiled burglary [...]

  273. [...] is the last of five posts addressing prominent media-driven myths about the Watergate scandal, which began unfolding 40 years ago this week with the foiled burglary [...]

  274. [...] also offers a thoughtful and telling assessment about why media myths take [...]

  275. [...] most tenacious myth in American journalism tells of a purported exchange of telegrams in January 1897 between  [...]

  276. [...] a fluffy review, published yesterday, that invoked one the American journalism’s best-known media myths — the claim that President Lyndon B. Johnson was dramatically moved by Cronkite’s [...]

  277. [...] as I discuss in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, it’s also a tenacious media-driven myth “that offers a deceptive message about the influence radio wielded over listeners in its [...]

  278. [...] The “light rinse” anecdote notably has been afflicted with version variability — my term for the shifting of important details as a story is retold over the years. As I point out in my 2010 book,  Getting It Wrong, version variability can be a marker of a media-driven myth. [...]

  279. [...] debunking notwithstanding, the myth of viewer-listener disagreement tends to resurface at or near the anniversaries of the first [...]

  280. [...] noted yesterday how the myth of viewer-listener disagreement — that television viewers and radio listeners had clashing [...]

  281. [...] and Republican challenger Mitt Romney has, inevitably, spurred the renewed circulation of a hoary media myth centered around the first such presidential debate, in September [...]

  282. [...] many media-driven myths, it is after all almost too delicious not to be [...]

  283. [...] many media myths, the notion of listener-viewer disagreement is so delicious that it must have been [...]

  284. [...] On more than a few occasions, Twitter has demonstrated a striking capacity to debunk embryonic media myths — including those myths it helped set [...]

  285. [...] The media myth associated with the image is that U.S. forces carried out the aerial napalm attack that terrorized and injured the children near Trang Bang. [...]

  286. [...] myth appears in the timeline entry for 1974, which says: “A corrupt U.S. president, Richard Nixon, [...]

  287. [...] the holiday season number is not the first time the Economist has fallen for the media myth of yellow [...]

  288. [...] Myth Alert reported in 2012 on the appearance of many prominent media-driven myths and errors. Here are the year’s five top writeups, followed by a roster of other mythbusting [...]

  289. [...] The War of the Worlds radio program of October 30, 1938, set off a wildfire of panic is a hoary media myth — a myth so tenaciously held that not even a sustained social media campaign could undo [...]

  290. [...] But both comparisons are strained and feeble: They seek to reapportion to contemporary contexts influence the legendary Cronkite never really possessed. As such, they succeed only in promoting a media-driven myth. [...]

  291. [...] the debate about women being permitted to join U.S. military combat units, it was inevitable the media myth would resurface about Jessica Lynch and her purported battlefield heroics in Iraq nearly 10 years [...]

  292. [...] reference to the reporters who “took down a president” is wrong-headed: It’s a media myth that simplifies and distorts the forces and factors that led Nixon to quit in [...]

  293. [...] well-known that media myths — those tall tales about the purported feats of American journalists — can go viral, [...]

  294. [...] The runup to the Academy Awards ceremony brings inevitable bursts of nostalgia — as well as the almost-predictable appearance of hoary media myths. [...]

  295. [...] the largest talk-show audiences on radio. Which is why it’s troubling when he indulges in media myths, as he’s done the past two [...]

  296. [...] discuss the media myth of Watergate in my latest book, Getting It Wrong, and write that the scandal demanded “the [...]

  297. [...] There’s no persuasive evidence or documentation that Johnson ever said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.” Or anything close to that statement.  Indeed, versions of what Johnson purportedly said vary markedly — and such variability can be a marker of a media-driven myth. [...]

  298. [...] Citizen Hearst. It is an irresistible tale often invoked in support of a broader and nastier media myth, that Hearst and his newspapers fomented the Spanish-American War in [...]

  299. [...] I note in my media-mythbusting book, Getting It Wrong, it’s an interpretation of Watergate that not even the Post [...]

  300. […] PBS description sounds as if the program will embrace a hoary media-driven myth — that The War of the Worlds show of October 30, 1938, set off widespread panic and mass […]

  301. […] only does Salon indulge in media myth, its commentary probably overstates the impact of Stewart’s segment about the […]

  302. […] yet, on this anniversary, the simplistic, media myth circulates anew — that two dogged reporters for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl […]

  303. […] the supposed reactions to Cronkite’s report lurks one the most popular and enduring myths of American […]

  304. […] all media myths, the “furnish the war” anecdote has some factual scaffolding. But Foreman misstates a […]

  305. […] history makes for faint humor. Even worse, the inaugural show promotes a notably tenacious media myth in offering a chaotic look at the Watergate scandal of […]

  306. […] is more than hair-splitting. It matters because a fairly tenacious media myth has grown up around the notion that Nixon in 1968 campaigned for the presidency while touting a […]

  307. […] ever-appealing tale of radio-inducted hysteria is one of the 10 prominent media-driven myths that I addressed and debunked in my latest book, Getting It Wrong. Simply put, the notion that The […]

  308. […] I had suspected that landmark status would be proposed for the building because of the newspaper’s reporting of the Watergate scandal, which over the years has become a subject of a towering media myth. […]

  309. […] The panic, to be sure, was overstated. Exaggerated. And has become the stuff of a tenacious media-driven myth. […]

  310. […] described to Getler my concerns that the documentary would embrace the media myth that The War of the Worlds program set off mass panic and nationwide hysteria on the night it was […]

  311. […] ago became the best-known, most-reprinted editorial in American journalism. It also is decidedly myth-prone, as recent newspaper descriptions of the legendary editorial […]

  312. […] Myth Alert reported in 2013 on the appearance of numerous and prominent media-driven myths and errors. Here are the five top writeups posted at the blog during 2013, followed by a roster of […]

  313. […] The “golden age” approach to media history — the notion that there really was a time when journalism and its practitioners were virtuous and inspiring — is flawed in at least three ways: It treats the past as little more than nostalgia; it elevates once-prominent journalists to heroic status, and it encourages the embrace of media-driven myths. […]

  314. […] likely see a modest surge in the appearance of media myths in the next couple of weeks, with the approach of hallowed moments of exaggerated importance in […]

  315. […] included comments by Douglas Brinkley, an historian and CBS consultant, who invoked a central media myth about the See It Now program, asserting that McCarthy was “a menace on the loose until he met […]

  316. […] do so is to indulge in a central flaw of a media-driven myth — that of media centrism, of exaggerating the power of the journalism, of attributing to news […]

  317. […] with all media myths, this one has some historically accurate scaffolding. But there is no evidence that Hearst ever […]

  318. […] Media-driven myths can be tenacious because they offer simplified, easy-to-grasp versions of complex events of the past. […]

  319. […] uncovered evidence that brought down Nixon and his corrupt presidency. It’s one of 10 media-driven myths debunked in my 2010 book, Getting It […]

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