In Atlanta, at the RedState Gathering, I was recounting to a RedStater the circumstances of the birth of Vladimir some five years ago. "Election 2004," I said. "Rathergate."
"Huh?" she said.
I realized that she was about 17 when that happened. So it requires a little explanation.
I'm, if anything, a creature of habit. My morning routine used to include a newspaper over coffee or breakfast. Depending on my mood, I'd pick the USA Today or the Daily Advertiser, the local Gannett offering.
To briefly recap Rathergate, Dan Rather of CBS News stood behind a phony piece of evidence, defending it as "fake but accurate".
The evidence purported to show that George W. Bush had improperly ducked service while a member of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. It was demonstrably phony because when it was juxtaposed with the same text written in Microsoft Word's default format, there was no perceptible difference. Impossible on a 1969-vintage typewriter.
The MSM had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even acknowledge the story. The dragging was done by Little Green Footballs and by the fledgling RedState.com, among others.
I knew then that given the choice between Truth and Narrative, the MSM will pick Narrative every time.
That's when newspapers and TV news shows stopped being my primary source of information.
I fired them.
I still buy papers on rare occasion. The New York Times has a pretty good crossword puzzle. I'll work the sudoku in the USA Today, but it's usually a free copy. And I look at the obits in the local fishwrap online.
Apparently, lots of other folks have made the same move. The local paper is being printed in a smaller format several times a week. Other papers across the country are teetering on the financial brink.
The clearest manifestation of who's watching the network news shows can be seen by the advertisers on the shows: Pepto-Bismol, Ensure, Depends, Celebrex & dozens of other prescription meds. Average age of the viewers must be around 70.
Now, via RedState, twitter and other blogs and social networking sites, folks who have likewise fired their MSM outlets gather to share, inform, debate and learn. It's the ultimate "work-around" solution for a system that has failed. We are responsible for our information and our opinions.
We are engaged in an epic political struggle, characterized by the big themes of Right vs Wrong, Truth vs Lies, Good vs Evil, Light vs Darkness, Godly vs (not so much). It is incumbent on us old-timers to pass on our war stories and our collective wisdom to the younger generation. Picking sides in this great political struggle for our beloved country is more than picking a sports team to cheer on. It does matter who wins.