|January 29, 2010|
|Media Have Come Long Way Since Brink of Nuke War|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. stood at the brink of nuclear war. President Kennedy took to the air in October of that year to tell the nation what he could about the stand-off with the Cubans/Russians. The Big Three broadcasters covered Kennedy's speech. They then returned to regular programming, according to historian Michael Beschloss in the Jan. 25 issue of The New Yorker. |
[This blogger was a little too young to understand the missile crisis, but he did wonder about all those "duck and cover" drills the nuns were running in the aftermath of the showdown. Air raid sirens are another fond memory.]
Flash forward 48 years. Try to compare the missile crisis airtime with the wall-to-wall media coverage of last week's "Massachusetts Massacre," in which Republican Scott Brown knocked off the dreary Martha Coakley. Days have been spent analyzing Brown's victory in thousands of different ways.
President Obama's agenda is said to be in jeopardy due to the temporary loss of a Senate seat in the Bay State, leaving the spineless Democrats with only a 59 to 41 majority. Imagine the wall-to-wall coverage if a couple of nukes are uncovered in Fidel's backyard next week.
The New Yorker piece, written by Ken Auletta, reminds readers of another interesting tidbit. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter weren't around when George W. Bush was wrapping up his first term. Would social media have played a role in heading off the invasion of Iraq?
Doubt it. The Bush Administration suckered us in on that one. Could social media have spurred the election of John Kerry as President? Perhaps.
As President Obama prepares his "State of the Union," the "always on" media world is poised to pounce. Watch out, Barack. Auletta nailed it. He writes: "the transformation of media has not only undermined the imperial institution of the mainstream media; it has undermined the imperial Presidency."
More woes for our weary president, who probably thinks a return to Chicago is looking pretty good these days.
As for Cuba, social media are bound to play a huge role in the political development of that country, once Fidel and Ramon bite the dust.
Return to Latest News