CNN Mourns ‘Lost’ Media ‘Titans’ – Including Williams And Stewart

Posted on Sat 02/14/2015 by


MatthewBalanpicture-103-1409683649By Matthew Balan ~

Frank Pallotta of CNN Money hyped in a Friday article that “in just one week, the media world has lost, in one way or another, four of its titans” – suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams, liberal Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, CBS correspondent Bob Simon, and David Carr of the New York Times. Pallotta played up that “if the impact of losing Williams wasn’t enough, in the same hour on Tuesday one of media’s best and most popular critics, Jon Stewart, announced he was signing off ‘The Daily Show.'”

2015-02-09-CC-TDS-Stewart_WilliamsThe media reporter led his item, ‘Has there ever been a sadder week in journalism?,’ with his hyperbolic “titans” line about the figures, and outlined how the past week began: “On Monday Brian Williams’ name was still attached to the ‘NBC Nightly News,’ Bob Simon was preparing his latest and greatest ’60 Minutes’ segment, Jon Stewart’s reign at ‘The Daily Show’ was without an end point, and many were looking forward to David Carr’s next ‘Media Equation’ column at The New York Times.”

Pallotta then quoted the online origin of his article’s title: “‘David Carr, Bob Simon, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams. Has there ever been a sadder week in journalism?’ tweeted Andrew Wallenstein, co-editor-in-chief at Variety.” He continued with a gushing summary of the Williams and Stewart stories:

The week started with the announcement that Williams, America’s single most popular news anchor, would be stepping aside for “several days” to take himself out of the news cycle that he created.

He’s been there. He’ll be there,” said advertisements for the 10th anniversary of Williams’ tenure last year. Yet, by Tuesday Williams was suspended for six months, exiled from his post without a guarantee he’ll ever return.

If the impact of losing Williams wasn’t enough, in the same hour on Tuesday one of media’s best and most popular critics, Jon Stewart, announced he was signing off “The Daily Show.” His departure date is unclear.

It’s hard to fathom the scope of the void he will leave,” wrote Frazier Moore, TV writer for the AP. “As a champion of enlightened phoniness in TV journalism, Stewart has proven himself to be one-of-a-kind, a fake who’s unrivaled as the real deal.”

The CNN Money journalist added that “while the loss of Williams and Stewart are perplexing, the loss of Bob Simon and David Carr are beyond tragic,” and described Simon as “one of the most revered correspondents for ’60 Minutes,’ if not for the whole journalism profession.” Seven paragraphs later, after noting the reaction to Carr’s death, Pallotta concluded with more praise for all four personalities:

So as media’s darkest week comes to a close, we press on.

It’s ironic that this was also a week that saw the Twitter hashtag “#AdviceForYoungJournalists” trend worldwide.

So much about journalism can be learned from this week: hubris from Williams, wit from Stewart, consistency from Simon, and ferocious eloquence from Carr.

Many will look at this week and see the reasons why one should avoid a life lived on deadline, but there’s much hope for the future of media.

Carr believed as much….

It should be pointed out that CNN Money’s Twitter account promoted Pallotta’s article with a version of his opening line: “This week, we lost Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Bob Simon and David Carr in one way or another.” (see screen cap below; the Tweet was subsequently deleted) Many conservatives on the social media cite blasted this post, as documented by the Twitchy site.

2015-02-13-Twitter-CNNMoney-TitansMatthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007, and he contributes posts at the NewsBusters site.

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