Ban baby boomers http://t.co/wV8MYpfI71
— Dan D'Addario (@DPD_) November 22, 2013
Did you expect a generational dispute to break out today?
From what I can tell from my Twitter feed today, a lot of people are watching either the CBS or NBC “live” feeds of this moment in 1963 today. NPR and other organizations are “live tweeting” as if it’s 1963.
UPI and CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite have both confirmed what we just heard from Malcolm Kilduff: President Kennedy is dead. #JFK50
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) November 22, 2013
Some people find this distasteful.
In a harsh generational commentary on Salon.com this afternoon, Daniel D’Addario suggests it’s one more example of young baby-boomer, mainstream media members are longing for a day when they controlled information:
Fifty years later, and CBS is still hung up on its scoop. It’s remarkable, by contrast, how quickly after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, news organizations recognized that what had been unique about the day was not their coverage of it. “Morning Joe” will rebroadcast the “Today” coverage of the towers falling each year, but that’s as far as news networks trumpeting their own centrality to the day goes.
Perhaps that’s because the anchors most active in news coverage in 2001 were accustomed to a landscape in which the news, not the newsman, had come to be the most important thing. When Tom Brokaw memorializes Kennedy, he’s memorializing an unsustainable environment, one in which he and men like him were the arbiters of information. Now, perfectly in line with the boomer generation, the only information he can exclusively give us is about himself.
Perhaps, but in defense of the “old guard,” people who are watching the “live 1963 coverage” will note reporters didn’t get much wrong, didn’t speculate on motive, didn’t proclaim someone dead who was alive, and regularly said “we don’t know” when they didn’t know something.
It’s also worth noting that neither Brokaw, nor any of the other reporters of the day who are remembering it now, are Baby Boomers.