I will admit that many of us were caught flat-footed by many personalities staffing the news, they had earned their reputations in W.W.II.
And that newfangled TV thing was something else!
Maybe you do not remember the "Fairness Doctrine" days, the days before modern talk radio. Of course there was no Internet.
There were still conservative newspapers though fading fast as TV news took over. Time and U.S. News were pretty good.. otherwise it was a matter of searching out limited-circulation publications and talking to co-workers and neighbors.
Most important were the two movements of that era: civil rights and "anti-war." The former enjoyed overwhelming support -- but it was politically dangerous for supporters to bring up "states rights" and "law and order," they became codes words for the N-word.
Many across the country formed little groups to inform.. but it was nothing compared to the MSM.
We were the silenced majority -- except on election day as for example 1972.
When modern talk radio started for good in 1987 the most oft-heard caller comment was, "I didn't know others believed as I believe!" That's what I remember.
I heard that same quote at every tea party I attended last year, even the 9/12 Washington DC rally. I myself when asked why I was I was bothering to attend because ,"...nobody's going to be there." would respond simply, "because I want these people in power to realize they haven't fooled everyone.". Of course it always turned out that there were lots like me who weren't fooled. :-)
That is exactly the moral vacuum I was describing. Why did not conservatives see a difference between being a war hero and a leftist scum. My giving to charity does not allow me to rape or plunder. Valor in the battlefield confers no right to destroy the country back home. The lack of moral clarity is what allowed Kronkites of all stripes to become what they were.
"the "Fairness Doctrine" days, the days before modern talk radio. Of course there was no Internet...There were still conservative newspapers though fading fast as TV news took over."
That is precisely my point: it was not media or some party that of a sudden changed the country. What about the PTAs? How many people cared to inspect the textbooks that were given to their children, how many parents questioned what their children's college tuition buys?
And even simpler: where did the leftist media come from? I gave an answer, at least partially, in the previous post: the significant indifference to capitalism and other foundational principles of this country emerged in early XX century -- long before 60's made that explicit. It is at the turn of the XX century that the Constitution was presented as a "living document;" look at the Warren Court of 1950s that proclaimed criminals to be the product of our (mean, as Michele Obama would put it) society. By 1960s, Kronkite was only taking his rightful place. The "Greatest" generation was one of the most amoral in our history. Having survived the Great Depression, it had understandably attached greater value to material possessions. But having won the War, it became untouchable: who could criticize our boys for being materialistic, didn't they deserve it. It is then, in 1940s, that home-ownership replaced freedom as the American Dream. It is that generation that abandoned their communities for extra few square feet in the 'burbs. It is they who started to ship their elderly parents to nursing homes (despite those extra square feet). And it is they who raised the most narcissistic and egotistical children --- the radicals of 1960s.
No, I cannot accept the premise that some evil force changed America: we allowed that force, initially quite weak, to take over by first becoming amoral and indifferent to our founding principles. We met the enemy and it is... we ourselves.