I agree with that statement ... even as I question the media's reasons for adopting this policy.
"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant," so said James Madison. Madison also observed that war is the greatest threat to freedom. The reason is quite simple. A crisis is a time when people trust their government the most ... and when corrupt politicians grab for more power - presumably because no one is looking - and Americans are being patriotic to "do whatever is necessary" to conquer crisis X.
As such, we need someone or something that can sort of stand outside the crisis and critique it. Unfortunately, in America, that WOULD NOT be the "mainstream" media. I think it's laughable that the media think they can honestly play this role.
If you want a case history of what happens when everyone (including the media) become an amen corner for government, look no further than FDR's New (Raw) Deal. There were critics, to be sure. But they were few and far between. Imagine if the media actually did its job then. Things could have been different.
My objection comes from not allowing an American citizen to simply acknowledge his citizenship.
What would be the harm of wearing a small pin in solidarity to your fellow citizens? Would not wearing a flag pin really make you more objective? Or is that some sort of ideal the people simply want to believe?
Jennings may have sincerely believed he was creating an objective telecast but in a time of crisis, when unitiy is needed, wearing a small piece of pride on your chest is a individual gesture of recognition that we are one nation.
I think Jennings over reacted (for what he believed was the right reason.)