As a number of reports last October, including this one from Page Six noted,
After unenthusiastic reviews, the revisionist history of Dan Rather’s demise at CBS News had a weak opening weekend with a pathetic per-theater average of just $11,000.Younger-skewing publications like Paste echoed many of the mixed reactions in pointing out that the film “feels phony, but doesn’t offer up any entertainment value in the place of the honesty it’s lacking.” More.
Reality check: The film was worth the money for Sony, and others in the business, if all it does is switch the conversation from “How have media changed?” to “Ain’t it awful what happened to these heroic progressives?”
What Rather and Mapes did was pretty much the opposite of what Woodward and Bernstein did. The former pushed a story they knew was true and brought down a president.
Rather and Mapes pushed a story they had to know was false, but pushed it anyway until it collapsed publicly, damaging the network (but those types of news delivery systems are declining anyway, so that isn’t as big a deal as some thought at the time).
Being the must trusted name in news doesn’t matter when everyone just wants to hear their own narrative told the way they like.
It is quite possible for a high tech society to be governed by the same values as a witchcraft ridden primeval village, and we are seeing it. One clue: Fact doesn’t matter much any more. (Though back in 2004 it still did.)
Summary: Get ready for mostly manufactured news. If that’s a problem for you, you will need to be your own news director now.
See also: News reporter worst 2015 job? Manufacturing news is undergoing a downturn like other manufacturing businesses. It is, however, poised to become both more daring and more a part of everyday life. Watch thi space.