Former CNN anchor Aaron Brown gave a speech at Palm Beach, Florida’s Society of the Four Arts on Tuesday, and according to the Palm Beach Daily News, he didn’t have very nice things to say about the news industry including, “‘Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news.’"
According to the article: “Brown said he tried to give viewers a balanced diet of light and serious news with NewsNight. ‘But I always knew when I got to the Brussels sprouts, I was on thin ice,’ he said.”
“‘Television is the most perfect democracy,’ Brown said. ‘You sit there with your remote control and vote.’ The remotes click to another channel when serious news airs, but when the media covers the scandals surrounding Laci Peterson, the Runaway Bride or Michael Jackson, ‘there are no clicks then,’ the journalist said.”
Brown had high praise for the former anchors of the network news: “With the departure from the screen of the ‘titans’ — Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather — who ‘resisted the temptations of their bosses to go for the ratings grab, it will be years before an anchorman or anchorwoman will have the clout to fight these battles,’ he said.”
As you would imagine, he didn’t have positive things to say about his conservative competition: “Those on the opposite side of the political spectrum are no more tolerant, Brown said. ‘Any criticism of the administration is regarded as hatred of the president and hatred of the country itself,’ he said.”
“Important issues, such as the prosecution of the war in Iraq at home and abroad, are being clouded over by ‘mud-wrestling’ that skirts substance, he said. Consider what he called ‘the swift-boating of John Murtha,’ the Democratic congressman whose war record was smeared when he called for an exit strategy in Iraq. ‘Cable didn't search for the truth, but engaged in mock debates pitting those making the charges against Murtha's defenders,’ he said.”
Brown then said something rather shocking for someone who was so clearly dogmatic in his reporting: “Many Americans on the left and the right aren't interested in the truth, but simply want news that confirms their viewpoints, he said. ‘You'd think that it's no more complex than good vs. evil,’ he said.” Sadly, the article didn’t convey whether Brown addressed how he fit in to this hypocrisy.
“‘It's not enough to say you want serious news. You have to watch it. It isn't enough to say you want serious debate. You have to engage in it.’"
Well, Aaron, maybe if your viewers had felt that you were adding to the debate, you might still be on the air rather than the lecture circuit.