Walter Cronkite Created Fox News

Jeffrey Lord writes in the American Spectator that the extreme partisanship of CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite is what created Fox News. For decades, CBS led all the others in being the most actvist network, and the sheer brazenness of that activism is what spawned the Fox News Channel.

Physicist Fritjof Capra, in his bestseller The Tao of Physics, writes that "by the very act of focusing our attention on any one concept we create its opposite." In other words, to use the language of physics, when Mr. Cronkite's very focused liberal world view blinked into the American consciousness, its conservative polar opposite blinked into existence along with it. The problem with Cronkite and his fellow "cultural artists" is that over time there emerged what seemed to many Americans as a very, very conscious decision to shut out the conservative world view altogether or, if forced to give it air time, to misrepresent it.

Thus Barry Goldwater found himself being portrayed on the CBS News as a Nazi sympathizer. A Republican Senate move to broaden the authority of the Senate Watergate Committee to investigate not just the 1972 presidential campaign but reports of Democratic malfeasance in the presidential campaigns of 1968 and 1964 was not simply defeated in the Democratic Senate but uninvestigated completely by Cronkite's CBS. The failure of the Viet Cong Tet Offensive attacks was made out as a Communist success and an American failure, when the fact was the reverse. Later in Cronkite's career social issues such as abortion or busing were all presented with the view that the proponents were honorable, well-intentioned people with solid, sensible policy -- and those opposed either nuts or racists. It is a liberal world view of journalism that, by 2004, was so perfectly rational to CBS executives they let Dan Rather roll right ahead with a phony report on George W. Bush's national guard service.

Unwittingly, Cronkite's adamant liberal insistence of "that's the way it is" had not only created Capra's opposite concept to a liberal media. With an unexpected assist from technologies old and very new the conservative world view was blinked into a highly visible national and global existence. Rupert Murdoch's invention of Fox News was a television network waiting to happen. Suddenly, beaming into American living rooms through satellite and cable was a different world view altogether, a conservative world view that millions of Americans recognized from their every day existence in places far distance from a Manhattan TV studio populated by liberal "cultural artists" such as Cronkite.

Related: A look at Cronkite's bias over the years.