Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

John Chancellor

Way back when the television actually came built in to a wooden cabinet, you had to get up to turn the knob, and the carpet was shag, I used to sit in the family room with my family and watch the NBC Nightly News sitting “indian style” on the floor. One of my favorite moments back then was when Tom Brokaw would turn away from us and take a pause to ask the man who seemed to know everything what he thought of the mess. That man was John Chancellor. Chancellor had a different cadence and accent than Brokaw and he wore those red plastic specs—it made him look academic. I don’t remember anything he said back then, just how he said it. I don’t think I even know what words like editorial and commentary meant back then, I just seemed to think that he was the consummate expert on world affairs. If he said it, it was simply because it was so. I wondered about that thoughtfulness tonight and poked around Youtube. Imagine my surprise when I found this. In December of 1990 he said then what we know has to change today, nearly twenty years later. I have enormous appreciation for the American Republic and the government we created 222 years ago, but what is wrong with our government when we can clearly identify problems that it takes us 20 years to get around to solving? Something is amiss and we need to start to question how the Republic needs to change in order to foster more long term thinking.

By the by, my favorite part of that broadcast is the fact that the DOW closed at around 2600. Oh yeah. Those were the days.

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