They all laughed. Ted was a newcomer from the south, with limited resources or clout. Yet, he had the audacity to presume that he knew better how to restructure and lead a legacy institution. Didn’t he understand the way things worked?
How could Ted — Ted Turner — possibly leverage his tiny forty million dollar company to acquire media giant CBS with a net worth of more than $1.5 billion?
But this was June 1985, and Ted had an idea. Turner understood — and was happy to tell all who listened — that the terrestrial broadcasting paradigm of the past 50 years was over, and revenues would have to come from new streams. He proposed that, upon acquisition of CBS, he would raise the necessary purchase funds by pre-selling parts of the company and issuing high yield bonds, the newly-popular debt instrument which scoffers called “junk.”
But the big boys would have none of it. Ted had already humiliated them a few years previously by starting a then-revolutionary cable channel called CNN. This Atlanta-based success particularly stung the media barons because they possessed far greater resources to launch an all news channel — but they hadn’t.
The New York Times editorial page is in the habit of giving anti-American leaders space to send messages to — but to whom? First it was Vladimir Putin, explaining to us how we were both arrogant in thinking ourselves as exceptional and stupid in regard to the Middle East — Syria in particular. Now it is Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s turn, telling us by way of the same page that notwithstanding his total lack of gratitude for saving his neck and his country, we should give him a few billion dollars in advanced weaponry to fight terrorists who, he generously allows, “aren’t just Iraq’s enemies. They are also America’s enemies.” He goes on to say that he wants a deeper relationship with the U.S., “our security partner of choice,” seeing as how “Iraq today is no longer a protectorate,” but rather, dixit President B. Obama, a country with whom we (Americans) have “a normal relationship based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
For more than three decades, millions have looked forward to reading his authoritative words every Thursday morning in theWashington Post and other media outlets. For the past decade or so, millions more tune in every weeknight to hear his resonant voice on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News. And now his new book, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics is now flying off bookshelves.
In short, Charles Krauthammer matters.
To begin with, Krauthammer matters because he is a master of his craft. Whenever I read his column or listen to him hold court, it is a constant reminder that I can do better as a writer and observer and that perhaps one day I will.
The Obama administration is beginning to resemble a damaged car windshield: A small ding from an unexpected flying pebble turns into a spider web of cracks, leaving the windshield difficult to see through and dangerously unstable.
Given the years of failure of both domestic and foreign policy, and the many real scandals born of this administration’s incompetence and corruption, it is a measure of the stubborn refusal of the mainstream media to behave as journalists that the first cracks have been caused by the rollout of the Obama administration’s proudest “achievement,” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare.