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Eric Burns
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Blog Entries by Eric Burns

The Golden Year of Television News

Posted September 21, 2010 | 15:28:26 (EST)

It seems difficult to believe in the age of all-news cable that television journalism was once informative rather than trivial, noble rather than divisive. But it was---and never more so than in the 1950s. The following, in abbreviated form but still lengthy, is from my new book Invasion of The...

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In Praise of Ignorance

Posted December 8, 2009 | 09:29:05 (EST)

As someone who used to host a television program on the media and popular culture, I have a problem. I know too much. I know things I should not know. I know things that shouldn't even be things.

I know that Angelina Jolie once had Billy Bob Thornton's...

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If I Still Worked at Fox News...

Posted December 2, 2009 | 12:08:45 (EST)

I am not the Eric Burns who heads Media Matters, the liberal watchdog group. I am the Eric Burns who used to host Fox News Watch on the right-wing partial-news-but-mostly-opinion network. In the past year and a half, since departing from Ailes and friends, I have been much more...

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The Ultimate Success of the Photophone

Posted November 15, 2008 | 13:09:38 (EST)

In the last year, television became more important to more Americans than it had ever been before. Now that Barack Obama has defeated John McCain for the presidency, it is perhaps an appropriate time to skim over the medium's history, a remarkable series of events that began with a...

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In Praise of Wednesday

Posted November 3, 2008 | 13:33:07 (EST)

It is a grand tradition of American democracy. True, it is not one of the older ones, but it is no less appreciated by the republic's citizenry than those of longer standing.

And it is appreciated by all the citizenry---liberals and conservatives, libertarians and agnostics. Lance the mortgage...

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Sorry, Jon, You Are A News Show

Posted September 29, 2008 | 12:09:02 (EST)

The question has been asked for years, and it is time now, once and for all, to answer it. Is The Daily Show really a news program, like, say, the CBS Evening News?

The answer, of course, is yes. And no. But much closer to the former than...

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Is Bias Always Biased? In McCain's Case, Maybe Not

Posted September 22, 2008 | 15:56:15 (EST)

As the host of Fox News Watch for ten years, I struggled not to let my biases show. I think I succeeded. For the entire decade, viewers wrote e-mails telling me they couldn't figure out my political affiliation. I was proud of their bewilderment.

I also struggled not to let...

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The Founding Celebrities

Posted November 5, 2007 | 12:13:00 (EST)

You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps. Similarly, you can tell a lot about a society by the company it idolizes. We Americans idolize barely-clad, barely-pubescent singers with technically-augmented voices; the names of cancer researchers are unknown to us. We idolize actors who shriek...

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