- June 27th, 2012
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Well, my Dad did have a very successful start up back in the day. At the time, no one really understood what ‘television’ was. Sixty years later the internet has defined it, only when the full arc of television is complete- and with CBS, that was then, the internet, this is now. Its a new era, but the same things that made for success then, make for success now, even though we’re still figuring out the ramifications of this new media and how it will ultimately play out.
Excellence. Integrity. Truth. Responsibility. Love of Country.
Dad had to be clean as a whistle. Having been part of World War II in London and Paris, and there on the day they liberated Buchenwald, he also saw the full horrors of one of the major Nazi concentration camps. He was friend and boss of the great journalist Edward R. Morrow, when the love was bold and strong for the United States of America. We had come in and rescued the world, and the pride in the freedoms we fought and died for was cresting. Everyone felt a responsibility for doing the best they could. Dad felt a tremendous responsibility to his country, the USA, and the airwaves.
To compare those days to what is happening in Silicon Valley, its pretty tragic. Except, from afar, for Steve Jobs. The love, the thrill you felt he had for developing Apple products- we don’t know how blessed we are yet. He got it. Lets set a high standard. Let’s inspire. That was Dad and ‘the Tiffany network’. Excellence, in integrity, in quality, in design,in entertainment, in the news- being truthful. Those were the days Edward R. Morrow singlehandedly seemed to bring the McCarthy hearings to a hault- “have you no decency, sir, at long last?” he said to Mr. McCarthy in a live interview. Someone needs to say that to some of Silicon Valley. But its mob rule in there right now. You’d be lynched.
And then there was Walter Cronkite. When Cronkite went to Vietnam and saw the horror of what was going on there- and when Cronkite spoke up on his live evening news broadcast and said outright that the war was wrong- that was the end of that war.
Lyndon Johnson famously said the next day, ‘if we’ve lost Walter Cronkite, we’ve lost the nation’.
Who has the moral authority to stand up to anything anymore? Everyone has sold out. As I said, the warnings have been loud and clear. If you try to rock our boat….it isn’t said out loud, but you can see them making that gesture, that says, you will die.