This was a very bad week for journalism.
First, it was revealed that Armstrong Williams (search) was paid $240,000 by the Bush administration to help promote the No Child Left Behind Act. Williams was forced to give up his syndicated column and "America's Black Forum" told him his services are no longer needed.
The big blockbuster came with the release of the investigation into a CBS "60 Minutes" (search) broadcast, which featured President Bush's National Guard documents and allegations they were forged.
We'll discuss that report in detail on "FOX News Watch" coming up right after this program, but one point that must be made over and over again is that CBS and the big media generally had it coming.
Their arrogant, know-it-all, anti-Republican, pro-Democrat image was bound to do them in sooner or later. The public has been sending them a message for years, but they wouldn't listen. That's because they were so out of touch with mainstream and main street America, and because they had a monopoly on deciding what you see. They thought they didn't have to listen.
Then came the explosion of cable, talk radio, the Internet bloggers and especially this network. Millions of people could go elsewhere for information and go elsewhere they did. Now the big media, which is actually shrinking in size and prestige, claims it was those right-wing, red-neck, truck-driving, Southern types that did them in. Chris Matthews said something very similar to that this week on his cable show.
Two years ago I had CBS's Lesley Stahl on this show. I like Lesley. She said there was ideological balance at CBS News. I asked her if she could name one conservative at her network. She couldn't. That's because there aren't any ... at least not at the top.
They don't get it because they don't want to get it. They are embarrassed to hang around with people who watch FOX News Channel, go to church, love their country, support this president, and detest big government and high taxes. So they are paying the price and, frankly, they deserve to.
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.