Lippmann yes! Blumenthal no!
Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), nearly 35 years dead, towers over American journalism just as the Washington Monument towers over the National Mall. His influence stretches, like a shadow, from near the dawn of the 20th century to its end and beyond.
Lippmann surely never saw a personal computer and probably never dreamed of the Internet. Nevertheless, his thought shapes much of the content that professional journalists post on the World Wide Web. High-minded amateurs who set up blogs in revolt against 'mainstream' journalism, many of whom probably never heard of Walter Lippmann or are but vaguely aware that there once was such a person, labor under the influence of Lippmann. Their work, their ideals, their ideas in part are shaped by him if they know it or if they don't. In sum, it is impossible to overstate Lippmann's influence on American journalism and it is good when something happens that recalls journalism's attention to the life and to the thought of Walter Lippmann.
The latest such thing is a reprint of Lippmann's first book, Liberty and the News (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008; 118 pp; $16.95) is an eloquent, closely reasoned, highly readable and important work of criticism by the foremost scholar of 20th-century journalism. The boldness and vitality of Lippmann's original work are not diminished and are in fact amplified for being juxtaposed with Sidney Blumenthal's politically charged but intellectually flaccid Afterword.