With 63 years under my belt, I'm willing to entertain the flattering possibility that six decades of life have deposited me at the tail end of middle age, rather than at the starting point of my senior years.
Still, I am feeling singularly old today. That's because I've been around long enough to remember what a big deal it was, on Sept. 2, 1963, when the CBS Evening News was extended from 15 to 30 minutes, making it the first half-hour network newscast in the country.
Now, of course, we have 24/7 "news" coverage on cable. This allows us to tune in at virtually any hour of the day or night to watch an endless rehashing of previously reported news stories, not to mention mountains of gossip, tripe and general weirdness posing as news.
Depending on the network, you might be treated to a hefty dose of spin instead of a simple reporting of the facts. Who can resist the cavalcade of mean-spirited egomaniacs who shout and scream at each other as they "discuss" current events on countless roundtable and interview programs?
Obviously viewers are much better-informed today than we were back in the 60s. I mean, a calm and authoritative Walter Cronkite telling us "that's the way it is" day after day? A newscaster so revered by his audience that he was known as the most trusted man in America? That's so 20th century.