Brokaw: This 'Media' Thing Is Nothing But Trouble
"You live in a world of chat rooms and web sites. You are manned with cell phones, have video on demand and games on a chip. You are exposed to high-def and low-brow. You are masters of a new universe... or are you?"
- Tom Brokaw (pictured right, with tennis partner) to graduates of the University of Florida College of Medicine.
With arched eyebrow, Brokaw then snickered derisively and said, "Progress!? Flibberty floo!!" before shaking his head and mumbling something about "wagging the dog."
"Let me put it to you this way -- country simple," he continued. "Are you feeding the beast? Or is the beast feeding off of you?"
One student broke the uneasy silence that had fallen over the room, shouting: "That sounds like something Rather would say." Pockets of nervous laughter could be heard.
Brokaw shot back: "Go ahead. Laugh. But don't be surprised when you wake up one day and find that your hand has been bitten clean off." The crowd hushed again.
Brokaw's posture strightened while he sighed heavily, pausing as he struggled to focus his gaze on some distant point. His suddenly ashen face squinted. "I have seen the trail of tears this will leave. I've seen it myself. It is a bitter, twisted, bloody trail... Corpse-strewn. You must use this power only for good. Only for good..."
Dean Terry Hynes of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications later commented: "Why didn't he come talk to us?"