A fundamental blinkeredness about what actually constitutes the erosion of personal rights has always been a hallmark of the fringe right. The current crop of right-wingers that cheered the Patriot Act but treat the readjustment of health care incentives as a grave abrogation of fundamental liberties see the world in the same way that anti-communists in the '60s did, when domestic spying and the Vietnam War were necessary inconveniences. And this is to say nothing about corporate power, which in the conservative mind does not operate in a way that implicates private liberty.
While I appreciate Brad DeLong linking to this piece, and I agree that it's a mistake to assume that Cronkite-era journalism was much better, the implication in the final paragraphs that the scummy David Broder was worse than Walter Lippmann dismays me. Read your Drift and Mastery, DeLong!