Shock jock Don Imus is coming back, but humbled; Ann Coulter got press for anti-Semitism, but lost support; could this be a backlash against crass punditry? Hardly, say the experts, but some see rays of hope. "We're caught right now between extreme political correctness on one end and crude, hateful incivility on the other," says a journalism teacher. "We need moderation—thoughtful behavior and expression."
One analyst claims that the Internet and 24-hour cable have muddied news with opinion. A New Yorker critic, lamenting media's need to make "noise," says journalists should settle the truth, not play "ping-pong" between pundtis. But media has shied away from such a role, the Christian Science Monitor reports, stung by pundits who accuse them of bias.