Media-Driven Political Drama

26 08 2008

The Rude Pundit talks about Hillary Clinton.

Look, you know the way this went down. It’s not complicated. We already know that the Obama campaign ran “one of the most rigorous vice-presidential vetting processes that Democrats could recall.” So the Obama people went to Hillary Clinton and said, “We need a complete financial disclosure, including Bill’s foundation,” and Bill said, “You can kiss my hairy ass,” and thus the whole thing was over for Hillary. It’s that simple.

This ludicrous, unending coda to the primary campaign is nearly exclusively media-driven. Sure, yeah, some of the Clintons’ people are acting like an athlete who took steroids trying to prove how often the tests show a false positive. He may have a point, but he still doesn’t get to win. And he’s not really the best spokesperson for testing reform. In other words, to the extent that any convention wrangling and bitter feelings are actually happening, Clinton and her people need to act like they lost.

The key thing RP says is that much of what is going on is media-driven. And it is. No one is going to watch unless there is some drama. If everyone was standing around singing Burt Bacharach, then MSM wouldn’t feel like that had a story. I’m seeing a lot of created foo-foo crap happening which is to drive ratings

I think Hillary Clinton has been very classy at the convention. She’s a leader and she’s good at it. She just didn’t win this one.

Jon Lajoie And The Mainstream Media

20 08 2008

A biting commentary on the news doing your thinking for you.

Jon Lajoie from Funny or Die.

H/T Neatorama

I Want Immunity Too

10 07 2008

So, I want immunity too. If corporations don’t have to be responsible for their behavior then I don’t want to either.

First of all, if I have immunity, then I won’t ever be a “targeted American.” I don’t want to be a “targeted American.” I think that would suck. My bank account would not be frozen. There wouldn’t be “reverse targeting” on my humble, exciting life in Hooterville.

The FISA situation is not a left or right issue. This just gives Washington more control and it’s about control and money. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, all of those Presidential Executive Directives that George Bush signed, who’s going to give them up? No one. No one wants to do that.

The lead story on the news this morning was Jesse Jackson saying ugly things about Barack Obama. People say, and do, ugly things all the time. People talk behind other people’s back. If you are in Jesse Jackson’s role as someone who has a mic in front of your face all the time, he should have remembered that the mic is always hot. First rule when I was in radio. The mic is always on.

In my opinion, this is a diversion or mainstream media is out of the loop.

Jesse said the word “nuts.” So we are talking about Jesse Jackson saying something douchehattery, MSM lets Bill O’Reilly set the stage for today’s news cycle but what we should be talking about is FISA (that pesky constitution being messed with) or what the hell is happening behind the scenes in relation to Iran setting off missiles.

After Iraq, I’m not so trusting with the MSM newsfolks when it comes to this stuff.

Yeah, I want immunity.

Where is Edward R. Murrow when you need him? He would be all over these things without any of the static.

More from The Crone.

Xark Is Perturbed

4 05 2008

Whoa. And I can’t help but agree with him.

I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger with work lately, mostly picking up the project left by a promoted co-worked and getting together I hope that you guys will help support me in my endeavors on this site, but I’ll whine and plead later. Today, I’m just pissed.

snip because there is a lot of stuff happening in this post.

Have I got a list for you. The defining truth about modern media is what they choose not to cover. The questions they fail to ask. Here’s what they should be talking about. Here are the issues we should be demanding that  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain address..

Read the whole thing. He breaks it down about being a journalist in America that is not part of mainstream news right now.

Dear Washington Post

3 03 2008

Why in the hell are you giving Charlotte Allen valuable newspaper real estate in your paper? I just read her column called “We Scream, We Swoon, How Dumb Can We Be?” and all I have to say is that has to be the biggest crock of poo I’ve read in a long time.

When are mainstream media outlets going to abandon the burning stupids?

My teeth are clenched over this one. Seriously clenched.

This is the same woman that wrote back in 2005 “Why are Airline Flight Attendants so Awful … and ugly?

And, for balance, both conservatives and progressives are calling foul on this one.

A good point, WP, is that if you are wanting to increase your female readership (something you’ve been whining about) then running crap like this isn’t helping your cause.

Echidne breaks it down:

The Washington Post is a step ahead of you. Women are either dim or fickle. Probably tomorrow they’ll have a thoughtful column which shows that we could be both dim and fickle!

It’s going to be a long election year, isn’t it.

Cell Phones In The Lead Picture On CNN

9 02 2008
Don’t look at Obama although he is smiling quite nicely for the cameras.
And … apparently there are hands filled with cell phones.
Yeah, look at the … cell phones.
A new world on the front page of CNN’s website.
Media is changing.
Just thought it was interesting.

We Are A Global Community

28 12 2007

As I’m suffering through an unreasonable, and very unexpected, bout of insomnia, I’m watching the news as I sometimes do. My bed is currently my enemy and I’ve fought with my sheets for several hours. I imagine I will be asleep very early on a Friday evening.

I wish I was now, but I digress.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is dominating CNN, and I’m pleased to say that’s it’s not a Larry King repeat or a rehash of a five-hour old Anderson Cooper broadcast.

It’s actually news as it’s happening.

The network is playing CNN International and it’s been very informative about the life of Bhutto. The entire Bhutto family are like the Kennedys when you think about it, wrought with tragedy from a well off political family where death apparently was always on the horizon, sitting on the sidelines, waiting and watching. Her father was hung, one brother allegedly poisoned, another brother killed by gunfire and then Bhutto’s assassination yesterday. They’ve determined that she was shot in the throat and chest first, then the suicide bombing occurred and you know the rest.

Probably my biggest dilemma as I look toward my schedule later today is meeting with a Verizon manager who gave me a $700 phone bill this holiday season (which I’m not happy about) because some dimwit didn’t transfer my service to a new package (no worries, I have the documentation and it’s nothing more than just a hassle).

“I don’t fear death…I don’t think it can happen unless God wants it to happen because so many people have tried to kill me.”

Times Online quote from Bhutto

And then I have to put into perspective that I don’t have people trying to murder me all the time. In watching the interviews from the former prime minister, I honestly don’t know how Bhutto dealt with constant threats on her life and the deaths of her father and siblings. If you look at her history, she was human. She made mistakes. She was no saint. I mean, who is.

But today, she is the current face of a political martyr.

And, in times when the darkness surrounds me as it does at this moment except for the images on my small television, I wonder what it’s like to live with a mission and to know you will most likely die for your beliefs.

And I sit and wonder about the ramifications that will happen in the long run. None of this bodes well for the Middle East.

Or for the United States. We are a global community.

Actions always have reactions.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Dead

27 12 2007

(I took the question mark off the title if this shows up in your feedburner. It’s confirmed.)

CNN is reporting that Benazir Bhutto was killed at a rally. Right now media outlets are being very cautious about the news. It’s still not confirmed.

The reports are conflicting citing she was injured in a suicide bombing and other reports are saying she was shot.

This will dominate the news throughout the day, I’m sure. CNN is reporting yes. MSNBC is not making the call yet.

No, they are saying that she has died as well.

Still watching.

Still no independent confirmation.

Bhutto has been assassinated.

Making News Entertaining

5 11 2007

Sharon Cobb has some interesting observations about Brian Williams hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend.

The younger viewers they want to attract get their news online or from Jon Stewart. They’re never going to sit down at “dinner time” and watch the evening news like their parents did.

So Charles Gibson will continue to win the evening news war because Boomers and their parents, who are more comfortable with traditional news, will watch him, while Xers will get the news where I stated.

See, this is what is happening in news right now and I agree with Sharon.

There are some odd things happening on how people watch and read their news. I get stuck in two camps of thinking on this a great deal as I’m older than some, more progressive than others and living in a dire state of trying to juggle two worlds.

Although I by no means think that traditional news is dead, I do think it’s changing and folks that work in news are going to have to embrace those changes. Students studying for journalism degrees right now are being taught how to shoot video and how to disperse news in more than just the traditional avenues of print or television/radio broadcasting.

Problem is, no one really knows what to do. Some folks are cutting edge, but it’s still a gamble and an on-going work-in-progress. Some things work, others don’t and folks like myself are just rolling the dice.

Blogging is keeping ideas flowing, especially in the last five years, but it could be said that the market is getting inundated. WordPress alone has signed on with 700,000 new blogs in the last year. Not everyone has a blog, but a lot more people do than in the two years since I began Newscoma.

So is blogging news? No, and yes. It depends on how individuals utilize those self-publishing platforms when you get right down to it. Folks like Enclave, Sean Braisted and Bill Hobbs from the other side of the political fence have broken news and promoted ideas in more of a conventional news model while utilizing some of the political punditry that this country has embraced in the last decade.

The other problem is, and this is just my opinion, that the news has been watered down but anyone who has read this blog during it’s infancy and toddlerhood know that I’ve been saying that since the beginning.

Britney Spears, campers, is a good example. It’s not the news of Edward R. Murrow, as Sharon uses in her post, but it is news because this is the sort of story mainstream media outlets are using to obtain that Xer audience to a degree. Lindsey Lohan going to rehab and then staying sober since she got out is headline news and it’s done for ratings. She is not a hero, she is a celebrity who is in recovery. A person elevated into a world of compulsive voyeurism created by corporate media. People apparently want to see this although it chaps me but it’s what the “new” media has generated, and fabricated to a large extent.

Is traditional media training a new generation that celebrity shenanigans is just as important as political policy? Are we, as a nation, changing the news appetites of a new generation?

A story like the Watergate break-in and it’s progression in the public eye through how it was presented by the media of the mid-70’s would not happen in this day and age. Hell, Valerie Plame, Halliburton and Blackwater barely made blips on the map except in some partisan environments.

On the other hand, I think Brian Williams might have done SNL for a couple of reasons. He is funny, we’ve seen him hold his own time and time again on The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart. But I think Sharon’s right that they are wanting to show the staunch guy from NBC to a new audience. Ted Koppel had a dry sense of humor, but you only really saw that on The Late Show with David Letterman.

When I was in broadcasting and was a news director at a radio station, one of the biggest brawls I ever got into was with an advertising person who, without my knowledge, sold a commercial where I was supposed to read it as if it were a breaking news story. It was a shoe ad. I balked and raised unGodly hell over it. I thought it diluted the news. This argument went on for a couple of weeks, but eventually I won the battle. This was roughly 15 years ago. Today, I most likely would have been told to do the the ad and to shut up by management.

But, there are new outlets that are exciting. Much of this is online. Who would have thought my employees and I would be shooting video even a year ago? Not me, by any stretch of the imagination.

News is changing, there is no doubt. As technology, citizen journalism hosted on free self-publishing platforms (blogs) and the blurring of “hard” news and entertainment fluff continues, I am interested to see what will be the standard in two years, five years and beyond.

I’m thinking we are in the middle of a revolution and don’t even know it.