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    This is Ezra writing -- thanks to Chris for doing such a wonderful job in my absence. He gets 50 blog points, redeemable for poorly constructed prizes at the counter. Well, it has been fun. I want to thank Ezra for the opportunity to make a fool of myself for fourty eight hours. And, like every bad house guest, I stayed longer than expected, made a lot of long-distance calls and drank all the liquor. Thank you, Ezra, and I'm sorry again for ever recommending you read Hugh Hewitt's book so you can make fun of it. A couple of things before I leave. I had been an admirer of Mr. Thompson's and found his Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail one of the finest books of campaign literature I have ever read. This is a fine tribute , I think. If you're in the Kansas City area, feel free to send me an e-mail . I'll leave you with some thoughts on something that probably interests only me (the Kansas City Royals) below the jump. I'll see you in the comments section. - Chris R
  • It's Not The Sinner But The Sin

    Matt Yglesias and Julie Saltman are having words over whether or not George W. Bush is a real live homophobe or a closet, opportunistic, tolerant. I'm going to throw in with the latter view not only on instinct, but on evidence from Lanny Davis, former counsel to Bill Clinton and classmate to George W. Bush (the LA Times article it originally appeared in is offline, this comes from Kevin Drum's excerpts ): One of my most vivid memories is this: A few of us were in the common room one night. It was 1965, I believe — my junior year, his sophomore. We were making our usual sarcastic commentaries on those who walked by us. A little nasty perhaps, but always with a touch of humor. On this occasion, however, someone we all believed to be gay walked by, although the word we used in those days was "queer." Someone, I'm sorry to say, snidely used that word as he walked by. George heard it and, most uncharacteristically, snapped: "Shut up." Then he said, in words I can remember almost verbatim...
  • Is it profitable to inform, part one

    I think the current debate concerning the mainstream media entirely misses the point. And yes, I’m about to channel Howard Beale. I’m going to break this in three sections. Some conservatives seem to think that the media fails society because it is too “liberal” and that the media promotes an agenda to discredit conservatives (anti-religious, too focused on bad news out of Iraq, etc…). The strategy by some conservative bloggers of attacking the BBC, CNN, or other outlets for their terminology or their choice of stories or even their recent “scalp hunting” is a way of either intimidating the media or, worse, discrediting the MSM so people on their side will only follow news that promotes a conservative viewpoint. Some liberals seem to think that the media fails society because it is owned by large corporations and those corporations will not report negatively on the Administration or some businesses. I think the cause for the media’s decline is correct (that the media is corporately...
  • Is it profitable to inform, part 2

    We face three current problems: 1) Television news outlets, in particular cable news outlets, try to receive higher ratings not by reporting the news, but by reporting news that they think the audience wants to hear. In order for a network news program to run in prime time, it invariably focuses on celebrities, diet tips, crime stories, or something similarly titillating. Cable news focuses on the same: for those who doubt, how on Earth would any news organization (granted, CNN Headline News isn't known for their brilliance, but bear with me) give Nancy Grace an hour of a network’s time every night if they cared about informing the public? 2) In the past, news anchors and reporters were primarily hired from print journalism. Ed Murrow, for example, hired William Shirer as his Berlin correspondent not because he had a terrific voice (by all accounts, he didn’t) but because he was a talented and brave reporter with sources throughout Berlin (not just the Berlin Hilton). Now, the farm...
  • Is it profitable to inform, part 3

    What’s missing? We no longer have news coverage that actually informs our citizenry. The market seems to be promoting two things: unintelligent news coverage concerning events that has little or no effect on people’s lives but are titillating (high-profile trials, celebrity news, etc…) or news coverage that panders to their audience’s already existing political views. Is it too much to ask that with thousands of news outlets that there is not a market for an intelligent news network that challenges the audience rather than pander to it? Is it unprofitable to inform the public? Is this inevitable? And if it is inevitable, it isn’t the media’s fault; it is the fault of our citizenry. If that’s true, the next thirty years of political discourse, where people receive news from those who condescend to their prurient interests or pander to their political beliefs, will be much more divisive and destructive than the last twenty. I’m interested in what you have to think. Honestly, I don’t...
  • McDonalds Bathroom Attendant

    Yep. This is incredibly brilliant stuff. Am I the only one who hasn't heard of these folks? - Chris R
  • Best Wishes

    to both Glenn Reynolds and his wife . - Chris R
  • The Self-Correcting Blogosphere

    I'm sorry that so many of my posts this weekend seem to be nothing more than blog navel gazing. In my defense, it isn't my blog, I don't blog, so it isn't my navel I'm gazing at. But let's examine this remark by Hugh Hewitt: HEWITT: Well, I've been a broadcast journalists for 15 years. I've worked in print and television and radio. And the blogosphere is by far the most accurate and the most objective in terms of accountability. Because the moment you make a mistake, you get jumped on by your colleagues and your adversaries in the blogosphere. Dan Rather got brought down by bloggers. Did the blogs bring down Dan Rather? I'd like to think Rather and his reporters played a role in that, as well. Perhaps they highlighted the incompetence of CBS' vetting of the National Guard memos. But let's go to Mr. Hewitt's statement that blogs are more objective and more accurate than radio, television and print and use the "Kerry intern" rumors floated on Drudge as a case study on blog accuracy. On...
  • Lack of posts

    Sorry for the lack of posts, but I'm working on a post which will settle the hockey labor dispute. Oh, and it will also cause us to travel in space. Not really, of course. But I always wanted to do one of those Josh Marshall teasers. - Chris R
  • Random Thoughts

    Sorry to do a Larry King on you, but I'm just going post some random thoughts until I hit an optimal caffeine level: * What happens if you are a political movement based on outrage, but you control all three branches of government? For the right-wing, some are now outraged at, um, graffiti . (By the way, generally a bad idea to do a victory dance in the other side's back yard... I once lived in DC and was told that if you weren't wearing green in the upper deck of the Vet during an Eagles loss, you don't value your life nearly enough). * Saw Guckert/Gannon on CNN last night. I would say it was obvious he was lying when he nose grew during the interview, but, given the circumstances, I think I might be referring to the wrong part of his anatomy. * I own a Sirius radio now, so I can listen to Air America when I want. I mostly like Air America, but I'm a little disturbed by the fact the advertisements for hypnosis and sexual enhancement might be the wrong image for a political party...

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