• 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...
  • My case for cynicism

    To follow up and respond to Ezra's previous post concerning Gannon/Guckert. Does this story have greater significance than McCllelan's credentialing? Potentially, yes. I disagree with Ezra here. There are potentially significant issues involved which should be answered, as well as tactical opportunites to exploit here. As much as I really don't want my first substantive post to disagree with Ezra and risk being a very bad guest, here goes:
  • FAQ's for a Guest Blogger

    Q: Who are you, anyway. A: My name's Chris Rasmussen. I've previously blogged here and here (all of my posts at that site have been scrubbed due to my calls for a mass suicide in the event Bush was re-elected). I'd like to thank Ezra, who I have admired for some time, for providing me this opportunity to make a fool of myself for 48 consecutive hours. Q: Is that your real name or is it a psudeonym like "Jeff Gannon"? A: It is my real name. The only thing I have in common with Mr. Gannon/Guckert is that we have a shared hobby in creating web sites for escort services. Q: What are your qualifications for blogging? Do you have expertise in any area? A: Much like Ezra, I suffer from a life-long physical disability rendering me unable to button a shirt. I also have thoughts and opinions and, unlike many non-bloggers, also have access to a computer. I do not, however, have the academic brilliance of a Matt Yglesias , as I spent much of my college years quite drunk. I also do not have any...