KTVU Flight 214 Fail (Original) (by supernatty121)
Journalism FAIL. This had to go through several layers before it made air, I promise you.
That’s kind of what Michael Hastings is implying at BuzzFeed — kind of would be putting it kindly, as Hastings’ last major piece meant the end of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s career — and in the wake of a couple days of profiles and writing where Petraeus is lionized once again and Paula Broadwell gets slammed in ways that are way beyond the pale by people looking to protect themselves or their associations with the general, it’s worth asking the questions, both about Petraeus and journalists who lose the plot and become embedded.
Spencer Ackerman admits to his own complicity in the lionizing of Petraeus, and Andrew Sullivan reveals his interactions with the general at a salon he was invited to when he was still at the Atlantic.
Via Hullabaloo, we learn David Frum said something amazing on Morning Joe and neither Scarborough nor Chuck Todd nor David Gregory dared acknowledge it. It comes about four minutes in:
Since the loss of the election, we have heard an enormous amount of discussion from Republicans on television and newspaper columns about immigration as an issue…but all of us who are allowed to participate in this conversation, we all have health insurance. And the fact that millions of Americans don’t have health insurance, they don’t get to be on television. And it is maybe a symptom of a broader problem, not just the Republican problem, that the economic anxieties of so many Americans are just not part of the national discussion at all. I mean, we have not yet emerged from the greatest national catastrophe, the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. And what are we talking about? The deficit and the debt. And these are important problems, but they’re a lot easier to worry about if you are wealthier than you were in 2008, which most of the people on television now are again, if you are securely employed, which most of the people on television now are. But that’s not true for 80% of America. And the Republican Party, the opposition party, needed to find some way to give voice to real urgent economic concerns held by middle class Americans. Latinos, yes, but Americans of all ethnicities.
The debt is a real problem for the country, but right now, it’s secondary. We adopt the Charlie Pierce approach to the American economy: Eff The Debt. People Got No Jobs. People Got No Money.
Of course, had Romney won, we’d probably be right back in “deficits don’t matter” territory. But it’s telling that everyone ignored what David Frum said about it. A Canadian conservative and former GW Bush speechwriter — the one who coined “axis of evil” — is calling out the cupidity and narrow parameters of the national political press, and they don’t dare acknowledge it.
Conservatives get worked up about media bias — supposedly “liberal” media bias. Well, part of this is true — there is a media bias, but it’s a class bias. The political media in America, in terms of income and status, is much closer to the people it covers than the people it is supposed to inform, and this frames what the acceptable discourse on the multitude of political chatfests is.
Thus, we are hearing about the debt, deficit, and fiscal cliff as if it is Apocalypse Now for the U.S. and it means we have to cut social services for people who are already suffering — because everyone must suffer more.
Why Did Mitt Romney Lose The Presidency? (by Mark Stothard)
The badness has nothing to do with financial viability. It’s clear that the Web has made receiving summaries of the news that was a week later an absurd luxury and Newsweek’s subscription and circulation numbers have reflected that — no matter how many stupid cover stunts Tina Brown came up with.
But the decision is bad for the overall media marketplace because all this talk of going digital presumes that we are all wired to the web in the same way. Yes, access to the mobile web is expanding through the availability of lower-cost smartphones, pre-paid data plans, etc. — but there’s still a digital divide to observe if one is lower middle-class or poor. If journalistic work is going to be hidden behind a monthly pay wall instead of available at the news stand for a few bucks, who gets access to journalism and who becomes the target market for said journalism?
What I’m trying to imply here is that the rushing of traditional print publications into reduced print schedules or the abandoning of print schedules is likely to result in journalism swinging harder to appeal to the people who can afford to access it — meaning fewer articles asking about poverty, the safety net for those who really need it, less on labor and its declining worth, more geared toward the owners of businesses or those aspiring to own or manage. This is what we fear with newspapers potentially reducing their schedules (or actually doing so, in the case of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.)
In short: this is journalism heading for a path where it reassures the comfortable and either ignores or “others” the afflicted.
I’m not sure how I missed this last night but it’s the best thing I’ve seen all week.
It’s good. If you’re not aware, @mysecondempire is Esquire writer and ESPN back page columnist Chris Jones and Tommy Craggs is the editor-in-chief of Deadspin. It did seem rather one-sided; all Jones gave Scocca in response was a snarky “+1”
Writer beef is such petty ante shit but it’s amusing.
The power of media criticism: A play in two acts.
UPDATE: It’s there. And it’s spectacular.
Oh dear. There are so many choice passages here, but I’ll cite this one:
It is time for Mitt Romney to get in touch with his inner rich guy.
Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney’s name “Rmoney.” But Romney can do better than that — put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn’t own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi. You want to make it rain? R-MONEY is going to make it storm, like biblical. Rappers boast about their fat stacks: R-MONEY’s fat stacks live in a beachfront house of their own in the Hamptons, and the bricks in that house are made from tightly bound hundred-dollar bills. You have a ton of money? R-MONEY has 200 metric tons of money if he decides to keep it in cash.
So we have R-MONEY and now we just need a faux-rap handle for Paul Ryan.
From my own experience on Newsweek’s Website: We didn’t have fact checkers, for reasons of timeliness as well as budgets. What we did have is a) an expectation from the writers that they would be honest and factual in their reporting and b) an expectation that the Website editors wouldn’t let outrageous bullshit through the system.
In the Ferguson story, Newsweek clearly fell down on both accounts. But I am certain this isn’t the norm, for them or for other media orgs.
This is a major, major problem.
If budget concerns at a purported journalistic source with some respect behind its name (whether in print or on the web) result in it not having fact checkers working for any end it publishes content on, it might as well cease to publish for all the good it will do.
You cannot rely solely on the honor of the people who write the material you publish. That is why copy editors exist; that is why researchers existed. Someone has to look over it with some manner of critical eye, from the basest feature or silliest TV news story to the most important, Pulitzer-winning print series.
If you can’t afford some manner of fact-checking, hang it up and call it a day.
Naunihal Singh, writing in The New Yorker, on how quickly Oak Creek, Wisconsin has faded from the public consciousness and how awful that truly is.
Committing Acts of Journalism
Via the Huffington Post:
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien did something which is extremely rare in television news these days: she actually did her job…
…The action took place Tuesday afternoon, as O’Brien was interviewing former New Hampshire governor and George W. Bush Chief of Staff John Sununu. With the actual documents in hand, O’Brien pointed out the striking similarities between the Medicare plans of Mitt Romney and his controversial vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan, who seeks to change the government guaranteed health care program into a voucher system.
“But it’s very different,” Sununu insisted. “For example, when Obama gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it, the Romney plan does not do that. The Ryan plan mimicked part of the Obama package there, the Romney plan does not. That’s a big difference.”
O’Brien essentially accused him of lying:
“I understand that this is a Republican talking point because I’ve heard it repeated over and over again. These numbers have been debunked, as you know, by the Congressional Budget Office. … I can tell you what it says. It (Obama’s Medicare plan) cuts a reduction in the expected rate of growth, which you know, not cutting budgets to the elderly. Benefits will be improved.”
At this point Sununu, clearly agitated, became nasty and indignant, angered by O’Brien’s insistence on fact over fiction:
“Soledad, stop this!” Sununu replied, raising his voice. “All you’re doing is mimicking the stuff that comes out of the White House and gets repeated on the Democratic blog boards out there.”
O’Brien continued reading from the Romney and Obama plans verbatim, and cited Factcheck.org, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and CNN’s own independent analysis in refuting Sununu’s deceptive rhetoric.
Read through for the rest of the exchange. The video’s available as well.
Acts of journalism is exactly what Sarah Palin likes to call “lamestream media.”
More of this please, no matter what party gets pissed off. Being prepared to hold your interview subjects to the things they say ought to be job #1.
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A vagabond who's made his home in the Pacific Northwest.×