"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Links of the Week

Rachel Maddow Lecture at Harvard
Mrs. Maddow gave an interesting lecture and Q&A at Harvard that focuses on the relationship between politics and the 24 hour news cycle. She makes a few excellent points, the primary one being that the act of leading and governing has no longer become the job of elected officials. Their prime job now has been to always speak to the news sound bite and not take the risk of doing the strange thing of actually making laws (aka follow the John McCain school of "governance"). It really is worth listening too as even the far right agrees the press do not really do their jobs anymore.

Reporting - Publicity = News
Seems like a simple question but if you really look at how the news works nowadays, it is truly amazing how much time and effort they spend talking about and regurgitating press releases and press conferences while making no effort to separate the truth from the misinformation nor how what was said doesn't match with what has actually been done. The example in this case is Republicans saying they will cut spending. They say that a lot, have for decades. Yet they have never actually cut spending but increased it, by a lot. By more than any Democrat administration ever has. They say "cut spending!" but their actions say "more spending" as they fight to add $700 billion to the deficit with more tax cuts for the rich. They say tax cuts will fix everything, but 10 years of tax cuts show that isn't true. Repeating their words is easy, analyzing and showing how their words don't match their actions nor history, that is news and that is reporters doing something strange - their jobs of reporting facts.

Special Comment on False Equivalence
A new comment from Keith Olbermann, this time in response on an attack by Ted Koppel on the "Death of Real News". Now I think we can all agree that Real News died a long time ago as the new "news" is to simply scare the crap out of you by any means. Koppel pretty much blames opinion news while completing failing to mention how the "hard" news is also to blame. Shows like Koppel's own Nightline use to lead the charge at seeking and speaking the truth to power Iranian hostage crisis). That no longer exists, with the prime example being when they helped George Bush sell a false war to the American people. The press should have reported the facts of the war but instead they regurgitated the press releases and a news conference, claiming it isn’t their job to look any deeper then what they were told. Or worse, claiming every side has "equal" viewpoints. Koppel is just as culpable in this as his program did nothing to shine a light on the lies of the war. The reason the people don't trust the news is because it has become clear that reporters are not really reporters anymore. We know who the opinion people are, what we don't know is who to trust for just the facts.

Lady Antebellum a Rip-Off?
An new theory has emerged that award winning group Lady Antebellum may have repurposed the song Eye in the Sky for their song "Miss You Now" in the same way that Queen's Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby are identical beats. Below is a mash up, you make the call.

Doctor Who 2010 Christmas Special Trailer
Christmas is coming and with it is a continuing a new annual tradition of BBC airing a new Christmas themed episode of Doctor Who. This will be the first with the new Doctor and hot redhead companion. It is a shame the American networks don't do something like this for a few of their programs.

Console Wars Final Fantasy Style
Amusing video that has NES 8-bit heroes fighting the XBox 360 "Wall" in the style of Final Fantasy IV.

No comments:

Post a Comment