Category Archives: Media

What Were They Thinking?

Fox news roomToday Fox News revealed a bizarre, newly restyled newsroom and Twitter reacted. As Jenny Erickson said, “Fox News, and let’s face it — you’re mocked enough as it is. You hardly need to bring it upon yourself.”

My favorite description of the new technology came from The Verge:

Smith later demonstrates a gigantic 38-foot-long video wall with a device “never been used in broadcast television before.” It’s a remote control that allows Smith to shuffle through an image carousel with no apparent journalistic purpose. “For instance, I can take this lady who’s been evacuating from a hurricane zone and move it over here,” Smith says.

All I could think, when I saw those newsroom staffers in the background sitting at those ridiculously large touch screens was, “Where’s Edith Ann?”



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How Stupid?

Here’s the question: How stupid does one have to be to disqualify one’s self from employment as an anchor at CNN? The answer, apparently, is “pretty damn stupid,” as demonstrated by Carol Costello this morning during coverage of the D.C. Navy Yard shooting.

On the off chance that the powers that be at CNN think this does disqualify Costello, my dog Shasta is available as a replacement. I think her IQ would match up favorably with Costello, and she looks great on camera.

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Filed under Journalism, Media, Washington

To Sum It Up

Yesterday I posted about the efforts of ABC News to shape the narrative of the Trayvon Martin case. Today, someone sent me this graphic that sums up the news media’s treatment of the case. And just about every other news story, for that matter.

Thanks to @cflancop for the perfect graphic.

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In Which Bill Maher…

Inexplicably hopes the if he had a son, said son would be caught with stolen property, repeatedly suspended from school, use drugs and have a hair trigger temper. Bill Maher:  What. A. Loser.

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Vetting Loretta Lynn

No wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket; Loretta Lynn lied about her age!

Despite the many things we still don’t know about Barack Obama, the Associate Press has bigger fish to fry.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Media

Someone At ABC Didn’t Get The Memo

I was surprised yesterday when I saw an article on the ABC News website that was not only running with the headline, “Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in System, Autopsy Found,” but included a vaguely surly looking photo of a much more mature Trayvon than we’re used to seeing juxtaposed against a sympathetic photo of George Zimmerman.

I naively thought that, since various facts have come to light that reveal Trayvon may not have been quite the saint the media had tried to paint, that ABC was hoping to cover its ass retain whatever remains of it’s journalistic integrity. But I was wrong.

You may have noticed that, contrary to my usual practice, I haven’t linked the article I referenced above. That’s because it’s been removed from ABC’s website.

I can, however, prove that it existed.

The article remains MIA, but the photo of Trayvon has returned, this time paired with a different photo of Zimmerman and included in a new article (with a new headline) that does mention the drugs found in Tayvon’s system, but near the end of the article, rather than as the lede.

Current composite graphic.

 Compare that composite photo with the original.

Original composite graphic.

Kudos to ABC for sticking with the updated photo of Trayvon, but why go to the trouble of producing a new graphic? Could it be that George Zimmerman looks a little too innocent, a little too harmless, a little too likable in the original? (Note: There was at least one other graphic that accompanied the current article between the two shown here.)

And why bury the news that Trayvon had drugs in his system at the end of the article? Because ABC knows that a large percentage of readers don’t read past the headlines. That’s why the first article and it’s damning headline had to go. At this point the headlines, articles and photos have been switched around so many times, I’m a little confused, but the speed with which the original article, headline and graphic were removed from the website leave me with little doubt that they were found to be unacceptably at odds with the narrative the MSM has been at pains to draw.


Pew Study Illustrates Media Bias In Travon Martin Case

Trayvon and Zimmerman: The Structure and Elements of a Disinformation Campaign

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“Mensa Was Not At Panama City Beach”

The O’Reilly Factor’s Jesse Watters went on special assignment to spring break, or Panama City, to be exact, to ask college students to grade President Obama.

Watters’ World goes on spring break. (Sorry, Fox News video won’t embed…but click through and watch the video. The important part is at 3:46. Especially if you’re from the south. Just don’t forget to come back and read the rest of this post.)

Does this not perfectly illustrate the Northeastern elitist journalism bubble that we’ve all come to know and abhor? What is that even supposed to mean, “This is the SEC. You have University of Kentucky. You have University of Alabama.”

To his credit, O’Reilly sensed they were on shaky ground.

“No, no, no. You can’t disparage those schools,” he said, to which Watters replies, “I’m not. I’m just saying, Mensa was not at Panama City Beach.”

If Watters were a member of Mensa he would know that disparage means, “to speak of or treat slightingly; depreciate; belittle.” Which he clearly did do and tried to backpedal.

News flash for Jesse Watters! There aren’t enough Ivy League schools to accommodate all the smart kids. Also, not all the smart kids want to go to an Ivy League school and be forced to hang out with arrogant jerks like you.

Do you remember that old commercial for instant mashed potatoes? It went something like, “The good cook mashes and mashes her potatoes, the great cook uses a ricer, but the smart cook, blah, blah, blah…”

So, yeah, Jesse, there are plenty of smart cooks attending State Universities on full-ride academic scholarships. You can look down your nose at them all you want, but they’re going to graduate from college debt-free. How stupid are they going to look then? Maybe they weren’t at Panama City Beach because they were at home, studying, because that’s what smart people do.

What an bigoted, ignorant ass, you are, Jesse Watters. How dare you imply that the students at schools like Alabama and Kentucky – my daughter included – are a cohesive mass of blithering idiots? Puts me in mind of this.

Update 1:  Not everyone is as nice about this as I am, although this blogger did use a few descriptive terms that I seriously considered using for the first time ever.


Filed under Media, Washington

In Which Dave Weigel Pimps For Joe McGinniss

Dave Weigel wants to pretend that Joe McGinniss’s highly unflattering novel non-fiction work about Sarah Palin, The Rogue is selling well with first week sales of 6,000 and I guess by some standards it is. I mean, it’s definitely selling better than the one I haven’t written yet. It’s also selling better than another Palin-basher, Deer in the Headlights, by that rising literary star and high school drop-out, Levi Johnston but – WOW – talk about setting a low bar!

So let’s compare it to a book that had awesome sales it’s first week, Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin. Going Rogue sold over 700,000 copies it’s first week. Even Palin’s second book, America by Heart, the sales of which The Washington Post described as “lackluster” sold nearly 145,000 in it’s first three weeks (sorry, I couldn’t find the first week number) and I’m thinking that probably works out to “a few” more than 6,000 in the first week.

So I guess Weigel can try to spin it any way he wants but for a prominent author like McGinniss and a subject as provocative as Sarah Palin, I’d say The Rogue is a bomb.

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Filed under Books, Media

What Do Joe McGuiness And The Chevy Volt Have In Common?

I’m not sure, but I think this makes Joe McGinnis the Chevy Volt of authors; over-hyped and not nearly as eagerly anticipated as we were led to believe. I’m sure McGinnis will find some way to blame this on Sarah Palin because, well, why not? I mean, this is a guy is a creepy stalker who moved in next door to his victims, forcing them to build a 14 foot fence to stop him from peering into their daughter’s bedroom, then had the nerve to complain that people were hanging around outside his rental house, snapping pictures of him. So I’m thinking there’s no reason to expect rational thought.

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Ten Ass-Kicking Girls From Movies and TV

I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my fantasies is to be dangerous. Not in a bad way but more of a “Yo! Don’t mess with me or Ima kick yo ass” sort of way. Here are ten girls (twelve, really…you’ll see why) who can really kick some ass.

(I apologize in advance for the music but if you even think about complaining, Ima kick yo ass.)

#10  Xena (Lucy Lawless) – Xena, Warrior Princess

Xena used to be an outlaw…how bad is that! But now she uses her outlaw skills to kick evil’s ass. She wears a metal bustier and a sword…and she knows how to use both of them. Need I say more?

#9  Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) – Alien

I’m not gonna lie; I’ve never seen this movie but Ellen came highly recommended for kicking alien ass.

#8  Teyla Emmagen (Rachel Luttrell) – Stargate: Atlantis

Teyla is a leader among her people but you’re never quite sure if it’s because she’s wise beyond her years or her uncanny ability to kick ass while wearing a lace-up bustier and a long skirt made entirely of fringe. (I know I’ve already apologized for the music but it bears repeating. I recommend muting your speakers.)

#7  Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) – NCIS

As a Mossad-trained assassin, Ziva David is willing and able to kick ass in the line of duty. She specializes in “enhanced” interrogation techniques.

#6  Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) and Jiao Long (Ziyi Zhang) – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A double entry. One of the best and most realistic fighting scenes from a martial arts movie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen, oh, quite a lot. Most of them against my will, but, yeah, I still saw them.

#5  Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) – Terminator 2, Judgment Day

Sarah Connor transforms herself from the original movie’s simpering damsel in distress into one tough mama who can really kick some ass. She makes us wonder, do we have what it takes?

#4  Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) – The Matrix

A computer programmer, hacker and martial arts expert, Trinity is a double threat; she kicks ass using her body and her brain!

#3  Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) and Moon (Ziyi Zhang) – Hero

Another double entry. The fighting is definitely kick-ass (and – HELLO – they can fly) but forget that, this scene is visually stunning.

#2  Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Into every generation she is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the ass-kicking Slayer.”

#1  River Tam (Summer Glau) – Serenity

River Tam was tortured nearly to the point of insanity and programmed as an assassin by the Alliance. As the movie nears its climax, River is trapped in a compartment with a crowd of Reavers – humans who were accidentally reduced to a state of depravity when an Alliance experiment in behavior control went disastrously wrong. Reavers do unspeakable things to their captives before killing and eating them. Or maybe they eat them before killing them. It’s hard to say; it’s not as though there have ever been any survivors. Starting with nothing but her bare hands, River kicks some serious Reaver ass and emerges unscathed.

Who did I miss? Make your nominations in the comments.


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