I’ll never get why it’s big news when an athlete or celebrity gets pulled over for speeding or driving erratically. DUI is a different story but just going 20-30mph above the speed limit? People get pulled over for that every day and they are not made to be ridiculed on TV for it and seriously isn’t there something you could be covering that has a little more journalistic integrity ESPN?
I for one drove to Chicago as fast as the car and traffic conditions would allow last month, probably averaging around 90mph but hitting as high as 115mph. I was in complete control of the car the entire time and it was all highways and during daylight. Now I’m not saying I’m right but I didn’t put anyone in danger. Maybe these athletes were driving a little erratically but for the most part I just read or hear that X athlete was pulled over for doing 100mph in a 65mph or something of the like. With the souped up cars these guys drive 115mph can feel like 70mph. I’m sorry people but that is not news. Someone getting a traffic ticket is definitely not news it’s tabloid fodder.If the person gets pulled over and then gets arrested on outstanding warrants then print that, don’t tell me so and so got pulled over and got a traffic ticket though. It’s a waste of the 5 seconds it took me to read it across the bottom line
If ESPN wants to be the TMZ.com of sports news then I’m all for it. But if you want to be taken seriously just report on sports, not what Brett Favre is having for breakfast or if Tiger Woods just took a dump.
I know this story is a little old but given I took the entire BeerSlugger.com team to Costa Rica for the month of January and we couldn’t get a decent wi-fi signal, this is as good a time as any to weigh in on the subject.
Firstly, I can’t stand Jay Leno, never could, never will. Maybe he’s it’s his writers fault for the crappy, predictable jokes he comes out with nightly. Maybe he’s just too corporate, maybe he’s on the West Coast and I’m on the East Coast, it really doesn’t matter. I have always been a Letterman guy myself and even though he can be annoying at times, the things he can pull off on his show, the comedic risks he takes with asinine skits and recurring preposterousnous more than make up for it.
But I didn’t write this article to tell you about how much I like Letterman, though the Conan /Jay situation did get Dave badmouthing Leno, a subject taboo until recently on the Late Night. Anyway, Conan is going to be OK, in fact I think he’s going to be more than OK, he gets to do what Letterman did and go to another network and have pretty much full control over HIS product, succeed or fail it really will be on Conan to make it work and I believe he will.
I’ll try not to go into detail about the mess but I won’t try and hate on Jay Leno too much either. I think it’s a case of NBC being very greedy, they signed Conan to take over the Tonight Show in 2005 when Conan could have gone on to another network for more money. However, it’s not Leno’s fault they threw a show at him and a bunch of money to go on right before Conan at 10pm. It’s Leno’s fault for taking offer but you can’t fault NBC for trying to keep Leno from destroying Conan in the ratings (which he would have if Leno went to Fox or wherever), in 2005 it’s a win-win.
Fast forward 2010, you have Conan faltering in the ratings, partly because or no substantial lead in audience due to Leno’s show tanking but also because it takes time to build an loyal audience like Leno and Letterman have done over the past couple decades. So NBC now sees their worst nightmare come to fruition, the Leno or Conan debate again. Still, even after all of this Leno is going to crush Conan in the ratings if he goes to another Network so the easiest thing to do is try to force Conan to quit, which is what they did essentially trying to demote Conan back to Late Night. Instead Conan did what I hoped he would do, force a paid exit and be allowed to reformulate his show in the near future.
So it kind of worked out for everyone even though it was pretty messy there for a couple weeks. Leno gets the Tonight Show back, Conan will get his “Letterman” opportunity and Letterman is #1 in Late Night. What will be very interesting to watch is the Late Night talent assembled behind Letterman and Leno as they continue to get closer to retirement. Jimmay Fallon has shown the kind of innovation, risk taking and downright absurdity pioneered by Letterman and continued by CoCo. Not to mention Craig Ferguson is fucking hilarious. Crappy skits aside, when it came down to it, I’ll admit I chose Craig over Conan though partly because I’m loyal to Letterman and don’t like flipping channels that late.
Either way, Letterman and Leno can’t very well be rocking Late Night into their 70’s which puts Fallon and Ferguson in a very good position. If I had my way, I’d like Conan to take over for Letterman sometime in the near future and I’m sure that’s been talked about by the CBS brass. It would be fitting to see Letterman hand the job off to Conan, both men being weaseled out of the Tonight Show job by the same person. I think Letterman’s successor is already booked though. Ferguson and O’Brien went head-to-head in terms of ratings late in Conan’s tenure as Late Night host.
The good thing is it’s almost over. Wherever Conan lands will be the ultimate decider of what will happen for the next decade of Late Night television. Only time will tell but it should be pretty interesting and it already has been.
According to this article on Reuters the alleged masterminds behind the 9/11 bombings will be tried in New York. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others will soon be “subject to the most exacting demands of justice”, Obama said.
Correct me if I’m wrong here but wasn’t Osama Bin Laden the mastermind of this whole thing? I mean, yes there had to be other people involved but hasn’t the media, the government and every other organization been pushing the ultimate blame on Bin Laden since two days after the bombings? So how is this guy one of the Mastermind’s when it’s been pushed on the American people that Bin Laden is the guy? If Bin Laden makes the decisions doesn’t that make the guys that are getting tried Knights, Rook’s or Pawn’s in this Chess match to Bin Laden’s King?
How are these people expected to get a fair trial in the city that they are accused of blowing shit up in? Seriously how do you get an impartial jury in the City of New York even 8 or so years after they lost 3,000+ of their fellow New Yorkers allegedly to the actions of the guys on trial. Just not going to happen, you might as well execute these guys before they get airlifted off of Guantanamo. We couldn’t have had this trial in Omaha, Nebraska where there isn’t nearly as many high profile buildings/targets to hit by potential terrorists seeking to make a statement during the trial?
Doesn’t Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look eerily like Porn Star Ron Jeremy? What’s up with that shit? Does anyone else smell a conspiracy here? Casino41
Former Miss California Pageant winner Carrie Prejean is back in the news because of a sextape (although more like a masturbation tape) that has surfaced. Prejean originally came into national focus after she was criticized in the media for her answer in the Miss USA pageant which elaborated her views on gay marriage. As more information came out about her and the more interviews done because of the answer on gay marriage she painted herself as a very god-loving person as citing that the body was a holy temple and other Christian type views on the world. She was labeled as a hypocrite by the media after photos came out of her posing semi nude and or topless and then being under fire to surrender her Miss California Crown in which Donald Trump (who owns the pageant) gave her a pass. Later she was stripped of her crown for breach of contract for reasons I didn’t care to look up which resulted in Prejean suing the Pageant for wrongful termination. That suit was settled last week sometime as rumors of a sextape swirled and eventually was shown to Prejean and her mother (classic).
So now Carrie Prejean is back on the talk show circuit, Larry King Live, the Today Show, The View and talking about her book while all these shows are booking her for is the sextape questions which will boost ratings, not the book. She refuses to answer questions about the sextape under the premise that the details of the settlement of her suit she is not permitted to and yada yada fuckin yada….
Now maybe this is an elaborate plan to boost her public persona and sell her book or maybe the former boyfriend she sent the video of her masturbating needed the money, though it seems the most money to be made from the tape would have been during her 15 minutes of fame. Anyway, she kind of won’t go away and it’s annoying me.
It’s not particularly annoying me that she has a sextape (because I definitely want to see it) but that all the talk shows have to have her on to talk about this shit. All the liberal media has to parade her around as some gay hating, god loving whore when the girl is pretty much everything that most girls her age are, a little opinionated and a lot naive. How many teenage girls have sent sext messages to their boyfriends. How many groups of teenage girlfriends have put up a video on Youtube of themselves dancing very scantily clad to fast paced music or filmed the lot of them in the shower with bathing suits on (Ask me how I know these exist)? Point being that this kind of stuff happens quite regularly. I don’t know about filming masturbation, that’s a little overboard but I’ve received some pretty graphic stuff from girlfriends past that I wish I had saved.
The thing that most aggravates me is that she is a lightening pole for the liberal media to take shots at. Trying to discredit her in any way possible and tie it into the Republican Party or Conservatives. Not exactly a fair assumption and really she shouldn’t be news at all. Prejean is right in that she says she is being attacked by the media for being against gay marriage and a devout Christian in the spotlight but really why does anyone care what this girl has to say? Beauty Queens aren’t exactly known for their brains are they? Please Click here for more on that subject.
So why? Why is this girl in the news? A sextape is a sextape but it doesn’t necessitate talk show interviews. Shame on whomever booked her and shame on her for using the publicity of the sextape to sell her book even if by happenstance. Since you know she wasn’t going to get booked without the sextape scandal as her 15 minutes was up. A person using a sextape to sell books and talk shows using a sextape to up ratings, I guess everyone wins (except the public).
Now I realize that the “Right” or “Conservatives” sometimes paint newsworthy people into the Democrat/Liberal unfairly but you really didn’t see Kim Kardashian be a lightening rod for criticism from the right even though she supported Obama for so long and has a sextape and naked pictures. It’s like Prejean is the newly appointed spokeswoman for conservatives as seen by liberals and really that’s far from the truth as Obama is doing a good job so far.
Maybe one of the biggest reasons why I wrote this is smug ass pseudo-intellectual talk/news host Kieth Olbermann seems to be fixated on her whenever she pops up in the news. You may know I have a deep and reasoned dislike of Olbermann but I think the guy took it a little too far when he gave Prejean the two-fingered salute at the end of his show, signifying the two fingers a woman may choose to masturbate with (to view it go to the end of this video). It’s the kind of over the top gesture that someone on the other side of the political spectrum would get fired for but I’ve heard little to no backlash.
Olbermann, like many of his so called reporter counterparts seem to forget that this girl is a beauty queen not a Rhodes Scholar. The weight of what she says or her opinions really don’t need to be a concern of national media , shes famous for being pretty and being personally (not an activist) against gay marriage. There really is more pressing things going on in the world than the trials and tribulations of Carrie Prejean and her fake breasts and sextape.
However, as I said earlier, I do want to see the sextape.
I didn’t actually see this episode of the investigative news/magazine 60 Minutes since the Phillies were on but from what I and other people on the internet can tell you, their editor needs to do a little better in the fact checking department.
Their segment was on how illegal downloading was costing Hollywood 6 billion a year, which may or may not be that far off, however, the reasoning they give to support this claim is pretty much fabrication or conjecture which ever way you want to look at it.
First there is the claim that Organized Crime (the Mafia?) is making most of it’s money off of counterfeit movies. Now I’m not going to dispute the fact that there are bootlegged movies out there but 60 Minutes is having me believe that Tony Soprano is behind all of this and not some dude with a DVD burner in his basement looking for some extra cash. I mean I could at least warm up to the idea if 60 Minutes gave me any proof. There was some talk about gangs of pirates using mafia style pickups but the focus quickly turned to illegal downloading.
Second, there is the segments claims by director Steven Soderbergh that piracy is costing the movie industry 6 billion a year. Neglected is the fact that Hollywood continues to make more and more money each year. Another Soderbergh assertion is that fewer movies are being made and will continue to be made because of piracy. Another assertion debunked given the statistics on movies 567 movies made in 2004 and 1038 in 2008, almost doubling inside of 4 years and still increasing.
I’ll give you that if movie tickets continue to go up every year then revenues should go up every year but you can’t really say that in this kind of economy. Bottom line Hollywood made more money last year than the year before and the year before that.
The segment also delved into the role Bit torrent plays into illegal downloading and then cutting to a guy saying, “what we have done for 15 years is not put in any speed bumps, any technological blocks in the way of individuals so that the conclusion that the younger generation in particular draws is that if it’s so easy it cant be wrong.”
Well yes it is easy, people can choose to share anything they want on Bit torrent and if they choose to share or download things illegally it is on the government and the copyright holders to find a solution that does not intrude on the openness of the internet. The blocks and speed bumps the guy interviewed in 60 minutes is advocating sound a lot like bandwidth throttling and packet sniffing, things which go against the principles of net neutrality.
While there are millions of Bittorrent users out there, I only know about 3 people who could use Bittorrent effectively enough to download music, movies and the like. So if it’s so easy and so popular, why don’t I know more people that do it? Why can they use iPhones and computers but have no idea how to use Bittorrent even after I wrote an article on it?
I digress, the real focus here is on 60 Minutes and it’s one sided affair with File Sharing and the Motion Picture Industry. There were a few facts thrown in about how the movie Wolverine was leaked and still did extremely well at the box office but overall there was not a peep from anyone on the opposing side of issue of illegal downloading. Further, the “so called facts” that they gave didn’t coincide with any of the generally accepted statistics reported all over the internet.
I wonder how much money CBS makes off of Movie Advertisements a year? Could this be yet another sacrifice of journalism for advertising dollars? The whole thing to me seemed like a propaganda piece for the MPAA, chock full of bogus facts and subjective estimations.
Maybe more people would go to see movies if 90% of them were not lacking in substance, didn’t recycle old stories, didn’t remake old movies or have plots which are so horribly obvious as to the outcome that all you really needed to see was the previews.
What about the film-makers who are using file sharing technology to get their movies seen by the masses or the ones exploring new business models like some in the music business are. Let’s not talk to the copyright professionals or consumer advocates who render baseless most of the MPAA’s claims 60 Minutes. That wouldn’t be a balanced approach to the issue, would it?
P.S: Maybe if Steven Soderbergh didn’t put out pieces of crap like The Girlfriend Experience people wouldn’t walk out of the movie theater requesting their money back like me.
Just because I rip into left wing ego case Keith Olbermann doesn’t mean I can’t flip the script and call it like i see it on a so-called conservative talk show host. Glenn Beck of Fox News is also part of the partisan, Jerry Springeresque impasse we seem to be stuck at in terms of the sensationalism, manufactured outrage and just plain bullshit that has clogged up the airwaves of late.
I’m not sure where Glenn Beck came from or why he’s a credible but whomever is signing his paychecks should take a good hard look in the mirror. I have been flipping through the channels lately and found him to be most annoying, abrasive and not really making much sense. Using props of various kinds to prove his points, spouting about historical/political facts that do and do not have relevance to the situations of today. I think he’s cried on air 4 or 5 times so far and while that may have been to garner more attention and make himself seemingly more of a patriot because he cares for his country it’s been as believable as the Terrel Owens “That’s My Quarterback” interview.
I remember the first time I saw him on TV he was interviewing a lady and he was talking about how much he hates compact fluorescent light bulbs because he didn’t like how they made him look in the mirror. He brought up a great point that at the time NBC was running a “Green” campaign and doing Public Service Announcement’s for CFL’s and cutting back on energy consumption while NBC’s parent company General Electric makes those lightbulbs. However, marginalizing energy consumption on the part of how you look in the mirror is the exact opposite of how American’s should be thinking.
This week I saw him stand by a red phone begging the White House to call him, erratically prancing around and acting like a school kid who just got multiple wedgies (queue crying). I don’t get it, every once in a couple months he comes up with a somewhat credible news story or uncovers some far-left tie to a White House appointed position and plays off of that for another 3 months while giving everyone his whacked ass view of his “America” during the mean time.
While I genuinely believe that Glenn Beck is trying to do good for his country in his head, the way he is going about doing it is not only misguided and ineffective but also extremely dangerous in it’s subjective and one-sided nature. Yes there are problems in America, there have always been problems in America and there will always be problems in America. We don’t live in a Utopia and you cannot please everyone all the time. I can appreciate some of his views on Healthcare, government takeover of the Auto industry and have grown weary of bigger and bigger government as it acquires more and more of America. Notwithstanding, just because you are talking louder and throwing a temper tantrum doesn’t make you right and actually serves to diminish the message you are trying to send.
It’s hilarious that the people that say the most outrageous things are given the bigger pulpits to shout from when real journalists are relegated to page 18 of the newspaper and don’t have a TV show because the objective truth isn’t good for ratings. It’s partly the fault of the American public for consuming this crap but more so the fault of the media conglomerates and advertisers who effectively put these wind bags on the air. Yes it’s a capitalistic society and I understand making sensible news profitable is hard if not impossible but there has to be another way right?
I get really weary of these media conglomerates the bigger and bigger they get.
900+ Radio Stations
Formerly owned 40+ TV stations
Owns numerous outdoor advertising billboards and Taxi Cab displays.
Analysis: You can’t turn a radio station dial without every other station being owned by Clear Channel. You can’t miss billboards they own if you travel on major highways. If you live in a metropolitan area you have seen news and sports scores on top of taxi cabs.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp
HarperCollins book publishing
Elektra Records catalog
More than 150 Newspapers in Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, UK and Ireland and the United States.
Around 30 Magazines including GQ and Vouge.
20th Century Fox (Film) and various other motion picture related entites
FOX Broadcasting Networks including FOX, Fox Business, News, Sports etc.
Fox International owns 120 channels around the world.
Social Network MySpace
Other online interests include RottenTomatoes.com (film review site), Photobucket.com, Hulu.com(45%)
Analysis: Murdoch has his hands in pretty much everything. You’re not going to read an upper echelon newspaper in print or online that Murdoch doesn’t own. Many argue his Fox News network caters to a Republican agenda. It’s nice to own the biggest film rating website when your company makes movies. Rupert’s MySpace status says “Mogul”.
Walt Disney: Here’swhat’s in the Mouses’ house.
ABC Television Network has 226 affiliated stations reaching 99 percent of all U.S. television households.
ESPN and their channels.
Disney Channel, SOAPnet, A&E, the History Channel, the Biography Channel
Disney owns 277 radio stations in the United States through it’s stake in Citadel Broadcasting Corp.
6 Magazines including ESPN the magazine. Marvel Comics and their catalog of charaters.
Hyperion Books (publishing)
Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, Pixar and a host of Buena Vista companies.
The Disney internet group includes NFL.com, NBA.com, NASCAR.com ESPN.com ABC.com among others.
Analysis: Mickey and ESPN are pretty big. ABC reaches just about everyone in the U.S. They will keep making movies with moneymaker Pixar and new acquisition Marvel Comics to just about corner the Comic Superhero market. Why does Disney control NFL.com and NBA.com? I was always a bigger fan of Donald Duck.
Viacom / CBS Corp.
TV Stations include: MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon,VH1, Spike TV, CMT, Comedy Central, Palladia, BET, Showtime.
Paramount Pictures including: Dreamworks, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies.
Publishing includes Kaplan, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, The Free Press, The Touchstone, Fireside Group.
CBS Network consists of 29 stations. CW Network (50%).
Video Game Developer Harmonix of Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
Analysis: I linked Viacom and CBS Corp together because even though they split up in 2005 after merging in 1999, Sumner Redstone still controls 71% of the voting stock in both companies. The influence MTV has on the youth of America turning them into mindless consumers is amazing. Shows on MTV end now and they roll a Beatles Rock Band clip during the credits (Subliminal Commercial). Palladia is actually pretty awesome and should be called Music Television. I’m not sure who has more power at any given time: Sumner Redstone or Rupert Murdoch?
HBO, Cinemax, CNN, TBS, Warner Bros. Television Group, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies
Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Castle Rock, Village Roadshow Pictures.
DC Comics (Batman + Superman)
People, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune among a host of other magazines.
AOL, AOL.com, AOL Instant Messenger
Warner Music Group – one of the big 4 labels.
Analysis: After betting the farm on AOL and it not working out they have fallen off a bit. Time Warner posted a $16.03 billion loss for the final quarter of 2008 which may lead it to sell of portions of it’s assets.
NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Sci Fi Channel, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen
NBC Universal Television Distribution, Universal Media Studios
NBC Universal (80% ownership): Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures. Universal has production agreements with Imagine Entertainment, Jersey Films, Tribeca Films, the Kennedy/Marshall Company, Playtone Company, Strike Entertainment, Type A Films and Working Title Films among others.
With such a small amount of companies controlling such a vast amount of media it’s a wonder everything we see, read and hear on radio, newspapers and TV is so homogeneous. When someone like Sumner Redstone or Rupert Murdoch controls a vast empire of media, if a person, organization/corporation or member of government could persuade them to report the news a certain way or handle specific stories in a particular light or influence them whatsoever from a journalism standpoint this country is seriously fucked. Knowledge is power and if you are controlling the knowledge or twisting the knowledge a certain way for hundreds of millions of people you can influence elections, shape public opinion and government policy. We as Americans are guaranteed free speech and press but I don’t think that’s what we’re getting from our media conglomerates. When so much money relies on advertising these companies are effectively at the will of the advertisers and in some ways, the government which has found ways to censor news without effectively taking a newscast off the air.
Democracy is only as good as the level of credible journalism in that Democracy. I found a worthy cause for this issue calling for more diversity in media. Find out ways you can get involved at http://www.stopbigmedia.com/.
I never really had a problem with Keith Olbermann on Sportscenter when he teamed with Dan Patrick to put a soundtrack of zingers and one-liners to sports highlights. He smiled, cracked jokes and seemed generally likable though still slightly smug.
I don’t really have a problem with Keith having his left wing show on MSNBC either. He can have his “Worst Person In The World” and try to pick apart Bill O’Reilly or his Republican/Conservative opponent du jour every night and I’m fine with that, he’s got his right to do that within reason and I won’t be above saying he’s right from time to time. He seems to have a general care about the country and it’s citizens which is a very respectable trait and one I happen to share with him.
What I cannot stand is Olbermann being on the Sunday Night Football panel. I realize his background in sports broadcasting but if there’s one thing i don’t like mixed in with my sports it’s bullshit politics. Not that he brings up politics on Sunday Night Football, but just knowing his priggish, self-righteous ass is a mouthpiece for a left sided network pains me to no end. For the record I would hate to see Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh as an anchor on a sportscast as well. You do remember how long Limbaugh lasted as an ESPN commentator in 2003?
You don’t see Chris Berman have a show and plug a Republican agenda or Bob Costas stray from sports leaning stories on his show. You have to pick what you are, sportscaster or political pundit; there’s no gray zone here. I don’t care if a sportscaster comes out in support of an issue or political candidate but don’t make a whole show about it and further, don’t be a condescending asshole about it.
Olbermann sits himself behind a desk on weeknights and pretends to be a modern day Edward R. Murrow (he won the Murrow award in 2003). However he does it with a sharp tongue and an “i’m smarter than you”, egotistic tone that makes me want to throw my laptop off my desk. I won’t pretend to write as eloquent as Keith or tear into an issue with the same smarts and vigor but give me a staff of capable people and a full time salary and I have no problem devoting 10+ hours a day into pumping out content that’s informative and stimulating.
What makes Olbermann so smart anyway? He claims to have gone to an Ivy League school (Cornell), however, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications arts from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, not the School of Arts and Sciences which is the Ivy league one.
In an interview with Playboy Magazine Olbermann was quotes to say:
“My Ivy League education taught me how to cut corners, skim books and take an idea and write 15 pages on it, and also how to work all day at the Cornell radio station and never actually go to class.”
Obviously lying about going to theIvy LeagueCornell isn’t a big deal to folks like you and I, but for a guy who wastes valuable airtime to nit pick at Rep. Charlie Rangel for saying ‘inferred” instead of “implied” it seems relavent to nit pick at him. Oh, wowzers Keith, got him on that one.
Seriously though, tone and inflection are big parts of broadcasting and no doubt were covered during his matriculation at non-Ivy league Cornell studying Communication Arts. You would think he would have taken from that education that if you come off as a pompous arse and a know it all that you would actually have to back it up with a little more than a Communications degree and several stints as a sportscaster spouting lines like “Booya”! Where is the credibility with this guy? Half the time he’s making inane grammar corrections or subjective comments on subjective comments from Senators, Representatives or right wing personalities. 30% of the time he’s dealing in absolute bullshit and the other 20% is reserved for stuff that actually does matter whether it’s biased or not.
I’m not saying that Olbermann is a bad person because he’s better than most of the talking heads out there but I wonder sometimes if he’s at least subconsciously trying to be the smartest guy in the room nation to show up the kids who repeatedly stole his lunch money in grade school. That’s been my experience at least, either the overzealous person is overcompensating because they are constantly dealing with their own insecurities which can include a host of things including height, weight, perception of beauty or lack of breast or penis size.
Basically he’s the guy sitting at the end of the bar drinking alone because of his lack of people skills. He’s pissed off all his friends and most of his acquaintances who aren’t blinded by his B-list stardom.
A lot of the media is making a big deal over President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen in an effort to lure the Olympics to Chicago. Seriously, who gives a shit. If no one is going to make a big deal over his going on The Late Show with Dave Letterman then why is this a big deal? There’s a lot of bullshit coming at us from all angles.
Yes the President should be focused on bettering the country and the economy and the wars and all that stuff but it’s not like there’s not a computer on Air Force one. If thousands of people take the train to work everyday for an extended period of time and get work done don’t you think that the friggin President of The United States would be able to pull off the same?
With the 24 hour news networks trying to fill time this is what they decide to poke Obama on? There’s a poll on it, the news networks have a 4 panel discussion on why they think it is or is not a good idea. Again, who gives a fuck? Then you have the millions of real internet news sources as well as the fake ones (like BeerSlugger.com) debating the shit out of it too.
Everything the President does is held under a microscope and rightfully so but does everything need to be debated to death? Does absolutely everything need to be reported on? The 24 hour Cable News Networks much like the 24 Hour Cable Sports Networks absolutely beat things to death that 5 or 6 years ago wouldn’t have seen airtime. It’s getting to the point where in the future we may get Newsflashes that Obama is taking a dump. Just like we got updates on Mike Vick being in pads and practicing or Mike Vick getting into a game and throwing two passes and running twice for a total of 7 yards. Sportscenter usually shows stats on people who do well or at least actually start the game, but not in Mike Vick’s case, it doesn’t matter what he does or if he gets in the game at all they still report on him. I remember back in the late 90’s when ESPN would give you Dick Trickle’s back of the pack finish in a NASCAR race just because he had a funny name. It’s getting to that point where a player can be an absolute non-factor in a games and still get mainstream media attention.
Now if you have read any of my prior stories on the Mass Media you know I’m not a big fan of what’s going on. The news (the real news) was supposed to be fair, impartial and as objective as possible. Presenting all the facts and letting the audience decide which way to lean on a particular issue. The ABC’s and CBS’s and NBC’s of the world used to be pretty good at this but now no one watches the World/US News on Prime Time Newtork TV or it’s just not a money maker therefore Networks have dumped these programs in favor of cookie cutter reality TV shows. It’s sad.
It’s gotten to the point that I’ve found a couple of internet sites that are trying to correct that, even if they’re not exactly mainstream.
It describes itself as “an independent non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.” Their full time staff investigates stories and then gives them away for free to mainstream news outlets like 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and others. Actually anyone is free to republish their stories so long as they are credited with the work and none of the content is changed (something I’m considering putting on BeerSlugger if I read a particularly good article). Pretty cool if you ask me and they have a multitude of Pulitzer Prize winning authors on staff. If I were a top flight journo trying to make a difference in the world without selling out to Corporate America this would be on a short list of places I’d like to work.
Another website I came across is http://www.spot.us/, also a non-profit. This website brings together citizens, journalists and news publishers and allows you to pitch a particular story to readers of the site who may donate money to see the story come to fruition and actually get published. The principal of crowd-funding and or crowd-sourcing are used here in a sort of grass roots effort to get better journalism to the masses. Also a pretty cool concept.
Overall, things aren’t going to get any better in my eyes in terms of how mass media handles and decides what is news and what isn’t. I already get 90% of my news from the Internet and I can see that number growing as TV News continues to be dominated by inane pundits and superficial stories.
“We have very large corporate interests working with powerful political interests to manipulate the news and the people who report the news, whatever their political persuasion. I don’t think the American people want them, and what I have been seeking to do in this trial is to bring out the facts.”
You may have heard this story about a group of 60 kids from a day camp in Philadelphia which was bussed to the Valley Swim Club in Huntingdon Valley PA only to be told not to come back a day later after an emergency board meeting by the swim club.
The story is all over the news and reached national levels even moving Actor/Director Tyler Perry of the Tyler Perry movies to pay for a 3 day stay in Disneyland. There’s no denying that the kids in the day camp are primarily black and that the clientele in the swim club is primarily white. There’s where the story comes from; the sensationalism of racism.
Now the swimming club says they had legitimate crowd concerns which may or may not be true. One of the campers, Dymire Baylor, commented, saying, “I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child.” Two other campers reported strange comments, prompting one to ask, “Am I too black to go into the pool?”.
Well you might just chalk that up to what Obama might call being a “typical white person“. As in there is an inherent reaction to white people that’s “been bred into our experiences that don’t go away and sometimes come out in the wrong way and that’s just the nature of race in our society”. (And he’s right we do have to break through it).
But I digress, the issue here is that the summer camp paid $1,900 to have the 60 kids go to the pool every Monday for 90 minutes for the duration of the summer. I did some math and it essentially breaks down to $2.64 per visit. Now the swim club supposedly received multiple complaints from members leading to the emergency board meeting that terminated the Day Camp membership. I think the economics of this decision are pretty easy. A swimming membership for the summer for one person can range from $300 to $350 in the area for a single person and a family of four can be around $600 – $650. So from an economics standpoint if you lose 5.5 singular memberships or 3 family’s of four due to the kids being there the swim club takes a bit of a bath. Not to mention dealing with the other “typical white” people who don’t relinquish their membership but complain constantly.
This is all conjecture but I’m thinking from a economical and “dealing with bullshit” standpoint, you say let’s give the kids back their money, keep our “typical white” members happy that are our bread and butter. You cite crowd concerns/safety and that’s your alibi. Seems to work for me except maybe the alibi wasn’t airtight and you didn’t count on the national news coverage on your ass and the racist label hung over your Swim Club sign.
There really was no winning angle to be played here. Either lose money and reputation with your members and let the kids stay the summer or refund the money and take whatever the parents, media and Tyler Perry throw at you. It’s sad but the real wrong move was to invite the group at all. Every private swim club board in America has now been served up a lesson in how not to get into a Public Relations nightmare and possibly a $50,000 fine; don’t go out of your way to try and do a good deed and give some underprivileged youngsters a place to swim. So in effect what may seem like a win against racism and anti-civil rights actually just made it ten times harder to get underprivileged kids into nicer private swim clubs. It’s a double edged sword but it looks like the kids are at least going to get $50,000 minus lawyer fees. Hopefully it all goes right to a college education fund, I could get my Michael Phelps on with that scenario. Of course that’s not going to happen.