"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Entries in Media (23)


How Bad Is TV? 

I don't watch much broadcast TV anymore. There are so many choices now. One of the shows highlighted in this montage of shows was one I watched. (Well, I watched several.) Back in the day, the question you asked yourself was not "What is worth watching?", but "What was the least offensive/bad?" Thus the comedy/variety show with two Japanese pop stars that did not speak English, Pink Lady, was certainly better than Dukes of Hazard. You can't imagine how bad comedy banter is with someone who does not speak English. 

In retrospect, 20 years from now, what shows that you are watching right now will look this bad? 


What Is the Job of the Media? 

Here is the answer to the question posed in the title.


Of course Ms Brzezinski misspoke—but there is such a thing as a Freudian Slip. Or maybe she was channeling her father:



Noam Chomsky tells us how it works:


Really Dumb Superbowl Ads

Last time I checked the purpose of a Superbowl ad was to increase sales for your business. A Superbowl Ad costs millions, so lets do an ad that hurts our business said no one ever. But yet that is exactly what two ads did. 

The first begins with a stereotypical beer customer insulting the founder of Budweiser as he enters America. Of course, most of those who Budweiser is parodying do not oppose immigration, they oppose illegal immigration. There is a certain subset that those oppose all immigration, but it is small, 10% maybe. But even at 10%, why would Budweiser want to alienate that many potential beer drinkers? Not also the founder of Budweiser nodding at a black man, no stereotype was left unaired. 

Here is the ad: 

(Budweiser is doubling down and is buying extensive YouTube presence for these ads.) 

The second ad is for 84 Lumber. It is even worse as it highlights illegal immigration. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this ad was pitched. It is like 84 Lumber does not actually know who its customers are. A big problem in the contractor and subcontractor area is the hiring of illegal aliens. If you are a contractor, and a potential customer of 84 Lumber, you may have just been underbid by a competitor who uses illegal labor. Your supplier favoring these illegal acts might influence which supplier you chose. Notice also the stereotype of women and children as illegals. 

I wonder how the "let's insult half of our customers" ploy is going to work for them? 


Why Trump Will Lose: The Media

If Trump has an unsuccessful presidency, the media will have a lot to do with it. Here is how one media organization plans to cover the Trump Presidency:

The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all – and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” or that his chief strategist dubs the media “the opposition party.” It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration.

To state the obvious, Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack. I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.  

In other words, Trump will oversee some sort of bizarre censorship of the press. Is there any evidence of this? 

No, not really. Here is the extent of Trump’s anti-media plans: 

The White House has refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, effectively freezing out the network from on-air administration voices.

“We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” said a White House official, acknowledging that CNN is not such a place, but adding that the ban is not permanent.The White House has refused to send its spokespeople or surrogates onto CNN shows, effectively freezing out the network from on-air administration voices. 

That is it. They are still allowing CNN to ask questions at White House Press conferences. 

Why then is this an example of losing? 

I do not see how Trump can go against the entire media. That includes Fox which is not in favor of Trump except for Hannity. But clearly CNN did support Clinton, there was no real attempt to hide it. But pro-Trump people will still be selected as this gives a pretense of objectivity. But instead of Trump selecting the best surrogates, CNN will select the worst surrogates. This is not a good move on Trump’s part. There are still a number of voters who are influenced by media’s last gasps before it dies. Of course Trump’s people could be saying this, but actually not do it. In corporate media, Trump will have an uphill battle. 


David Bowie, Philosopher

Even if you are not a big fan, this is well worth your time. His prediction of the internet was, well. prophetic.