Posts from January 2004

A blog, sort of

A blog, sort of
: The NY Times has been threatening to start a campaign blog and now it has… sort of. It’s basically just short (for The Times) bylined (!) pieces with token links. But the sidebar actually links to the competition. It’s a start.

He takes the ball and goes home

He takes the ball and goes home
: Michael Wolff didn’t manage to buy New York Magazine and so he quit to go to Vanity Fair.

I’ll apply for his old job.

The scream redux

The scream redux
: The Scream Spin of late has been that it wasn’t loud in the hall and so we got it all wrong; ABC is buying that. I don’t buy it. The candidate was not playing to the hall. The candidate was playing to TV and knew exactly how it would play on TV. It was a calculated move that turned out to be a miscalculation. Put that in your history books and smoke it.

The real liar quits

The real liar quits
: Andrew Gilligan — the Jayson Blair of Britain, the man who brought the BBC down to shame — has, at last, quit.

But he goes out shameless. He’s the one who sexed up the story. But even after an amazingly extensive investigation that found that he was the sexer upper, Gilligan still accuses the Blair government of sexing up its report and he has the audacity to use that phrase again:

If Lord Hutton had fairly considered the evidence he heard, he would have concluded that most of my story was right. The Government did sex up the dossier, transforming possibilities and probabilities into certainties, removing vital caveats; the 45-minute claim was the ‘classic example’ of this; and many in the intelligence services, including the leading expert in WMD, were unhappy about it….

This report casts a chill over all journalism, not just the BBC’s. It seeks to hold reporters, with all the difficulties they face, to a standard that it does not appear to demand of, for instance, Government dossiers….

No, you haughty, clueless, disastrously destructive, unrepentent, and incompetent lunkead, you cast a chill over all journalism. For you singlehandedly diluted the credibility of our craft. You brought the BBC to shame.

Good riddance!

I’ll take a Coke with my fish ‘n’ chips, please…

: A commenter bets he’ll have a book deal by Wednesday.

I’m betting a juicy job on The Independent.

: Now this is funny: Russia’s minister of media criticizes the BBC for apologizing. Why, in our day at Pravda….

: Thanks to the comments, I’m watching BBC’s Newsnight show now and the acting head of the BBC, Mark Byford, is being pushed hard by the interviewer to accept the Hutton report. What he keeps saying is that “the BBC accepts that Lord Hutton has published his report.” How Orwellian. The BBC acknowledges that the sun came up. The BBC acknowledges that Hutton published. The BBC acknowledges, he says, that Hutton criticized the BBC. He says he apologizes “for our errors.” He won’t admit and apologize for sexing up the report. Round and round it goes. Until the BBC accepts responsibility for what it has done — and it has not — repair cannot begin and damage will continue.

Blog geek help for hire

Blog geek help for hire
: I need an MT expert to help get my blog house in order (which will allow

me to upgrade to the next MT and to a new design). The structure of this

blog is in great part a leftover of its Blogger beginnings. So I need

someone to go through all the data and fix it up and then set me up with

some neat new MT plug-ins. The tasks, many dull:

– Move all headlines (now enclosed in bold tags in the body) into the Title

field so I can start using it.

– Fix up strange duplicated posts in early months.

– Set up per-item archives and convince me this won’t mess up every

permalink ever created (my monthly archives are now horrendously long

because I’m just so damned verbose; see next post).

– Set up comment spam plug ins and recommend other plug-ins.

– Set up mail-this-post.

– Recommend other fixes.

I would have this done on a shadow blog to test and debug and then switch


And then I’ll worry about a new design and new CSS.

If you’re able and interested, please send me email.

Please include an estimate of cost.

: I wrote this post earlier and added a line from the road on my Treo but accidentally erased it. Two kind souls send me the text again out of their RSS readers. Thanks. You can see I need the help!

The click heard ’round the world

The click heard ’round the world

: Martin Nisenholtz, the very smart and focused head of New York Times Digital, gave a visionary speech this week to the Information Industry Summit [via PaidContent] in which he says that media is awaiting its Pong, its application that unleashes something wholly new and with it a new creative class and a new industry.

Martin keeps dancing around the idea that weblogs could be that thing. He won’t take the last step to annoint them. (“The jury is still out.”) But perhaps he’s reluctant because he’s using the wrong word and thus looking at this thing too narrowly. Yes, a weblog per se won’t change the world. But citizens’ media will. And the weblog is the proof of that concept: It is the Pong. It is the click heard round the world.

Martin lists many characteristics of this messianic Pong he awaits and I agree with all his criteria: It evolves media past its current roles of “sorting, distributing, and making accessible content created principally for other formats, to creating content that is native to the computing world.” It brings users “new and original ways of communicating.” It, like the Web, “is designed to foster social interaction, not just information retrieval.” It causes a “control shift” giving the user that control. He sets up a test:

: First, the medium must be large, global and spawn a new profitable industry.

: Second, the medium must be expressive. It must delight people on an emotional level. It must become a regular part of their life experience.

: Third, the medium must ultimately engender a new collective class of creative people. Think of film, with actors, directors and set designers; or videogames, with art directors and programmers; or newspapers, with reporters, editors and photographers….

Ah, but Martin, that new creative class is nothing less than the people themselves. The citizens create. That is revolutionary beyond creating a new, closed industry that employs a new, limited cast of trained professionals, a new priesthood. This is more than Pong. This is Gutenberg, baby!

But my friend Martin remains cautious even as he is visionary (that’s why he’s successful):

Many are now postulating that Web logs

Brutal Honesty, Inc.

Brutal Honesty, Inc.
: I agree with Corey Bergman that “brutal honesty” is the news-media trend of today. I say Howard Stern started it. You can expect that I’ll throw both FoxNews and weblogs into the mix. Corey notes t he trend with Dennis Miller on CNBC plus “think Daily Show combined with Anderson Cooper 360. Or MSNBC’s Countdown. Miller is aiming for 20 and 30-something (male) viewers who would rather trade the stiff formality of TV news for their X-Boxes. And I think he’s on the right track.”

The terrorists have won if…

The terrorists have won if…
: Howard Dean just said in tonight’s debate that “the terrorists have already won” because we have the Patriot Act.

What a horrid attitude from someone who would be President.

The terrorists have won?

Those words should never pass your pursed lips!