Posts from March 18, 2004

Headless Story in Bottomless Feed

Headless Story in Bottomless Feed
: RSS gets its moment in the mass-market sun with a story in the NY Post. It’s a bit off, fretting that this could be a TiVo-like way to get around ads (when those who create feeds will decide what’s in them; I think RSS is just another way to deliver and organize content).

F the FCC

F the FCC
: Note that Sony came out with the cure for FCC censorship — and media consolidation (not to mention the common cold): The cellular radio and entertainment device. You can get what you want when and where you want it and nobody can stop you.

Good investment

Good investment
: I am delighted to see that my original Hugh MacLeod cartoon-on-the-back-of-a-business-card has already skyrocketed in value.

The Daily Stern: The real issue

The Daily Stern: The real issue

: FOREST, MEET TREES: Something important happened yesterday. Three good thinkers and great writers — blog commentator Doc Searls, print critic Tom Shales, and radio commentator Ira Glass — have done what I’ve been trying to do from the start and that is, demonstrate that this is about more than Howard Stern. It’s about you. It’s about free speech. It’s about your freedoms. It’s about our Constitution, baby. Read on.

: DOC SEARLS: Inspired by something Shales said (below), Doc reconfigures the entire discussion brilliantly and I hope he’ll forgive for quoting at length (with my emphases added):

So one wonders why an apparently sane and well-informed bureaucrat like [FCC Chairman Michael] Powell

The Daily Stern: Briefs

The Daily Stern: Briefs
: The big Stern post is above. Here are some other updates as the day goes on:

: IT’S ABOUT TALK RADIO: Conservatives are worried that once one talk-radio host is censored, all can be censored. The American Spectator properly frets:

Legislation like this sets a precedent. If stations can be shut down for the garbage spewed by Stern, what happens when President Hillary advocates, and gets passed a liberal Congress, legislation which allows complaints to be filed for hate speech. Hate speech could well be defined as exactly what Rush, Sean Hannity, Mike Reagan and others put out over the airwaves.

Talk radio is becoming stronger, not weaker….

News Talk formats saved AM. AM stations were on the brink of extinction until talk radio came along. It came along because the so-called “fairness doctrine” was repealed during the Reagan Administration. Media was also deregulated. That came with a price. The price was Howard Stern and his filthy local counterparts.

The idea was that people could be their masters. If they didn’t think a station was appropriate they would tune elsewhere. The market would rule.

Until you go to tell the market to go to hell; Congress and the FCC know better than we, the people.

Well go to George Bush and Michael Powell and all the guys on your side of the aisle in Congress about this. Tell them to think twice before the go shooting holes through the Constitution. It’s your Constitition, too. And as for the Democrats… Well, Al Franken, let’s see you make your first day on the air a rallying cry for free speech and talk radio! [Thanks,TVsHenry]

: MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH: Howard plans to put up on the Internet the complete list of what the show’s button-hitter, Dead Air Dave, has cut out of the show. “I must have crapped in my pants,” is one of the indecencies from which we’ve been saved. But now you’ve been corrupted.

: HYPOCRISY: The New York Post is picking up on the corner into which Clear Channel has painted itself by pointing out all the no-no’s that occur on its concert stages. News bulletin: Chris Rock says bad words! Brittany Spears girates her hips! Whatcha gonna do about it, CC? [Thanks, Beat Royalty]

: NEXT: They said this morning that the Senate gets back to work from vacation at the end of the month. That’s when they will take up their indecent indecency bill and reconcile it with the House’s and send it to Bush. That is when Howard says he will go.

: SHOCK THE VOTE: The Boston Globe asks whether Stern could move the election.

: ON SECOND THOUGHT: In the true spirit of a Stern fan, I’ll amend my list of suggested bra-busting protesters (above). How about, instead: Norah O’Donnell, Soledad O’Brien, and, oh, Kelly O’Donnell. Yeah, that’s better.

: LIKE THE MAN SAID, YOU CAN’T PICK YOUR POSTER CHILDREN FOR THE FIRST AMENDMENT: Instead of any of the nominees above, we get Courtney Love (on a detour on her way to the slammer) exposing herself on Letterman.

: PREVIOUS DAILY STERN POSTS: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

And the lion and the lamb shall report together

And the lion and the lamb shall report together
: Jay Rosen has a great post about a blogger who watches the LA Times for any sign, any smell, any confirmation of liberal bias and who gets utterly gobsmacked when the Times listens to him.

The Times reported on a no-no by conservative Supreme Court Justice Scalia; Patterico was incensed that they did not report the exactly comparable no-no from liberal Justice Ginsberg. He wrote about it on his blog and wrote to the Times and snidely, cynically assumed — as gospel — that the Times would never write the equivalent story about Ginsberg.

Well, as Gomer used to say: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Look what happened:

The reporters contacted Patterico and wrote the story and it, too, played on Page 1.

Jay sees this, rightly, as a powerful example of the new, two-way relationship in news media.

Now it so happens that only a few hours before, in two separate posts, I had written about how blogging has made me discover that new, two-way relationship between poster or publisher and public. (And that’s why Jay and I became such fast friends and colleagues in blogging; from the first moment we met only, we happened to be thinking and writing about the same things; strange digital kismet; the real social software.)

And the point is, it truly is possible to create a new relationship between big media and the public once both sides listen and respect each other, once it truly becomes two-way.

Go read Jay’s whole post because it’s a compelling tale and an important view — a revolutionary view — of journalism. To Jay, the real journalism going on here was the blogger’s, the citizen’s.

And the real hope is that both sides learn to respect each other more and listen to each other more and not be so cynical about each other. (That’s what I was trying to say yesterday when I talked about getting big and little media together in a bar to learn that, yes, everybody is trying hard to do the right thing.)

The press can’t do this alone, without the journalism and dogging of the citizens. The citizens can’t do it alone without the resources and dogging of the press. Together, they — we — can do important things for society.

See the dawn of a new age of journalism at Pressthink.

: Paterico leaves a comment complaining that I was harsh in my tone by calling him cynical and thus implied that he had no cause to be cynical. I apologize and want to make that clear. This is what I said in response to his comment:

I did not mean to say that there was not cause for cynicism; what I mean to say is that the only way to CURE that cynicism is to do EXACTLY what Patterico did and EXACTLY what the LA Times did in response. This is a success story; that’s Jay’s point so well stated.

And we need more such success stories.

The utter folly of playing to al Qaeda

The utter folly of playing to al Qaeda

: In The Australian, Greg Sheridan debunks all the bunk about thinking that we can influence the insane behavior of al Qaeda.

The debate this week over whether having, unlike Spain, gone to war in Iraq makes us a greater target for terrorist attack has had one missing ingredient – the terrorists….

If only we have the approval of the UN, al-Qaeda won’t attack us, this thinking sometimes goes. But al-Qaeda bombs the UN itself. Well, then, if only we opposed US foreign policy, specifically the war in Iraq. But al-Qaeda and its affiliates attack Indonesia, which opposed the war, and Turkey, which refused to let US troops enter Iraq from its soil.

The failure to look seriously at al-Qaeda and what motivates it leads to a repeated analytical failure. Surely al-Qaeda and its affiliates are one of the most extraordinary and important fanatical movements in recent history. Yet our intellectual class is almost entirely uninterested in them. A paradox, no? …

Everyone now repeats the mantra that being an ally of the US increases our risk of becoming a terrorist target. Yet al-Qaeda attacks so many nations that are not allies of the US. Who can possibly say with authority what increases the risk? …