Eye to Eye: a talk with the CBS blogger

I got a call last week from a PR person at CBS asking whether I wanted to meet Vaughn Ververs, the new CBS Public Eye blogger who’ll be trying to install a window in the cinderblock-and-steel fourth wall of TV news, starting next month. I have to say I was amused and maybe jealous: a blogger with his own flack! But come to think of it, maybe that is precisely what big media thinks every blogger should have: a handler.

But we met Friday in a Starbucks near CBS and across from CNN, the nice PR person sitting silently a table away; she said this was embargoed until today because, I suppose, there’s a press push, as Vaughn ends his first week on the job giving interviews to Variety and the Hollywood Reporter — blogs are show biz! — and the AP, LA Times, Business Week, and the Financial Times.

Vaughn looks like a good pick for the post: He’s friendly, unassuming, sincere, and he has a convenient resume: The author of The Hotline at the National Journal since 2002, he did stints at CBS News and Fox News and also was Pat Buchanan’s press secretary in his 1992 presidential run. I asked whether his GOP cred would help in the House That Dan Almost Tore Down. Vaughn chortled and said that Buchanan doesn’t exactly have GOP cred. In his career, he said, “I think I’ve been able through that to achieve sort of a balanced cynicism.” He said that Hotline was balanced and he wants Public Eye to be balanced.

When CBS News President Andrew Heyward announced Public Eye, he said the blogger would not have opinions. Vaughn reiterated that. “Ours will be different than what most people think of as a blog,” he said. It will be conversational but not flip; it will be edited; and it will “not be opinionated.”

Try this on for size: I think there’s no such thing as an objective blogger. Or you’re probably not blogging. You’re probably not talking with people, eye to eye. We’re about to kill the myth that journalists can be thoroughly objective; let’s not start trying to accrete that artificial ethic to blogs. I say that opinion is the proxy for transparency and it also makes a relationship more compelling: Agree or disagree with him, you knew where former NY Times Public Editor Dan Okrent stood and he made an interesting read; the current Timesman, the more balanced and traditional Byron Calame, is as dull as limestone.

As I pushed back on this, Vaughn conceded that the decisions he makes on what to write about will, of course, reveal opinions. But his assignment in this regard is clear: He’s not there as a political debater.

He’s also not there as an ombudsman, charged with answering every complaint and question about CBS News (now that would be a nightmare job). Heyward coined the job description “nonbudsman.”

Exactly what Public Eye will be, Vaughn says, is “eclectic” — which is to say, I think, that it’s still being invented. In fact, Vaughn is looking for advice and at the end of this post, I’ll ask you to give him some.

So far as I can tell Public Eye will include efforts to:
* explain how and why a story gets on the air, with video from behind the scenes, including from occasional news meetings, “following a piece from inception to air.”
* answer questions and complaints about CBS News stories — whether that’s “a critique that’s launched on Rush Limbaugh or the blogs” or from an email to the network.
* “facilitate a discussion” between the public and the news organization (I’d say that’s the most important task).
* and sometimes join in a discussion about issues faced by journalists outside CBS News (his example: using the Bob Costas’ refusal to talk TV trash as a peg to ask journalists at CBS “about what talent’s responsibility is vis a vis the editorial process: can a correspondent at CBS News refuse to do an assignment?”).

Being an opinionated blogger, I wasn’t shy about giving my two cents. I said that Job No. 1 should not be explaining how the news is produced but instead discussing the substance of the news and what it says.

On his relations with CBS News: Vaughn reports up to Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, and not to Heyward, giving him some separation. He says he has told CBS News staffers, “Treat me like Howard Kurtz if you want to. If you don’t want to comment, you don’t have to comment.” He added that he would reveal if a CBSer wouldn’t comment. He said he is not there as a critic of CBS News: “I’m not the judge, jury, and prosecutor of the case against CBS News or anything else.” He said that so far he has found “there’s a lot of willingness to go along with this.”

I think initially there was some trepidation because this is a hard concept to explain to people… I think the fear is that we’re going to come in and take a magnifying glass over every newscast and criticize it… It’s not what we’re going to do. If we see something we have a question about, we’re going to try to get an answer.

The company is devoting resources to the blog: Vaughn, who’ll be based, oddly, in Washington, one full-time person in New York and another in Washington.

I asked what he thought of NBC anchor Brian Williams’ blog. On the one hand, he said, it’s trickier to be the anchor, but on the other hand, Williams can give readers more perspective. He said they are trying to do similar things. I think there were two telling moments in the New York Times’ feature on Williams’ blog last week: First, the lead said that Williams was channeling his “inner Gawker” — when you become an offhand cultural reference, you know you’ve arrived — and second the story called on tvnewser blogger Brian Stelter:

…Mr. Williams has managed to captivate at least one influential viewer. He is Brian Stelter, whose own blog – a compendium of the daily doings in television news (tvnewser.com) – reads as if it were written by a grizzled veteran, not, as is the case, by a 19-year-old junior at Towson University in Maryland.

On 10 occasions over the last three months, Mr. Stelter has provided links to “The Daily Nightly” on his own blog. Never mind that at this early stage, Mr. Stelter receives about as many page views, or entries called up on his site, in a weekday (about 27,000) as “The Daily Nightly” does in about a week.

“It makes me want to watch the evening news, and I haven’t watched in years,” Mr. Stelter said in an interview. “It’s so honest. Sometimes I’ll wonder why he’s allowed to tell us what he’s telling us.”

Besides pointing out that in this medium, Stelter is bigger than Williams, what’s neat about this is that a young person — presumed lost to network news — is saying that the human and frank relationship with cold on-air “talent” that a blog enables actually gets him to watch. It won’t save network news. But it won’t hurt.

I asked Vaughn what would have happened if he’d been blogging at CBS News when Rathergate hit. He didn’t seem to have a ready answer for that. “We’d try to get answers,” he replied. “It’s up to CBS News how to respond to us just like it’s up to CBS News how to respond to anybody.” I asked what CBS should have done. “I don’t know. That’s their call.” And then he added that Rather was “just one more chip in the wall of mainstream media that comes on the heels of so many others: Jayson Blair, USA Today….”

I asked Vaughn what the greatest danger is and he replied, “Just not being seen as credible.”

And then he asked me whether I have advice for dealing with the blogosphere. I told him I’d ask you. So leave comments with your best advice: How would you like to see him interact with you? What do you hope to see from a CBS blog? Vaughn seems to be a good guy in a tough but cool job and I think we should help him do it well. So presume you have a friend who snuck into the citadel: What should he snoop on? What questions should he ask?

: Full disclosure: I’ve given friendly (read: free) advice on blogs in chats with Heyward, Kramer (a long-ago colleague), and CBSNews.com Editorial Director Dick Meyer.

  • http://www.havecoffeewillwrite.com Jeff Hess

    Shalom Jeff (and Vaughn),

    The short answer is that I’ve long since lost interest in CBS, and other time-restricted news organizations.

    If all you have is 20 minutes, you really can’t do much more than give me a few headlines. I can get those faster and on my time from the Internet.

    Vaughn said very correctly that his primary challenge will be:

    Just not being seen as credible.

    There has never been such a thing as objectivity. The best any writer can do is to be very clear and upfront about their biases. We’re all subjective. Let me know what your particular slant is and I’ll work out the rest.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  • Andy Freeman

    I wonder if CBS understands that a successful blog will be seen as an authoritative view into CBS.

  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish G

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or throw up and CBS’s pathetic effort at what they believe blogging to be.

    First, the whole “objetivity” thing. That’s usually what a standard website is about. So, if CBS needs a blogger to present objective information, their website isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. They need to get on the backs of their web people, not hire a blogger.

    Second, tell Vaughn to get into the blogosphere and read blogs. Interact with bloggers. Check out the various corners of the blogosphere, not sit there in some media-inspired ivory towere pretending to be a blogger.

    Vaughn’s biggest challenge is indeed “credibility”…but is he searching for “credibility” as a blogger? If that’s the case, his objectivity will kill him.

    what a jerk.

  • http://www.beloblog.com/ProJo_Blogs/shenews Sheila Lennon

    On his relations with CBS News: Vaughn reports up to Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, and not to (CBS News President Andrew) Heyward, giving him some separation.

    This says he’s not a member of the news division. He’s working for corporate, which limits his credibility in the CBS newsroom. And maybe explains the product rollout hoopla, with flak.

    “he added that Rather was “just one more chip in the wall of mainstream media that comes on the heels of so many others: Jayson Blair, USA Today….”

    Rather’s not a plagiarist, Vaughn. Here’s an idea for a CBS insider blog: I’d like to know the provenance of the documents that brought Rather down: Who made them, when, for what purpose? That’s the part of the story that went south, and it’s the core of it.

    If your blog tackles this, you’ll get Web cred.

  • http://www.drcookie.blogspot.com JennyD

    Yawn. Another blog on the news “process.” Think of Calame on downers.

    But…if the blog told what stories didn’t make air, and why. If it told what pieces got chopped out and why. If he answered questions ala Okrent, and mixed it up both with viewers and reporters/editors/producers, then we might have something.

    I fear it will be a state-sanctioned blog, coming out of one of those Kremlinesque headquarters of the slowly dying MSM.

  • Mike G

    I meet a lot of companies that think they need to blog. I tell most of them it’s hopeless. Actually what I say is, are you willing to see a comments section saying their company SUX? 500 times? Basically, the company blogger may not quite be an oxymoron, but it’s damned close. It will be interesting to see if a news organization can pull it off.

  • http://CBSNews.com Dick Meyer

    Jeff,

    Thanks for a good, fair and provocative post on Vaughn Ververs and Public Eye. As one of the CBS’ers you gave “friendly (read: free) advice to, I quite literally owe you a comment or two.

    You’re displeased with Ververs’ emphasis on reporting and dialogue rather than opinion writing: “Try this on for size: I think there’s no such thing as an objective blogger. Or you’re probably not blogging. You’re probably not talking with people, eye to eye.” I don’t think any of us, certainly not Ververs or I, believe that anyone — blogger, commenter, reporter, physicist — can be objective. That is almost axiomatic, almost a truism. (Some of my personal views about objectivity and banality of relativism are reflected in a past column, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/09/opinion/meyer/main672653.shtml.)

    But the goal of Public Eye is not to create a forum for Ververs’ opinions — or those of his team. Yes, he will make judgments and analyses all the time that will be subjective and opinionated. And yes, he will try to be honest and upfront about his predilections and blinders. The blog’s central goal, though, is to facilitate and give voice to the conversation between the audience (including bloggers and professional critics) and the CBS News people they’re squawking about, without smothering that conversation with his own opining. Goal number two is some serious in-house reporting — and here you and I might have a real disagreement with the metaphysical value of reporting. I don’t if “good blogging” qua blogging is even a goal, but certainly expressing opinions is just one of several possible ingredients of good blogging — good writing, good argument, good dialogue, good reporting, good video can work too. It doesn’t have to be opinion-writing-with-attitude not to be lame.

    I can see from the first few comments you received that we face a ferocious, wild ride. Stay in touch.

    Dick Meyer, CBSNews.com’s Editorial Director and buzzmachine.com free advice recipient.

  • http://www.sundriesshack.com Jimmie

    “The blog’s central goal, though, is to facilitate and give voice to the conversation between the audience (including bloggers and professional critics) and the CBS News people they’re squawking about, without smothering that conversation with his own opining.”

    What, exactly, does this mean? It sure looks like a pretty sentence but, really, what sort of conversation are we likely to have here? Ververs has already said that CBS folks may or may not speak as they wish. I rather think that if they wished to speak, they would have found a way to do so. I don’t think that plunking Ververs down among them is suddenly going to loose a torrent of previously-dammed conversation. What I want to know is what sort of conversation CBS thinks is going to happen?

    And yeah…whoopie…a blog about the news “process”. You know what process I’d love to see laid bare? I’d love to see the part of the process that determines what makes the broadcasts and why some stories make it when others don’t. I’d like to see posts from Ververs from the “fly on the wall” position in those editorial meetings. I’m not sure that’s what CBS intends, but it might just make this whole venture worthwhile.

    Otherwise, color me bored stiff already.

  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish G

    The blog’s central goal, though, is to facilitate and give voice to the conversation between the audience (including bloggers and professional critics) and the CBS News people they’re squawking about, without smothering that conversation with his own opining.

    okay…big problem here….it’s opinon that people (blogreaders esp.) either love or take umberage about on a blog. this is where the conversation begins. I’m not totally convinced that objective reporting is going to stimulate conversation. What are we suposed to say? Perhaps something like: “hmm, that’s interesting…thanks for sharing…”

    that isn’t really conversation.

    Perhaps the CBS people should take a look at more info-oriented blogs that don’t have strong opinions so they can see just how much conversation they don’t stimulate.

    Perhaps they should have a blogger who’s in total support of msm and has no problem shooting his/her mouth off about it. that might get *loads* of conversation going!

  • penny

    Typical CBS, the tired pathetic monolith that it is, trying a new format hoping to get something right. Wrong again. The dwindling pool of old foggey viewers that missed or weren’t revolted by Dan Rather’s “fake, but accurate” antics are unlikely to drift over to the new blog. The 18 to 35 year old crowd won’t be showing up there either. Corporate blogs are an oxymoron.

    What CBS could do, instead of re-arranging again the deck chairs on their Titanic, is clean up the snarky bias that transcends their products like the Evening News and 60 Minutes and half of the articles on their website.

    If these people really had vision they would have chained Dan Rather to a keyboard, opened a blog for him and insisted he respond to comments from the public.

    They really don’t get it.

  • penny

    “that might get *loads* of conversation going!”

    Which is only interesting if it is two-way. How likely is that?

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Sounds like CBS understands blogs almost as much as they understand fonts.

  • http://buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Tough crowd!

    But seriously…. I meant what I said about giving Vaughn and CBS your suggestions. Take them at their word and tell them what you think they should do … and then watch to see whether they do it.

  • http://www.misterorange.com Evan Erwin

    A blogger without opinions? Please. This is sad.

    You cannot blog, or what we call a web journal of sorts, and not institute some sort of slant on it. It’s inevitable.

    If you weren’t doing that, you would simply be a very sad news outlet. And we have plenty of those, balanced or not.

    A blogger with a handler. A PR person at the ready. What a sad state this blogger is set in. He has no opinions, he has no access to share them.

    If he’s a real blogger, he’ll need to start an anonymous blog just to share his -real- opinions, you know the one(s) that CBS won’t let him blog about.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~carlsdesk Carl

    At first blush, this looks like some suit-bound chaps trying to make CBS hip and cool. “Jones, get us one of those blog-things.” If Ververs is nothing more than a PR voice for CBS, this will die of boredom and lonliness.

    As I reflect about the blogs that I read (I would assume that readership is the ultimate goal of this), a few key things stick out. The blogs that I read are opinionated: Blogs are inherently personal. That’s the risk that Mr. Ververs will need to take, to make his bias public and open to critique. Additionally, like Jeff’s blog here, the well read ones have authority and insight. They bring up points of view that MSM wouldn’t touch; too unbalanced. Lastly, true engagement will be crucial. He needs to pop open Technorati every so often and read those posts linking to and about CBS, and respond.

    It’ll be a challenge, really, to come out of the corporate shadow into the irreverent blog sunshine.

  • http://spap-oop.blogspot.com Tish G

    why doesn’t CBS just hire one of us as a “silent consultant” for their corporate blog???

    yeah, snowball’s chance in hell on that one.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Yeah, I understand what you’re saying, Jeff, but bloggers have served as unpaid consultants to CBS for almost a year now. If they haven’t listened so far, you can’t blame us for being skeptical now.

  • http://www.beatcanvas.com Brett Rogers

    I think Vaughn hit the nail on the head, about how his opinions will be expressed through what he chooses to publish.

    That’s what media does all the time. We all do. But that opinionated selection is why we’re driving to get content from other places. The view of the world that CBS provides is not enough. It’s limited – and slanted. The music of evening news that we crave is not the notes on the page, but the notes left off. That’s where the real story and readership/listenership of CBS News is. Give us the whole story. CBS has a whole nation of relatives for the soldiers in Iraq, for example, but even FoxNews always leads with blood. Try telling the fuller, more personal, more heroic stories. The good, and the bad. Use the blog to amplify that. Be different than the other networks.

    Otherwise, the TV is off at my house. I’ll gather what I need from the web.

  • http://usliberals.about.com Deborah White

    You say….”Try this on for size: I think there’s no such thing as an objective blogger. Or you’re probably not blogging. You’re probably not talking with people, eye to eye. We’re about to kill the myth that journalists can be thoroughly objective; let’s not start trying to accrete that artificial ethic to blogs.”

    I completely agree, of course, but have one question. Exactly what is “objectivity?” Not trying to delve into a vast estoric area. but….. If it means “just the facts, ma’am,” what would that convey? To properly comprehend the facts, one needs context and point of view, I would think.

  • Peter Krass

    Re journalistic objectivity, it’s a damaging myth and a human impossibility. Orwell said it best in Homage to Catalonia: “We are all partisans.” Amen.

  • http://www.havecoffeewillwrite.com Jeff Hess

    Shalom Jeff, Y’all,

    Clear signals that Vaughn should start polishing his resume:

    1. The blog’s central goal, though, is to facilitate and give voice to the conversation between the audience (including bloggers and professional critics) and the CBS News people they’re squawking about, without smothering that conversation with his own opining. This is the job description for a flack, not a blogger.

    2. The flack has a flack. If that’s not the kiss of death, I don’t know what is.

    3. Jeff, you’ve given free advice to many, many people, but you have to pay the bills just like the rest of us. You, at least, can bank some favors for the future. As a blogger with no props in New York, there can be no quid pro quo expected for me. If I thought CBS was worth helping, I’d do it, but I don’t.

    4. It doesn’t have to be opinion-writing-with-attitude not to be lame. Very true, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

    Clearly, the CBS Evening News Managing Editor can’t be expected to read, let alone respond to, comments on any blog they might produce or have ghosted; they’d get nothing else done.

    So how about the people three or four tiers down from the top. How about letting employees — assistant producers, camera technicians, make-up specialists, hell, janitors — have unrestrained access to a CBS blog for brief periods of time and see what shakes out.

    My experience in journalism is that production/distribution people have very clear understanding of what’s going on.

    But the control freaks at the top will never let it happen.

    Did you share the Neo-Marketing list from Creating Professional Users with Vaughn? You should. It could help his handlers get a clue.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff Hess

  • Rob

    If they wanted my attention, CBS would hire a blogger who didn’t particularly like CBS, but was fair and reasonable. They would then give this blogger access to the newsroom and news people and free reign to write.

    What we want from CBS is as much transparency as possible. CBS is cool with this when it comes to others (they want absolute transparancy in government and corporate affairs), but not so much when it comes to themselves. As news consumers, we don’t want to just trust them that they will always be objective, we want them to show us by their daily choice of stories and the angles they take on those stories.

    Often, when I watch old movies on TV, I will have the laptop open to IMDB so that I can look up the characters that go by, see what other roles they have played, see how their careers went after the movie I’m watching and so on. It makes a good movie all the better if you can set it more and more deeply in context. If I could do the same with CBS – read more about the story behind the story, read other points of view that weren’t chosen to air, see video that didn’t make the story, see stories that didn’t air due to lack of time, read the comments of contributors to the story who may not have agreed with the story in its final form, and so on – then I would enjoy the news more, I would come away vastly more informed than I do now and I might start to trust CBS as a source of news.

    By hiring their own critic and making the criticism public, they would force themselves to evolve and improve. This would be painful in the short term, but it seems to me like their only chance in the long run.

    The only thing is, I’m going to have to hear about this from somewhere else: no way I’m going to go back to watching the news on TV until I’m convinced that it will be a good use of my time.

  • http://philokateer.blogspot.com Evan N

    “A blogger without opinions? Please. This is sad.” —

    If it is not personal is it still a blog? Or is it just a news section that updates more often?

    Blogs are people, not institutions.

  • http://www.mediacurmudgeon.com Media Curmudgeon

    Several things, Jeff. First, Buzz Machine is my favorite blog and I admire your dedication, hard work, and excellent reporting. However, I didn’t get a notification of your latest blog via my NewsGator aggegator–is your RSS feed still working? Next, I understand your desire to take advertising, but I’m disappointed to see that your first and most prominent ad is for Pamela Anderson’s “Latest Explict Video.” Can’t you be more selective in accepting ads–I don’t think this one fits your clean, credible, family image, even though I know how strongly you support First Amendment rights. Pamela’s ad belongs on your pal, Howard Stern’s, Web site, not yours. Finally, nice reporting job on the CBS blog, but I don’t think blogs should be defined as being about opinions or anything else. Blogs are simply blogs–online places you go to get what suits you, be it opinion, news, comedy, or smut.

  • http://buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Curmudg:
    READ the whole ad: It’s their joke (of sorts): It’s about killing chickens, man.I posted on this when I took the ad.

  • Tom in South J

    I worked for Vaughn and he is a good guy and I’d like everyone reading here to give him a chance.

    I think there is a huge world of bloggers out there and blog readers. I’m more one of the readers than bloggers and I rarely comment. Only when I think my two cents is worth the little time i have to stop reading.

    I’d just like to say there is a group of us out there, though small, that would like to see the MSM become blog friendly. So, before we glibly criticize people that are trying new things, let’s wait till something is there and use this space to offer advice. Criticize him and CBS if they don’t learn, if they are obtuse, if they don’t adapt, if they ignore.

    Don’t criticize them for trying. Sometimes you need to fail in order to learn.

  • http://flamingflivvers.blogspot.com/ Carson Fire

    Aw, everybody leave JJ alone on the Pammy Anderson ad. The joke’s clever, even if the filmmakers are oddly selective about who they’re going after (a quick Google search led me to at least one poultry producer that supplies chicken to KFC *and* Popeye’s… guess which company gives 100% campaign contributions to Democrats? But I digress.)

    Meanwhile, I want to know why Howard Dean is wearing the “I Love Oil” button.

  • Mork

    Try this on for size: I think there’s no such thing as an objective blogger. Or you’re probably not blogging. You’re probably not talking with people, eye to eye. We’re about to kill the myth that journalists can be thoroughly objective; let’s not start trying to accrete that artificial ethic to blogs.

    This sort of post-modern-theory/self-justification-for-hackery really shits me.

    The observation that humans find it difficult to identify, let alone limit the effect of their own biases, is something that all intelligent people understand.

    But it’s lazy and stupid at best, and dishonest and underhand (usually) to use that fact to legitimate a self-interested disdain for even attempting to understand and question one’s own perspective and to strive for a truth that rises above it.

    Of course we are better off if we strive for objectivity.

    And of course a person who strives for objectivity is to be trusted to a greater degree than one who makes no such effort.

  • http://www.drcookie.blogspot.com JennyD

    Tom in SJ: I’m Vaughn is a swell guy. I’m sure Dick Meyer is too. But they work for an institution that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about what these guys think; it’s about what the institution thinks and how it enacts those beliefs. I doubt that there is the will within CBS to do this blog the way it should be done.

    Then there is journalism as a craft/profession working against this. I just heard a pretty snarky commentary on NPR about Brian Williams blog being nothing but navel-gazing and about how real news is not about blogs, blah, blah. This from someone calling herself a journalist.

    I’m skeptical with evidence for that stance.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~carlsdesk Carl

    The observation that humans find it difficult to identify, let alone limit the effect of their own biases, is something that all intelligent people understand.

    I must disagree. I have seen too many people with the “I’ve seen it in print, it must be true” mentality. How many emails did you get saying that the Gap, or Bill Gates, whoever, was going to give you something free? There are dozens of websites dedicated to debunking rumors which run rampant.

    But it’s lazy and stupid at best, and dishonest and underhand (usually) to use that fact to legitimate a self-interested disdain for even attempting to understand and question one’s own perspective and to strive for a truth that rises above it.

    I doubt that anyone here (ok, most everyone here) is advocating that we have no obligation as writers to try to rise up and grasp the complexity of any issue. Sure, it is lazy to ignore other viewpoints simply because they’re in opposition. Yet blogging is somewhat differant than journalism. You put your ideas out there, theoretically with rationale. Other bloggers will support or challenge your assumptions. Blogging is not about presenting information that you “should” know. It’s about the questioning mind challenging assumptions, adding a roundness to a story or idea (more than what news editors decide you should know…or that can be crammed into a 1/2 hour show). The ultimate beauty of the blogosphere is the ability to deeply flesh out an idea and all its permutations. It’s not just one person (or a small group) controlling information. Everyone with the least bit of interest gets to weigh-in, with a (relatively) equal weight given to their contribution.

  • Tom in South J

    JennyD,

    I see your point and i think your right. I just in knowing and talking to him think the institution is taking a big step by brining him in. He’s very well respected in the media out there.

    I just feel like everyone is routing for this to fail and I just want people to be hopeful.

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