The big picture
: Glenn Reynolds suggests in his latest TCS column that the embed program has been “a disaster for the networks” because all those reporters in the field are giving us the trees, but we never get to see the forest. (I thought that’s what anchors were paid the big bucks to provide, no?)
Glenn says that weblogs can knit together these strands of reporting into that bigger picture because they converse with — and add to — each other. Thus he laments the lack of weblogs from the networks.
I’ll take this one step further.
We’ve seen an earthshattering change in the flow of information in this war: We used to have too little information and too much of it was stale. Now we have too much information and too much of it is still uncooked, still not confirmed. So there is greater confusion.
Now you’d think that a weblog is the perfect device to solve that. And it is a good device, but it’s still imperfect. I read Glenn himself and curse that he has a life (how dare he!) and so I don’t get the benefit of his editing of the world and his perspective for as long as an hour at a time! So I go to the amazing Command Post but I get overdosed; I need somebody to blog that blog for me. As to my own war weblog, I find that I can’t keep up with it all.
What to do?
A wise big media operation would start a weblog newsroom — a 24/7 operation that goes out and finds the best on the web, categorizes it, and updates it (giving you all that late-breaking Geraldo news). It’d be a helluva lot cheaper than running an actual newsroom because all you’re doing is linking, not reporting. And it would provide a real service in a time such as this. Individuals and distributed bunches of amateur webloggers can’t do this as well (because we have jobs and lives and need to eat). Nobody can afford to start up such a stand-alone operation (for the demand lasts only as long as the big story). So the ideal company to do it is a big media operation — a TV network, a cable network, a wire service, a national newspaper, somebody who would benefit from having the best of this worldwide web of reporting all in one place. They can hire experienced webloggers (who don’t even need to work in the same office) and with them create the best news site on the web.
: One of my company’s webloggers, RJ White, found a document that’s awe-inspiring in its stupidity on the AdBuster’s web site: Readers’ suggestions about how to “Boycott Brand America.” (My notes in italics):
: Now that I’m in China, I ride my bike (second hand) or walk everywhere. I don’t buy things unless I really need them (I don’t have a microwave). I live in a $100 a month apartment (even though I could afford better). I eat fresh and delicious food (I have lost over 50kgs of excess weight). And I don’t watch TV (it’s in Chinese) or read the newspaper (ignorant bliss is heaven).
So you’ve become a poor, ignorant, Communist peasant. That’s progress.
: I initiated a boycott of travel to the US last year and will continue this, along with my ongoing boycott of Starbucks…
Take that, poor South American coffee growers!
: I’m going to get a job at a Starbucks in a small town, where the majority is Republican and pro-war, and where I will suggest, generate and voice opinions of opposition to not only the people who work there, but the customers as well.
I’ll take a vente and a vent, please.
: We’re trying to shut down Ithaca, NY’s restaurant community for one night.
Saddam is grateful. The poor immigrant dishwasher is not.
: I think that I have a plan. Simply drive slowly.
Yes, and you’ll irritate the crap out of every American behind you. Why don’t you add a “Honk If You’re An American Warmonger” bumpersticker; I’ll bet you’ll smoke out lots of them.
: A friend and I sewed monopoly dollars into dresses and sat in the mall with a set of bullhorns and told people about the evils of their consumerism. One middle-aged couple got mad at us and threw their greasy McDonald’s lunches at us.
And who says fast food isn’t good for us?
: Boycott American spelling and slang.
Yes, we make royalties everytime somebody says “dude.”
: A very obvious way to hit part of the US economy is boycotting the movies.
You mean the French have to give up Jerry Lewis?
Saddam: Dead or alive (?)
: Since we have no idea whether Saddam is dead or alive, I think it’s time for news reports to couch couch it.
The NY Times reported today, as if they knew it happened, that “President Saddam Hussein awarded the Iraqi soldier [who killed four U.S. soldiers with a suicide bomb] two posthomous medals.”
Well, they sure didn’t see Saddam do it. They didn’t hear him do it. They accepted an Iraqi report that said he did it. And that’s what the NY Times should say.
For Saddam’s fate is now an issue. Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chief Richard Meyers spent the weekend on PundiTV taunting Saddam in a game of come-out-come-out-wherever-you-are (here’s the official Pentagon version of the news). They’re trying to get a message to the Iraqis that unless we see him, how do you know he’s there? And that’s a good question. It is a question.
: Update: Even his own ambaddador couches. [via Instapundit]
: Thom Hartman at Common Dreams thinks he’s being clever drawing a picture of George Bush to make him look like Adolf Hitler. I can’t wait until his next chapter when he compares Saddam Hussein to… who, Thom?
Michael Moore thin? April fool’s!
: My favorite headline in the latest issue of The Lemon: “Michael Moore rules out using hunger strike to protest war.”
: More late-breaking humor: IT&W reports that Saddam Hussein has a weblog. “NBC has fired Peter Arnett for his comments on Iraqi TV. What a shame…. Petey and I are good friends. He came by the bunker just last week…. He’s applying for a job at Al-Jazeera. I’m writing his letter of recommendation.”
: So does Kim Jong Il.