Posts from February 10, 2005

Charles and Camilla

finger3.jpgfinger4.jpgCharles and Camilla

: I have one thing to say:

Thank goodness we do not have tax-supported celebrities.

They’re just celebrities as insipid as celebrities anywhere. But at least we don’t pay for their obnoxious lives.

God bless our founding fathers.

: UPDATE: Ha says in the comments that if you follow that link, you will see the photos above on the same page, prompting the question: “It is hard to believe that these two women live on the same planet.”

‘Gannon’ speaks

‘Gannon’ speaks

: Wolf Blitzer interviews fakey White House ‘correspondent’ ‘Jeff Gannon’ just now.

Howard Kurtz plays a tape of Gannon asking his softball — and innaccurate — question of Bush (and attack on Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton). Kos gets credit for finding Gannon’s real name and story. Rep. Slaughter is quoted asking whether the White House let him in as a tool of the administration and the White House denies. Kurtz says some say bloggers went too far digging into his background. Cut to Wolf.

Wolf asks him to explain the name thing. “It’s a professional name. I used it because Jeff Gannon is easier to pronounce.” Who does he think he is, Cher?

If you didn’t do anything wrong, why did you resign? He says people have harrassed and threatened him and his family. He says people have followed him to church (nice touch).

Wolf asks about the sexually explicit websites he was working on. “I don’t understand what that is,” says Wolf. Gannon says he did it for a client and the sites never went up.

Wolf asks whether he was there to ask softball questions or whether he was there “as a real journalist.” Gannon says Talon is a real news service. “I created the questions, nobody fed the questions to me.” It’s not as if anyone would have to write them for him.

Nothing about the other things Gannon did at the White House or his relationship with others, besides the owner of his ‘news service,’ Bobby Eberle.

Softball to the softball player, I’d say.

Now maybe they will do the softball interview with Eason Jordan.

The self-correcting medium

The self-correcting medium

: Citizens’ media both spreads rumors and debunks them. Citizens’ media also forces mainstream media to cover stories it may not otherwise cover. There’s an example of all this in Baltimore after online postings alleging that the mayor, Martin O’Malley, had an affair.

Another person posting about the topic was revealed this week to be Joseph Steffen, a longtime political operative for O’Malley’s political rival, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

That story, and Steffen’s resignation, broke in the mainstream media. But it highlights how Web sites – with their freewheeling rumors and rants – increasingly are forcing more traditional news institutions to write articles that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day.

Rumors of O’Malley’s alleged infidelity have long circulated in Baltimore but were not printed in such daily newspapers as The Sun or The Washington Post. It took postings on the Free Republic site, based in Fresno, Calif., to bring that gossip into the local papers of public record, as part of the story of a state official’s resignation for helping to spread such chatter….

The Web site’s treatment of the O’Malley rumor and the 60 Minutes report underscores the dual nature of this new form of communication, which traffics in unsubstantiated rumors but can also serve as a check on the mainstream media.

See also Jeff Gannon. See also Eason Jordan.

Exploding TV: The fuse it lit

Exploding TV: The fuse it lit

: The Online Publishers Association finds growing demand for video online. Says Digital Deliverance:

Its study of 27,841 Internet users on 25 of its members sites found that watching video online is becoming increasingly popular and that news videos were the most popular form of that content.

Twenty seven percent of those users view online video at least once per week and five percent of them view it daily. A majority of users (51 percent) watch video online at least once per month.

Perhaps because worktime is for work, online video viewers were more likely to watch from home than work: 35 percent said they frequently watch online video from home and only 16 percent said they did so from work.

Follow this money

Follow this money

: Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham — two of the smartest and most generous (with wisdom that is) men I’ve met in this new world — have officially launched their new VC fund: Union Square Ventures “dedicated to making early stage investments in technology enabled service businesses that are disrupting markets, particularly the marketing, media, financial services, and telcomm markets.” And there’s plenty of disrupting going on.

: UPDATE: Now this is a show worth watching: Fred Wilson fisks Jason Calacanis…. And Jason responds.