Tag: The Water-Carriers

The Rage Still Burns; Out of My Mind for 16 July 2009

Stupid: Thinking (or believing) that this is leadership. It isn't.

Assholes: Boulder, Colorado.

Assholes: China’s treatment for internet addiction was electroshock. Clearly, this is why the iPhone’s coming to the PRC sans WiFi. (Hey, PRC, 3G is almost as good and far more available, so web access is why you want your phones without WiFi, you’re idiots!)

Assholes: This company who used a photo of murdered newlyweds for promotional uses. For businesses, the ends always justify the means. Businesses are at least amoral, Steve Forbes to the contrary. (He thinks one of the great things about capitalism is the freedom that attends it like in Singapore, South Korea and banana republics. Then again, Forbes is proven stupid, having been dumb enough to try to be a pol.)

Assholes: Another business that requires blatant, deliberate, knowing lies for promotion.

Another shithole we allow to remain a shithole (more here):

You knew that Wall Street wasn’t really all that rational unless following the herd right or wrong is some form of rational.

Assholes: Sarah Palin and all her whiny-ass, stupid supporters. Again, even by low pol standards, she’s dumb and extreme and inconsistent.

Asshole: Still Sarah.

Assholes: Jeff Sessions and the Big Media dopes who cover for him.

Assholes: All those Big Media journos who don’t understand that their job is to investigate and report, not be water-carriers.

Ooh, just got last year’s iPhone 3G and I’m ecstatic!

Query: Doesn’t putting Micro$oft stores near Apple stores makes Apple products look all that much better, what being seen next to crap and all?

Assholes: Indian tiger sanctuaries that get rid of all their tigers.

Assholes: The people who turn these people into dopes.

Find mortgage info here (and at the adjacent video).

Cupholders for rifles.

The world’s oldest known tat?

Today’s arts and crafts: make art from Starbuck’s garbage.

No comment, check it out for yourself.

And for people with too much time on their hands and/or too obsessive….

How synchronicitic; I had just had a craving to watch “Thunderball” again (although the book, silly as it is, is a little better, specially the beginning):

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Irony

A thought: Big Journalism still hasn’t gotten the word that it’s a new era. They all still think there’s a need to be GOP water carriers.

And they also haven’t gotten the message that alienating an audience is not a very good way of keeping, letting alone growing, one.

They give o basis for having faith in them.

The Global Economic Meltdown’s Enablers

Again, I say a big part of Big Journo’s bad times is the repeated, constant disservice to the commonweal. Shoveling lies day after day doesn’t endear one to one’s audience. The audience finds the outlets simply unnecessary.

In this case, as the speculation bubble was pumped, look who closed their eyes and helped. More simply, who needs them?

TPMCafe:

Our government’s current operating principle seems to be bailing out people who were culpable in the financial meltdown. If so, journalists are surely entitled to billions of dollars.

Why? Journalists were grossly deficient when it came to covering the reckless behavior, sleaze and willful ignorance of fundamental economics, much of which was reasonably obvious to anyone who was paying attention, that inflated the housing and credit bubbles of the past decade. Their frequent cheerleading for bad practices — and near-total failure to warn us, repeatedly and relentlessly, of what was building — made a bad situation worse.

Journalists are notoriously thin-skinned, defensive about even legitimate criticism. But this lapse has been too blatant even for reporters to miss. Two-thirds of financial journalists in a recent survey said the news media “dropped the ball” in the period before the crisis became apparent. (Still, almost none of them assigned the press any responsibility for what has occurred.)

It’s not as if this is the first time a big issue has had too little discussion while there was still time to fix the problem. Journalism has repeatedly failed to warn the public about huge, visible risks. The media’s complicity in the Iraq War-mongering and 1990s stock bubble were the most infamous recent examples until the financial bust came along, but the willful blindness to reality was uncannily similar.

To be fair, in these cases and in every other such foreseeable calamity, at least several journalists or news organizations stood out in retrospect for having seen what was coming. Almost alone among the Washington press corps, the Knight Ridder (now McClatchy) newspaper group’s Washington Bureau asked the right questions as the Bush Administration herded the nation toward war. A few scattered stories in the media, including Fortune magazine and The New York Times business section, wondered about the stock and housing price bubbles, not to mention the implications of new financial policies and instruments that made the credit expansion so dangerous. And some commentators (including bloggers who did serious, if widely ignored, reporting) were firmly on the case.

But to say that the press was all over the housing/credit mess before it blew up, as the American Journalism Review argued recently, defies reality. The good journalism was overwhelmed by the happy-face, herd coverage, usually laced with quotes from people who stood to benefit from the bubble’s continued inflation. We saw story after story about new cadres of home-loan borrowers, about people who “flipped” homes for big short-term profits, and about the way home values kept rising in unprecedented ways. We saw few cautionary tales about what happens when bubbles burst, how families can and economies can face ruin. It’s probably no coincidence that most newspapers have weekly real estate pages or sections, the main purpose of which is to collect advertising for property sales.

And even when the reporting was solid, which was rare enough, news organizations didn’t follow up in appropriate ways. If we can foresee a catastrophe, it’s not enough to mention it once or twice and then move on.

That common practice suggests an opportunity. When we can predict an inevitable calamity if we continue along the current path, we owe it to the public to do everything we can to encourage a change in that destructive behavior.

In practice, this means activism. It means relentless campaigning to point out what’s going wrong, and demanding corrective action from those who can do something about it.

So in Florida, Arizona and California, among other epicenters of the housing bubble, newspapers might have told their readers — including governmental officials — the difficult truth. They could have explained, again and again, that the housing bubble would inevitably lead, at least locally, to personal financial disaster for many in their regions, not to mention fiscal woes for local and state governments. How many should have done this, given the media’s at least partial reliance on advertising from those who profited from the bubbles? Any that cared to do their jobs.

Some plain-as-day woes don’t present any financial conflicts. For example, the threat to New Orleans from hurricane-created flooding was clear long before Katrina, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune did run a series of articles warning of what might happen years before the hurricane struck. What it didn’t do was follow up in the relentless kind of way that might have spurred local, state and federal action to prevent or mitigate the inevitable disaster.

Californians are absurdly unprepared for the epic earthquake that everyone knows is coming. News organizations have warned about it, but haven’t drilled home the message in sufficiently graphic ways of the havoc it will cause, and haven’t campaigned enough for pre-quake mitigation that would save lives and treasure.

Californians are especially practiced at pretending not to see what’s visible in front of them. The state’s fiscal crisis is far worse than most, in large part because the governor and state legislature — with media winks and nods — generated a torrent of new red ink, via borrowing, to cover new spending and earlier debts. The piper is now demanding his payment, and his price threatens to be ruinous. (Will this be our national fate in a few years?)

Journalists have an opportunity, right now, to ask questions we need answered — and they should be asking again and again, and again. Taxpayers (or rather our children and grandchildren, who’ll pay for this) are forking over $700 billion to bail out financial institutions, the first installment of trillions we’re collectively spending to try to save American capitalism itself. Yet we aren’t allowed to know how the money is being spent. This isn’t merely opaque; it’s the blackest of boxes, and occasional queries from journalists aren’t helping to make it transparent. Congress is the most culpable party in this case; as usual, lawmakers have dodged their responsibility, but an insistent journalistic campaign wouldn’t hurt and might actually help dislodge some facts.

Once upon a time, news people went on campaigns when they saw the need. Sometimes this led to yellow journalism, as when newspaper owners used their publications to stir up the populace in dangerous ways. At other times, however, old-fashioned press campaigns led to change for the better; back when editorial pages had more influence in communities, a few courageous newspaper editors in the South campaigned for school integration, and made an enormous difference.

Journalistic activism — precisely what we need despite most journalists’ disdain for the idea — won’t save newspapers that are suffering from a perfect storm of dwindling leadership and advertising losses. But as Online Journalism Review‘s Robert Niles recently wrote, journalists should “accept the responsibility to demand action” based on what they learn when they do their jobs right.

The media’s collective irresponsibility has ill-served its audience. If journalists want to keep the audience they have, never mind build credibility for the future, they need to become the right kind of activists. More than ever, we need what they do, when they do it well.

Today’s Poster Boy for the Irrelevance of Big Media Journalism

David Gregory.

One more time for the slow: “Reporting” irrelevant crap, news that dissembles instead of enlighten, reporting only lies and none of the truth — that is how you alienate your audience, chase your audience away. There is a strong audience but the want something like the truth, even via print. Most Big Journalism — obviously including NBC News — doesn’t get it yet.

It’s just like the last administration… they’ll leave a wasteland that maybe will never again be what it was.

Thank you, David Gregory, and the rest of your disgusting cohort.

Cause of the Global Economic Meltdown? Middle Class Families Saving Because of Fear of Not Having Enough Money or Secure Jobs

Rupert’s been getting a great buzz from the press over the wonderful job he’s doing with the Faux Bidness Journal, mostly for shorter articles. Me, I’d like to think longer articles have more, you know, information so are therefor of value. But I don’t follow the Journal close enough these days to say whether or not the buzz has any merit.

But the more political coverage is little better than Rupert’s tabs like the Post. It culminates in an incredibly asinine if not flat out offensive head like this today:

Hard-Hit Families Finally Start Saving, Aggravating Nation’s Economic Woes

It makes me sick.