The Money Quote on Today’s MSM

From Walter Russell Mead of Via Meadia over at The American Interest. My emphasis in bold:

The rise of new publications like IBT illustrates the reality that the public still wants and needs news. Indeed, the global hunger for real news, useful filters and helpful analysis is growing. What isn’t growing is the desire to read the bloviating, self-indulgent prose of dozens of highly paid, self-important windbags who tweak the conventional wisdom week after week under the illusion that they are making some kind of contribution to public life. (Here at Via Meadia, none of our self-important windbags are highly paid.) The public appetite for theme and variation on the Davos party line is small, and the desire to pay hefty subscriptions for the privilege of reading elegantly phrased iterations of the elite consensus seems to have melted away.

Why mainstream news is dying–and good riddance

I don’t normally go on rants about the liberal media bias we’re always told about, but he’s a great example of why so many Americans think it exists:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/332173661018660865″]

That’s just wrong, and WaPo knows it. Saying that only “Rich, middle-aged men” and people who eat at Chick-Fil-A care about four dead foreign service officers is just disgraceful. There are tons of Americans out there who care that the government let four diplomats die for what seem to be purely political reasons…and instead of honing in on that, the Washington Post is disgracefully putting up flak.

That’s not to say there isn’t BS on both sides of the aisle:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/MJayRosenberg/status/332188328847876096″]

But holy crap, WaPo, was that a BS tweet.

And folks wonder why the Washington Post Company is losing money hand over fist. Gee, it couldn’t be that you’re a bunch of morons giving cover to government evil, could it?

When Corrections Go Wrong (Or Awesome)

Beyond Castro churchs drag-queen fuss, Aug. 16, Bay Area, C1 C.W. Nevius column about Most Holy Redeemer banning drag queen performers incorrectly stated that entertainer Peaches Christ appeared at an event at the churchs hall with a dildo shaped like a crucifix.

via Corrections, Aug. 16 – SFGate.

WOW.

Man, pulling that assignment out of a hat must have been the best game in the bullpen ever.

Another Example Of The Folly of Blind Belief

A Year After the Non-Apocalypse: Where Are They Now? | Culture | Religion Dispatches.

The above is a fantastic essay on what happening to all of Harold Camping’s followers, how they were deceived and how many suffered enormous financial, social, and emotional damage from the belief that the world would end in May on 2011…and then didn’t.

I think this is a lesson for any large belief structures. This includes Communism, American conservatism, the Most Holy and Triumphant Church of Environmentalism, and any belief in big government. Rest assured, with the way things are going, their worlds are going to come tumbling down…and when they do, they’re going to be in just as bad a shape as Harold Camping’s misled followers.

And people wonder why I’m an ignostic.

@tamronhall Encapsulates #WTF Is Wrong With Contemporary News Media

Watch Tamron Hall Go Nuts | Washington Free Beacon.

If you really want to know why people continually dislike and distrust modern, contemporary news media, look no further than this outburst from an MSNBC anchor which makes her look like she’s five years old.

I’m serious.

The topic in question is this BS story about Romney allegedly cutting a guy’s hair in school back in the 1960s, a story which really doesn’t have any relevance to anything today (and which might, apparently, actually be false.) Tim Carney, of the Washington Examiner, was trying to put the story into context, and why whatever Romney’s response really shouldn’t matter. It’s something I wholeheartedly agree with–even though I am no fan of Romney–but apparently, Tamron didn’t:

HALL: So there you have it Tim. And the point is, he’s doing local television—that’s a local reporter asking something that is important to the people of that particular state. His response, you know, people are raising an eyebrow about.
CARNEY: Okay, well, I’ll talk about the marijuana in one second. But what you’re doing here is a typical media trick: You hype up a story, and then you justify the second-day coverage of the story by saying, “Oh, well, people are talking about it. Here’s how Romney responded to it—“
HALL: You don’t have to answer a single question I ask you. You do not. And you did not have to accept the invitation to come on. You knew what we were going to be discussing. [Unclear]
CARNEY: [Unclear]
HALL: Hang on, Tim. You’re kind of in my house here. The problem is this: The story’s out there, and you’re right—I am not saying that we should belabor what happened 50 years ago. We are talking about the response by the campaign and the governor, not just on this issue, but—
CARNEY: You are bringing up a meta story here, which is, “What is the Romney response to this other non-story?” I’m trying to go meta-meta on you, and say here’s some media treatment—
HALL: You don’t want me to go anything on you, because you are actually irritating me right now. I’m going to be honest with you—yes, you are, because you knew the questions and topics we were going to discuss. You knew them; you agreed. And we are not talking or demeaning—listen, 50 years ago, I was a much tougher kid probably than Mitt Romney was in high school. I’m not talking about the issue of whether he was bullying or not. He says he doesn’t remember; to be fair, I cannot say he does. What I am asking about is how the campaign has handled this situation, how he handled the Colorado reporter, how he handled same-sex marriage where he said he agrees with gay parents be able to adopt, but he does not agree with same-sex marriage? Just the handling of questions beyond the economy. If you’re not comfortable talking about that, I am a-okay, but you’re not going to come on and insult me, you’re not going to come on and insult the network when you knew what you were going to come on and talk about. Done. Now, let me talk to Jimmy, I’m done.
CARNEY: Are you going to cut me off?
HALL: Yes, I am.

This is why people are ceasing to watch TV news, or read the newspapers. It’s a combination of the shortsighted arrogance that news anchors and journalists decide what is and isn’t a story, and the technique of trying to hype up things in order to be “entertaining.”

In other words, it’s complete and utter horseshit. And people aren’t buying it.

Newsflash to Tamron Hall: More people get their news through Twitter and blogs than your TV show. Kicking Tim off your show won’t change any of that.

The whole point of having news is having a wide variety of opinion. Yes, there is a point where you have to say “stay on topic,” but you can do that in a far more civilized and adult manner, and you could also ask first where this is going. Second, Carney was talking about the topic at hand. She was asking about Romney’s response to a reporter, and how that might be the same nature as what Romney exhibited in the past, so Carney decided to talk about the media’s hyping up (which is really what it is) about the past story.

Trying to control the discussion in that manner is not news, that’s propaganda. And that shows a distinct lack of integrity on Tamron Hall’s part.

(In her defense, though, that “I’m going to go meta meta on you” line from Tim just sounded utterly crass, and he should not have said it. That was dumb.)

People got that sense from media coverage around the 2008 election, and they’ve been getting it a lot during the Obama administration (and a little before that too; we had it during the build up to Iraq, for example.) This was a crystallization of that distrust. And I think when people think about what’s going on here–not the mindless ravings from places such as ThinkProgress–you’re going to find that 52% trust in the media will evaporate.

This is why people read blogs, go on Twitter, and generally get their news sources from places you wouldn’t traditionally think of as news. It’s not just technology–though that plays a part–it’s because the traditional media outlets are extremely haughty and think they have the right to be the gatekeepers of all knowledge. And if you don’t toe their line…you get Tamron’d.

Also, a couple of quibbles:

  1. “I bet I was a lot tougher than Mitt Romney when I was a kid:” REALLY? You went there? Wow, that’s like, so, like, awesome, like. Seriously, isn’t that a phrase uttered by children? Because you’re so tough when you’re a teenager. Really.
  2. Where, at any point, did Carney insult you or the network? As I’ve said repeatedly, all he was doing was providing context to your question. If you don’t like that, well tough. That’s what he’s doing. He was discussing your question. If anyone was insulting, it was you, Ms. Hall, for saying “You don’t want me to go anything on you.” In fact, that might constitute a threat, which might be at the level that can bring on legal action.

I normally don’t get involved in these things–I said nothing about that whole Chris Loesch Twitter pseudo-debacle–but I abhor bullies, and that’s exactly what Tamron Hall was today. A bully. MSNBC should be ashamed of itself for having her on the show.

[Note: Tried to write this faster but I was so angry I had to get up and pace around my office. This video infuriates me that much.]

US Census Bureau Doesn’t Understand The Basics

U.S. News – Census: 8 of 10 Americans now urbanites.

From MSNBC:

Move over New York City. Nine of the 10 most densely populated areas in the U.S. are out West, and eight out of 10 Americans are now urbanites, a U.S. Census Bureau report released Monday shows.

The Charlotte, N.C., area is growing at the fastest rate, increasing by 64.6 percent, followed by Austin, Texas, at 51.1 percent, according to census figures.

“It’s one of those things we’re seeing — the South and West are definitely growing, and growing more than other regions in the country,” Stacy Gimbel Vidal, spokeswoman for the U.S. Census Bureau, told msnbc.com. “It is hard for us to speculate the ‘why’ people are flocking to and congregating in those areas.”

Emphasis mine.

It’s really not that hard to explain why, so I’ll lay it out for you:

  1. Lower taxes.
  2. Less regulation.
  3. Freer markets.

All these things combined lead to one thing: jobs. (Well, actually, they lead to a lot of things, but jobs are at the top of the list.) People are moving to the South and the West because there are jobs there. Of course, this is hard for government officials to grok (Wait, you mean they don’t need us?) but for any person with two-thirds of a brain, it’s just plain common sense.

Man, I have got to find a job in Texas.

Goodbye News “Services”

http://twitchy.com/2012/03/19/breaking-ap-gets-its-butt-kicked-by-twitter/

How can it be a service when everyone knows about it already on Twitter? Face it: traditional “news” media are done. Once the baby boomer generation exits stage right, they will utterly cease to exist.

Naturally, this is a good thing. If you’re that far behind on the times…well, you turn into me. And nobody should be going to me for news.

When writing about someone’s quotes, quote them

For the record, this is an absolutely terrible story. It’s purportedly about what Newt Gingrich said to a gay Iowa voter, but it never actually quotes Gingrich–and the whole thing is heresay anyways.

I’m not a fan of the man, but this is just shitty journalism.

http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/12/20/gingrich-to-gay-iowan-vote-for-obama/

And now, the dumbest Tweet of all time

And it’s not even political or Bieber related. As I write this, there is another shooting incident going on at Virginia Tech. So, what does the local ABC affiliate Tweet?

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ABC7News/status/144841856637861888″]

Yeah. “Hey, are you on a campus where there’s a crazy gunman running around? Let us know with a Tweet and potentially make yourself a target!”

I am probably overreacting; a simple of tweet of “OMG there’s a gunman on #VATech!” will not likely get you shot, but something still seems wrong about this to me.

On another vote, what is up with Virginia Tech and crazy gun sprees? Wasn’t there another one between the 2007 disaster and today? I don’t get it…

Stick That In Your Crack and Smoke It

Ladies and mentlegen, I give you one of the more hilarious headlines of the year, courtesy of the Associated Press: “Spain Resurrects Rape Probe Into Saudi Prince.”

Hey, I thought only aliens did probes, and they did them on co–oh:

MADRID (AP) — Spain has reopened a rape probe against a Saudi prince who is one of the world’s richest people, looking again at allegations he drugged and sexually assaulted a young model on a yacht on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, according to court papers.

The alleged assault by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, 56, reportedly took place on Aug. 13, 2008, but an investigating magistrate on the popular resort island closed the case last year on grounds of insufficient evidence.

However, a higher provincial court in the Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza, accepted an appeal by the plaintiff and issued an order this year instructing the same magistrate to resume the probe and question the prince as a suspect.

That’s not what I thought it meant. Oh well, this should still be high comedy in some market. At they very least, it should make the DSK case look like foreplay child’s play.

PS: No, I’m not making a zombie joke. That would just be awkward.

PSS: Yes, I know I’m mixing metaphors in my title. It’s actually a line from a book.