Archive for the ‘journalism/news media’ Category

Newswipe with Charlie Brooker is a British news review show on BBC Four which exposes the inner workings of news media and politics.

A first series of six episodes ran from March 25, 2009 to April 29, 2009. A second series began on January 19, 2010. You can watch the whole first series at Youtube.

In this clip from episode 3 Charlie Brooker dissects the architecture of television news stories.

Cross-posted at Know Your Government


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Vodpod videos no longer available.

What a fucking tool. Fortunately for me, many years ago I declined the overpriced privilege of watching this kind of crap on a daily basis, but too many of my fellow citizens are subjected to the poison that Dobbs and his fellow travelers are generating.

At what point is enough enough?

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Everybody knows that the GOP is the party of family values. It stands to reason that a politician confessing an extramarital affair must be a Democrat, right?

Questioning the judgment of a governor under the kind of pressures that Sanford has had to endure at the hands of the state legislature and state Supreme Court and has spent the last five days crying in his lover’s arms in Argentina is unfair, partisan hackery. He was forced to lie in order to get some privacy. I hope everyone is now clear who the real victim here is.

Sanford in 2012!

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MSNBC hosted the after-dinner party after Fox backed out, unable to handle the logistics of a fluid calendar. Rachel Maddow was in charge of the bar. Her specialty cocktail, Hearst, is a mix of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters, but she reported that the Airmail (rum, fresh lime juice, honey and the bubbly cava on top) was the most requested.

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AKmuckraker posted the video of Dave along with the video of John Ziegler humiliating himself during his recent appearance with Contessa Brewer. In an update she casually says, “I just got an email from [Ziegler].”


There is not enough soap in the world to make me feel clean after receiving and reading an email from John Ziegler. He is, in my opinion, a repulsive human being. Think I exaggerate? Sounds like you need a review.

Go watch these and this (be sure to watch the second part) and this (“I haven’t made a dime off this yet.”). It’s all about him.

Now, it’s okay if the Palins and Ziegler want to pal around together. But it’s not okay when they make slanderous accusations against an upstanding public figure the way they did here.

Dave Letterman handled the whole thing very well.

UPDATE (6/12/09)
: Didn’t Sarah Palin’s mother teach her that if she doesn’t have something nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all?

She was on the Today Show today being as shrill as she could just shy of actually calling Letterman a pedophile.

Where was Palin’s concern for women’s self image during the savaging of Sonia Sotomayor? A Google search only brings up pages and pages of stories arguing about whether Sotomayor was being “Palin-ed.”

So while you’re judging David Letterman’s 40+ year career on a couple throw-away jokes, remember that George Bush is living very comfortably in Texas and Dick Cheney is on your TV.

I can think of a lot of people in the media who should be fired, and David Letterman isn’t one of them.

UPDATE (6/16/09): Shannyn Moore puts the Palins’ outrage over Dave’s jokes in perspective. There is quite a list of instances where jokes were made but the Palins were not only silent but stood on stage alongside the people making the jokes.

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I was not successful in posting a video but you really should click through to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s digital archives. They have a treasure trove of remarkable programs back to the 1950s.

When will we have programs like these again?

Ottawa Library, part of Parliament buildings group, Ottawa, Dominion of Canada.  c. 1914 (Library of Congress)

Ottawa Library, part of Parliament buildings group, Ottawa, Dominion of Canada. c. 1914 (Library of Congress)

In just two seasons between 1964 and 1966, This Hour has Seven Days staked its claim as the most defiant and controversial program in Canadian broadcasting history. Created by Douglas Leiterman and Patrick Watson, Seven Days launched a new era of public affairs television, actively taking on the role of the nation’s ombudsman and interrogator. Some — including certain members of the CBC brass in Ottawa — called it “sensationalism,” “arrogant” and a breach of journalistic neutrality. But Canadians loved it. Millions tuned in every Sunday night at 10 p.m. to watch the show everyone would be talking about the next day.

The first episode — October 4, 1964 — includes an interview with Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, a story about the Beatles, a tribute to Harpo Marx and “a tale of woe from the jocular Lord Denning.”

You can watch nine of the 50 episodes of This Hour has Seven Days at CBC Digital Archives. Unfortunately, the satirical sketches and songs that originally aired between news segments have been edited out due to copyright issues.

The long-running Fighting Words ranked among the most intelligent, provocative and popular shows of its day. It was a panel show with a simple premise: viewers send in controversial quotations and the panellists discuss them. From 1953-1962, host Nathan Cohen presided over verbal bombshells and spirited arguments of prominent thinkers, artists and controversialists, including Pierre Trudeau, Irving Layton, Robertson Davies, Norman Mailer, Peter Ustinov and many more.

CBC Digital Archives has 20 episodes of Fighting Words that you can watch.

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African American boy selling The Washington Daily News - sign on his hat reads, Have you read The News? One cent - headline reads Millionaire tax rends G.O.P.  8 November 1921

African American boy selling The Washington Daily News - sign on his hat reads, "Have you read The News? One cent" - headline reads "Millionaire tax rends G.O.P." 8 November 1921

If factual reporting is the thing that newspapers do best, why do they do so little of it?

I used to read newspapers every day.  That fell off long before I found online sources of information.  Newspapers today are entertainment, rarely a source for in-depth reporting.

Newspapers, like television news programs, decided quite a while ago that the attention span of their audience is too short to bother covering issues substantively.

Explain to me again why I should give a rat’s ass if newspapers fail?

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