Archive for August, 2008

What was life like before Jon Stewart?

This billboard is currently greeting the attendees of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul:

daily show billboard

via chez

Is sponsoring bloggers a waste of money?

Valleywag tries to answer this question.

What will happen if a city loses its last daily paper?

The Recovering Journalist has an interesting thought scenario that he illustrates with an imaginary newspaper called the the Whoville Bugle and its imminent demise: What Will Happen When the Presses Go Silent?

Did the media really scoop Obama’s text message?

The thunder stealers have been high-fiving each other all day. Armed with a newfound enthusiasm for investigative reporting unseen in the last eight years, the media feverishly turned over every stone and lead for the past week, desperately trying to uncover who Obama’s running mate would be. News outlets literally devoted millions of dollars of resources combing through the slim pickings that had been made available. Pundits and bloggers floated every anonymous rumor imaginable, each one adamantly determined to not let Obama fulfill his promise to make his supporters the first to know his choice via email and text message.

Thankfully, their gumshoe tactics paid off. Journalists have been running victory laps today, gloating over the fact that they had scooped Obama by revealing that Biden would be joining the Democratic nominee. This AP article sums up the media’s astonishing accomplishment perfectly: “The text message announcing Biden as Obama’s pick began filtering across the U.S. at 3:02 a.m. EDT Saturday, when most people were asleep. By then, it was old news, by today’s standards. The media had reported the pick more than two hours earlier.”

Yes, the media managed to scoop Obama by two whole hours. Not only that, but they broke the story at 1 a.m., when most of the nation was either already asleep or not watching the news.

Sarcasm aside, who are they kidding? Leading up to that 3 a.m. text message the media managed to float every thinly-sourced story announcing all sorts of decisions that Obama had supposedly made. When I went to bed last night slightly after midnight, the top story on Drudge was that thousands of Obama/Bayh bumper stickers had been uncovered, indicating that the Indiana senator would be sharing the ticket (conveniently that story can no longer be found on his site). Hundreds of blogs and news outlets were heavily promoting this “scoop” as late as 1 a.m. So given this, doesn’t the broken clock axiom — you know, being right two times a day — apply in this instance? After listening to five days of constant bullshit, did the few Americans who happened to be watching cable news at 1 a.m. — when this scoop finally came out — actually take it seriously?

For example, let’s take the conservative pundit who is most well-known for her fact checking: Michelle Malkin. When I checked her venerable website late last night she had up a post not only promoting the Drudge bumper sticker rumor, but also her anonymous sources as well pointing to Bayh: “A good friend of mine just informed me that his good friend in IL has his hands deep into selling political T-shirts and he got word that Evan Bayh from Indiana will be his running mate for VP.”

And then this morning Malkin has the nerve to wag her finger at Obama (as if she does anything else when referring to him) for getting scooped before he could alert his supporters; she even insinuates that the presidential candidate had no intention of telling his supporters before the media.

Will someone please write Malkin a polite email informing her that it’s rather easy to read through her posts from the previous night and then rub her nose in her own freshly-laid turds?

What a bunch of clowns. Let’s face it, millions of supporters got the news of Biden’s VP slot when their cell phones started beeping at 3 a.m. That’s when I found out about it for certain. This running narrative today that the media somehow scooped him is, frankly, bullshit.

Front page of Digg twice in one week

So my freelance article I wrote for PBS just made it to the front page of Digg. Luckily PBS’s servers are much stronger than mine.

Eight American Bloggers Detained in Beijing

Oh crap

At least eight American blogger-activists and several other foreigners have been detained in Beijing as the government intensifies a crackdown on pro-Tibetan protests in the home stretch of the Olympics, rights groups said on Wednesday.

Freelance article I wrote for PBS

Last week was light for me in terms of posting here because I was writing a freelance piece for PBS’s MediaShift. The article focuses on the online media coverage that will be offered at the 2008 Democratic Convention, specifically the bloggers that will be participating in the Big Tent. Click over here to read it.


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