Media

The Latest on the New Journalism

Coverage of the short-lived but very dramatic Iranian revolution points up the pluses and minuses of what is increasingly referred to as “the new journalism.” Coverage of breaking news on the spot by amateurs using phone cameras and Twittering on the Internet permits immediacy and verisimilitude by portraying events as they happen. Because it is not curated, observers have no way to assess the truthfulness of what they see.
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The Meanings of MSM

It’s easy to get confused. Until bloggers started disparaging the “mainstream media,” I always thought “MSM” was a gay-guy thing in the Personals.

One can only imagine the quandary for a gay male blogger. Does he place his “MSM” ad in the “MSM”?

This is not LGBT-bashing, by the way. Let’s leave that to the conservatives and those who pander to their homophobic bigotry, the ones who don’t even know what “LGBT” means.
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White House Broadcasts Send Wrong Signal

The media are obsessed, if not enamored, with President Barack Obama. That's not exactly a news flash, but in the 2008 presidential campaign and through the first 100 days of his presidency, Obama didn't have the networks' seal of approval.

Recent moves by ABC and NBC threaten that.

A few weeks ago, NBC aired a positive, though thoroughly interesting, special on Obama. Such moves are nothing new, even if this seemed especially laudatory; networks have frequently devoted time to "A Tour of the White House," or a similar program.
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Perhaps Just One More Word on Palin Versus Letterman

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has graciously accepted David Letterman's second attempt at what he is trying to pass off as an apology for his inappropriate "joke" about her daughter having sex with A-Rod. Good for Sarah — but she really didn't have to.

After the increasingly unfunny late-night show host "joked" about Palin's 14-year-old daughter becoming pregnant by an adult male athlete while accompanying the governor to a Yankees game on her visit to New York, there was, understandably, a firestorm. Even Letterman's biggest fans had trouble defending him.
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Letterman Apologizes (And Score One for Palin)

"I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed ... It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault ... I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future," David Letterman said on "The Late Show" last night.

After a week of controversy, the apology was spot-on and came not a moment too soon.
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Dave Must Go

I've never been a devoted fan of David Letterman, but I've watched his show enough to appreciate his wit. He can be truly funny, and his political humor, though always one-sided, is some of his best work.

But this week he went too far.

By now, more people know about his remarks Tuesday night — about Palin, mother and daughter — than they do about the potentially regime-changing election in Iran and the stiff new U.N. sanctions against North Korea.
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Bill O’Reilly Finally Exposed

The big media shootout is over, and the final score is: CNN 1; Bill O’Reilly 0.

In case you missed it, the shootout kicked off when O’Reilly and other Fox News anchors started spreading the outrageous claim that CNN gave massive coverage to the murder, in church, of Dr. George Tiller, but zero coverage to the murder in Arkansas of Army recruiter William Long.

Using talking points no doubt provided by the Republican National Committee, O’Reilly told his viewers that “all day long,” CNN anchors had ignored Long’s murder until Anderson Cooper’s 10 p.m. broadcast. This proved the “liberal bias” of CNN, O’Reilly charged. They care more about abortion doctors than members of the military.

The only problem: It wasn’t true. Not even close.
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The Mean Machines

It's a variation on one of our great philosophical questions: "If Newt Gingrich says something utterly ridiculous, and nobody is listening, did he really say it?”

The answer is "Of course not. What a silly question.”

The problem is that the Newts and Rushes and their counterparts on the left have built entire careers because we pay attention to their bombast. Also, might I add, they've accumulated sizable fortunes.
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David Brooks: Relativist, or Just a Critical Legal Studies Theorist?

Like most Democrats, I love reading David Brooks, but a few of his latest columns are venturing into dangerous territory normally reserved for first-year philosophy students who discover relativism and unknowingly repeat that famous line from “The Big Lebowski”: Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Brooks has allowed his curiosity for the latest social science research on cognition and decisionmaking to lead him to make some intellectually sloppy and relativistic arguments. In a column last month, he suggested that all rational thought was an illusion and absolute truth is an anachronistic outpost of dead Greek men.
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Secrecy and Democracy

Consider one of the Franken Rules of Life: There is nothing good that someone won't corrupt.

Today we talk about secrecy. Obviously, there are many worthwhile reasons to keep things confidential. There is sensitive personal information that is no one's business except those who require that you reveal it to them as a condition for something they can give you in return.
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