Category Archives: media

newsflash: mainstream media sucks

while i watched the DNC i was persistently annoyed by the media coverage. it was completely substance-less. every single commentator that i saw discussed issues like: does john kerry need to hit a homerun? or not? did john kerry hit a homerun? or not? was his speech successful at reaching out to noncommitted voters? john kerry has to reach out to both his dedicated followers and the undecided. did he do it?

… and so on. and that’s just john kerry. pretty much every other aspect of the convention was covered similarly. this was a great speech. what will its effect be on john kerry’s need to hit a homerun? this speaker is staying on-message. this speaker went off-message. and so on.

nobody fucking addressed the substance. granted, the democrats tend to be a little thin on substance. but still, nobody discussed what kerry did and did not say, the criticisms any speaker did or did not make, the substantive proposals that speakers made. never. not once did i hear any of that discussion. and i watched and listened to and read a lot of coverage.

it’s just unbelievable how bad the media coverage of politics is. is this a new low? i can’t believe that it’s always been this bad. has it always been meta-level analysis? has it never been substantive analysis? do the media commentators and pundits even realize what they’re doing?

for another perspective: feed on feeds – Aaron Swartz: The Weblog – new items

where do you get your news?

this question was recently posed on the Mallet list [a group of mostly alums of a UofA student group]. of those who wrote in i was fairly shocked by the limited sources. one person said he really only got his news from the drudge report, remarking somewhat defensively that he knew some of us would say that explains a lot, but that the drudge report really was an excellent gateway to lots of information, plus some useful reporting.

i was thinking about that as i read about the drudge report’s recent ‘reporting’ of (impliedly unseemly) physical affection between kerry & edwards.

Drudge’s report says:


Hugs, kisses to the cheek, affectionate touching of the face, caressing of the back, grabbing of the arm, fingers to the neck, rubbing of the knees…

John Kerry and John Edwards can’t keep their hands off each other!

In the past 48 hours, “candidate handling” has become the top buzz on the trail.

News photographers have been going wild with photos of the two Johns.

“I’ve been covering Washington and politics for 30 years. I can say I’ve never seen this much touching between two men, publicly,” e-mailed one wire photographer.

When asked if the Johns are acting out a cynical focus group series of poses — perhaps to show warmth to the chilly Bush/Cheney — a Kerry spokesperson explained: “I think we’re just seeing genuine affection between them.”

But the spokesperson added, “I hope we do not see them wearing matching outfits when they ride bikes this weekend.”


basically, drudge showed a lot of pictures of kerry & edwards doing victory hands-over-head kind of things, patting each other on the shoulders, etc., and threw in some strange innuendos about homoeroticism. is there any explanation other than homophobia for this? or more correctly, any explanation other than an attempt to play on right-wing homophobia? disgusting.

this made me think about where do i get my media from? in an ordinary week, when i’m checking the news pretty regularly, my news diet looks like this:

  •,,, (daily)
  • a wide variety of ip/info/tech/geek news, including politech, lots of listserv delivery of newsletters (daily)
  •,,; local NPR, local pacifica, (2-4x/week)
  •, drudge report online, local xtian news radio station, right-wing talk radio (michael savage mostly),, (2-4x/month)
  • various topical blogs, e.g., baghdad burning (looking up blogs 2-3x/week & reading new posts)

reagan sucked

frankly i’m sick & tired of hearing all about reagan. he was charming & likable (to the rich & the conservative). he destroyed the soviet union (which was on a rapid slide to self-destruction). etc. anyway i am just irritated half to death by the reagan worship that is everywhere. it’s not surprising that he died, ferchrissake — he was 90-something and had alzheimer’s for years! so it’s not news. if they’re just doing historical retrospectives of him, then they should do the full thing — not just these adulatory fluff pieces. grrr.