PoliOlogy Returns! Media Madness Edition


Hey all,

I’m sure most of you who know me or read me had forgotten about this blog, but as mentioned in the last post, Poliology is getting back on track. First a brief explanation to why it went away:

1. Post-Election blues–Networks have even been fighting to find stories after the biggest Presidential election in a long time. Yours truly can’t take what little spare time he has to go a’searchin’

2. Tell you later

3. I’m out for out of the apartment for no less than 14 hours some days. Crazy scheduling.


But enough my own backstory/excuse. Your favorite media minnow is back to chomp on some shark!

1. Brown v. Rendell 2008

Boy (bad word choice!), this one was a hoot. Campbell Brown attacking Governor Ed Rendell for stating that Janet Napolitano is perfect for the job of Homeland Security Chair because she “has no family, no life.” Brown decries what Rendell said (off the record, mind you) as sexist. Bullshit, Campbell! (Are you jealous I can actually say “shit”?)

People who don’t have lives, all people, tend to be great at their job. What the hell else are they going to worry about? If you have aspirations as high as a major government position, chances are, your family life will often take a back seat.  I’ve had many professors and mentors of both sexes who have forgone having kids, because, quite frankly, they would have interfered with their career ambitions. Kids do that; they cost money, rich people often don’t let kids get in the way if they have them. It’s called “a nanny,” “neglect” or “both.” In fact I remember Adam Carolla stating his (actually kinda sexist) view that ugly fat men are paid more than women because they have nothing else to live for, and thus they work harder. 

Even more depressing was watching Jack Cafferty call Ed Rendell “sub-human” the next day following Brown’s made-up rant.  CNN are trying to make a star out of someone again. Major government travesty in New Orleans? Send the good-looking guy to stand in the water and yell at a public servant who probably had little to do with the recovery effort.  McCain campaign constantly lies? Let’s send the pretty girl to try to make the hapless spokesperson back it up.

Jesus, at least David Gregory has tried to ask the White House tough questions. More on that later.

2. Oh my God, the Newspaper industry is about to dissappear.

Tribune files bankruptcy, NY Times asking for a 225 million dollar loan (I thought there was no credit market these days?). LA Times is about to be sold (maybe to someone whose other notable business market is also dying). What the hell will we even read anymore, if not blogs? But Wait…

3. Arianna Huffington fucks up blogging for the rest of us.

In an appearance that didn’t appear on her own Huffington Post until a couple of days after, Arianna spoke Palinese in her interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.  The interview was more uncomfortable than a Brookstone chair with a dead battery. Huff clearly thought this was going to be a patsy interview with so called liberal Stewart, but as in turns out Stewart will tear anyone a new one. Stewart’s questions, repeated several times, several ways, were simple: What is blogging and why does blogging matter?  Huff’s attempt at answering looked like Tracy Ullman’s parody of her. Arianna tried to describe it as some sort of visceral connection with the world (it’s not), some sort of rough draft of  history (which she stole from Robert Meacham when he went on TDS talking about the off the record Palin interviews) and then there was some irrationality about cheese.

Stewart’s point was rather simple: blogging is $#%#$^ing writing. It’s just writing. It’s just people writing together online. Some is good (please?) , some is bad, some is weird. But what neither really got around to stating was that blogging is flat out replacing traditional media. People realize they no longer have to pay. Is the NY Times online opinion page any different than an in-depth blog? Would an informed cheese blog (humoring Arianna here) be any different than a magazine on cheese? The answer is, not really, except you don’t have to pay for the blog, and you get access to all of its archives.

Of course in this economy, is it really a good thing to replace a whole bunch of stuff that people pay for, with a whole bunch more stuff that people don’t? Hasn’t millions of dollars been taken out of the economy by blogging and online media? Probably, yes. Let’s face it, PoliOlogy here doesn’t even advertise. I still think I did one of the best projections on the VP candidates on the internet, and certainly did a lot better than traditional media dinosaurs. Shouldn’t I be paid?

But then there is the whole conundrum that is online advertising. Even with narrowcasting (thanks communication infomatics!), do people even click on banner ads? Probably not. People don’t even watch commercials anymore thanks to DVR.  

People better wake up to what’s going on. This is no less than revolutionary, and not in the way Blu-Ray is a revolution. This is a complete change in the way we get media. This is the online printing press, simple as that. At a certain point nepotism (ie Kristols, Buckleys) will be killed by a simple lack of talent. Pretty faces may still work, but not for people really looking for news, where on the internet, you’re physical identity is almost trivial when it comes to blogging. One wonders how media will even be marketed anymore, whether it be through cumbersome social bookmarking (as it stands now online, this seems to be the primary method) or some other fashion. One must really wonder how to make money off of all of this if ads are easily ignored, and sources for ads are more dispersed than they’ve ever been.

That’s not my job though, thinking about how to save commercial media. Thank God. Yours truly is just one of those tearing it down.

4. And Finally, who does Meet the Press, grandaddy of traditional commercial media, pick as their new host?

Its another boring White guy who has no analytical capabilities. Sweet NBC.

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