Close Reading

Good job Bill Kristol:
“Nicht so schnell, Herr Spörl,” I thought, drawing on what Obama would consider my embarrassingly limited German. Not so fast.
Nice. I get it. Obama is an elitist, an Ivy educated country-club set do-gooder who values "worldliness" especially because he can afford to travel abroad thanks to his rich background. And not only that, he knows German and thinks everyone should know German, i.e. is a Teutonic seeker of cultural Lebensraum along the lines of, oh, I don't know, Hitler!

Great work. Really subtle. About as subtle as this.


Chandra Story

In the process of reading the Washington Post's Chandra Levy Story. Thoughts and considerations to follow shortly, but I'm glad this story has returned; brings me right back to that time of innocence before 9/11, er, I mean time of total ignorance of the gathering storm of planes...

Love this quote:
The serial will show how the sensational nature of the media coverage quickly overwhelmed the investigation.

Also, I want to tackle the whole Reggie Lewis case (from a media criticism standpoint, naturally)... Today is the fifteenth anniversary of Reggie's death... Here is a nice article summarizing his career (via CelticsBlog).


John Edwards Love Child Story

While so many of my most loyal fans are off in Israel, I have to do something to will the gaping whole in my heart. So I am posting this bit of news: apparently John Edwards has a love child with a Southern California woman named Rielle Hunter. The National Enquirer presents some interesting details, but no pictures yet...

Great piece in Gawker today on the failure of the MSM to acknowledge the story. Money quote:
It's important to keep in mind, when reading this odd answer, that traditional news media used to have something of a lock on the dissemination of information, and allowed themselves to be convinced that they had a bizarre duty to filter even accurate information of interest to their audiences, and to do so in the service of reinforcing various social institutions and norms, even though their jobs, their Constitutionally-protected jobs, were to do just the opposite, to disseminate information and challenge long-cherished moral codes.
Let's see where this leads...


A Really Offensive Song About Tony Snow

Don't miss the scandalous revelations about Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in...

It's Snowing in Heaven

Special thanks to Dan for lyrical contributions. I welcome your lawsuit, old chum!


More Snow

This made me sick... Being eulogized by Bill Kristol... Talk about embarrassing!


Memory Lane: Bizarre Japanese Pop-Hits

So I was looking at Emmanuel Lewis's wikipedia page (what lead me to this?) where I was amused by the following "achievement," mistaking it for a cruel prank at the expense of our friend:
City Connection, a song performed by Lewis, was very popular in Japan in the mid-80s. Lewis' finesse for dancing was uncompromising during the filming of the video for this Japanese cult-classic. Lewis quickly won the hearts of millions in Japan, where he is called: "the dancer."
That last line seemed like a step too far... I mean, "the dancer"? Webster?

But after a brief Youtube search, I found this, which essentially confirms everything in that paragraph (except for the part about his "uncompromising" dancing... That has to have been written by a Japanese person!):

In all honestly, this is probably the most twisted and disturbing post I've ever written. I disgust even myself sometimes.


Wow... And You Thought Russert's death was Awkward

So Tony Snow is dead. I saw this one coming (I know, I'm a real sage, predicting someone with colon cancer is going to die, great call... BTW, anyone have an over/under on when Elizabeth Edwards dies from her (somewhat) recently returned cancer? Not to be morbid or anything, but this is a blog about death and the media after all...).

Anyway, Tony Snow crossed the line, big time. I keep reading that he was a great "journalist" and "commentator" (funny how especially Bush and McCain seem to feel this way, whereas MSNBC.com merely posts the generic AP Obit... Classy, on both fronts!), but in reality Tony Snow was little more than a brazenly partisan hack, so much so that he actually took the job as White House Press Secretary! In my mind this eternally disqualifies him from being seen as any kind of journalist, and it puts his "commentary" into the same bin as Karl Rove's, Terry McAuliffe's, James Baker's, etc. I mean, once you've actually worked for a president, especially in a role as public as press secretary, it pretty much has to discredit everything else you've done up until that point, no?

Yes, we all knew Tony Snow was conservative before he became press sec, and that is fine, but we didn't know he was willing to blatantly throw caution to the wind and just lie lie lie for the administration. We might have suspected as much, but it is actually surprisingly rare when we receive utter, unabashed confirmation of such suspicions. And now he's dead.

And what's worse than that, we have to hear/read constant tributes to what a good "person" he was. Bullshit. That guy was an apologist for one of the worst governments our country has had (in a while). Simple as that.


Death-Media Saint: Tim Russert

Okay, so we've had a few weeks to digest Russert's death. I for one haven't been able to watch a single MTP since the memorial show, and even that was beyond bittersweet.

Okay, enough pathological bloviating, this whole thing has been perhaps the best illustration of the whole Death-Media principle (best in a while). You all know how much I love MSNBC, but even the New Yorker's caught on to what a cult of personality it has become.

Olbermann's repeated, vindictive attacks on people who had "dared" to mention Russert in the shows after TR's death essentially confirmed for me what has become a central truth: the media elite are the new Mafia, and when Vito gets whacked by a coronary, you better fucking stand at attention at the funeral or your next on the "Worst Persons" list. In an earlier time I regarded Keith's lists as ironic exercises in self-awareness, but lately I'm not so sure. The fact that "special comments" are now advertised in promos isn't helping things either. Where once they seemed spontaneous and energized critical commentaries, lately they seem little more than canned rants, exercises in utterly oblivious obviousness. Gone is any shred of self-awareness.

I predict a flame-out/breakdown for Olbermann sometime in the next few months, probably after the election but maybe before; all the signs are their, namely mounting popularity (see Sportscenter), incredible stress from his higher than ever intra-media profile, and now the death of Russert gives him a perfect "excuse" for his insanity during the damage control phase of his exit from MSNBC ("Keith was really distressed by Tim's passing and needs some time to recover.")... You heard it here first.

But back to Russert... Everyone lost their s#!+ about that guy! The Times and Post, CBS, CNN, ABC, etc... Everyone!

More on this theme as I roll it around like sausages in gravy in my mind.

In Honor of the 4th

Mitt Romney Defends Himself Against Allegations Of Tolerance

A totally out-of-date Onion video without a trace of irony.

Reason Why All Polls Cannot Be Trusted

Okay, check out this story, or better yet, just its headline:
Study says many dial-up users don't want broadband
... First of all, anyone who is still using dial-up voluntarily is insane, and therefore any polling data he or she provides must be discarded immediately as an always-already outlying point of reference, no matter how many such points accumulate. Second of all the article goes on to explain how many of these people don't "want" broadband because it is too expensive... So, if it were cheaper they would want it... But doesn't that mean they already want it, but simply can't afford it? Could this headline be any more misleading?