Tag: media

Something Thoreau wrote on August 9, 1858

“The editors of newspapers, the popular clergy, politicians and orators of the day and office-holders, though they may be thought to be of very different politics and religion, are essentially one and homogeneous, inasmuch as they are only the various ingredients of the froth which ever floats on the surface of society.”

As true now as it was back then, only the ingredients are blander than ever.

MG signing off (to seek out exotic seasoning)

The new Google News is what we say it is? (UPDATED)

Is Google moving into the [consent] manufacturing sector? Andrew Orlowski at The Register thinks so…

Make no mistake, Google is moving into new territory: not only making arbitrary, editorial choices – really no different to Fox News, say, or any other media organization. It’s now in the business of validating and manufacturing consent: not only reporting what people say, but how you should think.

Enough to make Noam Chomsky devour, even with a few extra grains of salt.

But on the heels of the information oligarchy pronouncement comes this:

Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Too close for comfort – something strange is afoot at the Circle K.

UPDATE: Lawrence Lessig, prominently mentioned in the WSJ article, calls the ‘pipe favors’ a made-up drama about an alleged shift in Obama’s policies about network neutrality. This reader thought the piece more akin to a David and Goliath preface, and thought little if anything about the politics (and had completely forgotten about it until Lessig chimed in). Others saw the business angle too.

More bigger, more harder

Following up on the bigger they are, the harder they fall micro-meme:

  • Former presidential candidate and billionaire H. Ross Perot’s family office is being sued by J.P. Morgan to the tune of three-quarters of a billion dollars. The problem – withering collateral against derivative contracts.
  • Media mogul Sumner Redstone is dumping assets to pay off creditors. The problem – piles of debt on top of slumping asset values (and the whopping hundred grand effort from the Midway sale makes it appear like someone is expecting a bailout too).
  • Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones’s flagship BVI Global Fund Ltd. is freezing withdrawals and splitting in two. The problem – highly illiquid emerging market securities brought on by the credit crunch and plummeting commodities prices.
  • Former investment bank Goldman Sachs is posting big losses. The problem – a non-existent M & A marketplace combined with a proprietary trading businesses that is beginning to look like Global Alpha.
  • None of the above mentioned are going to have a problem putting food on the table anytime soon. Still, where would I place my bets?

    Perot and Sumner dry up. For Perot it will be the much vaunted taste for municipal finance countered by a non-existent political profile, while in Sumner’s case it will be simple over-leverage in a dying industry. Meanwhile, Paul T. Jones and Goldman will become big winners as their ships right themselves. Their own bets are in – only time stands in their way, and that’s something they can both buy using planning and action (and a smattering of goodwill) as collateral.

    Sleazy Friday Links

    Getting ready for the weekend

      Topping the sleaze charts:

    • Government officials got big loan discounts from Countrywide. “Friends of Angelo” included, who else, but the heads of congressional banking and finance committees. Note – these folks voted for a government mortgage bailout plan, and no wonder – they’re getting foreclosed on.
    • Voted “Best Value From Your Stimulus Check”:

    • To hell with retail purchases – get “more bang” for your stimulus check dollar. A new “core inflation” measure is just around the corner…ex food and energy and sexual favors.
    • And last and least:

    • A judge recuses himself from obscenity case over a purportedly obscene website, but it seems what was truly obscene was the media’s lack of fact finding standards. The media will continue to cry about the internet killing them, never understanding the simple truth – their product is for shit.

    New World Meaning to “Betrayed by the Media”

    Alan Dershowitz and Bill Bennett collaborate:

    “We two come from different political and philosophical perspectives, but on this we agree: Over the past few weeks, the press has betrayed not only its duties but its responsibilities.” – via Instapundit.com

    I’ll bet the botnet building sucker who was “inadvertently” outed by the Washington Post is agreeing with those guys too.

    I don’t feel the least bit sorry for him.

    Online reporting protection dies quietly

    You aren’t going to find any scoops here, as I don’t pay much attention to politicians or celebrities, and I think the media is “pre-paid.” So it doesn’t really matter to me whether this site is afforded the same protections as the mainstream media. Nonetheless, we are all one big community, so it is a bummer to hear the Onine Freedom of Speech Act died.
    (more…)

    State of the News Media

    Journalism.org recently released their 2005 report on the state of the news media. We have seen a lot of interesting changes taking place in news. Participatory journalism, centering on the blogosphere, has been the main event. But lets not forget the battles Google News has had and is having, The New York Times purchase of About.com, and the number of longtime nightly news anchors calling it quits.

    I think this latest report may shed some light on the underlying issues which created some of the events above, as well as what the future holds. While not a quick read, the report can be printed in parts from the index. You can find it here: State of the News Media.

    More on the Blogging Assault

    Mark Cuban has a follow-up on bloggers pounding traditional media. In Political Bloggers – the new paparazzi, Mark presents the case for mass media outlets to stay on alert over this new force in reporting.

    Mr. Cuban suggests that traditional media outlets are going to see continued and accelerating activity from the blogging community, and that more prime-time reporters’ heads may roll as a result. I couldn’t agree more.

    Mark also suggested that the powers that be could head off this onslaught by showing some respect for the blogging community, and maybe even invite them in for a little tea and crumpets. I couldn’t agree more, again.

    But it just won’t happen. There is too much money (and arrogance) at play here. I suspect the bloodbath will continue.

    Meanwhile, when is my streamed, holographic, scent dispersing, “jump-into-the-set” programming going to start, Mark?

    You can read my original, comic post here.