Archive for crap journalism

How to practice honest journalism, in 26 seconds: VIDEO

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journalism

there is no news missing plane tweet media coverage

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Journalism, are you out there? Hello? There is no news any more. It's become commercialized, packaged, and infotained. It's all about ratings, not facts or investigative reporting.

So when someone comes along and makes a refreshingly honest statement about an ongoing news story, one that's been over-saturating the airwaves the way the GOP over-saturates its speeches with religious references, it's time to pause, blink, and applaud:

applause gif

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On Friday, Rachel Maddow did something we rarely see these days. She practiced honest journalism. Oh wait, she does that a lot. But this time she was so honest, so clearly and succinctly honest, that for those few seconds, I felt pure relief.

Relief from the constant bombardment of shoddy, desperate journalism by networks in search of an audience.

Relief from relentless speculation and painful reports after which the headlines are reversed within hours.

Relief from recap after recap of grasping at straws, straws that are breaking the spirits of loved ones who hang on every word.

So thank you, Rachel, for being responsible and sensitive:

"There is no news on the missing plane...

"There are NO developments to report...

"We will not try to turn the lack of news in this very sad story into something that sounds like news when it isn't."

"We will not try to turn the lack of news in this very sad story into something that sounds like news when it isn't."

Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled 24/7 coverage of nothing already in progress.

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Read this if you think "60 Minutes" Benghazi Exec. Producer should be dismissed

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benghazi benghazi benghazi

If you think the "60 Minutes" Benghazi executive producer should leave or get the boot, please go here to sign a petition.

Excerpts from the petition page:

Jeff Fager must step down immediately because of his role in the 60 Minutes Benghazi debacle. If he doesn't step down voluntarily, he must be dismissed.

Why is this important?

The CBS news program 60 Minutes recently produced and aired a critically flawed and wildly inaccurate "news" segment on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Jeff Fager, the Chairman of CBS News and the Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, made a decision to broadcast this factually flawed "news" report based solely on the potential monetary benefits provided by sensationalist ratings and book sales. [...]

After stonewalling for days, 60 Minutes finally offered an insufficient apology for its factually incorrect report on Sunday, November 10. However, the so-called apology didn't give a full account of what went wrong, what would be done to make sure it doesn't happen again, or how those responsible would be held accountable...

For more information: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/11/08/from-proud-to-pulled-a-timeline-of-60-minutes-b/196801

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Payback time: You want speculation, news media? Fine. Let's speculate about you for a change.

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payback time

Day in and day out, I watch, read, listen, and write about news. And because I do so much watching, reading, and listening. I tend to notice recurring themes. A major recurring theme is how much time the so-called "news" [sic] media spends on speculation.

breaking speculation

Most of that speculation centers on the 2016 presidential election, focusing specifically on Hillary Clinton vs (currently) Chris Christie. Newsflash, "journalists": It's only 2013, and you started this endless loop of What Ifs the day after Election 2012. This is ludicrous. This is not news, this is meaningless filler and a shameless ploy used to pull in viewers.

And hey viewers, how about you stop enabling?

Then again, there is very little "real" news reporting any more, not since news departments became commercialized all those years ago. Not since it became all about profit, which news stories sell, which headlines attract ratings, and as a result, attract sponsors and their buckets of money.

And don't get me started on media bias. The CBS "60 Minutes" Benghazi story scandal is only the latest, and if you're a regular reader, you know that the Sunday morning talk shows have an obvious rightward slant.

But back to that nasty speculation habit. When you watch the "news" shows, you see them produce hours upon hours of What If about future elections, about the *gasp!* doomed fate of the Affordable Care Act, about which freedoms we might lose if we don't do something about some catastrophe that might or might not happen, about which new scandal *could* result from Darrell Issa's umpteenth witch hunt about absolutely everything/nothing.

You can actually see concrete examples of all this speculation in their  TV chyrons, like, Low Obamacare enrollment numbers: Sign of problems to come?"; "A third 'Bush' in office?"; "Will the world end in 2012? Many people believe so." We get a ton of cowardly headlines in the form of a question, Alex, so that nobody has to commit to actual, you know, reporting.

Facts schmacts.

Well now it's our turn. News outlets want to speculate? Fine. Let's turn the tables and speculate about them for a change:

  • Will Fox finally become defunct when Americans wake up and realize they're a bunch of propagandists and liars? You decide.
  • Will MSNBChristie require financial assistance when viewers revolt after O.D.ing on their constant fawning over the ::cough!:: "moderate" New Jersey photo op glutton? Who knows?
  • Will ABC's ratings take a fatal plunge the next time syrupy panel regular Peggy Noonan condescends ad nauseam on "This Week"? We'll find out.
  • Will CNN change its name to Comedy Central 2 when they become self aware enough to realize what a parody they've become? It's anybody's guess.
  • "Some say" cable news has crossed a line by being bought and paid for by right wing corporate cash monsters who find themselves more than a little obsessed with Christie, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Marsha Blackburn, Reince Priebus, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. Could this spell trouble for attracting future investors? We'll have to wait and see.
  • "Anonymous sources" tell The Political Carnival that the glut of Big Pharma ads-- especially for Cialis-- that saturate cable news channels could lead to a revolt among increasingly hypochondriacal viewers, specifically bathtub owners. True? We can't say for sure.
  • We're hearing that air time spent on trivia-- like how many shoppers are lining up to buy the new iPhone, instead of on hard news stories-- could possibly-- we're speculating here-- cause riots among viewers with functioning brains. More on that as details emerge.
  • Rumors abound about the habit and practice of cable show hosts inviting other cable show hosts to provide commentary that they just gave on their own shows. Incestuous? Tweet us with your answers.
  • We're learning-- well, we've heard-- well, okay, we overheard-- that cable news viewers are about to retaliate en masse over all the in-house backslapping, "my friend" references, "be safe" cautions, and insufferable book plugs. True or false? At this point, we can only make an educated guess.

speculation what do I know

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This is what Meet the Press has come to

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waste of time

Seriously, NBC? When so many life-changing (and life-ending) events are taking place all over the world, this is what Meet the Press spends its time investigating?

Taegan:

According to a survey conducted by Meet the Press, 58% of the House of Representatives uses an iPhone, compared to 23% who use a Blackberry.

meet the press iphone poll

That was one of three-- count 'em, three-- polls they took on the subject of who uses which smart phone.

earth shattering

Remember when Meet the Press was must-see appointment television? Remember when news was news?

If you don't, if you're too young to recall the "good old days"-- when objective, fair, and honest investigative reporting was valued instead of commercialized "newsotainment" and staged, "balanced"overtalk by the usual cast of characters, augmented by time-wasting trivia-- then you've truly missed out.

Instead, what was once the gold standard of Sunday talk has devolved into polls on congressional cell phone preferences.

Perspective is a good thing. We seem to have lost ours.

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Doonesbury: "Where's the newspaper?" "It folded."

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reading newspaper

Doonesbury newspaper folded

"Where's the newspaper?"

"It folded."

See what Garry Trudeau did there?

And see what the newspaper industry is doing? It's folding, too, to my dismay. Maybe it will thrive online-- eventually-- and maybe billionaires like Jeff Bezos will be the ones to save them, but if so, save them at what cost to journalism?

How much (more) political influence will the Bezoses of the world exert, if any? How will journalism of the future look? Will objective reporting survive, or will opinion news swallow up what's left of real news? Will commercializing the news business even more doom it completely, or will the pendulum eventually swing back in favor of what many of us yearn for: quality, accurate, truthful reporting?

To quote Michael J. Doonesbury, "Gaaaah!"

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Secret recordings of Rupert Murdoch and Sun staff: "We will hit back."

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rupert-murdoch

Rupie was caught on tape, and Gawker has video and more details here:

ExaroNews a British investigative web site, has just published the full transcript of a secretly recorded meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the staff of The Sun, a U.K. tabloid owned by News Corp., in which Murdoch admitted that he was aware for decades that journalists from his newspapers had been bribing both police and public officials. [...]

The Sun staffers were irate over Murdoch's decision to supply mass internal communications to the police "that had betrayed confidential sources, some of whom were public officials who received no payment for information," reports ExaroNews.

This little chat happened in a boardroom at The Sun's headquarters in East London. Here's a snippet (bolding is Gawker's):

Murdoch acknowledges that illegal newsgathering practices were a long-standing part of the culture (emphasis added):

"I guarantee you that [medical support] will continue. And I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you’re convicted and get six months or whatever. I think it’s just outrageous, but—and I don’t know of anybody, or anything, that did anything that wasn’t being done across Fleet Street and wasn’t the culture. And we’re being picked on. I think that it was the old right-wing establishment, [Lord] Puttnam, or worse, the left-wing get-even crowd of Gordon Brown. There was a sort of—we got caught with dirty hands, I guess, with the News of the World, and everybody piled in. It was a get-even time for things that were done with The Sun over the last 40 years, 38 years, whatever it is."

Aww, poor wittle tings. They were being "picked on."

Watch and read more here.

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Why I didn't watch the Sunday talk shows today

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yell at tv

I made the mistake of turning on "Meet the Press" today. I lasted about seven minutes before screaming at the Tee Vee Machine and turning it off. The entire seven minutes was similar to what happened here: “Does this open the president up for criticism? Will critics have new ammo? Well, will they, huh? Huh?” #LibrulMediaMyAss

All I heard was Benghazi Benghazi Benghazi, criticism of the president over the Boston bombings, and then more hyperventilating about anything else that ever existed within the vast political scope of all things Obama. BAD Obama. FAILURE Obama. INEPT Obama. LEAD FROM BEHIND Obama. BLAME Obama.

I'm fine with healthy, constructive criticism, but this is out of control. There is no more news. News died when it was swept into the greedy, self-serving world of commercialization. What we have now is any excuse to create controversy, to even create a non-existent news story, in order to ramp up the ratings.

What better way for corporate-owned media to achieve higher Nielsens for their beloved corporate sponsors than to bash Obama, ignite passions, beat the drums for war, and scare viewers so that they'll glue themselves to the screen to catch the next BIG, SCARY CHYRON!

chyron syria cnn

chyron syria abc

But back to the Benghazi Noise Machine. Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claimed that President Obama's administration is threatening and intimidating witnesses, but he couldn't even back up his claim:

But hey, that's okay, people watched, some pointed and laughed, and some even mistook his warped opinion for fact. Key word: Watched. What more could a news program hope for? Oh wait, that was Fox, not news.

I previously posted a video of a segment in which Chris Hayes said this on his "All In" show:

“Question mark.” You know, there is this thing we do in cable news. Sometimes magazines do it too. You want to grab someone’s attention but the thing you want to say is just too irresponsible to get away with or stand behind. So, for example, maybe I want to say, in discussing Lindsey Graham’s demagoguery in constitutional due process, “Lindsey Graham, comma, Constitution hater.” So no, instead what we would say is, “Lindsay Graham, Constitution hater?” Since you are asking a question, you don’t have to stand behind what you are asserting.

And then, as if on cue, MSNBC displayed a chyron only a few minutes ago that read, "Lame duck already?" Since they asked, allow me to respond: "Idiotic question chyron?" Question mark?

chyron blitzer dept of jihad

chyron fox question scott brown

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