Archive for real time

Webcams vs. TV news aka Real News vs. Speculative Blather


objectivity, webcams v news

There's a fascinating article about the recent crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in today's Los Angeles Times... in the Calendar section of all places. It compares and contrasts webcams points of view and TV news coverage of identical events. Per the author of the article, Robert Lloyd, "The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements..." it decides things for the viewer.

In other words, a stationary camera allows the onlooker to scrutinize details and activities beyond the flashy headlines.

TV news runs and reruns the most memorable or sensational clips ad nauseam, while webcams capture reality as it unfolds, impartially, albeit limited by its angle and vantage point. Details become focal points, if the audience is patient enough to notice them.

Sometimes the camera looked up the street and sometimes it looked down, but in either case it sat and looked. [...] Obviously, if you want to understand what's been happening in Ferguson, you need more than a Web stream. But it offers another way of looking at things and, in some ways, a more profound one.

The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements — the media also deform the reality they report upon...

Regular readers know that one of my pet peeves is media coverage, with all the endless speculation and misinformation out there, often just to boost ratings. And don't get me started on empty time-filling convos. Robert Lloyd pointed out a mutual gripe-- mind reading:

TV news cuts things up, cuts away and litters the screen with boxes and text and throws up a wall of speculating talking heads to clot the air with opinion, speculation and mind-reading.

Wolf Blitzer to Jake Tapper, on CNN, outside Brown's funeral: "I'm sure the Brown family is pleased that three officials from the White House have decided to attend this funeral today, right?"

Tapper: "I'm sure they are."

He went on to describe the contrast between Michael Brown's funeral service as depicted in select TV clips vs. observing the ceremony in real time from beginning to end, followed by a constant and objective video feed following mourners to the cemetery, including the surroundings. It can be more enlightening to watch the tedious but unblinking coverage by webcams than dramatic cable news sound bites that interpret developments for us.

As Lloyd put it, webcams continued to record what happened after the funeral: "Life went on." But we'll never see footage of that on TV.


Bill Maher Revives "Blacktracking" for the Bergdhalzi TeaNuts




Ponder this particular panel on Friday night's Real Time with the inimitable Bill Maher ...

Nicole Wallace, Bush The Dumber shill and (terrifyingly regular) bleating head on Schmoe Scarborough's morning roundtable of idiocy. A mediocre conservative National Review 'comic' whose name happily escaped. Baltimore's genius John Waters as the pop creative guest -- and Anthony Dicque Picque Weiner. In full NYC fighting mode.

We might just have to start loving us some Weiner again if he keeps decimating fools like Wallace.

The opening segment guest set the tone, it was a liberal wet dream. Holy Roller and Defender of Straight Families, Ralph Reed, actually had the stones to take on America's Best Atheist. I suspect Reed limped off stage afterwards for scrotum ice and a shot of moonshine before sprinting back to LAX.

When Reed tried to assign Christian religion value, boldly Bogarting “over half of the social capital” in the world.

Maher drawled, “Ralph, I could list so many things that are bad that religion has been responsible for: most wars, the Crusades, burning witches at the stake, 9/11–I could go on.”

Reed did the obligatory Chrrrrristian Charity Fallback Position, “Homeless shelters–90% of which are connected with a house of worship, many charities … " [yada yada yada] Maher then dropped the coup de grace: “Of course, but you can do those things without believing in magic. And people do.”
Enjoy for yourself.

On the Infamous Five Bearded Men that hypocrisy dispenser John McCain now fears more than Sarah Palin's mouth, Maher was in rare form.

On Open Carry, Maher quotably opined that the deadly Strap On penis-enhancers should stay out of stores and restaurants ... after all,  he doesn't go around randomly blowing bong hits at innocent diners at the Olive Garden. [Though Nicole Wallace was clearly in deep need.]

He skewered the GunNuttery as only Maher can. Bravo to Bill Maher for taking them on, how are we supposed to know that a guy with a military-style strap-on at Target isn't there to spray bullets in the Garden and Patio section?!

“You guys aren’t just firearm enthusiasts, you’re ammosexuals. And before you try and deny that you have some sort of unnatural romantic relationship with your gun, consider this: You’re taking it out to dinner. Because it completes you. Get a room.”

Maher Rules. Praise Jeebus he plays for our team.


Billy Kristol v. Bill Maher:  Too Delicious To Deny Yourself, Liberals

Bill Maher

Image: Crooks and Liars

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site,

"That's childish(!), " Seriously Scolded one miked man. Who has been the stentorian leader of the conservative crap-rag "Weekly Standard" since Rupert M. bankrolled it, a dedicated Iraq [and any and all other] War proponent and his own biggest fan ... William Kristol. Reduced to a carnelian-faced stammering middle-schooler in ten Real Time with Bill Maher minutes.

Military spending is sacred, yadda yadda yadda -- "Have you ever met a war you didn't love?!?" was zinged in by the razor-sharp host shortly before he visibly mastered some Kristol Rage and calmly suggested, "Let's move on ... Because I'm Pissed" at 10:31p.m. Live Vermont time. [4 Min. 10 seconds into the first Vid above.]

Image JimAbts dot com

Image JimAbts dot com

Kristol: "You made my night!" ... BoOOO! HisSSS! from Real Time fans and those of us  gleefully playing along at home; because Billy K is an arrogant, braggadocio-driven piss-poor excuse for a pundit.

He was ably partnered in neo-con strait-jacketed Margaret Hoover, Kristol's wingman and co-defense for the Military Industrial Complex. I do not recommend you read her book "American Individualism" even if she is Herbert Hoover's great-granddaughter ...Hoover was vastly more palatable in the Rear View.  It's SO not a stretch to picture the ambitious blonde crooning Bomb, Bomb Iran from the top of a Baby Grand.
The 'to his right' at table special guest, Bruce Dern, was a bloody return to sanity. How often can you say that? It's Maher's World after all.

The show then took a bit of a wondrous turn. [Video above.] Dern told a heartfelt and rarely heard tale of his own Dad's law partner, Adlai Stevenson, taking the fledgling NYC actor Bruce to supper and talking presidential campaign politics. It was riveting ... who knew Dern's great-great-Grandpa was the first non-Mormon governor of Utah?!?

And for the true Moments of Guffaw, Maher's last segment is a brilliant satire on income inequality and other assorted things Presently Pissing Him Off.  Praise Jeebus he is on  our side, liberals!


Video- Real Time: Bill Maher and Panel Talk Rob Ford and Drug Addiction 11/22/13