Monthly Archives: December 2005

Pajama revolution

Pajamas Media was formed after a TV News macher dismissed bloggers’ reporting as just something from a lot of guys “in their pajamas,” meaning they weren’t showing up at a news room or assignment desk or even calling in to say where they were, for gosh sakes.  He should never have said that.  Now he has this to contend with, complete with a call to arms against the establishment:

“The core of the American people has manifested itself most purely in blogs because elites for so long controlled all avenues of communication.  Those days are over now.”

— Tammy Bruce, Editorial Board

It’s slick, it’s sharp, it looks to bloggers for news and commentary, pulling together what they say on a given breaking topic.  Yes, Virginia, there is something new under the sun.

 

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Pajama revolution

Pajamas Media was formed after a TV News macher dismissed bloggers’ reporting as just something from a lot of guys “in their pajamas,” meaning they weren’t showing up at a news room or assignment desk or even calling in to say where they were, for gosh sakes.  He should never have said that.  Now he has this to contend with, complete with a call to arms against the establishment:

“The core of the American people has manifested itself most purely in blogs because elites for so long controlled all avenues of communication.  Those days are over now.”

— Tammy Bruce, Editorial Board

It’s slick, it’s sharp, it looks to bloggers for news and commentary, pulling together what they say on a given breaking topic.  Yes, Virginia, there is something new under the sun.

 

Established dog bites back

“So yes on the evidence this is FUD,” says L’Ombre de l’Olivier, meaning the “fear uncertainty and doubt” that attacks a “large incumbent company . . . when it sees a threat on the radar screen from a start up.”  He refers to the WaPo “hit job” on embedded blogger-journalist Bill Roggio — Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage, which Roggio rebutted in Disinformation Operations: Flaws in The Washington Post’s article on Information Operations.

L’Ombre calls the WaPo story

fascinating stuff because the production of FUD is a sign of an organization whose product is facing a competitive threat that it can’t beat head to head. I would say that Bill and Michael Yon, Michael Totten and, for that matter the Iraqi bloggers at Pajamas Media, are indeed a threat to the MSM [MainStreamMedia] foreign reporters. The reason they are a threat is that they are providing a better quality story. They don’t make the elementary mistakes that MSM journos do such as calling a Bradley a tank or failing to note such inconsistencies from their sources. One could go on, but the fact is that Bill & co, as well other Citizen Journalist efforts are making it clear that journalism is not something that has, in the jargon, a moat or high barriers of entry. In fact thanks to the web it has about the lowest barrier of entry of any profession. All that is required is a story and an ability to write and the web then helps that story and writing ability, if either or both are attractive, to get wider coverage.

You don’t need a master’s from Columbia or Medill, you don’t need apprenticeship at City News.  No wonder the officially accredited take umbrage.

Established dog bites back

“So yes on the evidence this is FUD,” says L’Ombre de l’Olivier, meaning the “fear uncertainty and doubt” that attacks a “large incumbent company . . . when it sees a threat on the radar screen from a start up.”  He refers to the WaPo “hit job” on embedded blogger-journalist Bill Roggio — Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage, which Roggio rebutted in Disinformation Operations: Flaws in The Washington Post’s article on Information Operations.

L’Ombre calls the WaPo story

fascinating stuff because the production of FUD is a sign of an organization whose product is facing a competitive threat that it can’t beat head to head. I would say that Bill and Michael Yon, Michael Totten and, for that matter the Iraqi bloggers at Pajamas Media, are indeed a threat to the MSM [MainStreamMedia] foreign reporters. The reason they are a threat is that they are providing a better quality story. They don’t make the elementary mistakes that MSM journos do such as calling a Bradley a tank or failing to note such inconsistencies from their sources. One could go on, but the fact is that Bill & co, as well other Citizen Journalist efforts are making it clear that journalism is not something that has, in the jargon, a moat or high barriers of entry. In fact thanks to the web it has about the lowest barrier of entry of any profession. All that is required is a story and an ability to write and the web then helps that story and writing ability, if either or both are attractive, to get wider coverage.

You don’t need a master’s from Columbia or Medill, you don’t need apprenticeship at City News.  No wonder the officially accredited take umbrage.

Get serious

ARE PHONE COMPANIES HELPING THE GOVERNMENT SPY?

One question arising from the revelation that the government monitored phone calls without court approval is whether phone companies cooperated

is online (email) head for Chi Trib page-one, top left one-column story by telecom writer Jon Van.  It’s punchy and gets right to it.  The hard-copy head is something else, vague and indirect:

Phone giants mum on spying
In past, industry has cooperated with U.S.

It’s as if you play it vague and indirect with breakfasters and Metra riders because Trib is comfy waking-up fare, but you don’t really get serious until you’re online.

Meanwhile, it’s the civil liberties angle again, not defense.  Is it ever defense?  Trib editors — news editors, that is — just don’t get it: a) we’re at war and b) there are other news-deciders to follow besides NY Times, whose sloppiness in reporting the NSA concoction has been amply debunked by Power Line, where you can find a really serious treatment of the subject.

Later:

Reader Bob asked, “Where  would Cynthia get such info?” 
I noted that as for cooperation with the Chinese, Drudge had it months ago, quoting a mainstream source.
Reader Cynthia:
Funny you should mention the Drudge Report. I was just in Japan, visiting some missionary friends, and another missionary I met while I was there loved having someone to talk politics with, and told me he really relied on Drudge to keep him informed of what was really happening in the U.S.

I will say, on behalf of Ms, that at least they just developed software that warns people when they are saying something unacceptable: putting in the wrong words prompts the error message “This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item.” Forbidden speech includes the Chinese for “democracy,” “demonstration”, “democratic movement” and “Taiwan independence.”

A friend of mine who is very involved in the Libertarian party (started the Illinois chapter, in fact, and has been their candidate for Senator at least a couple of times) got rid of SBC as her ISP, she was so upset about their participation in Chinese censorship. While I confirmed the Microsoft story myself before saying anything (I do know that rule), my friend has such good contacts that it didn’t seem necessary to check on the SBC story — and having traveled quite a bit in China myself, I can’t imagine anyone being allowed to operate any business there if they didn’t cooperate. China’s government knows we’re drooling over China as a market, and they don’t feel any pressure to alter their humans rights position.

Get serious

ARE PHONE COMPANIES HELPING THE GOVERNMENT SPY?

One question arising from the revelation that the government monitored phone calls without court approval is whether phone companies cooperated

is online (email) head for Chi Trib page-one, top left one-column story by telecom writer Jon Van.  It’s punchy and gets right to it.  The hard-copy head is something else, vague and indirect:

Phone giants mum on spying
In past, industry has cooperated with U.S.

It’s as if you play it vague and indirect with breakfasters and Metra riders because Trib is comfy waking-up fare, but you don’t really get serious until you’re online.

Meanwhile, it’s the civil liberties angle again, not defense.  Is it ever defense?  Trib editors — news editors, that is — just don’t get it: a) we’re at war and b) there are other news-deciders to follow besides NY Times, whose sloppiness in reporting the NSA concoction has been amply debunked by Power Line, where you can find a really serious treatment of the subject.

Later:

Reader Bob asked, “Where  would Cynthia get such info?” 
I noted that as for cooperation with the Chinese, Drudge had it months ago, quoting a mainstream source.
Reader Cynthia:
Funny you should mention the Drudge Report. I was just in Japan, visiting some missionary friends, and another missionary I met while I was there loved having someone to talk politics with, and told me he really relied on Drudge to keep him informed of what was really happening in the U.S.

I will say, on behalf of Ms, that at least they just developed software that warns people when they are saying something unacceptable: putting in the wrong words prompts the error message “This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item.” Forbidden speech includes the Chinese for “democracy,” “demonstration”, “democratic movement” and “Taiwan independence.”

A friend of mine who is very involved in the Libertarian party (started the Illinois chapter, in fact, and has been their candidate for Senator at least a couple of times) got rid of SBC as her ISP, she was so upset about their participation in Chinese censorship. While I confirmed the Microsoft story myself before saying anything (I do know that rule), my friend has such good contacts that it didn’t seem necessary to check on the SBC story — and having traveled quite a bit in China myself, I can’t imagine anyone being allowed to operate any business there if they didn’t cooperate. China’s government knows we’re drooling over China as a market, and they don’t feel any pressure to alter their humans rights position.

The Montana story, yes!

Chi Trib big page one head with beaucoups de pix, 30 head shots of the kind they run of U.S. military casualities hits the breakfast-table and strap-hanger reader this morning smack dab in the eyeballs— hot, HOT news about World War I (One!) civil liberties violations in MONTANA!  “JAILED FOR THEIR WORDS: A law passed during World War I pitched Montanans into prison for critical remarks; law students are seeking clemency for them”  Wuxtry, wuxtry is right.  Wow.

Go to page 18 for rest of hard-copy story and see new head, “SPEECH; Patriot Act is like sedition laws, some say,” and it all becomes clear: agenda alert! agenda alert! Left-wing, pseudo-liberal, anti-war bias!  Left-wing, pseudo-liberal, anti-war bias!  (The Trib web site buries this story, by the way.)

But wait.  Maurice Possley, writer of all 1,493 words of this story, not counting generous captions under nine page-18 pix, helped edit a book on the subject during a sabbatical-teaching stint two years ago at U. of Montana.  And he had this in the bottom drawer for a while, and many are on vacation during these CHRISTMAS holidays, so what the hay, goose this story.

The really grand thing is, it fit the zeitgeist embraced by apparently most Chi Trib editors and writers perfectly, namely left-wing, pseudo-liberal, antiwar . . .  But wait.  Said that already, didn’t I?

Same day’s hard-copy Trib has Charles M. Madigan trying to get something going on “national health care”! Yes, but we call it Hillary-care where we come from, and recall it bombing a few years back for lack of political support.  We expect the Madigan treatment to be even-handed, of course, like his Sunday Perspective section.  And that last calls, I fear, for Irony Alert!  Irony Alert!

The Montana story, yes!

Chi Trib big page one head with beaucoups de pix, 30 head shots of the kind they run of U.S. military casualities hits the breakfast-table and strap-hanger reader this morning smack dab in the eyeballs— hot, HOT news about World War I (One!) civil liberties violations in MONTANA!  “JAILED FOR THEIR WORDS: A law passed during World War I pitched Montanans into prison for critical remarks; law students are seeking clemency for them”  Wuxtry, wuxtry is right.  Wow.

Go to page 18 for rest of hard-copy story and see new head, “SPEECH; Patriot Act is like sedition laws, some say,” and it all becomes clear: agenda alert! agenda alert! Left-wing, pseudo-liberal, anti-war bias!  Left-wing, pseudo-liberal, anti-war bias!  (The Trib web site buries this story, by the way.)

But wait.  Maurice Possley, writer of all 1,493 words of this story, not counting generous captions under nine page-18 pix, helped edit a book on the subject during a sabbatical-teaching stint two years ago at U. of Montana.  And he had this in the bottom drawer for a while, and many are on vacation during these CHRISTMAS holidays, so what the hay, goose this story.

The really grand thing is, it fit the zeitgeist embraced by apparently most Chi Trib editors and writers perfectly, namely left-wing, pseudo-liberal, antiwar . . .  But wait.  Said that already, didn’t I?

Same day’s hard-copy Trib has Charles M. Madigan trying to get something going on “national health care”! Yes, but we call it Hillary-care where we come from, and recall it bombing a few years back for lack of political support.  We expect the Madigan treatment to be even-handed, of course, like his Sunday Perspective section.  And that last calls, I fear, for Irony Alert!  Irony Alert!

Rudolph cooked

* Late entry for lead of the year just in, page 2 of Chi Trib, AP story from Alaska by Rachel d’Oro about animal researcher checking out reindeer meat as tasty and good for you, with view to steaks and chops:

 FAIRBANKS, Alaska — He has a long beard, wears a red parka and hangs out with reindeer just a short sleigh ride from an interior Alaska town called North Pole.

That’s where the resemblance ends.

* Ditto for positive-news story out of Iraq, at least for Trib, on page one, by Aamer Madhani, “Among Iraqi army units, 1 really earns its stripes: Tiger Battalion has grown from shabby militia to role model for building the fledgling force,” with this lead:

MUQDADIYAH, Iraq — As Iraqi army Capt. Saddam Ismail Abid commanded a vehicle checkpoint in this northeastern city one recent day, he was more like the sheriff of Mayberry than a member of Iraq’s most hunted fraternity.

Drivers shook his hand, acquaintances peeked out of their cars to offer him kisses on the cheek and a few neighbors even pulled over to chat with him about his recent wedding. Abid was so relaxed that he said he didn’t believe it was necessary to wear his body armor.

“There is nothing to be afraid of,” Abid explained. “Muqdadiyah’s people love the Tiger Battalion.”

* But yesterday Sun-Times Controversy section ran a Salon-dot-calm counterstrike vs. “Neocon” pre-emptive strike on Spielberg’s “Munich” without running the pre-emptive strike.  We heard the rebuttal but not the original, which had not been reported by S-T.  Why not both together?

* Robin Williams “mostly tries to keep politics out of the show after he did a few jokes about Bush’s brainpower at a base in 2003 and got a chilly reception,” says a UK Guardian story out of Washington about stars’ unwillingness to perform for troops in Iraq.  Once there were Bob Hope, Duke Ellington, The Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, and the like.  Now there are Williams, 50 Cent, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and their like.

Note the antiwar Williams as a regular.  Ditto Al Franken.  But it’s dangerous to be there and unpopular as a cause among Hollywood-ites.  Some or many don’t want to seem to seem to be endorsing the war, says Wayne Newton, who took over from Bob Hope as chief USO recruiter.

Rudolph cooked

* Late entry for lead of the year just in, page 2 of Chi Trib, AP story from Alaska by Rachel d’Oro about animal researcher checking out reindeer meat as tasty and good for you, with view to steaks and chops:

 FAIRBANKS, Alaska — He has a long beard, wears a red parka and hangs out with reindeer just a short sleigh ride from an interior Alaska town called North Pole.

That’s where the resemblance ends.

* Ditto for positive-news story out of Iraq, at least for Trib, on page one, by Aamer Madhani, “Among Iraqi army units, 1 really earns its stripes: Tiger Battalion has grown from shabby militia to role model for building the fledgling force,” with this lead:

MUQDADIYAH, Iraq — As Iraqi army Capt. Saddam Ismail Abid commanded a vehicle checkpoint in this northeastern city one recent day, he was more like the sheriff of Mayberry than a member of Iraq’s most hunted fraternity.

Drivers shook his hand, acquaintances peeked out of their cars to offer him kisses on the cheek and a few neighbors even pulled over to chat with him about his recent wedding. Abid was so relaxed that he said he didn’t believe it was necessary to wear his body armor.

“There is nothing to be afraid of,” Abid explained. “Muqdadiyah’s people love the Tiger Battalion.”

* But yesterday Sun-Times Controversy section ran a Salon-dot-calm counterstrike vs. “Neocon” pre-emptive strike on Spielberg’s “Munich” without running the pre-emptive strike.  We heard the rebuttal but not the original, which had not been reported by S-T.  Why not both together?

* Robin Williams “mostly tries to keep politics out of the show after he did a few jokes about Bush’s brainpower at a base in 2003 and got a chilly reception,” says a UK Guardian story out of Washington about stars’ unwillingness to perform for troops in Iraq.  Once there were Bob Hope, Duke Ellington, The Marx Brothers, Judy Garland, and the like.  Now there are Williams, 50 Cent, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and their like.

Note the antiwar Williams as a regular.  Ditto Al Franken.  But it’s dangerous to be there and unpopular as a cause among Hollywood-ites.  Some or many don’t want to seem to seem to be endorsing the war, says Wayne Newton, who took over from Bob Hope as chief USO recruiter.

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