Archive for the ‘Journalism & Media’ Category

Here’s to 105 more years

Monday, January 28th, 2008

A fellow Roane Countian has made history for two reasons:

Sunday, Roxie McClendon celebrated an amazing milestone with family and friends.

She turns 105 years old this week.

At the celebration, she received a resolution from the Tennessee House of Representatives, and the City of Rockwood declared a day in her name.

Mrs. McClendon is known as one of the oldest practicing newspaper columnists in the world.

She is a contributor to the Rockwood Times.

McClendon is also considered to be the oldest active member of the Baptist Church in the United States.

When asked if she has any tips on passing the century mark, she stated, “Hard work and the good Lord.”

Truly an inspiration.

Pundits Wrong on NH

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

The last couple days the media has insisted the Democratic primary was going to be a blowout and the Republican primary was going to the a squeaker. Now it appears the exact opposite has happened.

Washington Times Reporters Can’t Do Math

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Apparently journalists aren’t required to pass math:

Among those like to vote in the GOP primary, Mr. Romney posted 29 percent, four percentage points ahead of Mr. McCain’s 24 percent.

It’s been a while since I took a math class, but 29-24=5, right?

Media Bias?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Recent headlines from Yahoo News (all Associated Press articles):

Huckabee plays the woe-is-me card

Some saw Mayor Giuliani as secretive

Paul keeps white supremacist donation

And then there’s this…

Edwards says he’s anti-poverty candidate

Fear Not the Media

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

For all the talk of CNN’s bias during the Republican debate last night–and it was clearly on display–I think it says something good about the Republicans that they were willing to go on CNN and take the heat, unlike the Democrats who apparently fear Fox News (or at least certain interest groups within their own party).

GOP Debate

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Caught the second half of the CNN/Youtube debate. It appeared to me that the big winners were Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and John McCain. Huckabee, of course, benefits the most from his performance, although McCain might improve his chances as well. All three men looked presidential and came across well.

Rudy seemed to struggle a little and seemed to get into personal acrimony. When you already have a bit of a reputation as a jerk to begin with, that’s not a good idea. Fred Thompson likewise struggled. His arguments are strong, but he definitely needs to work on his delivery.

No one else really shined. Ron Paul stood out, but only because his positions were so at odds with everyone else. He has a loyal following, but I think everyone who is likely to support him has already signed on. Duncan Hunter was almost invisible save for his silly answer on the gays in the military question. And Tom Tancrazy thinks space exploration is a waste of money, giving me yet another reason to dislike him (as if I didn’t have enough already).

UPDATE: Lots of folks are complaining that CNN’s bias was on display in the debate. I think they have a point. The questions selected clearly played into the stereotypes of Republicans as Bible thumpin’, homophobic gun nuts. Letting (if not planting) retired general Keith Kerr (who asked about gays in the military), a supporter of Hillary Clinton, ask a question and then get to respond to the candidates’ responses was also poor journalism (although I agree completely with the point he made).

ACK Over Time

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

There is some talk in the Tennessee blogosphere over some changes that have been made at Volunteer Voters. A.C. Kleinheider used to offer commentary for his postings, some of it quite controversial, but these days he’s mostly just serving as an aggregator, linking to his favorite postings in the Tennessee blogosphere without offering much commentary. Michael Silence has even posted a poll asking which AC is better, the old or the new.

So what do I think? I liked the old AC better. I still enjoy reading Volunteer Voters as it is a wonderful sampling of blogs across the state, but his commentary was outstanding. And I say this as someone who often disagreed with it. AC is an old school paleocon whose views sometimes border on radical. But he is an independent thinker with views which haven’t been sent through the typical Republican or Democratic talking points filter, unlike 95% of our current pundits. So I say free ACK. We can all use a good challenge, and he provides one to everyone on all sides of the political spectrum.

Here We Go Again

Monday, September 17th, 2007

I am quite happy that it appears that justice may finally catch up with OJ Simpson. I hope he goes to prison for good and I don’t mind giving every one of his accomplices immunity in exchange for testimony against him, if that’s what it takes to get it done. I am not looking forward to the inevitable media circus, however.

UPDATE: I’ve been thinking about how OJ Simpson puts on full display everything that is wrong with our culture – celebrity worship, a flawed justice system, racial disharmony, class issues, shallowness, the excesses of athletics… it’s all there.

Gill: Sensationalize Murders of White People Too

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Steve Gill thinks that the failure of the media to sensationalize the murder of two white students in Knoxville is evidence of racism. Or something:

Well, the Associated Press, Fox News, USA Today and CBS have already picked up the story about these white racist nutcases. That’s already more coverage than the black racist sickos in Knoxville received.

Now granted I haven’t watched the news very much lately, but I have not seen very much media coverage of the murders atrocity in West Virginia. Certainly not nearly as much as the numerous missing women have received (ironically, and by ironically I do mean intentionally, Gill doesn’t note the race of almost every one of these women) or the coverage of OJ Simpson.

Media criticism aside, it is true that there is a racial template the media tend to follow. I have noted as much. To me the answer would appear to be that the media should not sensationalize any murders. But to call of the media to sensationalize brutal murders in the name of some sort of racial equivalency, as Gill seems to do, just strikes me as despicable, and I can’t imagine the families of any of the victims appreciating his efforts. Can’t we just take a break from politics in situations like these?

UPDATE: Sean Braisted and Brittney Gilbert point out that the victim from West Virginia actually survived, thus it was not a murder as I originally stated. My apologies.

UPDATE II: This post is taking part in the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Smiles = Guilt?!?!?!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Steve Gill thinks the FBI is wrong to say that those two South Carolina students arrested for allegedly having pipe bombs might not be guilty of anything:

Then why didn’t they know where they were going, where they were and why they had pipe bombs in their trunk when the police first stopped them? Now, they may NOT be terrorists, but they may also be playing at it. They were facing pretty serious charges, yet they smiled in their mug shots like they were posing for Facebook?!?!?!

Now I have no idea if these men are guilty of anything, but I tend to trust the FBI’s judgment far more than Steve Gill’s. Especially since Gill’s strongest evidence against these men are their facial expressions in their mug shots.