Archive for the ‘Journalism & Media’ Category

Half Hour News Hour Canceled

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Fox New’s Daily Show rip-off, the Half Hour News Hour has been canceled. I only watched this show once; the first episode. I didn’t bother to watch it again. It was overtly partisan and the anchors just did not make me laugh. (The ridiculous canned laughter actually drew attention to the idiocy of the show.) Say what you will about Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert; they are funny. I often disagree with their politics, but they can make me laugh.

The Half Hour News Hour, not so much. Personally, I don’t think it belonged on a news network in the first place. It, and it’s silly late night cousin Red Eye would be more at home on the Fox network than on Fox News. But if we’re going to produce humor, why not have a host who is actually, you know, funny? Dennis Miller, a hilarious comedian, is a Fox News contributer. Why wasn’t he given the show instead of the two nobody actors? Perhaps he was savvy enough to recognize a bomb when he saw one.

I doubt that many viewers will mourn the loss of the Half Hour News Hour. Programs come and go, and it certainly wasn’t notable in any way.

The Apocalypse Approaches

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Maybe this explains Fox News’ obsession with Paris Hilton and other “soft news” (actually, “non-news”) stories:

Larry King’s interview with Paris Hilton averaged 3,079,000 viewers last night, according to live viewer data (not including same-day DVR viewership) from Nielsen Media Research.

In the 25-54 demo, King averaged 1,336,000 viewers.

King almost doubled Hannity & Colmes in total viewers (1,621,000) and tripled the show in the demo (382,000). MSNBC had 502,000 viewers, including 205,000 in the demo, for the hour.

I could get all preachy, but really, what’s the point anymore?

Headline of the Day

Friday, May 4th, 2007

A Knoxville News-Sentinel headline: “Porn pilferer slips away with booty”.

The first line is also pretty funny: “A sticky-fingered adult bookstore customer allegedly shoplifted a handful of magazines this morning and then ended up driving over a clerk’s ankle while speeding away in a car, according to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.” I thought the Sentinel was a family newspaper.

Booting Boortz

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

James Joyner reports that a radio station in Virginia might pull the Neal Boortz show due to some controversial remarks he made following the Virginia Tech shooting:

Boortz echoed a theme expressed by many that the victims were “standing in terror waiting for (their) turn to be executed.” Station manager Scott Stevens was appalled, as were some Democratic members of the Virginia legislature. Delegate Stephen Shannon stated, “I feel (Virginia radio stations) have a sense of public responsibility in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy to exercise some restraint. What they did was let this broadcaster peel off outrageous assertions that somehow it was the fault of the students and the faculty members who were killed or injured…There’s simply no place for this out-of-state radio host to make such claims on Virginia’s airwaves immediately after this tragedy has taken place.”

I listen to Boortz occasionally, usually in small doses since his constant whining tends to get old fast. Like Joyner, I don’t think pulling his show is an appropriate reaction to his admittedly asinine remarks following the massacre at Virgina Tech. Boortz’s schtick is that he is abrasive, controversial host. Firing him for doing his job seems inappropriate.

Rosier Days Ahead

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Apparently The View has axed Rosie O’Donnell. Oh what will the cable news networks have to talk about without her?

The Blame Game

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Been hearing rumbling from all over the political spectrum about who or what is to blame for the Virginia Tech massacre. Some say the gun ban on campus. Some say liberalism. Some say violent video games. Some say the VT administration. Some even suggest a lack of courage on the part of the victims (proving that ghouls come in all political stripes).

And people wonder why Americans hate politics. It’s time to get past the political narratives, folks. Assigning blame to people or factors other than the actual culprit is simply dishonest and slimy. At the end of the day, there is only one person who is responsible. And he is this scumbag:

Cole for Imus

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

John Cole provides the best overview of the Don Imus situation I have read so far. Although the language might be a little rough, I encourage you to read the whole thing (it’s one of the few examinations of the situation that does raise some important points). Money quote:

No one has learned anything from this. No one will learn anything from this. There will be no national dialog on race, other than people babbling that there should be a national dialog on race. Civil rights was not advanced one bit. No chance was given for Imus to make things right, no time was spent evaluating what the best response to this situation might be. It was sheer opportunism all the way around, led by a chorus of self-aggrandizing hacks all too eager to milk the situation for all it was worth. All that has been learned in this whole, sordid affair is that when a flawed man does or says something stupid and offensive, the appropriate thing to do is to try and find away to get the most profit for yourself, your cause, or your company, and to run with it.

Imus deserved to be fired for this, probably, but he also probably deserved to be fired for any number of statements or sketches over the past dozen years. What makes this last week so obscene is the way this happened, and it says a helluva lot more about us than it does about Imus. Long live mob justice, and I hope none of you ever say anything stupid or offensive, because if you do, may God have mercy on your soul. No one else will.

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

MSNBC has canceled its “Imus in the Morning” simulcast.

Media Frivolity and the Real Victims

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Jack Dunphy asks why Don Imus and the Duke alleged rape case get so much media attention, while far more serious crimes go unreported, such as the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome, get very little attention:

The story was given a few brief mentions on the AP wire, which were in turn carried on the Fox News and ABC News websites, but you’ll find no mention of the crime in the online archives of CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, the New York Times, or the Washington Post. Run a similar search for stories on the Duke case and you’ll be sifting through the results for hours. It’s not as though these news providers have shied away from crime since being embarrassed in the Duke case. For example, when Tara Grant went missing from her suburban Detroit home in February, the investigation grew and grew in media attention until it became a national story. An AP story appearing on the MSNBC website ran under the headline, “Mich. case a perfect recipe for media frenzy.” And indeed it was. When Grant’s dismembered body was discovered inside her home, triggering a manhunt for her husband and his eventual arrest, the coverage ramped up nearly to the point of Laci Peterson-type saturation. Only the carnival surrounding Anna Nichole Smith’s death kept the Grant murder from being the Story of the Month. Yet the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome are known to almost no one outside Tennessee. Why?

It’s simple: the four suspects accused of killing Christian and Newsome are blacks from the inner city of Knoxville.

Read the entire article. It’s very hard to do so and not come away with the conclusion that Dunphy has a strong point, both about race relations in America and the perniciously shallow media.

Lincoln-Douglas It Ain’t

Sunday, April 8th, 2007
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A reasoned and rational debate on the complexities and nuances of illegal immigration from Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera.