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The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 1:47am
by Flex
Figured we could do with a catch-all thread for general media criticism. I'll start with what's actually a pretty kickass moment on - where of all places - the floor of US Congress:
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http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.co ... ?ref=fpblg

Awesome. Well, the outburst. Obviously, the media is a total choke job.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 1:55am
by Rat Patrol
lolz, Patches. lolz.


Ohheyguyslooksomethingshiny!...
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Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 2:01am
by BostonBeaneater
Aww, look at Patches. He's doing it.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 11:22am
by Spiff
By the time I had finished my Master's degree in Journalism in the 1990s, I had learned several things:

1. I went in thinking "objective journalism" was a good, workable model. But it is, of course, a myth ... and it sucks.

2. TV programming is developed and judged solely on its ability to keep viewers around between commercials.

3. Mainstream media are no longer opinion leaders, but are opinion followers. (It's debatable whether they ever were opinion leaders).

4. For-profit journalism always, always leads to an inferior product.

5. Journalists who think the first sentences of their stories are "ledes" are pretentious jerkwads.

I learned a few other things, too, and will contribute them as I think of them.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 11:35am
by Dr. Medulla
Spiff, can you comment on the importance of the trenchcoat for getting the story right?

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 12:39pm
by Rat Patrol
Everybody I went to J-school with during the Whitewater era wanted to be a cable pundit. I saw too many profs sadly reach for the bottle of whiskey in their desk drawer trying to explain to students at office hours that beat reporting wasn't a soapbox for their inner profundity. And that they, like, you know, had <500 words to get it right so how can you even describe what happened and still have room for the opinion. None of those over-entitled dickwads were even paying attention because CNN was blaring on the TV's in the hallway.

And then Drudge happened. And suddenly a comfortable living was pasting headlines on top of URL's.

This was 2-3 years before blogs were really around in recognizable or workable form. And before search engines were reliable (hello, WebCrawler and AltaVista). I enjoyed learning from the old pros teaching (some) of the courses, but I died a little more inside every day I was around my classmates. And around a couple of profs who were profiteering off the circus in their day jobs. The classmates who actually "got" it almost never ended up going into the field because they couldn't hold down 2 waitress jobs and an apartment while 'paying their dues' as a stringer for a neighborhood weekly at child slave labor wages. While the bloggers-to-be fucknuts were all trust fund sons and daughters of editors at major newspapers and magazines who already had the nepotism internship waiting for them so fuck it why hone the craft. I never went more than half-into it and eventually stacked the deck more to my sociology degree than J degree, because I could tell what dereliction of duty I would've been surrounding myself with by thinking I could ever go to work with these people.


The boomer-generation media is bad enough. With very, very few exceptions of those destitute in it for the right reasons who couldn't even put a roof over their heads 10 years ago but still managed to scrape on enough in an incredible imploding industry to carve out some reputation for themselves...every byline and magic-talking-ass age 34 and younger that you see are the ones I just described who grew up thinking punditry was a reporter's birthright. And my classmates weren't even part of the main-sequence Gen Y...those clowns were enrolling just as I was leaving. So you know how the standards have fallen since.


Actually, only guy I went to school with at BU who I think has carved out a nice journalistic space for himself and done it for the right reasons is Fluto Shizawa of the Boston Globe, the youngin who edged aside 'Shaughnessy-on-skates' Kevin Paul Dupont (god, I wanted to climb over the desks and punch that colostomy bag when he guest-lectured my sports reporting class) as the main Bruins beat guy. Shizawa used to cover the BU hockey team for the school's indie paper when I was there. Such an infectiously enthusiastic rink geek he could do this for 50 years and never lose the "holy crap, I get to do this for a living!" wonderment. He reads the same and as prolifically as he did before, just with more polished writing and experience. That's it...he's the only one who got made by playing it straight. Rest of them--and a couple of them did latch on places--it was with insider connections or nepotism boosting a singular career goal to get into the infotainment business to regale the world in their very-important-indeed opinions.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 12:55pm
by Spiff
Dr. Medulla wrote:Spiff, can you comment on the importance of the trenchcoat for getting the story right?
Why, I don't know what you're talking about. :shifty:

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 1:02pm
by Wolter
Spiff wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:Spiff, can you comment on the importance of the trenchcoat for getting the story right?
Why, I don't know what you're talking about. :shifty:
How close does your Walter Winchell impression have to be to the original to get a byline in a city paper?

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 4:31pm
by Spiff
Wolter wrote:
Spiff wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:Spiff, can you comment on the importance of the trenchcoat for getting the story right?
Why, I don't know what you're talking about. :shifty:
How close does your Walter Winchell impression have to be to the original to get a byline in a city paper?
Mine wasn't good enough, apparently, because although I worked at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, I never got a byline (I was copy desk).

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 5:17pm
by Flex
Spiff wrote:
Wolter wrote:
Spiff wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:Spiff, can you comment on the importance of the trenchcoat for getting the story right?
Why, I don't know what you're talking about. :shifty:
How close does your Walter Winchell impression have to be to the original to get a byline in a city paper?
Mine wasn't good enough, apparently, because although I worked at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, I never got a byline (I was copy desk).
Seems like a clearcut case of discrimation against naked folk to me.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 11 Mar 2010, 6:08pm
by JennyB
Spiff was Deep Throat.

Also, I wish Patrick Kennedy would run for re-election.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 02 Apr 2010, 4:44pm
by Flex
Well, the fourth estate is beyond useless: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/20 ... ite_house/

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 02 Apr 2010, 4:49pm
by Dr. Medulla
Flex wrote:Well, the fourth estate is beyond useless: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/20 ... ite_house/
Way beyond useless. If you want to be in the WHPC, you should have to sign a non-publishing agreement.

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 07 Apr 2010, 5:27pm
by Flex
I have a hard time fathoming how I ever had any respect for Thomas Friedman at all. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read (well, not really, but one of the dumbest things today): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/opini ... edman.html

Re: The IMCT Media Criticism Thread

Posted: 07 Apr 2010, 6:34pm
by Dr. Medulla
Flex wrote:I have a hard time fathoming how I ever had any respect for Thomas Friedman at all. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read (well, not really, but one of the dumbest things today): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/opini ... edman.html
And he makes a shit-ton of money for being a credible moron. :disshame: