Can’t Miss TV
Comes now the news that Michael Moore, the merry propagandist, is joining Keith Olbermann on Al Gore’s Current TV, the legendary television network. It’s practically a miracle! Even now the crowds are queuing up to catch a glimpse of this dynamic duo.
One can only imagine the kind of material that, in collaboration, they may produce. Perhaps an investigative report on the link between Citizens United, the Tea Party, and global warming. Or maybe something even more intellectual, like a video essay on how the alleged indebtedness of the federal and state governments is just a rumor started by the gnomes of Zurich.
Whatever, isn’t it great to know that we live in a country where bombast and imbecility can have their day in the court of public opinion? As they say in the ad – “mm, mm, good!”
Those ‘Public’ Airwaves
The Speaking Freely essay written by Erwin Krasnow, recently co-published by The Media Institute and The Thomas Jefferson Center, is striking in a number of ways, not least because its author is a former general counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters. As such, Mr. Krasnow has known for years of broadcasting’s embrace of concepts like “scarcity” and the "public interest" standard as useful tools in re certain policy issues, like cable TV’s “must carry” obligations.
So how to get a handle on Krasnow’s call now for an end to such concepts, and to the notion that the public “owns” the airwaves? Perhaps it’s the prospect of forced spectrum surrender, or maybe the notion that broadcasters are able these days to charge for their carriage by cable that explains it all. Whatever, it will be interesting to see if, in days ahead, the NAB echoes some of Krasnow’s arguments. For that matter, it would be interesting to know what those at NAB think of Krasnow’s essay, which has attracted rather a lot of attention. Goes without saying that we at TMI would be more than happy to publish any such.
It’s the Gospel (‘Jesus Dropped the Charges’)
Doubling down on my earlier reckless confession of love for the blues and gospel music, herewith a link to a piece by the late O’Neil Twins. (Yes, the title is amusing, but I’ll fight any man in the bar who says he doesn’t like the music.) Check it out here.
Writing in The New York Times, David Carr has this to say about the extraordinary influence of the Drudge Report: “Yes, Mr. Drudge is a conservative ideologue whose site also serves as a crib sheet for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. But if you believe that his huge traffic numbers are a byproduct of an ideologically motivated readership, consider that 15 percent of the traffic at Washington Post.com, which is not exactly a hotbed of Tea Party foment, comes from The Drudge Report.”
Say what? Featuring, on its editorial pages, such as George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Robert Samuelson, Mark Thiessen, and Michael Gerson, the WAPO may not be a hotbed of “Tea Party foment,” but it is the source of a lot of conservative opinion of the sort that Drudge links to often.
Carr’s opinion to the contrary notwithstanding (and how many times do we have to say this?), the primary reason for Drudge’s success – as for the success of conservative talk radio and the Fox News Channel – is its political point of view, which is different from that of most of the MSM, and popular with a large number of people. Sheesh!
The opinions expressed above are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Media Institute, its Board, contributors, or advisory councils.