Wetmachine Blog: infotainment

The corporate media and its mutated subspecies

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

but where it’s going, no one knows1

Nifty article here about whether the crisis in the newspaper industry does or does not mean the end of journalism, and how nobody knows how to convert the inherent value of a well-done blog with a consistent theme & loyal readership (*cough* wetmachine *cough*) into money. This is not an especially new subject, but the article is well done with some telling anecdotes & a bit of a contrarian angle.


(1) Nick Lowe/Rockpile approximate lyrics below the fold

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Footnote to Harold: Media Dynamics 101

Harold Feld provides an insightful analysis of the right wing noise machine’s attack on Oprah. As this is kind of an advanced topic in media watching, involving feints and jujitsu-like tactics, I think it may be useful to ground the analysis in elementary theory, viz, short run optimization:

1) The “news” media (and this includes Keith Olberman and other so-called liberals), has only one interest, and that is to make money.
2) They make money by selling advertising.
3) The more people who watch them, the more money newsmedia make.
4) More people watch “the news” when there is a tight race, or better still, controversy and a tight race. Viewers are seeking entertainment, not to become better informed about policy.
5) Therefore, the media will do whatever they can possibly do to ensure a tight race with lots of controversy.

Coralarries to theorem 5, above, are that things that distract from the entertainment value of the news, such as coverage of wars that are not going so well, will be minimized. People watch TV that flatters them and rewards their laziness; therefore TV news advances the point of view that personalities are more important than policies–because most people consider themselves good judges of personalities & it requires no work to decide whether or not you like somebody.

The only national news media figure who is an exception to this dynamic is Jon Stewart. He clearly cares about the country and respects our constitution. Stewart makes money by serving the considerable minority of viewers who actually want to understand what’s going on in our government.

Below the fold: Media Dynamics 102: long run optimization

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John McCain thinks VP Palin will be a great asset

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A Star is Born!

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Contrary to Wes Clark, I DO believe that getting shot down in an airplane does qualify one to be President of the United States


I don’t watch TV, but even I know that Retired General Wesley Clark farted very loudly in the Church of St. John McBush McSame McCain two days ago when he opined that

“I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

Au contraire, General Clark!

Heck, George Bush the first got shot down TWICE, and he was president, wasn’t he? JFK didn’t get shot down in a plane, but he got shot down in a boat, which is close enough. Jimmy Carter served in a submarine, which is a boat which gets sunk on purpose, Ronald Reagan acted like his horse had been shot out from underneath him, George W. Bush got grounded by the Texas Air National Guard for being a drunk coke-head, and Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky go down on *him*! I trust you see the pattern here.

By contrast, John Kerry’s Swift Boat Did not get sunk, which proves pretty conclusively, I think, that he was unqualified to be President (although I won’t go so far as to say he was a coward and traitor–let the reader form his or her own opinion, sez I). Digby, that hard-hearted commentator, is actually making fun of the whiney-ass titty-babies of the McCain camp and their perpetual hand-job crew in the so-called national so-called media for the little fainting spell they’re having over Wes Clark’s (horribly incorrect but nevertheless not incivil or disrespectful) opinion about the good senator’s unfortunate encounter with a heat-seeking missile as it relates to preparing one for the Oval Office, so to speak.

After the jump: But what about Admiral Stockdale?

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Things you cun't say on television (John McCain edition)

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The dickwads at the Associated Press

A bunch of stupid bullies who don’t understand the concepts of “fair use” and “internet” (or more likely, understand them very well but don’t like them), think they have enough clout to dictate terms. Well, the millions and millions and billions of Wetmachine readers will have to find their own way to AP stories from now on. I’m not going to link to them. Take that, you wankers!

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Wetmachiner David Newsom is not a Doctor of Geek-Ecology, but he plays one on television

I just got some friendly spam from fellow Wetmachiner David Newsom about his new TV series. I hope he’ll tell us more about it eventually in his own post, but in the meantime, here’s the message:

I’m very proud to announce the launch of Discovery Channel’s new network:
Planet Green, and the series “G-Word”.

“G-Word” is a one-hour environmental news show covering a vast sea of green
innovations and technologies around the country. I’m quite pleased to say
that I am part of the huge cast of correspondents and producers who brought
this show to fruition and I really hope you can check it out.

“G-Word” will launch on June 4th @ 7:30 PM. After launch night, “G Word”
will settle in to its normal 7 PM slot on M-Th, as well as 10 PM on Mondays.

Check local listings for channel. NOTE: PLANET GREEN is replacing DISCOVERY
HEALTH. So you will find it at the same channel.

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McBush McSame, mcJohn McCain!

Those meanines on the internets keep showing this little video of W’s very-own Mini-me, McSame McBush McCain, saying how staying in Iraq for a hundred years would be “fine with him”.

But everybody knows that it’s unfair to show Straight-Talking Maverick St. John McCain saying anything politically unpopular! St. John got mad. St. John got sad. St. John went to his jillionaire-millionaire wife looking for a little love, but she was too busy plagiarizing a cookbook to notice him. He wound up back in the arms of the Hugger-in-Chief!

Now that’s what I call “straight” talk!

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if u cn rd ths u cn lrn bobblespeak

If there is a funnier, more astute commentator on political discourse than culture of truth in the bobblespeak translations, please don’t introduce me to him or her. For if I laugh any harder with that ol’ rueful laughter of the horrible truth, I may just die. And I ain’t prepared to do that yet, George Bush’s presidency notwithstanding.

By they way, I met CoT at the convention of Dirty Fucking Hippies known as Eschacon in Philadelphia last weekend. About which I will endeavor to blog at some point, if only to get cred for proving that I was indeed there. And I just want to say that for the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl, Culture of Truth is certainly a mild-mannered, unassuming fellow.

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