Hi-jinks were the order of the day at a recent Bush event in Fargo, ND, when Karl Rove grabbed the microphone of CNN's John King and proceeded to do a little "reporting" of his own. "The president is making an incredible presentation to the audience here in Fargo, North Dakota," said Rove. "The crowd has received an overwhelming - his reform message of Social Security. The crowd broke into a strong applause when the president attacked the mainstream media..." King interrupted, "It's not bad. I'd keep your day job, but that's not bad." Not bad? How dare you, Mr. King! "I'd say more than not bad," gushed Judy Woodruff, back in the studio. "I think we're ready to hire Karl Rove right now. We'll start - we'll make the phone call right after the show." You know, I don't know what's worse... the idea that Karl Rove's spin is so similar to CNN's regular reporting that Judy Woodruff can't tell the difference, or Woodruff assuming CNN can employ someone they already work for.
I'm so appalled at broadcast news any more that I barely watch it.
My first corporate career was in the newspaper business. Ten years ago, I subscribed to the daily paper, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and a dozen others periodicals on an occasional basis.
I had access to a dozen more dead-tree versions of dailies around the country, as well as the WSJ and the Nation's McPaper. I also subcsribed to Editor&Publisher, the bible of the industry, and wondered why the denizens of the onion-topped towers I occasionally bumped into took so lightly the things I read in its pages that alarmed the hell out of me.
Well, they're still there, raising their ad rates 6% every year and cutting their editorial staff a couple of people, managing their publications at a 20 or 30% profit margin and meeting once a year at a resort location to congratulate themselves on what a fine job they are doing.
I moved on. Of my own volition.
I get my news online these days. And I don't give up my personal information to invasive-registration sites. I have my browser shields up so high and so thick that there are blank spaces with "AD" in them all over the page. Little bubble noises go off frequently, signifying another pop-up window has been blocked.
This blogging thing is just more evidence that the old media is just about over. And the sooner we all help them figure it out, the better we all will be.