Hillary Vs. Warren

Julie Brown – Girl Fight Tonight

There is a vibration in The Force as The New Republic puts a purely speculative essay up about how there is a populist movement that wants Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run against Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Goat Rodeo nomination.

Can we just stop this, please?

Near the end of the piece, the author notes that Sen. Warren signed a letter urging Clinton to run. So,this is just another weird attempt to create a controversy between two strong women where none exists. It damages and discredits not just both of those women, but all women. Would such a breathless article be written if the subjects were both men?

Tiger Beat On the Potomac Wins the Morning!

Death of the Media

monkey_typewriter

The whiz kids over at TBOTP (Thanks Charlie!) have done it again, what with their quivering brains full of smart thoughts:

How the heck did that happen?

Most public polls leading up to Election Day had Democrat Terry McAuliffe coasting to victory, some by double digits, in the Virginia governor’s race. Instead he squeaked by, beating Republican Ken Cuccinelli by less than 3 percentage points.

…and it goes on for 2 pages and never even once mentions that The Cooch purged voter roles by at least 30,000 citizens even though that was widely reported.

Here is what they listed:

  • Obamacare almost killed McAuliffe.
  • Cuccinelli might have won if he had more money.
  • The gender gap mirrored the presidential.
  • Obama himself was a mixed bag.
  • The shutdown still hurt Republicans.

Sometimes it hurts to read that Web site; I’m beginning to see why Charlie wants to drink Prestone.

Breaking

Gawker has an exclusive scoop that Fox News Anchor Shep Smith (the closest one to sane that they have) is in what appears to be a stable and committed relationship.

I’m looking forward to their in-depth reviews of reGreta, InsHannity, and Petunia’s romantic lives.

(Is it really news in today’s world that there are gay people?)

Our coverage of the Politico wet kiss continues!

The Politico story is just jam-packed full of fun facts of how the media operates! Remember playing Telephone as a kid? You would start a rumor and each kid whispers it to the next kid until it goes full circle? And then giggle about how it changed? That’s the Politico way!

Items become segment pieces on “Morning Joe,” the MSNBC program, where there are 10 Politico Playbook segments each week, more than half of them featuring Allen. This incites other cable hits, many featuring Politico reporters, who collectively appear on television about 125 times a week. There are subsequent links to Politico stories on The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post and other Web aggregators that newspaper assigning editors and network news producers check regularly.

And that, kiddies, is how the MSM all ends up reporting the same story!

But wait! There’s more. The late lamented Spy magazine used to have a feature that they called Log Rolling in Our Times, in which they revealed how celebs and others praised each other’s work in return for favorable buzz or a blurb for each other’s book’s dust-jacket. Politico takes that concept one step further: how to generate news (as opposed to reporting news):

… “Good Saturday morning: For brunch convo: Why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the media short lists for the Court?” By Monday, the convo had moved from the brunch table to “Morning Joe” (where the host, Joe Scarborough, advocated for her) and “Today” (where the Republican senator Orrin Hatch mentioned her, too). Later that day, Politico’s Ben Smith quoted a State Department spokesman who “threw some coolish water on the Clinton-for-Scotus buzz in an e-mail.” By then, the cable and blog chatter was fully blown. The White House issued a highly unusual statement that Secretary Clinton would not be nominated. Politico then sent out a “breaking news alert,” and Smith reported that the White House had “hurriedly punctured the trial balloon.” End of convo.

Somewhere, William Randolph Hearst is smiling.

The Death of the Media

student newspaper

It is time to take a more serious look at the death of the media than we have in the past. We here at Mock, Paper, Scissors have said that the world has a need for journalists and journalism (and we still believe that), but it does not have a need for newspapers.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my morning paper. There is nothing like reading the SF Chronicle with my trusty red pen in hand and my cuppa coffee in the other. It would be a shame for the kind of editing thrill I get each morning to just vanish. But I digress.

The problem with newspapers — and the much-shouted death of the media — comes down to the business model, and I cannot stress this enough. US Newspapers, the physical dead-tree stuff, are not in the business of bringing you the news. The US Newspaper business model is about putting print advertising in your hands. Think about that for just a moment, the absolute inefficiency of it. Everyday hundreds of people work to bring to your door a bit of print with all the ads that Corporate America wants you to have in your hands. Each day! It is amazing.

If US Newspapers could continue publishing without newsrooms, they would. In fact, they are trying to do just that.

This is the thing we are seeing right now, this very minute: US Newspapers are laying off reporters, closing bureaus, canceling entire sections of their “content” — generally the features sections, and local sections; sports and business are sacred. Simultaneously, they are raising subscription rates for less content, and turning more and more to wire services to create fill for in-between the advertisements.

This is clearly not sustainable. And if you notice, this has nothing to do with the Internet.

The US Newspapers are telling us that the Internet is killing them, that Craig’s List is killing them, and so on. While I think that the Internet plays a role, it is not the role of media-killer anymore than radio or television killed the newspaper. The Internet is not a competitor, it is a delivery mechanism. It still requires content.

Last time I checked, the Internet was a global phenomenon, accessible in Europe, Asia, Japan, etc… Oddly, the newspapers in Europe and elsewhere (but not the US) are surviving the Internet age. European papers get most of their funding from selling the papers, not selling the advertising. The Guardian is owned by a public trust, and it is not strictly speaking a for-profit enterprise.

Why is this difference significant, you ask?

Because with real content, really well researched journalism and a focus on excellence, the readership grows. They know in Europe that they had better put out some real content, good content that serves their readers well. If they cut reporters, bureaus, close down feature sections, Europeans are going to stop reading the papers there, just like we have here.

US newspapers are not losing readers because of free news on the Internet, they are losing readers because the print content is going away. If Newspapers stop covering the news, especially the local news, then the newspapers have stopped doing what they do best and what their readers demand of them. No wonder the readers are fleeing: they are trying to find out what is going on in their world.

Case in point: I cannot find out about what is going on at San Jose City Hall reading the San Jose Mercury News, they don’t cover it, or at least not all of it. I can find out what is going on only by reading the City of San Jose’s website, and various blogs from local concerned citizens and activists. This is what I meant by the need for journalists and journalism. The web has made us all journalists.

There is a lot of noise about making newspapers’ websites accessible for subscribers only, and as the NY Times Select showed us, it is a failed model. The news organizations discovered two things with it: 1) no one wanted to pay for access, and 2) no one accessed it and their ad rates dropped.

Just like a blog (for instance, Mock, Paper, Scissors — if I may be so bold), US newspapers need to create compelling content to bring readers to their sites and keep them coming back. Making readers pay for AP stories is not going to be the business model that saves the news industry.

I don’t pretend to know what the next model will be for the newspapers, but I do know that real content will drive readers to it, regardless of the delivery mechanism. I hope that it will be the Internet. I’d like to save the trees.

Nepotism today!

We are so pleased to note that down-and-out family, the Sulzbergers (publishers of a little throw-away, NYTimes) have finally lifted their hiring freeze to hire a member of their own family! Sam Dolnick, a reporter for the Associated Press and grandnephew to former Times publisher Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, will be joining his cousin, A.G. Sulzberger, son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr at the Metro Desk. His first day is September 14.

You can look forward to fizzy news like this:

NEW DELHI — While the grill man stirred the glowing coals and the bread man rolled balls of dough, Akram Khan, the waiter, watched the traffic rumble down the pocked road.

Soon, crowds would start arriving at this sidewalk kebab stand, families in expensive cars and partygoers fizzy with drink.

Can you say, Pulitzer?

Facing the Death Panel: Reader’s Digest

The NY Times reports:

Reader’s Digest Association, the 87-year-old publishing company, said Monday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to carry out a restructuring that would give lenders control of the company.

I’d pull the plug on that magazine faster than a beagle in a vacuum factory.

The Death of the Media, cont.

toe-tag-by-backwardsattraction

And the papers wonder why the readers are leaving in droves?

Politico reports that after offering access to the paper’s own editorial and reporting staff, for a nominal fee of upwards of $250,000 — you know, to shape the debate on healthcare — that the WaPo is now backing away from the offer. It seems it was too much of a conflict of interest, even for the Washington Post, so it will continue it’s Bataan Death March to irrelevance and obscurity.

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was cancelling plans for an exclusive “salon” at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.

Expect those spring chickens of journalism, David Broder, George Will, and Robert Cohen to soon write epic columns about how no one should trust bloggers over real newsmen. Especially bloggers at Politico.