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11 June 2012


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r whitman

Remember--Its entertainment.

Do not aggravate yourself over this. It can only shorten your life.(Chinese proverb).


Do we have any media left aside from a few newspapers where the reporting of "news" is not contaminated by "entertainment?"


Unfortunately it does have relevance because this is a model of modern media success. News as entertainment, opinions over facts, unfounded assumptions that flatter the host's self image, analysts who don't analyze, simple pronouncements discussed as profound truths, etc. Insularity and close-mindedness portrayed as classless and open to all. It's infected all the network news departments, I can't watch any of the nightly news shows anymore because I feel like I'm being spoken to as a not very bright child.

This is what explains the success of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They openly mock what media has become.

r whitman

Just finished reading Douglas Brinkley's biography of Walter Cronkite. Cronkite was saying the same thing 25 years ago.

Alba Etie

I think the al Jezeera news channel is more factually based then any of the Cable Networks - I also try to keep up with hearings on C-Span , and other forum found there.

The Twisted Genius

PL,don't sweat these ass clowns. As Warren Zevon said, "Enjoy every sandwich."

Al Spafford

Living most of the yr in Oregon, I have the benefit of surfing cable programs like AM Joe's, Hardball, etc and click on/off just those FEW segments that might have an interesting guest on--AND THEY ARE FEW! For you east coasters, I would recommend NOT spitting out you AM coffee by watching AM Joe live, but wait to evening with a glass (or bottle) of scotch in hand when looking at his web rerun!


I gave it up years ago, along with Matthews. They just made me angry and I would brood about it far too long afterwards. A waste of energy for me.

Charlie Wilson

Mika exudes ice cold heat. That does it for me. Hell with the content.

Medicine Man

I've pretty much stopped watching cable news. I can't stand the lot of them.

Lord Curzon

Thank God for the BBC! Having said that, it's not without its faults,but by and large does a good job, and it's no surprise about Al-Jazeera's content being what it is - they're all ex-BBC!

Colonel, have you seen Niall Ferguson's broadside into the Morning Joe presenters re Obama's lack of foreign policy? Makes for entertaining viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvhaAO2Q17c



Yes, but look at the dregs you have sent us. pl

Lord Curzon


If you're referring to Piers Morgan, then I believe I speak for the vast majority of the UK when I say you would do us all a favour by doing the decent thing and putting him out of our collective misery!

rjj du Nord

were the dregs sent to or hand picked by us?

ability is elitist.


“Hillary would not sit back and allow these people to be slaughtered like President Obama is.”



I was also thinking of Martin Bashir. pl

David Habakkuk

I would not dream of calling Niall Ferguson ‘dregs’, but he is an example of precisely the kind of British émigré of whom Americans would be wise to be very wary. Reviewing his study of the ‘rise and fall of the American empire’ back in 2004, Anatol Lieven described it as a ‘fascinating mixture of brilliance and stupidity’ and pointed to the dangers of policies based upon ‘nostalgic imperial fantasies’. If the United States is to survive as a constitutional republic, the last thing Americans should be doing is paying heed to the siren songs of Brits calling for them to ‘take up the white man’s burden.’

(For Lieven’s review, see http://m.thetablet.co.uk/issue/40605/booksandart )

William R. Cumming

There is a substantive issue lurking for the MSM and that is the fact they are contented to survive on handouts from those with various kinds of power. MSM once dominated by NYC is no longer in my opinion. A look at the top ten mags would indicate that substance is no longer a driver for that media form. Perhaps blogs also are blowing in the wind, perhaps not.
What should alarm people [because it will result in actual deaths] is the White House now believes it is the EOC [emergency ops center] and the JIC [joint information center] for all crisis management. Few in the White House understand the difference between Public Affairs and Emergency Public Communications. A recent global example of this failure is the Japanese government at the Fukishima event.


David H. and Curzon

And then there is Andrew Roberts. pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Mr. Habakkuk:

This seems like a cyclical phenomenon as I remember Paul Kennedy's quick ascent as a public intellectual in this country back in the late 1980s. I used to view Ferguson's earlier work as a pretty good counterbalance to Kennedy, but some of his overreaches are just too much to accept. I've always felt that historians should stick to analysis and avoid normative forays (or advocacy).

Lord Curzon

Sir, I believe Bashir to be a shameless, opportunistic sock puppet. Frankly, I'm amazed anyone would hire him after his cloying interview with Diana, the then Princess of Wales.

David H and Neil R are right, that Ferguson on economics and economic history is superb, but needs to short-circuit the AEI chip - mixing with febrile Washington think-tankery does his intellect no good.

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