Sunday, 1 March 2009

CNN & Their Twitter Generation

At the Limbaugh speech for the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC)...CNN came and did their typical report:

BILL SCHNEIDER: Well, it was an angry tone. He was the hero of 1994. Fifteen years ago when Republicans won a big victory in Congress. And that was the year of the angry white men. When they came to power they honored him as being the prophet who led them to victory. Well, this was a very angry speech. By the way, they're not all white and they're not all men but they are angry conservative voters. They didn't do so well last year but they're still angry. The tone of this speech was mocking, bullying, it was full of contempt, and I thought it was a very harsh speech. One that while it rallied the conservative audience it also angered a lot of Democrats and people who aren't particularly partisan just by the tone of it.


Someplace near the end of this CNN report...the twit doing the episode then pulls out the "TWITTER force", and commented on numerous Twitter comments....all negative in nature...wanting you to know that everyone doing Twitter was blasting Rush.

Is Twitter now the method of measuring events and people? Is this how far down CNN has fallen in terms of “journalism”?

For about six months, I’ve observed this Twitter generation, and basically...its the most worthless comments or analysis that you could ever develop. Its always immediate with no time spent thinking over the event or the speech....automatic words, automatic comments, automatic views, automatic text...which means that you never sat and analyzed anything.

Whats amusing here is that seventy years ago...after an event...a journalist typically walked to a bar across the street from the paper or radio station...sipped a drink or two with people and talked over the event, and got the “real prospective” of the event. Then they walked in and typed the product. Between the drink, the time to think, and the bar associates...he got the best product. Now? Twitter is producing loser journalists.

FEMA's Woes

I realize that this is not in the the top 100 news bits of CNN or any other major newspaper....but its kinda interesting.

This week...FEMA came out and said that the chief of its operation in the New Orleans Hurricane Recover Center.....is being reassigned (fired is a better term). He is under investigation, so they can't really fire him at this point though...they have to complete the investigation, and then fire him.

All that FEMA will say....is that there are way too many complaints in New Orleans by the staff of FEMA...to just let things contnue on.

The guy? Doug Whitmer.

The entire office...has major issues...ranging from allegations of sexual harassment to cronyism. Toss in some nepotism, then stir in some major ethics violations. You've got a place that most folks wouldn't work.

The curious thing...in the last twelve months....over 80 complaints have been filed by employees against co-workers in the office. Eighty is an awful lot of complaints...which every single one of these must be investigatated and a determination made. You can figure a cost of $5k minimum on each single episode. So these idiots are triggering well over $400k in additional operational cost on FEMA....just trying to clear the air.

The neat thing....thirty of these complaints are lodged against Doug. In the Air Force, once you get past three...the leadership automatically believe the complaints....rather than the targeted individual. You get an hour to pack your office gear and then you leave. Its pretty simple.

I'm guessing that Doug will fight each and every complaint...spending $100k of his own money on legal help. The problem here is that once they prove one case, the rest become real simple. Doug's career in FEMA? It'll be shot then, and it'll be practically impossible to get any US federal job then. He'll be lucky to get a job with some private company....but even then....he's apparently not competent enough to stay clean.

Ever wondered why things in New Orleans are so screwed up? Ever wondered why people would live eight feet below sea-level? Ever wondered why twenty-five percent of the police force before Katrina were imaginary people? Doug's just another example of how things work there. In this case, FEMA ought to bring in a military guy with no connection to New Orleans.

Paul Harvey, in Passing

Paul Harvey passed away yesterday.

I came to discover Paul Harvey in 1984. I wasn't much of a radio listener before that and suddenly found his broadcast to be all the news that you really needed. The curious thing was that he was totally neutral, except on the topic of America....and then everything did get a slant of a positive type. He just couldn't bring himself to say really terrible or bad things about the US.

Over the years, I kinda stuck with Paul Harvey. I've probably heard several thousand of his productions. I have to admit that there were always the "slip-ups" or the comments that went nowhere. But you tended to get honest journalism....which is awful hard to find today.

So we will miss Paul Harvey. It'll be hard to fill his shoes. And it'll be even harder to be honest in journalism.