Category Archives: media coverage

Is John Steweart not media savvy?

After all the hoo-hah over John Stewart vs. Jim Kramer from Thursday’s Daily Show, this is what I’m left asking – is one of the most apparently savvy men in media not media savvy?

Those of us in the media industry have had it hammered into our head the extent to which our intended audiences for our advertising, distributed content, program integrations, stunts, events, publicity, social experiences, tweets, corporate blogs, gadgets, widgets, sandwich boards, street teams, text messages, sidewalk chalk, digital projections, and what not is all aimed at an exceedingly savvy pool of people who have incredibly sensitive BS filters that can sort through hype to get to what’s real.

We’ve bought into the public-at-large’s ability to not be sucked into the over-hyped and sensationalized news programming that is pervasive on cable news channels and even on the broadcast network’s morning and evening news. I’ve quoted here Perry Farrel from 20+ years ago saying, “Now the news is just another show w/ sex and violence.” At the base of the Daily Show is this realization – it’s the “fake news”.

For many centuries it’s always been known that various media outlets lean a certain way or take an editorial stance that favors certain points of view. When people watch certain cable news programming or read certain blogs and publications, they know what they’re getting.

To that end, when I read the About section of, I’m not seeing Stewart’s arguments about CNBC becoming some sort of protector of the American public against the evils of Wall Street holding a whole lot of water. They’re intended audience is “business executives and financial professionals w/ significant purchasing power.” If these people weren’t aware of what was going on in the financial markets, who was? Kramer screaming, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” at them would’ve been “fake news.”

Should CNBC re-purpose themselves to be guardians of what’s really happening on Wall Street? Here’s something to consider that also happened this week.

The stock market went up. Many say it went up for a couple of big reasons. One, banks made statements to the effect that if you get rid of all that bad debt, they’re actually making money. Two, the White House is saying they’re doing everything they can everyday to get credit flowing. There’s been a lot of analysis of the administration’s stance on blaming the previous administration for the mess and that’s effect on the positive move upwards. This administration is most definitely “media savvy.”

There’s much being said that we’re not at the bottom just yet, so taking the administrations apparent “if you forget about all that bad debt and see that we’re actually moving up, and realize we aren’t to blame for this mess, now, get out there and start spending and borrowing!” could be seen as not much better than what Stewart accused Kramer and CNBC of doing. One could see how following such direction could cause as many problems as we already have if the market and financial system isn’t really ready for such activities to ensue. I’m not sure I recall hearing Stewart’s analysis of this yet. Perhaps in next week’s shows.

So, in the end, in my humble opinion, we don’t have John Stewart, Protector of Democracy and All That is Good in Media. We have John Stewart, Host of the Fake News and Holder of the Opposite Perspective of CNBC. Same thing we’ve had in the media for many, many centuries. John Stewart is, indeed, media savvy.

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Filed under media coverage, media on media, the rest of the hour

Old media mavens and their new media ways; media poorly covering media

If you’d like to read a well thought out piece about a variety of ways the news and media industry need to evolve to adapt in a digital world, read this from Jeff Jarvis (founder of Entertainment Weekly).

If you’d like to see in action some of those techniques in reporting a pretty major story in the media industry – did/is Google laying 10,000 people off – read this from John Battelle (co-founder of Wired).

If you’d like to read a not well thought out piece about finding meaning and making connections in trends around media usage and pandering to old media and their ability to crank out fox in the henhouse analysis of their own data, read this from MediaPost – or just read MediaPost everyday and let the confusion and swirl ensue.

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Filed under bad media, communication platforms, digital distribution, future of media, media coverage, media on media, media usage

If you don’t participate, zip it

Rule #1 of a democracy – if you don’t exercise your right to vote, just zip it.

Dinner table conversation in the Courtney household this evening was about today’s episode of The View. The esteemed former SportsCenter anchor Keith Olberman was on. I refuse to call him a political analyst or talk show host or pundit or whatever – and now I never will.

He admitted that he does not vote. Yet he bitches…incessantly…about politics and politicians. (go look it up on YouTube if you really need to see it to believe…I’ve found my wife a pretty accurate source over the years)

To paraphrase him: Mr. Olberman, please shut up.

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Free Association w/ Election 08

I’m an amateur student of history, especially enjoying presidential politics, so I’m very excited to see how this momentous decision plays itself out. Right now, I have good feelings about the engagement of the electorate in the democratic process…how we hang w/ it remains to be seen. Anyway, seems only appropriate to do a recap in the form of a Larry King ramble

I honestly believe that Obama is the best possible GCV for this country at the point in history in which we are stationed – and that was and is a huge issue on which to place a vote. This country is not red or blue, and neither is the world at large.

The American people do not disappoint when it comes to correcting things. However, time will have to tell if Prez + Congressional Majority = Good Thing this time as history has shown it usually doesn’t go so well.

I missed the John McCain that didn’t need the Republican Party’s money. My friends, had the guy who gave the concession speech shown up for the entire race, things may not have ended differently, but they would’ve been a hell of a lot more interesting.

Of course, had that John McCain run, who would’ve the conservatives voted for? Oh, wait, the conservatives would’ve mercilessly crushed him in the primaries as they did in 00 and he never would’ve been the candidate. Mitt Romney, anyone?

I’m sure this was pointed out somewhere along the line in the primaries, but there could’ve been a ticket of a former real NYC mayor and a former make believe NYC DA. I don’t know, that just woulda been kinda funny and ironic. Sad, perhaps, but funny and ironic all the same.

However, having John McCain be the maverick who truly does reach across the aisle back in the Senate doing the reaching across the aisle probably does more good for the country than John McCain the Republican Presidential Elect who is Beholden to the Republican Party’s Money.

I still don’t think Tina Fey’s all that funny. I’m still bitter about the “clapter” remark as it pertains to John Stewart. It may take awhile for me to get over it, if I ever do. I’m petty like that – I’m extremely pragmatic and rational when it comes to politics, but if you talk sh*t about a comedian I like, WATCH OUT!

So Governors appoint Senators when there are vacancies in their states as I recall. Can Governors appoint themselves? Or do you think Sarah will send Todd to DC due to Ted’s unfortunate felony conviction?

Anybody else notice that the 08 Republicans bear an uncanny resemblance to the 04 Democrats with a notable exception – they don’t have a Barack Obama (or HRG for that matter) waiting in the wings? How bad will the next 4 years have to be to make Palin in 12 seem palpable? Or how far back to the conservative base will they go to prop Romney up as the heir apparent? Or is there another random, unknown out there?

In case you missed it, Pew says Fox News is more fair and balanced than MSNBC. Probably a vast right wing conspiracy.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing Hannity this bitter. I think I want to chuckle, then it kinda scares the sh*t out of me. Colmes better watch his back.

I still wish Keith Olberman would shut up. Biscuit in the basket…Biscuit in the basket…Biscuit in the basket…

I still think Barbara Walters and Rupert Murdoch should arrange a trade – Hasselback for Colmes. Then they can stop acting like the shows they appear on are fair and balanced.

With all the partisan coverage going on in the media these days, my Independent heart laments this country’s ability to generate a viable and sustainable 3rd party.

At times it’s surreal to me that I am again living in the state that elected Jesse Ventura governor and is in a recount situation for sending Al Franken to the Senate. Irony of ironies: Norm Coleman, career politician, could have a resume showing he lost to a former pro wrestler and a comedian. The man brought professional hockey back to “The State of Hockey” and that’s how they repay him? Youbetcha!

Speaking of Hollywood, some there say they’re not a bunch of pinko commies, or in homage to Colbert’s consistent assertions, Socialists. There are a few who even say they’re not like Al Franken. I still recall, and agree w/, Howard Stern saying in the 00 or 04 election that if you’re swayed by famous people’s political views, you’re a moron.

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Quote of the Day – POTUSA as Global Communication Vehicle, Riff, GCV as buzzword

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh, totally motionless except for her heart

No, no, I’m kidding. I’m a kidder. At least I am now…later in this post, I’m going to be pretty serious…

“The modern Presidency is as much a vehicle for communication as for decision-making, and the relevant audiences are global.”

10.13.08 New Yorker, Talk of the Town, spelling out why BO makes more sense than JM (and SP for that matter)

When I see the blistering, sarcastic, sardonic tone of the commentary by “my friends” in the electorate – many of which also happen to be card-carrying members of that raggedy segment of the electorate known as the media/marketing/advertising industry – on the candidates via, primarily, what could be considered “global communication vehicles” (or, in current industry parlance, “social media” – Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.), I think you can all ZIP IT and just point to this quote.

Seriously, this freakin’ election has been going on for 2 years – more actually if you really think about it (BO’s speech at the DNC before becoming a senator, Bush crushing McCain in SC primary via dirty media tactics – I’ll come back to that later). Screaming at each other when you mostly all agree about something really isn’t helping. Effective frequency has been broached. Tell it to people who might need to be influenced – i.e. those who are undecided since media outlets on the left and the right are saying those few million of us who exist will be the ones deciding this thing.

Frankly, the tone of what’s being spewed forth from those outlets makes me think if I didn’t have a career in this media/marketing/advertising industry I’d probably just stay home because I can’t figure out which is the lesser of two evils. That, my friends, sounds like a potentially relevant strategy – be so derisive in your communication that you harden the base and generate so much disdain in the democratic process that the undecided just don’t bother. Short sighted, perhaps, but effective nonetheless.

For the love, people, most of you are in jobs where you need to figure out every day who the best prospects are for your or your clients’ messages, how you should best craft those messages to change perceptions and actions, and where/how often you need to say the things you need to say. Practice what you preach. Get out of the echo chamber.

And if you all really believe in the power of “social media”, seems this would be just the sort of thing “social media” can be used for to do more good in spreading the word in a beneficial way…right? Or is “social media” just about showing your network that you’re blistering, sarcastic and/or sardonic? Take a cue from BO – his use of social media as a positive force in spreading and effectively (and efficiently, I might add) explaining his message and refuting the other side’s POV has been masterful. It has had a great influence on this Indy.

Of course, I’m giving the vast rabble of the electorate a lot of credit for being rational people who will respond rationally when spoken to rationally. Worked pretty well in times of crisis for other Presidents – Abe in his speeches and proclimations leading up to and during the Civil War, FDR and his “fireside chats” during the Depression and WWII, JFK debating Nixon and during the Cuban missile crisis, etc. I think 2000 and 2004 proved pretty well when they’re spoken to irrationally w/o an effective or coherent rational response they will behave irrationally. It’s a shame JM decided it best to mimic those derisive tactics that brought him down in the ’00 primary. Against a rational and relatively impervious candidate (vs. a reactive and overly emotional one) they just don’t work. Oh, and remember it almost made you switch parties in ’04. Now that’s a true maverick.

BTW, I’m really liking “Global Communication Vehicle” as opposed to “social media”. “Social Media” feels less and less relevant every day – or maybe it’s brilliant in it’s simplicity…who knows w/ these things; as an industry we lose interest relatively quickly in buzzwords and trends, or maybe we think we’re just so damn good at developing new buzzwords and trends we feel the need to do so consistently to substantiate our existence and make our jobs seem a lot more complex and hard to keep up w/ – maybe we all just just double our aderol and suck it up. What was I saying again? Oh, yeah.

So, Global Communication Vehicle sounds really big and important. It has a nice sounding acronym – GCV. It refers to what is accomplished by using it – communication – vs. the container in which what happens occurs – media (though that whole “vehicle” at the end is a bit disconcerting, but, again, “V” right after the combo of “GC” just sounds so euphonious – someone get me a nickel for using that word now). It takes it beyond a seemingly trivial use – to socialize – and makes it seem like Colin Powell as Barack Obama’s top advisor on international matters could use it to fix Darfur or see K-G and B in Putin’s eyes. Ooo, new shiny object is prrriiiitttyyy…..


Filed under bad media, communication platforms, election 08, media coverage, quote of the day, riffs, twitter

So maybe media stocks should spike for a bit, then completely crumble…

This from an article in this morning’s Guardian about tech’s being affected by the broader market issues:

On Friday a single report – put out by a blogger on an unfiltered part of CNN’s website – claimed that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs had suffered a heart attack. Before the company even had time to deny the rumour, Apple shares had started dropping sharply, losing 8% of their value in just a few minutes. Although the prices quickly corrected once it became clear that there was no truth in the report, it became clear how quickly panic could take over.

Two things.

One, again, media stocks shouldn’t be affected adversely by the market as the media shows an incredible ability to drive huge market fluctuations on suspicions and innuendo just by reporting said suspicions and innuendo. Again, don’t you reward companies for doing their job expertly?

Two, “a blogger on an unfiltered part of CNN’s website” caused this. OK, say maybe the media should be affected adversely by the market because “the media” still hasn’t really assimilated to these new-fangled reporting mechanisms. Jeff Jarvis posted last week reminding us of Bob Garfield’s chaos scenario from a couple years back. The current media establishment will most likely crumble before the next one is ready to step in. Is this a sign of the times?

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If anything, media stocks should be soaring…

Why are media stocks doing so horribly in the current economic times? If anything, the media drives the markets. Extremely over-simplified telling of events to prove my point…

Pelosi holds press conference, places/deflects blame, Republicans see press conference, Republicans pissed, bailout doesn’t pass, Republicans hold press conference, place blame.

Bailout doesn’t pass, reported in the media, 700+ point dip in stock market.

Bush makes statement at press conference this morning, markets go up sharply.

Perhaps the problem is the media is a bit too good. No, no, I don’t believe that. Good Lord, I most definitely do not believe that. The media isn’t too good, the infrastructure is too fast. It’s a people problem.

The people reporting sensationalize, the people receiving respond like Pavlov’s dogs.

I’ll refrain from passing judgement on “the media” and “their message” and “the receivers of that message”…for now. Or maybe I already did. Whatever.

(I will say this – does it really matter who’s to blame at this point? Please raise my taxes and squeeze me in a vice as it pertains to my credit and debt so this damn flat world doesn’t, um, fold. And make damn sure this doesn’t happen again. If you’ve been in Washington for this turn of events, welcome back to being part of this rabble known as the American public.)

The point is that if your business is all about making people watch you then making people do something based on watching you, and you do that so well you cause economic market fluctuations, why in the hell wouldn’t the same economic markets reward you for doing what you do?

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