Mourn for the Mainstream Media, they’re having difficulty remaining profitable. What’s an industry to do? Do you come up with new business models? Do you try to exploit the new technologies that are supplanting you? Do you try and determine what changes in your product might actually improve the public’s appetite for what you’re trying to sell?
No, silly. You run to the government. Of course the State will help you, after all, why wouldn’t they want to have some measure of control on the media? I mean, with all the bad information out there, wouldn’t it be better if some well-meaning avuncular state senator was there to define who was a real journalist or not:
Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets–traditional, online and citizen generated–and an even greater amount misinformation.
“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.
He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.
Yeah, that will never be used to vet journalists for ideological purity. It’s only to prevent confusion, really. Besides, it’s just one wingnut state senator who’s intimidated by the Drudge report, it’s not like some huge federal agency is trying to get its regulatory hooks into the news media. I mean, why should this concern anyone? (h/t Instapundit):
Establish a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is the federal program that places young people with nonprofits to get training and do public service work.87 According to proponents, this proposal would help to ensure that young people who love journalism will stay in the field. “It strikes us as a win-win; we get more journalists covering our communities, and young journalists have a chance to gain valuable experience – even at a time when the small dailies where they might have started are laying reporters off.”
Provide a tax credit to news organizations for every journalist they employ. This could help pay the salary of every journalist. Although the proponent of this idea died before it had been fully developed, one speaker noted it is one way to subsidize journalists without the government picking one paper over another. [How do you define a journalist for the purpose of this rule? See the above wingnut state senator for that.]
Hey, but with all the talk of Government money flowing into media companies, it’s not like a news organization might slant its coverage in favor of the people cutting the checks. Only the tinfoil hat brigade would worry about that.
Why should we worry abouy people saying things like this?
So I don’t—I, I—I’m worried about this, it’s why I have fantasized—don’t get me wrong—but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness.
It would be good…if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.
Well, the reason is, sometimes the elite intellectual authoritarian fantasizing gets out of hand:
Aligning political interests is supposedly a good thing. If you can form a coalition based on common goals, you can more likely achieve them. The problem with this is that it’s very easy for those with political agendas to forget what exactly those goals are, and form such coalitions based solely on achieving political power. What’s the diff, you ask? Well, if your goal shifts from, say, saving the planet from global warming, to forming a coalition of power that can forcefully take the policy steps you think should be taken, it becomes very easy to hijack your whole movement. Consider Charlie Stross’ point:
Let’s take the environmentalist side first. A large subset who believe that consumer capitalism is incompatible with long-term human survival. For their purposes, consumer capitalism is an unchanging and unmodifiable whirl of resource extraction trapped in a positive feedback loop such that increasing economic activity and prosperity can only be maintained by increasing the rate of resource extraction and the resulting polution and production of waste.
Those at the bottom of the economic wealth distribution curve receive the message “we need to reduce economic growth” and interpret it as “you’re never going to get your fair share of the pie”. And when those at the top of the heap hear it, they interpret it as “your share of the pie is too big, so we’re going to take a chunk of it away”.
The upshot is that much environmentalist rhetoric frames an important signal (limited resources and/or the danger of pollution) in terms of a faulty or obsolete economic model to produce a warning message that offends most of the people it’s meant to convince by implicitly threatening their perception of their future status.
Stross is not talking about opportunistic politics, and he’s to the left of this here crazy blogger, but just looking at that analysis you can see why environmentalism is such a attractive posture to take for certain people who have more interest in attacking certain economic models than they do the environment. And as the current incarnation of Cap and Trade rolls down the pike, anyone with a true environmentalist agenda will find themselves on the sidelines wondering what the hell happened.
The EPA is hosting a contest called “Rulemaking Matters!” (Gotta love the gratuitous exclamation point.)
This video contest provided an opportunity for the public to explain federal rulemaking and motivate others to participate in the rulemaking process. Entrants created a short video, not exceeding 90 seconds in length, explaining why rules are important, why the average American should care about federal regulations, and how people can participate in the rulemaking process.
And from The Heritage Foundation:
Diversity, like “green,” or “fascism” is a buzzword that’s become more or less meaningless through overuse. Of course the proponents of “diversity” in its current meaning will maintain that it still means having a collection of people with differing life experiences and points of view. They would indicate that the whole point of promoting “diversity” to foster engagement and understanding between people with differing life histories and outlooks. . . I can haz world peace?
The problem with this, is that those promoting “diversity” in our political landscape only do so to the extent that “diversity” extends to external racial and gender signifiers. They see the face of a black man or a Hispanic woman and pronounce things “diverse,” the glass ceiling cracked, and the old boy network defeated. However, their use of the term “diversity” only extends (literally) skin deep.
Assuming Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, by this definition of “diversity” we’ll have the most diverse set of Justices ever. . . And, if Kagan is confirmed, every single member of the Supreme Court will have attended Harvard or Yale. The same institutions that produced the last two decades of presidents. If you’re looking for diversity of life experience here, not so much.
“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.”
“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.”
“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.”
“As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.”
“In the new economy, information, education, and motivation are everything.”
William J. Clinton
“America is the most inventive country in the world because everybody has access to information.”
“And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”
Mother Jones asks the question that seems to be on the collective mind of the left. They ask “Why Do So Many People Think Elena Kagan Is Gay?“ Of course, they answer their own question, and the answer is somewhat similar to the one given by the White House, that it is a vile smear ginned up by religious right-wingers:
It’s her hair, right? Or perhaps her stout physique? It’s hard to pin it down exactly, but there is something about Obama’s latest Supreme Court pick that has made the “alleged lesbian” label stick, despite unambiguous statements from the administration that Elena Kagan is most definitely straight.
Monday, after the news leaked about Kagan’s nomination, religious conservative groups took to the Internets with multiple calls for Kagan to out herself. Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a court-martialed military chaplain who now runs an anti-gay website, circulated a press release citing anonymous student reviews on Epinions as proof that Kagan is gay. Peter LaBarbera at Americans for Truth About Homosexuality blasted out a press release calling on Kagan to answer the question: “Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual?” He wrote, “in an era of ubiquitous pro-gay messages and pop culture celebration of homosexuality, it’s ridiculous that Americans should be left guessing as to whether a Supreme Court nominee has a special, personal interest in homosexuality. Given the important homosexual-related issues coming before the Supreme Court, Kagan should say so if she has a personal interest in lesbianism.”
This being the lede, the article continues on and on as if the source of the rumors of Kagan’s sexuality originated with the above religious conservative groups taking to the Internets. After all:
The ever cautious, drama-free Obama would be uncharacteristically stupid to lie about something so easily discoverable as whom Kagan has slept with.
Of course, presidential administrations never lie, and they always vet their nominees perfectly. To Mother Jones, there is no evidence for claiming the woman is gay, and somehow “the Kagan-is-a-lesbian meme suggests that there is still hostility directed at powerful women who dare tread in a man’s world.” Thus the homophobic squeamishness evident in the push-back to the rumor is safely hid under a veil of sexist gender politics. How tidy.
But, apparently Stephanie Mencimer, in writing the article did not do some basic due diligence to actually find the sources of the rumor. You see, there’s this little internet thingee called Google, where you can actually search for news topics in a given date range, say before Kagan was on anyone’s gaydar. And, would you be surprised to know that the whole lesbian meme did not originate in some church basement of the vast right-wing conspiracy?
From the Bay Area Reporter 12/17/2009:
“President Obama could do what Attorney General Jerry Brown has done with Proposition 8 and declare the law indefensible. Presumably, the Office of Legal Counsel could opine that DADT is no longer legally defensible, given the passage of the Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, and Supreme Court decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans,” DeKoven said.
He added, “The lawyer [solicitor general] for the U.S. is Elena Kagan, an openly lesbian former dean of Harvard Law School. It’s unlikely she would defend the law, or would Eric Holder, our first African American attorney general.”
Hmmm. That’s Robert R. DeKoven, a law professor at San Diego’s California Western School of Law, printed in “San Francisco’s oldest and largest local newspaper of record serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.” You know, I suspect that a lot of readers in San Francisco may have read that, and believe Elena Kagan is gay.
Kagan is not out, though several blogs have suggested she has a female partner and that her sexual orientation is an “open secret” at Harvard Law School.
Yeah, the whole lesbian thing came out of nowhere.
And guess what, we have onerous additional tax paperwork for every single business that has nothing to do with health care.
Oh, and that whole, “it will control you premium costs?” Ahhh, not so much.
Perhaps they should have read the thing. I think that might be as good a means to “find out what’s in the bill” as passing it.
Some people get downright offended when reality doesn’t match their talking points.
But I was promised right-wing violence.
And we actually have capital-L Libertarian ballots this (Ohio) primary. I filled one out even though I’m cynical enough to suspect the only reason they let us have them is that the two party establishment wants to keep us wingnuts from keeping their people from making it to the general election. (I mean God help the Dems or the GOP if someone with some actual principles gets nominated.) But, it really comes down to this: you think third party candidates are meaningless? I’ll simply point out to you that the current administration and progressive congress are a direct consequence of Nader’s run in 2000. . . In response to that loss, the Democrats became the Green party.
Anyone who ever tells you you’re wasting your vote has an agenda.