The High Standards of the Media.

Full disclosure: I used to be a reporter. In my salad days, I was the news director of my college radio station. Not exactly a stepping stone to the next Pulizter, but I bring this up to illustrate that I am aware of what it takes to work on an explosive story, and the fact that it can be difficult to keep one’s opinions neutral, when writing about topics that can elicit a partisan response.

Having said that, it really isn’t that difficult to tell when a reporter (or an entire network – NBC) is in the tank for a candidate. That’s bad – and a complete repudiation of journalistic ethics. (There’s a reason why newspapers have a “news” section and a “opinion” page. What’s worse is when a journalist decides to carry the water for their candidate’s attack dogs, and turn their bully pulpit into a venue for personal attacks.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I give you Ms. Heather Mallick, of the CBC News. Continue reading The High Standards of the Media.

Bias, with a side of mud.

Item #1: A few years ago, Rolling Stone magazine ran a series of brilliant ads in other trade publications, to educate potential advertisers as to who really reads Rolling Stone. They were two-page spreads – on the left showed someone dressed as a classic, 1960’s-era hippie. The headline read “Perception.” On the following page the same guy was dressed in a Brooks Brothers 3-piece suit, with a briefcase. The headline on that page read “Reality.” The body copy stated some demographics for the magazine, pointing out that a majority of their readers were affluent and held real jobs.

Item #2: My daddy used to impart a number of pearls of wisdom to me, two of which were “you can’t throw mud without getting some on you,” and “the guilty dog barks first.”

Keep these items in mind as I share with you some bon mots from the campaign trail… Continue reading Bias, with a side of mud.

The Politics of Envy.

As a reader of this blog, you know that I come at things from a conservative point of view. Note that I didn’t claim a Republican point of view, as the GOP has managed to largely divest itself of the Conservative position over the last eight years or so. I long for a leader that will bring back the principled convictions and decisive action of Ronald Reagan. I think I’ve found such a leader. And it has the left positively apoplectic. I’m loathe to quote Al “I invented the Internet, and the Global Warming ScareFest, too!” Gore, but he did say something quite revealing (or at least it’s been attributed to him – you can never really tell with a liberal if it’s a real quote, or just more plagiarism): “When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler.” And, boy, the left has been hollering. But why? They claim to have the facts on their side. They claim to have the rule of law. Based on the readouts on the VU Meters in the media, I’d say they realize they don’t. Here’s what I think is really going on…

Continue reading The Politics of Envy.

Class.

When I was a kid, my father (who had turned pro at the age of four, and literally grew up in show business) used to tell me that the biggest stars (or at least the ones who’d been in the business the longest) were the nicest people. He attributed this to the fact that “you meet the same people on the way down as you do going up,” and therefore the successful artists were the ones who were nice to everybody, and made few enemies on the way up. I’ve seen that hold true in my own experience. I’m not talking about the “overnight success” types – poptarts like Britney Spears. I’m referring to people that start in the business when they’re young, usually with either a parent (or two) in the business, or a mentor that has years of show business experience. These are the people that, regardless of their fame or fortune, remain “real” – genuinely nice people, who treat everyone well, without regard to who they are or how they can benefit from a kindness. I recently had the privilege to exchange a couple of emails with one such person, and I’d like to tell you about it. Continue reading Class.

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse Oblige [nō-ˈbles-ə-ˈblēzh] n – the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous.

In a land where the concept of a king and his court never got traction, America has always substituted “fame” for “nobility.” We don’t have princes and duchesses, we have superstars and poptarts. In Europe, royalty like Prince Charles and his offspring are household names, and in some cases all but worshiped (see: “Diana, Princess.”) In this country, our nobility is of the more disposable type, with P.R. mavens and the insatiable appetite of the media serving as the power behind the throne, reveling in their powers as king- and queen-makers extraordinaire. Continue reading Noblesse Oblige

Children with Toys.

Giving young actors a budget of a couple of million dollars and telling them to go make a movie is a lot like giving a four-year-old a pair of scissors and telling them to practice those naiscent running skills…the results are not gonna be pretty. Allowing some actors a budget to make the political equivalent of potty jokes (in one case, quite litterally) is just completely irresponsible.

David “I married Courtney Cox so you don’t have to” Arquette and his ex-Friends wife have created a little opus they call “The Tripper.” It’s a fun-loving story about some Really Earnest Hippies who encounter a derranged psychopath who likes to dress up like President Ronald Reagan, mimic his voice, use his one-liners…and chop people to death with an axe. Um…yeah.

Watching some bad movies, you think, “Wow…this musta seemed funny on paper…I wonder what happened.” Not this turkey. What I wonder is what movie exec lost his job for greenlighting this abomination. Continue reading Children with Toys.

War. And Rememberance.

It’s been seven years. As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, that’s the first thing that sticks in my head. I can’t believe it’s been seven years. Back when we ushered in the new millennium, I really thought that the most momentous milestone in time that I’d live through would be the change from the 20th century to the 21st. Turns out, I was wrong. We don’t really measure time today as in “before the millennium” and “after the millennium.” We live in a post-9/11 world, and long for the way things used to be, before that fateful day in September. Continue reading War. And Rememberance.

Empire of Lies; Book of Truth.

I’ve always loved to read. It’s relaxing. I read a lot – mostly tech books, but I try to read some recreationally, both to relax and to expand my horizons. I was watching Glenn Beck on Headline News a couple of weeks ago, and he had author Andrew Klavan on, pitching his latest, Empire of Lies. Sounded interesting, so I filed it away to a slot on my list of “books I want to read.” This past week, I thought about the book, but had a hard time remembering the name or the author. It finally dawned on me that I could use Amazon’s “if you like this book you might also like” feature to find it. Sure enough, I was able to remember the general look of the cover. I’m not always into instant gratification, but for some reason, I really wanted to read this, and I had some time on my hands, so… Continue reading Empire of Lies; Book of Truth.

We’re evolving…

I’m trying out a new theme tonight. The old one was fine, but this theme offers a lot more – an extra column, more widgets, easier navigation. The content remains the same, but I think this one will be a little easier to read. There’s also another advantage, in that it’s the same theme I’m using for our sister blog – grokmedia |mediablog. Let me know what you think.

NEWSFLASH: Obama worshiper exposed as loon.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder around here in Amarillo (Centrally Located Between Two Oceans!™), it did. Mrs. Digital was at a local supermarket a few minutes ago, and some Obama supporter when all Zsa-Zsa Gabor on her. That’s right. My significant other was wearing the tshirt you see pictured to the left (available online, by the way, through my wife’s company, www.vectorright.com), minding her own business, when some raving loon…um, I mean “Obama supporter” walked up to her and said “Bitch!” and proceeded to slap her, open handed, across her face. Keep in mind, this was not at some seedy “Stop ‘n Rob” drive up convenience store. Nope. This happened at what is by all accounts, the nicest, most up-scale grocery store in Amarillo.

Immediately, my wife was surrounded by other customers, and the manager ran over to offer his assistance. He asked if my wife wanted him to call the police. My wife is one tough cookie, and (she told me whilst recounting the event) figured that the police have better things to do, so she declined his offer. The manager then escorted the woman who assaulted my wife out of the store. Continue reading NEWSFLASH: Obama worshiper exposed as loon.