kausfiles Gets Results, Unexpectedly! ABC News appears to have actually taken kf's advice and rejiggered its valuable "Evening News Wrap" feature to provide a complete story-by-story rundown. I like the change, of course. It reads quickly and you feel like you've covered all three broadcasts. ... A little heavier on the knowing Note-style characterizations at the beginning (i.e. whether a story twists knife against Bush, or Kerry, with quotes as proof) and they'll be there, I think. ['there' is...?-ed Where they should be!]... 1:50 A.M.
Friday, May 28, 2004
Juan Cole has an explanation for why the U.S. and U.N. might have picked an ex-exile without much domestic support to be the caretaker Iraqi P.M.:
[U.N. special envoy Lakhdar] Brahimi does not want the PM to come from a party with grass roots, lest he use the advantages of incumbency to stay in power.
His unpopularity's not a bug, it's a feature! ... P.S.: Aside from that, I know I'm not alone in failing to completely understand the odd, decidedly un-transparent procedure by which Dr. Allawi was named. Wasn't the idea to ditch the unpopular U.S. appointed Governing Council and have the non-American U.N. choose the caretaker government? Instead, it at least looks as if the Governing Council has forced the U.N. to perpetuate its influence. (But if Sistani's happy, I guess we should be happy. ... Update: The BBC describes the selection as a revolt against Brahimi by the Governing Council. The NYT agrees. This is not necessarily incompatible with Cole's perverse logic, since a) Allawi was apparently on Brahimi's short list and b) Allawi seems to have been a compromise acceptable (i.e. unthreatening) to two Shiite parties that actually have grassroots support. .... 5:27 P.M.
Today's Papers for the Tube: According to ABC's The Note
Despite sweeping changes in the political media landscape over the last several decades, some rules have remained the same since time began. ...[snip]
TV news coverage drives the rhythms and outcomes of elections, and TV news decision makers (executives, executive producers, anchors, reporters, producers, and, now, Googling monkeys) have their days shaped by reading the morning papers and listening to the radio (which also keys off of the morning papers).
I have some doubts whether this Standard Model of the News Cycle still holds--how many of your friends still get their main political info from the evening news? (That means you in the Heartland too!) ... But even if the mass of the citizenry doesn't get its info from the evening news, the evening news is still important if the commentariat thinks it's important (and gears its commentary to what the evening news shows show). ... In other words, if people that matter still think people that matter watch it, I better try to watch it too. But often I miss it--and I've always thought that one valuable, easy-to-produce Web resource would be a page that simply told you, every day, what stories Brokaw, Jennings, and Rather did. .... It turns out such a page exists. It's produced by ABC, it's called "Evening News Wrap," and though they don't do a very good job of advertising it, you can find it here. ... ABC's page would be better, I think, if its opinionated "Today's Papers"-like summary were supplemented by a rudimentary shorthand list of every story run by the nets and the order in which they ran. (There can't be more than 15 stories on every newscast.) .... Sample: "NBC: 1. Iraq (Najaf); 2. Iraq (Ambush--Mitchell); 3. Kerry (Patriot Act--O'Donnell) .... CBS: 1. U.S. Terror Threat (Orr); 2. Iraq (Najaf)... etc. ... If the ABC people ever perfect "Evening Newscast Wrap," there'll be no more need for anyone to actually watch the evening news shows at all. Of course, that won't make them any less important. ... 2:13 A.M.
Thursday, May 27, 2004