When did NBC Nightly News become such CW sludge? ... P.S.: Of all the public figures I got to interview (usually as part of a group) when I was an actual MSM journalist, one of the two or three least impressive--and certainly the most disappointing, given his rep--was Lee Hamilton. Maybe he was having a bad day, but even on topics about which he was supposed to be a leading expert, the man was not mentally agile. ... 9:26 P.M.
Checking in with ... visionary CNN leader Jonathan Klein! Who knew, when Klein declared he agreed "wholeheartedly" with Jon Stewart's attack on what Klein called "head-butting debate shows,"--and when he pledged to "report the news" and not "talk about the news"--that what he really meant to give us was Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace! ... Ah, but that's CNN Headline News, you say, not Regular Pure Hard News Opinion-Free CNN itself. They're totally separate!** For the moment that's true. But thanks to Klein's visionary leadership, Regular Pure CNN has gone from being the second place cable network to being the third ... wait, make that occasionally fourth place cable network, behind a surging (opinionated) MSNBC and Head-Buttin' Headline News itself! ... If the "brash" head-butt format keeps delivering, how long before it infiltrates Regular Pure CNN? Sub-question: How much more expensive is it to produce Regular CNN than Headline News? Three times as much? Ten times? ... Bonus question: Whatever happened to storytelling?
**--Didn't they used to be synergistic? ... 9:05 P.M.
One-hour NBC Expense Account Special coming Dec. 26: "Tom Brokaw reports on the real story of illegal immigration" from the
pristine stretch between Aspen and Vail ....
Next summer: The trail of tears from Sag Harbor to Montauk! 5:56 P.M.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
"If Obama runs, he wins"--1 out of 4 will do? So Markos Moulitsas expects Obama to lose Iowa, lose Nevada, and lose New Hampshire--the first three Dem nominating contests--but he nevertheless declares Obama the "prohibitive favorite," if he runs, because he might win South Carolina? I'm not quite following kos' logic. Does Jerome Armstrong have a new client or something? ... [Thanks to S.S. ] 4:35 P.M.
Virtual Fence = Virtual Corruption? Speaker Pelosi's post- Hastings fallback choice to head the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, voted against building the 700 mile border fence. He prefers a system of video surveillance cameras, apparently. And gee, it seems that his daughter works for a firm that won a government contract to provide such surveillance services! What's more, according to WaPo's John Mintz (who broke the story) the firm did a really bad job. TPM Muckraker summarizes:
In 1999, IMC [the firm in question] won the contract, worth over $200 million. And at the advice of the Immigration and Naturalization Service official who was managing the operation, the company hired Reyes' daughter, Rebecca Reyes, to be his liaison at the company, the Post reported.
IMC's performance on the program was so bad it verged on criminal, according to later investigations. Millions of dollars in overcharges were alleged, installation was so bad that some cameras never worked properly, and the entire exercise wasted money and "placed. . . national security at risk," according to a GSA inspector general report. [E.A.]