Lou Dobbs CNN Crew: The Magpies of Media

The journo-tainment industry may not be factually relevant or inspire an intellectual curiosity … but it sure does sell soap powder and create a compulsion to stay tuned.  After all, when Lou Dobbs says he will be right back to smirk about how pathetic Congress is … right after the toilet bowl cleaner commercial … one may very well be compelled to not miss a single  of his latest diatribe.  It is this scat singing /  “s” talking that has so attracted droves of viewers to become a part of the ‘not-a-clue’ forum. And no one needs a clue – because this isn’t an exchange of informatoin – it is battleground of emotion.

With the precision of a military drill team, people without a working knowledge of our government or history begin to talk, argue and even publish their criticisms on the subject.  You can always spot the chronically uninformed.  They are precisely what you need if you are casting extras for a riot scene in a film.  They are noisy, ostensibly without direction and even though they are talking or shouting, it is impossible to discern what it is they are saying … however … they’re common bond is fear.

Lou Dobbs, the Eddie Haskell of journo-tainment,  has the easiest job in broadcast history.  It is difficult to perceive that he does any personal research.  His journalism requires sniping from a high altitude and then surrounding himself with people that are very glad for the evenings’ wages.  They don’t actually disagree with him as he criticizes anything and everything.  Dobbs and company rarely recommend any risky alternative.  In fact, even their criticisms don’t seem to be able to endure a  junior high school debate team’s scrutiny.

He smirks and hrrmmphs at world calamities as though he were in the cafeteria with cohorts ridiculing one of the less stylin’ teachers.  Flanked by terminally partisan hacks that have managed to get paying gigs as “S” talking chorus members – there are no actual facts.  Instead, Dobbs and his compatriots all over the dial, frame their opinion as though it were in actuality, representative of facts – but these are fact-free diets of mostly fiction with nary a scintilla of fiber.

Yesterday, while at the gym working out, I tuned my headset to the CNN broadcast with Lou Dobbs.  It was just what I needed to do another set even though my arms were fatigued.  The roundish honest faced broadcaster repeated the words “largest transfer of wealth” three times without ever considering the fact that if tax payer money was moving towards job creation the operative term would be “transferring back.”  On the same broadcast, comments about John McCain’s objections about long-term investment in Broad-band infrastructure was unacceptable without recollecting that only a matter of months ago, John McCain promoted the idea as second only to Green initiatives in its job creating  potential in order to help the economy.  Singing back up was Ed Rollins, a political consultant with no political consulting gigs, yet he gets to peddle is head-shaking admonishments as they are needed.  His role is color commentary and additional head shaking while agreeing with Lou Dobbs disagreement.  The ball is often passed with the instructive – “right?”

At least the Magpies didn’t have tele-prompters.  They also didn’t pose as anything but trouble makers.  They didn’t prance around with turkey feathers to wet our appetites, but they would close the glass door on the poor sap while distracting him.  They constantly gave commentary – but never called themselves commentators.  Is one a commentator when sitting in the bleachers screaming “throw da’ bum out !!! ??

The list of these Journo-tainers is without end as are the stories they broadcast.  It is a serialization of the news designed to sell products and advertising by dramatically creating a series of vignettes that give the viewer a sense that they are actually engaged in reasoned discourse, while in actuality it is a dramatic rendering of the days events with incredible license.


Opinion v. US Constitution : When Journalism Makes News Instead of Reporting It

Remember this ?

We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wait! ‘We?’ – The News says ‘They’

Precisely the point. The preamble is rich with words. ‘We,’ ‘ourselves’ and ‘our’ are operative pronouns in the preamble. It’s the mission statement, the executive summary if you will, of the business plan. Any one that knows about business plans understands that while this is the starting point of the plan – it’s the last thing that’s written.

News Makes Good Business

And make no mistake about it – News is Business. These aren’t the days of Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ – this is non-stop, push, pull, desktop alert, cable and satellite data transfer of information. As newspapers replaced town criers, the will of the local power was supplanted by the will, in many cases, of the local conscience. These aren’t even the days of William Paley who presided over the construction of one of the most powerful radio and television news trusts, albeit not without considerable warfare within that trust.

Nonetheless, the reporter wasn’t anonymous and the viewer / customer wasn’t treated as so many ants at a church picnic. There was a dynamic relationship between advertisers and their customers, and between TV/Radio programming and those advertisers. There was a dialog – maybe not the way we’ve grown accustomed to now – such as this blog – but it was a powerful dialog, just the same. News wasn’t actually for profit – but was exploited for Brand loyalty and recognition.

Today – News That Suits Your Tastes – News as Sport

All one has to do his decide who you would like to be the good-guys and tune in the appropriate station. Undecided? There’s one for you too. Republicans got your goat? Presidential pains? – There’s a station for you. Do you believe that uni-bomber may have been channeling Adolf Hitler? There’s news programming that will suit your tastes. Not enough T&A at your office? There’s news programming for you too. In fact, whatever your bent – a carefully constructed ‘News-ish’ venue has been carefully and commercially developed to fit your personal gratification needs (as fleeting as they may be) and get you into that fulfilling dog-barking mode by providing you with a comfy home with your virtual team, while hammering the ‘they.’

Today News is a profit center – and – we throw the term around in order to legitimate commentary by labeling it ‘News,’ or suggesting it is a product of a News channel of sorts. Taking a lesson from the sports programmers, one would think that a few journalists would have balked at the MBA’s and marketing types that were taking over managing the News Divisions throughout broadcasting.  But with 1500% increases in compensation for simply changing careers – bingo – the choice is pretty obvious.

News really isn’t news – it’s pretty much all commentary. It was amazing that with the writer’s strike, any news program was able to go on.  Apparently there is a huge cache of scabs that no one realized. One can place a sign by old eggs that reads “Fresh” but they remain old eggs.

What to do ??

Simple – read the constitution for five minutes a day. Just read it. Read the same article everyday for a week. Soon you won’t have to scratch your head or reach for a remote control when you see a politician quoting or misquoting the intentions of framers. Soon you’ll recognize the constitution con jobs from the constitutional care-takers. You may even consider writing a letter that cites specifics. You won’t be forced to only talk about Emerill’s take-over by Martha Stewart. Imagine – in a short time we’ll all know the same stuff and we can take this into consideration when we vote for politicians. We can even argue the fine points of the Constitution with a solution in mind – instead of the joy of the fight. Yikes! We can even collectively turn off most of the nonsense that has been posing as news and discuss solutions – locally, federally and globally. Look how easy it is – just a wee bit of ‘we’ like the Preamble of the Constitution. But, it all starts with you – not them.

If you would like to start reading a little bit of the Constitution each day – the nice folks at Cornell University Law School have made it easy by putting it on-line here.