Posts Tagged ‘Journalism’

h1

The Stabbing Knife Vol. 3: Steve Dahl

November 18, 2009

Roberto prepares to "cut a bitch," Chicago-style.

The Stabbing Knife is back after a brief resting period. [Wait for applause to die down.]

We’ve stabbed before here on Fancy Pants. Here’s a very brief list of the previous victims, whose asinine remarks made their stab wounds mainly self-inflicted:
ASCAP
Garth Brooks

Things must have been going too well. All was quiet and rather orderly until this jackass decided to take his frustration with his dwindling career options to take a shit on the entire Internet.

Ladies and gentleman: Steve Dahl, noted radio personality and columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Steve Dahl: all the fun of NA beer with twice the water retention.

So what’s his problem?

Apparently, he hates the fact that due to Twitter, blogs and comment threads, ordinary people are allowed to voice their opinion.

“These days, a person only needs a computer to spew opinion across a variety of platforms. Healthy doses of outrage and narcissism are also helpful.”

This is unfair to Steve, although it is difficult to tell why. He doesn’t hold a degree in journalism as one would expect, based on the self-righteous bullshit he’s spewing. Let’s read a little further and see what entitles him to his opinion but not us to ours:

“Don’t get me wrong. I am also an outraged narcissist, but I had to work six-hour shifts in Bakersfield, Calif., to earn my stripes as a communicator.”

Holy fucking shit! Six hours! The man’s an animal!

How does he do it?

Who here works more than 6 hours a day? Yeah, that’s pretty much everybody. However, since you don’t work in the hallowed halls of a dying format like radio or newspapers, your opinion means fuck-all.

He goes on to insert his massive foot farther into his massive mouth by calling CNN out for reading viewer Tweets:

“Nowadays, having a Twitter page qualifies a person to give commentary on CNN. I am not interested in the take of @stinky on the Fort Hood shootings or any other current events. I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion.”

So, boneheads: how’s that feel? A dinosaur of the cable news industry is recognizing the shifting playing field and trying to connect with their viewers. Sure, not every opinion is going to be mind-blowing gold, but at least they’re trying. As compared to Stevie here, whose sense of entitlement is currently going at his brain like an enraged tumor and devouring anything useful.

Steve’s not content to stop there. Here’s a swing at Facebook:

“With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and texting, now almost any fool can set up his or her broadcast hub.”

You hear that, fools? Your own broadcast hub! It’ll be like the heyday of pirate radio, only staffed with fools and boneheads!

This seems way, way more than hypocritical from a guy who admits to using Facebook and Twitter nearly constantly.

And, of course, he used it to send out photos of bikini-clad women whose pictures were taken unknowingly.

“I even started including bikini shots via Twitpic with my Tweets.”

Oh, and he has a blog.

For someone so connected with his readers, he sure knows how to marginalize them all in just a few paragraphs. This is why your average Internet user hates your average journalist. They all consider themselves to be better and more informed than the readers they cater to. But now there are too many options and rather than try to connect, they condescend.

Unfortunately, no one has any pity for all these small fish in a rapidly draining pond. No matter how much they splash around like big fish, they’ll still fit down the drain.

This is America, land of the running mouth. We all have opinions and we all like to state our case. For those who think a degree or a certain line of employment makes yours the only opinion that counts, prepare for a short lifespan of soul-sucking disappointment.

Your field has already been marginalized by the Internet, and all you can think to do is pour gasoline on your death pyre.

Of course, great thinking and open-mindedness is not to be expected from the “DJ-personality” who presided over one of the most celebrated public displays of racism and homophobia ever: Disco Demolition Night.

Well, it's no "God Hates Fags" but it does have a kickass lightning-y font...

So long, asshat. Enjoy the brief spike in readers from your troll-baiting bullshit.

From the blogosphere’s black heart, I stab at thee.

-CLT

Advertisements
h1

Condé Nast Publication’s 2009 Magazine Lineup

August 13, 2009

There are many who have stated that print media is dying. Well, it is, but let’s not let that spoil its last breaths. CondéNast, pusher of fine magazines everywhere has spent the last several years perfecting its lineup, trying to pinpoint exact demographics in hopes of a sale. How exact? See for yourself.

The adult bookstore hadn't been the same since Rudy Giuliani took over

The adult bookstore hadn't been the same since Rudy Giuliani took over

Ostentatious Bullshit Monthly (also includes four yearly specialty issues: Cigar Smoking Asshole, Third Wives’ Gazette; Bugatti Waiting List and Platinum: the Gold Standard)

1,001 Olestra Recipes

Hustler, Jr.

Celebrity Convict Personals

Aztek Enthusiast

Grit High Society

Plaything (a TS/TV offshoot of Playboy, Inc.)

Games Special Edition: Global Thermonuclear War

The Packrat Post (published 4-6 times daily)

Impromptu Fly Swatter Tabloid (featuring tapered pages, lower center of gravity than competing tabloids)

Narcissiste! (printed on reflective Mylar)

1,001 Cleopatra Compilations

Kiplinger’s Guide to Failed Magazines

Fad Diet Enthusiast (a division of O Publications)

1,001 Crochet Projects (Sweater ideas for everyone: From your dachshund to your Real Doll)

Women’s Cycling Monthly (Missing an issue? Contact your physician.)

AARP Swimsuit Issue

Paul Mitchell’s Haircut 100

Roadside Graffittist

Rape Allegation Weekly (a division of NFL Publications)

101 Home Remedies (contains about 50% disclaimers; 30% Merck ads)

Phrenology Today

Mathmagician!

Mailbag (Nothing but Letters to the Editor!)

American Philatelist (It’s stamp collecting, perverts.)

Conde Nast Annual Corrections and Retractions Issue (2009 issue features over 400 pages of blown calls, sketchy research and half-assed reporting)

HAM Radio Enthusiast (This issue dedicated to all three of you.)

Thrilling Private Eye Stories! (Specializing in divorce, insurance fraud)

Have You Seen Me? (Public awareness magazine brought to you by the US Dairy Council and Concerned Citizens of America: Got kids?)

Dateless Wonder Personals (Thousands of weekly reasons why some people should be single.)

The American Journal of Creationism (Now with 70% more rhetoric; 40% less research!)

Flute World (Tablatures for Jethro Tull and… um… hmmm…. Zamfir!)

4-Color Printing Errors (Or could be the latest issue of Wired. Looks like the CMYK offset may be intentional? Wired it is!)

The American Journal of Serious American Journalism (Subscriptions by invitation only, you filthy bloggers!)

GQ Ads-Only Year End Spectacular (Smells fantastic!)

World’s Best Soylent Green Recipes (A division of People.)

Them Magazine (We’ve been against US Magazine since day one.)

-CLT

h1

Lou Dobbs: Shitty Employee

August 6, 2009
A general note:
I am in the process of quitting smoking. I was prepared for the withdrawal symptoms of restlessness and homicidal urges. What caught me completely unaware was the sluggishness. My brain only feels about half awake most of the time. The rest of the time it only thinks of cigarettes.
My brain apparently needs 15-20 solid hits of nicotine a day to get all of the synapses firing. I’m trying to power thru it, but I think my writing may be a bit off.
You may pick up on this. Feel free to say so in the comment box. Something like, “CLT was more clever/insightful/of an asshole when he was still smoking.” I won’t go back to smoking, if for no other reason than I’d rather not crowdsource my addictions. But I feel your pain.
I felt the same way back in the mid-90’s when I heard one of my favorite bands (Skinny Puppy) has kicked their collective smack habit. I thought, “Jesus, the new album is going to suck.” (It did.)
Without further ado, some smoke-free words about Lou Dobbs, CNN, journalism and capitalism.
Lou Dobbs rests on his laurels; touches self

Lou Dobbs rests on his laurels; touches self

Lots of general cacophony over at CNN and around the news arena as Lou Dobbs continues to patronize the “birthers,” a fringe group whole sole purpose in life is to prove that our President was not born in the U.S.

When I use the word “patronize,” I obviously don’t mean like I patronize Nickelback fans. This would be more like I patronize X Record Store because they make it a point to never, ever stock any Nickelback.

Lou Dobbs, 30 years in the cable news business, seems to have reached that point that nearly every employee does late in their career: the “fuck ’em, I’ll do it my way” stage. Most people with a lifetime of experience in one field seem to reach this point eventually. (Government employees reach this state of maturity in as little as 90 days.) As the world around them continues to change, they become a drag on the company, throwing their seniority around and generally behaving like entitled jackasses.

I’ve run into it in the retail field. Times are tight. Budgets are being cut. People are being cross-trained to help out wherever needed. But not the legacy acts. Those who have been with the company for years have decided that they only need to do the same job they’ve always done, and because of their seniority, should be allowed to put in less effort.

CNN is a company. A private cable channel that happens to broadcast news. Should they be held to a different standard than TNT, USA or Spike? They’ve set themselves up to a higher standard by their selected field, but it doesn’t mean they’re immune to market forces. Failing shows get cut out of the schedule all the time.

Should Dobbs be immune? He’s lost 15% of his viewers in the last year. His “birther” horse-corpse beating was labelled as “dead” by his boss. But he refuses to change. He feels entitled to handle it his way. Instead of helping out his struggling network, he’d rather bring it down from the inside with his misplaced superiority.

"Yellow Tie Night" down 38% in the 25-40 demographic

"Yellow Tie Night" down 38% in the 25-40 demographic

CNN certainly isn’t helping their case. They’ve turned into the worst kind of H.R. rep: the ineffectual busybody. They claim to support him. They try to block critical ads. They need to man up and cut the fucker loose. They’re a few bad moments away from third place behind FOX and MSNBC.

Companies with amazing reputations and the best intentions make these moves when times are tough, from Zappos selling to Amazon or Google dropping the free hot coffee and sensual massages at headquarters.

If he wants to do it his way, he can start punching his own timeclock. FOX says they want him. Let him go. He’ll fit right in with the overexcitable paranoiacs who are all about presenting the “FAIR” and “BALANCED” viewpoint.

I have no sympathy for Dobbs, whose urge to continue slumming it on the “high road” is becoming an embarrassment for everyone around him. I can hardly sympathize with CNN either, because of their unwillingness to make the correct decision. If Lou manages to hold onto his position, it will only encourage others like him to push as many buttons as they can. He’ll just stick around, making the rest of the team uncomfortable with his outdated jokes and weak bladder.

This kind of dustup is just another nail in journalism’s coffin. Newspaper and magazines are folding. TV news is having a hard time gaining viewers. Blogs and independent websites will fill in this gap without the baggage of having to be profitable. The world is quickly learning that you don’t need a degree to report the news.

All of the news networks act like they only want to bring you the best news from only the most qualified anchors, but they’d staff it with feces-hurling monkeys critiquing the latest “Girls Gone Wild” video if they thought they’d get a permanent net gain in viewers.

Let me just make something perfectly clear: I could give a fuck if Dobbs talks to “birthers” all day long or does nothing but show Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Contests. I honestly do not care if his integrity is unassailable and he’s got God in his hip pocket. Run your business like you mean it, CNN. His ratings are dying. Cut him loose.

-CLT

h1

A Day in the Life of a Journalist

June 23, 2009
Hammering out yet another groundbreaking expose of school lunch menus...

Hammering out yet another groundbreaking expose of school lunch menus...

We’ve taken a look at the average blogger’s average day. Now let’s head over the educated half (degrees and such) and see how they live.

Over a breakfast of egg white-only omelets and Wild Turkey, peruse competing newspapers; Google self.

Board the subway. Crank iPod up to listen to John Sturm’s latest podcast dealing with the Internet’s lack of reliable reporting. Surreptitiously check self for irony.

Enter office. Tell Maureen Dowd you think she’s lost some weight. She growls and takes a drunken swing at you. Note to self: Should probably double-check your sources.

The reporter's best friend... except in "Naked Lunch"

The reporter's best friend... except in "Naked Lunch"

Gaze thoughtfully at your typewriter, admiring its ruthless efficiency and clean lines. Leave a note for the cleaning crew to have it dusted.

Fire up computer. Peruse email.

  • Latest LOLCAT
  • From the County Sheriff’s Dept. – Congratulations! You’ve just been served!
  • University of Phoenix Online – Stuck with the wrong degree?
  • все представить

Do some more “research” on this fascinating Ms. California. Set office IM to Do Not Disturb – “Researching”.

Head for local pub for more “research.” Tell yourself it’s important to touch base with the common man. Even (or perhaps, especially) if “Conspiracy Gary” is the only common man drinking this early.

Head to public library. Use their IP to edit your Wikipedia page.

Duck into Bacharach and see if Phil Alper can recommend a more “journalistic” fedora.

Check in with the boss and ask him if the paper’s website paywall is turning a profit. Dodge obscenities and empty whiskey bottles.

Start up a blog as an outlet for all the stories (see below) the boss wouldn’t let you run. Once again, run self-check for irony. Clean!

Prepare “Apples vs. Oranges” talking points for “Free is Not a Business Model” presentation.

Affect a general knowledge of passing trends while writing a vicious takedown on Crocs and the people who wear them.

Make some calls to verify whether or not high school renovations are actually on schedule.

Check on the paper’s latest “revenue stream.” Google “Google+Newspaper+Sue.” Again, nothing on the irony meter.

Get interns started on new poll: The Internet: Stupid or Worthless?

Head to lunch. Admire the restraint of those who can hold a “three martini lunch” to just three martinis.

Admire your diploma. Note that is has not one, but two, typos. Curse loudly.

Regret not going into the family business: topping and blocking hats.

Consider a career change. What business would benefit most from your misplaced superiority and your ability to ask inappropriate questions at awkward times? Telemarketing? Loan officer? STD Clinic?

Three Pulitzer Prizes and counting...

Three Pulitzer Prizes and counting...

Prepare emergency kit of hard liquor, painkillers and ego-salve prior to upcoming interviews with author Harlan Ellison, singer Lou Reed and musician Billy Bob Thornton.

Look over draft of “Obama & Family Dine at Sardi’s”. Notes from your editor – “Needs 20% more puff. And try to smile while you write this. People can tell.”

Check match.com for hits. Consider changing introduction paragraph which currently describes you as, “…a medium fish in a swiftly draining pond.”

Leave a biting comment on HuffPo: “Every time you get your news from a website, you’re taking food out of my kids’ mouths. Especially now that the state is directly garnishing my paychecks.”

Holy shit! Britney Spears dead! No time to verify sources! Jam it on the paper’s site and start hammering out the 1200-word obituary. Resist the urge to yell, “Stop the press!”

Head over to digg.com and play Grammar Nazi for an hour or so.

Write a post on your blog mocking the general waste of time most blogs are. Note to self: irony tester may be broken…

Spend 30 minutes or so perfecting your “run to row of phone booths” maneuver, just in case. Note to self: Need to improve “world weary reporter” look. Tends to resemble “disheveled and slightly drunk” instead. Perhaps the new fedora will help.

Try your “world weary” look on the ladies down at the bar. Mix it up with phrases like, “I’ve seen too much pain and suffering,” and “The important part is to stay objective, no matter how horrifying it is.” Be sure to gloss over that your main duties are high school sports coverage and the “Weekend Living” pullout.

Put the newspaper (and yourself) to bed at 1 a.m., secure in the knowledge that the important shit will wait until you wake up.

-CLT