Friday, August 27, 2010

Confused About 21st Century Media

I am very confused about the media.  Is it just me or does this seem to be a unique time in American media history where failure is not just an option but almost a step up?  Michael Brown, of Katrina and FEMA fame, has a radio show??!!!!

I could imagine a podcast since those are often unpaid, but someone is paying Brown?  People are listening?  What are his credentials?  "I helped to exacerbate one of America's greatest humanitarian tragedies, undermine public support for my President, and embarrass my party and my country."

I have been mystified by who gets attention these days in the political/media sphere.  I was stunned to see folks pay attention to Dick Cheney after he left office, but at least he had held an important office.  I was less stunned to see Sarah Palin get attention because she can be so entertaining.  And she has no problem diving deep into ethically troublesome waters to come up with wonderfully destructive yet empty phrases (or get them from focus groups) like death panels. 

I guess the need to fill all of the slots on cable tv and talk radio 24/7 has meant that there are no standards for expertise, competence, reliability, sanity, discretion, discipline or quality any more.  Walter Cronkite must be spinning in his grave.

And, yes, I have not listened to Brown's show.  My patience for radio and TV talk shows is pretty minimal as it is (I flee the room when my father turns on such stuff at family get-togethers), so I guess I am ill-equipped to judge Brownie's show.  But Brown's record is enough to convince me that there is something wrong today when folks can establish this kind of record yet they get heaps of media time anyway.  I guess I can look forward to the Tommy Franks Variety Show, the Doug Feith Hour of Introspection, and Dan Quayle's Tips on Raising The Next Generation of Candidates. 

Is this a Republican thing?  After all, the big Democratic Presidential failure of my lifetime, Jimmy Carter, just goes around helping to free people and build houses for the poor.  Where is the John Edwards radio show that focuses on hair care and family values? Or perhaps a dating show?  Ooops, there is Eliott Spitzer.  Any others?

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