Meta-Commentary

Models

Posted in media, politics by Adrian Arroyo on July 28, 2010

Model 1 and model 2 are in competition with each other, and model 1 is outperforming model 2. Adherents of model 2 have a professional obligation to adjust their model to make it more competitive with model 1.

Chuck Todd, James Risen, Jeff Goldberg et al., are examples of folks who, I assume, recognize that there is a problem but are hostile to innovation. Traditional media–for whatever value of that term you prefer–need not ape its competitors, but it has to do something. At the moment, “doing something” seems to be viewed as a betrayal of journalistic integrity, which is the sort of self-defeating logic that can only end in failure.

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Chuck

Posted in media, politics by Adrian Arroyo on July 28, 2010

Chuck Todd joins the debate on Journolist, the listserv that ended Dave Weigel’s time at the Washington Post. The point that Chuck makes is that Journolist provides the right wing with a tool to tar the media as liberal:

There are clearly some on the right who are interested in delegitimizing a lot of the mainstream media for either their own gain or for something else, and they’re using this as their gotcha moment.

Apparently, Chuck Todd feels it would be irresponsible to speculate as to what that benefit or motive is, but he admits its existence. The situation is fairly simple: the right is playing by an entirely different set of rules than Chuck Todd is, and if he wants to push back against that he has to actually push back against it.

Journolist was, among other things, an attempt to do that. It failed, but the basic insight remains: Defending your territory requires action against an aggressor, not observation of that aggressor’s existence/aggression combined with a vague hope that people will draw the conclusion that favors you.

Audience

Posted in media, politics by Adrian Arroyo on July 15, 2010

There’s an odd conflict inherent in a career as a political journalist. Advancement in the field is based on the opinions of other people in the field, who consume your output in a manner that’s completely different from the broad mass of readers. Thus, most successful political journalists are “journalist’s journalists” rather than “reader’s journalists.” That’s the case in most careers, but the role of journalists as shapers and arbiters of our public discourse makes the skew somewhat more problematic.

Humor

Posted in media by Adrian Arroyo on June 11, 2010

Roger Simon loses feet, retains sense of humor:

Q: Is there anything we can do for you? Anything you need?
A: Pity.

Q: Pity?
A: Or an iPad. I can’t decide which.

Q: I hear iPads are pretty cool.
A. Yeah, but pity is cool, too. I could call up somebody who never returns my calls, for instance, and it would go like this:

Aide: Madam Secretary, Roger Simon is calling.
Secretary Clinton: You know I don’t talk to morons. Hang up on that geek.
Aide: But Madam Secretary, he has no feet now.
Secretary Clinton: My God! Put him through immediately, and find a classified document I can leak to him!