Comments: Memo To Jamison Foser

"parse the differences between the candidates' policies?"
Jon, this parrot is dead.

Posted by donescobar at August 29, 2008 11:19 PM

That's a Python reference, right? Am I laughing at the right thing or is this tittering I'm doing just the madness creeping ever deeper into my skull?

Posted by No One of Consequence at August 29, 2008 11:33 PM

THUS the need for a third party, no difference in the candidates policies.

Posted by Mike Meyer at August 30, 2008 12:35 AM

In the face of the imminent nomination for VP of Gov. Palin, I repeat my prediction:

The candidate of the War Party will win this election.

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at August 30, 2008 03:05 AM

NOoC, that is a python reference. and an entirely appropriate one at that. in fact almost all of politics and indeed, human nature, can be reduced to the dead parrot sketch.

Posted by almostinfamous at August 30, 2008 05:16 AM

"Remember The Maine" but don't remember the rest of the story.

Posted by Bob In Pacifica at August 30, 2008 10:40 AM

But but but but -- Herman loves Milosevic! Chomsky hates America! He lives in the 70s! That's why he says that progressives should vote for Obama! They don't deserve any credit! Every good liberal knows that!

Posted by Duncan at August 30, 2008 11:17 AM

JS, I was with you (I read Chomsky too) until the last sentence. There is no business that acts as though the product is always right. Wrong. A business always touts its products as best, and publicizes their strong points.

So under this construct shouldn't the media understand the strongest views of their readers and sell those views to their advertisers?

Shouldn't it be the case, in a democracy, where our views get transmitted to the candidates rather than vice versa? What are we, sheep? Don't answer that.

Posted by Don Bacon at August 30, 2008 12:01 PM

Don, I think Jon was not being literal, but was saying that no business regards the opinion of the product as meaningful to the business model, except when the product becomes uncooperative.

Posted by Arkady at August 30, 2008 01:08 PM

Jon is right. We proles have long believed that the media are working for us, that we are their "customers", the ones being served. Wrong. It's the advertizers who are the real customers--the ones who pay the bills. And it is us, the consumers of the shit being marketed by those advertizers, who are the product that the dollar-driven media deliver to those very well-paying customers. So, I guess you could say that it really is us who are being "served".

Posted by nobody you know at August 30, 2008 02:16 PM

NBC News President Steve Capus:

>> This is the election of a lifetime.

WaPo Ruth Marcus:

>> Voters can't be expected to parse the differences between the candidates' policies

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at August 30, 2008 02:21 PM

But but...there are various business models for "the media." It's not a hegemon of commercial-supported companies. NPR is supported by "sponsors" and "listeners like you." Pacifica Radio is supported only by "listener-sponsors." Bloomberg is supported well over 90% by subscription fees.

Problem is everyone cops out and looks to the New York Times and to some degree Wall Street Journal or Washington Post for guidance about what matters.

Posted by media werker at August 30, 2008 10:21 PM

NPR is supported by "sponsors" and "listeners like you."

NPR long ago gave up giving a shit what 'listeners like you' think; ever since Congress read it the riot act back in the Reagan days, it's been sucking at the corporate teat, and does exactly what it's told.

Similar, actually, to what happened to the BBC following the 'sexed-up' dossier affair.

Posted by Mike at August 31, 2008 11:20 AM


Couldn't agree more, and to make matters worse, we, the product, help cover the business costs in this 'market'.

Whores and prostitutes have better excuses, and they manifestly do not chip in to cover the direct costs of production (as it were).

Posted by bobbyp at September 1, 2008 10:53 PM

Mike, I think your analysis of what happened at the BBC is wrong, or at least incomplete. Their party being out of power, young right wingers who would have otherwise worked as part of a Tory government went into media at the end of the nineties. Many joined the BBC. They've worked their way up the management and now have considerable influence. Listen to, say, the Today Program. It used to be a serious news and analysis program. Nowadays it borders on light entertainment. And things like an interview with the tory leader being followed up by a retrospective of a make and do kids' program which has a strong connection with the best associations most people have with the "public" school system (one of the new leader's perceived weaknesses is that he's obviously part of the British upper class). Tory talking points and spin, and even some wingnut stuff dressed up for a moderate audience, are apparent in most if not all stories. It's all far too convenient to put down to coincidence or mere laziness or overwork of the news team.

Posted by me at September 3, 2008 09:14 AM