was an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002, first on Comedy Central and then on ABC. Four guests (usually including at least one comedian) would debate topics across the political spectrum in what Maher once described as “The McLaughlin Group on acid.” Of the 1300+ episodes produced, 190 can be viewed on YouTube. [more inside]
In a storage unit somewhere in Philadelphia
, 140,000 VHS tapes sit packed into four shipping containers. They contain 35 years of TV news recorded single-handily by Marion Stokes
. She thought it would be a good idea to record every "network, local, and cable news, in her home, one tape at a time," beginning in 1977, "until the day she died in 2012 at the age of 83."
There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour
, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It
, In The Loop
), Christopher Morris (Jam
, Brass Eye
, Four Lions
, Why Bother?
), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever
), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge
, I'm Alan Partridge
). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour
mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour
was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6
; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6
), and begat a television series called The Day Today
. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books
, Father Ted
, The IT Crowd
) to On the Hour
's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six
), as well as a special 9/11 radio report
. [more inside]
Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon
is speaking out against the network
after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution
on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment
interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage
as part of its "Eye On" series
. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts
. Then there's the Nuclear Vault
: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)
" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films
. Last but not least is US Auto Industry
, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films
, including commercials from Buick
. [more inside]
Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA
", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage
the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently
from videogame ArmA 2
. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time
: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing
— foreign affairs
, social trends
, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.)
By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues,
) America’s entry to WWII
. Video samples are available at Time.com,
the March of Time Facebook page
and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required)
at HBO Archives. [more inside]
Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report
on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library
tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes
. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents
, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News"
-- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status
for their dogged fact-checking
of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist"
after he called out their record of falsehoods
following a critical interview with Chris Wallace
has been pretty low on the media radar since it's founding by a forward-thinking former Vice President
. As a network based around documentary-style journalism and viewer-generated content, Current has struggled to find both an audience
and a solid direction
, with it's largest headlines generated by a run-in with North Korea
. This may change
with the announcement that former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann
) has been hired as Chief News Officer and host of a new prime-time news program
NBC Universal and Microsoft are holding talks about changing the address
, the third most popular news website on the Internet, as its "strictly objective" news coverage and staff
become more differentiated from the television network, which is asking viewers to Lean Forward
in a new ad campaign directed by Spike Lee
Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States
, according to a new poll [.pdf]
of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling
(a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients
), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)).
The pollsters conclude:
“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most
neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy
Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more
toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
― international live streaming television news aggregator.
Fantasy Meets Reality.
The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?
) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica
-- a show which regularly explores those themes
. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here
. (RealPlayer video)
. Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up
. [more inside]
Mock the Vote
: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert interviewed.
The dangers of being a TV news reporter
. A guaranteed context-free three-minute montage of television field reports gone awry.
Enjoy over 170,000 screencaps of your favorite
cable news personalities at ReporterCaps.com
Paul Jay of the self-styled "Real News" plays Twenty Questions with himself... "We have a full time staff now of fourteen. We have raised about five million dollars over the last three years, and we still have most of it..."
That's how television producer and filmmaker Paul Jay starts off, and like an energizer bunny, he just keeps on going. He makes a compelling argument.. or does he? Guess that's entirely up to you.
mentioned previously on MeFi about two years ago. [more inside]
The Shame Game. Perverted Justice
) and Dateline NBC's series of To Catch A Predator
specials are of questionable-at-best morality
and have received much flak
, particularly on the part of the former party. At the Columbia Journalism review, Douglas McCollum shares the case of Louis Conradt Jr., who killed himself
upon being pounced upon by police and Dateline's cameras. McCollum also takes issue with NBC's paying of Perverted Justice for their services. And, for the other side, PJ's rebuttal.
Tony Snow On President Bush: ‘An Embarrassment,’
It seems clear now that we will have Snow In Late April
as the Bush appointment to be the new press spokesman. Snow comes to the lawn of the White House all the way from Fox News, where he represented their view of Fair and balanced. So balanced in fact that he said things such as this: "“No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives.” [9/30/05]. But that was then and this is now and so can we assume that suddenly Bush will be seen as a masterful leader of his nation?
BBC Open News Archive
Eighty iconic news reports available in a variety of formats. Here is the full directory
. For another example of the cool things Auntie as been offering lately, see the downloadable mp3 commentary for the Christmas episode of Doctor Who
--Al Gore's new news channel, just launched. What began as an effort to challenge Rupert Murdoch and the right-wing domination of the corporate media has transformed into a business proposition to lure a youth audience with lofty rhetoric, new technology and pop-culture content, says The Nation.
So, CNN for MTV viewers? or a real alternative voice? the status bar onscreen is just ridiculous, i already find.
Building a Left Wing CNN
film maker Paul Jay has a vision -- to build the first global independent news network. If successful, Independent World Television
would be fully funded by its viewers, independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising. Here's the pitch: "If half a million people in the entire world contribute just $50, IWTnews will secure the $25 million it needs to fund its first year of broadcasting, in 2007."
Will this model work?
Foreign Exchange TV
with Fareed Zakaria
- I'd heard about it, but thought it was only showing on OPB
; checked again and lo and behold all the episodes are online! Watched a couple episodes so far; they're pretty good, esp if you're into foreign policy and stuff :D
State of the Media Report 2004
, which seeks to improve news coverage in a more neutral fashion than those who cry bias from the left and right. The group offers advice for average citizens
The report focuses mainly on US media and identifies eight trends.
The content analyses finds that newspapers
have more lifestyle news than in the past, but less government and foreign affairs, even with wars abroad. More front page articles about issues, less on crime and disasters. Network news
was heavy on foreign affairs, government, accidents, disaster, crime and health care. The cable networks
had a lot of politics and Iraq stuff, but also a lot more celebrity/entertainment/lifestyle stuff than the big four. Local TV news
treats crime as topic A.
audience is aging, and total pages are declining, but some, like The Economist and the New Yorker, have found success in niches. Internet journalism
is "still largely material from old media rather than something original." And it's still text-y. But it is clearly the future of journalism.
But don't pronounce the dinosaurs dead yet. Radio once ruled, and in a way it still does: 94 percent still tune in to radio news
at least once a week.
Star presenter wears hijab
and apparently gets "a flood of calls". But, in an odd turn for the BBC, the piece doesn't say what those calls think. Are they all praising the traditional
- and controversial
- head-dress, or are they up in arms. The story skirts the issue. Islam 101
explains a bit about it.
From the Asia Times
— "The more commercial television news you watch, the more wrong you are likely to be about key elements of the Iraq War and its aftermath, according to a major new study released in Washington on Thursday." [more inside]
Superseding the mainstream media, or "quirky parasites"?
Less of interest here than the IraqFilter context itself - which amounts to the question "Is blogging to Gulf II what TV was to Vietnam and cable was to Gulf I?" - is an established medium caught in the act of visibly sizing up this comer, this new kid on the block, this parvenu we know as "blogging."
Is it a valid new medium of reportage, fit to take its place alongside print and broadcast? Or is it merely parasitic, interstitial, even marginal? Inquiring minds want to know. (Note O'Donnell's hedges and his final & bizarrely misplaced condescension: "Maybe Allbritton will start a trend - bloggers no longer dependent on the mainstream for their material." WTF?)
The Clear Channel of TV local news?
It's like Fox News, only "live, local and late-breaking".
Hussein Translator on CBS Used Fake Accent?
I thought this was an amusing tidbit in the also popular "news vs. entertainment" debate.
CNN Headline News general manager Rolando Santos told the San Francisco Chronicle this week that he's looking to mix "the lingo of our people" -- words like "whack" and "ill" -- into newscasts to attract young people.
Ally McBeal cancelled.
There was a time when we cared, I think. If you feel otherwise then go ahead and scream in the comments but personally, I'll never forgive the show (I used to love it) for subjecting me to Sting and Vonda Shepherd adult-contemporizing "Every Breath You Take"...
a couple of days ago. Listen to an old interview with Stuart McLean on
CBC Radio RealAudio
noon EST from Toronto, 1pm from Winnipeg, 2pm from Calgary or 3pm
from Vancouver. Gzowski and McLean are the voice of the Canadian spirit.
Sometimes, often even, life imitates art. Rarely is it as spot-on as this example.
Recall if you will, actor Robert Downey's character in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers
. Compare Downey's character to this photo
Now, try not to laugh.
No, really. Be serious, because this picture pretty much sums up everything
thats gone wrong with modern journalism (and does so without even so much as a caption).
'Is media bias real?', part two:
Left-leaning media criticism folks FAIR
have produced a report detailing some examples of of publishers, advertisers, and government officials killing stories they don't like and placing stories they do. What about the Chinese Wall between the business of news and the actual newsgathering? To quote a CBS news producer on the distinction between entertainment and news, "That line was over a long, long time ago....That line is long gone."
Is media bias real?
MRC has an interesting collection of quotes by the big 3 news anchors comparing how they treated Clinton & GW Bush on the same issue - abortion. It sure looks like bias to me, but then again, I'm biased.
This is so very surreal,
its mainstream news read by naked women. I'm trying, but I just can't concentrate on the words.
"I've been a broadcast journalist for a quarter of a century and I've never seen a slower period
... There is really no comparison in our lifetime." Are we facing The End of News? Will we ever again live in interesting times? (Yes, I know it's a Salon link. But I've been thinking about this for a while.)