Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Deep Throat: Back to Being Just a Porn Movie

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2005 at 2:28 PM

Apparently Deep Throat has come forward and revealed himself. In a Vanity Fair article.

It’s former FBI official Mark Felt.

The Vanity Fair website proves to be totally useless, so I guess I’ll have to pick up a copy at Davis-Kidd after work.

I’ve wanted to know who Deep Throat was for so long that this information seems unreal. I hesitate to believe that Deep Throat would decide to reveal himself in a magazine that has a picture of Angelina Jolie on the cover. But still…pretty cool, eh?

Desperate Review

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2005 at 1:13 PM

Around March or so I finally got sucked into the Desperate Housewives vortex. I'm too busy to watch much television, but I find this one worthwhile (and I'm obviously not alone) as network television goes.

Then I read this essay and I wonder if this guy and I are watching the same show. I don't think the show puts on the airs this fellow seems to think it does. And, I don't think Marc Cherry has any pretensions about it beyond its being a well-written and well-plotted serial. In fact, the tone of the essay seems to be that of a person who has determined that the show is no longer the Next Big Thing to watch and so he's announcing his separation from it to establish his ahead-of-the-curve bona fides. Anyway, read it for yourself and decide for yourself whether the author is--as I think--trying way too hard.

When Does a Blogger Become a Media Impresario?

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2005 at 10:24 AM

Not sure, but that could be what Joshua Micah Marshall (of the widely read Talking Points Memo) has in mind with the launch today of TPMCafe. Described as "a public meeting place to read about and discuss politics, culture and public life in the United States," the thing hosts both individual blogs and discussion areas. One feature called Table for One is a venue for guest blogging, premiering today with John Edwards blogging through Friday, although the toothy one has yet to post.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Big Media Flapdoodle of the Week...

Posted By on Mon, May 30, 2005 at 8:26 AM

...would have to be the reaction to Nine Inch Nails' pulling out of the MTV Movie Awards because the network won't let them perform "The Hand That Feeds" in front of a picture of George W. Bush. Said MTV in a statement: "We were uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement."

Let me get this straight -- photo bad but song okay:

What if this whole crusade's
A charade
And behind it all there's a price to be paid
For the blood
On which we dine
Justified in the name of the holy and the divine

No political statement there.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

In Not-So-Breaking News...

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2005 at 9:03 PM

...as most everyone knows by now, John Ford has resigned from the Senate.

This is about 15 years overdue.

House Folds on TennCare

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2005 at 12:45 PM

Want to know what killing health insurance for 67,000 people looks like? Something like this:

vote (12k image) vigil (14k image)

A proposal to put $100 million back into TennCare to keep "uninsurables" enrolled kept the Tennessee House in session for an extra day. Rep. Joey Hensley's (R-Hohenwald) amendment to the budget bill would have steered that money away from Gov. Bredesen's plans to beef up the state's health care "safety net." Well-intentioned though the safety net plans are, moving the money back into TennCare makes sense because then it would draw $180 million of federal matching funds. Last time I checked, $280 million for health care for otherwise uninsured sick people beats $100 million every time.

But not, apparently, if it stands between the legislature and adjournment. As the tote board shows, Hensley's amendment went down Saturday morning by a more than two-to-one margin, clearing the way for easy final passage of the budget, and a beeline out of town for lawmakers (indicted and unindicted alike).

Friday, May 27, 2005

He Just Talks Too Much, That's All

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2005 at 10:40 PM

ABC runs a story about John Ford being placed under house arrest and includes the following:

"[FBI Agent] Jackson said Ford told an agent at a later meeting that 'if he caught someone trying to set him up, he would shoot that person, kill them, so that there would be no witnesses.'

Ford's attorney, Michael Scholl, suggested the lawmaker was joking with the agent.

'Things are said ... that are meant in a joking manner," Scholl said, adding that 'Ford has a problem of running his mouth too much.'"

Yeah, that's it. What's wrong with everyone? Can't a guy crack a joke about murdering someone without people getting all over his ass about it? Sheesh.

Waltzing Elsewhere

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2005 at 1:46 PM

The Waltzgate* indictments naturally recall for many Tennessee's "Rocky Top" scandal in the late 1980s, leading to some convictions (not to mention suicides) of public officials over charity bingo and illegal gambling. Closer parallels are found, however, in similar stings aimed at legislators in other states. Two in particular come to mind.

*Bound to happen eventually, so figured I might as well be out front with it.

Continue reading »

Blogging the Waltz

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2005 at 1:43 PM

I am going to try not to make this a navel-gazing exercise, though it may come across that way, but I think it may be worthwhile to examine where blogging/web journalism did things well and did not do things so well yesterday, since I think it's fair to say that that was the first true instance of widespread statewide liveblogging of breaking news in Tennessee. This includes a self-examination of PITW's efforts (myself very much included).

(UPDATE: Some communications I have had indicate that I am not being clear about something: in this post, I am talking about bloggers generally, not just PITW, though I include us in the pile. No, I don't provide specific links because, frankly, I'm too tired and lazy to do that right now and it's just about to be Memorial Day weekend. You'll just have to trust me.)

First, some of the good:

1. I have heard from many people about how much they appreciated the abililty to follow news on their computer screens as it was happening while they were at work. There's a lot to be said for that, especially since computer screens allow one to appear to be working much more than they would if they kept heading off to the break room to watch television every five minutes.

2. Blogs got to the initial story (emphasis on "initial"--see below) in much speedier fashion than the MSM. The most significant thing blogs/Web sites have done is shatter the barrier between when news is happening and when MSMers decide the public should know it's happening.

3. Because of their very nature, blogs created instant synergy among each other and their readers. Blogs pushed the story, readers commented, and the blogs went forward with some of that information or corrected information they had posted. One example: My mistaken statement yesterday that Memphis Mayor Herenton might have fallen under initial suspicion because former Senator Roscoe Dixon was his aide. Not five minutes had passed before I received emails telling me that Dixon was actually the aide to Shelby County Mayor Wharton. I fixed it immediately. Now, that's interactive media.

Now, for the other side....

Continue reading »

Yeah, Dust Off That Race Card

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2005 at 10:47 AM

Jackson Baker of the Memphis Flyer has Roscoe Dixon saying of Operation Tennessee Waltz, "The main thing is, it was aimed at blacks."

Yeah, that's what it is: John Ford & Co. are oppressed. Where's John Stossel when you need him? And last I checked Ward Crutchfield and Chris Newton were lily-white.

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