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peeved - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-03-09 21:36
Subject: peeved
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:annoyedannoyed
Music:foo fighters
I've previously been unaware of the ouvre of MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, but he recently interviewed Gerri Peev, the Scotsman journalist responsible for breaking the Hillary `monster' story which resulted in the resignation of Obama adviser Samantha Powers.
Now, the debate over whether Gerri Peev (I love the name) should have allowed Samantha Powers to retract the `monster' comment, claiming it was off the record, when no off-the-record parameters had been set at the outset of the interview, is I think a matter of cultural differences between British and US journalists. Ms Peev was working to one set of rules, and Ms Powers was working to another. Situations like that are always a car-crash waiting to happen.
But I really do have to take exception with Tucker Carlson. His question, "Since journalistic standards in Great Britain are so much dramatically lower than they are here, it's a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by a reporter from The Scotsman," really got my back up. I can't claim to be The Scotsman's greatest ally, but dammit, this overpaid, overcoiffed, smug berk has no right to say that about my trade. I love American journalism - some of the mightiest writing in the business has come from across the Pond - but I don't consider Tucker Carlson a worthy commentator. On the basis of this, the man's an idiot.
You can watch the whole exchange (and a coda in which another guest congratulates Tucker Carlson) here. I'll grant you, Gerri Peev doesn't come out of it entirely whiter than white - she seems to have omitted to ask some fairly obvious follow-up questions. But really, the affrontery of the man.
I think I'm going to be keeping an eye on Tucker Carlson, just to check on the quality of his journalism...
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-03-09 22:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the proper prepositon is `with,' although I'm sure Thog will be here soon to correct me. I just read Tucker Carlson's Wikipedia entry (that's how much the man annoyed me - I looked him up) and I give him points for publicly changing his stance on the Iraq war (although it might be a case of watching how the wind was blowing.) On the other hand, until I've seen more of his work, the Slate description of him as a smug Yuppie wiseass seems appropriate. I suspect he knows very little about British journalism. It's a long way from being perfect, but the standards are a lot higher than he seems to think.
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RealThog: morgan brighteyes
User: realthog
Date: 2008-03-09 22:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:morgan brighteyes

Tucker Carlson is an eejit -- it's a well established, publicly celebrated fact and has been for some considerable while. The reason his prolific idiocy is not so widely chronicled these days as that of, say, Bill O'Liarly, or Sean Hannity, or Lush Bumlaugh, or any of the host of other hate-mongering right-wing demagogues who pose as journalists and pundits in this country is that Carlson has come to be regarded as irrelevant. Nobody really pays him much attention any longer.

You couldn't be more right in your comparison of US and UK journalism standards. In the broadcast media, the standard in the US is truly abysmal alongside that in the UK.

In both countries the standards are (things like National Inquirer aside) a bit higher in the print than the broadcast media. A few years ago I'd have said that in this area the US had the UK beaten hands down, but the quality of several one-time fine US newspapers has plummeted since around the turn of the century (look at papers like the Washington Post and LA Times, both shadows of their former selves) so that now, even despite crapola like the Sun and the Mail, I'd say the UK now has by a margin the better press.

A lot of folk I know over here subscribe to the e-headlines service from places like the Beeb, the Indy, the Grauniad and even the Telegraph in order

(a) to find out what's happening in the rest of the world, ignored to an astonishing degree by the US broadcast media and increasingly by the print media, and

(b) a more accurate account of what's going on here than they're likely to get from at least the broadcast media and quite likely their daily paper.

Of course, there's some wonderful US journalism going around on the internet, but it can be hard to discriminate what's good from what's crap unless one has access also to these outside-US news sources.
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RealThog: sunset
User: realthog
Date: 2008-03-09 22:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sunset

"In both countries the standards are (things like National Inquirer aside) a bit higher in the print than the broadcast media."

Oops: I misspoke here -- I was rephrasing the sentence as I went, and some of the older version survived. What I meant to say was

"In the US the standard is (things like National Inquirer aside) a bit higher in the print than the broadcast media."
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-03-09 23:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is a real cultural divide at work here. US journalism had its own wild years, but these days a journalist in the States considers themselves to be part of a profession, while over here it's still considered a trade, and that makes us look at the parameters of the job in different ways. To be honest with you, I'm not sure which is the `right' point of view.
I'd agree that, if we carve off the hysterical tabloids, on balance there is better, more careful writing in the British press, which is why Tucker Carlson's comment annoyed me so much. But there is still much good work going on in the big American papers. We've already had this conversation regarding the Post, which I think is still doing good, important journalism, and I like the New York Times very much. But no matter what their journalistic background, Tucker Carlson and his ilk are not fulfilling the role of journalists. They're commentators, doing on-screen op-ed pieces, and it depresses me that they seem to have such a large audience and such a large effect on public opinion.

Edited at 2008-03-09 11:33 pm (UTC)
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RealThog: Jim's bear pic
User: realthog
Date: 2008-03-09 23:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Jim's bear pic

"I think I'm going to be keeping an eye on Tucker Carlson"

Rather you than me . . .
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-03-09 23:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a dirty job, but someone ought to do it. I'm already watching Ann Coulter.
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RealThog: 'Ronica
User: realthog
Date: 2008-03-10 02:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:'Ronica

One down, 398 to go . . .

Actually, this kind of reinforces the point I made earlier -- that he's become essentially irrelevant. I think MSNBC bought him in the same way that publishers pay millions for the memoirs of yesterday's politicians, only to realize after the excitement of the bidding war has died down that the public could care less about, say, the Ari Fleischer book. Carlson had run his course by the time he got to MSNBC; it seems now the people who hired him are beginning to admit their folly.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-03-10 22:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I used to buy The Economist, until I realised I couldn't make head nor tail of most of the articles. I've never checked out Foreign Affairs but I'll give it the once-over.
The Guardian's got the best website of the British papers, I think, followed by The Times and The Independent.
Sean Bean. Hah!
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RealThog: 'Ronica
User: realthog
Date: 2008-03-10 22:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:'Ronica

"Foreign Affairs"

That's one of them saucy magazines, innit?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-03-26 23:10 (UTC)
Subject: Nice page!
well done, brother
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-03-26 23:39 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Nice page!
Many thanks. And you are...? No offence...

Edited at 2008-03-26 11:40 pm (UTC)
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