Oct 2, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

reminds me of what comedian Michelle Wolf observed after hosting the Correspondents Dinner

Was it awkward calling Huckabee Sanders a liar when she was seated just feet away, cameras trained on her reaction? “No!” Wolf says, batting her hand away and laughing. “It was gross! Like, I saw Jeff Zucker hugging Kellyanne Conway, and it was just like, Oh! You’re all in this together! People are really getting hurt, and you guys are just celebrating your money. It’s all a game, nothing more than ‘How will we best profit off of this?’ It was icky.”

[source: https://www.vulture.com/2018/06/michelle-wolf-the-break-netflix.html#_ga=2.65513898.582240376.1696267823-1114555793.1695491831]

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Hamilton, thanks for your article. Your are not a baby mate. I am sure that you know very well how it works. Corruption, mafia style friends, lobby, lies, semi-lies, partial truths, cover-up, etc,etc,etc

But don't worry Hamilton:

"Some of us are trying to be fucking respectable out here"

You are respectable, buddy.

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Great stuff!

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Bravo. I wholeheartedly agree.

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I wish it was possible to "heart" this post 100 times.

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The thing I have to ask is, Why? Like, does anyone actually CARE that the person they're watching is Jen Psaki or Dana Perino or George Stephanopolous rather than another telegenic person who might be cheaper for the network and ALSO not have very obvious priors? It seems unnecessary from every angle.

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I mean, Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt. I can't imagine that that doesn't shape his world view.

I still tune in CNN for coverage of big, breaking stories but I don't kid myself about most of their line up. It's an extended op-ed page.

And it's bad television! They get that six pack of boxes where one person speaks and five people stare blankly at their webcams, desperately hoping that their nose doesn't start itching. Get a damn director who knows how to switch camera feeds. I can listen to their audio on the Audacy app and get everything I need.

For all of those paid "analysts", they could hire some reporters and go get stories.

In my more cynical moments, I think that the last good journalist that CNN had was Anthony Bourdain. Maybe Amanpour.

As far as MSNBC goes, I usually watch Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell (just because of that twinkle in his eye whenever he gets to say "The United States of America versus Donald Trump" - that's not journalism, perhaps, but I enjoy it). But that network really does a poor job of coordinating their shows. It's twelve anchors delivering the same stories, but maybe few people watch for more than an hour.

Long gone are the days when the major television networks ran news divisions as loss leaders to balance out the craploads of cash that they made from entertainment and justify their broadcast licenses.

But yes to all of your points. It's not like the major media outlets never deliver anything worthwhile, but we do have to see them for what they are.

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My dad will travel great lengths for a real newspaper, instead of just dealing with a news website. He has told me lately that he wants to subscribe to the DIGITAL version of the newspaper he reads, because it's more COST EFFECTIVE PER PAPER. I told him he should load the app on the tablet that he shares with my mother, and he said, "Jesus, your mother won't let me touch that thing."

So now I know what I'm going to get my dad for Xmas. A sub to the paper, and a cheap tablet.

The only problem is that he doesn't really understand that his hand has to touch the device when doing gestures, he kinda floats them above the screen. If you look at him from a distance, it looks like he's casting magic spells or possibly conducting. I hope there's an app or device to teach him how to do them properly.

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Unfortunately this all goes back to a very consequential and little-studied decision (political?) made by then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover in the mid 1920s to have the new-at-the-time electronic media take the organizational form of "for profit" companies. Everything about the idea of the profit motive for disseminating important news replies pretty much solely on attracting eyes and ears - so whenever a gorgeous blonde goes missing, the for-profit media goes into overdrive telling you about it at the expense of everything else. Or the decisions by news "producers" to give full daily attention to Trump and force him on America to the tune of at least a billion dollars worth of free advertising, because these news programmers felt Trump was more "news-worthy" than the other 17 candidates. Or the decision by Fox News to embrace "The Big Lie" because they wanted to keep their viewers so they gave the viewers the "news" that they wanted..

The idea of what is "important"and news-worthy gets distorted by this sort of attention - is this really serving America in this dangerous time? We should re-visit that 1920s Hoover decision. IMO - it is not serving us well at all. It shouldn't have to be this way

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Great inspiration.

"Thanks to the First Amendment, you do not need a laminated press pass to be an Official Journalist. You just go do it. Every day you do it anew. Every day, a new chance to do well or fuck it all up. The regular citizen and the professional reporter have this in common. Fancy titles don’t define it."

"You just go do it." Do the right thing. Do it for the right reasons. Do it because it's best for all. Make the world a better place, for all.

Thank you.

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Hate to ever disagree with Hamilton but this time I disagree with Hamilton.

What he described in today’s post is the smallest part of the problem of Big Media -- cable, TV, newspapers, magazines.

The actual problem is that those media will never, ever, as a matter of policy, report honestly on the big issues. Reporting on national security, domestic security, the economy, and racism and sexism are never, ever reported honestly. And of late it’s gotten so bad, that odds after one’s exposed to the reporting or whatever, one can end up more poorly informed than if one kept oneself ignorant.

Given that, the employment of Cuomo or Psaki or Bush Hager is so minor as to be irrelevant, sorry.

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Mr. Nolan, I think you know that the problems of “elite media” go deeper than mere elitism/nepotism, and that you don’t think Chomsky’s (“Manufacturing Consent”) & Parenti’s (“Inventing Reality”) explanations of them are goofy or kindergarten-ish.

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