aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, January 13, 2006
Why the netroots do not like Hillary
Within the world of progressive activists, from the viewpoint of the working and middle class progressive activists, Hillary Clinton is seen as hopelessly aligned with the establishment activists, with the insider activists, with the wealthy activists, with the well-connected activists, and with every possible progressive activist “elite” you can possibly imagine. Is it thus in any way surprising that the activist base, which is largely on the outside looking in, generally does not harbor much positive feeling toward her? The progressive activist base considers the progressive activist elite to be the main culprit in progressives losing power around the country. We keep losing, and we blame them. Thus, why should it be a surprise to anyone that we dislike the person who is viewed as their primary representative? We literally hold her, and what she represents within the world of progressive activism, to be responsible for the massive progressive backslide that has taken place over the past twelve years.
CBS, Katie & the evening news
This Romenesko post caught my attention today:
Matthew Felling asks CBS News: “Simply from a ‘capital J’ Journalistic standpoint, how can you designate as ‘anchor’ someone who hasn’t been a newsperson in over a decade? There. I said it. Has Katie Couric been a morning show host? By definition. But that’s not the same thing. ...The tone and skills she has honed perfectly on the ‘Today’ show would never work on the ‘CBS Evening News.’”
So I read the whole article. Unlike Felling, I’m not in the target demographic. And I haven’t watched the evening news for decades. But Couric is absolutely a newsperson. I watch her interviews and she’s darned good. She’s on 10 hours a week, how many other newspeople are? Of course he can find 8 examples of her bringing herself into the story (though I didn’t really get the point of half of them).
And even Felling says:
In case I’ve been a tad strident, I want you to know I think Katie Couric’s schtick works perfectly on the “Today” show. She’s the right woman in the right studio at the right time slot. It’s merely my contention that the tone and skills she has honed perfectly on the “TodayÃ¢â‚¬Â� show would never work on the “CBS Evening News.”
LATER: Did I really put Murrow and Couric in the same league???
At first I backed off and changed it to Barbara Walters (the obvious choice) who got a raw deal with the evening news from ABC. But then I put Murrow back. I’m thinking she has it in her. In my book, she’s hard-working, smart, seasoned, and stands out from the crowd that we call television journalists. (Elizabeth Vargas?)
Last April Reomenesko quoted former ABC News producer Paul Friedman’s advice to CBS News execs: “Summarize the news of the day in five minutes or so; spend a big chunk of time—10 minutes or so—on covering one really good story; and give people even more to think about by ending with opinion.”
Adopt that format with Katie in the anchor seat and I’d watch. Nightline’s over, 60 Minutes had its day, the newsmagazine format is tired and worn, the evening news has been flailing about forever - there’s an opening for a breakout news program. Come on CBS, break out from the yellow-bellied network pack and do it!
VT sex offender sentence: talking sense
No one I watch wrote about the 60-day sentence in Vermont for sexual abuse handed down by District Judge Edward Cashman. Instead, I heard it on the Today Show just now (they have nothing about it on their website, don’t bother clicking):
Judge Edward Cashman: My heart goes out to this [victim’s] family and I would hate to be in the situation this family is, but there’s other families out there. And there’s other people who could be victimized and I’m trying to take the long view [...]
ON PUNISHMENT: I discovered it accomplishes nothing of value. It doesn’t make anything better. It costs us a lot of money. We create a lot of expectation. We feed a lot of anger.
JUDGE’S STATEMENT: I am aware that the intensity of some public criticism may shorten my judicial career. To change my decision now, however, simply because of negative sentiment, would be wrong.
Conservative media is evidently in an uproar. And the judge is a conservative. AP Wednesday:
MONTPELIER, Vt. --Edward Cashman should be the darling of conservatives: The churchgoing Vietnam vet is a former prosecutor; his two sons have served in the military. As a judge he is best known for his hard-line stands: A decade ago he jailed for 41 days the parents of a prime suspect in a rape case because they refused to cooperate with prosecutors.
Conservatives, though, have turned Cashman into Public Enemy No. 1 for his sentence of a child molester, a sentence he said was designed to ensure the man got treatment but critics say is too soft.
The criticism multiplied by the thousands - whipped into a frenzy via Internet blogs - after Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly told a national television audience Monday night, as video of Cashman rolled: “You may be looking at the worst judge in the USA.”
It’s not entirely surprising that the judge is a conservative or that when he looked at the facts this was his conclusion. When parole officers called for more reasonable parole policies in Georgia, sex offenders were among those included. (They didn’t get them.)
I know only what I’ve seen and read today, but the judge’s words sure sound reasonable to me.
SoVo blog yesterday:
“Today Show” movie critic Gene Shalit apologized this week for language he used in a review of “Brokeback Mountain,” in which he referred to Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, as a “sexual predator.” [...]
Shalit responded on Jan. 10 in a statement sent to GLAAD in which he wrote, “I certainly had no intention of casting aspersions on anyone in the gay community or on the community itself. I regret any emotional hurt that may have resulted from my review of ‘Brokeback Mountain.’”
“In describing the behavior of ‘Jack,’” he continued, “I used words (’sexual predator’) that I now discover have angered, agitated, and hurt many people. I did not intend to use a word that many in the gay community consider incendiary.”
His gay son came to his defense:
“I am hurt by your mischaracterization of my father, a man who does not have a molecule of hate in his being,” Peter Shalit wrote. “It does not speak well for GLAAD, and it is not helping our community. “
“He may have had an unpopular opinion of a movie that is important to the gay community, but he defamed no one, and he is not a homophobe. It is you who have defamed a good man, by falsely accusing him of a repellent form of bigotry.”
I don’t think Shalit homophobic, but those words are incendiary and his apology is welcome and appropriate.