aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Journalist Priests: on David Hazinski’s risky vision
Journalists have built themselves a pretty exalted temple way up high on a hill. David Hazinski wants to keep it up there:
Supporters of “citizen journalism” argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don’t provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn’t journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.
The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet. Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people “journalists.” This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a “citizen surgeon” or someone who can read a law book is a “citizen lawyer.” Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.
We citizens may only worship in the temple and genuflect at the altar of journalism. We dare not be full participants. Real, professional, journalism requires that journalists be drained of all ideological energy. Thus, the highly engaging and invigorating ways of the blogosphere must be monitored and regulated.
But the highly paid professional, credentialed journalist is out of touch with - and has a vastly different value system than - those who journalism is meant to serve. Where once salaries were in line with public school teachers and the working class; today celebrity journalists are the de facto ruling elite.
And from that perch they insist the journalistic product must be reduced to the boring and technical “balance” of “both sides” of every story (as if there ever were only two). Partisan vigor may only be expressed in the cable TV colosseum point/counterpoint of the pundit gladiators.
In the end Hazinski is like those who want linguists to regulate language. Bemoaning its latest twist and turns and appalled, for example, that the populace has moved the meaning of “gay” from “jovial” to “homosexual” to “stupid” they wish to command that its meaning be turned back to the earlier, idealized, “lighthearted, cheerful.”
Would that it could be, I might worry. As it is I’ll note that the blogosphere is not the cause of the erosion of traditional journalism’s trust and credibility. Rather, it’s a healthy reaction to it.
Huckabee’s rise: God did it
Here’s an incredible video with Mike Huckabee saying that divine providence is responsible for his jump in the polls. I half thought it was a parody mashup (the video was put online not by Huckabee’s campaign). But, no, here’s a report from the Liberty paper confirming it. He’s addressing a convocation at conservative Bible school Liberty University and is asked why he’s rising in the polls, heavenward. His answer:
“There’s only one explanation for it and it’s not a human one. The same power that helped a little boy with two loaves and five fish feed a crowd of 5,000 people and that’s the only way that our campaign could be doing what it’s doing. And I’m not being facetious nor am I trying to be trite. There are literally thousands of people across this country who are praying
that a little will become much and it has, it defies all explanation. It has confounded the pundits and I’m enjoying every minute of their trying to figure it out. And until they look at it from a just experience beyond human they’ll never figure it out. And that’s probably just as well. That’s honestly why it’s happening.” [...]
Apple TV Apple flop?
Over the past few months, a variety of reports have speculated about the future of the Apple TV. Some have flat-out asked if the device “will die,” and although I can’t be sure of that answer, I still like to believe that Apple wants to make it the cornerstone of any home theater. So if you’re asking me to answer that question, I’d say, “Not yet.”
Regardless of my own stance, there are still a host of issues surrounding the Apple TV. First off, it is estimated to have sold just 400,000 units, according to Forrester Research, which is an astounding 600,000 units shy of what the research firm originally believed Apple would have sold by now.
To make matters worse, Apple has yet to provide a decent array of videos on its iTunes store. And ever since Steve Jobs called the Apple TV a “hobby,” some have wondered how dedicated the company really is to seeing this product succeed.
He has three suggestions: Step 1: Allow users to do more; Step 2: Start working with movie studios for a change; and Step 3: Apple must pretend like it cares.
I almost bought one. Fix it and I will.
Slate (the ad is an annoyance not worth waiting through):
Equally dramatic, in a high-tech way, are the parking towers at Autostadt, Volkswagen’s exhibition complex and automotive theme park in Wolfsburg, Germany. This parking garage is entirely robotic. Two 160-foot circular towers store 400 new cars on 20 levels, serviced by a central elevator that can retrieve a car in 30 seconds. While the Volkswagen silos, designed by GÃƒÂ¼nther Henn Architekten, are in large part a marketing device-the transparent towers function as giant billboards-automated parking in some form is clearly in the cards. Stacking cars in close-packed racks can be up to 50 percent more efficient than a conventional garage, but since it is currently more than twice as expensive, it is viable only in cities where land prices-or space-are truly at a premium.
LATER: man rescued from a car hanging from wires between the sixth and seventh floors of a parking garage in Atlanta.
The the ex-husband of Tina Turner has died. They were a staple of the outdoor concert scene of my youth.