Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More on newspapers, and a disgusting political ad

Blogger is having problems so I haven't been able to post. Hope this one gets thru....

Here's another side to that story I mentioned yesterday, Howard Kurtz' prediction that investigative journalism will suffer from newsroom cuts. The Guardian's Roy Greenslade has another opinion: Why cutbacks in US papers may not be all bad. He says UK papers have much smaller newsrooms than American papers' bloated staffs, and still do great investigations. He quotes a thoughtful comment on the Kurtz column, and adds:
But I'm much more optimistic about a journalism freed from corporate ownership being able to do the job better than in the past. Fewer bodies with real quality, and real commitment, will surely do better than the hordes of unproductive, self-important journalists hiding in the dusty corners of, say, the New York Times. Did that paper hold the administration to account in the run-up to the Iraq war? I don't think so.

On another topic, I've been lucky(?) to be able to watch the political ads coming out of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee between Republican Bob Corker, former mayor of Chattanooga, and Democratic Rep. Harold Ford of Memphis. Nasty stuff. This campaign has been far from enjoyable.

But since last week the Republican National Committee has been running what I think is the most obnoxious political ad I've ever seen. Corker denies any connection, but the damage has been done, although it seems it could backfire. It uses the most base kneejerk assumptions about Democratic politicians, plus a sexual connotation (much discussion of whether it's racist too). Comments from Michael Froomkin, Alabama Liberation Front (praising the ad), Tennessee Guerrilla Woman, and Hamilton Democrats. Link to video available on a couple of these links.


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