Quick Hits

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Photo courtesy: Los Angeles Times

News Media

Best post-election move so far:

While many in the news media are mea culpa-ing all over the place at how they badly blew the Trump story, kudos to the executive at CNN who did something to make things better.

The smartest news media move to come out of the election so far is CNN hiring Salena Zito.

Salena got the Trump phenomenon before many other journalists. She reported on the people who support Donald Trump with respect, with accuracy, and with humanity.

Not only is this is a great journalism move, it’s a potential audience builder considering the number of people who voted for the president elect. With FOX News in the middle of trying to find a way forward without Roger Ailes, CNN has a chance to take a piece of the FOX audience.

CNN is riding an election high, while FOX has shown some weakness in the key demographics.

When FOX News began, CNN’s biggest mistake was not taking the upstart network seriously. Let’s see how FOX responds.

One cautionary note to CNN: Let Salena be Salena.

One cautionary note for Ms. Zito: News is for people at home, not for the people in newsrooms. Don’t be co-opted into the groupthink of a large news operation.

Bad media move of the day:

The Trump team should allow a press pool to accompany him as soon as possible. The candidate who ran on the idea that government was not transparent and inaccessible to the people needs to put his money where his mouth is.

Mistrust of the news media by the Trump team is understandable, but things are different now that he’s going to be the leader of the free world.

Both sides must build trust. At least talks have begun.

 

The Riots

It feels like third world politics:

Not so long ago Hillary Clinton supporters were telling Donald Trump supporters that they must accept the results of the election.

Now that the Hillary has lost the election we’ve seen rioting in some of our major cities.

Instead of pointing out the hypocrisy of rioters, news media is playing to, and fueling their grievances.

Many in media are still litigating the election, causing more anxiety on the losing side. Others in the media are already fighting Trump in 2020.

I’m a big believer in the right to protest. I’m not a believer in destruction and violence.

The news media have an obligation to tell us who is organizing political violence.

So far, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton have asked these rioters to cool it.

In Chicago, an argument over a fender bender went viral and political when bystanders starting shouting at the white man about “voting for Trump.”

This is the kind of political violence people who immigrate to the United States try to escape. It seems odd that those in favor of open borders would emulate the behavior they couldn’t wait to get away from.

The other bit of hypocrisy from the rioters.

Targeting white children as the villains. Video like this should make you angry.

Isn’t alleged racism what they’re upset about in the first place?

The effect of the violence will be to create more Republican voters from independents, and to unify the GOP for the first time in a long time.

While it may be difficult to explain the warts that come with Donald Trump to your kids, try explaining to them why a little girl was beaten for expressing her views.

Let me know how it goes.

 

Worst Business move of the day.

GrubHub:

Keep your politics to yourself.

In an e mail, GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney basically told employees that if they didn’t agree with his world view they should resign.

The backlash on social media was predictably insane. The calls for a boycott were immediate.

While Maloney has every right to express his political beliefs, he has no right to ask employees about theirs, or judge them.

As someone who’s hired many people, I know you’re not allowed to ask about a person’s political beliefs or affiliations.

Maloney later “explained” his comments.

GrubHub stock was of nearly five percent on the trading day, and continued to lose ground in after hours trading. Here’s a live stock market ticker.

Sorry Matt. Political loyalty tests are so Joseph McCarthy, and even more Third Reich.

 

© 2016 carlgottliebdotnet

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Barbarians at the Gate

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Donald Trump’s stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton will be sliced and diced in the news media for years. The political significance of what happened on Election Day 2016 can’t be understated.

By all accounts, this was a populist revolt against what many believe is a corrupt, business as usual government designed to benefit the wealthy and connected.

While you were watching a political revolution play out, you were also watching a concurrent revolution in the news media. The revolution in the news media may well have tipped the scales in the 2016 election.

People have been drifting from so called legacy media for years. Just ask print newspaper companies like the New York Times and Gannett.

The reasons range from technology to trust and beyond, but consider that the news media missed the political story of a lifetime when they failed to see the depth and breadth of the Trump phenomenon, or appreciate its significance.

The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg’s navel gazing piece the morning after the election makes good points. But he scoffs at the idea of getting to know the people he never knew existed. The thing that made him, and other “elites,” miss the story in the first place.

In the end he can’t help but blame those ignorant barbarians who didn’t go with the press’ choice for president.

Smug much?

One CBS journalist thought so and put it in writing.

Enter stage right:

Organizations like Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, and Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch are doing things people expect of journalists. Sort of. But, hang on sloopy and consider this.

Is it hard to believe that some disillusioned Bernie Sanders voters, angered by the Democratic National Committee’s collusion with the Clinton campaign to fix the primaries, just stayed home on Election Day?

That would be Wikileaks, which also exposed some of the nasty inner workings of the Clinton campaign. The daily drip of news that confirmed people’s mistrust of Hillary Clinton.

And before you say the Wikileaks saga was a big nothing-burger consider this Jeff Dunetz piece.

Some journalists have a problem with Assange’s method of obtaining his information. Hackers.

But today’s hackers are yesterday’s document thieves. See: The Pentagon Papers.

Troubling? Decide for yourself.

How about reporters going undercover?

Many in the journalism world are unhappy with James O’Keefe’s hidden camera stings. O’Keefe uses deception, such as phony ID’s and aliases. His tactics are frowned upon by many in the news media.

O’Keefe has had run-ins with the law, for trespassing. He’s been criticized for editing video to make his point. He reportedly settled out of court for $100,000 with an ACORN worker after he was accused of misrepresenting him in a video.

While some of his behavior is problematic, journalism is often messy and uncomfortable. It’s why every news operation I’ve ever worked for had lawyers on staff. Journalists make mistakes.

Could on camera admissions of voter fraud and organized political violence from Democratic party operatives have swayed some votes?

I hope so.

Is James O’Keefe an example of today’s gonzo journalist?

Read about the debate, and check out some of the horrible things brave undercover journalists have uncovered going back to the 19th century. Some cool stories.

Judicial Watch has spent years prying loose information for, ”we the people” from our government. Tom Fitton uses Freedom of Information laws and the courts.

Look at his work on Hillary’s State Department e-mails. By the way, note “Vice” as a player in the second paragraph. Fitton has long been a thorn in the Clinton’s side.

And there’s the hacktivist group Anonymous, who went after the KKK in Ferguson, Missouri.

What’s happening reminds me of the days of so called “underground newspapers’ like New York’s East Village Other or the early days of the Village Voice.

They were often counter-culture thorns in side of “polite” journalism and everyone else.

What’s more, technology has spawned “citizen journalism.”

Hacktivist Kim Dotcom Tweeted out this nugget in response to Wikileaks revelations about some reporters:

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Photo courtesy: Twitter/@aksana_6

Then there’s this from social media activist Cristina Laila:

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Technology has democratized information in ways we couldn’t imagine just a generation ago. It’s allowed everyone with access to the Internet and a computer to become their own journalists and editors. That’s both exhilarating and frightening at the same time.

Exhilarating because change keeps institutions alive and dynamic.

Frightening, because with all those voices, on all those platforms, who do you trust?

Not all of those voices are equal. We need to be more discerning about where get our facts.

Pro tip: Skip the sketchy web-sites that make insane sounding claims you’d like to believe.

This time the barbarians aren’t leveraged buy-out, junk bond traders who destroy companies and jobs like in the great book. They’re the people challenging the conventions of journalism.

Today’s media barbarians are carrying smart-phones and video cameras and tablets. They’re changing the paradigm at light speed.

It seems old media has two choices. Embrace some of those new voices that make you uncomfortable and challenge your beliefs, or face an uncertain fate.

One thing for certain is the barbarians aren’t going away.

 

© 2016 carlgottliebdotnet