Tuesday, March 17

On Stewart vs. Cramer

So much ado has been made over the "media smackdown" of Jim Cramer done by John Stewart.
I would have enjoyed it more if Cramer had argued back...at all, but none the less everyone's inner populist was excited. My only problem with The Daily Show (and Colbert too) is that they rarely go deep enough into an issue. It's easy to point to the financial media as examples of a too close press/industry relationship. I think that the nature of financial news made it an easy target. I would imagine that the audience is fairly homogenous in certain aspects (they all look like the monopoly guy), "

also laymen can find it difficult to understand what's going on due to technical terms and such. I have a teacher explain it too me three times a week and still cant follow most of these shows. In such a fast moving market there's also a push to get the newst news faster which requires "inside information.
What I think should be taken from the interview is that any type of "embedded journalism" is going to be inherently more friendly to their subjects. War reporters embedded with troops begin to identify with them. A reporter on a cross country plane trip with Obama is more likely to be swayed by his personality than a reporter in Cleveland.

Furthermore the mainstream (read: corporate) press relies on quotes, sources, and a working relationship between the reporter and subject. The obvious conflict is that certain reporters or news outlets may be less likely to call out the industry they report on in fear of damaging relationships and eliminating their power to get inside information in the future. For example, Cramer stated that he knows a lot of hedge fund managers personally. Who can really be surprised that he isnt calling them out on tricks that he may have learned from them?!

Stewart did a service for calling out CNBC and the greater hackery of the "financial news networks," it will be interesting to see if this will change the composition of his guest list. This blogger would love to see Amy Goodman, The Young Terks, or any other number of independent outlets featured as alternatives to the failing mainstream press. Although they don't have the reputation or the access of knowing Bear Sterns CEO's personally, they also don't have the baggage that goes along with that type of relationship.

Wednesday, March 11

Episode 4

Check out Episode 4 of the radio show. Meghan and I discuss the ups and downs of the current and any future

Show Outline

Stimulus: Meghan outlines her view of what the stimulus should be. Compare and contrast the New Deal vs. The Stimulus,  What kind of jobs should the stimulus create? Should we allow the big 3 to die? 

Afghanistan: Is "surge" model relevant or is counter insurgency more relevant? What are our goals there? Pakistan? 

Truth Commission: Meghan asks if wiretapping is really that bad? I say it is. Are checks and balances unequal right now? Accountability vs. frivolous litigation.  

Tuesday, March 10


Melissa Harris Lacewell does a good job explaining what earmarks actually are
A republican senator from Utah (the one that isnt Orin Hatch) schools a Fox News anchor on why earmarks arent bad. 

Employee Free Choice Act

Rachel does a better job than i ever could cutting through the b.s. arguments against the Employee Free Choice Act. Republicans think that intimidating and supressing labor is the best thing to do in an economic downturn. I'm happy that Democrats are coming down on the side of labor as opposed to capitalists. Now lets see what we can do about better union leadership. 

Thursday, March 5

Episode 3

Head to: http://circularprogress.podOmatic.com to check out Season 2 Episode 3 of the show. 
Palestine/Israel + Afghanistan/Pakistan + Truth Commision + Soccer

Investigating Bush


Sheldon Whitehouse (D) R.I. talks about the prospects of a truth commission to investigate crimes commited by the Bush Administration. I've liked him ever since the U.S. attorney firing scandal broke. He, Sen. Feingold (D, Wis), Barbara Boxer (D, Ca) and a few others came out looking like they actually cared about the law.

I like how Senate dems seem to be serious about this whole investigation thing. Pelosi came out recently on Rachel Maddow's show talking about this as well. 

The only questions that remain seem to be. What's the best way to go about this? A congressional commision? If so is immunity on the table?  Or a special prosecuter. Pelosi seems to indicate that a commision could lead to immunity. Whitehouse says that it's too early to use a special prosecuter, and one could be used later. Also, i wonder how the Obama administration is going to come down on this? They have been super cautious when talking about it. Presumably because they dont want congress taking awa any power from the executive branch. I guess we'll see in a few months.