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Another Reason why a PC Belongs in the Media Room
By Ed Driscoll · November 16, 2004 12:55 PM · The Electronic Cottage

After my own casual experiment of not watching the presidential election on TV this year, and after a year of crazed TV news reporting, culminating in RatherGate, I decided to do this month's "Ideas For Every Room" newsletter for Electronic House on yet another reason why a PC belongs in your media room or home theater.

It looks like advertisers are agreeing with me: Internet ad revenues are soaring, as more and more people (especially men, interestingly enough) tune out TV networks in search of content on the Web.

TV as a device isn't going anywhere, but in a trend that George Gilder first spotted over a decade ago, more and more it's going to be an interactive device for playing back entertainment (sports, movies, and music-oriented content, whether it's via DVD or TiVo'ed off the networks), rather than for simply a device for passively pumping the media's biases into our brains. But when Dan Rather is disgraced (how badly? Well, I reflexively started typing the HTML superscript command when I got to the "th" in his name just now), Tom Brokaw booed at college football games, and ordinary folks come up to Peter Jennings and say this...

Well, the handwriting is on the wall for the big three's national TV news coverage.

(On the other hand, if Fox wants to put together a nightly news show for their TV network, they've got a pretty darn good chance of cleaning up in flyover country. And the infrastructure is already there: make Brit Hume the anchorman, let James Brown (no, not the Godfather of Soul--this James Brown) do the sports, and presto!--instant ratings and advertising revenue machine.)

Update: Great line by James Lileks:

Oh: one more thing. The Administration is clearing the decks for the second term. Out with the old & tired, in with new ideas, etc. How’s about the mainstream media does the same? Burn up half the deadwood, ease the ossified elements off the stage, bring in new writers and editors and announcers and producers. If they can do it at State, they could do it at CBS.

Yes, yes, I know. The State Department is just that. But CBS is the news.

But they won't, at least for now. Rather (I know--bad pun. Sorry!) nice of them to make the point of my newsletter for me.

Update: Talk about not learning your lessons. This article in the Sacramento Bee describing a recent post-election meeting of TV news bigwigs sounds like they have their heads completely buried in the sand about what just happened this year. On the other hand, the original dinosaurs never understood the concept of extinction, either.

Update: More here on the Sac Bee story. Also, check this out:

Fox News and the Internet emerged as new leading sources for election news, finds a Pew Research Center post-election study of 1,209 voters. Overall, 21% say they got most of their election news from Fox, compared with 15% for CNN and 13% from NBC.
Those who cite the Internet as a main source of campaign news rose to 21% from 11% in 2000 and 3% in 1996. Those who say they got any campaign news online rose to 41% from 30% in 2000.

Voters are increasingly troubled by what they see as unfair treatment of the candidates. This year, 40% of voters thought Bush was treated unfairly, up from 30% in 2000; 31% said Kerry was treated unfairly, up from 24% who faulted Al Gore's coverage in 2000.

I wrote my EH piece mostly based on what my fellow bloggers were saying, and my own gut feeling after election night. Looks like I'm far from the only one who thinks that way, though.

Update: Professor Bainbridge looks at a member of the media who gets it--and one does not.

Insta-Update: Welcome readers of Glenn Reynolds' MSNBC blog!

Junk Yard-Update: If you've heard the original, this is a riot.



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