Monday, July 18, 2011

Media Musings

It's not been a good week for a lot of the media.

And I don't mean just in the Murdoch scandal in Britain. BTW, (1) Murdoch is an Australian by birth but; (2) his world headquarters is in the U-S; (3) his most profitable businesses, such as the various Fox channels, the Wall Street Journal, etc. are also here.

We had problems right here in Kain-tuck-ee:

My fave Louisville morning paper identified the British Prime Minister as James Cameron, a "Titanic" mistake, and took 3 days to make a "timely" correction to David.

A local furniture store went on Lexington TV announcing "the greatest thing which has ever happened in this area!" What? Better than the end of WW2? It was just a sale. OK, you mean the greatest business event. What? Better than Toyota coming?

I'm told courts have held that this is "harmless puffery." I disagree; words have meaning..and consequences. And as long as local TV stations allow such inaccuracies on their--pardon, the peoples air!..just so long they will continue to run down the importance of that medium.

Even the great summer film classics series at the Kentucky Theater had problems. At "Fantasia" the host appears in the orchestra saying.."Hello, I'm Deems Taylor." He wasn't. Disney apparently couldn't bring itself to tell us they had lost the original commentary by Taylor and was substituting an actor in the new version. That's a lie, an unnecessary lie.

My fave Lexington morning paper ran an important story from its McClatchy Washington bureau (an excellent and under-rated news service we are lucky to have) on Sen. McConnell's new plan for a debt ceiling compromise. First paragraph..McConnell has a new plan. Fine; what is it? Eight or so paragraphs later we finally get details. Why not right away in the story? (Keep your eyes on this; Shields & Brooks on PBS both had kind things to say about it.)

PBS's fine "History Detectives" has recently had two errors ...mispronouncing FDR's last name (first syllable rhymes with "rose" not "ruse") and getting the wrong person who "canned" Sen. Sumner in a major incident before the Civil War.

Yes, I know.."to err is human." (I certainly make my share) But recent weeks remind us the "media" run by people, such as you and me, are very "human."

I'm just sayin'...

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