The Soup Thickens

BBC NEWS | Americas | Gay marriage row at Miss USA show

You know you live in the primordial soup when a ditzy beauty queen objects to the offense that a gay gossip queen serving as a judge may have have felt at her objection to homosexuality and to gay marriage.

Should gay men be judging heterosexual female beauty pageants? Does being a gossip columnist qualify one as a judge of beauty?If yes, would this mean that American standards in beauty have been elevated, or that the “gay mafia” is exerting its influence. Should a decidedly naive beauty be disqualified from being queen for being a bigot? If yes, would this constitute an elevation of American beauty standards?

Within this primitive confusion lies the incontrovertible assertion that the Miss America Pageant represents absolutely nothing. No other fact can possibly account for the Pageant’s pathetic grasps for publicity.


Demand Accountability

Don’t know how many people are as fed up with NPR as I am, but if you are, go to the NPR contact page, choose “share a comment” and then “The Ombudsman”, then choose Morning Edition or any program that you want to complain about, and send them the following. Just be sure to customize it for the program of your choice.

Morning Edition has been decimated. It is now two hours of garrulous banter punctuated by a few scant minutes of barely competent reportage.

The interview format is stupid. It is condescending, it is wasteful, and it is deceptive. It makes no sense to have incompetent anchors like Steve Inskeep or Rene Montaigne interview a competent reporter like Anne Garrells or Nina Totenberg. In this manner, the interview format takes time away from a perfectly competent and knowledgeable journalist. This format reduces the amount of information being reported.

The interview format is also a means of muzzling the journalist and/or deceiving your listeners. A perfect example was Linda Wertheimer’s interview with your business editor on Sunday’s Weekend Edition. The editor (whose name I can’t be bothered to look up after the embarrassing piece she delivered) gave us a rosy picture of the US as the world’s leading manufacturer. This assertion cannot be true given consolidation of the European markets. Furthermore, America’s preeminence in production does not remedy its economic ills. The drop in production–and the drop in exports–is a persistent trend. We could very well remain the world’s greatest producer and still have a shrinking economy.

Naturally, Wertheimer participated in this deceptive argument by avoiding asking any of the questions raised above. The pathetic script did not allow it, and the very existence of the script makes NPR a propaganda source.

I have gone beyond the point of halting all donations to my local NPR stations as a form of protest. I am going to start writing my politicians to kill NPR.

NPR is no longer a disinterested source of news. Its content is nearly 50% Republican propaganda, as demonstrated by the persistence of useless “analysts” like Cokie Roberts and Juan Williams. NPR no longer produces as much original reportage as it did 20 years ago. It no longer adds to what the wire services deliver to everyone effectively for free.

In as much, NPR is useless, and I want it off my precious airwaves.

If you want sentiments like mine to balloon into a movement, keep doing what you are doing.


On News, Knowledge and Information

U.S. Broadband Is Fine, Nothing To See Here – The New York Times methodically fixing all broadband issues.. –

Where do you turn when you need objective assessment of the state of broadband connections in the US? Not the New York Times, apparently., by far the greatest resource in the US on evaluating your own broadband connection and determining how much value you are getting from your broadband provider does a much better job of reporting on the state of broadband connections for consumers and the state of affairs in the telecommunications industry in general than the New York Times.

In other words, if you take away the most impressive broadband countries, then dismiss our still mediocre showing as a product of geography (which doesn’t explain our record on poor urban deployment, or the successes of say, Canada), the U.S. looks pretty good. With availability and speed issues solved, that leaves just high US broadband prices left to dismiss, which Hansell apparently can’t. “On prices, unlike speeds, those tantalizing reports from overseas are correct,” he says.

Like in France, where users can get 100Mbps/50Mbps fiber service, VoIP and IPTV for $40 a month — in large part because the country took our now-scrapped attempt at local-loop unbundling and made it work. Fiber carriers who were sharing the access lines of local incumbents are now building their own networks, which resulted in strong facilities-based competition and lower prices thanks to — get ready — regulation. Which brings us back to our first sentence, and a larger point we’d be interested to see Hansell engage.

It would seem, then, that we can count on the New York Times to deliver the same sort of hard hitting journalism it delivered in the buildup to the Iraq war in 2003.

So, yes, the bottom line from the New York Times is be happy that you are paying too much for mediocre broadband service. You’re better off than Mexico, and, sure, you may be worse off than the French, but at least you don’t have to worry about that pesky regulation that guarantees your rights and the sort of regulation that makes corporations compete for your money.

The New York Times commends you for being an American. Your life is better without regulation. Being ripped off by corporations against which you are powerless is the only privilege that you have as an American. You eschew it at your own peril.