By Chris Daly
Dear readers of my blog: One thing I have learned from the whole Juan Williams-Fox-NPR dust-up is that you are really nobody in the media commentariat if you do not have a fancy title. And it seems like you are absolutely nobody unless you are called “Senior Analyst.”
Therefore and henceforth, whenever I express any opinions on this site, and whenever I analyze anything (which will be more or less all the time, or else what am I doing here?), I will identify myself as the site’s “Senior Analyst.”
My pay will remain the same, but now I will feel freer to analyze the hell out of whatever comes along. Just so you know.
Full disclosure: I am the “senior” analyst around here not because there are any “junior analysts” running around, but because there is no one above me on the organizational chart. (In fact, luckily for me, there is no boss who can fire me or even tell me to go see my psychiatrist. That is what makes this job different from all other jobs I ever had — in or out of the media.)
This just in: Wow. I just googled NPR to see if Juan Williams is still listed anywhere and to see if I could find his old title, and I notice that in my Google search, the first thing at the top is an ad urging me to “DEFUND NPR” (Yikes! If they are going to follow my advice in my previous post, they better get cracking before it’s too late.) In searching the NPR website, I could not find anything resembling a masthead, which is probably just as well. They usually just breed resentment. Anyway, when I searched the NPR site, the most recent item I could find that mentions Juan Williams going back before last week was on Sept. 28, when he was identified as a plain-ol’ “NPR News Analyst.”
Over on the Fox News website, Williams is pretty easy to find. (He just did a victory lap tonight on O’Reilly.) In the Fox News copy about Williams, he is also identified as a plain “Fox News Analyst,” so at least I outrank him. He will have to console himself with the $2 million contract Fox just gave him (presumably for accomplishing the impossible — making Fox News look more responsible than NPR; actually, maybe it’s not enough).
Hey: Who do I talk to around here about a raise???
by Chris Daly
The Juan Williams affair has not only exploded throughout the blogosphere, it is already producing echoes. I will stipulate that it is entirely possible that there is nothing to add at this point. That said, I also observe that it is imperative for anyone who comments on the performance of news media to step up and say something about this episode.
So, here goes:
NPR should not wait in fear as Rep. DeMint and other Republicans sharpen their knives to cut the taxpayer-funded portion of NPR’s budget. Estimates of the size of that public subsidy vary, but they all fall within a range that NPR should be able to live without.
As a news organization, NPR should stop taking public funding, period.
In fact, NPR should have done so long ago.
The fact is, no news organization is worth anything unless it is in a position to tell other people — including especially the government — to buzz off. (Michael Kinsley has called this “fuck you” money.) Journalism cannot be done without independence. In the long run, NPR would be far better off by freeing itself from any taxpayer funding.
The company should probably change its name, too. They could save money in the transition if they just called themselves something like Non-Profit Radio, or NPR. Has a nice familiar ring to it.
Here is a characteristically thoughtful, original essay by my friend and neighbor Dan Bricklin — a software pioneer who knows whereof he speaks.
Cool photo too.
By Chris Daly
That’s what David Carr has on-offer in this piece about Tribune Co.
Instead of attitude and adjectives, he has facts and quotes.
One moral of this story: This mess inside Tribune appears to be the fruit of the “zoo radio” culture — which gave us Glenn Beck and which seems to be one of those places that provides a haven for teenage boys who don’t want to grow up.
The latest on Fox News.
Here, in Politico. And here, in the Times.
Actually, I will venture to ask this question:
Is Fox News the fourth U.S. television network, or the third U.S. political party?
What do you think?
. . . to David Frum, the Canadian-American former speechwriter for George W. Bush (despite his robust credentials as a member of the “elite,” based on his degrees from Yale and Harvard Law).
I don’t agree with him about much, but I was impressed by the points he made in this recent talk.
By Chris Daly
This new study from Gallup really hurts. It suggests that the people who are waging war on the news media are winning.
Possible hidden headline (based on the second chart):
“Number of Americans Who Say Media
Are ‘Too Conservative’ Rises 36% Since 2002″
What do you think?