Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Palin Puts Out for the Cause

Uncomfortable interview with new teenage prevention advocate Bristol Palin, who argues that while her child is "awesome" and a "blessing," abstinence is the only way to go.  You can do a fun drinking game with this one: a drink for every time  you hear the words:

1. awesome
2. a blessing
and a big drink when the interviewer says 
3. "the sex"  

Why are we making this poor girl do this?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 5: Jonesin'

Blood Pressure: Elevated

So the first real thing I've learned during five days of this experiment is how my media consumption is really a deeply programmed part of my behavior. I don't read the Huffington Post; every 30 minutes or so, I initiate a motion that summons content from the website, which I scan for updates and only occasionally read. This action is a ritual I perform maybe 20 times a day, when I need a break from work or a moment of solitude.

It's similar to the semi-nightly practice of watching the Olberman/Maddow podcasts when they become available, creating 90 minutes of assured stillness in an otherwise complicated life. The same goes with radio and newspaper. The content is equal (if not secondary) to the very custom of consuming media.

Going cold turkey is rough.

I see that link to up on my browser toolbar and I my mouse arrow just automatically drifts towards it. It's a revealing track of media addiction and confirms a fear that I'm not thinking too hard about selecting news sources and the ideas I put into my head.

But breaking those habits is only one part of the problem. I'm also struggling with reprogramming these routines to accept new junk. I can't make heads or tails of It's got a foreign interface and funny names like Nordlinger. I didn't know you had to pay for full podcasts of Bill O'Reily--what the hell is with that? And who gave the interface designers a long, long vacation over at

It doesn't take a genius to figure this stuff out, but I've been shooting some familiar media narcotic for many years and have trails to show for it. It's proving as hard to kick my established habit as it is to develop a taste for a new one.

But I'm currently traveling for work and the free New York Times is stacking up by the door of my hotel room. By the time I board the plane home I should be fully detoxified. And ready for a glass pipe full of Michelle Malkin.

Quote of the day: Tapping into the emerging "the census is a Big Brother program that must be resisted" storyline, here's a taste of American Daily Review's take on the use of GPS: "The Obamites, thirsty to serve their new messianic figure, have lost enough of their objectivity to be willingly recruited into such an insidious program like gaining these coordinates for the U.S. Government."

Thing that made me go "hmmm": Maybe handing over a majority ownership of Chrysler to the United Auto Workers and canceling 75 percent of the value of bond holders isn't really fair. But without access to reliable outside sources, I won't know until June 1.

Banned From Britain

Michael Savage will not be having tea with HRM anytime soon -- though who wants to sip earl gray with that gray elitist anyway. 

Interesting idea though: Is it good policy for countries to ban hate mongers? And who decides what's hate speech and what's free speech (thinking of a certain Iranian visiting a certain Ivy League recently)

Monday, May 4, 2009


Is the Santa Cruz Sentinel reading -- and stealing -- from our blog? We had this story on Friday.

Daily poll:

What kind of normal person wants to go stand out in public shouting things? -- Glenn Beck

Which word is scarier:

--Nutritional Ethnomedicine (what Michael Savage has a PhD in

Poll Dancing

OK, so the only thing I know for sure is that journalism schools have to do a better job at educating media folks on how to use polling numbers.....

Editorial from Washington Times: 
According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969... Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon.

In recent days, several media figures and outlets have falsely claimed that President Obama's approval rating at this point in his presidency, according to Gallup, is lower than that of most or all recent presidents. The falsehood is based on an apples-to-oranges comparison between an April 20-21 Galluppoll question that asked respondents to "rate the job Barack Obama has been doing as president so far -- excellent, good, just okay, poor, or terrible," and the historical results of the traditional Gallup approval rating poll question that simply asked whether respondents "approve" or "disapprove" of the president's performance. Based on its traditional presidential approval poll question, Gallup itself recently reported that Obama's average approval rating for the first quarter of his first year in office is the highest of any president since 1969 other than Jimmy Carter, and Obama's most recent weekly average approval rating is higher than the April approval ratings of every first-term president since 1969 other than Ronald Reagan.

Savage Roots

So I didn't know that Michael Savage has a PhD from Berkeley in Nutritional Ethnomedicine. Or that he used to buddy around with The Beats. (Though it doesn't surprise me that he was born a Wiener... oh, I mean Weiner, as in Michael Weiner). ... 

I found out about the PhD while listening to him, uh, discuss how "illegal immigrants" were giving us the swine flu while they built our houses and took our children to school. He knows about this because of his degree, he says, so trust him.

Which made me wonder: Why bring out your credentials in one moment to make your audience trust you -- and then in the next breath deride the educated members of the government to make your audience trust you. This makes no sense. How do we tell the righteous experts from the elitist ones? What a wiener.