Monday, October 26, 2009

Melbournian Candidate - Roger Ailes

Almost as an insider’s media industry joke, the idea made the rounds last week of Roger Ailes, head of Fox News of the Murdock Media Noise Empire, was considering a run for the presidency in 2012.

If he was younger, I would say that he or anybody the Fox Propaganda Machine would endorse could go the distance in the American Political Process. Ailes could carry or make a decent showing in the Primaries. Huckabee would have to be sabotaged (a minor task) if Ailes wanted Iowa.

This is all speculation, a joke, comic relief, after Ailes and Obama media right hand David Axelrod could not discuss gentlemanly rules of engagement over tea at the White House.

Ailes cut his teeth or more accurately make his name and media reputation in selling a recycled bag of political shit aka Richard Nixon to the American People and making them like it in 1968. Of course it was the George Wallace campaign and the split in the Democratic party that year that gave the Republicans a squeaker victory in 1968.

One has to wonder at the ego of politicians and media moguls born in Melbourne and how games can be won and profits realized on the national and global stage.

The power of the media is immense. Like a Derivatives Compiler or Manager of a Hedge Fund, the novelty of the new Fox journalism has worn off in recent hard economic times. These are times for retooling the American Mission Statement for itself and to the world. Fox fades away or resets the definition of normal for decades to come.

Journalism in all its forms are in the marketplace. The more traditional hardcopy newspaper may be on the wane but it is not dead. There always is a market for a quality product. There also is a market for hucksters and their street wares.

The media as the background sound of the demos – the mob – has been there since before the Republic. The sounding board of ideas and egos, private and public are all welcome.

Roger Ailes will make an excellent stalking horse for Rupert’s real candidate, whoever he or SHE is in 2012.

(P.S. Just substitute the word Iraq or Afghanistan in every slot using the word “Vietnam” below and get a taste of the potential media tsunami coming our way in 2012, that could be recycled out of old political propaganda trash courtesy of classic Ailes and Associates archives.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The New WSJ - Where are the Tits?

I used to remark some years ago that the only thing that keeps The New York Time from being a truly great newspaper was that it lacked a “funnies” comic strip page. Yes, rather droll humor.

I used to remark that I had no need for the New York Post anymore – my canary died.

Going back at least twenty five years ago I was walking from the Village, down Broadway on my way to the Ferry. I was a walker back then. It was a Sunday afternoon. I ran into a tourist. He was middle aged and as it turned out Korean. From his limited but well mannered English he was asking me “Where do I find the Wall Street Journal building?” I kind of scratched my head. This was before they had a whole building at the World Financial Center across from the old World Trade Center.

He may have had an address or I got the address out of the copy of the WSJ he was carrying with him. It was late and I wanted to get home. But the dignity of this Economics professor from South Korea made me want to be a perfect temporary surrogate American host to this tourist. We talked as we walked and as I guided him to the address in downtown Manhattan. This man was in awe of the “greatest newspaper in the world”. Wow. He had come to see and pay homage to something he had worshipped from afar.

I don’t know if we did find the right place. The WSJ had no iconic building in those days. What we landed at was an entrance to the building next to the New York Stock Exchange. Perhaps they rented some floors in the building. The professor seemed a bit disappointed and I was too in that I could not satisfy this tourist’s request to touch the “greatest newspaper in the world”.

“The greatest newspaper in the world” is still an elusive title for any newspaper these days. When I see articles these days in the Internet, I see WSJ or Wall Street Journal next to the article listed. If I click onto the article I am not likely to get any sound economic advice or spin on world economic business, I am more likely to get the Opinion Page - or a featured blog article - and having little or nothing to do with the traditional business of Wall Street.

I have had to restrain myself lately, train my eye to stop seeing WSJ as a mark of quality based on a century of Journalistic Excellance that permeated even to South Korea in its day.

I ran into a FOX defending article today on the Opinion Page at the "WSJ" internet site. It was interlinked with a blog attacking Obama’s strategy against Fox News. I don’t know who the blogger really is or how he gets paid. What does petty politics have to do with economics or the stock market in any pure old fashioned “classic WSJ” sense of things?

I knew that when Murdock bought the Wall Street Journal that it would lose its shine.

Rupert, the one thing these days missing in the Wall Street Journal – WSJ – that keeps it from being a truly great newspaper. It has no Page Three. There are no tits?

Rupert? Where are the tits?

Please raise the standards for "the Journal" back up - perhaps even up to those standards of your flagship newspaper - The Sun.