December 13, 2013

Have Nikon; Will Travel

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:23 pm

This visual oxymoron seems appropriate for a column lamenting the fact that there will not be an outlet for liberal philosophy in the San Francisco radio market.

During the historic week which included a handshake, a Presidential selfie, and a prank, and Mike Malloy directing his audience to for the back story (which was being ignored by the mainstream media) of the arrest Nelson Mandela a half century ago; the World’s Laziest Journalist became involved with a friend in a debate about Fox’s claim to be fair and balanced.

The sources for an impartial adjudication of the dispute, in turn, provide another source for more rancor.  It got to the point where we wondered if it would be possible to get a judgment on the question from the Columbia Journalism Review but then we scrapped the idea because their credentials for making such a call would probably be challenged by our debating opponent.

When Edward R. Murrow was appointed to be the in charge of news for the Voice of America he caused a dispute when he announced that he would include unfavorable as well as flattering information in the broadcasts.

How much criticism of George W. Bush had Fox ever broadcast?  Did they ever have anything to say about President Obama that was not negative?  Could it be that tolerance for information that was less than “very flattering” was the hallmark of excellence which distinguishes reporting from propaganda?  One man’s derogatory remark is another man’s example of fair and balanced.  It seems that the dispute is destined for perpetual stalemate status.

As the week progressed, we tried to contend with the challenge of providing publicity for the Mother Laura Gertrude Seland Foundation (there is a page on Facebook for this organization) to bolster their fund raising efforts.

We started collecting a list of movies of, for, about, or featuring a Cadillac car for a friend, Frank Nicodemus, who is a specialist in restoring that famous brand of cars.

We have endorsed the efforts of the Armstrong and Getty Show is continuing their criticism of the bullet train that does not earn favorable approval numbers in the polls.  Thursday their program publicized a story done by Los Angeles Times reporter George Skelton on the expensive project which seems to contradict the concept of budget cuts because of the need for austerity measures.  One man’s boondoggle is another man’s “necessary path to the future.”

Armstrong and Getty have been critical of the homeless and we have wondered how receptive they would be to a suggestion that they interview an intelligent and eloquent panhandler or would they insist on doing a variation of the concept of a stacked deck and only extend an invitation to a guest who was not articulate?

During the week, we called the Norman Goldman radio show to castigate him for never showing any appreciation for the quality of Republican hypocrisy.  We were unable to suggest that he establish a Hypocrisy Hall of Fame.  Later we learned that the concept has already been used online.

The roster of liberal talk shows available in the San Francisco Bay area on radio is being reconfigured.  Isn’t it a strange paradox for folks to realize that liberal talk shows will be without a media outlet in the American city that is famous world wide for the tolerant philosophy of its citizens?

The fact that conservatives aren’t lamenting the evaporation of the supply of liberal voices in the marketplace is an indication that they will be content to let the sources for the philosophy of the Left be reduced to such a small size that it can be drowned in a bathtub.  When freedom of speech becomes extinct, do you think the conservatives will miss it?

The dwindling supply of liberal talk radio reminds us of the concept of the death of a thousand cuts.  No one cut is a mortal wound, but a large number of cuts can have a fatal cumulative effect.  The same thing seems to be happening to Freedom of Speech.

The World’s Laziest Journalist prefers to implement the three dot journalism style of a rapid steam of small items.  We assume that we could put a lot of time and fact finding into an effort to examine the topic of homelessness, but the fact that material is usually skimmed when it is published online, makes the prospect of doing all the necessary work seem like an exercise in futility.

If making the effort to gather content is going to be the only reward, and if people are going to only give it a quick glance, we are aware that of the Zen concept of “monkey mind” (attention deficit?) and that using the Herb Caen formula of selecting an assortment of diverse items is a matter of “form follows function.”

Occasionally being an insignificant member of the online pundit patrol has its own advantages.  A happy go lucky columnist can goad readers into considering some points that the major league pundits can’t touch with a ten foot pole.

For example, could it be that the Republicans don’t really care about Benghazi but they know that these days a President has to be accompanied by a communications specialist from the military (wasn’t that also true when Slick Willie was out cavorting with whatzername?) and that the claim that his whereabouts were unknown can never be a truthful statement.  If they have reliable gossip about where he really was when he supposedly disappeared, they are able to make his temporary location seem important, and they might figuratively speaking catch him with his pants down and embarrass him.  The actual event could just be a red herring to make him uncomfortable.  If they get a lucky break they could possibly make it necessary for someone to divulge where he was and what he (most likely) was doing at that particular time.

Heck, he ain’t going to run in 2016 so the Republicans might just make an issue of his whereabouts that particular night just to have some malicious fun.

Speaking of three dot journalism and unique bits of punditry from the peanut gallery, we have a question that seems timely.  Do the Republicans hate Obama so much that getting funding to purchase land or draw up architectural plans for the Obama Presidential Library will have to be postponed until at least after it becomes apparent if the results from the 2014 mid-term elections make that expenditure seem feasible by a (hypothetically speaking) Democratic majority Congress?

If gathering material is going to be a columnist’s only reward, then he might just as well consider himself to be the journalistic equivalent of a knight errant and extend the geographical boundaries for his beat to places that he has always wanted to see, or as in the case of the annual concert of the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert in Perth, see again.

Due to austerity budget measures, the columnist will also be simultaneously assigned to carry a Nikon Coolpix with him so that he will be positioned to provide photos to accompany the aforementioned examples of thee dot journalism in action.

In The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler wrote:  “Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on and some very long and convenient hair.”

Now, the disk jockey will play “Lady Godiva,” the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” and Sleepy LeBEEF’s “Sure beats the heck out of settllin’ down.”  We have to go rescue a lady in distress.  Have a “nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy” type week.

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