The Weekly World Thingy

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Seperation of State and Media

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is buttressing its public relations staff and starting an operation akin to a political campaign war room as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld faces intensifying criticism over the Iraq war.

In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said new teams of people will "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and "correct the record."

The memo describes an operation modeled after a political campaign — such as that made famous by Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential race — calling for a "Rapid Response" section for quickly answering opponents' assertions.

Another branch would coordinate "surrogates." In political campaigns, surrogates are usually high-level politicians or key interest groups who speak or travel on behalf of a candidate or an issue.

The plan would focus more resources on so-called new media, such as the Internet and Weblogs. It would also include new workers to book civilian and military guests on television and radio shows.

Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff did not provide the exact number of people to be hired, or the costs.


This is a direct bridging of State and Media, and even established funding.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Newspapers and Internet

Look, if newspapers are going to survive, and they should, they will have to become publicized editions of the contents of websites. A newspaper is good because it has a certain circulation, and is a concise collection of facts. What is a website but this? A newspaper may have advantages here because it requires no computer or display and can be taken or placed anywhere, not just on screens. So until we have computerized paper screens, newspapers can fill this role. And when that day comes, newspapers can become electrtonic. But until that day, newspapers should integrate sections of websites into their agendas, perhaps responses quoted from the internet, and particularly feedback and concerns of readers and bloggers at the newspaper's site.

Talk radio gets by because they are an indispensible medium, and radios are more common and cheaper than computers, even though you can hear a radio on a computer, and watch TV on a computer for that matter. Computers and blogs are better because they are more satisfying and interpersonal. I hate TV. I make it my servant on the computer.

Newspapers, write what we say. And not a biased s/election of what we say, what we really mean.