Entries Tagged as 'reporting'

Not The Onion

David Frum August 1st, 2011 at 3:37 pm 24 Comments

This is the Washington Post’s emailed bulletin report on the budget debate:

Asked for single-word characterizations of the budget negotiations, the top words in the poll — conducted in the days before an apparent deal was struck — were “ridiculous,” “disgusting” and “stupid.” Overall, nearly three-quarters of Americans offered a negative word; just 2 percent had anything nice to say.

“Ridiculous” was the most frequently mentioned word among Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. It was also No. 1 in an April poll about the just-averted government shutdown. In the new poll, the top 27 words are negative ones, with “frustrating,” “poor,” “terrible,” “disappointing,“ “childish,” “messy” and “joke” rounding out the top 10.

Why Watch Cable?

David Frum November 28th, 2009 at 9:46 am 12 Comments

As a sometime talking head on CNN, I’m arguing against interest here – but Friday was a day that fully drove home the uselessness of cable news.

All day long, cable breathlessly reported the Tiger Woods story, while managing totally to ignore what had actually occurred. It asked viewers to believe that a non-drunk Tiger Woods had taken his car for a 2 AM drive on the winding streets of a gated community – that he had crashed into a fire hydrant with enough impact not only to injure himself, but to entrap himself in the car – and that his wife, a woman who weighs less than 120 pounds, had used a golf club to smash open the car windshield and drag him to safety. Obviously untrue in every detail, right?

And yet this absurd cover story was repeated over and over again for hours. People who wanted to know what was really going on crashed the servers of the celebrity website TMZ, which had the real story.

But at least that story was unimportant.

Much worse was the coverage of the Dubai default.

Dubai, a hedge fund masquerading as an emirate, owes its creditors $80 billion. Even in these trillion-dollar days, that’s a lot of money. Now it cannot pay.

All day long, the cable networks trotted out “experts” to insist that this default was no big deal, a purely local matter. Not one of them seemed to consider: Hey what happens when Dubai’s creditors begin dumping properties all at the same time, in the midst of the worst commercial real estate slump in a generation or maybe two? What does it mean that the emirate’s landholdings inside Dubai – which helped to secure its huge borrowings – have tumbled to worthlessness? What if Dubai drags its main creditor, HSBC, down to ruin with it?

No, it was all pooh-poohing happy talk.

Only today, with the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, are the major media reporting the anxieties that have gripped market players for the past 72 hours and more.

So much for the 24-hour news cycle.

A Worthy Cause

August 31st, 2009 at 11:15 am 1 Comment

I don’t know if you are aware of Michael Yon.


Michael Yon

Michael Yon


He’s fearless… provides a candid, soldier’s-eye view… from the very unique perspective of being there with them for weeks and months at a time… delving deep into the human component.
-General David H. Petraeus
Commanding General
Multi-National Force, Iraq

Michael Yon is ex-SF, and he brings honor to the Regiment with his heroic work covering the wars going on out there, reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. Read his creds here:

No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.

Michael Yon is the 2008 Weblog Awards Winner for Best Military Blog.

As early as February 2005, Michael described the violence in Iraq as a civil war. In 2006, he said we were losing in Afghanistan. In 2007, he was the first reporter to claim the success of “the Surge” in Iraq. When he first voiced these opinions, they were extremely controversial. Now they are conventional wisdom.

Now Michael needs your help. He obviously does what he does for little or no pay:

I cannot operate in the war without your support. If support does not substantially increase, I will be forced to abandon war reporting in September. There has seldom been much interest in the Afghanistan war. True interest has been starkly reflected in the support for this mission. Each journey into Afghanistan, since 2006, has bled out resources from my operations. Reporting from Afghanistan is not sustainable at this rate.

In his blog there is a fascinating story about helicopters in the war zone, specifically the static that lights up in the rotors (I’ve often observed this phenomena myself). Yon has coined it the Kopp-Etchells Effect, in memory of two KIA corporals; one American & one British.



Kopp-Etchells Effect

Kopp-Etchells Effect


Today is pay day – every G.I. out there is a millionaire. Go to Michael’s site and crack the code on the PayPal thing. I am going to lead by example on this thing and scratch out a check for $25; if every one of my regular readers contributes the same, this will equal six months pay for Michael.


Originally posted at STORMBRINGER.