In re: So long… Lou Dobbs to Quit CNN (finally)

Lou Dobbs, the longtime CNN anchor whose anti-immigration views have made him a TV lightning rod, said Wednesday that he is leaving the cable news channel effective immediately.

via Update: Lou Dobbs to Quit CNN – Media Decoder Blog – NYTimes.com.

 

I’ve got to admit I’ve given up on almost any TV news, probably the best reporting on the air depending on what your looking for is PBS, the BBC or the Daily Show.  Anyway, CNN has long been in decline and I’ve long since given up on it, for a while their international channel wasn’t bad, but then it got filled with most of the same crap in America.  I can’t really judge it anymore because it has been so long since I’ve seen CNN aside from those airport TVs, but Lou Dobbs was definitely a low point for the channel as his show morphed into his platform to spout his idiotic ideas (CNN should have stuck to a pure news format and at least had their credibility, but alas I am guessing that doesn’t sell advertising).

In re: Dispatch layoffs

Guess it should come as no surprise, papers were suffering before the downturn in the economy, but its still sad to see.

“The Dispatch is reducing the size of its newsroom, laying off 45 people effective on April 3, management of the newspaper announced today.”

via The Columbus Dispatch : ‘Dispatch’ announces 45 layoffs on editorial staff.

Made me think back to the last season of The Wire (I know another Wire reference – I thought we were past that!)  While that season was the most criticized and probably a bit out of touch with recent times it did help show the demise of the American paper and the role a newspaper played or could play in a community…anyway.

The problem is of course multifaceted, internet, longer commutes by car, TV time rather than reading mean that there are less readers, with less time and who have plenty of other options.  The problem is that blogs and other cheaper to produce operations lack some of the quality control that we have gotten used to and the investigative resources.  (Maybe we are ushering in a new era of investigative bloggers?).  Anyway, I do feel bad that I  canceled my Dispatch subscription a year ago, although I read online, but it was slowing me down on the weekdays and often times left a huge bin of newspapers that were barely read (I have read print media is better for the environment then online – due to huge electric usage – but it still made me think I was creating waste – at my peak I had two 7 days a week subscriptions, one to Dispatch and on to NY Times)  Right now I only get the NY Times in print 3 days a week (I would like more but as I said, it piled up during the week) and tons of magazines that I don’t get through (not even the Economist sadly these days gets its deserved full reading).

That said who knows, the times may shift the business to shift their thinking, lean times can lead to great creativity and getting more done with less.  I always thought the Dispatch website look pretty junky and I would be willing to pay for a better site, although knowing others reading habits I know this wouldn’t bring in many others.

In re: Passenger trains in Columbus

“State leaders are determined to connect Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail as early as next year, an idea that Gov. Ted Strickland endorsed in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The so-called 3-C corridor was abandoned in 1971, a consequence of falling ridership and the breakdown of the national rail network. Columbus, which lost all passenger rail service in 1979, now is the second-largest city in the country without rail service. (Phoenix is first, although light rail reaches a suburb.)

“Our goal is to link Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail for the first time in 40 years,” Strickland said during his State of the State speech. “This will be the first step toward a rail system that links neighborhoods within a city, and cities within our state.””

via DispatchPolitics : Passenger trains could roll next year Columbus Dispatch Politics.

 

I won’t go through my rail rant again, but I am excite about the fact Governor Strickland is pushing the 3C project and wanting to get the major cities of Ohio connected by rail, the fact that there is no rail connection for passengers is astounding, considering the distances (i.e. a few hour trip).

Now I know they aren’t talking high speed, just getting anything going is a good start, but people gotta start thinking about the possibilities of high speed rail, imagine an hour trip to Columbus from Cleveland via a high speed rail, suddenly an Ohio state game, even an evening basketball game is a no brainer, and suddenly some of Cleveland and Cincinnati’s atractions can be day or even evening trips.  

For people who think its a garbage idea I’d ask them to check out good rail service in other countries.  Riding trains that run well is a pleasure travel loses a lot of its hassle as you can jump on and read a book, walk about when needed.  I said I wouldn’t rant, so I’ll stop now, but hopefully we are seeing the beginning of rail coming back in Ohio and beyond.

In re: Coldplay caught stealing notes? Arena district a boom? Bookclubs…

Headed out west for a couple days tomorrow and figured I mention a few interesting things I saw recently, so just a hodgepodge post:

  • Coldplay is being sued for copyright infringement for their song Viva la Vida by guitarist Joe Satriani, (see a YouTube video comparison)  check out his much lesser known song in comparison – to me it seems like he has a pretty good claim.  (“[I]t is well settled that copying may be inferred where a plaintiff establishes that the defendant had access to the copyrighted work and that the two works are substantially similar.” Warner Brothers v. American Broadcasting Companies, 654 F.2d 204, 207)  It seems like Joe mike end up with a chunk of change from this, but only time will tell.  For more on this see discussion on The Volokh Conspiracy or article in Guardian (“On the one hand, you have Satriani’s six-and-a-half-minute instrumental from 2004, with cheese-ball guitar wailing, moments of shredding, and long bouts of soloing. On the other hand, you have Viva La Vida: Eno-produced, Grammy-nominated, full of strings, church bells, drum rolls, chorales. And a sort of harpsichord solo. Certainly Viva La Vida is cheese-ball as well – but it feels more cheddar than Dairylea.”
     
  • The other day there was an article in the NY Times on the Arena District in Columbus and the success that Nationwide Realty has had in turning what was a dilapidated area of town into one of the highest rent office districts in the city as well as creating viable ground floor commercial space due in large part to Nationwide Arena (and soon Huntington Park).  See the article here.  “A decade ago, a 75-acre area along the Scioto River less than a mile west of this capital city’s downtown was an industrial no man’s land, consisting of barren railyards, old warehouses and a shuttered 19th-century penitentiary. But that was before Nationwide Realty Investors, an affiliate of Nationwide Mutual Insurance, turned the area into the Arena District.”
     
  • Being in a somewhat functional (though rarely meeting book club) I found an article “Fought Over Any Good Books Lately?” in the NY Times Sunday magazine kind of amusing as it recounted failed book clubs who couldn’t agree if they wanted to read high end literature or Dan Brown thrillers.  See article here

In re: has McCain worked to hide POW information?

An interesting article in The Nation that follows John McCain’s efforts to keep information concerning POWs that were left behind in Vietnam from reaching the light of day.  The information concerns among other issues the fact that the US may have hundreds of POWs behind in Vietnam who were likely eventually executed as both the US and Vietnam chose to ignore the issue.  The article mentions many pieces of evidence of the alive POWs including the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) received more than 1,600 firsthand reports of sightings of live American prisoners and nearly 14,000 secondhand accounts following our exit from Vietnam.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents.

See the article in The Nation McCain and the POW Cover-up by Sydney H. Schanberg

In re: Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?

“the best campaign team in the universe ever,” working out of “ ‘The Daily Show’ news-scraper: 117 stories, 73 situation rooms, 26 news tickers,” and promising to bring “you all the news stories — first … before it’s even true.” (Quoting the current ad campaign for the election coverage of the Daily Show)  Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? – NYTimes.com.

The NY Times answers the question in the title with a resounding yes.  A fairly long article in the NY Times about the the Daily Show (the articles author has nothing but praise for it, which I guess I would agree with).  While I got to admit I don’t watch it as much as the Colbert Report these days it is still amazing and I amazed I regretted the leaving of Craig Kilborne from the show (the original show pales in comparison to the show it has become).  Anyways, it’s an interesting article and I am not surpised nor do I think its a bad thing that Jon Stewart is ocnsidered one of the most trusted names in news.

In re: Phelps by .01

Unbelievable finish to the 100-meter butterfly last night with Phelps keeping his quest for 8 golds alive with a miraculous comeback.  Cavic who appeared to have the race one was a hair short of the wall allowing Phelps to complete another stroke and hit the wall.  Unlike a sprint on the track you gotta be both fast and have the wall touch timed, kinda like stepping on first base.  See the NY Times Photo set showing the ground (water?) gained in the finals moments.

The Phelps-Cavic Photo Finish – 2008 Olympics – Sports and News from China – The New York Times

Sports Illustrated has a great photo gallery too