Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Media Shakedown: Al Gore Goes INd

Richard Leiby’s “Reliable Source” column in The Washington Post has the latest and greatest(?) on Al Gore’s maneuvering, with a little help from 70 million friends, to get INdTV (pronounced Indie TV), a youth-oriented news and culture television channel, on the air.

Here’s a sneak-peak at some of the proposed programming:

•That's F*&#ed Up: Is there something unfathomable going on around the corner or down the street? Some state of affairs that just doesn't make sense? You can rant all you want -- it just better be good TV."

• "INdTV Paparazzi: Get someone famous to opine on something substantive. ('Hey Paris -- what did you think of Rumsfeld's quote on the armored Humvee shortage in Iraq?') Or, ask a serious figure about something not-so-substantive. Note: Don't be a stalker."

• "Citizen Reporter: Pick a news story and tell it the way it should be told. No teleprompter, no static stand-ups, no local-news hair. Honesty and humor will go a long way. This is our chance to unwind the spin."

• "All-Nighter: What goes on in your town between 2 and 5 a.m.? We're looking for truly unique stuff, anywhere from the local late-night diner to the woods down by the creek."

• "State of the Union: Give us your wisest, most irreverent State of the Union address. We're talking improvised podium, pomp, politics, personality and, of course, most importantly: sound bites."

• "Addicted: What's your addiction? Food? A fetish? A relationship? Do you lead a double life? This is first-person: time to confess."

It’s nice that Mr. Gore is trying to open up a new avenue for young people to voice their opinions and become interested in public policy and cultural issues, but… I don’t get it. The Democrats desperately need to build a think tank/media outlet/political personality fortress to combat what I like to call the Conservative Media Machine. Mr. Gore’s efforts in the broadcasting realm were thought to be to try to bring a liberal alternative to Fox News to the air, thus making a major effort at counter-balancing the right on cable news (all shouts and cries about the Liberal Elite Media aside).

This doesn’t seem to be that, though, does it?


The Sore Loser said...

Yeah, I don't get it either. And besides, who's going to watch this crap?

Eric Berlin said...

It will probably end up as required viewing in Middle Schools for bored-to-tears eighth graders.

Now, if Al Gore himself were to host a game show or something... then we'd be talking action!

Al said...

Really, how much more counter-balancing from the left does Fox News need on cable? How about the cheese eaters that Fox came to tackle, CNN in particular.

It's not that the left doesn't have voices, it's that they're largely being rejected by the public. The dominance of Fox News is not the result of some secret Karl Rove plan.

The bottom line VOTE by remote control is that Fox News is in fact a far better and more fair and balanced news source.

Well, that's democracy for ya.

Eric Berlin said...


I'll paraphrase Bill Lumburgh from Office Space fame:

"I'm gonna have to go ahead... and disagree with you there. Yeah."

Can you give me one equivalent of O'Reilley or Hannity on CNN? The truth is that Fox brilliantly tapped into a right-leaning audience. CNN and, to an extent MSNBC (who is adding conservative hosts left and right these days) are trying to "stay the course" and are losing ratings in an increasingly fractured media marketplace. Therefore, I think it makes sense for a left-leaning cable station to lay cards on the table and become the Fox of the Left.

But the overall truth is that the conservative media dominates the news process and had a level of impact on the 2004 election.

Conservative think tanks have been weaned over the past generation. They float up the philosophy, such as neo-conservatism, that is latched onto by young politiks, especially those who grew up or came of age during the Reagan 80s.

Today, websites like Drudge Report, newspapers like The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal, and especially Fox News television, have the ability to shape and spin rumors and legit news stories alike to please and titillate a conservative-leaning or receptive audience.

The Left, for lack of a better term, needs to equally arm itself in some fashion. There's just no other way to compete. More on this later.