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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Peggy Noonan Gets It Right

In an article for the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription) entitled "MSM Requiem," Peggy Noonan explains, among other things, the emerging role of weblogs in the dissemination and analysis of news and events. I can't speak for others, but she eloquently explains my interest and involvement in cyber-blathering.

Some think bloggers and internet writers of all sorts are like the 19th century pamphleteers who made American politics livelier and more vigorous by lambasting the other team in full-throated broadsides. Actually, I've said that. And there are similarities. But it should be noted that the pamphleteers were heavy on screeds and colorfully damning the foe. The most successful bloggers aren't bringing bluster to the debate, they're bringing facts--font sizes, full quotes, etc. They're bringing facts and points of view on those facts that the MSM before this could ignore, and did ignore. They're bringing a lot to the debate, and changing the debate by what they bring. They're doing what excellent reporters would do.

When I worked at CBS a generation ago I used to receive those letters. Sometimes we read them, and sometimes we answered them, but not always. Now if you see such a report and are enraged you can do something about it: You can argue in public on a blog or on TV, you can put forth information that counters the information in the report. You can have a voice. You can change the story. You can bring down a news division. Is this improvement? Oh yes it is. (link)
I think the level of my anger at the mainstream media peaked in the Bush 41 years. I would turn on the television and go to NBC or CBS or ABC or CNN in the evening to get the news (where else was I going to get it?) and would, within minutes become enraged by the liberal bias. I actually got to the point where I made the conscious decision to turn the TV off if I witnessed a story that was either not "news" or was heavily biased. Too often, I turned the TV off within the first minute. And I did what millions of Americans did. I eventually quit watching network news. Many years ago.

Now I can watch all sorts of shows on cable and turn to dozens of internet sites for news and information on a daily - even hourly - basis. And I find myself more willing to choke down the drivel that the likes of the New York Times spews each day because I can turn to alternative sources for balance. Which makes me more balanced in terms of blood pressure reading.

And if I get worked up over something I read or see on television, I can take it out on you. Here.

I'm sorry but it makes for great therapy. And don't forget; I am trying to save you all from yourselves.

As I Said ...

Emmett Tyrrell has something similar to say about the demise of the mainstream press and the rise of alternative points of information dissemination in the American Spectator this morning. This paragraph is true Tyrrell:

So it appears that Rather continues to deceive. It appears that CBS continues to deceive. Nonetheless, it really does not matter all that much. Rather is leaving. CBS has slipped so far in the polls that it seems its news reports are only watched by liberals and ignoramuses. And cable provides increasingly the kind of diversity that intelligent viewers seek. (link)
As I said ...

They Say They Are For The Little Guy

This (from the New York Post this morning) is so typical of those on the left who shed crocodile tears over the plight of the poor - until they can actually do something to help them.

NOTHING TO FEAR FROM WAL-MART

BY RYAN SAGER

While members of the New York City Council stump endlessly for "affordable housing" and "affordable health care," they're apparently less keen on affordable clothing, toys, electronics, furniture and groceries.

Last week, the City Council's Economic Development Committee held a hearing aimed at keeping bulk, discount retailers from expanding in the Big Apple. The hearing was prompted by Wal-Mart's plan to open its first-ever store in the five boroughs — in Rego Park, Queens.

Consumers across America love Wal-Mart for its low prices and vast selection — 100 million people shop in Wal-Mart stores each week — but politicians in union-run towns like New York tend not to see the attraction.

"They have to make big changes if they want to come into New York," Councilwoman Helen Sears, who represents Rego Park, told The Post. "They have to rethink their benefits . . . They have to rethink labor-management relations."

Sears' complaints are familiar — America's largest private-sector employer has long been Enemy No. 1 of organized labor — but they are also irrelevant. The City Council simply has no business telling New Yorkers where they can and cannot shop. And when it tries to do so, it pushes businesses and jobs out of the city.

"New Yorkers have shown for years that they'll shop at these stores, in or out of the city," says Steve Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. (link)

Such hypocrites.

The Weakness Of Polling Surveys

GQ magazine has taken a poll of American men and found us to be ... just what we always knew we were. The results of the survey are reported in this morning's New York Post. (link) Their findings include these startling statistics:

(1) "92 percent would never wear makeup — even if it guaranteed a more fulfilling sex life."
Had the questioners been a bit more specific about who we might wear makeup for, the percentage might have been different. I mean, playing a Barnum & Bailey clown for Hillary Clinton does not have the same fascination as putting on makeup for Jessica Simpson.
(2) "... only 14 percent of those quizzed said they would make themselves up if they knew it would get them a 25 percent raise at work."
I can attest to the fact that it doesn't work. I tried it. My boss was not impressed. Probably too much mascara.
(3) "Some 65 percent, for example, say plastic surgery is OK for anyone who wants it, man or woman."
Unless you're Cher. The rule should be, when your face starts to look like someone put you together with silly putty, you've had too much plastic surgery.
(4) "52 percent [say] they take less than one minute to decide what to wear."
You mean to tell me there are 48% of men out there that take more than one minute to decide ... well, I think I'll put on a shirt today. Oh, and I guess a pair of pants would be appropriate? The delay must be in deciding whether to wear underwear or not.
(5) "38 percent said they take no more than five minutes, and just 8 percent prepare for more than five minutes."
2% of us are gay. That leaves 6% who stand in front of the sock drawer for over five minutes each day trying to find two socks that match and don't have too many holes in them. See how easy it is to explain this stuff?
(6) "Forty-seven percent said they spend more time putting themselves together for an important business meeting, versus 42 percent who say they spend more time getting ready for a first date."
That's because business puts bread on the table. Too many women in this day and age refuse to put your bread on the table. "I'm mad at you. Do it yourself. I'm not like your mother."
(7) "... only 15 percent say they spend more money on clothing than their wives do."
Only? You 15%! You know who you are. You are making the rest of us look bad. Stop. You're acting like girlie-men.

(8) The article concludes with this: "Still, guys do like to look good, especially in the eyes of their gals, according to the February issue of Elle."
That's so we don't have to revert to the old makeup trick in order to achieve number 1.