Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thought for the day

Photographers hate to be photographed. Surgeons require nearly twice the amount of anesthesia ordinary patients require to undergo surgery. Journalists are the least receptive to professional scrutiny by their colleagues.

Renata Adler
Gone: the Last Days of the New Yorker

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A less bleak view of the future of the newspaper

David Warsh has been an astute observer/explainer of the news business for decades. I've learned a great deal from reading his columns (for instance, the concept of "explanation space" is his).

So this is well worth pondering:

The Future of Reliable News

The biggest and best newspapers have survived and begun to prosper again, albeit in a low-key way, precisely because advertisers pay much more to reach readers of print than for fleeting digital impressions before online readers. I don’t see proprietary numbers, and newspapers shape and guard fairly carefully what information they release. But there is more reason than ever to think that healthy print circulation is the basis of a strong digital business.
He may well be right.

Then again....

MSM: Shrinking Audience, Leftward Drift

A badge of honor, but maybe not the best business model

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The past is prologue

Politicized intelligence and the drums of war

Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence
If even half of this post by Amb. Jack Matlock is true, it is a severe indictment of Clapper, Brennan and Comey.

In fact, the report was prepared by a group of analysts from the three agencies pre-selected by their directors, with the selection process generally overseen by James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by “two dozen or so analysts—hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.” If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions. The analysts selected would have understood what Director Clapper wanted since he made no secret of his views. Why would they endanger their careers by not delivering?

What should have struck any congressperson or reporter was that the procedure Clapper followed was the same as that used in 2003 to produce the report falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had retained stocks of weapons of mass destruction. That should be worrisome enough to inspire questions, but that is not the only anomaly.
He pulls no punches in his conclusion:

Prominent American journalists and politicians seized upon this shabby, politically motivated, report as proof of “Russian interference” in the U.S. election without even the pretense of due diligence. They have objectively acted as co-conspirators in an effort to block any improvement in relations with Russia, even though cooperation with Russia to deal with common dangers is vital to both countries.