George Bush reads Us Magazine on the crapper. Wow, he actually reads. Who knew?
George Bush reads Us Magazine on the crapper. Wow, he actually reads. Who knew?
On Sunday, it will be eight years since George Bush stood on an aircraft carrier and proudly declared “Mission Accomplished.” Bush – to put it in the nicest way possible – was being an idiot, because the Iraq war continues to rage on, 4,000 U.S. casualties (not to mention thousands of Iraqi deaths) later.
But Bush wasn’t the only one to join in the stupidity. The media was quick to jump on the bandwagon too. On the Huffington Post today, Greg Mitchell, a contributor to The Nation, explains how virtually every major media outlet jumped at the chance to announce that the Iraq war was over, and that the United States prevailed.
There was Chris Matthews, who got weird with this quote:
Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.
Then Brian Williams told us all how “beautiful” the event was and USA Today ran a column titled “Relax, Celebrate Victory.” But perhaps no reaction was as ridiculous as the Op-Ed by Maureen Dowd, who took Top Gun references to an all time high:
Rolling Stone journalist and FBLA favorite Matt Taibbi isn’t one to hold back on his media criticism. He once threw a pie filled with horse sperm into the face of a New York Times journalist whose work he didn’t like. He’s calmed down a bit since then, but he’s definitely not happy with MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann.
We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney’s hair and Tiger’s text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined… and it’s Keith Olbermann who should “pay the price” for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?
The Texas Tribune, a new Texas-based non-profit journalism Web site, will launch tomorrow — one year before the state’s 2010 general election, which includes the gubernatorial race, among others. There has been a lot of talk about the project since longtime Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith left his day job to launch the Tribune, and even though it will cover only Texas political and policy news, we here at FishbowlNY are fascinated by the prospect of non-profit journalism no matter where its based.
The project is was founded by Texas-based venture capitalist John Thornton. Smith, who believed in Thornton’s vision from the beginning, was helping to look for a suitable editor-in-chief for the site before realizing that he would make the perfect leader. “It was sort of like Dick Cheney helping George Bush find a vice president,” Smith said. The team went on to hire a staff of eleven reporters, plucked from the top echelons of Texas’ political journalism world.
“We hired the best reporters away from for-profit journalism in Texas,” Smith said. “We put together our fantasy football list, and we got everybody we wanted.”
The Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org) will be unlike any other non-profit journalism organization. In addition to traditional news reporting, there will be columns, blogs aggregating content from other news sources, original audio and original video content, all available for free for newspapers, radio and television stations to use. There will also be 80 gigabytes of public information, like data about Texas’ elected officials, that the Tribune assembled into databases for the public to access. “I’m kind of amazed that in just a couple of months we’ve been able to build this with a relatively small staff,” Smith said.
As he prepared to reveal The Texas Tribune to the world, Smith took a minute to talk to FBNY about his reason for leaving Texas Monthly to start the new project, how he’s worked to fund it and what the reaction from the Texas journalism community has been so far.
Evan Smith, the president and editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly said today that he will be stepping down next month in order to take a job as founding CEO of the Texas Tribune, a non-profit news Web site that will launch later this year.
Smith joined the Texas magazine in 1992 as a senior editor, and moved his way up to deputy editor the next year. He took over as editor in 2000, and was promoted to his current position last September. In a letter to Texas Monthly staffers today, Smith recounted some of the editorial highlights of his tenure at the magazine: “two National Magazine Awards for General Excellence in the last six years and fourteen more nominations over the last nine; the most City and Regional Magazine Association awards during that period of any member publication.”
Now Smith is moving on to the Tribune, which likens itself to ProPublica. The new venture will publish non-partisan investigative journalism online and host events.
“It’s no secret that I’ve been consulting with my friend of fifteen years, the venture capitalist John Thornton, on a project very close to his heart: a nonprofit, nonpartisan public media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide interest,” Smith said to his colleagues. “As John has been telling anyone who will listen, the Texas Tribune will publish original news reporting online (much like ProPublica) and put on conferences, conversation series, and other on-the-record, open-to-the-public events (much like the Aspen Institute). For nearly a year I’ve been helping John refine his concept for the Trib, and I’ve suggested various people he might hire. At some point along the way, like Dick Cheney leading the search for George Bush‘s vice president and concluding that he was the one he was looking for, I came to believe that perhaps I should join John in a more formal capacity, and he came to believe it too.”
However, Smith said he will continue to consult with Texas Monthly and host the weekly half-hour interview show, “Texas Monthly Talks,” as editor emeritus, “for the foreseeable future.”
“So you won’t get rid of me that easily,” he told his staff.
We went into Whitley Market on the corner of Highland and Franklin on Saturday to buy some over-priced breath mints and there across from the Marilyn Monroe wine and the Elvis lighters was Obama Water.
Anyway, this is not exactly a political town – but we do like to capitalize on images of stars. Clearly.
Peter Morgan — whose “Frost/Nixon” is not only filling theaters around the country but is in line for plenty in the statuette department (as in Golden Globes and Oscars) — is setting up his next politco project which looks to create (or re-create, as it were) the “Special Relationship” between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and departing U.S. President George Bush.
Variety reported on what will be the third film by Morgan about Blair. Previously, he had written “The Deal” about Blair’s stratospheric rise in British politics, followed by “The Queen” about the thorny relationship with Queen Elizabeth II.
Without trying to be too much like Oliver Stone, Morgan takes on Brit politics without the sledgehammer approach that Stone is so often fond of when it comes to things political.
Morgan will rely on actor Michael Sheen, who is gaining amazing fame as David Frost in “Frost/Nixon, to take on the Blair role. He played Blair in both earlier incarnates about the PM.
Bush is still a question mark. But Morgan, as he’s directing as well, could always at least approach Josh Brolin, who did stellar work as Bush in Stone’s “W.”
In that sense, your work remains dangerous and disintegrative to the nation. But it is also, more narrowly, tactically, for now, a great gift to liberals and Democrats. You ensure the ongoing Palinization and marginalization — electorally, the terms are synonymous — of the Republican Party.
And to think that you’re doing all this not on the Democratic National Committee’s dime but on Rupert Murdoch’s.
Cheers from your new fan,
As Barack Obama gracefully transitioned from Presidential Candidate to President Elect, the city of Los Angeles watched in awe, admiration and befuddlement.
More than 17,000 supporters were expected at the major Obama Support Party at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.
FBLA watched the election returns at a less august venue, a California Pizza Kitchen on Sunset Boulevard that was scheduled to go out of business as of Saturday due to dire economic conditions.
The staff and patrons of the CPK were teary eyed, but no one was quite sure whether that was due to Obama’s stunning victory or the CPK going down the drain.
One bar patron was ecstatic. “Isn’t this fucking beautiful?” he cried.
“What?” came the reply. “You mean the first African American President?”
“No,” the tipsy barstool replied. “The fact that we’ll never have to listen to or have anything to do with someone like George Bush.”
As FBLA retired from the CPK to a bus headed down Sunset Blvd., the Obama craze that was dominating CNN had transferred to the streets and onto public transit. Even the bus driver was smiling as she purred, “Isn’t it a great night?”
The two 20-something girls sitting in the middle of the bus were engaged in deep conversation with a well-built black man about “how great” it was that Obama had won. The black man nodded.
The girls went on: “It’s such a great day for America that a black man, like yourself, can take over the highest office in the land. Don’t you think it’s great?”
The girls jumped to their feet and blurted: “Was that La Brea?”
When they were told La Brea had been six blocks back, they immediately ran to the exit giggling, then jumped off and screamed out: “OBAMA.”
The immediacy of the Obama’s victory was not lost on Los Angelenos who are not strangers to racial tension. Rather, it was imbibed by them and they drank it down like a long-awaited elixir.
As Obama proclaimed “Change has come to America,” a few evening denizens listened and hoped for the future.
This fishie’s people are from Louisiana. Cajun. Whole pig roasting, gator killing, gumbo gulping, cracklin eating Cajuns. If we start talking about Katrina, we start foaming at the mouth talking about people standing on their roof tops while corpses floated by. “Heck of a job!” “Heck of a job!”
Hurricane Gustav has been downgraded to a Catagory 2. It’s still like punching a scab.
Here’s a link to the Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund.
TVNewser has all the coverage on the coverage.
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