Fire at Eastern Market

•April 30, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I used to live near Eastern Market in DC — and have brunch and visit there — and I’m sorry to hear that the market’s South Hall was seriously damaged by fire.

Eastern Market is a valuable part of the city’s heritage and culture, and I hope it’s rebuilt. Markets are among the best things about cities. I wouldn’t think of Seattle without thinking of Pike Market, for example.

Here, a DC city councilman discusses what’s next for the market. Here’s also a Washington Post column about the market’s significance to the city.

More pictures from The Post.


KCBS’ New Digs

•April 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

KCBS 2 — CBS’ O&O station in Los Angeles — and its sister station KCAL 9 have new digs down the road in Studio City. Primed for HD broadcasting.

Control room with 181 televisions … sobering.

And yet I still don’t know what Johnny Mountain’s real name is.

For whatever reason, my hyperlinking isn’t working right now, so here’s the link, below:

Back With Thoughts: NBC News and Music

•April 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I stopped blogging because I didn’t have anything to say, and didn’t feel like being a useless, pedantic blogger, or worse, a pedestrian one. But now I’m back, and plan to keep the focus on the media.

Two thoughts: First, I agree with NBC’s decision to show the Virginia Tech killer’s video, but disagree with how they went about it. I wouldn’t have shown the kid posing like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, or whatever, because we don’t need to glorify him, or be tacky just for ratings. (And NBC destroyed their rivals in the ratings that night, because we Americans love being tacky while criticizing others for being tacky.) But I would have run 20 or so seconds of him talking to the camera.

The news is still news, whether or not it’s comfortable. A major part of the story is, why — as in, why did he kill 32 people. Answer: He was crazy. It may seem obvious, but most criminal experts, I think, would tell you that most killers are actually perfectly sane, albeit exceptionally callous, people. So it is news that he was crazy. But could NBC — and other media outlets, including newspapers — have told us that without splashing the kid all across their screens and front pages? Yes. In a situation like this — using 9-11, for example, as a guide — I think you show only as much sensational material as you need to, in order to get the point across, and nothing more. Anything else is just exploitation for ratings, and it’s the absolute wrong call.

Second … in the wake of the whole Imus deal, there’s been a lot of discussion in the media about whether we’re debasing our culture and values with certain content in the entertainment industry. Maybe part of the problem is, we disagree on, or are too lazy or greedy to consider, what those values should be. Let’s be clear: As a writer and journalist, I fully support the First Amendment. But with rights come responsibilities. It is legitimate to say things that are edgy or controversial, if those words serve a reasonable public interest. It is also legitimate to question whether such an interest exists. For example, does calling the Rutgers basketball players “nappy-headed hos” further a reasonable public interest, or is it simply an exploitative, irresponsible use of free speech? Do we really want, or even need, to place it in the same protected public status as say, an anti-war protest?

Continue reading ‘Back With Thoughts: NBC News and Music’ Journalism or Pornography?

•April 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

So Jimmy Kimmel was guest-hosting Larry King Live tonight — one of the best episodes I’ve actually seen in years, Kimmel did a great job — and he was moderating a robust discussion about aggressive paparazzi, featuring Mark Geragos, two paparazzi, a publicist and Emily Gould, editor of Read the transcript excerpt I’ve appended, and render your own judgment at her words:

GOULD: There’s a whole other aspect of our website that doesn’t have anything to do with the Stalker Map. But what the Stalker Map is [is] citizen journalism. People don’t read with the expectation that every word of it will be gospel. Everyone who reads it knows that it isn’t checked at all. [emphasis added]

Continue reading ‘ Journalism or Pornography?’


•April 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a good reason to not get lost while hiking in the jungles of South America:

Two French hikers who got lost in thick jungle in French Guiana survived for seven weeks by consuming turtle meat, big hairy spiders and river water …

Mr Pillois confirmed to the French broadcaster RFO Guyane that their jungle diet had included spiders. They had chopped down trees to make a fire.

According to Gilles Nayral, Guilhem had lost about 20kg and he had lost feeling in his tongue “because of the poison from a spider he had eaten without having cooked it enough.”

Protected: The Lounge of Reason

•April 3, 2007 • Enter your password to view comments.

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Vinyl Justice

•April 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

 A priceless pissy Stereolab sketch.