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The United States' most trusted newsman is a comedian

PPDA3.jpgPictured: PPD, anchor of France's Les Guignols de l'info. We've turned a corner in the USA. I used to live in France, where the most trusted source for news was Les Guignols de l'info, and it still is. This is a comedic puppet show, created after Britain's Spitting Image. In the early 1960s, when Walter Cronkite first became our most trusted news presenter, we saw the United States as a young republic which had played a big role in preserving democracy and restoring order. We wished to believe that we were transparent in our politics, that reason would rule. We saw ourselves as fair people, and we mostly agreed on what we should be and do. The French embraced their puppet show version of the news 20 years ago, I believe, because they are a post-colonial empire in which power is overly centralized, with a cooled level of influence on the world stage. The French understand that their politics are corrupt, their leaders obfuscate. They deal with the fact that bad compromises often trump reason. Their basic assumptions about how their society is ordered make them blind to injustice. They are riven by factions. And as The Imperial United States starts its down-hill slide, our most trusted newsman is a comedian. One who, at every opportunity, rails at the actual journalists he lampoons to do their fucking jobs. And we are not, and can't see ourselves as, the republic we were in 1963. Poll Results - Now that Walter Cronkite has passed on, who is America's most trusted newscaster? | TIME

July 22, 2009

reading Yahoo Answers is like peeking at America's retarded soul

Answering Yahoos

Behind the scenes at a Detroit pawn shop

detroitblog -- Money market
He had one customer come in to sell his pulled gold teeth. A coin collector once pawned old, collectable paper money to essentially get newer paper money. Another traded his fiance’s engagement ring for quick cash — she angrily demanded it back from the shop later that same day. . . . Inside, the shop’s stock is arranged categorically — power tools near the front, stereo equipment in the middle, a wall of musical instruments behind that, and used cameras inside glass cases. A whole wing of the store is devoted to jewelry. Someone plowed a stolen car through its wall last year, got out, walked through the debris, took five wrist watches, and left. “He did $30,000 worth of damage and got about $200 worth of watches,” Weberman says. . . . “There’s a lot of old-time customers that come in here that we’ll do favors for, that we would take in junk that we wouldn’t normally take in,” says Andy Stern, 32. “We had a guy come in here, brought in a typewriter. I mean, I haven’t taken typewriters in 10 years, but I gave him 10 bucks on the typewriter because he’s a regular customer.” . . . Gamblers who’ll sell anything to chase the mirage of a debt-erasing jackpot sometimes even pawn their cars and then ride the bus to the casino a few miles away. “Depending how lucky they are, they come back the same day and pick up their car, or they might have to wait a few months,” Weberman says.

Pink Floyd Rocks the '69 Moon Landing

Pink Floyd’s Moon-Landing Jam Session - The Lede Blog...

July 21, 2009

Wash Post Web & Politics editor hired by Huffington

NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen @ayrosen_nyu: "This is major. I mean as a sign. Jose Antonio Vargas Leaves The Washington Post for The Huffington Post" Jose Antonio Vargas Leaves The Washington Post for The Huffington Post - Media Decoder Blog - NYTimes.com
Jose Antonio Vargas, who has covered what he called “the marriage of the Internet and politics” for The Washington Post, is moving to a Web site that operates at that intersection: The Huffington Post. Mr. Vargas will join the Arianna Huffington outfit next month as the technology and innovations editor. He will oversee a new section about tech (coming this fall) and encourage site-wide innovation. The Huffington Post has been on something like a hiring tear in recent months. After the Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin was dismissed last month, Ms. Huffington happily scooped him up.