The Meg & Jerry Show: Week Three

Here you have it.  The further adventures of Meg Whitman, Republican, and Jerry Brown, Democrat, in the California gubernatorial race.  Why are they dressed for a night in the ER?  Tune in and find out.

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Pundits at the Gate: June 2010 Version

So readers, here’s the media tempest du jour.

A coda to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal this week, in an incident with resonant similarities, was the abrupt resignation of blogger Dave Weigel from the Washington Post.  In the business world today, as has long been the situation in the military, resignation is a euphemism, arising out of what used to be an act of courtesy.  In reality, McChrystal was fired.  Almost surely Weigel was, also.  No young man in today’s jobs market voluntarily leaves such a post:  well-paying, high-profile, prestigious, with social status and (most important of all to a writer) with a large built-in audience.  In today’s litigious environment executives try very hard not to fire subordinates.  Instead the options henceforward are laid out before the subordinate in such a way that resignation is the most palatable choice.  Accomplished bosses are very good at executing the preferred exit strategy.  Sometimes, as seems to have been Weigel’s experience, the execution is accomplished through “message delivered” via a distinct lack of support at a crucial juncture.

Who is Dave Weigel, you ask, that I go on a bit about his Very Bad Day?  Since April, the twenty-eight year-old Weigel has blogged about conservative politics for the Washington Post.  He has also written for the Washington Independent and for Reason magazine.  He is a part of the circle of whip-smart, in-the-know, increasingly influential young people in D.C.  Another of those twentysomethings is Ezra Klein, the Post blogger who established his reputation chronicling the health care debate.  Ezra Klein set up an email listserv for liberal journalists like himself.  With members like Marc Ambinder and Paul Krugman, Journolist quickly became the Internet equivalent of an exclusive club—or so I gather.  On this web platform, with emails flying back and forth among members to the group-at-large, Dave Weigel wrote comments such as this one: (more…)

The Meg & Jerry Show: Week Two

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By mid-June, politicos ponder the eternal conundrum:  if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear, does the crash make a sound?  Keep that in mind if you have nothing better to do than watch The Meg & Jerry Show in mid-summer.

The Meg & Jerry Show: Week One

If you like funky homespun summer-in-the-California-sun poli-fun, check out the first of what (I hope) will be a series of weekly videos on the state gubernatorial race.  I call it:  The Meg and Jerry Show.

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Tick Tock PDF 2010

Why are tech conferences often tech-challenged? Just asking.  But like SXSW in Austin this year, Personal Democracy Forum 2010 suffered from technical glitches.  Why is it that my daughter and I skyped between California and Ukraine once a week for eighteen months, with perfect audio and near clarity in video, and yet PDF could not do the same within the United States?  Skype was so poor at PDF that I have no idea what Newt Gingrich said.  And Julian Assange, on Skype from Australia to us in New York–a loopy guy made loopier by the fact that we PDF attendees could hear only one word in three.  Plus the flickering video feed morphed Assange into a pulsing form eerily reminiscent of the genomic creature Fred in the movie Splice.

Every so often the microphones did not work.  The first day of the conference the rooms were too hot.  (Many complaints.)  And what is it about Power Point that everybody uses it?  When PP merely serves to repeat or to underline or to emphasize a speaker’s remarks, it infantilizes the audience.  I hate it.  Positively hate it.   And a big shout-out to Clay Shirky for eschewing. (more…)

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