Bob Franken


July 24, 2007
The New Journalism (Bob Franken)
@ 9:14 am
Along with most who watched, I found the YouTube CNN debate last night to be a great idea, well-executed. The questions were sharp, relevant and reflected fresh thinking that is so often absent in the normal pack of journalism.

They also raised a disturbing question for those of us who travel in the pack: Who needs us? Hell, anybody can be a reporter.

Anybody, that is, who can tolerate the incredibly long hours of tedium, dealing with the hostility of newsmakers and their paid protectors, who don’t want you to get your story.

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July 23, 2007
The Debate Web (Bob Franken)
@ 11:22 am

The great feature about the blogosphere is that everyone has an equal voice. Of course that’s the great problem too. Because, let’s face it: A whole lot of people who spout off online are cyberspace cadets. They have no Earthly idea what they’re talking about.

So now we come to the CNN-YouTube-debate debate: The Internet faithful are going bonkers. How dare CNN for insisting on deciding which questions to ask? That should be left up to a popular vote.

It’s hard to argue that the traditional media have often frittered away their credibility. They are frequently at the same time establishment elitists and panderers with their incessant coverage of trivialities like Paris Hilton.

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July 20, 2007
Deadly Decisions (Bob Franken)
@ 10:47 am
“Homicide without malice aforethought.”

Isn’t that the classic definition of manslaughter?

Or this: “A person recklessly causes the death of another, or acting under extreme emotional disturbance, causes the death of another, or acting under circumstances when a person reasonably believes the circumstances provide a legal justification or excuse for his conduct constitutes manslaughter.”

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July 19, 2007
The Real Backgrounders (Bob Franken)
@ 3:02 pm
Watching candidates Edwards on his magical mystery poverty tour and Obama contending he was for poor people before it was cool, causes me to start thinking — about photo-ops, of course.

I mean, what self-respecting politician would even think of presenting a media event without props — human props.

In order to accommodate the television news imperatives, they come up with living, breathing “real people.” “Quick, find me some poor folks. I need to show compassion for them,” the candidate might say. Or, “Find me the baby a mother decided not to abort,” shouts the right-to-lifer. It goes on and on.

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July 17, 2007
Unfair Rules (Bob Franken)
@ 10:07 am
This country is about equal opportunity, not equal outcome. How many times have we heard that? It’s the American way to give everybody the same fair chance at success. What a wonderful theory.

So let’s talk about all the equal opportunity here in the U-S of A, shared by rich and poor alike:

Sure. Like equal education opportunity — decrepit public schools, which in so many cities get failing marks, versus the high-tuition private academies where any parent who loves his children would send them, IF he could afford to. Healthcare that is first-class for many — Third World for millions of others. Safe neighborhoods — usually affluent suburbs and other gated communities are safe — the not-so-rich take their lives in their hands every time they go out.

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