What’s New(s)? ~ Unlikely Burrito

ipodAbout 19 years ago, I could watch a live military briefing covering the Gulf War every morning. CNN Headline news was available 24/7 and covered the big global events. Their sister station, CNN, was dedicated to live coverage of breaking news.

Today, broadcast news is a combination of broadcasted AP reports and specialized “news shows”, which are mixtures of opinions, interviews and items found on the internet.  Local area news averages 7 minutes of murder, house fires and street closings, before moving on to their respective network news reels feeds, sport and weather.

The internet has become great resource for news and information, no doubt about it. Newspapers and networks alike have made the internet their new home.  However, this change in how we acquire information has left me to wonder if we are only reading and learning about things we find interesting. Are we essentially cutting ourselves off from a more diverse understanding and awareness of our world?

Related Links:

Young Adults Are Giving Newspapers Scant Notice

Six of 10 Online Adults Watch Online Video, Most Prefer Professional Quality

Mobile News Network



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111 responses to “What’s New(s)? ~ Unlikely Burrito

  1. dog's eye view

    good points all, Burrito. There’s a real danger in “narrowcasting.”

    CNN’s decline has been faster and more complete than many struggling newsrooms’. Total waste of time, but maybe reassuring if you’re the guy from “Memento.”

  2. I’m glad you brought this topic up UB it’s something I’ve been giving some thought to as of late. I for one do not bemoan the changing news landscape, in fact just the other way around. First I take exception to your premise that people were either better or more broadly informed 20 years ago than they are now. Prior to the advent of cable news, and then the Internet most people were satisfied with a 1/2 hour of local news, and 1/2 of national news at best, and people had very little say as to what news was readily available to them

    Whereas in the past news was “pushed” at us, now we can go out and grab the news that interest us, and cable news has had to shape it self to that reality. In the past we used to turn to TV to find out what the story is, now we turn to TV to find out various perspectives on the day’s stories.

    Another thing, save for jobs, lost I’m not particularly upset about the loss of so many newspapers as of late. Unless you live in a city like New York where mass transportation is a daily part of most of the people and a picking up a newspaper is both easy and a great way to get you through your ride is there really a need for the traditional printed newspaper anymore? Electronic media is not only much, much cheaper means of delivery, easily updated as needed, it’s also far more environmentally friendly.

  3. Oh and another thing. What’s with the iPhone UB? Everyone knows that blackberry is the prefer hand held of news geeks! Hello?

  4. nannymm

    Good post, UB. You raise some interesting points. I think it is incumbent upon us to seek out a variety of news sources and points of view if we wish to be well informed. Unfortunately, too many people today prefer to read and listen to only that which reinforces what they already believe. However, if one is going to reach an informed decision about any given matter, than one needs to explore the matter from multiple angles and listen to multiple opinions. The same, of course, holds true if one wishes to be able to intelligently and effectively argue a given position. Perhaps it is precisely this unwillingness and inability to explore and understand all points of a given issue that leads to such contentiousness among people who hold differing positions.

  5. “leads to such contentiousness among people who hold differing positions.”

    No, I just happen to be right!


  6. nannymm

    Brian, to your point about newspapers, I truly miss my Sunday NY Times. I used to enjoy sitting around on Sunday morning with a cup of tea and the paper. Now, I sit at my computer and read the same articles but it isn’t quite the same. Of course, I may be missing NYC as much as the NY Times…. It’s hard to tell. What I can say is that I enjoyed reading on the subway and at bus stops. Time was never wasted and the mind was never idle.
    I do, however, agree with you that electronic media has many advantages over print, environmental ones being especially important. I also like the virtually limitless sources that I can access via the web. There is no way I would ever be able to read the enormous variety of papers and magazines that I do now without electronic media. So there are positives and negatives; but overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

  7. nannymm

    LOL, but of course you are! But only because we so often agree. 😉

  8. Steve

    Losing newspapers is about losing the telegraph. Its just time to move on.

    Still, there’s something wonderful about the era when DC and New York had 5 or 6 dailies and they fought over stories and editorials. The old editors had serious pull in those days.

    Technology is great if you are in the middle class or higher. There are lots of people getting left behind though, and that definitely includes rural folks.

  9. Steve

    Today is the birthday of Harry Houdini (1874) and Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde (1909) infamy….now its time for me to disappear…

  10. dog's eye view

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz had 7 cancer surgeries last year (at Walter Reed) in addition to her work as a member of Congress, wife and mother of 3, and very effectively campaigning for Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama. (She was a GREAT surrogate.) And herself, for her 3rd congressional term.

    Kept it a secret by only telling 2 members of Congress.

    She will be a very good advocate for cancer awareness and research.



  11. dog's eye view

    Another story on D Wasserman Schultz.

    Make that cancer surgeries at Bethesda Naval and Walter Reed.


    It’s good that our congresscritters get such excellent medical care. Ahem.

    This one is particularly worth it!

  12. horsedooty


    didn’t rush lead us to believe that this oil spill by Exxon’s Valdez was all cleaned up? No harm no foul? I don’t think so………

  13. Good morning gang!

    I am not saying that people were better inform, with a broad daily diet of news, just that they were more generally informed on several different news stories.

    Nanny says “Perhaps it is precisely this unwillingness and inability to explore and understand all points of a given issue that leads to such contentiousness among people who hold differing positions.”

    I would agree with that statement and I think it’s happening to increasing segments of the general population.

    However, for the enlightened news “seeker” and news “gatherer” the internet is unparalleled in scope and content….it’s only going to improve as a news source.
    One other thing that gets me, is many times I have read a story on-line,(even on blogs 🙂 ) and it appears on the TV that night, or the next day, and 2 to 3 days later on local news…..I supposed they just do not have the resources to report news when it happens.
    Brain, I got so mad at my Blackberry , I went back to my old phone, and am picking up an iPhone next week….!iPhones rock!

  14. dnd

    Great post Sra Burrito. I’m in complete agreement. In this day of “information overload” people tend to weed out what they may not be interested in. Media markets are hip to this and target what and how the report to their audience.

  15. horsedooty

    Brian and UB,

    my phone cost $17 and guess what? I can make phone calls on it. No of that other shit just text and phone calls. No monthly toll fee either. Just buy some minutes and there I go dialing away. 🙂

  16. horsedooty

    crap No = None

  17. dnd

    “I supposed they just do not have the resources to report news when it happens.”

    Precisely, and it seems there’s very little in-depth investigative reporting anymore.

  18. horsedooty

    Isn’t the problem with newspapers the fact that the internet makes them out of date? Who wants to wait until tomorrow to see the brackets for March Madness when TV and the internet already have them?

    One of the problems as I see it is that the newpapers and magazines have not figured out how to charge for content on the internet.

    Years ago, when I was a child and Jesus walked the earth, every movie theater had “news reels” that changed about once a week. Now all that is gone. Maybe it is just a progression as technology increases.

  19. News is money, they have to target the stories to get the ad dollars….and the eye-balls…and the clicks…..as for cable, all they seem to sell is Viagra, Abilify, and Retirement Accounts….

    …and promote their other shows

    They better “hip it” up a bit – we old people don’t spend money…lol

  20. horsedooty

    I used to be a big fan of the Canadian news program that offered Nude News. Great idea.

  21. dnd

    “One of the problems as I see it is that the newpapers and magazines have not figured out how to charge for content on the internet.”

    Ya’d think they’d ask Google or Yahoo about their business model.

  22. Absolutely Doots, because once you go free, it’s difficult to start charging for content…
    ever see that strip joint near LAX airport….it always makes me laugh….it’s called “Nude Nudes”
    side note: Special productions are offered at theaters on specific dates – not newsreels – but something different….The previews look good, and the content varies.


  23. dnd

    I think it’s interesting that “The Daily Show” is an entertainment program where you get informed opinion, and the “informed opinion” shows are basically entertainment, and little “informed” opinion.

  24. horsedooty

    I went and looked it up. It is actually called The Naked News.

    Sra Burrito, I know exactly which ta ta bar you are talking about. It has made me laugh a time or two myownself.

  25. https://clistersbackchannel.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/what%e2%80%99s-news-unlikely-burrito/#comment-21579

    Volume is what drives revenues at both sites, except for The Times it’s hard to imagine many news sites getting millions of hits on a normal day. Also yahoo has the advantage that it can generate pages on the fly based on the users search criteria.

    And UB, I understand, the Blackberry is just too much handheld for some people!

  26. Charging for content drives down the numbers of hits you receive and limits the amount you can charge for ad space.

  27. Hey doots Napolitano is on right now discussing Mexico.

  28. I tried to look up an image of the Nude Nudes sign….to post…..and I got an eye full…..what was I thinking??….lol
    dnd, that’s the truth….strange times….it would be interesting to hear what the execs are thinking … Comedy Central taking over the headlines….lol

  29. The iphone has better features!
    Easier to read, bigger screen and keyboard, and I can transfer my playlist… :p

  30. dnd

    “Volume is what drives revenues at both sites, except for The Times it’s hard to imagine many news sites getting millions of hits on a normal day. Also yahoo has the advantage that it can generate pages on the fly based on the users search criteria.”

    Both good points. But papers better figure it out. One of great things about papers being online is that you can read papers from all over, not just your local newspaper. Perhaps they can capitalize on that. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News may be good test cases for regional papers going online.

  31. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the Iphone, it’s cute, but it’s not the toy of a real playa!

  32. and Yes! it was to feakin’ complicated…..I wanted to throw it out the window, but settled on slamming it into the desk……it cracked just a little bit……that was the day I had to switch back to simplicity….lolol….

  33. I left out a “not” in that post, I’ve gone back and fixed it, good to be the admin!

  34. Obama’s Global Op-Ed: “A Time For Global Action”

    More than 30 papers around the world ran an op-ed today by President Obama arguing for “the urgent need for global economic cooperation.”


  35. Another point I’d make about some of the articles on-line…..the writers, seem to embrace the unlimited space, a bit too much. For instance on Slate, many times a “one pager” is stretched to three….some writers don’t know when to quit.

  36. dog's eye view

    great discussion.

    I see the internet enabling investigative journalism; they’re already working up some prototypes.

    And organizations are looking at being endowed or publicly funded.

    If the past 20 years have proved anything, it is that corporate megaglomerates have no business owning major media. Disney, GE, Clear Channel.

    Good newspapers and local radio are in the public interest.

    The networks should never have included their news divisions in profit centers.

  37. I’m not a great fan of Slate UB.

  38. dog's eye view

    Maybe we could end up with a hybrid, of most news disseminated online, with a paper copy distributed to stores, coffee shops, quickmarts, news stands and vending machines.

    And an expanded Sunday edition.

    Although the paper version could end up more expensive.

    One point for getting a good local paper: if it would cost you more to print out the articles you like for reference and reading offline…

    Although it’s marvelous to read news at the source. Who ever thought we’d be glued to the Anchorage Daily News last fall?

  39. dnd

    Sra Burrito,
    Here’s an 8-pager by Matt Taibbi, and worth every page.

    “The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution”


    Matt Taibbi may be his generation’s Hunter Thompson.

  40. “Who ever thought we’d be glued to the Anchorage Daily News last fall?”

    Certainly not Sara Palin!


  41. Tammy Bruce…omg …that is just horrible…….that audio clip really gets to me….I find it completely appalling.

    Dog, good points.

  42. That’s one mag we actually get at home, but I rarely find the time to read it, unless I am traveling, or waiting somewhere….I’ll read it thanks, dnd.

  43. Flexible pricing might be one way for some online sources to go. The problem with the current setup for most subscription sites is you are forced to buy a month, it’s like being forced to take home delivery when you only want today’s paper. More sites should offer a day pass for about a dollar instead of insisting you subscribe for a monthly rate.

  44. OMG, a blog where people are actually discussing the topic!

    You did good UB, you need to write more threads!

  45. horsedooty

    Isn’t Tammy Bruce the woman that had that “Buns of Steel” video several years ago?

  46. I just added the Media Matters news feed to the page.

  47. horsedooty

    opps wrong Tammy.

  48. I have had one cup too many of jo, and need to get to the office ….see you all in a bit….

    thanks Brian

  49. horsedooty

    tamilee webb is the buns of steel woman.

  50. dog's eye view

    Another feature I REALLY like about online news: readers comments appended to major stories and columns.

    NYT readers especially are well informed — and the Times moderates its comments, so you do not end up with the invective and illegal alien-bashing prevalent at the Washington Post.

    You end up with perspectives and nuggets of information not otherwise available.

    With NYT, you can sort by “reader recommendation” — which helps if there are 400 comments and you want to skim.

    Talking Points’ Josh Marshall has proved what a resource his readers are — many attorneys and professionals and just plain interested folk who have sorted through document dumps and provided more informed commentary than the WaPost.

    Andrew Sullivan posts reader comments; they’re often much better written and informative than many journalists’ output.

  51. dnd

    Today’s “Moderately Confused” is eerily relevant:


  52. nannymm

    Good morning!
    Just listened to that Tammy Bruce clip. I guess if one of them is trash, it sure isn’t Michelle. That was a vile “commentary.” Let’s hope she is roundly condemned for uttering such trash.

  53. dnd

    “fake accent” Has Tammy Bruce ever listened to George W. Bush?

  54. Consider This: NPR Achieves Record Ratings
    “At a time when newspapers, magazines and TV news continue to lose readers and viewers, at least one part of the traditional media has continued to grow robustly: National Public Radio.”


    — I listen quite often , I think I’ll throw a little cabbage their way.

  55. re: Tammy Bruce – somethin’ about crass, mean spirited, loud mouthed, nasty women, really turns my stomach. Sad thing is, you see many like her across the blogosphere. I could name a few fitting blogs for the likes of T. Bruce.

  56. lol…at the comic….very appropriate

  57. dnd

    “Doesn’t that pretty much describe the entire GOP, right, PUMA crowd?”

    Well maybe the extreme right and the PUMAs, but not the entire GOP. Think Collins, Snowe, Spector.

  58. Ok, non-north-eastern repugs, better?

  59. Chat tonight during the press conference peeps?

  60. dnd

    “Ok, non-north-eastern repugs, better?”

    No. Think Chuck Hagel.

  61. Here’s a little tid-bit on how negative repugs can be: my Mother even sticks her nose up at the White House’s “organic” garden, …..lol…..she acts like it is a snob thing…omg…she’s so brain washed. Seriously, who can find fault in a garden? Blows my mind, and I know all her friends are the same way. Currently, they are all reading a book about what a great guy Cheney is.

    (politics are forbidden discussion when she visits)


  62. dnd

    “somethin’ about crass, mean spirited, loud mouthed, nasty women, really turns my stomach.”

    Especially if you’re in a relationship with one 😉

    Sometimes I wonder if people like Bruce, Malkin, Ingrim, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc., really believe the bile they spew. I wonder if they’re just unethical opportunists who want to tap into the worst in our society.

    The thing I like about Stephanie Miller, Al Frankin, Bill Maher, etc., is that they use humor
    and satire to make their point, even if I don’t agree. Ditto P. J. O’Rourke on the right. In general the right seem to use hate and fear. I fear and hate that.

  63. dnd for the most part liberals aren’t mean spirited, the same can’t be said for the right!

  64. dnd

    Sra Burrito,
    Was your mom against John Adams’ vegetable garden back in 1800? Back then they were all organic 😉

  65. https://clistersbackchannel.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/what%e2%80%99s-news-unlikely-burrito/#comment-21625

    I think if they didn’t believe the garbage they spew, they would be outed by one of their equally unethical opportunistic acquaintances…

  66. dnd

    “Teleprompter Vs. No Teleprompter” People who falsely bring up the “excessive” use of a teleprompter, or the AIG bonuses, or any of the other minutia, are just looking for excuses to cite a President who’s been in office two months as being a complete failure. Pretty pathetic. Wonder what they’ll say if he succeeds?

  67. I know dnd, I know….doesn’t matter what you say…especially facts….

    It’s like Bill O’Reilly has dinner at my house every Sunday….

  68. While I am at it – I have noticed another thing that’s been getting on my nerves….some media people refer to President Obama as Mr. Obama, that drives me up a wall.

  69. dnd

    “some media people refer to President Obama as Mr. Obama, that drives me up a wall.”

    I believe that the first reference is “President Obama.” Subsequent references are “Mr. Obama.”

    Media has weird style…

  70. Oh really, I had no idea, and it was on the radio…I had just tuned in……so I never heard the first reference….so I can “get over ” that one….whew…lol

    Thanks dnd 🙂

  71. nannymm

    I need a job. I’m working way too hard at home.

  72. nannymm

    UB, the media uses a “style book” to standardize things such as how to use titles. The one used most frequently is the AP Style Book.

  73. nannymm

    I sympathize with those who have Republican relatives; I have a few of those myself. It sure does limit conversation when they’re around. Or it provokes WW III. 😀

  74. nannymm

    What time you opening the chat room, Brian?

  75. dnd

    Sra Burrito,
    I gets even weirder. The press often referred to former Sec. Rice as Dr. Rice. Or Christina Romer as Dr. Romer (though curiously never refers to Larry Summers as Dr. Summers). Damn near all the PhD’s I know, and I know a bunch, eschew the honorific “Dr.” They may put {so and so} PhD on their business cards, but think “Dr.” should be reserved for physicians.

  76. dnd

    BTW, for those of you who haven’t read Matt Taibbi’s expose in Rolling Stone: DO IT.

    Not sure that I agree with all his assessments, but this is the first in-depth piece I’ve seen about the unraveling of the economy. A few four-letter words, but this is Pulitzer material.

    We need more in-depth investigative reporting like this. Odd that the MSM relegates this to outlets like Rolling Stone.

  77. If you want us to read something you could at least post a link!

  78. I’m slow today, I’ve been working on the next thread, shoot me, how I slave for you peeps.

  79. dnd

    Grazie mille Nannymm.

  80. dnd

    Read the Taibbi piece. The next thread can wait.


  81. the thread is already done, and it’s a good one too!

  82. dnd

    “the thread is already done, and it’s a good one too!”

    We’ll be the judge of that 😉

    It’s gonna be tough to follow a great post by Sra Burrito…

  83. It’s always hard to follow UB

  84. I just read that Rolling Stone article…..kind of makes one feel violated, to say the least.

    “But before you even finish saying that, they’re rolling their eyes, because You Don’t Get It. These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they’re on par with crack addicts, or obsessive sexual deviants who burgle homes to steal panties. Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests.”


  85. lol… Brian….funny…..but obviously true

  86. dnd

    “It’s always hard to follow UB”

    You are a brave man Brian…

  87. The article is packed full of information….very scary…and deserves a second read…..I hope the article gains traction, and some press…

  88. dnd


    Hearing Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Stephanie Miller I’ve grown to like her. With the link dog posted this morning, I’ve grown to respect her.

  89. Both! very impressive Wasserman – Schultz!

  90. nannymm

    It takes a lot of guts to do it as she did. I’m very impressed and delighted that she has come through it.

  91. dnd

    Interesting contrast. When Rudy Giuliana was stricken with prostate cancer, he dropped out of the race for Senate. I don’t cast any aspersions on him for doing so. It was a personal decision and he did what he thought was the best for himself.

    Prostate cancer is much more pervasive than breast cancer, but it is much more treatable.

  92. nannymm

    dnd, Rudy Giuliani dropped out because he was way behind in all the polls. Hillary Clinton was trouncing him. It was clear that he would not win; he used his cancer as a way to “save face.”

  93. dog's eye view

    Hello all. Look forward to our chat and to President Obama’s presser.

    Will read the Taibbi piece later; sounds worth emailing to some buds too.

  94. FBI breaks up $25 million ‘car cloning’ ring

    “Car theft rings clone vehicles by taking license plates, vehicle identification numbers (VIN), and other tags and stickers from a legal car and putting them on a stolen vehicle of similar make and model.”


    I read the headline and thought “25 million..? that’s not that much….is it?”

    I have become large number desensitized….lol… I guess that’s what the bailout can do to you.

  95. nannymm

    LOL@UB. Pretty soon “billions” will sound like peanuts, too. Of course, I’d settle for just a little piece of one of those peanuts. 😉

  96. The Chat Room Is Open

    For nickname enter any nickname you like, if the nickname isn’t available just try another one. No password needed.

    You can change the chat room look by clicking on the down arrow next to options on the lower right hand side of the chat box, and then placing your cursor on the word theme.


  97. I think that Chris Matthews actually teared up talking with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, can’t blame him.

  98. dog's eye view

    Bobbie Battista, former CNN anchor, has joined the Onion News Network. For real.

    Link: she anchors report on Prague’s Franz Kafka International Airport.


    Must see TV.

    In time, her CNN colleagues still employed there will envy her.

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