Thursday, June 19, 2008

Logan's Shun

Immediately after being fired from my job at CNN, I wrote an extended piece decrying the direction that American television news has taken in the last several years (Say What You Will/2.18.08). The one paragraph in that column that best summed up the deplorable state of modern broadcast journalism -- and therefore went on to be quoted quite a few times as the piece made its way around the internet -- was this:

"During my last couple of years as a television news producer, I watched the networks try to recover from a six year failure to bring truth to power (the political party in power being irrelevant incidentally; the job of the press is to maintain an adversarial relationship with the government at all times) and what's worse, to pretend that they had a backbone all along. I watched my bosses literally stand in the middle of the newsroom and ask, "What can we do to not lead with Iraq?" -- the reason being that Iraq, although an important story, wasn't always a surefire ratings draw. I was asked to complete self-evaluations which pressed me to describe the ways in which I'd "increased shareholder value." (For the record, if you're a rank-and-file member of a newsroom, you should never under any circumstances even hear the word "shareholders," let alone be reminded that you're beholden to them.) I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public -- to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks. I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status and our willingness to let the airwaves be taken hostage by every permutation of opportunistic degenerate from a crying judge to a Hollywood hanger-on with an emo haircut. I watched qualified, passionate people worked nearly to death while mindless talking heads were coddled. I listened to Lou Dobbs play the loud-mouthed fascist demagogue, Nancy Grace fake ratings-baiting indignation, and Glenn Beck essentially do nightly stand-up -- and that's not even taking into account the 24/7 Vaudeville act over at Fox News. I watched The Daily Show laugh not at our mistakes but at our intentional absurdity."

Now keep all that in mind as you watch this interview -- somewhat startling in its candor -- with CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan. It's from, ironically, The Daily Show.


Anonymous said...

You've been saying the same thing all along. When will we see you on The Daily Show? You have had an insiders view of newsrooms that the public needs to hear about. We need to start a campaign to get you on these shows so you can tell the viewing public what's really happening on the inside.

One man's opinion

Chez said...

To whom should I send the check?

: )

A2racers said...

Love the pun in the title, keep it up Chez, you could be the chief media correspondent for the media.

Sheesh, now I gotta go find my copy of Logan's Run.

BurkeInTheOzarks said...

Lara Logan is unabashedly open and direct, for which I greatly admire her.

Also, she's absurdly hot, but that's really beside the point.

JoshSackett said...

I'm. In. Love.

What a fantastically intelligent woman.

We need more people like this and a philanthropic billionaire to start a news network that does not curtail its stories to please the government, corporations or shareholders.

Entropy Hed said...

I shared this link with my wife who is in my opinion cut from the same rarified cloth as the inspiring Ms. Logan and here was her reponse:

"That has got to be one of the rawest sexiest intelligent well spoken real hawt hawt hawt smoking rack o lamb women on the planet"

I think that sums up the video well.

Thanks for sharing. e.

Manny said...

Great clip. I was just thinking the same thing as Anon above, but then I realized that that much sexy in one room might just be too much for one show.

Chez said...

It was tough to even write her name on the main page without suddenly going off on a tangent about how she's the sexiest woman in the known universe.

branded said...

Putting her over the top, she has the sprinkling of a South African accent and (from her bio) can speak French, Portuguese and Afrikaans.

Kune said...

I have to agree, surely the Daily Show will be calling for you shortly.

By far the sexiest correspondent on television. CBS scored big time when she climbed on board. Take that however you will.

Anonymous said...

Here's another great interview with her.

Grover said...

So what would happen if someone started a network that focused on truth and attempted as best they could to be unbiased. A network that did their best to inform instead of entertain. Obviously, you'd need a backer with some major fuck you type money, but what would be the consequence?

I'm tired of hearing how short we the viewer are of attention span and how long on ignorance.

So for serious, what would happen? Why would it be so wrong?

I'm assuming if we put too many people like Chez and Lara Logan in a room together the world would just cease to exist. At least thats how it would tease for the 6 O'clock newscast.

Jen said...

Oh wow - thanks for posting that clip. She's pretty freaking awesome.

Nightmare said...

I watched this last night, GUFFAWED out loud when she said that she would blow her head off if she had to watch US broadcast news! She is tall, hot, blunt, sexy, the south african accent is making Nightmare JR feel all funny, and I will quote this for the next 10 years!

J. Dack said...

Anybody else think she resembles Nicole Kidman a great deal?

Would love to see Chez on TDS.

Anonymous said...

Bitching about this is all well and good, but when are powerful and well respected people in journalism, like her, going to stand up and strike out their own?

They're busy fighting the same old stale fights and trying to change a system to what everyone thinks it used to be, when in reality it hasn't changed at all and it ever will.

I would propose an anonymous news network where people like this can tell us the truth about what is going on without fear of retribution from the current media structure.
It would have to be run by someone with the connections and the competency to check the press credentials and facts to grant real journalists the right to post real stories under anonymous user names and beholden to no one but the facts.

But, nothing like that will ever happen because they'll never be able to set aside their ego's long enough to put their heart into something that doesn't have their name attached. All of them want to be considered something important so badly that they're afraid to actually do anything important.

American journalism and news has no courage because American journalists and news readers have no courage.

I'm leaving this idea in your hands.
Come on, do it. Stop being such a snarky punk-ass and go tear the media a new asshole, Chez.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chez,

I have been following your blogs for sometime now, and find your views refreshing and inspiring, so much so that I would like to offer your a position in my company.

As a majority shareholder of some of America's largest media outlets and Internet Portals I would like to give you full creative directive control and would be honored if you would headline some of our leading programs.

In time with the vast amounts of money I will throw you way, I will chip away at the thorn that you are, and slowly assimilate you into the collective fold. You will be my bitch and will bend over when I demand... or otherwise be smothered with so much bureaucratic horse shit the only voice the public will here will be [whine].

Hmmm... so Chez it's only a matter of time before your notoriety gains the attention of some big wig corporate media who will entice you with wads of cash, and "creative control". How do we lonely plebs ensure our most vigilant voice of reason and sharp wit doesn't sell-out?

I mean Lara Logan, I haven't heard of her until now... but I know you.

Though she is much easier on the eyes I do hope that if you get a title like hers you won't be drowned out...

big up dude.

Julie The Vintage Goddess said...

I have such a girl-crush on Lara.