Saturday, February 28, 2009

On Today's Media

Those who say Twitter is a harmless pastime, which skeptics are free to ignore, are ignoring the corrosive secondary effects. We already live in an era of me-first journalism, autobiographical blogs and first-person reportage. Even daytime cable news is clotted with Lou Dobbsian anchors who ooze self-regard and intemperate opinion.

On-air meltdowns are the new scoops. The CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli, a former trader, delivered a rant last week on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange about the Obama administration’s mortgage bailout proposal. Nobody at his network seemed concerned that Mr. Santelli had exceeded the bounds of news reporting. Instead, he was propped up by constant replays on CNBC and rival networks as a populist hero. It’s all too likely that he will be rewarded with his own show someday.


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