Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Things I Never Knew...

...At least not until I read them online. Now, dear reader, you can know them too! (note to those lacking a sense of irony: exclamation point used only in mock irony).

If Hillary were to be elected in '08 and re-elected four years later, either a Bush or Clinton would have appeared on every presidential ticket from 1980 to 2016.
Read all about it from Newsweek's always-astute Jonathan Alter.

Vanity Fair columnist and Slate contributor Christopher Hitchens
is four-square against deceased tyrants in Chile. Those still alive and in office in his own adopted country of America--well, he isn't so unequivocal about them.

All the Craigslist local websites collectively get twice as much traffic as online retail giant Amazon.com,
according to the self-proclaimed Capitalist Tool. Wow--no wonder the newspaper industry is hurting. But then, I did buy a family van that way not so long ago (thus eviscerating the need to deal with smarmy car salesmen), and the mag that publishes my parenting column is now advertising for a new editor by placing a free ad on Craigslist, and advertising nowhere else.

There's been a slight two-year decline in public radio's national audience.
This comes despite the staff enhancements made possible by burger heiress Joan Krok's giant bequest and the utter collapse of any real radio alternatives for people with an IQ above 60 (radio giant Clear Channel, which effectively controls at least one-third of the commercial dial, recently agreed to sell itself to a couple of soulless Wall Street buyout firms. You can expect them to dumb down and milk these stations for ever last dollar even more than Clear Channel ever did, which is saying something). Audience erosion to the web is no doubt the leading suspect. But I think lefty NPR's odd age hangups (a la the Bob Edwards fiasco) and discomfort with race (the Tavis Smiley episode) also play a part. NPR's ombudsman does his level best to deal with lingering criticisms about both situations here. What he doesn't discuss is perhaps NPR's biggest emerging problem: its ever-increasing corporate ethos.


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