Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Stuff

Even Cartoons Try to Achieve Racial Balance. A couple of months ago, we told you about a new Fox cartoon spin-off, which was expected to be called Cleveland. Variety reports this week that the show--whose name has now apparently grown to The Cleveland Show--has found a way to balance the racial make-up of the cast, by including a red-neck white neighbor. As we said earlier, it all sounds just a little like a latter-day cartoon revival of All in the Family.

Another Online Tool for Tracking Political Giving. Ariana Huffington's Huffingtonpost continues to tinker with new additions to the site. One of the latest is this helpful database of political giving. Over the years, various forms of this tool have been made available to the public. The Federal Elections Commission, keeper of the underlying data, debuted its own online database some years ago, but it wasn't terribly user-friendly (I haven't tried it lately, but will now). The best of these tools has been the one supplied by the Center for Responsive Politics, a foundation-sponsored nonprofit founded by a former ABC investigative producer. It was a far superior tool, because it included some massaging and interpretation of the numbers. Professionals in media, politics and fundraising have been using that gateway for years, but I think the new HuffPost search engine will introduce this process to a much wider audience, which is good for political transparency.

Finally, Speaking of Fox: we liked how Vanity Fair recently turned the tables on idiot culture stalwart Fox News. Nicely done.


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ariana's site has this interactive map that you can check out where all kinds of contributors live. That includes celebrities (Ah, no privacy for privilege!), but it was fun to find my own street and see if there were any big contibutors there. (There weren't!)

The Center for Responsive Politics told me that my zip code donated only 1/53rd as much as the rest of the zip codes in my state. I found that interesting and wonder what impact facts like that have in the slippery world of politics.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You've vividly captured some of the many interesting and creative ways these online databases can be used. They're giant invitations to slice and dice data in personalized ways. I imagine your comment will spur other readers to play with the tools as well. At least I hope so.


Post a Comment

<< Home