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November 27, 2006

Internet Killed The Televised Bore

One interesting element of the blogspheric, YouTube age is the reordering of incentives for television appearances. Say you were going on Fox News (or whatever) a decade ago. And say you delivered a whipping to the host. The host, the show, and likely the network would be loathe to invite you back while, simultaneously, just about no one would ever know the beating you delivered. So you'd lose your channel into the media without any commensurate reward for your performance.

Conversely, for liberals going on television now, a smackdown of a conservative host can be distributed and replayed virtually endlessly, rapidly raising your profile among progressives and, in fact, enhancing your reputation as a combative, entertaining TV presence able to attract eyeballs. That's why you see not only Bill Clinton, but Barney Frank, taking on Chris Wallace (video here). Cliff Schecter is courting a sort of fame for his vicious demolition jobs on various rightwing hacks, while David Sirota had a moment in the sun for spanking John Stossel. Suddenly, picking the fight has become a surer way to notoriety and name recognition than playing nice in hopes of an invitation back. And that's been a decidedly healthy shift.

November 27, 2006 | Permalink


Interesting thought, but I hope you're not suggesting that Clinton stomped Wallace because he cared about YouTube. Liberals, progressives... well, the vast non-right wing majority are fighting back in large part because the lies & confabulation peddled by the conservatives have reached a crescendo of BS that can't be tolerated.

Posted by: Seanly | Nov 27, 2006 3:44:19 PM

Not only this, but I noticed the following article on tenbyten from bbcnews this afternoon. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6168950.stm
Personally, I'm thrilled that the world's new addiction to the internet might finally provide a cure for its addiction to tv.

Posted by: Katy | Nov 27, 2006 5:55:58 PM

"Say you were going on Fox News (or whatever) a decade ago. And say you delivered a whipping to the host."

The entire DC Media Elite would have ganged up on you and portrayed you as "angry", "unhinged", "shrill" etc. Cokie, Broder et al don't like politicians attacking one of their own. They are very protective of their own cozy clique.

They still do the above as we saw with Clinton but thanks to the Internet they no longer have the power to frame the debate and have the final say. Internet allows the public to reach its own conclusions.

Posted by: DonB | Nov 28, 2006 1:28:07 AM

Can we sing that header in the tune of "Video Killed the Radio Star"

Did I just give away my age by typing that?

Posted by: ET | Nov 28, 2006 4:24:49 PM

Yup. And MNSBC is finally realizing that Olbermann=$ucce$$, and are pressing him to do more of his "Special Comment" segments.

Angry sells!

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