Of all the great ideas Jay Rosen has had, I never really understood what made this one anything but self-evident.  Fact-checking the news in real, or-near real-time, has been an obvious need for over 20 years, and the technology to do it was old school even before blogging, Twitter and Facebook.  It's just that no one did it.

But sometimes it takes a famous journalism professor and social media geek to make the MSM see the obvious thing.  And actually making them DO the obvious thing is a remarkable achievement; especially in this era of entrenched mediocrity in almost everything. With assists from people like me on Twitter, Jay Rosen hammered this idea home with Meet The Press, ABC, and just about anyone else that would listen. Jake Tapper finally did.

  1. Read The Brief ABC/Jake Tapper Post…

  2. Then Read Jay Rosen's Idea That Inspired It

But in fact the whole Sunday format has to be re-thought, or junked so the news divisions can start over with a new premise.  Of course the problem is that the people who would have to make that decision are the same people whose entire knowledge base and skill set lies in producing the "old" style of political television. That is what they know, so that is what they continue to do. I guess it's not hard to understand complacency of this kind.  But do they really think we don't notice the growing absurdity of bringing to a common table people who agree on nothing?

Bags of kudos to Rosen for putting it on paper in his typically cogent way, and to Jake Tapper for having the good sense to nibble at his master's reigns and try something different.

This entire project is near and dear to my own work, so I have a vested interest in seeing ABC do this for more than a week.  But even if I didn't, it would still be a big interest of mine.

There are clues to our future in projects like this, on many levels. So I will tune in to this on Sunday, and see if I can help it gain a little traction.

Please Retweet this post below using green button below.  This "experiment" deserves everyone's support.



About Politifact.com   —  a project in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups"

About Jay Rosen — Jay Rosen is a press critic, a writer, and a professor of journalism at New York University.  He is a strong supporter of citizen journalism, encouraging the press to take a more active interest in citizenship, improving public debate, and enhancing life. His book about the subject, What Are Journalists For? was published in 1999. Rosen is often described in the media as an intellectual leader of the movement of public journalism

Further Reading

Press Think (NYU) Rosen's Journalism Blog  — Today we say media instead of "the press." But it's a mistake. The press has become the ghost of democracy in the media machine, and we need to keep it alive.

Jay Rosen:  He Said, She Said Journalism: Lame Formula in the Land of the Active User

In March, CNN made stunning announcement that Erick Erickson, editor of the ultra-right Tea Party screed Redstate.com (owned by Eagle Publishing, owner of malodorous HumanEvents.com) would be a regular panelist on the new "John King's USA" program.  We get the media we deserve, and I was loath to roll over for one more indignity. I got a little worked up about it.

So We Made A Video About CNN's Latest Farce

My video partner, Oilwellian and I felt this reckless erosion of CNN's responsibility was so egregious that it needed a simple polemical response that called attention to it. 

Enough is Enough — How You Can Help


Educate Time-Warner Stockholders

Show them just how fast and loose CNN executives, Jon Klein and Sam Feist are being, You can be sure their stockholders have no idea what kind of unhinged propaganda they are presenting to the American people in their pursuit of a few of Fox New's ratings points.

PLEASE RETWEET this post (see below), so a viral pressure might goose @CNN to stop this Fox-chasing nonsense and try being a real news network again.  It took them two years to admit the Lou Dobbs mistake, so I don't have a lot of hope that they'll can this stupid Erickson idea too soon. But at least this exposure can make it painful for them. We have only 24 hours left to make video go viral (and get special notices on YouTube). Your RTs and emails would help a lot.

IT'S IMPORTANT:  Even though John King USA's show is pretty boring (King was never mister magnetic), and the nepotism shown by using his wife Dana Bash as the show's (Republican friendly) Congressional reporter makes the show a laughing stock,  that doesn't mean this farce should stand, unassailed until the inevitable cancellation. The experience may make CNN just a bit more sensitive to the fact that the Tea Party ain't the only Americans fired up, lately.

Some of us are just disgusted with the corporate wrecking ball that American capitalism—and our media—have become. It's time we just said no, and meant it.




@DumpCNN ~ @shoq ~ @stopbeck ~ @Oilwellian


I have already invested a fair amount of time being the partisan crasher on Twitter on this issue, but it's just not something we can afford to shrug off after a few days of whining.  The right assumes, as CNN's Jon Klein did, that "progressives never get too worked up about anything".

In Retrospect, Our Video Was Too Kind

The right has screwed up this nation too thoroughly for us to just acquiesce to CNN giving a platform to the latest overrated stooge of concorporate hegemons.  As the past few years have proved, they own or control most of this nation where it counts, and even when progressives score gains (as we just did with Health Care Reform), there is still a huge question mark hovering over the future of the United States. A recovering economy will not mask the near-kleptocratic nature of what our modern predatory-capitalist-system-run- amok has become.

Through one of many proxies like Redstate, the corporate and conservative elites use massive private funding networks to distribute professionally crafted propaganda masking as "grass roots" efforts.

Their work is designed to prey on the emotions and fears of an almost fundamentalist fervor amongst the ignorant Teahadist soldiers they are whipping up across the nation. The primary goal is to convince these gullible—or just rich, mean, racist, or stupid—people, that the administration that inherited the burden of fixing the economic malaise they created, are actually the people who caused them in the first place.   And when you have a 24 hour news channel (Fox News) devoted to such efforts, it's really not all that hard to sell such foolishness to the proles.

This professionally-crafted and marketed lying has gone on far too long—and it's wrecking this nation. And yet, as I type this, the US Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to spend more millions of dollars in local elections. Precisely the kind of spending secured with the kind of right-wing propaganda that HumanEvents, Redstate, and Erick Erickson represent (often literally).

Below, I have created one of my "capsules" to provide some background on CNN's latest gift to the nation, and to the right wing groups and strategies that have crippled it: Erick Erickson.


Overview of Erick Erickson

There is not much about this creep to like. Let's just say he's a man of average means, who now has way above average influence in a Republican party that respects only results, regardless of outcomes. A full picture of him will emerge from the materials, herein.



Redstate is a property of one of the most loathsome right wing publishing enterprises in the world.

  Parent & Related Organizations


   Previous Lessons CNN Didn't Learn From

   The Growing Threat Of The US Chamber of Commerce

   More From Shoq

Who Says: Narrative Authority In a Fragmented World

Jay Rosen tweeted this seminal post by Megan Garber, articulating what the web and digital media are doing to authority memes and journalism's role in this bizarre new world.

Since the need to manage the tangled and competing taxonomic hierarchies of such a Narrative Big Brother has been my professional fascination for years, I couldn't help but notice.  

I think it's required reading for every journalist, citizen, media theorist, media guru, social media consultant, politician, educator, and student. Ok, ok….make that everyone that can fucking read.

Transparency needs to be about fostering conversation rather than ending it.

Megan Garber

Read: Who Says : CJR.