Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, October 06, 2021

Why do conservatives seem more adept at using the Web and other non-traditional news channels to their advantage than do the left-wingers? As diverse ideologues as Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton agree that it’s a comfort level issue:

But [Bill Clinton] said Democrats of his generation tend to be naive about new media realities. There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.

“We’re all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the ’60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate,” Clinton said. “Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations.”

Few conservatives would make a similar miscalculation. Many of the first generation of new media platforms, including Limbaugh’s show and Drudge’s Web site, first flourished because of a conviction among conservatives that old media were unfair.

All this has given Republicans a comfort and skill at using new media to political advantage that most Democrats have not matched. At the Republican National Committee, leaking items to the Drudge Report is an official part of communications strategy.

At first glance, this confirms the old attitude about the mainstream media being slanted toward the left. But read a little deeper, and it turns out that television, newspapers and radio are crucial amplifiers/disseminators of all the leaks and trial balloons that buzz around the Web. The scandals of the day — Mark Foley and the Congressional pages, George Allen’s “macaca” flap — caught fire on blogs and online forums. But had they not been picked up by old media outlets, they never would have blown up to the point where they had real-world impact. (The issue of whether or not traditional media had the option to ignore those stories is irrelevant — the fact is that without those saturated channels, most of the population wouldn’t have heard the news.)

But as what Cheney dubs the “old media monopoly” gets fragmented, what takes its place doesn’t necessarily translate into more reliable news outlets:

Those comments are a reminder that a changed media culture that creates new perils for politicians also provides new forms of refuge. For a full generation on the conservative side, and more recently among liberals, ideologues have created a menu of new media alternatives, including talk radio and Web sites. New media have also elevated flamboyant political entrepreneurs such as Ann Coulter on the right and Michael Moore on the left to prominent places in the political dialogue. New media platforms make criticism of traditional “mainstream media” part of their stock in trade.

This development usually ensures that any politician in trouble can count on some sympathetic forums to make his or her case. It often ensures that any controversy is marked by intense disagreement over the basic facts or relevance of the story, and obscured by clouds of accusation over the opposition’s motives.

New channels are forced to adopt slants one way or the other, just to distinguish themselves. And they’re required to commit to those perspectives in order to maintain their audiences. Becoming safe havens for either Republican or Democratic ideology makes them less reliable as complete news sources, and in fact comes pretty close to pandering. Giving the audience only what they want to hear, how they want to hear it, is popular, but not particularly enlightening. Sadly, the success of such outlets only encourages people to stay in their own worldview cocoons, rarely ever considering viewpoints other than their own.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/06/2021 06:39pm
Category: Internet, Media Mondays, Politics
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Monday, March 07, 2021

now on video
Like you couldn’t see this coming:

“Burger King: Ranch Song” - .wmv, 3.6MB
Different versions and formats can be found at Who You Talkin’ At?

Since I’m sure this will bring tons of traffic, I’ll take the opportunity to announce the retirement of the Media Mondays category, effective with this post. It really hasn’t created a following, as I’d hoped it would. Plus, I quickly found out that I didn’t have quite as many of those multimedia files to upload as I thought I had. It’s become a bit of a hassle with no payback, so I’m ditching it. I might revive it at some point.

In the meantime:

When my belly starts a-rumblin’
And I’m jonesin’ for a treat
I close my eyes for a big surprise
The Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

I love the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch
The breasts they grow on trees
And streams of bacon ranch dressing
Flow right up to your knees

There’s tumbleweeds of bacon
And cheddar paves the streets
Folks don’t diss front you ’cause you got the juice
There’s a train of ladies comin’ with a nice caboose
Never get in trouble, never need an excuse
The Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

I love the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch
No one tells you to behave
Your wildest fantasies come true
Dallas cheerleaders give you shaves
Red onions make you laugh instead
And french fries grow like weeds
You get to veg all day
All the lotto tickets pay
There’s a king who wants you to have it your way
That’s the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

Come ‘n get it…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 09:12pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, February 28, 2021

pardon e moi!
For this week’s Media Monday joyfulness, I’m going to dip into the “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ store of musical humor. And aren’t you glad that I did?

From the hoser-skewering classic episode featuring The Final Sacrifice experiment, I give you Tom Servo singing his paean to the Great White North (which goes horribly wrong). Please remember, it’s not my intent to fan anti-Canadian sentiment with this offering; but it’s damn funny, nonetheless.

MST3K: “Back In Old Canada” - .mp3, 1.8MB - Time’s up! Check the Media Monday archive for the latest edition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/28/2005 11:23pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, February 21, 2021

the secret pong world
While setting up last week’s Valentine edition of Media Monday, I mentioned that I had a fun little Flash file all set to run.

It didn’t run last week, so here it is this week. You may think you know all about Pong, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Pong: Not Just a Game - .swf, 153KB - Time’s up! Check the Media Monday archive for the latest edition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/21/2005 09:42pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, February 14, 2021

yes i'm sure, down deep insideI had a fun little Flash file all set to run for this week’s Media Monday.

Then, it hit me: It’s Valentine’s Day. And even though I’ve already acknowledged the holiday during the previous two days, it just wouldn’t seem right to not toss up a Valentine-tinged file for today’s festivities.

So here’s a silly little love scene from The Guru, a middling movie made worthwhile only by Heather Graham‘s performance. I only wish I could have found a downloadable copy; but time constraints force me to simply link.

It’s Bollywood meets Rydell High, as Graham and Jimi Mistry perform a lavish Indian-style rendition of one of American film’s most popular musical numbers:

The Guru - “The One That I Want”, .wmv (and low-bandwith version)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/14/2005 10:41pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, February 07, 2021

three see peeI’m going to stay within the purely visual realm for this week’s edition. Sound and motion may or may not return next week (chances are that it will, if only for variety’s sake).

Poster art has always been a favorite of mine, especially examples from the early and middle 20th Century. Pieces produced in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union always had a distinctive look, evoking a blend of European and Asian influences. Combined with text made up of Cyrillic characters, the finished product has an exotic quality, independent of the messages they were trying to convey.

The Vintage Soviet Poster database has a decent collection of pre- and postrevolutionary Russian/Soviet art, with translations. Frankly, I’d almost rather not know what the words mean — they’re almost a distraction from the art’s impact.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/07/2021 11:16pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, January 31, 2021

words and pictures
I’m going to use this week’s Media Monday to wash the disagreeable presence of Elektra out of the collective consciousness. Jennifer Garner is a talented actress (and a hottie), but really, the movie is a waste of celluloid.

So I present the Word & Pictures Museum’s virtual exhibition of Elektra: Assassin. Even though it covers just the first issue/chapter of the entire book, it’s enough of a taste to show that you’re better off spending your time and money on this, instead of a movie ticket.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/31/2005 09:38pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, January 24, 2021

schlep, jane, schlep
Bet you thought I forgot, didn’t you? Or else just dropped the idea of posting a media file every Monday.

Not the case. I admit I’m a bit disappointed that last week’s inaugural Media Monday, featuring the funny Wu-Tang Financial clip, didn’t elicit any feedback. But as with any media, new features take time to build up critical mass. So I’ll keep throwing stuff up and hope that something sticks to the wall.

So here’s the second week’s offering. Remember, it’s available only until next Monday, when it’ll be swapped out for the next file:

Designed to promote the book by the same name, this quickie Flash movie presents the classic Dick and Jane with a Mitteleuropa twist. Schlep, Jane, schlep!

Yiddish with Dick and Jane - .swf, 3.86MB - Time’s up! Check the Media Monday archive for the latest edition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/24/2005 11:44pm
Category: Media Mondays
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Monday, January 17, 2021

In an attempt to institute something of a regular feature to this blog, I’m proclaiming every Monday to be Media Monday.


Basically, I’ll be posting a multimedia file here every Monday. It could be an audio file, a movie, a hi-res (or low-res, even) image, or any other non-text item. I suspect it’ll be of a humorous and/or unusual vein, but I reserve the right to include just about anything I find of interest. I may post original works by yours truly, but more likely it’ll be stuff culled from around the Net.

Each file will be linked here and available for download from one Monday until the following Monday, when it will be replaced by the next offering. I would keep all the files archived, but I’m not in a position to pay for that much server storage (plus, I feel more comfortable limiting the availability in cases of copyrighted work). Don’t miss a week, or else you’ll miss out!

Enough setup. On to the first-ever Media Monday treat:

From “Chappelle’s Show”, GZA and RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame drop financial advice like bombs. I particularly like the ending, where the bald old man appears to really get into his Wu-Tang Wave. Step to the Wu!

Wu-Tang Financial - .avi, 25MB - Time’s up! Check the Media Monday archive for the latest edition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/17/2005 07:19pm
Category: Media Mondays
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