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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A woman from Chicago's South Loop - Paula Cannon - asked President Obama a question on Skype at a town hall in Washington on Tuesday aimed at jazzing up grass roots voters," Lynn Sweet reports for the Sun-Times under the breathless headline "Chicago Woman Asks Obama A Question Via Skype At Town Hall In Washington."

Maybe the headline should have been "Obama PR Team Hypes Failed New Media Attempt."

Why?

Read on.

"From the DNC, Cannon, 'a volunteer with Organizing for America (OFA) who asked President Obama a question via Skype at tonight's webcast town hall - marking the first time in history a President has ever taken a question through the web-based service.'"

So Sweet is pushing out a DNC press release. And the "Chicago woman" is member of Obama's political organization, which can be found at barackobama.com.

It gets worse.

Skype is basically free Internet phone/teleconference/video service. But in this case, it would've been better to use a landline. And to use a question from a real citizen instead of a plant.

CANNON: Good evening, Mr. President. In this last push to get out the vote, is there an overarching message or approach that you think volunteers could best take to persuade voters to get back to the polls on November 2nd?

OBAMA: Great question, although I don't think she can hear me, right? This is not a two-way Skype?

MODERATOR: I don't think it's - I don't think it's two-way here.

OBAMA: Okay.

MODERATOR: She's watching you online right now.

In other words, she could've been watching him on TV and dialed in through Sarah.

Or better yet, Obama could've just read his prepared statement without the hullabaloo.

Verdict: Fail.

Grumpy or Whiny?
Daley blames Group of Five for Sneedling.

George Ryan's Park Bench
Dedicated to a convicted felon.

Riotfest!
Part 2 of our continuing coverage.

Fantasy Fix
What's New At No. 1.

Plan Ahead For Fire Safety
A whole house can go down in five minutes.

Frat Row
More news from Delta Tau Zell, but I'm going to have to defend the rush chairman on this one - I hardly find distributing Onion News Network videos that contains sexual content to be offensive. It's the Onion! It's a parody of the news, people. (And in this case, a pointed commentary against misogynistic reality shows that only portray women one way - as sluts.) Like Jon Stewart's Daily Show, it's an instruction book for how badly the media behaves despite its vaunted rhetoric - and an argument for change.

So I totally believe memo-sender and Tribune innovations chief Lee Abrams when he says "The video in bad taste was a parody of a cable-type reality show. It is not something that we would ever air on our TV stations - in fact quite the opposite - we show this as an example of what NOT to do."

The notion that Tribune editor Gerry Kern would be offended is laughable and just goes to show you how lame the whole company has become - I mean, it was lame before, but at least in a less psychotic way. We get Corporate Lame. This is the jocks vs. the nerds and I can't take sides in that crappy fight. I hated high school. I'm with the rockers, the burnouts, the misfits, the pranksters, and the smart and witty independent outsiders who don't care about the prom, their SATs, or tattling about beer and sex. My god, when they came for the journalists there were none of us left!

Anyway, here's the memo:

THINK PIECE: ENCOURAGING FORWARD MOVEMENT

WPIX REFLECTS NEW YORK: Take a look at the attached (and John's note below).

We are now doing streets in other languages. I've told the team I want a different language at least once every 2 weeks and we are not allowed to just repeat Spanish. I want a Farsi-speaking cab driver and a thick Irish-accented bartender and a Jamaican, etc.

This is so right. Instead of screaming, We're local with a picture of the skyline, they are truly matching the mood of New York, in its pan-ethnic and gritty reality. This is one, small step toward reinventing TV for the 21st Century, not to mention one of the few cases of AFDI'ing something that's been in discussion for years. Of course the key is consistently doing it vs. a one off. Incidentally, these are not finished pieces, but will give you an idea of the direction

INSTANT STAFF MEETING: Below are a list of videos that Ray Brune, the Executive Producer of our new morning concept, put together for our first Bootcamps with the new staff. Many have been circulated, but I am always surprised how many have not yet seem these. Always pretty inspirational or at least interesting stuff:

BOOT CAMP DAY #1/DISC #1

DID YOU KNOW (POPULATION): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECDZbrzkTxk

ONION:
* STUDENTS DON'T GIVE A SHIT http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-are-tests-biased-against-students-who,17966/

* Firefighter http://www.theonion.com/video/incredibly-sexy-firefighter-tragically-dies-in-ste,17549/

* Sluts http://www.theonion.com/video/vh1-reality-show-bus-crashes-in-california-causing,14390/

* Boston Globe http://www.theonion.com/video/boston-globe-tailors-print-edition-for-three-remai,17572/

DID YOU KNOW (HUMAN CAPITAL): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzCQ219bxl8

THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

A DATE WITH YOUR FAMILY (Cut Down): http://www.archive.org/details/DateWith1950

SELECTIVE ATTENTION TEST #1: http://viscog.beckman.illinois.edu/flashmovie/15.php

SELECTIVE ATTENTION TEST #2:

DO YOU KNOW (SOCIAL MEDIA): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

STIMULATE CREATIVE PROCESS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPC8e-Jk5uw

TED SPEECH LARRY LESSING (LAWS THAT CHOKE CREATIVITY): http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity.html

DO OUR PROPERTIES LOOK LIKE BANKS? I think often yes.

http://positivesharing.com/2007/03/12-ways-to-pimp-your-office/

THEN, THERE'S THIS RASMUSSEN STUDY: It s a battle out there.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=136373

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: The cure for battle fatigue.



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Posted on October 13, 2010


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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