Media Mash: A Compilation of Media Musings
DEMI GODSince the days when they won an award from Amnesty International for coverage of human rights the Masher has had the utmost respect for Marie Claire magazine. But these days their journalism is lost. The current issue features Demi Moore as guest editor, a role that gets her a slinky cover photo and features a seven-page spread of her home in Sun Valley, Idaho, as well as her favorite guru, a "willowy blonde in size two jeans" who's specialty is "practical intuition." Moore is also featured in five photos inside the magazine and gets the opportunity to comment on all the articles as well as peddle an aromatherapy bracelet to benefit a pediatric AIDS organization. The masthead relegates editor Glenda Bailey to "editor-in-chief's assistant." And who says celebrity journalism has gone to far?THERE' S A TOMORROW FOR TOMORROWIt was getting so the Masher was having trouble getting through Tom Tomorrow -- not good when a cartoon is left unread. But redemption is in the November 22 New Yorker cartoon issue -- a brilliant and funny strip by Dan Perkins. Good to see the New Yorker mixing more subversive humor with their normally hilarious mix.PACIFICA -- THE DRAMA CONTINUESPacifica is not directly in the news these days, but turmoil is still lurking. The Nation magazine's classified section tells the tale: Pacifica job ads for National Program Director, Senior Producer and Web Site Manager, as the national staff is being purged.There Is an interesting Pacifica tidbit in Paul Rauber's excellent column "Sticks and Stones" in the East Bay Express (sorry, this high quality, low-tech weekly in Berkeley has no Web site). Rauber reported that Pat Scott, formerly the "wicked witch" of Pacifica to its activist community, had landed a job running Audie Bock's district office. (Bock is the Oakland assemblywoman who shocked the California political scene by being elected as a Green Party candidate.) Now that Mary Frances Berry, who Scott recruited to be Pacifica Board chair, and Lynn Chadwick, Scott's hand-picked successor, have just about ruined everything at Pacifica, Scott is ruing the day, telling Salon's Judith Coburn last month that Berry's tenure could be not only the end of KPFA, but all of Pacifica.THE NATION STAYS ON ITS TOESSpeaking of The Nation, its November 29 special issue on the New Global Media goes beyond the usual collection of megagiants to show that the phenomenon of ownership concentration is worldwide and spreading. While the Masher doesn't usually like special issues -- too much of the same topic is a MEGO (makes the eyes glaze over) -- the global media issue demonstrated that the creaky, 135-year-old Nation can still be nimble, advancing the story ahead of Brill's Content conglomerate special mentioned here last week.SALON STOOPS TO CONQUERAnd what was Salon thinking, leading their November 22 news offering with a stale, self-promoting diatribe by odious David Horowitz upbraiding Jesse Jackson for betraying the civil rights movement by "defending young thugs who need to be punished, not babied.""The Decatur 6 are a group of low-life gang-bangers who participated in an explosion of thuggery at a high school football game," Horowitz continued.Needless to say there are some different perspectives to this story and Salon is doing everyone a disservice by treating Horowitz as news and providing no countervailing point of view. Seems clear Salon is uninterested in African American users or they would consider something more balanced.