What’s Hot/What’s Not: 10/09/11

What’s Hot:

OutFront – Erin Burnett’s CNN show debuted this week and immediately made headlines for its Occupy Wall Street segment. Whether those headlines were a positive or a negative…only time will tell.

Occupy Wall Street – I’m not going to weigh into whether this is the Left’s “Tea Party moment” or not. But whatever it is, it was making news, good and bad, on all the networks.

FNC’s 15th Anniversary – A reason to celebrate being the leader in cable news in such dominant fashion for a very long time. I guess we can expect a moving retrospective of how FNC’s evolved over the last 15 years…

What’s Not:

FNC’s 15th Anniversary Special – Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll get that but have it also double as a big middle finger to anyone who possibly doubted the network would get there. Gracious winner? Not in Roger Ailes’ playbook apparently.

Side Note: When I wrote about what Cable News is doing wrong for Mediaite I noted cable news’ embrace of all things political could be trace its roots back to the Clinton/Lewinski scandal but at the time I didn’t offer any proof to back up that point. The FNC 15th Anniversary special provided such proof when it noted that Special Report with Brit Hume launched when the Lewinski scandal broke wide open. Coincidence? No way.

4 on 1 The Five Becomes Permanent – Do I really need to give a reason?

HLN infects CNN – HLN was supposed to be the network that was the one that covered the murder trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. But apparently CNN didn’t get that memo because two weeks ago Don Lemon was staked out in California covering the trial and this week Randi Kaye was staked out in California covering the trial.

Steve Jobs’ death coverage – Can you say “Overkill lacking in proper perspective”? Cable news can’t apparently…

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23 Responses to “What’s Hot/What’s Not: 10/09/11”

  1. Coverage of the Thomas Edison of our time dying is not overkill. Well, maybe Alexander Graham Bell? Elli Whitney?

  2. People seem to enjoy watching The Five but I suspect not as much whenever Beckel and/or Perino aren’t on. Beckel makes it work by being Beckel, of course, but Perino can argue the framing of the arguments by either side, and she’s calmer than th rest. With Gutfeld providing the zany, it doesn’t matter who fills the other two seats – just more noise. We’ll see how long this programmes lasts.

  3. imnotblue Says:

    I agree with Spud. Steve Jobs was not Edison, or Bell, or Whitney, or even in the same league as any of those famous inventors. He was excellent at marketing, and figuring out how to figure out something that people want, and designing a way to get it to them. And unlike Bill Gates, Jobs’ isn’t really about the actual coding or designing of computers and electronics, rather it was the branding and marketing of such devices.

    Remember, the original Mac OS didn’t get mainstream traction until Apple re-branded itself as computers for “creative” people, giving up any hopes of catching Microsoft in terms of business utility. And it’s only been relatively recently that Apple once again became a strong player in the computer field, but mostly as a result of their personal electronics division (iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.) and not personal computing.

    So we can give Apple and Steve Jobs credit for making a version of a product the public (the MP3 player came out well before the iPod hit the scene) wanted… but let’s not go overboard.

  4. OutFront with Erin Burnett may not be the second coming to cable TV but it does accomplish what must have been it’s early goals; being better than Hardball and the show it replaced JK-USA. Shep Smith is in a different league and her show will not be competitive to FNC for many months – if ever.

    Despite her rough first week her show is far better than Kings and I think she is also more watchable than Matthews. This is a low bar, I know, but she is already ahead of where the last big CNN hire, Eliot Spitzer, was after his first week.

    We will know in a few weeks how the show is succeeding if she starts to get consistently better ratings than Hardball and JK-USA in the 7PM time slot.

  5. Some actually compared Jobs to Da Vinci. And they were serious.

  6. The Edison comparison may be a bit much but not by leaps and bounds. The products envisioned and brought to market by seemingly the force of Steve Jobs’ will truly reshaped a number of very large industries. Before the iPod, electronic transmission of music was mostly bootleg. And while cellphones and PDAs were consistently improving, it was the iPhone that brought several technologies together.

  7. imnotblue Says:

    I have to disagree with you Al. There were MP3 players well before the iPod (I had this one for a while: http://mikeschinkel.com/images/creative-technology.nomad-jukebox.jpg). Now granted, it was large, heavy, and didn’t hold much… but for the time, it was a good piece of hardware. The iPod improved upon existing technology, but some other form of iPod (smaller, lighter, faster, etc.) MP3 technology would have arrived with or without Apple’s intervention.

    As for music being non-digital, that’s also untrue. The move towards digital music, as well as digital books, newspapers, magazines, and so on had been seen as the future well before Apple produced anything. I remember debating the future of eBooks in my freshman “Mass Media” class in college… and that was a few years before the iPod had arrived!

    And let’s not forget, before the iPhone, everyone was talking about BlackBerry. Again, Apple was able to improve on existing technology, but in terms of what it really changed, it was hardly revolutionary.

    Jobs and Apple mass produced technology and were/are excellent at marketing. But they’re not the revolutionary force that people (for some reason) assume they are.

  8. Let me first say that I had no idea how ill Steve Jobs was. He will be missed, but his legacy lives on through the products he developed.
    That aside, his death was treated on cable news, and network news (I had to switch to my WLNY DVR of Wheel of Fortune for a little while since ABC cut in when that show was airing on WABC), like the death of a major politician or pope. That definitely qualifies as a not.

  9. When you think of what Edison did it dwarfs Steve Jobs accomplishments. Edison gave us electric lights in our home and an entire system that produced and delivered electrical power. He was the first to record sound — and he also started the recording industry. Edison developed the first movie camera and produced the first movies. I love my Mac, iPad and iPod, but there is a thing called perspective.

  10. Blackberries were great before iPhone and Droids. Now they’re like CB radios. I believe it was Apple that pushed the envelope for immediate on-demand downloading of songs and account structure.

    Edison’s success was also on the shoulders of other great thinkers. The comparison is in how he transformed (no pun intended) so many other industries with his vision.

  11. I would think the validity of the comparison is dependent on the extent the two “inventors” changed their societies during their lifetime. The magnitue of the change. At least in assigning “greatness”.

  12. In my original post on the subject, I said the comparison “may be a bit much…” Edison wasn’t the only inventor working on electricity at the time just as Jobs wasn’t the only one working on electronic device uses. Jobs was no Edison, but the fruit of his work impacted far more people over a short time-span.

  13. Obviously history will be the judge as Edison’s greatness has stood the test of time. Jobs passing is too fresh to decide if his face will be carved of the Mount Rushmore of invention.

  14. Really folks, when Ron Popeil passes I hope QVC goes dark for 24 hours.

    “slices and dices an onion in just seconds… a tomato so thin it can last you all winter”

  15. Determining Steve Jobs place in history is often a matter of the age and the technical prowess of the determiner. Younger more tech savvy people will place him much higher on the list of great inventors or visionaries.

    I think Bob Dylan is the greatest songwriter of the 20th century. Those older or younger than me or who have different musical tastes,may have a different choice.

  16. ^ I hate it when you’re logical, Fritz.

  17. No one could top George Gershwin and his sister Ira.

  18. imnotblue Says:

    Fritz, I was actually thinking about that the other day. Who are the “Kings” of modern (within the last 100 years) of music?

    Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson…

    I think they all get title. But after Michael, I’m not sure anyone has yet emerged as a musical leader.

  19. I know Bob Dylan’s voice but can only think of one song of his I know…. and that’s only because I have the music cheat sheet for it.

  20. I didn’t know until recently that Dylan did Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Still not sure what production magic gave him that voice, since I don’t think God had any part in it.

  21. imnotblue Says:

    ^ There are/were a few “versions” of Dylan. Some had the standard talk/sing nasal thing that made him famous… but not all of them.

    For example, in “Lay Lady Lay” he (tries) to sing. It doesn’t sound like typical Dylan, but it’s him.

    For me, though, the real problem I have with Dylan is that he changed his name to sound “less Jewish.” When you’re going to be the champion of the “be free, be yourself” movement, you probably shouldn’t change your name. But, that doesn’t really discount Robert Zimmerman’s impact on music.

  22. An interesting read. I actually have some more ideas about this. Would you consider writing a guest article for my blog?…

    […]What’s Hot/What’s Not: 10/09/11 « Inside Cable News[…]…

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