Category Archives: Georgia politics

The Historical Legacy of WSB-TV Production

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After pondering the despicable act by despicable people of attempting to suppress the black vote in the year 2014, in Georgia of all places, take a media moment with me as I say something nice about a Cox product: WSB-TV.

The above (click the pic of Junior Farmer to get to the video) is excellent news reporting and packaging of a complex issue breaking that day (yesterday 9/17/14). As it gets immediately to the heart of a complex and historical matter, the key players, the SOTs, and the visuals.

This type of deft political production work, by WSB-TV’s political reporter Lori Geary and her production team, could not have been done without a longstanding, working knowledge of the issues on deck for the day’s news coming down – to be able to turn around this kind of comprehensive media that fast. In other words, sit back and watch professionals do their thing, cub reporting wannabees.

Knowing exactly who to get to, in a precise and time-thrifty way, and who to focus on and zoom to in the contemporary Georgia/Atlanta political arena, is editorial and production tandem work sourced from a unique and historic talent base that exists almost exclusively in WSB-TV’s deep-benched, legacy production crew. It’s hard to duplicate that level of precision political packaging elsewhere, in other words.

And it’s something we see often with WSB-TV’s political reporting. Not just yesterday’s. They know their civil rights history and legends behind the scenes there, as their production crews have lived, worked and played around Atlanta for a very long time. If one loses a career cameraman or director of 40-years at a place like WSB-TV, they take a lifetime of some mighty historical production expertise with them. And that’s simply not replaceable with an iPhone and an intern.

Tip of the hat indeed, as TV political reporting tends to take a back seat to the more easily social-shared written word. And folk who take politics and media seriously are dismissive of Cox-derived TV news, so tainted they are by a self-directed reputation founded from featuring senseless violence, self-promotion, and roadkill carnage over more civic-minded news.

It’s important to remember that visuals and sound working together, as opposed to radio/print/static screens, are also important to a highly nuanced political story, particularly a voter fraud/voter suppression story from the south. Especially in a state with a mighty history of dubious political legacies, ghosts and legends.

Don’t miss it.

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Get On Board The GPB Programming Theft Train!

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In a rigid environment stripped of anything remotely representing a “two way street,” GPB’s Bill Nigut babbled non-freely away recently (Thursday, July 3, 2014) to AJC’s Rodney Ho about not one but two upcoming WRAS shows he’s stolen carved-out for himself. One being called, snort, “Two Way Street.”

Given that no one’s the least bit interested in organic Nigut dung radio product, but rather far more interested in the outrageous public relations heap GPB’s laid in the wake of their mindless decision to raid WRAS, Ho dutifully attempted to steer his Nigut chat time toward media issues people actually want to hear about. Only to be shut-down by a free speech wrangler named Mandy. From Ho’s Radio & TV Talk blog:

When I mentioned that some WRAS fans are making him the bogeyman, he shrugged. “As a guy who covers politics,” Nigut said, “I know people decide to assign a motive and give you an agenda. It has nothing to do with reality or who you are.” Twice while I was on this subject, GPB spokeswoman Mandy Wilson interrupted me to say, “We’re here to talk about Bill’s radio shows.” I wasn’t expecting Nigut to saying anything except positive things about the deal and he didn’t appear to mind talking about the deal. But with a publicist in the room clearly uncomfortable with me probing that subject, I backed off.

Because what Atlanta really wants is to consume news from news farms where the news product is locally-sourced by obstructionist publicists named “Mandy.”

But wait! There’s more! More Bill Nigut in our futures! Of course Bill Nigut just had to have another politics show all for himself, in the way a toddler hoards all the red and green trucks, now that he’s playing with his stolen programming booty there at GPB.

Read the rest of this entry

Roaming Through Georgia Primary Results

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Republican candidate Ed Lindsey did poorly in the U.S. Representative, District 11 race – finishing 4th place in Tuesday’s primary voting by garnering a mere 8,389 votes out of 56,584 cast. Or about 15% of the total votes cast for a District 11 Republican. He “got spanked,” as the kids would say.

So let’s break it down: a sizable TV ad budget from his campaign garnered just over 8K votes?! Talk about bad returns on one’s investment. Some money obviously went for an email campaign, as my Inbox filled with plenty of those. However, as of today, Lindsey managed only 700+ Twitter followers, and barely 7K Facebook followers. And a paltry under 2K views to the one video (a duplicate of a TV ad) on the campaign’s YouTube channel. The campaign was a huge failure-to-launch in social.

This is why I’m not a political consultant, as I really did believe Lindsey could attract a better, moderate Republican turnout. I should have known it was all over from the get-go, for a moderate Republican candidate such as Lindsey, when a seasoned, and occasionally astute, political observer blurted out at the Gold Dome during the past legislative session, “Poor Ed Lindsey. Such a smart man, reduced to abject pandering.”

That’s the thing about hiding one’s smarts and light under a canopy of political pandering with ideological sloganeering about hating on “Obamacare.”

Smart voters know a repeal of the ACA is never going to happen (and I suspect they don’t really want it repealed, if they were waterboarded on the matter), and the dumber ones are attracted to politicians who don’t have to pander, such as former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, as those candidates can preach from their manufactured pulpits with a genuine zeal and conviction, making them far more appetizing ideologues for voters who need a dash of ideological Purell before touching their ballot screens.

Heck, Loudermilk may even genuinely believe he can march up to Washington and personally overthrow the ACA! I couldn’t see Lindsey ever leading that particular charge, so I wish he’d never even brought the ridiculous matter up at all.

Perhaps I should just surrender my old fashion notion of moderate, reasonable Republicans still roaming around in Georgia. Clearly, as the District 11 race data show, they’ve gone extinct.

Drive-By Georgia Political Journalism

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Listen, Georgia media kiddies. No one really cares what Charles Bullock (of UGA) thinks about Georgia politics. Name one person who does. Thus, can we stop with the tired, sad media (print, TV, blogs, etc.) formula of:

a.) Go call-up same ‘ole same ‘ole SOT from Bullock or Merle Black (of Emory).

b.) Bang a keyboard for an hour or so.

c.) Call it journalism and a day.

Those two haven’t said much fresh or insightful since 1988. Jeez.

Reason I like Lori Geary of WSB-TV on Georgia politics is she always goes for something slightly different for her Georgia politics perspectives and insights, rather than merely cooking-up the go-to box of mac ‘n cheese news formula in her kitchen. Not that she wouldn’t go for a Merle or Charles SOT here and there, but only if she felt it was absolutely necessary.

Hell, I used to get shuffled out the door and on over to Emory about 2X a day (during political season) to go sweep-up Merle Black SOTs when I was in my 20’s. And that was a while ago.

So, you’ve got less than a year until the 2014 primaries. Can you, our clearly fearful Georgia media leaders and deciders, take a day or three to think-up just one teensy tiny innovative way to cover politics in Georgia?

I think what I’m wishing for is a “summit” focused on nothing but brainstorming new ideas for media-izing Georgia politics. And before 2014 shows up on our doorstep.

Georgia Politics Continue To Inspire Georgia Media To Heights Of Status Quo

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I am concerned about Michelle Nunn’s campaign for U.S. Senate already. And not because of her qualifications as a candidate to represent us here in Georgia. (Those seem just fine. Far better than most, come to think about it.)

But rather, what concerns …me is that, IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS, this candidate for U.S. Senate has already done two Georgia media-related things that annoy me something awful:

1.) Given Karen Handel yet another reason to NOT shut up and go away.

2.) Inspired Georgia’s usual-suspects-posse of mostly white male political writers to even greater heights of their predictable copy/keyboard pounding.

Perhaps my favorite example, thus far, is the AJC’s Jim Galloway attempting some Pat Conroy-like (gooey) prose in his “exclusive” interview with candidate Nunn, whilst sitting at Thumbs Up diner, of all non-interesting settings to announce one’s senatorial aspirations:

… a last name that bespeaks Georgia centrism.

Wake me up when anyone in Georgia political media ever does anything remotely innovative, disruptive, or interesting.

Skewed Georgia Political Journalism On Most All Georgia Media Farms

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There is a good bit of chatter (on Facebook) about Nikema Williams’ excellent decision to open-up the process of electing a new Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) chair to more than white male-only candidates.

A little background… seems there was something in the DPG’s by-laws about if a white male (or black woman presumably, or whatever was the most matchy-match) was serving as chair of the party and left that post early, then the person to fill the chair/leadership void would have to share not just a similar but also an identical demographic. Such as also being a white male, as was Mike Berlon, of course, who recently and unceremoniously left the chairpersonship of the DPG.

So Ms. Williams has changed the chairpersonship rules up a bit, in her interim, between-chairs-role and duty. And that’s ok, ‘far as I’m concerned.

But what concerns me as a writer/editorialist, and also as a pan-media and prolific content provider (of more than mere text, in other words), much more than the fate of DPG leadership, is the dearth, lack, and scarcity of women or minority writers at the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on issues and matters pertaining to Georgia-based politics. And other media outlets too, but let’s start with the most influencial.

DPG rules can change all they care to, and that’s fine. But there are some other unwritten “rules” around this town that need to change too, if you ask me. Which of course no one did.

Oh, but they should. Ask me.

Redistricting Georgia

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