Category Archives: Oh Shit

How To Be An Old Media Bully. A Primer.

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Nigut

UPDATE: Seems GPB has abandoned their attempt at a “two way street” and removed all comments and commenting from Bill Nigut’s blog post referenced in this post and associated hyperlinks. Too bad. Loved the “Whatever Saruman” one! 

Bill Nigut is “thrilled” to be back on the airwaves of radio, via WRAS. That makes one person in Georgia. The rest of us? Not so much. (See the comments, coming fast and furious, at his blog post trumpeting his latest broadcasting theft thrill.)

Mr. Nigut’s on-air and in-real-life persona has always been loud, large, and obnoxious. He’s that person who insists on being heard through the din of a crowded networking event or cocktail party. Sucks the wind right out of any space, and takes it all for himself.

It helps that he’s a tall guy, but Nigut can bray and preen with the best of ’em. I once made the mistake of walking past Bill Nigut and Neal Boortz chatting together at some random Atlanta Press Club event. I was hurled three city blocks away by the gasbaggery posturing alone.

Nigut makes claim to being a champion for pretty much everything and everyone he can think of: the helpless, the homeless, the voiceless, the poor, but especially Richie Rich Chamber-types, in his windy GPB blog post declaring his latest radio show intentions with WRAS, awww shucks, ma’am style:

I am thrilled to be back in radio and hope you’ll join me to meet extraordinary people, hear important ideas and explore the rich arts and cultural work being done in Atlanta and Georgia. It should be fun; it should be illuminating, and if I do it right, it should make us all just a little more aware of what a remarkable place we live in.

Beware a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Nigut is merely an old media bully worming his way into a place, space and time where he is not wanted because he believes his own hype, and is still in love with the sound of his own voice, and has sorely missed hearing it bellowing hither and yon from whatever Atlanta microphone he can grab first before anyone else has a chance to get there. Everyone knows this, because they’re watching it happen. In real time, more or less, given the enduring popularity of the #SaveWRAS hashtag.

GPB stole programming out of the mouths, minds and hearts of numerous Georgia State University students, and took it for a very select, very few one old media talking heads. No one’s believing a wisp of spin put on the matter by anyone at GSU or GPB leadership. They’re operating in an echo chamber, as that deafening sound you don’t hear anywhere in Atlanta is anyone other than Bill Nigut and Teya Ryan themselves coming to their own sorry little defense of what they’ve done to raid WRAS.

The best thing Bill Nigut can possibly do for his rapidly fraying Georgia media legacy, and trust me, he surely thinks he’s still got a shot at one, is to give the programming of WRAS back to the kids of GSU. Now.

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Student Press Law Center Questions Legitimacy of GSU/GPB Agreement To Run WRAS

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The Student Press Law Center’s executive director, Frank LoMonte, has sent a blistering, scathing really, 5-page letter to Georgia State University president Mark Becker declaring GSU’s agreement (hammered out in great secrecy and urgency by GSU and GPB so GPB could grab GSU’s student-run station, WRAS, and hand it over to the grownups of GPB) essentially wrong on every possible level, and merely the paper result of ragingly arrogant and “tone-deaf,” possibly illegal, behaviors on the part of Becker. And some equally bad lawyerin’ on the part of the GSU attorney, Kerry Heyward.

From the letter:

Your (Becker’s) remarks as quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 7 are, quite frankly, contemptuous and tone-deaf. Your assertion that “anything with this level of complexity and this level of benefit really is not the kind of thing you can play out in a public forum” is exactly, 100 percent wrong. Things that are “beneficial” will be understood and welcomed by the people they are intended to benefit, unless you hold those people — your students — in such low regard that you believe they are incapable of being reasoned with.

LoMonte then goes on to urge GSU and GPB to not try to get rid of any of their documents associated with their agreement, as he’s gonna sue to the crap out of them. Possibly.

Take time to read the document in its entirety. The SPLC is making all the right legal moves to shut down not only poorly constructed legal agreements, but also, hopefully, the petite bourgeoisie criminals plaguing state organizations such as GPB and GSU. 

Free America

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On freedom.

During the tedium of kids’ long, weekend sporting events (the wait around to wait around parts) the team moms’ thoughts turn to… Edward Snowden, whistleblowing, and the NSA. Naturally enough! Well, not really, but it can happen every now and then.

After the subject was broached to me by another news-savvy mom, along the lines of: Edward Snowden – traitor or hero?, I realized framing the Snowden whistle-blowing saga in that way (traitor or hero?) has me in a bottleneck. As I simply cannot answer that question. As it is an infinitely vast issue I refuse to frame in that way – merely boiling infinity (moreorless) down to two simple choices and/or components.

But in the spirit of putting everything in their simplistic little boxes I will now say that I think of Edward Snowden as a dark angel. Sent to tell us Americans we are by no means free. Nor do we enjoy freedom. At all. And to pity the fool who thinks otherwise.

Where do we go now? As if we could answer THAT question.

A Piece Of One’s Own Action

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You know what’s a little scary? This is:

While visiting my bank today (and I’m not going to link to them because I truly don’t want to get my “personal” banker in trouble; he’s a good guy) I was surprised to see just how much our bank(s) know about us. And how much data they’re storing. And likely selling to whomever. Or heck, giving away too, to the Justice Department, just like Facebook, Google, AT&T, etc. And those are just a few of the server farms I “contribute” to.

During our sit-down today, my “personal” banker quietly turned his computer screen towards me, so that I could see everything on the screen too, as we went along with a seemingly innocuous bit of business.

Wow! That bank is keeping all kinds of information on me/us. They know a scary amount of stuff about my life over the time they’ve had me as a customer.

And they had a very nice, er, “content management system” for it all too. It’s all just one click away. For anyone with access to that “content management system.”

Dammit! I want a piece of my own action back.

Black Social Speaks

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Russell Simmons removes a (what I assume to be a parody) video regarding Harriet Tubman. And apologizes for offending sensibilities. Probably for the best. Black social slapped that stupid down, fast and hard.

If you need an explanation of “black social” then you probably need WaySouth Media’s consulting service

Loose DeKalb Lips Make Waves (Of Oppression) For AJC

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Ahoy! Botched metaphor. I know.

Loose lips might sink ships, circa 1942, but they never torpedoed any ships of journalism. To the contrary. Lip flappers, whistleblowers, gossips and media whores power and embolden entire journalism empires, causing ships to rise off of copy tides. Just look at the numbers for the Guardian empire lately. Off the charts!

Over in less high profile seas, say here down South, in today’s 1-minute news cycle there really is no such thing as a genuine “scoop” brought about by wildly exclusive information. Except when there (rarely) is, of course.

But don’t tell that to the powers-that-be at the AJC, as they’re lashing any remaining, hardworking reporter-bees left on their deck to the mast and thrashing them mightily, as punishment for having failed to sight enough scoops in their cruddy little scopes.

Two independent sources have now told me how Atlanta Journal & Constitution reporters, good ones, are being “written up” (or threatened with some type of disciplinary action) for failing to bring home the bacon fast enough. Failing to reel in genuine news “scoops.”

(“Scoops” being 100% exclusive 411 about specific, non-public events – but before the event occurs, allowing for a news organization to be first out of the gate on disseminating word of that particular news situation; to “own the story” in other words, something that’s increasingly hard to do in our hyper-connected world unless Edward Snowden or Julian Assange just happens to waltz by your office and dump raw intel on your desk. And “written up” being a documented threat by one’s superior to take away one’s job, rank, authority, paycheck and/or general livelihood should you, the super’s underling, not perform in some sort of, subjectively, better manner.)

Mark Winne at WSB-TV, for example, often gets genuine scoops about soon-to-be-made arrests by various Georgia law enforcement, and is thus frequently the first and only reporter in place for that classic, high-value video, law enforcement-enhancing moment – ye olde perp walk.

Of course it’s one of those open secrets in Atlanta old media circles that Winne’s brother is an FBI or GBI agent (I forget which agency) who tips his family member, Mark, off to lots of special events soon to happen. If that’s the case, they’ve had a lock on a good-visuals franchise for years now, and will continue at that game for as long as the gig works, I suppose.

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I Spy Scandals In ATL Media

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There are two lovely, slaphappy, public office-related messes playing-out right now in Atlanta you won’t want to miss a moment of: the APS cheating scandal and Governor Deal’s trail of dubious dealings.

Thing is, the media attentions applied to both situations are so random and all-over-the-place it’s like Dick Cheney on a quail hunt; you never know where the shots are coming from, nor what they’re going to hit.

There is no clearinghouse of information, so you’re bound to miss something… if you’re not paying close attention.

Investigative journalism is an odd bird. Although news farms like to say they get their content from some pristine well of hard work, that’s not really the case.

Most get their news from the other news farm down the street. And most scandals erupt because people are gossipy tattletales and can’t keep a secret.

And sometimes people will even tell a journalist if they’re a hardcore whistleblower with stuff like paperwork to flaunt, and not just your common trash-talker over at Manuel’s.

But ultimately, it’s up to a near-solo, working journalist to keep the fires of an investigative situation burning… with loads of  seasoned skepticism and doubt mixed-in with better-than-yours sources.

Says longtime, Atlanta investigative reporter, Jim Walls of Atlanta Unfiltered and the AJC :

The trick is to know your topic thoroughly, keep asking questions when things don’t add up, and sometimes even when they seem to. Focus on what people have done, not what they say they’ve done. And do not assume that the most likely explanation is correct, or at least 100% correct. There are nuances to everything.

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