Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Internet killed the talk-show wuss

Ezra Klein has noticed an interesting shift in television talk-show guests, one which may bring balance to an industry dominated by Right-wing ideologues. Thanks to the ability of the Internet to distribute short videos very efficiently, the incentives for "playing nice" and not fighting back while some lying sleeze misrepresents you is rapidly disappearing.

Say you were going on Fox News (or whatever) a decade ago. And say you delivered a whipping to the host. The host, the show, and likely the network would be loathe to invite you back while, simultaneously, just about no one would ever know the beating you delivered. So you'd lose your channel into the media without any commensurate reward for your performance.

Conversely, for liberals going on television now, a smackdown of a conservative host can be distributed and replayed virtually endlessly [...] Suddenly, picking the fight has become a surer way to notoriety and name recognition than playing nice in hopes of an invitation back. And that's been a decidedly healthy shift.

It is too much to hope that it will lead to some actual intelligent debate on American television, but at the very least it will lead to some real balance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You guys are so funny, the left thinking their opinion counts.
Socilaism is is a mental disorder!
Take your meds!