Strong Piece of Reportage

I found this to be a particularly nice piece of prose from this Rolling Stone dispatch by Matt Taibbi:

“Bank of America should have gone out of business back in 2008. Just as the mortgage market was crashing, it made an inconceivably stupid investment in subprime mortgages, acquiring Countrywide and the billions in potential lawsuits that came with it. ‘They tried to catch a falling knife and lost their hand and foot in the process,’ says Joshua Rosner, a noted financial analyst. It then spent $50 billion buying a firm, Merrill Lynch, that was rife with billions in debts. With those two anchors on its balance sheet, Hugh McColl’s bicoastal dream bank should have gone the way of the dinosaur.

But it didn’t. Instead, in the midst of the crash, the government forked over $45 billion in aid to Bank of America – $20 billion as an incentive to bring its cross-eyed bride Merrill Lynch to the altar, and another $25 billion as part of the overall TARP bailout. In addition, the government agreed to guarantee $118 billion in Bank of America debt.”

Touché.

Posted in Letters | Leave a comment

Digital overtakes cable TV ad spend

In a report published yesterday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital ad revenue climbed to nearly $32 billion in the US for 2011, up 22% from 2010.

What’s more, that puts digital second in spending only to broadcast TV, moving the medium ahead of cable TV for the first time, and providing what is perhaps a harbinger of what’s to come.

“Online advertising revenues (for the US), which include mobile advertising, also reached a new high last year, with a total of $31.74 billion, a 22 percent increase over $26 billion in 2010. Sherrill Mane, the senior vice president for research, analytics and measurement at the (Interactive Advertising Bureau), said the year-end numbers represented “a return to growth rates comparable to pre-recession levels.”

The annual revenue total represents the first time the industry has broken the $30 billion mark, putting digital ad revenue right between cable advertising revenue ($30 billion in 2011), and broadcast ad revenue ($38.5 billion), according to the report.”

Noteworthy news for all who play in the sandbox.

Posted in Media | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Super PACs & Citizens United

There’s a renewed fervor for creating more transparency in political ad spending, and rightly so. Since the debacle that is Citizens United (Citizens United vs. FCC), corporations, as Mitt Romney puts, have become people too.

And that ain’t right.

There is a momentum building amongst some groups to at least put a burden on Super PACs to reveal the money behind the often negative messaging they put out to the market. Currently, all of the slams – mostly on President Obama, and they’re just beginning – are completely anonymous. It’s a problem, and an ugly one.

One of the tenets of analytical thought is to consider your source. By eliminating the ability for our electorate to conduct such a basic analysis, Citizens United has blinded our democracy.

According to the Times, a couple of groups are working to remedy this. As the Supreme Court won’t hear the issue until long after the next election cycle, media monitoring organizations are confronting the issue via existing means.  Free Press and ProPublica are working to leverage an existing law that requires local broadcasters to disclose the identities of those who buy political advertisements.

Naturally, broadcasters feel this warrants “an unnecessary burden for local stations and would have ‘no clear public benefit.’ ” And they’re lobbying hard, currently, to amend the law. Personally, I feel like less pitchforks and angry mobs, an informed electorate and a participatory democracy would be a rather clear public benefit.

Posted in Media | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tweet week!

  • @maddow – Santorum (after speech) = republicrat? #
  • @MMFlint – how did Santorum capture some kind of "republicrat" narrative? What a croc. #
  • #iacaucus #SantoruMentum = Republicrat #
  • @chrislhayes – Santorum has evolved into a fully formed evolution of a candidate – the elusive Rebublicrat – a species w/ no dominant trait. #
  • @fakedansavage – BREAKING: Republicrats have become officially dangerous to the health of Iowans. #

Powered by Twitter Tools

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment