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CSotD: A Brief Discursion into the Real World

Less is more, and John Deering (Creators) has, IMHO, the best take on Andrew Cuomo because he isn’t dancing on the political grave or even pushing Cuomo into it.

Nor is he going on about the statistics on nursing home deaths, a scandal that wouldn’t have disappeared but would likely have been more of a campaign issue than a cause for beheading.

Where people die is a fraught statistic, starting with things as simple as the fact that you’re more apt to die of certain things at a major medical center than at a small local hospital, because, when the folks at the little hospital realize they can’t help you, they transport you to the med center which can’t help you either but you’re still alive when you get there.

Upon further review, it seems someone messed with the nursing home death stats more than that, however, and, although you can’t assume Cuomo had direct knowledge of how screwed up they were, a fish stinks from the head.

But you can’t blame his staff for his flirtations or harassments or assaults or whatever they were. That’s completely on him.

There is a temptation to suggest that, for a sexual predator, he certainly wasn’t very good at it, but that’s not my point except to the extent it is.

We live in a world, after all, where one person loses a Senate seat over an old gag photo in which he pretended to be a predator, while another can have affairs with strippers and Playboy models and become President of the United States.

There’s a saying among college presidents that, if you treat your A-student well, he’ll say nice things about you at commencement, while, if you treat your C-student well, he’ll build you a dormitory.

There should be something similar said about lovers, and, come to think of it, there is: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

And an inept suitor, which is not only a burden on the women around you, but makes you unnecessarily vulnerable.


Ezra Klein wonders why everyone cares so much, and he’s on to something: Here we are nearly next door to Albany, and Chris Sununu, our governor and another second-generation political figure, has been on New Hampshire Public Radio at least once a week with long, detailed press conferences about the coronavirus.

The national press never gave a damn what he had to say.

There also seems cause for some whataboutism here, as Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh suggests;

It was Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who led the fight to bring down Al Franken over that stupid photograph.

Meanwhile, Cawthorn is a liar and a predator and a GOP Golden Boy.

And for all the pearl-clutching over the Access Hollywood tape and Stormy Daniels and Karen MacDougal, the Republicans and their voting base don’t give a damn what their leaders do with or to women.

I agree with Radosh that Democrats are correct to call for Cuomo’s resignation.

But if they held every clueless dinglefritz in their party accountable for his interpersonal skills, we’d have a government entirely run by GOP C-students like Trump and Cawthorn.

We may be headed that direction anyway, but if the GOP isn’t going to weed their own garden, the Democrats shouldn’t break a leg hastening the process on their side.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Signe Wilkinson – AMS)

(Bruce MacKinnon – Halifax Chron)

The dust-up in Australia over Facebook and Google profiting from hits on news stories has brought the topic to the fore in the US and Canada, too.

I don’t disagree, but part of political cartooning is reducing complex issues to simple graphics and there’s a lot of that going on in both these pieces.

There’s no doubt Facebook is profiting from people who read news on its site without having to pay for it. In a fair and just world, Zuck might pay a little back out of gratitude.

And monkeys might etc etc

Facebook doesn’t advertise itself as the place to read the news, nor do they compile news under a particular heading.

They make the same profits from a Pulitzer-level report from a newspaper that they do from a TikTok of a dog walking a tightrope or a pic of your cousin’s dinner.

It’s your engagement that generates Facebook profits, not what you are engaged with. Advertisers want you to be there. They don’t care what you’re looking at, as long as you see them, too.

Oh, and the newspaper gets the same click, whether you go there directly or through Facebook. Which brings us here:


Michael de Adder‘s commentary on the phenomenon is similar, but with — intentionally or not — a crucial difference.

First of all, he’s wrong. Facebook charges businesses who want to advertise, but if you want to tell all your friends that you had a terrific dinner at Le Doggie Bagge, they don’t have to pay Facebook for your plug.

And ask some musicians how they feel about Spotify and Facebook and YouTube and so forth. While you’re eating at Le Doggie Bag, that background music is licensed by BMI and they’re paying to play it.

What you stream on your phone isn’t generating anything like that for the recording companies.

Now let’s talk about those cupcakes the people are grabbing for free.

They’re only there because the newspaper company keeps restocking the tray.

For the record, I like media that give you maybe five hits a month before the paywall comes down, but only a few places have that figured out.

And I have no sympathy for clueless newspaper companies. I fought that war too long.

In circ/mkting, we got two directives from Corporate: (1) Draw clicks by putting everything on line with no paywall, and (2) increase the number of paid subscribers.

It was like managing a fast-food restaurant where people had to pay to eat in the dining room but the food was free at the drive-thru, and we were the ones who would get fired if profits didn’t climb.

I bailed before they handed me the cardboard box.

My boss stayed, but he wasn’t surprised when it happened.

As for Zuck, he’s just playing the system.

As Ann Landers used to say, nobody can take advantage of you without your permission.


(Badfinger will probably get about .0001 cents for this.)

Community Comments

#1 Ignatz
@ 9:03 am

It’s tough, but content providers aren’t making money because of plain old Supply and Demand. The supply of content is effectively infinite, so content is worth about as much as a leaf in November, and for the same reason. And if Facebook doesn’t do it, somebody else will.

What was scarce was never content itself, but shelf space and the ability to access it. Information is simply not like a physical object, and everybody now has the equivalent of shelf space, and everybody can access it.

And if Facebook COULD provide access to infinite doughnuts for no money, Dunkin’ Doughnuts would have a big problem. And their problems wouldn’t be Facebook’s fault, but technology’s fault.

Content providers are just going to have to find a new business model, and a new way of making money..

#2 William Ramwell
@ 11:49 am

I’ve said it before: the answer is micro transactions. Pay pennies per article. They will soon mount up, trust me.

#3 Mike Beede
@ 10:28 pm

I have to disagree—content is *not* free, it’s just easy to republish. It costs a lot to generate, because you need people to collect the information … we used to call them “journalists” … and you need people to edit the content so it has some level of quality, and most importantly you need someone to dig a bit to get the actual NEWS.

Of course, you can just copy some company’s Press releases, or whatever the government says. Those *are* free. And worth every penny.

I notice that the local TV News Twits have a segment where they READ STUFF FROM TWITTER AND FACEBOOK. Now *that* seems like some hard-hitting reportage. Almost as hard-hitting as when they read some company’s press release, like they seem to do almost every day that I happen to hear them.

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