1. Comment says

    “No one else was putting Jonah Goldberg on the air when we started booking him years ago.”
    Howard Kurtz of Wapo

    (Irony unintended – Defending himself against charges from Politico that he runs a show filled with and endless parade of vacuous media types.)

  2. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Comment :

    Dennis has long resented Apple – but he is somewhat inelegant in his attempt to paint Apple as unhip and Google as hippie.

    Copies more cogent analysis elsewhere in the tech blogosphere. The argumentation is tame though compared to the 1980s core wars/flame wars about x86/Windows versus 68000/System across CompuServe, GENIE and other more technically sophisticated online venues. (And Joe Klein thought bloggers were ‘uncouth’).

    Those earlier discussions echoed Godwin’s Law ( a discussion becomes pointless when someone brings up the corporal). Religious fervor. The heat (if no light) came from a technical understanding. Much of the Apple vs Google stuff comes from blissfully non-tech types posturing about their emotional attachment to lifestyle brands.

    A yardstick that proves useful is when the poseurs begin ‘discovering something amazing’. For example, recall when Brian Williams et al. began hyping the Internet? And then with Tom Brokaw hosting those hilariously solemn ‘CEO summits’ where they asked Jeff Bezos how Amazon would solve the Balkans? Apple is now there.

    Apple doesn’t need to ‘beat’ Android or Windows. They’ve always been about high margins and control. And in an age of bewildering choices, Jobs soothes anxiety by eliminating that agony for a wealthy and very much vacant demographic. Just like a home designer helps people spend $65,000 on a bathroom and thereby affirms their style and taste. Apple just opened another temple for the Volvo and Uggs demo in Georgetown. Bullseye. IIRC that makes 9 in and around the D.C. area (counting Annapolis).

    This town is perfect for Apple. Recession-proof/war-related disposable income married to people with no aesthetic conviction and tremendous status insecurities. In fact, we’re kinda amazed they’ve only put in 9 stores. Starbucks puts them across the street from each other.

    This demographic doesn’t want freedom. Or choice. It wants validation. That they’re cool. In fact, this crowd will pay a fortune for that. It’s like BMW – a very profitable niche lifestyle consumer electronics brand. Except it’s a BMW that has decided to stop focusing on cars (desktop computers). Analysts are saying the stock should approach $400. Maybe 2010 is the apogee. Or maybe it’s still to come. But the parabolic curve has its own logic.

    How gentle the declining curve proves to be depends entirely on Apple’s ability to provide that psychological validation. That they can graze on their wealthy demo and stroke its passive craving to be reminded that they are cool. Is Apple more than Jobs and Ive? If so, they happily can extract high margins and leave the larger unorganized crowds (with lower margins) Android, etc. People will stroll Georgetown flashing their Apple bags like people used to do with Nordstroms.

    But it requires hits. Only one or two strikes allowed. Even Oracle’s Larry Ellison, on Apple’s Board, doesn’t believe Apple has it within itself to keep churning out thingamajiggs that can meet expectations even now, let alone when Jobs and Ive are absent.

    If Apple can’t deliver the ‘magical’ doohickeys reliably, they may soon find another truth about those aesthetically vacant, wealthy and insecure types. They will turn on you like a dime. Because it’s all about them, their self image and feelings.

  3. Dr Leo Strauss says

    He’s become a drinking game, unfortunately. ‘Let me be clear’, ‘make no mistake’, ‘slow the growth of Taliban momentum’, etc.

  4. Comment says

    Obama has been using the banalism “make no mistake” a bit too much these days – This . along with his “Twitters” comments – makes us wonder if Dubya spiked some drinks in the WH.

  5. Comment says

    It’s always suspicious when people like Dennis Kneale or Friedman or Dowd use unnamed sources for anecdotal points. One suspects they make some of this stuff up.

  6. Comment says

    Surprise that FNC has not launched a video game console too. You know like PS3 has Netflix, they could do something similar so as to capture an emerging audience.

  7. Inquire says

    Your thoughts welcome:

    “The plot for Fox News North, the tag applied to Quebecor’s new Sun Media news channel, was hatched at a lunch Prime Minister Stephen Harper had with Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes in New York on March 30, 2009, according to The Canadian Press…Also at the lunch was Harper’s communications director, Kory Teneycke, whose prior jobs were with the Mike Harris Conservatives in Ontario, the Reform Party and the Saskatchewan Party. He left the PMO a year ago to accept a contract with Quebecor to explore a Fox News-type channel for Canada. Teneycke currently directs the political coverage offered by Sun Media, the second largest newspaper chain in the country.”

    Winnipeg Free Press

    Tory insiders and behind-scenes lobbying pave path to new ‘Fox North’ launch is the wire article she refers to.

    Canada is going to be getting a broadcast mouthpiece for the Prime Minister’s office and his owners. We do not welcome this development.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Sorry to see this but not surprised. Fox News/News Corp is quietly exploring how to leverage its brand, branding expertise, etc. across a variety of sectors with partners – some that are so far removed from cable jabbering that the mere discussions might surprise people.

      Unfortunately for Canadian civil and intelligent discourse, what you shared here makes perfect sense. In February 2009, before the Tea Party effort, senior News Corp/Fox News (two distinct structural entities) proclaimed internally the cable channel to be the organizing force in Rightist politics over mere politicians, institutions, etc.

      Expect the same approach should the tv take root. Here in the States, they are rolling out Internet platforms hijacking social technology ideas for radicalized platforms. We’ll see if it works. The goal is to create a Fox-programmed ‘experience’ that seamlessly envelops a
      ‘member/viewer/subscriber’ from platform to platform, surrounded by the same vitriol, dishonesty and viral programming.

  8. Anon says

    Saw that a lot in Brazil during the dictatorship days. Apathy. Until the economy turned south.

    Sadly, if the trains run on time and there are jobs, most people don’t care that “troublemakers” get spied on. It would never happen to them, they naively think…

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