Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weird interview techniques

I have been watching a lot of FOX, CNN and MSNBC lately. And I cant help point out the peculiar way they conduct their interviews. Your average discussion goes something like this.

Anchor: Thank You so much for joining us.

Political pundit: Its good to be with You.

Anchor: Well its a real pleasure to have you on our show.

Political Pundit: Well thank you for having me on.

Then there is a slight pause.

Anchor: Well, thanks so much for coming on.

Political Pundit: It was my pleasure.

Anchor: Its always good to have you on.

Political Pundit: I enjoyed it !

Anchor: Come back anytime now.

Political pundit: You bet.

They spend more time meeting and greeting than they do discussing the topic. My advice, get on with the bloody interview.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm back blogging

Its great to be back blogging. Exams went well and its a return to daily posting for me. I have lots to catch up on. Ireland has a new Defence Minister and violence has flared up on the West Bank for the first time in 8 years. The continued building of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem came to a head in recent weeks culminating in the Joe Biden incident in Jerusalem and Obama's snubbing of Bibi Netenyahu in Washington. It has been a truly remarkable week for Barack Obama. He finally managed to push through his massive health care reform bill before agreeing a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Moscow. He rounded it all off with a surprise trip to Afghanistan where he met with under fire Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as US troops. These are all issues and incidents I want to discuss in detail over the next few days. Perhaps most interestingly though I want to inform my readers about the recent spats I have gotten into with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, an Irish based organisation that promotes what I consider to be extreme views in this country. Be warned, its not pretty. This is all to come. In the meantime watch Obamas speech to US troops at Bagram military base, Afghanistan.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Photo of the Day

During a visit to the new Wax Museum on College Green I bumped into former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

70 Years Ago Today 29/03/40

Germany: Hitler publicly orders that priority be given to transporting arms to the Russia. In truth he is privately planning an enormous invasion of the USSR.

Washington: President Roosevelt refuses to recognise the puppet Japanese government in Nanking China.

Britain: Churchill announces in a broadcast that Britain has no quarrel with the Soviet Union but "will follow the war wherever it leads".

Ottawa: Prime Minister William Mackenzie is reelected by a massive margin. His decision to sent troops to Europe immediately on the outbreak of war has proved popular.

Denmark Strait: The armed British Merchant Cruiser HMS Transylvania intercepts and confronts the German Merchant Ship Mimi Horn. The German crew scuttle her. The British Cruiser HMS Transylvania, above, cornered and Sunk the Mimi Horn on this day 70 years ago.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cowen in The Situation Room

The contrasting worlds of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and CNN's Wolf Blitzer are two that I never imagined coming together. Check out Brian Cowen's performance in The Situation Room on St Patrick's day when he gets grilled on issues such as Irish Unification, the economy, Islamic terrorism in Ireland and sex scandals in the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm slowing down

My rate of posts that is ! Apologies for my lack of posts lately folks. I have my exams coming up in a couple of weeks and studying for them is taking up most of my time. I'm not going to give up altogether because the blogosphere helps keep me sane during these times but I only expect to manage two or three posts a week until the end of this month.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Obama Gets Some Advice

I have to say, Dan Akroyd is thoroughly unconvincing as Jimmy Carter.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Photo of the Day

This is the rather disturbing image I snapped earlier today near Trinity College. You know it is St Patrick season when you start seeing things like this on the street

Monday, March 1, 2010

70 Years Ago Today 1/3/40

Berlin: The so called Phony War may be coming to an end. On this day 70 years ago Adolf Hitler informs his generals that he intends to invade Scandinavia within the next month.

Paris: Anti aircraft guns drive Luftwaffe reconnaissance planes away from the city.

Britain: It is estimated that two thirds of Britain's adult population are tuning in every night to hear Lord Haw Haw's anti British broadcasts from Hamburg. There is much confusion at this early stage as to the identity of the British traitor.
British Fascist William Joyce's broadcasts from Germany are a cause for concern in Britain.

Mad Media Exposed

I love the US media. I can't get enough of it. But let me clarify. I don't watch it for its quality or to keep up to date with world events. I watch it because it is entertaining. I consider Fox News and MSNBC in particular to barely even be Media outlets. They are in fact in the entertainment industry. It is all about ratings with these cable giants. All they are interested in is generating controversy in order to improve ratings. Hence the comical personalities and the fake controversies. These businesses work like any other. They have examined the marketplace and identified their target. Then they simply play to that audience. Fox News of course targets the politically right, MSNBC the left. That is my opinion anyway. However I have always found it difficult to articulate my dislike of the American media because as I said in my opening sentence, I love it. So listen to Charlie Brooker instead. The Guardian journalist does a far better job than I ever could at illustrating the bizarre and crass world of cable news. Enjoy this great clip.