Friday, February 13, 2015

The Surreal And Tragic Double Media Confluence Of The Past Week; Unreal Actually; Friday 415 Media Column

 It's been a surreal week; really, if they were to make a movie about what's transpired the past few days Hollywood wouldn't believe it. There'd be this reasoning that would emphatically state, no way! But fate said otherwise. It's really kind of shocking actually.

It began with the semi-tragic takedown of embattled and embarrassed Brian Williams who has probably lost a career in TV news journalism, at least at NBC. It too, while not involving life issues still leaves many thinking, "Could this have really happened? Why?!" Did we miss something? No, we didn't and haven't--matter of fact there's more to come, apparently.

In the same time and place, a late-night satirist; the genius Jon Stewart--who most of us take for granted, said he'd be leaving his post at Comedy Central. We all knew it was happening eventually, nevertheless the fact that it was official sent shockwaves over the entire media culture landscape. That it happened on the same day that Williams was sent packing made for ripe truth is stranger than fiction metaphors.

Then came back-to-back stunners. Real-life human tragedies. Bob Simon survived the Middle East battleground but couldn't survive a NY car accident. One of the most gifted and incredibly-talented media writers of our time, David Carr, collapsed inside the NY Times newsroom and died soon after at the hospital.

I was reading the print edition of the Times; Carr's piece on the bizarre confluence involving Williams and Stewart and I noticed a CNN headline crawl on my computer that Carr was dead. Unreal. Surreal.

This has been a tough week for American media. In a spate of a hundred or so hours we've lost four heavyweights in the industry; some due to no particular rhyme of reason, others; victims of the unknown and un-yielding entity called fate. It can be unkind too.

Ain't it strange.

*Follow me on Twitter


  1. Bob Simon was the kind of reporter in real life, that Brian Williams used to pretend to be.
    I never heard of David Carr, but I heard he wrote a book about facing addictions. He seems to have been at the end of a long debilitating ailment, whatever it was.
    Both the deceased work literally to the end. What will people like these two men do when their job is sourced out to robotics? For most of us men, our work IS our life, or at least an indispensible part the raison d'etre.

  2. There was also Ned Colt and Bob Hagar of NBC. Colt of a stroke, Hagar (aviation expert) a head-on collision.

    Important to note that Simon and Colt were two journos that were supposedly kidnapped in Iraq and subsequently released.

    Carr? C'mon Rich...ya gonna treat his death like Hastings? Carr fell ill and died suddenly mere hours after interviewing Snowden.

    Someone must really like Brain Williams else he'd have a real tragedy to deal with like these men...

    If there's any connection to any of these, its TPTB letting their controlled liars know if they don't stick to the script you may not make it home for dinner.

    And if you don't believe that, then I guess you believe the b.s. about Michael Hastings 'accident' as well.

    Chill effect, still in effect..

    1. Robert Hager is still alive.

  3. Hager is o.k. Wife suffered the worst of a head-on collision where a car crossed the center line. the report I saw had no news on the other driver.

  4. Adding to the strange confluence of media deaths (real and career-related) this week, here's another one: Gary Owens, of Laugh-In fame, died today at age 80. He had suffered from diabetes since childhood. Aside from punching his ticket at a number of L.A. radio stations (most notably KMPC), he also worked up here at KEWB back in the early 60's.

  5. Stan Chambers from KTLA also died this morning. Plenty of BA newscrews knew or worked with Stan in his 63 years with KTLA.

    I hope Stan didn't die sad after the events this week.

    Stan was a true professional.

  6. Can we talk about The Neck?

    Or does only David Carr's ex tailor know?

  7. The thing with Williams? My take is that with his raised eyebrow affectation and head shake when he talked,...he without a doubt thought he was a debonair anchorman and 007 all in one. Only he didn't have any military service,nor did any personal reporting of intrigue.
    So,to fit his own self image he needed to say he survived 'Nam,you might say..a war tale.
    He even began to believe it..that's why he was caught. He repeated it once too often.

  8. You would be hard pressed to find a better writer and story teller than Bob Simon today. I don't think anyone comes close. If there is anyone that todays upcoming journalists need as a mentor or someone to mimic it would be Bob Simon. He earned his stripes, no one comes close! -30-

  9. No disrespect to the passing of the local news men, but stick to what's pertinent here and what is perhaps lucidly implied here with the original post.

    .Rich, find out for yourself if this next bit of news is true:

    Williams along with Colt, Carr and Simon started an independent video company a month ago and filed the proper security clearances to the Kremlin for some extremely sensitive Russian data on various terrorist activities.

    Not sure of the Kremlin access or even if that could be verified. But I'm thinking the company these men started could be, and should be verified, for the sake of finding out what the hell is actually going on.

  10. Yahoo carried the story of Lou Dobbs laughing all the way through a reading of Brian Williams other claims on a linked conservative website. Maybe they weren't true,he lied. But they were nothing hilarious, I know that. So,I make the comment on that conservative website that Lou Dobbs once said somebody shot up his house. I also said that the only person who would shoot up his house is crazy Lou Dobbs.
    That,they deleted.
    So,now you know why all the comments are one sided.