T Dog’s Think Tank: The Naive and the Stupid

Welcome to “The Naive and the Stupid”, the newest soap opera about the changing media world and those who are too stupid to understand it….

I usually don’t write two Thinks Tanks in one day (writing just three posts a day is tough enough), but this story must be told… Yours truly goes on the Internet and explains about the future of media and how this business operates. And guess what? He’s criticized for his thoughts, from people who don’t know anything about the business, especially people making drive-by potshot comments, dispensing ignorance more than knowledge.

Phil Rosenthal had a story online in the Tribune on Sunday regarding the weak network upfronts and the English-language networks’ slipping ratings performance. But below that was a short blurb on a hire Weigel Broadcasting made for its Chicago stations. A clueless poster in the comments section ripped the decision, making all kinds of false inaccuracies about the station. So I corrected him, and I explained how many local station owners are strapped for cash, and how the television and radio business are becoming more and more irrelevant through changing media habits – especially among adults 18-34, and the media companies’ own screw ups.

And it was on. And I mean Richie Sexson charging the mound and hitting the pitcher with his helmet on. The poster launched a personal attack against me, being a smart ass in asking me why did hire the guy (how the hell I’m supposed to know? Ask them!) Subsequent posts became nastier. I tried to explain to him what goes on in this business, but all he was interested in was bashing Weigel and some washed-up sportscaster on the station. This poster clearly lacks intelligence, since now I guess computers are not just for smart people anymore, as President Bush owns one. This jerk apparently didn’t bother to read my posts, preferring to stay in his 1960s fantasy world of media, where a lot of people (including the RIAA and other media executives) still reside in. This guy obviously is so stupid, he can’t tell the difference between a television and a toaster.

(Yes, that’s me: “T Dog from Chicago” posting on the comments page on the Tribune, apparently for the last time. Now yours truly would never be a cheerleader for a local TV or radio station. If that were the case, I’d shut this blog down right now. I’ve been critical on everything as big as WBBM-TV to locally-owned rimshotter Nine-FM.)

I’ve should’ve known better to post on a forum when the only thing 90 percent of posters on the Tribune and Sun-Times comments pages know is “Cubs suck”, “White Sox suck”, “so-and-so politician sucks”, and “Get rid of Rex Grossman.” (seriously, he should go.) Most people who post on these mainstream media forums are – well, let’s just say very, very stupid. So why am I wasting my time there since most people there can’t comprehend or understand anything? You think the people who comment on Feder’s and Rosenthal’s columns would at least know something about TV and radio. But that’s not always the case. TV Barn’s Aaron Barnhart turned off his comments function on his blog recently, though for somewhat different reasons. I won’t be doing that on this blog, since hardly anyone posts on here anyway (UPDATE: AB recently returned comments to his blog, but moderated.)

And it’s not the first time yours truly has been bashed by simpletons. I was ripped by Drudgies back in November on TV Week’s comments page. I posted on the Tribune a few months ago that newspapers are dying. Again, ripped by most people on the comments page. A month ago, I ripped into the Sun-Times on its own website. Two clowns mocked me there.

When I tell people the reality of the business, they want to shoot the messenger. Why rip on me? Because no one wants to hear the truth? Because some people want to still live in their fantasy world and pretend things never change? Of course. Big Media brainwashes these people thinking the media world is never going to change. But it is. And it’s happening right now. If you speak the truth about this business, be prepared to encounter a lot of closed-minded individuals.

I’ll say this again: If you think I’m overrated, that’s fine. If you are not impressed with my work, or my knowledge of this business, or my blog, that’s also fine. If you agree or disagree with me and my views, no problem. But if you want to assail me for telling you what goes on in this business and the harsh realities facing it, then you’re out of line. What pisses me off is when I explain the logistics of this business and someone comes along with a snarky comment about something else. It’s like explaining how Sidney Crosby gets the puck in the net and someone replies asking who is he dating. It is real frustrating.

And about the name-calling – I call them as I see them. I call a spade a spade. If you are going to rip on me, then I’ll rip right back. It’s only fair. I admit it’s not professional, but it’s fair. When you make a stupid comment online about this business, I’ll call you out on it (though more than likely, just correct you.) I’m really a nice guy, but get on my wrong side – watch out.

If you want to talk about media, here are some sites I personally recommend: Chicagoland Radio and Media, PI Feedback, Radio-Info and Radio-Insight. TVNewstalk is another good board, and if you live in Michigan or Ohio (around Toledo), Michigan Buzzboard is the place you want to go. If you want to talk about media-business issues, this is where you go, without interference from outsiders (you’ll find all of these on The Sidebar at the right.)

So to sum it all up, those living in denial about the changes in this business are fooling no one but themselves. The media business is changing. Deal with it. For those of you who want to ask questions on trivial issues like why such and such got hired, there’s a spot for you at the next presidential debate hosted by ABC News.

Will the future of media continued to be shaped by the nation’s young people who are changing the way we consume our media through receiving content from the Internet, cell phones and video-on-demand, rendering the traditional way media is delivered obsolete? Or will it controlled by dinosaurs who still live in 1965 and try to wish the way we get content back into the stone age? For all of this and more, tune in tomorrow for the next episode of “The Naive and the Stupid!”