Occasional reader – Jon Stewart, privacy and Fauxbama

Some interesting items from the last few weeks:

  • Jon Stewart’s pre-Oscar interview on Larry King Live (CNN) – This interview is a perfect example of why people like me are watching The Daily Show for news. Stewart is sharper and more analytical than most of the chattering classes on the cable networks and reporters on network news. In addition to politics, Stewart talks about the writers strike and the inanity of the core argument. (Whether writers should be compensated for online usage of their work.) Oddly, the podcast version I saw is 10 minutes longer than the version on CNN’s site.
  • The Anonymity Experiment (Popular Science) – Think you can hide from prying eyes? Think again. A Popular Science writer tries to avoid leaving a trace for a week. The piece looks at the myriad ways in which our movements can be tracked, including credit cards, Internet access logs, phone calls, email, security cameras and toll transponders. With the lack of effective privacy regulations and virtually no punishment for privacy breaches, American businesses have little incentive to protect consumers. All the incentives go in the other direction — collect, merge and sell as much data as you can. The government? They’re just as interested in collecting all these data. via Doris Truong
  • Did ‘SNL’ Go Beyond the Pale With Fauxbama? (Washington Post) – Paul Farhi looks at the decision to use a white/Asian actor to play Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live. Lorne Michaels responds that Fred Armisen was the best man for the job; critics counter that it’s ironic that at a time when an African American might be headed to the White House, SNL doesn’t do enough to develop black talent.
    Kudos to washingtonpost.com for embedding the video instead of making readers guess what is being talked about. It’s the first time I’ve seen an embedded hulu video player. Good video quality with related content post-roll. If you’re in the hulu beta, check out this video for Neutrogena Coin Slot cream. A lower quality version is embedded below. via Kimberly Davis

About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
This entry was posted in elections, journalism, media, privacy, reader, weekly reader. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Occasional reader – Jon Stewart, privacy and Fauxbama

  1. johnhendel says:

    That Jon Stewart interview was fantastic. I’m surprised he found the time amid all the Oscar prep. He seemed a little tired during the interview.

    The only part that surprised me (and disappointed me a little) was when he showed some vague semblance of support for McCain in the New York Times lobbyist article “scandal.” I chalk it up mostly to his unfamiliarity with the situation, but in the King interview he characterized it as a private woman thing that was brought up to smear him; in reality, it was tied to a broader ethical reality
    regarding the treatment of lobbyists and rhetoric versus action.

    Regardless, though, Stewart’s an absolutely awesome guy.

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