A Few Grim Truths About Media Right Now (and One Happy One)
Paul Deen and TV's Karaoke Economy Sadden Our Media Guy, but Stephen Colbert Saves the Day
As Ad Age's "Media Guy," it's technically my job to try to make sense of the media world. Sometimes it's not easy, but of course I stand on the shoulders of giants (including those of a certain Comedy Central host). Other times I wish I could stomp on the kneecaps of the media world's cretins, but I won't get into that right now. Anyway, here's a quick download of what I've figured out lately:
Stephen Colbert is America's greatest living cultural/media critic
Hands down. Part of the credit, of course, goes to the writing team on "The Colbert Report" (somehow already 6 years old and more essential than ever), but it's Colbert's pitch-perfect rendition of the "Stephen Colbert" character that makes his show's satire work so brilliantly night after night. There is no funnier or smarter (or more heartbreaking or depressing) deconstruction of the American scene -- particularly our fatally flawed political process, as signified by Colbert's Super PAC -- to be found anywhere else in the culture right now.
America's entertainment industry = the new Karaoke Economy
"China's products are popular, but rarely original," the journal of the British nonprofit Design Council declared in a 2007 piece titled "The Karaoke Economy." But if you read The New York Times' epic investigation last week headlined "How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work," you know why China gets to make so many of the world's state-of-the-art gadgets even if the ideas for them originated in, say, Cupertino. (Hint: It's not just about cheap labor; the sophistication of China's supply chain has left America's in the dust.)
What does the U.S. still make?
Read Simon Dumenco's full smart post on AdAge: