Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time Magazine - Nov 10 & Oct 6 Issues

This is very much a hodgepodge posting, but below are links to some interesting articles I've come across in Time Magazine, but haven't posted about previously...

November 10 2008 Issue

Time's "Invention of the Year" piece highlighted the various product breakthroughs from in the last year. In the purely entertaining category, the list included the online video "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon and starring Neil Patrick Harris. The 43-minute 3-part musical has since crossed over from mere online video to now having a DVD in the works.

On the more serious front, Time's #1 Invention of the Year is a $399 DNA test that people can use to determine their susceptibility to various genetic diseases. While the test (and current science behind available to the consumer gene testing) has it's detractors, it's still a fascinating concept from the Google-backed startup 23andMe.

October 6 2008 Issue

Contained in this issue of Time was a profile of Michelle Obama, wife of now President-elect Barack Obama (whom I've written about a few times). Written by Curtis Sittenfeld, author of the novels "Prep" and "American Wife" (a fictional look at the life of current first lady Laura Bush that I previously reviewed), it's a fascinating look at this woman now very much in the public eye.

Also in this issue was a James Poniewozik commentary about the ABC Television show "The View" and what it provides to the public. The opinion piece makes the interesting assertion that "The View" is good television precisely because of it's inherent bias.

Poniewozik's point is that watching the show you know where each member of the panel comes from... and how they likely feel about Democrats or Republicans among other topics. As a result of this, people watching the show are able to listen to very different perspectives... while knowing whatever preconceived notions might be behind those views.

This becomes particularly interesting to me when you consider the oft-made argument that the media is biased towards a particular political party. My feeling is that I don't agree with this argument because I think that the media is not a large entity (like "The Borg" from Star Trek), but rather an collection of writers and broadcasters all of whom have their own particular feelings and leanings.

I think we can expect our network news anchors to come across as completely objective, but don't think we need to ask that of each and every person reporting information to us. Thus... you have the interesting dynamic that "The View" provides.