Day: December 12, 2011

Iowan asks Perry: ‘Why do you hate gay people?’

The Raw Story

At the end of his event Sunday afternoon at a coffee house in Ames, Iowa, Texas Governor Rick Perry did not receive a warm endorsement from a few audience members.

Upset over his now infamous ad questioning gays in the military, one audience member decided to offer Perry his true feelings on him, according to the Des Moines Register.

“Why do you hate gay people?” he shouted.

Another member of the audience told the GOP presidential candidate to “Go back to Texas.”

Perry did not take questions at the event and hurriedly exited out the back door.

WATCH: Video from the Des Moines Register, which was published on December 11, 2011.

Twitter’s ‘major’ redesign: 4 talking points

I haven’t quite gotten the hang of Twitter, but I do tweet from time to time.  I have to admit that watching folks who are really in to tweeting, really intimidates me.

I’m afraid of typing the wrong thing or forgetting the hash tags and every other thing a newbie would be anxious about.  I’ve had my account for two years but I rarely go on twitter unless a major event is happening and I want to get folks immediate reactions.  I must say, I’m learning a little more with each visit.

The Week

The fiercely-popular micro-blogging site rolls out a new look, hoping to woo users who were confused by the old interface

The tweets, they are a changing. This week, Twitter announced a“major” redesign of its popular micro-blogging service, in a move aimed at attracting new users and big brands with a simpler, more intuitive interface and more opportunities for companies to show off their stuff. The new look will be rolled out in the coming weeks across Twitter.com, Twitter apps, and TweetDeck. (Watch a video demonstration here.) Here, four things you should know:

1. It’s (supposed to be) easier for new tweeters
Twitter’s message to “newbies” here is “try it, you’ll like it,” says Stephen Shankland at CNET. Twitter execs say the big empty text box on the old site was alienating for first-time users, so now the emphasis is on helping newcomers find content that interests them. The new interface has several friendly tabs, and potentially confusing concepts like hashtags have been re-branded for new users with less threatening action verbs, like “discover.” A spokesperson says: “The new version of Twitter is a faster, simpler way to stay close to everything you care about.”

2. It’s also friendlier to brands and advertisers
Companies will be able to launch customized, branded pages and show embedded multimedia. Twitter says it’s aiming to be “an even more compelling destination” for companies. Experts caution that Twitter must be careful that it doesn’t “compromise users’ experience” by getting too cozy with businesses. “It may make Twitter’s members feel that its commercial interests are being put ahead of their own,” says one digital consultant.

3. Twitter is becoming more like Facebook
The branded pages “look like a blatant borrowing” from Facebook, says Paul Sloan at CNET. And that’s not the only part of the redesign reminiscent of Mark Zuckerberg and Co. While photos used to be a pain to tweet, they now handily appear as part of a tweet — sound familiar? “A big part of Facebook’s appeal — and something that keeps users coming back and sticking around — is that it’s an easy place to share and store your photos.” Now Twitter is, too. New profile pages are also very Facebook-like. This “redesign sends a clear message to the social networking universe: Facebook, we’re coming for you,” says the International Business Times.

4. Conversations are easier to follow
“One of the more annoying things about the old Twitter design was the inability for users to follow conversations easily,” says the International Business Times. No longer. Under the redesign, conversations and comments pile up beneath the original post. Yep, another Facebook-like move.

Frum: Fox News creates an ‘alternative knowledge system’

Given the recent data showing Fox News viewers are less informed than viewers who watch other news networks, it’s safe to say that David Frum is correct in his analysis that Fox News creates an alternative knowledge system

Raw Story

Conservative columnist David Frum, who was speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, blasted Fox News on Sunday for creating an “alternative knowledge system.”

In an article published by New York Magazine in late November, Frum had argued that conservative media like Fox News and talk radio “immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

In an appearance on CNN Sunday, Frum cited claims made on Fox News that President Barack Obama was proposing a “new Christmas tree tax,” something that was found by both The Florida Times-Union and PolitiFact Oregon to be not true.

“It fed into a story about this Muslim-y kind of president trying to destroy a Christian holiday,” Frum explained to CNN’s Howard Kurtz. “To make this a ground for a cultural conflict, to create a sense in large numbers of people they are being persecuted and attacked at a time when the country is in so much trouble, that’s how this thing is fed.”

“The question is what is the impact on the viewer?” he continued. “And we know, for example, that people that watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events. That’s a correlation that we know.”

Recent polling appears to back up Frum’s assertion.

Fairleigh Dickinson University found last month that “some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all.”

“For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors),” they wrote. “Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.”

Watch this video from CNN’s Reliable Sources, broadcast Dec. 11, 2011.