Wilco in Chicago [Testing Y! Media player]

Lucas Gonze is giving a presentation on the just-launched Yahoo! Media player today at SF Music Tech Conference. I’m not there but just glanced at his online powerpoint and remembered that I have yet to check out the player!

Let’s test it out right here, with a cut from the last set of Wilco’s historic 5-night run at the Riviera in Chicago this month.

Wilco – Muzzle of Bees w/ Andrew Bird

Check out the rest of the show at I am Fuel.

I had a tricky time getting the htrack microformat to work and eventually gave up (on second thought I think this was due to some issues with the Firefox 3 Beta I was testing it on). However, I now see that there is a WordPress Plugin that might make it even easier.

Cubs Land Fukudome; ’08 Year of the Cub

fukudome will be a chicago cub in 2008 and beyond world seriesThe Chicago Cubs had one distinct goal this off-season and Wednesday morning they will announce mission accomplished.

30-year-old left-handed outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is Chi-town bound after agreeing with the Cubs to a reported 4-year, $48 million contract.

fukudome chicago cubs babyFukudome is everything that Corey Patterson never was and further indicates the Cubs organization’s newfound understanding that top talent on the farm (see Wood, Prior, Guzman) ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For Japanese baseball stars who’ve come to America, the results have been awesome. Suzuki. Matsui. Dice-K. Okajima.

I went to the awesome World Baseball Classic nearly two years ago and — while I primarily remember Japan’s incredible pitchers — Fukudome stood out as well, and not just because his name is so badass.

After Japan won the WBC championship, Fukudome returned to play for the Chunichi Dragons and turned out an MVP season, batting .351 with 31 homers and 104 RBIs.

This is exciting — and Lou can make it happen. I imagine Hendry making a couple more moves — pitching-wise — someone who could stay healthy all year. I don’t want to sit through another spring watching Guzman, Prior, and Wood go through the motions only to find out that they’re arms are bunk (and Kerry, yes, you’ve regained my faith — for now).

Cubs in ’08.

Jack Fuller on Free Expression Theory and the Tribune’s ‘Waterboarding’ Blunders

When Jack Fuller pens an op-ed in the Tribune criticizing the media, it’s worth taking note. Fuller was the president of Tribune Company’s publishing group until late 2004 after working his way up through the reporting ranks and editing ranks over 30+ years at the Tribune.

But I couldn’t help but note the irony today, that soon after listening to On the Media‘s lead piece examining newspapers’ definition of “waterboarding” — I stumbled upon Fuller’s “News sells more opinion, at cost of sincerity” in the Trib.

“The concern with large news media corporations has been that they would stifle diversity of political opinion,” wrote Fuller. He picks on MSNBC’s and FOX News’ commercialization of political opinion slanted “toward whatever attracts a crowd.”

Now, with the fragmentation of media and audience, there is no clear commercial argument against presenting the news with a point of view.

But there remains an atmosphere of politicization and “stifling” in print, take for example the Chicago Tribune’s definition of “waterboarding” as explained on the aforementioned On the Media very uncomfortably and definisively by deputy editor Randy Weissman:

Our official definition is — effective today — “an interrogation technique that simulates drowning a prisoner, comma, creating the sensation of imminent death.”

OK. Just as inefficient a definition as the New York Times (“simulated drowning”) or the LA Times (“an interrogation technique simulating drowning that dates to the Spanish Inquisition”) but its his awkward defense that seems to reveal political motivation behind using “simulate” and “sensation.”

Weissman:

Simply put, if you look in Webster’s, drowning is death, and waterboarding would only fit that definition if, if the prisoner died. Ask most people if a person drowns what happens, you — I would be willing to bet you that they would say he died.

Even after On the Media host Brooke Gladstone reiterated that drownING is the gerund and surely someone who is drowning can still be saved, Weissman blamed the politicization of the Trib’s semantics on Webster’s (where the gerund is not defined):

Well, I will go along with Webster’s New World Dictionary, which says “to die by suffocation in water or other liquid.”

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