. Interchanging Idioms: January 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Should you be listening to Fox News?

The danger in getting news from Fox News is the perception that what you hear is the truth. In April 2015, the CEO of Fox News admits they are not in the news business, but in the entertainment business.  Fox News is registered with the FCC, not as news, but as entertainment. 

There are a number of reasons for this, one being entertainment programming outperforms news programming. So, in terms of advertising dollars, Fox News does better as entertainment. But, another aspect of being entertainment rather than being news is the requirements set by the FCC. The FCC requires news outlets to be able to substantiate 45% of their news content. This means they have to employ staff to find the sources to corroborate what they report as fact on their broadcast. By not registering as news, Fox can do away with the staffing needs to substantiate what they say. This doesn't mean what they say isn't true, they just haven't done the due diligence to back it up.

According to the 2006 report by The Project on Excellence in Journalism sixty-eight percent of Fox News stories contained personal opinions. MSNBC came in at twenty-seven percent and CNN at four percent.  Even the self-described conservative, Bruce Bartlett argues that Fox News is bad for politics. In his paper titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics,” he says:

"...it can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth."

Even emails released from with the organization point to daily influence of senior executives as to the slant of stories. There is clearly an agenda by the Fox News organization and it isn't reporting the news.

With the recent scandal of blatantly fake news reports proving to be very lucrative, it appears that Fox News is already ahead of the curve, realizing it can make more money by reporting slanted stories with no concern as to the factual validity. They have gained a huge viewership by peppering just enough actual news into their broadcast, mixed with the sensationalist stories that people find entertaining, to be a very profitable business. But, it is not news. By their own definition, they are not news.

I am in favor of entertainment, but it should be labeled honestly. Calling itself "News" is deceptive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pacific Symphony to Make its Carnegie Hall Debut for a Special Program Dedicated to one of Today’s Most Fascinating and Pre-Eminent Composers, Philip Glass

Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, has been invited to perform for the very first time at one of the world’s most prestigious venues, Carnegie Hall in New York City, in honor of one of today’s leading composers, Philip Glass. Joining them will be Pacific Chorale, also appearing at Carnegie Hall for the first time. One of America’s most revered composers, Glass is Carnegie Hall’s 2017-18 composer-in-residence, where he holds the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. With this season-long residency by Glass, Carnegie joined a yearlong celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday, presenting performances that feature his classics and premieres. As part of the residency, orchestras from across the United States were invited to submit programs featuring important works by Glass in illuminating contexts. Pacific Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra were the two orchestras chosen, in part by Glass himself, to perform during Carnegie’s upcoming season. Both orchestras emerged among competitors with what Carnegie called “very compelling programs.”

Pacific Symphony makes this significant debut on Saturday, April 21, 2018, when Glass’ famous collaborations with the Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar will be honored during a program that spotlights “Meetings Along the Edge” from “Passages,” a piece Glass recorded with Shankar, whom Glass first met in India in 1965. The eight-minute movement was composed by Glass on a theme of Shankar in 1990. Also on the program is the 40-minute “Concerto No. 3 for Sitar and Orchestra” by Shankar, which was written on commission from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and premiered in 2009 by his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, who will perform with Pacific Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

The final work on the program will be the New York premiere of “The Passion of Ramakrishna”—a work of quiet intensity and unforgettable power—scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra to celebrate the life of this incredible Hindu holy man. Mixing Eastern and Western traditions, Glass’ heroic musical homage paints an exquisite symphonic and choral picture of India emerging from centuries of foreign domination. The epic, 45-minute piece was commissioned by Pacific Symphony and given its world-premiere on Sept. 16, 2006, as part of the grand opening of the orchestra’s then-new home, the RenĂ©e and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Gramophone magazine reviewed the Symphony’s 2012 recording of the work, praising it as Glass’ “most thoughtful and inventive recent piece.”

Local Pacific Symphony enthusiasts will have the opportunity to hear the orchestra perform this concert in Orange County on April 12-14, 2018. Single tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance go on sale August 28 at CarnegieHall.org. In addition, Pacific Symphony will announce a patron trip to cheer on the orchestra in New York later this spring.