TiVo industry observer mathowie August 5, 2004 3:17 PM   Subscribe

So I'm putting around in my car about a half hour ago, listening to KYW newsradio in Philly, and a "Washington bureau" correspondent starts talking about how Tivo users can now share their shows. Cool, I'm thinking, some pretty mainstream exposure for TiVo. Then the reporter cuts to "industry observer mathowie"...
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to MetaFilter-Related at 3:17 PM (38 comments total)

...and suddenly the bored, somnolent, and yet authoritative tones of user #1 are coming out of my car radio, talking about TiVo! Weird collision of online and offline life, but very cool for Matt.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:17 PM on August 5, 2004

I take it you don't visit PVRlog?
posted by page404 at 3:49 PM on August 5, 2004

I got a weird email last night from someone at AP and called some reporter, but he never told me where it would show up. I gotta find a copy of that AP radio report.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:52 PM on August 5, 2004

I just got a copy of the snippet, and I was a bit surprised by what they used. Here's the whole story on that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:36 PM on August 5, 2004

I've gotten the impression that one should never talk to the press unless one deliberately speaks in self-contained impossible-to-misrepresent sound-bites. Sad, but true.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:43 PM on August 5, 2004

I just spent some time unsuccessfully googling for a Brad DeLong post where he quizes a reporter who called him about what the thesis of the story is, how the reporter plans to use DeLong's quotes, and recounts a Socratic dialogue where he stepped the reporter through an explanation of the difference between countercyclical and structural deficits—and then asked the reporter if he plans on ignoring the distinction in his article. The reporter decided not to use him as a source.

I'm sure that PR people and the like are trained to deal successfully with the media. But there should be (if there's not, but there probably is) a web site or something that is a primer on how to talk with the press and preemptively avoid being misrepresented.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:56 PM on August 5, 2004


(how's that?)
posted by PrinceValium at 5:01 PM on August 5, 2004

Love how he used mathowie instead of full name.
posted by adampsyche at 5:32 PM on August 5, 2004

Or, maybe he didn't, but it sure as hell sounded like it.
posted by adampsyche at 5:33 PM on August 5, 2004

posted by yerfatma at 5:41 PM on August 5, 2004

my spelling was phonetic.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:21 PM on August 5, 2004

"THEY SHOULD SHOW MORE SKIN ON LOVEBOAT!," said crappy ensemble show industry expert yerfatma. : >
posted by amberglow at 6:53 PM on August 5, 2004

I feel your pain about having your thoughts condensed and misconstrued, Matt. Long, long ago, I was interviewed by a reporter about the uproar surrounding the new game, Dungeons and Dragons... (I said it was a long time ago) ... the reporter asked me if I thought the game was a bad influence on me and my friends, and I pointed out that it was an intellectual's game, that involved imagination, and that I thought we were spending our time better than what other kids did on weekend nights. I said it was better than doing drugs or getting drunk.

A week later, the article was printed, and even had my picture in it. I was quoted in bold text that "Dungeons & Dragons was better than getting drunk!"

I vowed that I would never be interviewed for anything ever again ... though as it ends up, I didn't keep that one.
posted by crunchland at 7:13 PM on August 5, 2004

KYW has a Washington bureau? (I only listen to the station on the two's.)
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 PM on August 5, 2004

Well, I see the logic of the way the report was put together. It uses the industry observer (mathowie)'s quote for the bit that TiVo's PR department obviously wasn't going to say. He then attributes the part about the protection to TiVo ("but TiVo says..."). It would have been repetition to have mathowie say it too, so TiVo were quoted because they're the more 'official' source.

Disclaimer: I like journalists, and intend to become one.
posted by reklaw at 7:44 PM on August 5, 2004

Ha! I learned this when I was 7. For some reason my mother let a reporter come do a story about how fucked our family was (brother having surgery, unable to walk, and father dying from cancer) that summer. I was talking about spending time with Dad when we were going to the clinic for his treatments, surely expressing in naive but profound words the poignancy of a child spending the last hours of quality time he ever would with his father in a fucking cancer clinic, where we would go to the cafeteria to eat grapefruit and donuts before the ordeal. This was reduced to "he likes to eat breakfast with his Dad", thus casting me as no more than a typical simpleton for my media debut.

(On preview: that story ought to cheer us all up!)
posted by crunchburger at 7:49 PM on August 5, 2004

Prominent poster in 'school of spin' shock

Noted internet poster Ethereal Bligh (sic) was last night at the centre of a storm over his calls for members of the public to manipulate the media in an attempt to get their "message" across.

"One should never talk to the press ... unless it is in soundbites," Bligh said in a posting to the site metafilter, before going on to advocate the launching of websites specialising in "how to talk to the press".

His comments come in the wake of public scandals over such manipulation -- or "spin" -- including doubts being cast over the timing of government announcements on the war on terror coinciding with the Democratic convention.

Bligh's astonishing outburst was later tempered by fellow poster reklaw (sic), who commented, "I like journalists."
posted by bonaldi at 8:25 PM on August 5, 2004

AP to bonaldi (sic): You're Hired!
/headline : >
posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on August 5, 2004

posted by five fresh fish at 8:59 PM on August 5, 2004

Mathowie sounds so gloomy and unenthusiastic in that bit they used. That's totally not how I expected him to sound.
posted by gyc at 9:55 PM on August 5, 2004

I've dated three journalists in my life. They're fucking neurotics and I'll never date or befriend another.

They're pigs the way they manipulate shit. In the last interview I gave (meaning most recent and final as I'll never do one again), the reporter 1) implied I asked her on a date, 2) said that the interview took place at my "favorite chick trap" (I'm paraphrasing), and 3) in the piece, she quoted (completely out of context, of course) some of my writing as if the quotes were answers to her interview questions! In reality, it was she that asked me out (I said no) and she who picked the interview location--a place I'd written about--because she "wanted to get a feel for the kind of place I hung out at." During the interview, she told me she didn't like journalism and had no idea how she fell into it; in addition, she bragged about giving a positive review to a [self published] piece of shit biography of Jose Feliciano (I think it was) because she "didn't have the heart to hurt the poor author's feelings. She was such a nice lady."

I say get 'em up against the wall with the spammers.
posted by dobbs at 12:08 AM on August 6, 2004

Once while visiting my parents, I went shopping in Portland, Maine's Old Port District. As I was standing outside a store waiting for my mother, a reporter, followed by a man with a TV camera on his shoulder, approached me. The reporter asked if he could ask me a question about Portland's recent "crime wave." Because some guy in his twenties holding shopping bags is sure to be an expert on crime. Must have been the way I held the bags or glared inside at Mum.

"Sure," I said.

"What do you think about the sudden rash of stabbings in Portland?" he asked.

"Well, I'm for it, obviously," I replied.

"Uh huh," he said and motioned to the camera guy to keep walking.

They didn't get my name or anything, so I didn't check to see if I made onto Channel 13's six o'clock news.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:01 AM on August 6, 2004

Matt sounds so stoned. ;)
posted by terrapin at 10:09 AM on August 6, 2004

My friend Ken and his girlfriend Karen were once approach on Yonge Street by a CTV crew soliciting opinion on the upcoming Canadian Idol finale:

CTV: Hey, young people. Who do you think is going to win Canadian Idol?
Ken: Well, we don't really watch the show—
CTV: That's okay, who do you think's gonna win?
Ken: What are our options?
CTV: Ryan or Gary.
Karen: ... uh, Gary?
Ken: Ryan. Definitely Ryan.
CTV: Thanks.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:23 AM on August 6, 2004

Dammit. "approached", even. Or maybe "cornered" would have been a better word altogether.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:23 AM on August 6, 2004

I can't help but snicker over "Canadian Idol."
posted by norm at 10:55 AM on August 6, 2004

So, when are you l33t kids going to get around to remixing mathowie's interview and setting it to music, ala Bub Rub? I am waiting to be amused...
posted by piskycritter at 10:57 AM on August 6, 2004

I think "industry observer Mathowie" should ride this for all it's worth, and for two simple reasons :

1) There's now a precedent. So, while few news services might allow an "industry observer" to identify him/herself by way of a single name moniker, it's now been established. There are all the other "industry observers" - who have two names most usually, or occasionally three. Then, there's "Industry Observer Mathowie" .

2) Unusual names are better remembered.

I have one question though - how was that pronounced :

"Ma - TOW - wee" , "Ma - tow - WEE" , "MA - tow - wee" , "Ma - THOW - wee", "MA - thow - wee"......... ? ( and so on )
posted by troutfishing at 12:50 PM on August 6, 2004

Did you consider, possibly, "Mat - HOW - ee"?
posted by soyjoy at 1:08 PM on August 6, 2004

Um, couldn't they have just been saying "Matt Haughey"?

Since, y'know, his user page says:
I have a difficult-to-pronounce last name. Actually, that's not true, it's easy to pronounce, it's just that no one can do it correctly, given the mish-mash of consonants and vowels handed to them.

Anyway, when it was time to get my first shell account and email address in college, I wanted a phonetic version of my name, to remind people. . .it's just "Matt Haughey," spelled phonetically, and crammed into eight letters.
And I doubt KYW has a DC bureau. More likely it's AP Radio, which almost certainly does.
posted by Vidiot at 5:22 PM on August 6, 2004

soyjoy - yup, I did. It was just doing my laconic humor shtick...

Vidiot - in the two name version, there would normally be a very slight pause between "Matt" and "Haughey".

Linguists have long acknowledged the dynamic by which, when two words flow together, this tends to force a change in pronunciation. So, "Matt Haughey" and Mathowie" don't work out, in practice, to be the same at all.
posted by troutfishing at 9:12 PM on August 6, 2004

posted by wendell at 9:31 PM on August 6, 2004

posted by wendell at 12:15 PM on August 7, 2004

a bit surprised by what they used.

That's how it always is, isn't it? I've been quoted in the New York Times in three articles now, and each time, it seems they took only my B material, leaving the A material never to appear in the permanent record.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:11 PM on August 7, 2004

Uh oh - a real linguist emailed me to contest that pseudo authoritative blurb of mine on language.

"R", who says he's a working linguist, says : "Huh? (As a linguist, and one who works specifically on this kind of I have to say this is false. It's possible to distinguish them, sure, but in casual speech (the norm) there is no pause and the two written phrases would be indistinguishable. The "dynamic by which, when two words flow together, this tends to force a change in pronunciation"
(call it "sandhi") is exactly what is at work here."

posted by troutfishing at 2:07 PM on August 7, 2004

I wondered about that (not that I knew if you were right or not, just that I wondered about it). Kudos to you for owning up to your mistake. It makes me trust what you write more, not less. And respect you more, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:45 PM on August 7, 2004

He might be a linguist, but he sure as hell can't write. What is
The "dynamic by which, when two words flow together, this tends to force a change in pronunciation"
(call it "sandhi") is exactly what is at work here."
supposed to mean, exactly? And if it means what I think it means, doesn't it directly contradict what he's just said -- that there is no perceptible difference, ie no change?
posted by bonaldi at 4:48 PM on August 7, 2004

Tries to restrain self from making comment about a "cunning linguist"....
posted by wendell at 5:37 PM on August 7, 2004

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