Archive for September, 2010

Janelle Monáe Live!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I have a list of artists that I want to see perform live. Janelle Monáe was right at the top of the list. Luckily I got to see her last night. I must say that she is as good as I expected. She has incredible stage presence and a great voice. Seeing her live truly is an event, an experience. As performers go I believe she is right next to Beyoncé and Lady Gaga for best live shows by a solo female artist. If you have the chance to see her do it! Don’t believe me? Spin recently ranked her tour with Of Montreal #4 for the Fall. So check her out and be amazed. Check out her performance on the Late Show with Dave Letterman after the jump.

Side Note: Used my BlackBerry Torch 9800 for all the night’s photos(like the one above). Not a bad camera, not one of the phones finer features though.

Soledad O’Brien Interviews Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: A Lesson in Good Journalism

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Last Sunday I happened to catch the interview by Soledad O’Brien with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. I try to catch Larry King Live when possible. I think he is a fascinating interviewer. It will be weird when his show ends. Anyway I had no intention of catching this Sunday show, but it was 2am and I was on my way to sleep and he happened to be on. It goes without saying I lucked out on catching the show because Soledad O’Brien conducted an excellent interview.

Personally, I was interested in the interview because I follow politics and the Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero issue is a hot topic at the moment. However, this post is really about journalism. From the very beginning I got the impression that the show was going to be a good one. Larry King appeared briefly only to say that he was handing the night’s show over to Soledad. This immediately told me a real interview was about to happen, no offense Larry.

Sure enough, Soledad was engaging, well-informed, and asked the pertinent questions. She really allowed the Imam to get his message out, but also pressed to prevent him from completely dodging questions. Anybody who wanted to know more about who the Imam was or what he stood for could get a pretty good indication and judge from themselves based on Soledad’s questions and his responses. This is the way journalism should be. I am tired of watching weak interviews where politicians and other public figures can tap dance around the questions that matter and continue to appear entirely ambiguous and unscathed by the end. It is a disservice to the American people and it only goes to lessen the validity of the news source in my eyes.

This country needs more hard reporting, less bias, and more challenging journalism. It would go a long way in helping keep our public servants honest. In the internet era and 24 hour news cycle, people are easily influenced and often do not know what or who to believe. More interviews like this one could really help to clear up some of those problems.