Jason Howell, famous for being stuck working in Petaluma with Leo Laporte after what some could call a productive career at CNET, is really not a good podcast host. He seems like he’s a pretty good guy, but the better talent — Iyaz — left already.
In the video above, created by an anonymous reader and submitted to us, you can watch a compilation of “kindas” strung together, all from a single Tech News Today. It’s a work of art constructed solely of verbal crutches.
Thank you, anonymous contributor, and may you continue making great content.
This submission was sent in by an anonymous contributor using our tip function. Please feel free to submit great posts like this one.
I am one of many African American TWiT viewers. Many people have brought up that TWiT has a problem, there are no black employees and may never have been any. And TWiT is not a small operation.
This lack of diversity is a common issue in many fields including some of the largest tech companies. Without diving into the socioeconomic causes and solutions or handing out blame, I do want to bring up something I find offensive. All minorities have issues regardless of which minority had it worse. But look at how Padre handles it:
These are a few bad examples but every time this issue comes up he refuses to admit the problem and instead talks about himself. (Being shot at for his race?) Why not address the problem instead of turning the problem on its head to protect TWiT?
TotalDrama used to do a joke about a black camera guy who was in the TWiT directory. That is of note because it shows that instead of caring about the issue, like Padre, they care about the perception of TWiT.
Can you imagine if Google answered this criticism by saying, “well, we have a lot of Indians and Jews.” Preposterous.
“Dave” wrote this guest review of Tech News Today and sent it to us. We appreciate reading your thoughts and feedback. Please send any feedback you have and feel free to chat with us in our IRC.
Last night, Megan Moronne teamed up with Jason Howell for the first of the “new” Tech News Today shows. The show promised a new format and a later starting time, re-envisioning itself in the wake of the Laportes’ firing of Mike Elgan. The later start time would allow the new team a whole day to assess the news for the 4 PM show and allow TWiT time to post the episode for those who want to catch up on the latest tech news during their “trip in to work.” Big promises were made for the little network with no news department. Did the show deliver on the promises and expectations? Well, yes… and no.
Since the Laportes fired Elgan, TWiT effectively has no news department or anyone on board who knows what news is. It is important to note that neither Megan Moronne nor Jason Howell have any training or real background in journalism (and it shows). They can sit themselves in front of cheap Canon cameras and pretend they are reading the “news,” but neither is qualified to even know what news is, much less how to gather or present it in a professional and interesting manner.
No one at TWiT actually (if ever) gathers news; they just regurgitate what others have put together, occasionally adding their interpretations or comments. Neither Megan nor Jason has anything in their history that qualifies their opinions or makes what they think worth spit. If TWiT had real journalists writing what Megan and Jason read, perhaps we could accept them as talking heads spewing out what someone more qualified had written… but that is not the case. If someone with a background in either tech or news were directing (that is, writing or producing; guiding) this show, we might see some semblance of journalism… but that again is not the case.
It is painfully obvious this show is put together last minute, on a wing and a prayer — and this was the first show! I doubt anything in the show is scripted at all. In the prologue to the show, Jason said as much, running through the various segments and pretty much saying, “We’ll wing it here…” This is not news journalism; I think it is just called “Put a warm body in a seat and have them talk for an hour.”
It was nice to see Tom Merritt on the first show. He looked a little lost and just followed where Megan and Jason led him… which was essentially nowhere. The show just wandered with no focus; it was just three people chatting about whatever popped into their minds.
That is ultimately what is wrong with the show: there was no news content. Megan Moronne and Jason Howell spent two weeks coming up with this new show — a show in which they promised news — and they give us a rehash of the TWiT show — a chat show. This show almost makes me wish Elgan was back — at least he put news into the show. This new version gives us the same, bland delivery Elgan was infamous for, but now with less content.
I really did not think two people could be more boring than Elgan, but Megan and Jason proved me wrong. Neither has an exciting personality to begin with, and neither draws the viewer in. Megan even looks like she is in pain when she talks. Combined with the total lack of any interesting content, we have an hour-long snooze fest.
This show is a prime example of what happens when you think you can just pop anyone into a job and expect them to perform. There is a reason we have colleges and job training: to make professionals who are skilled in their field. Journalism is a skilled field for a reason — because it does take training. Megan and Jason’s performance is a great example of what happens when you throw someone inexperienced in to do the job of a professional. I am sure neither Lisa nor Leo makes it a practice to go to a dentist who just says, “Hi, I am a dentist…” and yet they foist these untrained people at us and tell us they are journalists and professionals? No! (Tangentially, it is sort of scary that Jeff Jarvis is training a new generation of journalists, but that is another post.)
So, did the show deliver on the promises and expectations? They promised news… and gave us feel-good commentary. They promised tech, and while they did touch on CES and a couple of tech subjects, it was not the focus of the content. The show seems very weak in the content department, spreading it to fill their hour rather than a show length dependent on the existing content. It’s just another way to make the viewers snooze.
As for expectations, I expected it to be a carbon copy of the Elgan show. No surprises here… there is nothing new (other than a second host). I expected this to be thrown together on a shoe-string, with no real advance planning or dedication to the show or the craft of journalism. I was not disappointed in that regard.
This video was provided to us courtesy of Dan Hohlfeld. He provided the following description:
While Leo is shoveling his salad down a cross eyed chef watches in the distance. Leo tells him to hold on but he just cannot wait to grace himself in the presence of Leo Laporte. As he enters the room he brags about how he can eat whatever he wants.
TWiT has been an ad-supported network for almost ten years and we have helped hundreds of companies grow their brands and increase their customer base by educating our audience about their products and services through ads on TWiT.tv. Our advertisers are a mix of start-ups, established brands, and those that we helped become established brands.
TWiT reaches a highly-engaged, tech-savvy audience as one of the world’s largest Internet broadcasters of live and on demand technology shows. In 2012 we established our own sales team because we wanted to work directly with our advertisers on super-serving our audience. Our sales team currently has 65% of sales in-house and is led by our CEO Lisa Laporte who heavily vets potential advertisers before allowing them on our network. Our in-house sales team has an in depth knowledge of our shows, direct access to our hosts, and works closely with our advertisers to create the best ads for our audience.
We are always interested in new advertisers who have products and services that will directly benefit our audience. If you are interested in advertising on the TWiT network then email firstname.lastname@example.org
There really is no one at TWIT who has any idea how to write marketing copy, and no one who knows how to address marketing people.
Even this sentence’s construction is sloppy and lazy:
Our advertisers are a mix of start-ups, established brands, and those that we helped become established brands.
Just look at that. They have three types of advertisers: 1) start-ups, 2) established brands, and…. um, 3) established brands. That’s a really stupid way of writing. If you know how to write English, and if you’re aiming to show that you understand what you’re saying, you’d say something like “Our advertisers are a mix of start-ups and established brands. Many of those have become established brands thanks to their partnership with TWIT.”
It’s only a small point, but I guess I’m saying, these people can’t even get a basic piece of marketing spiel right. It’s not just that sentence, it’s the whole thing. It’s written by someone who thinks they know how to write, but clearly doesn’t.
And the fact that once again they felt the need to say “our sales team… is led by our CEO Lisa Laporte” pretty much tells you who wrote the page.
Finally, they make a point of saying that Lisa Laporte “heavily vets” potential advertisers. For what? Ethical reasons? Equality reasons? Diversity reasons? They don’t bother saying. It ends up sounding like TWIT is a smarmy spoiled child. If they’re bothered to explain what the purpose of the vetting is, it would make it a positive thing – but the fact that they don’t, makes it a really negative thing.
What advertiser would want to be put through a “heavy vetting” process? Oh please, please let us advertise with you 🙁
It looks like the rising bandwidth cost is quite the obstacle for TWiT and its dwindling savings. When it was reported that free video from Cachefly will be no more, we knew bad news was on the horizon. The next batch of cancellations seems to be the video shows that do not make money. That means you Padre! And it means Know-How!
What could be the result of that long meeting? Who could want to be in a room with FMCP that long? Well it appears that the future of Know How is in jeopardy, for this was posted shortly after.
An amazing bit of Triangulation-level-research by a contributor noticed a meeting on Leo’s calendar with Lisa and Padre in the Tea Room, the meeting was followed by a desperate plea for viewers from Padre. Remember folks, don’t trust this site, it’s made-up facts, according to Leo.
Update: Featured Commenter
“The Patrick Klepto” posted a truly genius comment that deserved to be featured in the article:
“Padre is good friends with video. They realized they were misusing video. So instead if sprinkling video throughout the network, maybe there’s a show that video would like to do. Not a show that it CAN do, but a show that specifically fits its talents and its passion.”
The screenshot below was submitted by a fan without comment. I am not sure if the comment was lost or what happened. Our IT department is on it. I personally don’t see the relevance of this tweet but I will post it.
UPDATE: Accusations that this was a photoshop mounted, so I will include a link.
Exposing The Dark Underbelly of TWiT, Leo Laporte, and Failed CEO Lisa Laporte