It’s nice to see a post in one area cross over to other subjects. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits writes about reducing bureaucracy. Leo makes clear that he isn’t using the term bureaucracy to mean only government bureaucracy, but I think all public administrators do need to remember these lessons as we go about our daily work. I don’t think we should ever get so complacent as to accept the status quo with no thought as to why our organization is doing x the way we are.
Nick Saban goes Mike Gundy. If you don’t care for the S-word, don’t watch.
This evening, while enjoying the Checker Auto Parts 500 on ABC, I switched the channel during a red flag commercial break. When I switched back, the NASCAR race was no longer on, and instead I was watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. I kid you not.
It seems that because the race was running long (there were several red flags, including one for rain), ABC preempted the last 30 or so laps of the race to America’s Funniest Home Videos. But only in the Eastern and Central time zones, where certainly a majority of all NASCAR fans live (probably more like 80%).
What irked me most about the decision was that ABC moved the broadcast of the last laps to ESPN2, a channel that I do not have. In the past when races have run long, I’ve seen the race end on the scheduled channel and then post-race coverage switched to a cable channel. But not tonight. America’s Funniest Home Videos was more important than the finish of the next to last race of the NASCAR season and the Chase to the Sprint Cup.
This news article has winner Jimmie Johnson and car owner Rick Hendrick’s response to the channel switch, but it also contains ABC/ESPN’s rationale:
“After two red flags, rain in Phoenix and 4 1/2 hours on ABC, we were still 34 minutes from the end of the telecast as it turned out,” said George McNeilly, ESPN senior director, communications, in a statement. “We told fans in the East and Central from the second red flag on that the race was moving to ESPN2. ABC’s entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served in a tough spot, and we are fortunate to have ESPN2 among our networks to serve the fans.”
“ABC’s entertainment viewers and NASCAR fans were both well served”. Yeah, right. There is no telling how many viewers watched four and a half hours of the race and then could not watch the last laps. Bad decision.
*Update – November 12, 2008*
NASCAR Chairman Brian France’s comments on the channel shift:
“There were lots of circumstances that they had to consider. I don’t have to agree with each one of those, but they had their own issues that they had to manage around. We, unfortunately, got the short end of that. We are working with them to hopefully eliminate that happening in the future.”
… “What’s important is ABC’s and ESPN’s and NASCAR’s – our interests are aligned,” France said. “That doesn’t mean that we always see eye to eye on every issue. They want to do what’s in the best interest of the NASCAR race fan, which they serve week in and week out in lots of different ways.
“They did not like the idea of having to pull off of ABC and operate the way they did on Sunday.”
Singer Gwen Stefani released a picture of her and her new daughter under a Creative Commons license, instead of selling the rights to a sleazy magazine for millions. The license (here, with a few extra clauses) allows the image to be reused pretty liberally. Also, President-Elect Obama has a set on photos on Flickr that show rarely-seen behind-the-scenes watching election returns with the candidate (which were also released under a Creative Commons license).
This evening, just after 11 pm Eastern, Senator Barack Obama was projected as the winner of this election and the next President of the United States. Obama will become the 44th, and first African American, elected to this highest office in the land. What an occasion.
I was inspired by Obama’s acceptance speech:
In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.
Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
And more quotes after the jump.