Jesse Brown Hosts Election Night

Jesse Brown, former host of the former radio show “Search Engine” remains on the edge of employment at the CBC, allowed out of his blog just occasionally to file a 3 minute segment on Sunday Edition, as long as it’s sufficiently watered down and regards little of import. I guess we should all be thankful that the tax-engorged technocrats at the CEEB see fit to let little Jesse host his “website” on the corporate servers at all.

But apparently they’re going to use him on election night. He reports, in his latest podcast, that tomorrow eve he’ll be tasked with tracking national response to the results as it appears on the internets: blogs, twitter, so on. Does that mean he’s going to be on TV? I don’t know, the Search Engine site is slim on details. Or anything else. He freely admits that he doesn’t know what he’s really going to do. And let’s face it, reporting on the election when it is by definition over, isn’t that great of a gig. Although I suppose his company will be all the big name anchors engaged in the same redundancy.

It’s remarkable that a radio show which only really existed for a few months and has been off the air for almost as long as it was on still manages to rank as the 7th result for a Google search of the fairly popular term “search engine”.

It’s also remarkable that a straight-ahead internet-affairs radio show/weekly podcast makes me laugh out loud more than just about any media I come in contact with. Jesse never winks.

not winking


Jesse Brown Beyond Keywords

For weeks I’ve been meaning to make a blog post titled “Jesse Brown, What Are My Keywords?”, and in the body perhaps link to the last of the Search Engine podcasts before the bastards promoted the show out of existence.

Except Jesse has now made good on the threat in that last show to keep on making Search Engine podcasts, even though the show doesn’t really exist anymore. Here you go.

I listened to the “last” podcast this spring with one ipod speaker jammed in my ear while I hacked and stumbled through the worst piece of land I had during my treeplanting season. That was a good one (the podcast, not the land, the land was terrible). This one is pretty good too.

Further Kicking of Under-Appreciated Dog When It’s Down

Me and Sherwin are sparring over the value and democratic character of those disappearing newspapers. We’re pretty much not talking to each other because of it, which is sad, because he’s like, one of my best friends ever. Still, he’s wrong so what am I supposed to do? And now Jesse Brown has turned on me as well.

You’ll miss those newspapers when they’re gone, I swear to god. All of you.

Search Engine: Too Good for the CBC

Search Engine, possibly the best show on the CBC, is not on the CBC any more. It’s on TV Ontario.

First Search Engine became hugely popular on the CBC radio. Then somebody decided that was a bad idea, so they cut back it’s resources and switched it to a weekly podcast and occasional contribution to some other shows. So it became hugely popular as a podcast, in fact the single most popular CBC podcast, also ranking highly on itune’s list of all news podcasts. So somebody decided that was a bad idea, so they cut it entirely. As of today.

In his final podcast installment Jesse Brown was as diplomatic as usual, suggesting that the loss of the show was symptomatic of the overall loss of programming resources going on at the CBC. He sounded sincere. That’s nice, but the notion that the CBC doesn’t have the resources to keep up a forward-thinking weekly podcast when they keep powering out daily multi-host time filler across the national radio tower network is ridiculous. Search Engine was an example of what the CBC could be, timely and engaged with it’s audience, both reflective and assertive in it’s reporting, and forthright in taking on topics that were actually important, not just those that fit within well-worn journalistic categories. It was also doing it on a budget which I imagine was next-to-nothing and generating huge listener response. That response was presumably particularly strong in the potential next generation of CBC core audience. From a value-for-taxes perspective, it could hardly have much competition among existing CBC programming. With respect to Mr. Brown, that fact that Search Engine was cut suggests that someone at the CBC either doesn’t get it or does and doesn’t like it.

But! TV Ontario, the public station I grew up watching, has picked it up! Bi-weekly podcasts starting within a couple of weeks (at this url, update your podcatcher), going to weekly in September. Nice to know that someone in public journalism does, in fact, get it. Nice to know that Jesse will continue to help me get it.