DIRTY HOTELS

Files under General | Feb 29th

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Oh, boy!

This is a great idea.

Tripadvisor is one of the World’s best travel Web sites, but now it has added a new tool: dirty hotels.

With revealing comments like:

“We slept with our shoes on!”

“Dirty rugs & smelly rooms”

“Take bug spray with you!”

“The place smelt of old smoke and the sheets had holes in them”

“The room door looked like a prison cell, toilet did not flush”

“If you have to stay there, sleep in the foyer it’s much nicer than the rooms!”

And on and on and on …

So if you don’t want surprises, check this ongoing list of the worst of the worst sinners.

With pictures like these ones from Oxford for a place that offers these unexpected amenities and room views:

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Or this one in Santa Monica (California):

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MEDIA CREDIBILITY AND THE MANIPULATION OF ONLINE AUDIENCES

Files under General | Feb 29th

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This story from El Mundo in Madrid is misleading.

The Web site for 20 Minutos (20minutos.es), the leading Spanish newspaper (2.5 million readers in print), has the third biggest audience but has been excluded from this ranking.

Why?

Because it is a free paper?

No.

Because it is one of the fastest-growing Spanish news Web sites.

In only three years, it has become one of the country’s most-read and interesting Web sites.

So, the real data from the last Nielsen survey (January 2008) shows that the four leading Spanish news Web sites are (unique visitors):

elmundo.es: 5.280.000

elpais.com: 3.425.000

20minutos.es: 2.102.000

abc.es: 1.786.000

Facts are facts.



TEXAS: OBAMA IS AHEAD IN THE POLLS FOR THE FIRST TIME

Files under General | Feb 28th

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Hillary Clinton is working very hard in Texas.

But the latest poll from yesterday shows, for the first time, Obama leading the Texas vote.

And now everybody is blaming her political advisors.

Obama doesn’t talk anymore about her, but instead about John McCain.

The nominations are (almost) over.



WILLIAM BUCKLEY’S DESK

Files under General | Feb 28th

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The founder of National Review, William Buckley, 82, was found dead at his desk in his office in Stamford, Conn.

His son said, “He might have been working on a column.”

(Photo by Suzy Allman/The New York Times)



PRINCE HARRY IN AFGHANISTAN

Files under General | Feb 28th

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In these AP photos, Britain’s Prince Harry patrols through the deserted town of Garmisir, Afghanistan.

It seems that Prince Harry has been serving on the front line in Afghanistan with the British Army, according to an announcement by Britain’s Ministry of Defence.

The Prince, still deployed in the country, has been in Afghanistan since December.

The deployment was not reported due to an agreement between the Ministry of Defense and news organizations.

The story was leaked first by an Australian magazine (on January 15th!), the German newspaper Bild, and by Drudge Report in the U.S.

While all the UK media were scooped!



A MEXICAN ‘VIVA OBAMA!’

Files under General | Feb 28th

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Watch the latest viral VIVA OBAMA! YouTube video here.



THE FARCE OF ROBOTIC TV DEBATES IN SPAIN

Files under General | Feb 26th

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What a farce!

A robotic moderator worried only about the time.

With no real questions.

And two mediocre candidates using poor graphic charts.

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And no proposals for the future.

These amateurs need to watch the current TV debates in the U.S.

With real journalists asking real questions.

And the candidates like professional politicians, with TV skills and ideas, not just slogans.

The Spanish fiasco presented two candidates talking about the past, with no TV skills, and no ideas.

Just insulting each other.

As the BBC says today:

For 90 minutes the two leaders exchanged verbal blows over a range of issues, with tempers frequently fraying.

It was embarrassing to hear from the moderator that the debate was excellent and that the candidates were terrific …

Sorry, but a debate like this needs real journalists, not cheerleaders.

Spain is a modern country with 19th-century politicians.

And a TV presenter who was very happy and proud for not acting like a journalist.

What a shame!



OLD-FASHIONED SPANISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS COVERAGE

Files under General | Feb 23rd

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I am in Spain.

I just arrived from Brazil.

All the newspapers are full of news about politicians.

About political parties.

About polls and TV debates.

Hundreds of pages.

Too many pages.

With not too much real information.

And the news agendas are controlled by the parties and the politicians.

The online coverage is weak.

Very weak.

No Internet debates.

So … old-fashioned politics.

Old-fashioned journalism.

On Wednesday, I will be back.

The U.S. coverage of the presidential elections has been, and I’m sure will continue to be, much better.

Not good news for Spain, where very mediocre candidates run the show.

With just slogans.

Repeated 24/7 by the media.

Again.

Again.

And again.

What a shame!



OBAMA: MR. MOMENTUM

Files under General | Feb 21st

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PENNSYLVANIA: DOWNHILL

Files under General | Feb 21st

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