Best Use of the Web Ever?

It’s one thing to see a flame war break out on a Web site. But it can’t compare to actually hearing the flamer at work. That was the realization of the S.F. Chronicle, which just had the insanely entertaining idea of turning irate readers’ phone messages into podcasts. Here’s the first one.

I will give a prize to the first person who listens to the whole thing and doesn’t either a) laugh out loud or b) want to hit the man in the throat with a flounder.

I wondered at first if perhaps this call was a stunt — the guy’s use of the word “cutline” betrays his above-average knowledge of newspapering. But I don’t think this kind of fervor can be faked. I’m particularly fond of this line: “Is there any other kind of drone than a pilotless drone?”

The answer would seem to be: Yes, sir; you.

(Hat tip: Jim Romenesko.)

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COMMENTS: 38


  1. ray says:

    Someone forgot to take their meds.

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  2. ray says:

    Someone forgot to take their meds.

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  3. snubgodtoh says:

    Wow, I’m particularly fond of this line: “there’s no such thing as a non-pilotless drone”. It takes all kinds to make this wonderful world go ’round.

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  4. snubgodtoh says:

    Wow, I’m particularly fond of this line: “there’s no such thing as a non-pilotless drone”. It takes all kinds to make this wonderful world go ’round.

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  5. Mcgarnicle says:

    I choose both answers , I particularly laughed at this reader’s comment as well.

    Can you imagine having him as a father? It’s spelled cat, see aye tee, CAT, not kay aye tee, cat, you moron. What are they teaching you in 1st grade? Did I teach you to piss on the English language!? Cat, as in meeow, em e e oh double you, meeow!
    Posted By: Magic_Twanger | January 24 2007 at 05:05 PM

    You can see he was able to grab the essence of his character there !

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  6. Mcgarnicle says:

    I choose both answers , I particularly laughed at this reader’s comment as well.

    Can you imagine having him as a father? It’s spelled cat, see aye tee, CAT, not kay aye tee, cat, you moron. What are they teaching you in 1st grade? Did I teach you to piss on the English language!? Cat, as in meeow, em e e oh double you, meeow!
    Posted By: Magic_Twanger | January 24 2007 at 05:05 PM

    You can see he was able to grab the essence of his character there !

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  7. hammerattack says:

    I love when people go off on a rant without making sure to inflate the tires on their rantmobile. A drone is not pilotless. They do in fact have pilots. The pilots simply aren’t in the drone. More importantly, this generation of vehicles being discussed cannot properly be called drones to begin with because much – and in some cases, all – of their mission profile is hands-off, with an AI directing the aircraft. That is why they’re now referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

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  8. hammerattack says:

    I love when people go off on a rant without making sure to inflate the tires on their rantmobile. A drone is not pilotless. They do in fact have pilots. The pilots simply aren’t in the drone. More importantly, this generation of vehicles being discussed cannot properly be called drones to begin with because much – and in some cases, all – of their mission profile is hands-off, with an AI directing the aircraft. That is why they’re now referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

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  9. SharpieSniffer says:

    To be fair, I have an above-average knowledge of the newspaper business and I learned it all from reading Lewis Grizzard’s book “If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground.”

    I actually passed an intro to journalism class using only the knowledge I got from this book. He recounts his start in the newspaper business. Grizzard talks about the slot man, cutlines, reefers, going above the mast, etc.

    The caller on the podcast is crazy but maybe he just likes redneck humor.

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  10. SharpieSniffer says:

    To be fair, I have an above-average knowledge of the newspaper business and I learned it all from reading Lewis Grizzard’s book “If I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground.”

    I actually passed an intro to journalism class using only the knowledge I got from this book. He recounts his start in the newspaper business. Grizzard talks about the slot man, cutlines, reefers, going above the mast, etc.

    The caller on the podcast is crazy but maybe he just likes redneck humor.

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  11. CollegeCat says:

    I was really not that amused until he started shouting pilotless and drone over and over AND OVER! I forgot what he was even ranting about at that point.

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  12. CollegeCat says:

    I was really not that amused until he started shouting pilotless and drone over and over AND OVER! I forgot what he was even ranting about at that point.

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  13. egretman says:

    That is so hilarious. And I am so jealous. I wish I had left that message.

    Don’t you get it? I wish I had left that message. Me..left…that….message. Message…message…me…left. D*mn I wish I had left that message.

    What a hoot.

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  14. egretman says:

    That is so hilarious. And I am so jealous. I wish I had left that message.

    Don’t you get it? I wish I had left that message. Me..left…that….message. Message…message…me…left. D*mn I wish I had left that message.

    What a hoot.

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  15. stankwell says:

    I could put a mike in front of any number of marginally sane, ranting homeless people that I pass on the street every day and turn it into a Podcast, but I doubt if many readers of this site would find it very funny. But what’s the difference between that and what the Chronicle is doing?

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  16. stankwell says:

    I could put a mike in front of any number of marginally sane, ranting homeless people that I pass on the street every day and turn it into a Podcast, but I doubt if many readers of this site would find it very funny. But what’s the difference between that and what the Chronicle is doing?

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  17. synapticmisfires says:

    Well I lose the contest, although I’d say that he deserves much worse than a flounder. I can’t believe that. What makes it worse is he complains about the absence of drone elsewhere before screaming about something that he interrupted as a vaguely, kind of sort of redundant use of it. I never knew that redundancy is considered pissing on the english language though. That is fascinating.

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  18. synapticmisfires says:

    Well I lose the contest, although I’d say that he deserves much worse than a flounder. I can’t believe that. What makes it worse is he complains about the absence of drone elsewhere before screaming about something that he interrupted as a vaguely, kind of sort of redundant use of it. I never knew that redundancy is considered pissing on the english language though. That is fascinating.

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  19. mckayvo says:

    This is a totally hilarious idea but I wonder how long it will last.
    I used to work in radio and we could be sued for putting a request-line caller on the air unless we explicitly told them that they could be broadcast (and we had to run on-air recorded disclaimers)… and this was pop radio…part of the broadcast IS airing calls.
    I know that this isn’t “the public airwaves” but it’s still a “broadcast”. Unless they have a disclaimer on their voicemail, this guy might have a case.

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  20. mckayvo says:

    This is a totally hilarious idea but I wonder how long it will last.
    I used to work in radio and we could be sued for putting a request-line caller on the air unless we explicitly told them that they could be broadcast (and we had to run on-air recorded disclaimers)… and this was pop radio…part of the broadcast IS airing calls.
    I know that this isn’t “the public airwaves” but it’s still a “broadcast”. Unless they have a disclaimer on their voicemail, this guy might have a case.

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  21. MG2007 says:

    Here is my guess: It is Matt Groening (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Groening). And it’s genius on many levels.

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  22. MG2007 says:

    Here is my guess: It is Matt Groening (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Groening). And it’s genius on many levels.

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  23. pkimelma says:

    Besides the obvious problems with what he saying (not all UAVs are drones, and drones specifically have a ground based pilot), I am amazed he could get that upset about this subject. But, one does have to wonder if this was some sort of joke/pun on “drone” (as an aircraft and a style of speaking) as well as on “tautology” (which is an unnecessary repeating of an idea among other meanings). If so, it makes you wonder if Bronstein was in on it, since the joke would likely be lost on the usually people that review letters/VM/email to the editor.

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  24. pkimelma says:

    Besides the obvious problems with what he saying (not all UAVs are drones, and drones specifically have a ground based pilot), I am amazed he could get that upset about this subject. But, one does have to wonder if this was some sort of joke/pun on “drone” (as an aircraft and a style of speaking) as well as on “tautology” (which is an unnecessary repeating of an idea among other meanings). If so, it makes you wonder if Bronstein was in on it, since the joke would likely be lost on the usually people that review letters/VM/email to the editor.

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  25. konigsberg says:

    The only person who is going to win your prize is *that dude*.

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  26. konigsberg says:

    The only person who is going to win your prize is *that dude*.

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  27. hao says:

    Did this person call out “Mr. Hao” at the beginning? I felt pretty creepy when a random person calls my name in a random podcast, especially in this one.

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  28. hao says:

    Did this person call out “Mr. Hao” at the beginning? I felt pretty creepy when a random person calls my name in a random podcast, especially in this one.

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  29. bart says:

    I did not laugh out loud (or even want to) nor did I want to hit the man in the throat with a flounder.

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  30. bart says:

    I did not laugh out loud (or even want to) nor did I want to hit the man in the throat with a flounder.

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  31. ajinkya says:

    come to think of it..
    we are actually commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid Commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong.
    hmm..
    is this the next next generation of blogging?
    blog 3.0 or 3.1 even ?

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  32. ajinkya says:

    come to think of it..
    we are actually commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid Commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong.
    hmm..
    is this the next next generation of blogging?
    blog 3.0 or 3.1 even ?

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  33. Kent says:

    ajinkya is commenting on other people commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong. and now i’m commenting on ajinkya commenting on other people commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong. there’s got to be better ways to spend time.

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  34. Kent says:

    ajinkya is commenting on other people commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong. and now i’m commenting on ajinkya commenting on other people commenting on a comment about comments to a stupid commment which was essentially about a comment supposedly gone wrong. there’s got to be better ways to spend time.

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  35. Mcgarnicle says:

    If there is , it seems we haven’t found it.

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  36. Mcgarnicle says:

    If there is , it seems we haven’t found it.

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  37. Gabriel says:

    Feel best use is put the knowledge at people’s reach. An example is http://www.mediaplanetaria.com or similar portal such as nytimes, etc

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  38. Gabriel says:

    Feel best use is put the knowledge at people’s reach. An example is http://www.mediaplanetaria.com or similar portal such as nytimes, etc

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