CNN is trying to be hip. Take from a guy with a gray beard: There's nothing more pathetically cringeworthy than an old fart trying to be with it. (Just ask for my son's reaction when I play hiphop in the car.)
But that is what CNN is dying to do with its new video podcast called The Grist. They announce that "this isn't news, people, and it certainly isn't important" as they show wacky clips and try to deliver wacky lines from a would-be-wacky host (Jarrett Bellini, a media operations feeds coordinator, according to MediaWeek).
I'll tell you what would be a lot cooler: Take all those wacky, unused clips and put them up online so anyone can download and remix them and put the results up on YouTube et al. Go ahead and put the CNN bug in the corner; by all means, take credit for providing the grist for the bigger mill that is the creative community on the internet. If you do that, your stuff will be everywhere and you'll be cool for helping to make it happen.
And since I'm giving unsolicited advice to CNN, I wish they would also put up Howie Kurtz's Reliable Sources online so I don't have to skip church to watch it, thereby going straight to hell, and also don't have to bother recording it -- and in addition, as a fringe benefit, I could link to what's said on the show. I want to subscribe to the show and every week I'll watch it, together with commercials -- I promise -- on my iPod. And if there were a particularly great clip, I'd even put it on my site (with CNN's brand and advertising) if you'd let me. I'd help promote and distribute the content that is never seen again once it's on and off the air. Wouldn't that be ever so hip?
Follow Jeff Jarvis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeffjarvis