An old-media attempt to co-opt new media, looked upon skeptically by the really old media: The Old Gray Lady Herself.
The live Web show “What’s Trending” at cbsnews.com, an attempt to build a news-and-chat program driven by social networking — sort of a digital “Today” — is a self-consciously experimental project.
In the premiere episode the struggle by Ms. Lazar and her producers to find an intelligent way to discuss current events through the lenses of Facebook and Twitter (here, as in most discussions, the alpha and omega of social networking) was palpable and mostly unsuccessful.
The news topics — protest movements in the Arab world and online campaigning for the 2012 election — were chosen for their Twit-Face dimensions, and while this made some sense with regard to presidential politics, it made for an embarrassingly shallow and naive discussion of events in the Middle East.
A prerecorded feature on forward-thinking do-gooders was titled “People Are Awesome.”