The Media Think They're Better Than You
Killing Bill O'Reilly: Unless you've been buried in a New Jersey landfill for the past couple of days or visiting with the Pope, you probably already know that Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News. If you're a manufacturer of Factor Gear, you're screwed. As are Dennis Miller and Bernie Goldberg. Now O'Reilly's a Premium Member of the Dick Morris Club.
It's as if Fox doesn't understand the terms 'Number One Show' and 'Profit'.
Bill's time-slot will be filled by Tucker Carlson. 'The Five', which once meant five panelists on at 5:00 pm Eastern Time, has been moved to 9:00 pm Eastern. I wonder if the later time slot means Kimberly Guilfoyle can wear even sluttier clothes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe someday she'll take off one of her stiletto heels and stab Juan Williams or Bob Beckel with it. Or that wretched, insufferable airhead Dana Perino, whose voice is only slightly less shrill than Hillary Clinton's. Use that shoe, Kimberly - do the world a favor.
Fox should cancel 'The Five' and replace it with an hour of blonde female Fox Contributor chicks jumping naked on trampolines. Or on a very large pile of MyPillows. Ratings would be even higher than O'Reilly's. Come to think of it, they could have all the women who claim to have been harassed by Billy O. (or Roger Ailes) make guest appearances on 'The Trampoline Show'. I wouldn't mind seeing Andrea Tantaros doing some hot jump-aerobics.
The question remains: "With Bill gone, who's gonna look out for 'The Folks' now?" Oh, well. Things could be worse. At least Fox isn't replacing Bill O'Reilly with Bill Cosby. Who knows what he'd put in those Factor mugs. (posted 4/21/17, permalink)
Rick Steves Goes To Hell: If you watch public television, you've undoubtedly seen the travel show, 'Rick Steves' Europe'. Steves, who is also a travel author, has been doing travelogues for PBS for over 25 years. He presents himself as an easy-going, kinda-geeky guy, who never loses his fascination with all things European. You'd think after this many years in the travel biz, some cynicism would have crept in, yet, as the late John Belushi would say, "But noooooo!"
Europe is filled with museums - there's one in every little burg, it seems. If there's one memorializing the Holocaust, Rick will visit it. He'll always provide a smug mini-lecture, concluding that "we must always be on guard to disallow man's inhumanity to man," while sad violin music plays in the background of the stark exhibition. Look, I think the Nazis treatment of the Jews, Poles and others was atrocious but, when I go on vacation, I want to have a good time, not get depressed.
What if Rick visited Dante's Nine Circles of Hell? Well, here's what such an episode might be like ... (more >>>)
Book Review: 'Mad As Hell: The Making of 'Network' and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies' by Dave Itzkoff
'Network' was and is a great movie; it has held up well even though it was released in 1976. Itzkoff's book tells the behind-the-scenes story of this dark comedy, which transformed the way we thought about television. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" was the war cry of Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch). It has jumped by being a movie line to part of our pop culture lexicon - a cry by a crazed, delusional Thumper in a herd of clueless Bambis.
Angry, unhinged Beale was not nearly as angry as Paddy Chayefsky, 'Network's' driven, controlling, Oscar-winning screenwriter. But somehow, this odd film attracted a superb cast - Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Beatrice Straight, Ned Beatty and Robert Duvall. Directed by Sidney Lumet, 'Network' managed to win four Academy Awards.
Since I loved 'Network', I was ... (more >>>)
I Didn't Know There Were Any Newsstands Left: Magazine newsstand sales - a big profit generator for publishers - have collapsed, dropping 12% in the past six months.
No. 1 seller 'Woman's World' (I never heard of it either), was down 16% to 934,205, and 'First for Women', dropped 14% to 865.665 copies.
Celebrity magazines, which come out weekly, showed some of the biggest overall declines. 'Cosmopolitan', Hearst's newsstand powerhouse, tumbled 25% on newsstands to 774,077 from over 1 million copies in the same period a year earlier. 'People' lost 15% of its single-copy sales to 706,344. 'Us Weekly' was also down 15% to 405,938 copies.
The only newsstand I've seen lately is the one on my O gauge train layout. (posted 8/27/14, permalink)
Do They Have Secret Tunnels Like Hamas? A 1,000-member secretive progressive/liberal journalist group has been uncovered. It includes a prominent CNN commentator, the top two political reporters for The Huffington Post, a Reuters reporter, the editor - obnoxious lefty Katrina vanden Heuvel - of The Nation magazine, a U.S. News & World Report columnist, and approximately two dozen Huffington Post contributors.
This helps explain why the mainstream media political coverage is so slanted and selective. (posted 8/7/14, permalink)
'Fair And Balanced' Wins The Day: MSNBC's string of conservative-bashing gaffes has taken a toll. Liberal polling organization Public Policy Polling finds that MSNBC is now America’s least trusted news source, tied with its parent NBC and believe it or not Comedy Central. PPP asked respondents which network they trust the most. The results:
• Fox News: 35%
• PBS: 14%
• ABC News: 11%
• CNN: 9%
• CBS News: 6%
• NBC News: 3%
• Comedy Central: 3%
• MSNBC: 3%
Remember how positively awful television news used to be before Fox came along? (posted 2/5/14, permalink)
Door. Ass. Bang. Newsweek will cease print publication at end of this year. In early 2005, after continuously subscribing since 1966, we dropped our subscription to Newsweek.
I used to read it to get analysis of current events, commentary and back story articles not found in newspapers. Then the internet came along. By the time Newsweek arrived, its articles were ancient news. Plus, it had moved smugly left and we had moved logically right. So, we moved out.
The last time I saw a print version was a dentist's office a few years ago. (posted 10/19/12, permalink)
Alone Again, Naturally: Keith Olbermann has been fired by Current TV, the teeney-tiny network has announced.
Olbermann had hosted 'Countdown' since June, following his exit from MSNBC. His short tenure began with fanfare, but ended, as many of Olbermann's previous jobs have, with deep acrimony on both sides.
I'm sure that Keith's loyal viewers are devastated - both of them.
The channel released a statement on Friday, saying that its relationship with Olbermann had devolved to an unsustainable point: "Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it." (posted 4/2/12, permalink)
Best Recent Headline I've seen comes from on the return of Keith Olbermann to television (although its not real TV but rather some obscure network known as Current TV - which may have gotten its name because it's powered by an old nine-volt Eveready battery): 'Crazed Man Resumes Preaching to Crickets'. (posted 7-11-11, permalink)
Schadenfreude - Breakfast Of Champions: A few months after firing Juan Williams, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has been canned. Karma is a ... etc.
Vivian's supposed to appear on Charlie Sheen's videocast this week to explain why this is really an example of 'Winning!'
Or maybe announce that she'll become one of Harry Reid's cowboy poets. (posted 3/10/11, permalink)
Oh Well, There's Always Milhouse: Arrogant Libtard TV host Keith Olbermann has been canned from MSNBC.
Old Man Wants Things The Way They Used To Be: Geezer and former 'Nightline' host Ted Koppel has his panties in a bunch over "the death of real news," blaming "Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly."
I can't speak for the folks at MSNBC - although, when last I watched him three years ago, Oberman pretended to be a news man - but O'Reilly, Beck and Hannity are neither reporters nor news readers. And make no claims to be such. They host opinion shows.
Koppel whines that "broadcast news was a more virtuous operation 40 years ago, it was a function of both fear and innocence."
Yeah, right. What we got was slanted stories and puff pieces from the three networks. If they didn't like a news item, it wasn't aired. They got away with it because there was nothing else on. Except cartoons, wrestling or roller derby chicks on the local independent channel.
Koppel pines for a return to "an imperfect, untidy little Eden of journalism where reporters were motivated to gather facts about important issues."
Oh, pleeeeezee. (Now, where did I put that stock image of 'you make bunny cry'?)
"Much of the American public used to gather before the electronic hearth every evening, separate but together, while Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Frank Reynolds and Howard K. Smith offered relatively unbiased accounts of information that their respective news organizations believed the public needed to know. The ritual permitted and perhaps encouraged, shared perceptions and even the possibility of compromise among those who disagreed."
I suspect Koppel hates Fox News. And cable. And the internet. And blogs. The only voice he wants heard is his. And those of his friends.
Brushing a stray Lorna Doone cookie crumb from his cardigan, Koppel confessed that he also misses subway tokens, Dynaflow transmissions, The Andrews Sisters, wind-up clocks that tick and soda jerks. (posted 11/16/10, permalink)
On And Off ... And On Again: MSNBC announced Friday that libtard TV host Keith Olbermann had been suspended indefinitely without pay for making campaign donations to three Democratic congressional candidates- a violation of NBC News ethics policy.
On Sunday night, the cable network told both its viewers that Olby's sentence would be commuted to "time served" and he would return to the air Tuesday.
Thus endeth another publicity stunt.
Not to worry. His nonpolitical doppelgänger, Milhouse Van Houten, still appears regularly on The Simpsons and will continue do do so, except when he has a reaction to his ear medicine. (posted 11/8/10, permalink)
Anchor Baby: In a recent interview, Katie Couric, failing CBS news anchor, actually said she is touring "this great unwashed middle of the country" to learn about the mood at the midterms.
This is just another reason why I no longer watch network news, especially when it originates from that New York - D.C. bubble of isolation. The disdain and/or contempt for the remainder of the U.S. - except for Hollywood - is almost palpable.
Many of its inhabitants think that the world ends in western Maryland. On their maps, areas west of it are marked: Here Be Dragons.
It also explains why Nielsen ratings for network news shows are in the toilet.
I became very aware of this phenomenon when we moved to Oregon. In those 1978 pre-CNN, pre-internet and pre-FoxNews days, it was the three networks or zip. Or Newsweek, the Oregonian or the Corvallis Gazette Times, which were all pretty much the same as zip.
In 1981, when Linn County Oregon was suffering with 27% unemployment, Dan Rather would appear on the tube, wearing a v-necked sweater - because consultants said it made him look more warm and less reptillian, and announce that the "mild U.S. recession seems to be abating."
After his show, I had to Windex the TV screen to remove my angry spittle.
The CBS tradition of disdain and cluelessness seems to have continued under Ms. Couric's tutelage. But, since I don't watch, it no longer affects me.
And I'm saving money - buying less Windex. (posted 10/29/10, permalink)
Bash TV: Book TV's 'After Words' is usually a calm reasoned affair. An author is interviewed, often by someone with an opposing view. Discourse is civil and the author is treated as a guest should be by a mannered host.
Not last weekend.
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek hack (he's once of the reasons we dropped our subscription several years ago), conducted a rude and hostile interview of Dinesh D'Souza, author of 'The Roots of Obama's Rage'. Alter constantly interrupted D'Souza, pounded him with questions at every turn and when Dinesh attempted to respond, Alter quickly changed the subject.
Dinesh D'Souza calmly took him down by reading passages from Alter's own book to catch nasty Jonathan in his own web of lies.
Alter proved himself a typical liberal full of contempt for another opinion, a bad host and a deplorable jerk with obvious anger management issues. I hope that C-Span2 never invites Jonathan Alter back.
Perhaps he can find solace from his 34 remaining Newsweek readers. (posted 10/27/10, permalink)
Media Bias? During the 2008 presidential election, employees of CBS, NBC and ABC gave 94% of their political contributions to Obama versus only 6% to McCain. (posted 10/4/10, permalink)
Adiós, Muchachos: Speaking of media, CNN doofus Rick Sanchez has been fired for remarking that the Jews control the U.S. media.
I'm just happy that they control the U.S. delicatessens. (posted 10/4/10, permalink)
America's Crazy Old Aunt: Last week, Helen Thomas made the news again. The ancient press hag, lately of Hearst Newspapers, revealed her insane-geezer side when she declared that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go "home" to Germany and Poland. Since the Jews no longer have actual homes in those countries, Helen suggested that they book rooms at the newly renovated Courtyard by Auschwitz.
She later admitted that The Chosen People aren't all bad. "Jooos do have the best delis," she exclaimed brightly, accidentally dropping her drool cup.
Miz Thomas has been covering the White House since the War of 1812 and once manned a bucket brigade when the British set D.C. ablaze in 1814. At an early press conference, she famously asked President Andrew Jackson, "Is that a dueling pistol in your trousers or are you just happy to see me?"
Helen began the tradition of ending ... (more >>>) (posted 6/7/10)
Hard-Drinking Newsman: The the editorial page editor at the Oregonian newspaper was arrested for drunk driving, after backing his pickup truck into another vehicle while trying to park near a strip club.
Robert Caldwell failed three field sobriety tests and was booked into jail at the Multnomah County Detention Center after blowing 0.10% on a blood-alcohol test.
The legal limit is 0.08%. Caldwell claimed he only had a couple of drinks with dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House downtown.
The Oregonian has not reported this news but ... (more >>>) (posted 5/28/10)
The Audacity Of Hope ... amongst conservatives is that, if they make enough noise, the embarrassment known as David Letterman will be canned by CBS.
Last week, Letterman compared Sarah Palin to a slut and joked that, at the Yankees game she attended, "There was one awkward moment during the seventh inning stretch. Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez," said the 62 year-old, gap-toothed, television host geezer, referring to 14 year-old Willow who was at the game with her mom.
It's hard to remember when Letterman was actually funny - at least 25 years ago. Maybe 30. Today, he and his smiling musical dildo, Paul Shaffer, operate one of the dullest and least creative shows on late night television.
You shouldn't get your hopes up, though. Despite complaints and lousy ratings, Letterman will likely hang around for awhile. Look how long it took CBS to get rid of Dan Rather.
Roger de Hauteville has observed that Letterman is "a Beta male in an industry filled with Beta males. Even the industry's a Beta. He's not even an entertainer - his job is to talk to and about entertainers. They say politics is show-business for ugly people, and the similarities are manifest. Politics is often home to Beta males that try to cut in front of the big men on life's campus by the side door. Same deal. That's why they get along famously.
That's why men like Letterman always end up groping the help. All the Beta males do this. Look at John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Bob Packwood, Newt Gingrich ... this will grow monotonous. They're lame, and know it, and so they try to get themselves in a position of power over the men they used to resent, and the women they never had a shot at. But the men are all dorks of one sort or another, and the women they never had a shot at are still out of their range. They can lord it over whatever women are handy, but eventually find that they are in the thrall of someone as defective as they are.
So Letterman sees Sarah Palin, and he sees red. He sees every real woman he sat next to in English class that wouldn't give him a second look."
I'll give the last word on this unpleasantness to James Lileks: "Letterman is empty; he's inert; he stands for nothing except disdain for people foolish enough to stand for anything - aside from rote obeisance to all the things Decent People stand for, of course, all those shopworn assumptions passed around in the bubble." (posted 6/15/09, permalink)
What Ever Happened To Journalism? Jed Babbin writes that Tim Russert's funeral was "a black day for journalism in NBC: Russert's death released one of the last brakes slowing NBC's descent into political activism and journalistic irrelevance. NBC was once the proud home of real journalists. People such as Chet Huntley and David Brinkley brought its standards to - and above - the level prevalent in most news organizations. But now, it's an asylum for people such as Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann."
Maybe they should change the name from NBC News to NBC Advocacy. (posted 7/7/08, permalink)
TV Tantrum: Over the weekend, PBS was into its Begging For Money mode, so programming was all screwed up. Every time I tuned in, it was Celtic Women, '50s Do-Wop or Wayne Dyer. The McLaughlin Group was on in the middle of the night, so I recorded it to view later.
Aside from the usual Eleanor Clift yelling "I'm not finished yet!!!", Pat Buchanan prophesying Doom (from the Jews, Muslims, Arabs, Mexicans or Liberals - take your pick) and senile 'ol Cantankerous John hisself, there was the calm, intelligent Monica Crowley - to my eyes she is a Diana Krall-lookalike (a good thing, plus she's not married to the undelightful Elvis Costello) - and finally, the even-louder-than-Eleanor, crazier than John McL, Patty B and Chris Matthews combined, ghastly Lawrence O'Donnell, the ranting MSNBC talking head and former executive producer of the now-defunct West Wing.
Professional Bush/Cheney hater O'Donnell spent his spittle-laced air time blasting Mitt Romney, proclaiming him to be "racist" because he is Mormon. He declared, "Romney comes from a religion that was founded by a criminal who was anti-American, pro-slavery, and a rapist!"
While I have problems with Romney's positions on issues and his apparent flip-flopping, I am sick and tired of people bashing him because of his religion. Mormons make pretty good neighbors - they keep up their homes, don't throw loud parties, never blanket the air with disgusting ethnic cooking odors, don't scream at their kids through open doorways in an incomprehensible language and have no wacko friends who show up drunk at 3:00 am, blowing their car horns until someone acknowledges their presence. And then throw up on your sidewalk.
Personally, I think Mitt's religion is weird (nevertheless, it's 96% less looney than Scientology) but at least Mormons dress up nicely for church, arrive on-time and the temple parking lots are always big enough that worshipers don't park cockeyed all over the neighboring streets. People say Mormons are clannish because they hang out with their own kind - a charge which has been variously leveled at Catholics, Jews, blacks, Masons, S&M freaks, Episcopalians, Asians, Rosicrucians, Trekkies, satanists, Sikhs, fraternities, sororities, Harley owners, gays, Esperanto-speakers and model railroad clubs.
Up close, Mormons are 87% less obnoxious than Jehovah's Witnesses. I've never had a Mormon pounding on my front door when I was trying to sleep.
The attacks on Mormons, prompted by Romney's candidacy, are uncomfortably close to the Know-Nothings of the 1840s, who hated Catholics claiming they were clannish, had strange religious ceremonies, listened to the Pope and once hosted The Spanish Inquisition. The Know-Nothing movement fell apart in the 1850s because they couldn't decide who they hated more: Roman Catholics or Negroes.
Lawrence O'Donnell is a Latter Day Know-Nothing ... in more than one sense of the word. (posted 12/12/07, permalink)
"What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" Last week, Dan 'Has-Been' Rather sounded off about his replacement, Katie Couric. Puffed up his withered morgue-skin chest and beat it with arthritis-gnarled fists as he attempted a wheezy, blustery bellow, he did. And muttered about the Sad State of the Evening News. And cursed the night.
Who the #@&*! cares?! The only people who watch the evening news these days are really old people. In nursing homes. Or on dialysis machines. Or drooling all over their wheelchair tray. They think Katie is "cute" and looks kinda like that nurse who comes around bearing a tray full of suppositories. "Just lay on your side and breathe through your mouth, sweetie, while I get this thing in ya."
The only time I watch the evening news is when I'm trying to take a nap and having trouble falling asleep. Unless Larry King is on, of course. Zzzzzzzzzzz. (posted 6/20/07, permalink)
Oprah Odyssey: Oprah and her 'friend', Gayle, have been touring the U.S., just like "ordinary" tourists, except that they have an entourage of 20 or so people, back-up vehicles, multiple video cameras and an armored car full of money. They stopped at the Wig-Wam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona which features concrete tee-pee-shaped units. My wife watched the program and reported that the lady who owned the motel didn't even know who Oprah was.
Gayle didn't like the lack of windows and natural sunlight in the teepee, so they left to seek more conventional lodgings. I was surprised that one of Oprah's minions didn't run into town and buy an thick piece of acrylic and make an all-acrylic door to replace the wooden front door on the wigwam. It would have let lots of sunlight in and placated the apparently-claustrophobic Gayle.
This would have been another marketing opportunity to that business juggernaut known as Oprah. She could have offered a private-branded version of acrylic sheet - Oprahglas. (posted 10/16/06, permalink)
Keith Olbermann Really Is Milhouse ... even in bed. A woman who claims she had an unsatisfying one-night stand with Keith Olbermann is getting her sweet revenge - she's launched a blog to warn other women about the acerbic MSNBC commentator-jerk's boorish bedroom habits.
According to a story on Page Six, she says he came to her hotel room and opened a bottle of Merlot which he "spilled all over." Then, when "sexual activity began [in] less than an hour," Olbermann had difficulty.
Later. ... (more >>>)
As Comic Book Guy Would Say, "Worst Ever!" John Podhoretz calls Maureen Dowd's column "the worst op-ed column ever written" and says she's "Erma Bombeck for metrosexual imbeciles."
The Dowd column in question is a dumb story about a man changing his name to 'Rachael' and why he did so.
Poor Erma Bombeck - she must be rolling in her grave. I enjoyed her writing and find this comparrison disturbing.
You already know how I feel about Maureen Dowd. (posted 7/12/06, permalink)
Corpse Photo Ops: Many in the media world are angry because the government tried to block reporters from taking photos of the bloated dead bodies in New Orleans. Yelling about "freedom of the press", blah, blah, etc. This makes me - and Mark Tapscott - irritated.
This issue is not about 'freedom'. It's about 'taste' and 'decorum'. Many media people don't seem to care a rat's patootie about the ethics of publishing photos of decomposing corpses - as long as it's that of an ordinary Joe or Jane and not one of "their people." I wish to point out the following:
1. I didn't see any photos or videos of Peter Jennings' limp, lifeless body being removed from his Manhattan penthouse after his death. Or shots of Jessica Savitch's legs sticking out of that canal in New Hope, PA. Or body bag shots of Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Chalmers Roberts. Or columnist Mary McGrory's corpse exiting on a removal gurney. Why? Because they're "our own kind. We wouldn't dare."
2. Where are the photos of William Rehnquist's shrouded remains being hustled out of his home to a waiting hearse? You won't find any, because such things might offend "valuable sources" around The Beltway. "I mean, how can you look them in the eyes after such an intrusive act? And then ask for more inside skinny?"
3. Television helicopters certainly tried to get some ghoulish close-ups of Terri Schiavo when her body was being removed from the nursing home. As I recall, regular programming was interrupted as the 'copters followed the white M.E.'s van all the way to the loading dock of the morgue. Why? Because the Terri never attended a cocktail party with any of the newsies. To them, she wasn't a person; just a story.
4. Why were no photos of body parts from the World Trade Center tragedy published? Well, most media companies have a substantial New York presence. That mangled hand might belong to Someone We Knew. Of course, if the bloated floater is just some ordinary, unlucky black cab driver in Louisiana, well ... that's very different, isn't it?
The "objective" press is about as two-faced as you can get. Low-life, necrophillic hypocrites. (posted 9/12/05, permalink)
Two Chrisses: Chris Jansing is doing quite a bit of MSNBC's Vatican coverage of the Pope's funeral from Rome. Her reports are professional yet interesting and she offers a wealth of background information about the Papacy and the Vatican. She has obviously done her homework.
In contrast, Chris Matthews has been a total jerk in Rome. He even argued with a young theologian priest about clerical celibacy. This is not an appropriate time for such debates - sobriety and reflection should be the order of the day.
At one point, his demeanor made me wonder if he was - um - not sober. (Too much Chateauneuf Du Pape, perhaps?)
Matthews seems to think he's on a vacation, rather than covering a funeral. And ... he's a Catholic, too. Shame on you, Chris M. To its credit, MSNBC's Newsweek site has a comprehensive and well-written article about Pope John Paul II.
John Podhoretz also wrote a thoughtful piece about the late pontiff in the New York Post. (posted 4/4/05, permalink)
No Mo' Mo: I have only read a few excerpts of Maureen Dowd's writing (I rarely read the New York Times) and had never seen her on television. I know that many posters on Lucianne.com consider Dowd to be beneath contempt. But I never knew why. On Saturday, I watched Tim Russert's show on CNBC and was exposed to an Hour-O-Mo. All I can say is, "What a bitch!"
Ms. Dowd, who was hawking her latest book, 'Bushworld' - a smug hatchet job on the President, his kin and his administration - is a smart-aleck harpy who believes that a smattering ... (more >>>)
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