Category Archives: TV

On lib’rul (TV) media, John McCain always wins

I just came across an interesting bit (interactive and with links) at ‘The Upshot’ on the NYTimes website.

Since the beginning of 2009, more than 1,500 people have appeared on five Sunday news and political talk shows: “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week,” “Fox News Sunday” and “State of the Union.” Many are familiar faces in Washington, where lawmakers, consultants and pundits routinely sound off on the week’s news, while others come from the worlds of entertainment and sports. Researchers at American University have collected more than 9,000 appearances. Below is a listing of those guests, excluding network employees or contracted regular guests.

A total of the Top Ten with the most appearances (McCain tops them all) shows:

  • Republican guests:  405
  • Democratic guests:  262

Any questions?

(The site, by the way, lists all 1500. I guess there’s always someone to count everything.)

UPDATE: Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury who was at the center of the financial meltdown, appeared only once in five years. Books have been written about him, movies have been made about him (one quite excellent – can’t remember the name) but he wasn’t someone the gasbags wanted to have a word with?

On Demand is really annoying me

1381719_10152397079184657_408001691_nOr maybe it’s the damn networks’ fault. Or Obama’s. Or Bush’s. (Hey, I’m going with Bush. That’s always easy.)

For about a year now, and increasingly, recorded shows cut off before the last-minute or two. So f**k me.

I always watch Jon Stewart the next morning while getting breakfast. And I have never seen his ‘Moment of Zen’ in its entirety. Never.

The TV Guide is at least honest about what’s coming . . . they list the real run time – for instance, 8:00 – 9:01.

Have these folk noticed that live streaming is biting at their tails? I’d say it’s a heck of a time to get your viewers angry.

When John McCain is good, he is very, very . . .

Now that the couch at Fox & Friends is getting a new lady to sit in the middle, it’s time for me to stop referring to Brian Kilmeade as the one whose name no one knows. After all, he is now the second most recognizable face of the couch dwellers. Watch that very face as John McCain ‘splains a little something:

It looks like the villagers* are aboard

Aye aye sir. Now keep me on the Rolodex, ya'hear?

Aye aye sir. Now keep me on the Rolodex, ya’hear?

If there were any doubt at all about corporate (not to mention entirely self-absorbed) media playing the apologist when one’s place in the social pecking order in D.C. is at stake, let this exchange settle it – David Gregory and his cohort are only too glad to jump aboard the USS Patriot. And salute.

“Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked columnist Glenn Greenwald why he shouldn’t be charged with a crime for working with NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Greenwald was on to discuss his source’s Sunday morning flight from Hong Kong to Moscow. (It is unclear where Snowden will ultimately land, though reports have suggested he is headed to Venezuela.) At the tail end of the conversation, Gregory suddenly asked Greenwald why the government shouldn’t be going after him.

“To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” he asked.

Greenwald replied that it was “pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” and that there was no evidence to back up Gregory’s claim that he had “aided” Snowden.

Keep speaking truth to power Glenn. You’re on the right side of this one. (There’s video at the link.)

*And who are ‘the villagers’? See here.

Billions and billions . . .

Carl_Sagan_Planetary_Society. . . of stars. I can still hear the late Carl Sagan saying that on his iconic TV program Cosmos,  so I got a little thrill when I saw this story from Phoenix:

An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for this afternoon’s session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads.

Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his “secular humanist tradition” and even quoted author Carl Sagan.

Mendez said:

“I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”

. . . “Carl Sagan once wrote, ‘For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.'”

 

 

The Twitter and the ‘Twixt and the ‘Tween

Any reader of this blog knows of my fondness for comparing the financial and circulation differences between big name liberal and conservative publications. Previous entries (here and here) have compared only print publications. So how about the some presence on social media? Let us look at The Twitter and see who’s got the followers.

To begin, the big boys:

  • The New York Times – 8,207,190 followers
  • The Wall Street Journal – 2,730, 128 followers
  • The Washington Times (just for the fun of it) – 70,187 (Remember that one next time it’s used as a source on radio or tv.)

Okay, how about some individuals who dispense wisdom financial and economic?

  • Rick Santelli (patron saint of the Tea Party) – 13,958
  • Paul Krugman – 1,003,471
  • Larry Kudlow – 58,592

What about cable teevee’s 9:00 p.m. stars?

  • Sean Hannity – 668,302
  • Rachel Maddow – 2,568,204

And a few miscellaneous big names:

  • Michelle Malkin – 508,521
  • Michael Moore – 1,521, 596
  • Rush Limbaugh – 356,322
  • Matt Drudge – 184,243 (fading in fame?)
  • Bill O’Reilly – 364,663

Who has followers in the millions? Same story as with print media.

I’m going with sexy in a boy/girl kind of way

Over at Buzzfeed, responding to the urgent yet eternal need to fill space with any and all arcana the little webloggers can think up . . . they’ve morphed everyone’s favorite cable talking heads so we have an O’Reilly/Maddow, an S.E. Cupp/Toure (one of the better ones) and on . . . missing from the fun are Matthews, Hannity, a few others. Here’s my favorite – it really works!

cabeTVmorph

Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Paul Simon, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin

snlThus was Justin Timberlake’s supporting cast on Saturday Night Live just now, where they can still surprise. It was a kick, but a lot of them looked old, really really old.

(I’m climbing into bed now and biting my knuckles to stop the screaming.)

 

 

Where is Dylan Ratigan?

Neither his website nor his Facebook page show any activity after June 2012.   Many of us remember his infamous “rant heard round the world” on his MSNBC show in  August of 2011, after which nervousness ensued in various quarters. It was full of ugly truths and made plutocracrats across the planet very very uncomfortable. And, I’m sure, angry. Shortly after, Ratigan abruptly announced he was ending the show and said he’d be launching some kind of collaborative activist entity. He put up a website, got on the Twitter and FB, sold his loft in NYC and went – where?

Here is a vid of the rant, and  his own follow-up post about it. The transcript itself is below the fold if you would rather read, but the passion in the video is powerful and I think it’s well worth the three plus minutes of your time.

I picked up most of this at a blog called The Golden Age of Gaia which is, unsurprisingly given the name, a very metaphysical place. (The post is here.)

Dylan Explains his rant:

I’m Mad As Hell. How About You?

August 10, 2011

Yesterday, on TV, I exploded. I spent two minutes giving a primal yell at our political system, demanding the extraction of our money and dignity end. It was my most heartfelt and emotional moment on television, ever.

And the emails poured in. I hit a chord, because it’s something we all feel. Take a look.

With the markets in turmoil and the global financial architecture groaning under the weight of fraud and corruption, it’s a good time to think about what leadership would look like. Believe it or not, we have had good leadership, purpose, integrity, and aligned interests in this country.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy faced a dilemma — how could he direct our intense competitive passion with the Soviet Union in a direction other than war? The answer was his call for America to beat the Soviets to the moon. Kennedy understood power; if he did not lead us towards peaceful productive competition, that same animus would have turned violent (see this key memo on the real rationale for the space race). So he took the passion and focus of our society, the technology of war and missiles, and turned it into a great mission to explore space. He gave us a shared goal.

But that’s not the full story. Kennedy also demanded we use the finest scientists and engineers to design the rockets, and made sure that the path to the moon was based on the best possible solution to get there. For large rocket boosters, he was open to chemical, nuclear, liquid fuels, or any combination. He did not put a commission of astrologers in charge, and he did not put political cronies with no scientific background in charge of designing the rockets.

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Where are the conservative performers he asks

Oh the stupid, it just hurts. The ‘timing is suspicious’ they say. Perhaps it might have been better if NBC did their one hour benefit concert before the storm and not so close to the election.

After all, they could have included Meatloaf (formerly a favorite of mine). Listen to what a has-been who’s lost the voice sounds like (he jumps in at 1:00) and check out the confused Mitt Romney who has certainly never heard Paradise by the Dashboard Light.

Tired old question that the dems on my teevee have no idea how to answer

Are you better off today than you were four years ago? asked Ronald Reagan, 1980 in his debate with Jimmy Carter. And it’s been asked over and over and over and over since then.

It’s now the question of this week among the pundit class and is being asked of official Democrats with some frequency. And every answer I’ve witnessed has been a complete fumble. There is an answer. It’s yes, we are better off.

The month after Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent; it’s 8.3 percent now. Sticking him with the January number when he was president for only ten days [see below] of it seems silly to me (as, by the way, does the unemployment in his first year). But the difference is that in February 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month; in July 2012, we’re adding around 150,000 jobs a month over the past year, despite a huge drop in government employment. The stock market has made big gains – from around 6500 in the spring of 2009 to almost 13000 today, inflation is under control, and interest rates are at deep lows. We’re out of the quagmire of Iraq and al Qaeda has been decimated. 30 million more people have potential access to health insurance. Yes, median household income is very meaningful – but it’s not the only metric. Of course, we’re better off.

That’s a response to an article in The New Republic, which claims otherwise, using an historical construct worthy of Paul Ryan’s speechwriter. The author, Timothy Noah writes:

There can be little doubt that Americans are worse off, economically, than they were in 2008. Median household income has fallen since 2008, and (according to one study) it’s fallen even more steeply during the recovery than it did during the 2007-2009 recession.  . . . At the moment the misery index is 9.7 (8.3 percent unemployment plus 1.4 percent inflation), compared to 7.8 (7.8 percent unemployment plus 0 percent inflation) the month Obama took office. So by that venerable metric we’re worse off than we were four years ago. We just are.

Well, sure, just like the Janesville auto plant ‘closed’ after Obama took office. Same thing.

Colbert Report won a Peabody!

The show got the award for its series of Super PAC segments. Good for them.

Aaron Sorkin is going all Aaron Sorkin on us again

HBO just released a trailer for its new series Newsroom by Aaron Sorkin. It looks like a bit of same old, same old, but that’s just fine with me, cuz no one does same old,  same old quite as well as Sorkin.  Show premieres in June.

History – according to the History Channel*

* original source Graphjam.com, but I found it at Under The Mountain Bunker, which urges the reader to “Come for the Apocalypse; stay for the coffee”. Okay.