Category Archives: Television

We are in the wrong business…

$80 Million for 6 Weeks for Cable Chief

Robert D. Marcus became chief executive of Time Warner Cable at the start of the year. Less than two months later, he agreed to sell the company to its largest rival, Comcast, for $45 billion.

For that work, he will receive nearly $80 million if the deal closes, a severance payment that amounts to more than $1 million a day for the six weeks he ran the company before agreeing to sell.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it is rare and troubling,” said Robert Jackson Jr., an associate professor at Columbia Law School. “There’s something stunning about such big paydays for such a small amount of work.”

Ya think?

How ‘Free to Be … You and Me’ emasculated men

NYPost

The show, which is of course unwatchable today except perhaps in states with generous attitudes toward self-medication such as Colorado and Washington, was an hour-long special that meant to tell little girls they could be anything they wanted, and little boys they could be anything they wanted too, provided that what they wanted was to be girls.

The program’s most searing and indelible moment was the horrifying sight of Rosey Grier, a huge man once known as one of the most ferocious players in the NFL, strumming a guitar, smiling like a brain donor and singing “It’s All Right to Cry.”

No wonder that the girls of the “Free to Be” generation would grow up to buy millions of copies of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Forty years of gender re-education later, the only place they could find masculine men anymore was fiction.

Jeering Al-Jazeera

Wow! Al-Jazeera’s pulling MSNBC’s numbers!

Ad Age has a short article out right now about the colossal face-plant that is Al Jazeera America, formerly CurrentTV, which Al Jazeera bought from Al Gore for something like $100 million.  Get a load of these numbers for viewership:

The channel isn’t even pulling in half the total audience that predecessor Current TV managed. Al Jazeera America has averaged just 15,000 total viewers in prime-time since bowing in August, with only 5,000 viewers in the target 25-to-54-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen figures. That’s low enough to be considered “scratch,” or negligible, by Nielsen. For the marketers that still worry about the channel’s perspective and its image in the U.S., those aren’t the kind of numbers to tempt a re-examination.

Only 15,000 prime time viewers?  Seriously?

FCC Monitors Your News, Komrade

We’re from the government and we’re here to help….

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who first raised awareness of the CINs in the Wall Street Journal, warned:

The FCC says the study is merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.

This claim is peculiar. How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?

Consider how news reporting on these needs might be geared by the FCC based on their definitions of “station bias” and “underserved populations.” America’s free press, already ranked at an abysmal 46 by Reporters Without Borders, would sink even further down the drain. The organization notes:

No fewer that eight individuals have been charged under the Espionage Act since Obama became president, compared with three during Bush’s two terms. While 2012 was in part the year of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, 2013 will be remember for the National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden, who exposed the mass surveillance methods developed by the US intelligence agencies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already declared his jealousy of Obama’s power when it comes to NSA surveillance. The ex-KGB officer has yet to publicly drool over the prospects of the FCC study. For its part, the FCC has yet to determine whether or not an ex-Soviet intelligence officer’s jealousy of the president of the free world is a story that constitutes bias.

Disturbingly enough, it is a story that is relevant to an increasingly underserved population: the American public.

The New Contras: Understanding The Left’s Grip On Media

TheFederalist

While talk radio and FOX grab much of the attention, what really broke the left’s control over media was the Internet. Before its advent, one needed a large investment in a printing press or a broadcast tower to engage a mass audience; afterward, all one needed was a few hundred dollars for a basic computer and Internet service. The web shattered barriers to entry and, suddenly, pent up demand for information free of non-progressive bias met an onrush of supply.

It must bother the President no end that he has to contend with the likes of FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Breitbart News, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, James O’Keefe and thousands of independent bloggers too numerous to name, plus a network of millions of conservatives sharing the content they create on social media. Questions on the IRS’s oppressive tactics against conservative groups (there’s no other way to describe it); the killing of an American ambassador at Benghazi, Libya, and the tragicomedy that Obamacare has become, will now keep surfacing. Thus the President’s evident petulance. And it just kills his supporters that the most progressive President since Wilson, or perhaps ever, is being blocked from implementing what is to them a beautiful vision of government-led bliss and finally transforming the country into another industrial social democracy. The President’s backers look down on Sen. Cruz, and tellingly their biggest complaint is not that he’s conservative but that he refuses to play along like many did before him.

Good luck with that…

MSNBC Scrambles Behind the Scenes to Change Its Vitriolic Culture

The Associated Press writes that MSNBC, the network that is rife with anti-conservative and anti-GOP rhetoric, is beginning to realize – together with its corporate affiliates – that its personal attacks on Republicans may not be in its interest.

The AP reports that MSNBC President Phil Griffin, who apologized to GOP National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus after MSNBC’s twitter feed contained a message that implied the political right wing would hate a Cheerios ad featuring a biracial couple, “has quietly put the word out to hosts to avoid personal attacks.”

MSNBC’s recent history has featured firing a staff member who was responsible for the offensive tweet; Alec Baldwin quitting after using an anti-gay slur in public; afternoon host Martin Bashir resigning after his on-air suggestion that someone should defecate in former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s mouth; and Melissa Harris-Perry apologizing after mocking Mitt Romney’s family Christmas card for having one black family member, Romney’s adopted African-American grandson.

And they wonder why they are tanking in the news ratings…They’re pandering to the lowest common denominator…

Doctor diagnoses man with help from TV’s ‘House’

AP

He said the man’s symptoms matched up almost perfectly with a patient on an episode in which the fictional Dr. Gregory House, played by British actor Hugh Laurie, identified cobalt poisoning as the cause. The series ended in 2012 after an eight-year run.

Schaefer regularly uses the television series to teach medical students. When he saw the patient with heart failure in May 2012, he had recently prepared a lecture on the show’s cobalt poisoning case, where House’s future mother-in-law falls ill after receiving a faulty metal hip.

Exposing liberal apologies, Palin and Romney shouldn’t forgive MSNBC hosts

WashingtonTimes

Why are liberals becoming even more vile in their public discourse? I contend it’s a result, in part, of the fact that they get away with it, and they gain power as conservative leadership retreats from the ugliness. There have never been any serious consequences for liberal hate speech, threats and general cultural assault.

Conservatives, on the other hand, the target of that bile, act on their inherent decency and “forgive and forget.”

We’ve all watched with familiar astonishment some in the leftist media expressing their rank malice for conservatives with not just the usual horrid insults, but arguments for specific personal harm to be done, and the mocking of a child.

My concern is the reaction by high-profile conservatives who, after having been smeared in the most repugnant of ways, immediately accept the apologies of the liberals who slander them. This pattern needs to change.

Writer, Arthur Conan Doyle estate dispute copyright on Sherlock Holmes

DeseretNews

At the heart of the dispute is whether a character can be copyright protected over an entire series of works. The Doyle estate argues that a basic element of copyright law allows for that if the character is highly delineated, as opposed to a two-dimensional cartoon-like character who doesn’t change much over time.

In ruling against the estate, Judge Ruben Castillo called that a “novel legal argument” that was “counter to the goals of the Copyright Act.” The lawsuit was filed in Chicago because a literary agent for the Doyle estate is based in Illinois.

There’s no question that Holmes and Watson are highly complex characters. Conan Doyle produced a total of four Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 stories between 1887 and 1927.

Klinger argues that everything you really need to know about Holmes and Watson is in the novels and stories published before 1923 that are in the public domain in the U.S. That includes their family backgrounds, education and a slew of character traits: Holmes’ Bohemian nature and cocaine use, erratic eating habits, his Baker Street lodgings, his methods of reasoning, his clever use of disguise, his skill in chemistry and even his weapon of choice, a loaded hunting crop.

“Everything that the lay person would think of as being a characteristic of Holmes or Watson is in those pre-1923 stories,” said Klinger, who is also an attorney and lives in Malibu, Calif. “In fact, some would say you could pick up almost everything you need from the very first story.”

Well, he really doesn’t DO anything…

Where Is Obama Finding the Time to Watch So Much Television?

These days, when Mr. Obama retreats to the White House residence after a long day on the other end of the colonnade, he is working his way through the DVD box set of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’….

Friends say Mr. Obama is also keenly awaiting the new season of the Netflix show ‘House of Cards.’…

Mr. Obama is also a devotee of Showtime’s ‘Homeland.’…

And the list of heavies continues. Mr. Obama has told people he is a big fan of ‘Game of Thrones.’… He has raved about ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and the BBC’s ‘Downton Abbey.’… And he has worked his way through the DVDs of AMC’s smoldering ‘Mad Men’ series. Obama is also enamored, Times writer Michael Shear adds, of HBO’s ‘The Wire,’ ‘Real Housewives,’ ‘Glee’ ABC’s ‘Modern Family’ and NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter.’

No one is criticizing the president’s tastes in viewing, but his TV habits — or at least the number of series, most with running times of one hour, that he professes to watch — do raise a question: When does he find time to play golf?
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