Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Padma Lakshmi and ‘Top Chef’ crew find Teamsters’ Local flavor bitter


seiu-union-redefinedThe Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 — the crew that drives for most TV and movie productions made in Massachusetts — reportedly harassed and threatened the cast and crew of Bravo’s “Top Chef” while the show was filming in Milton earlier this summer, but a network source said the ugly incident won’t deter them from returning to Boston in the future.

“It was an isolated incident but we had a great experience overall shooting in Boston,” the source told the Track. “I don’t think it would prevent us from coming back. Boston is a great city with a lot to offer.”

According to, the Teamsters threw up a picket line while the hit TV cooking competition was filming at the Steel & Rye restaurant in Milton. The union types were miffed because Bravo was using production assistants to drive their cars and not the union. When “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi arrived on the set, picketers called her a “(expletive) whore,” our source confirmed, and threatened to “bash that pretty face in.”

The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the “Top Chef” crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were “threatening, heckling and harassing” but said no arrests were made. The union protest was confined to just that one day during “Top Chef’s” two-month shoot.

Local 25 president Sean O’Brien was out of town and unavailable for comment yesterday, according to spokeswoman Melissa Hurley.

“As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened,” Hurley said. “This is typical of nonunion companies who often make excuses for why they won’t hire union labor.”

Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem


The interview was lively and interesting but it did not go well for Carter, who was forced to admit his ignorance of the historical context of the situation in Iraq.

But then Carter said he hadn’t read various other books, such as Bernard Lewis’ Crisis of Islam, Robin Wright’s Dreams and Shadows, or Thomas P. M. Barnett’s The Pentagon’s New Map. He said he hadn’t read Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War but that he’d “read a lot of the stuff that he’s written for The New Yorker.” Filkins joined The New Yorker in 2011. He said he does not read politician’s memoirs, including Cheney’s or George W. Bush’s. That he was unaware that Bill Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998 or that Gadhafi had reportedly disarmed in 2003. He admitted he doesn’t know who A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistan bomb and godfather of Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, is.

It’s such a display of ignorance that it seems almost unfair. But looked at another way, it’s simply a good interview where Hewitt seeks to establish Carter’s background and breadth of knowledge in order to help listeners know on what basis he critiqued Cheney.

The real problem is the arrogance that goes with the ignorance. Remember how President Reagan once quipped, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so”? Yeah, well, I think the ignorance may be turning into a problem.

Nothing but a snake-oil salesman…

Dr. Oz Defends His Pseudoscientific Claims As Harmless ‘Flowery Language’

Subcommittee chair Senator Clair McCaskill talked about the “Oz Effect.” After Oz endorses unproven products such as green coffee extract and raspberry ketone, businesses often use his own quotes to help them sell products that are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. The weight-loss supplement industry is notorious for false advertising and tainted products. Yet it’s no wonder they quote Dr. Oz. He’s well known and liked, and his endorsements already sound like copy lifted from a dubious infomercial, although they never mention brands. “You may think magic is make-believe, but this little bean has scientists saying they found the magic weight-loss for every body type,” he once said about green coffee extract.

The Consumerist and The Hill have some great quotes from McCaskill’s questioning:

The scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products that you called miracles. And when you call a product a miracle and it’s something that you can buy and it’s something that gives people false hope, I just don’t understand why you need to go there.

Oz defended his favorite products, saying they help people ease into more sensible diet- and exercise-based weight-loss plans: “We search for tools and crutches; short-term supports so that people can jumpstart their programs.” He also defended what he called “flowery” language, as if his pseudoscience were just, like, an overlong description of a sunset: “When I can’t use language that is flowery, that is exulting, I feel like I’ve been disenfranchised.”

Coming out of the closet…

Legendary Actor Slams PC Culture, Praises Krauthammer

“Planet of the Apes” star and self-identified libertarian Gary Oldman went on a tirade about the “hypocrisy” of an increasingly politically correct culture in an interview with “Playboy” for the upcoming July/August issue.

“I just think political correctness is crap,” he said. “That’s what I think about it. I think it’s like, take a joke. Get over it.”

Asked who is honest in this culture, Oldman gave Charles Krauthammer a shoutout. “A voice I particularly like is Charles Krauthammer,” he said. “I think he’s incredibly smart. I think he’s fair, very savvy and politically insightful, so I enjoy watching him.”

He also pointed out people can “hide behind comedy and satire” in order to say politically incorrect things. “Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a **** — I can’t really say that,” Oldman explained. “But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it.”

If You Have DSL, You’re Probably Not Getting What You Pay For


The FCC’s fourth annual report on broadband speeds is in, and it’s mostly good news. Unless you’re DSL customer. If so, your internet speeds are most likely slower than advertised. And soon, several companies will get a letter from the FCC demanding an explanation.

Four DSL providers—Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier, and Windstream—will also receive letters for delivering speeds significantly slower than advertised. This has been going on for a while, and despite what some major telecom executives have claimed, the trend is a clear indication that DSL can’t actually compete with broadband and fiber. To Verizon’s credit, its FiOS service clocked some of the fastest speeds included in the report. So it’s not like the company can’t provide fast service. It’s just not keeping the promises it made to the customers who pay less.

If You Have DSL, You're Probably Not Getting What You Pay For

The FCC news comes on the heels of a dustup between Netflix and Verizon over streaming speeds. A couple weeks ago, Netflix somewhat brazenly called out Verizon for failing to provide enough bandwidth to stream videos smoothly. It was an odd situation—and surely a PR stunt to some degree—since Netflix and Verizon had signed a deal to ensure smooth delivery of streaming videos. To hear Netflix tell it, though, Verizon didn’t live up to that promise either.

Nice work if you can get it…

Chelsea Clinton hasn’t been on NBC News for FOUR months but still earns $50,000 a month even though the show she was on was scrapped

Chelsea Clinton – under scrutiny for her pricey contract with NBC News – hasn’t been featured since January, but the network says it does expect two completed stories to air soon, and two others are in the works.

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s daughter, who was hired in 2011, has done just a smattering of reporting for NBC News.

Last week, Politico reported she is being paid $600,000 a year. Politico also said the 34-year-old, who is expecting her first child later this year, is now on a month-to-month contract that would ease her departure should her mother decide to run for president in 2016.

While it is not uncommon for well-known anchors to earn multiple millions per year, but Clinton’s reported annual salary is high for the frequency of her segments.

Ya think??

She’s not even 16 – aren’t their child labor laws in effect?

“Malia Obama has been working as a production assistant on the Los Angeles set of Halle Berry‘s TV series ‘Extant’…”

Is this wrong somehow? She’s not skipping school. It’s summer vacation, and she’s working, working with the stars. Maybe someone else’s teenager would like the slot that went to the President’s daughter, but she’s reportedly “an aspiring filmmaker.”

Is this a campaign finance issue? Daughters of politicians getting glamorous summer jobs from campaign contributors? Any potential for corruption there?
AND: Whatever they’re giving Malia, it seems they’re getting their money’s worth in PR. I’d never heard of the TV show “Extant.” And Halle Berry shifting into television is an indication of her waning star power. But… suddenly, Malia!! “Extant” and Halle Berry’s career are… extant.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Halle Berry’s career is so well known to be in bad shape that people talk about “The Halle Berry Effect.” What could be more helpful than juxtaposing her radiant face with the radiant daughter of the most radiant face in all of history?

When you anger the shareholders

And then give flippant responses, rest assured, the future will come into focus quickly…

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes was thoroughly questioned by the National Center’s Justin Danhof on CNN’s left-wing bias at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Los Angeles.

Danhof asked Mr. Bewkes about CNN’s coverage of Benghazi, Candy Crowley’s pretentious and erroneous judging within the 2012 presidential debates, climate change, a miniseries promoting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the appointment of David Chalian to political director – a man who has claimed the GOP is “happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

“Mr. Bewkes is either blindly unaware or callously indifferent to what is going on at CNN – specifically the network’s pervasive liberal bias,” said Danhof. “And the network’s poor ratings bear this out. When I asked Mr. Bewkes if he would first admit that CNN has a pro-liberal bias, so he could start working towards a solution, he flatly refused. But at the same time, he said my criticism was sincere and important, and that’s what the network needs to hear as it works to get better. This is the definition of talking out of both sides of your mouth. Of course our criticism of the network is valid. And of course CNN suffers from having left-leaning hosts and producers. Mr. Bewkes just chooses not to recognize the latter and its correlation with CNN’s woeful ratings.”

“While Mr. Bewkes may have his head in the sand, the company shareholders in attendance at today’s meeting heard me loud and clear and vociferously applauded my question,” noted Danhof. “Despite being in the heart of liberal elite Hollywood – on the Warner Brothers lot – the audience loudly applauded my calls for CNN to take steps to curb its liberal bias and produce news stories devoid of only liberal narratives. And after the meeting, I was further encouraged as many shareholders came up to thank me personally for my comments and express disgust with CNN’s current content. In fact, at one point a line formed as shareholders wanted to express their thanks for the courage we showed in speaking out on this very important issue.”

Yep, its come to this…

Comedy Central Daily Show more trusted for news than MSNBC

As I’ve long suspected, MSNBC is a failed comedy that takes itself too seriously.  Its trust rating as a news organization has been surpassed by Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.  Here we have Comedy Central, a real comedy network, trusted more than MSNBC, a fake comedy network posing as news.

The survey by the Bookings Institution and Public Religion Research Institute is even more revealing about how Americans get their news.

2014-06-11-MSNBCtrustA picture is worth a thousand words, and this one clearly shows which party claims “low information voters.”  Getting the majority of your news from a 30-minute liberal spin cycle and recycled Obama talking points is guaranteed to wash even the most energetic of brain cells into a state of compliant somnambulance.  Democrats should be able to cast every episode of The Walking Dead based on their news diet.

New Republic poo-poohs the study. Shilling for the liberal MSM, they contend that Fox News is an “echo chamber” and retreat to the safety of nervous laughter behind Obama’s 2012 presidential election victory as proof.  That line is so frayed that even liberals find it useless.

And this is my surprise face…

Poll: MSNBC The Least Trusted Name In TV News

MSNBC is the least trusted name in news, even less than the comedy program The Daily Show, a new Brookings and Public Religion Research poll revealed.

Fox News Channel ranked as the most trusted name overall (25 percent of respondents) and with self-described independents (26 percent), while only 5 percent of all Americans rated the liberal channel its most trusted source of accurate information on politics and current events, Mediaite reported.

Broadcast news (23 percent overall) was second behind Fox, followed by CNN (17 percent), public television (12 percent) and Jon Stewart’s Daily Show (8 percent). Also, only 10 percent of liberals rated MSNBC the most trusted, with 24 percent of them choosing broadcast news and 17 percent going with public television or The Daily Show, respectively.


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