Archive for the ‘Television’ Category
Getting Bigger For Bigness’ Sake: AT&T Announces Deal To Buy DirecTV, A Deal That Even Confuses Wall St.
Why? When DirecTV is hemorraging users for cheaper tech, namely Roku or Apple TV or internet programs is AT&T scooping up DTV?
This has been rumored for a bit, but over the weekend AT&T officially announced plans to buy DirecTV for $50 billion. DirecTV is one of the companies perpetually being bought and sold (or rumored to be). The company has been involved in more aborted mergers than I can remember. Either way, while Wall Street folks often like just about any merger announcement (mergers and later spinoffs are great moneymakers for the banks), even it has been scratching its head at this particular deal. At best, it seems like a sort of reaction to Comcast-Time Warner Cable and an attempt to get bigger for the sake of bigness. Though, of course, it’s getting bigger in a pretty saturated market (and one that is actually on the decline due to cord cutting). Perhaps it’s an admission that AT&T’s own TV service, Uverse, just hasn’t done that well. Or maybe it’s just an admission that AT&T is swimming in too much cash.
Either way, if both this and the Comcast/TWC merger go through, then we’ll have an almost complete duopoly on pay TV. Congress wasted no time in announcing that hearings will have to be held about the potential merger, and, as with the Comcast deal, expect months of puffed up rhetoric and questionable op-ed pieces, as lobbyists work over time to make sure the deal happens. Of course, there is another way that the public can make their own statement on all of this: cut the cord and stop relying on terrible pay TV deals that really just aren’t worth it any more.
I guess they have to buy something…
“I am who the media says I am. I say what they say I say. I become who they say I’ve become.”—Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006.
“The White House has effectively become a broadcast company,” says Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, a site dedicated to the analysis of news images. Shaw explains how strategically composed photos, taken by official White House photographers, travel from social media sites that are controlled by the administration to the front pages of newspapers around the world.
The press publishes the official White House photographs because independent photographers and videographers are increasingly barred from covering the president. This practice has diminished the power of the independent media as an exclusive distribution channel while empowering official photographers such as Pete Souza, who are on the presidential payroll.
And so, says Shaw, the public has been fed a steady diet of whatever kind of president the news cycle demands. When conspiracy theorists questioned Obama’s patriotism, we saw images of Obama the American everyman. To celebrate the anniversary of Rosa Parks’ 1955 refusal to move to the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, we saw Obama reenact her famous image. Time and again, we see Obama striking poses out of John F. Kennedy’s repertoire. The official White House photographers have created a presidential identity for every conceivable occasion—as long as the image is flattering, and almost always, larger than life.
Bill Maher Delivers Blistering Takedown of Radical Islam During Tense Battle With Liberal Panel on Terrorism
Huffington Post President Arianna Huffington and comedian Baratunde Thurston both warned Maher against condemning the entire religion because of the behavior of radicals. Thurston also claimed that Islam doesn’t have a “monopoly” on extremism.
“Kind of they do,” Maher said. “Not a monopoly, but perspective is important. … It’s the Titanic hitting the iceberg compared to Whitney Houston dying in her bathtub.”
“If this was the 14th century, I would be coming down on the Christians because that’s when they were too violent,” Maher said. “Religions and cultures change.”
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza chimed in, claiming that most modern day terrorist attacks have some ties to Islam. He joked that you don’t see a lot of “Buddhist suicide bombers.”
Maher also noted that one poll indicated that “something like 80 or 90 percent” of Muslims in Egypt agree that death is the appropriate penalty for leaving the religion of Islam.
“If 84 percent of Brazilians thought that death was the proper penalty for leaving Catholicism, wouldn’t that be a bigger story?” Maher asked.
Responding to Maher’s points, Huffington said it is “dangerous” when people try to stereotype all Muslims as terrorists, even though neither Maher or D’Souza made that claim.
“Where it becomes dangerous is that liberals like yourself do not stand up for liberalism. Liberalism means, one, mostly, equality of women,” Maher replied.
HGTV had announced a new series, Flip it Forward, planned for October, starring twins David and Jason Benham.
In each episode, the brothers would find a fixer-upper and “transform it into their forever home — with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way,” said HGTV in the April announcement.
But today, quietly, in a tweet, HGTV says the show will not be happening.
t appears, according to Towleroad.com, that HGTV was alerted to a Tuesday story by Right Wing Watch.org, which looked into the background of the Benham brothers and found them to be “anti-gay, anti-Choice extremists.”
“We were saddened to hear HGTV’s decision. With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television today you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals. If our faith costs us a television show then so be it.”
They’re at it again.
The Fascist assault on speech continues.
This time, HGTV has decided to drop a planned reality show starring two brothers named Jason and David Benham. The show would have centered around the Benhams fixing up dilapidated houses for families in need. A worthy cause, a wholesome idea, a show that might do some good in the world. But it had to be shutdown because deep, dark secrets have been revealed about the dastardly Benham brothers.
What are those secrets?
Well, it isn’t really a secret at all – the Benham brothers are outspoken Christians.
Suffice it to say that a handful of extreme leftwing propaganda sites — ones that nobody reads and nobody cares about — put pressure on HGTV to cancel a show because the hosts of the show are Christian. HGTV gave into their demands without even the slightest hesitation.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.