Archive for tv

Tuesday Links


links Israel Palesting

Lag Ba'omer in Hebron: Settlers light bonfire in Palestinian orchard

Benghazi Backfire: Fox News Has Lowest Rated Non-Holiday Week in 13 Years

Rush Limbaugh Compares Obama To Hitler And Brings Up Death Panels While Talking About VA

North Carolina deputy’s 5-year-old son shoots himself with service firearm

Gun-Nut Pulls Gun on Neighbor Who Asked Him to Turn Down Music

As Same Sex Marriage Bans Crumble, Republican Bigots Cling to Homophobia

Thailand army declares martial law


Sunday Talkers


Sunday Talkers

Image: Politico

Please read about this week's Sunday talk show talkers here on Politico.


Christmas Day Marathons 2013



Via EW.

ABC Family Christmas movies (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Doctor Who (BBC, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) followed by Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor at 6 p.m., and additional specials Doctor Who: Farewell to Matt Smith at 8 p.m. and Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor at 9 p.m. And if you miss them the first time around, the specials will air again immediately after The Time of the Doctor ends.

Hawaii Life (HGTV, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

Nightmare Next Door (ID, 2 a.m. to noon)

Man v. Food Nation (Travel, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) followed by Man v. Food (1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

Undercover Boss (TLC, Noon to next day)

Holmes Inspection (DIY, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.) followed by Holmes Makes It Right (Noon to next day)

A Christmas Carol on repeat starting at 12:05 p.m. (FXM)

Duck Dynasty (A&E, 6 p.m. through next day)

A Christmas Story on repeat starting on Christmas Eve and running until 6 p.m. Christmas Day (TBS)

“Oy! To The World: A Mel Brooks Christmas Marathon” in which Brooks hosts a marathon of his most acclaimed films, from The Producers to Robin Hood: Men in Tights. (Sundance, starting at 6 a.m.)

“A Very Quentin X-mas” marathon will feature Quentin Tarantino’s films, such as Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2.(ENCORE, starting at 11:30 a.m.)


Payback time: You want speculation, news media? Fine. Let's speculate about you for a change.


payback time

Day in and day out, I watch, read, listen, and write about news. And because I do so much watching, reading, and listening. I tend to notice recurring themes. A major recurring theme is how much time the so-called "news" [sic] media spends on speculation.

breaking speculation

Most of that speculation centers on the 2016 presidential election, focusing specifically on Hillary Clinton vs (currently) Chris Christie. Newsflash, "journalists": It's only 2013, and you started this endless loop of What Ifs the day after Election 2012. This is ludicrous. This is not news, this is meaningless filler and a shameless ploy used to pull in viewers.

And hey viewers, how about you stop enabling?

Then again, there is very little "real" news reporting any more, not since news departments became commercialized all those years ago. Not since it became all about profit, which news stories sell, which headlines attract ratings, and as a result, attract sponsors and their buckets of money.

And don't get me started on media bias. The CBS "60 Minutes" Benghazi story scandal is only the latest, and if you're a regular reader, you know that the Sunday morning talk shows have an obvious rightward slant.

But back to that nasty speculation habit. When you watch the "news" shows, you see them produce hours upon hours of What If about future elections, about the *gasp!* doomed fate of the Affordable Care Act, about which freedoms we might lose if we don't do something about some catastrophe that might or might not happen, about which new scandal *could* result from Darrell Issa's umpteenth witch hunt about absolutely everything/nothing.

You can actually see concrete examples of all this speculation in their  TV chyrons, like, Low Obamacare enrollment numbers: Sign of problems to come?"; "A third 'Bush' in office?"; "Will the world end in 2012? Many people believe so." We get a ton of cowardly headlines in the form of a question, Alex, so that nobody has to commit to actual, you know, reporting.

Facts schmacts.

Well now it's our turn. News outlets want to speculate? Fine. Let's turn the tables and speculate about them for a change:

  • Will Fox finally become defunct when Americans wake up and realize they're a bunch of propagandists and liars? You decide.
  • Will MSNBChristie require financial assistance when viewers revolt after on their constant fawning over the ::cough!:: "moderate" New Jersey photo op glutton? Who knows?
  • Will ABC's ratings take a fatal plunge the next time syrupy panel regular Peggy Noonan condescends ad nauseam on "This Week"? We'll find out.
  • Will CNN change its name to Comedy Central 2 when they become self aware enough to realize what a parody they've become? It's anybody's guess.
  • "Some say" cable news has crossed a line by being bought and paid for by right wing corporate cash monsters who find themselves more than a little obsessed with Christie, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Marsha Blackburn, Reince Priebus, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. Could this spell trouble for attracting future investors? We'll have to wait and see.
  • "Anonymous sources" tell The Political Carnival that the glut of Big Pharma ads-- especially for Cialis-- that saturate cable news channels could lead to a revolt among increasingly hypochondriacal viewers, specifically bathtub owners. True? We can't say for sure.
  • We're hearing that air time spent on trivia-- like how many shoppers are lining up to buy the new iPhone, instead of on hard news stories-- could possibly-- we're speculating here-- cause riots among viewers with functioning brains. More on that as details emerge.
  • Rumors abound about the habit and practice of cable show hosts inviting other cable show hosts to provide commentary that they just gave on their own shows. Incestuous? Tweet us with your answers.
  • We're learning-- well, we've heard-- well, okay, we overheard-- that cable news viewers are about to retaliate en masse over all the in-house backslapping, "my friend" references, "be safe" cautions, and insufferable book plugs. True or false? At this point, we can only make an educated guess.

speculation what do I know


The people have spoken. Now it's Bill Maher's turn.


bill maher returns Jan 18 2013

A little birdie at Real Time just sent me this heads up. Set your DVRs.

Agree with him or disagree, Friday television isn't the same without Maher. Welcome back!

Now do me a teeny tiny favor Real Timers, and stop having Ann Coulter, Christine O'Donnell, and Darrell Issa on.

Oh, but I kid...


MSNBC Rising


Andy Marquis, reporter for, is our guest blogger of the day. He used to consider himself a Republican but not any more.  He changed his voter registration to Independent in 2011 and says that’s how it will remain.

Here's his latest guest post. I don't agree with everything he said here, such as equating Rachel Maddow with Bill O'Reilly (she relies on facts and is civil and fair to her guests, for example, so apples/oranges), nor do I think for a minute that MSNBC is a liberal network. But just as Current does, it gets kudos for hiring progressives to host their own shows, and that is a vast improvement over other cable stations (bolding mine):

MSNBC Rising

In the past few years, there’s been a shift in the direction NBC’s cable news network, MSNBC, has taken.  For one, the network has built an identity which has been missing for years.  As a result of the decision to become the anti-FOX, MSNBC’s become more progressive… and their ratings have progressively increased.  It’s symbolic of a demographic and ideological shift going on in the United States.

“During the first week post-election, MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9 p.m. ET and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10 p.m. ET were both #1 in the A25-54 demo, topping both Fox News Channel and CNN,” a press release from MSNBC stated. “For the week of November 12-16, Maddow was #1 with 480,000 A25-54 while FNC’s “Hannity” was second with 439,000 A25-54 and CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” placed third with 181,000 A25-54. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10 p.m. had 396,000 A25-54. FNC’s “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” was second with 362,000 A25-54 and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” was third with 178,000 A25-54.”

MSNBC’s rise has been building up for some time.  For much of its time on air, MSNBC existed as a back marker, even with innovative programs like A Region in Conflict on its air.  It was in 2003, during the Iraq war, that MSNBC began phasing in a new nightly news broadcast that would become the hallmark of its lineup, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”.  A couple years later, after the failures following Hurricane Katrina, Olbermann orated an on-air essay, “The City of Louisiana”.  Olbermann became more outspoken against the Bush Administration and his show quickly took a left turn and, as it did so, his ratings increased.  The writing was on the wall.

MSNBC progressively began its transformation in to the progressive network it currently is, hiring people like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz (who would later replace Olbermann), Lawrence O’Donnell, Reverend Al Sharpton and Alex Wagner.  They changed their morning strategy, after Don Imus was fired for racially insensitive remarks made towards the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team.  With that came the birth of Morning Joe which has become one of the most influential programs in American public policy.

With a new slogan that debuted in 2010 (“Lean Forward”), a new weekend strategy and a new dayside strategy, MSNBC’s transformation was complete.

That takes us to last week, and several other weeks prior to that.  MSNBC has had victories over FOX News Channel in terms of ratings but they’ve been few and far. There’s been no denial, FOX is the heavyweight and nobody can top them.  However, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz are doing just that, and it speaks volumes about the changing demographics.

Maddow and O’Donnell won the Age 25-54 demographic, or as networks refer to it, “the money demo” but still were behind in overall numbers.  FOX’s ratings and the sudden relegation of Hannity and Van Sustren almost look like the Republican Party’s relegated status in American politics.  FOX’s audience appears to be genuinely older than MSNBC’s audience.  FOX appears to have a problem bringing in a new generation of viewers, kind of like the Republican Party has a problem bringing in a new generation of voters.

See, MSNBC and FOX both speak ideologically to certain sides of the American electorate.  Rachel Maddow has quickly become to liberals what Bill O’Reilly is to conservatives.  MSNBC eloquently defines the progressive talking points just as FOX defines the conservative talking points.

There are fundamental differences though – differences that favor MSNBC.  Shows like “NOW with Alex Wagner” and “The Cycle” are younger, give a voice to both sides in a way shows like “The Five” and “America Live” try to but don’t achieve.  Perhaps the viewers are tired of one side being shouted down (as is the case on “The Five”) in the same way as the voters are tired of the lack of civility in Washington, DC.

The rise of MSNBC represents a seismic shift in American television news, and it should not be ignored.


Thanks Mika Brzezinski, The Women Of 1930 Salute You


I used to give you slack over your Beaten Down Mommy routine you pander every day in your testosterone heavy parade of guests, but c'mon honey, those gams belong to a "working woman" not a Working Woman. And no, I have no problem with you being in great condition, (god bless and more power to ya), but WHAT THE FUCK DOES IT SAY TO EVERYDAY WOMEN when you're depicted as a scantily clad cabaret chippie dancing for the amusement of the boss man instead of the the (supposed) seasoned journalist your wiki purports?

Is the submissive "So sorry, you're so right Joe." "news reader" really reflect the woman who did this?

I guess the money is good, and "news readers" are a dime a dozen, so you figure you have to go along to get along, but man, I've never seen such a contradiction of ethos wrapped up into one woman. I guess you figured out your "value", but it's one I wouldn't recommend to my daughters.

In these day that we're fighting fights that we all thought were won, having stereotypes like this pop up and be validated by the very women who should be the embodiment of the fight against them is scary and self defeating. I doubt if MB gives a crap what a crazy woman from Indiana thinks, but at least I know I'm not the only one. Reconsider Mika. Think about it. Maybe not all of JoeScars' misogynistic offhands deserve a twitter and a blush. Try standing up, try speaking from truth and for GODSAKES stop being Den Mommy to a bunch of Hi Karate soaked frat boys.

Photo by Vanity Fair.

- I have no problem with women being proud of their bodies, of being sexual beings, of any pride situations to health or beauty. I have HONGO problems with female submission, female oppression and even the glossing over of female servitude with the gloss of "sensitivity". So, Bite Me.

And I'm pissed off she's Polish. My people are better than this.