Jerry Seinfeld Can Mock Missy Chase Lapine

A New York judge has sided with comedian Jerry Seinfeld in a bizarre lawsuit by a crazy woman who writes cookbooks.

Iran Makes Uranium Deal

Via the LAT:  Iran agrees to exchange of nuclear material In what could be a stunning breakthrough in the years-long diplomatic deadlock over Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran has agreed to send the bulk of its nuclear material to Turkey as part of an exchange meant to ease international concerns about the Islamic Republic’s aims and […]

Comedy Central Censored Mohammed ‘South Park’ Again

Like Erik Kain, I haven’t yet seen the second part of South Park’s 200th episode, wherein they joke about depicting the Muslim mythological figure Mohammed but are, once again, thwarted by the cowardly hypocrites who run Comedy Central.  (Unlike Erik, I actually have the episode saved on my DVR.) His analysis is spot on: Really […]

Ronald Reagan and James Dean 1954 Video

The Atlantic‘s John Meroney is circulating this rare video of Ronald Reagan and James Dean, who would both go on to become legends, before either was known*: Today, it’s an astonishing, even eerie, scene: the icon of modern American conservatism, whose rise to political prominence was galvanized by the cultural rebellion of the 1960s, fighting […]

Pseudo Experts

Jonathan Chait contends that “Real budget wonks who circulate among genuine experts often fail to understand the degree to which the public debate is driven by pure hacks.”  Further, “The same basic phenomenon can be seen is debates over climate change, supply-side economics, and other issues. You have a whole ideological movement that, to a […]

College Sports a Money Loser?

With those megabillion dollar television contracts for football and men’s basketball, top tier universities are making a mint off their sports programs, right?   Well, according to USA Today, that’s true for an ever smaller number of schools. The nation’s highest-profile college athletic programs drew a greater percentage of their revenue from student fees and their […]

Fixing CNN

CNN, the company that invented 24/7 cable news but now finds itself fighting for relevancy, should abandon it’s “View From Nowhere” model of telling viewers what’s important, Jay Rosen argues. Rather than try to compete with Fox and MSNBC as an ideological-driven outfit, though, CNN should instead re-invent the genre. He even has a prime-time […]

Liz Lemon Ugly

It’s no secret that almost everyone in Hollywood is very good looking.  But Chloe Angyal is tired of beautiful people playing “ugly” characters on TV.  And not because they’re taking parts away from genuinely ugly people. One of the running themes of Glee is that Rachel, played by Lea Michele, is talented, but annoying, badly […]

Network News Dying: So What?

NBC is the only network news program that’s not losing gobs of money, and that’s only because it has a 24/7 cable news outlet (MSNBC) to recoup its investment.   ABC and CBS are continuing to cut staff to pare costs but have no plan to actually make money, aside from hoping CNN will agree to […]

NBC Olympic Coverage: Congressional Action Needed?

Senator Herb Kohl is pressuring NBC to open up online access to its Olympic coverage. A Democratic senator criticized NBC on Friday for its handling of online access to the Vancouver Olympics, calling it unfair and restrictive. Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote NBC Universal Chief Executive […]

Obama Most Polarizing President Ever

The 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats’ (88%) and Republicans’ (23%) average job approval ratings for Barack Obama is easily the largest for any president in his first year in office, greatly exceeding the prior high of 52 points for Bill Clinton. So begins Jeffrey Jones‘ introduction of a new Gallup poll.  Here’s the graphic illustration: […]

ESPN 3D Coming in June

First there was color.  Then hi-definition.  Now, 3-D?   ESPN’s betting on it: ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match, featuring South Africa vs. Mexico, ESPN and ABC Sports president George Bodenheimer announced. Other events to be […]

Stephanopoulos “Good Morning America” New Host?

Howard Kurtz reports that the “Good Morning America” gig is George Stephanopoulos’ if he wants it. ABC has offered George Stephanopoulos the coveted job of co-hosting “Good Morning America,” and intensive negotiations are under way, sources familiar with the situation said Thursday. While the network’s chief Washington correspondent has not yet accepted the job, he […]

DVR Saving TV

Television executives have figured out that people watching their shows via TiVo-delay is a good thing. Against almost every expectation, nearly half of all people watching delayed shows are still slouching on their couches watching messages about movies, cars and beer. According to Nielsen, 46 percent of viewers 18 to 49 years old for all […]

Late Night Sexual Harrassment

Nell Scovell, one of a handful of women who has ever worked as a comedy writer for David Letterman — or any of the late night comic talk shows — contends that an atmosphere of sexual harassment routinely exists on those shows: Without naming names or digging up decades-old dirt, let’s address the pertinent questions. […]

CNN in Last Place – Behind MSNBC Reruns!

CNN has dropped to fourth place in the cable news business it invented. And Fox continues to rise while under fire from the administration. CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth — and last — among […]

Regulating Loud Commercials

Peter Suderman and Berin Szoka provide sane, libertarian arguments against the Nanny State regulating the volume of television commercials.  While they both find the longstanding practice where the ads are several decibels higher than the surrounding programming annoying, they nonetheless argue that it’s not a matter where government should intervene. Says Suderman, It’s easy enough […]

50 Things Killed by the Internet

Matthew Moore marks the 40th anniversary of the Internet with a list of “50 things that are being killed by the internet.” My favorites: 1) The art of polite disagreement While the inane spats of YouTube commencers may not be representative, the internet has certainly sharpened the tone of debate. The most raucous sections of […]

YouTube as Broadcast Network Minor Leagues

The always-provocative Mark Cuban argues that the television networks should do something about a situation where pay for content in order to sell advertising whereas online players like YouTube sell advertising for content others paid for. I think the real approach is for the broadcast networks to “Game” Youtube. There is nothing that says that […]

Michael Jackson More Newsworthy than Afghanistan?

Americans’ limited interest in foreign affairs has long been lamented. But surely, the war in Afghanistan deserves more press coverage than the death of a pop star? In my New Atlanticist piece “Michael Jackson Trumps Afghanistan in News Coverage” I explain why this in fact happened — despite Afghanistan getting a seven month head start […]

Jon & Kate Plus Don Hewitt Equals News?

This morning, Jeff Jarvis passed along Peter Daou‘s tweet “CBS Early Show Prioritizes Jon & Kate Over Don Hewitt’s Death,” which linked this Consider This News video, itself prefaced “This speaks volumes about the state of TV news” My tweeted retort: “Old man dying yesterday not news?” Steven Taylor has some more detailed thoughts, notably […]

Are Americans Stupid?

Bill Maher has a piece at HuffPo arguing that Americans are a bunch of idiots who should just shut up and let people who know what they’re talking about make decisions on tough issues like health care reform. [T]ake the health care debate we’re presently having: members of Congress have recessed now so they can […]


I’ll be tied up all day with a planning meeting at work.   In addition to whatever postings my co-authors do here, you may want to check out a group project I’m involved with called MANzine, a lifestyle magazine for men, by men. World’s Sexiest Women – Lists of sexy women are a staple of men’s […]

MPAA Loses Again

The Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear an appeal from the MPAA, thus letting stand a lower court ruling that Cablevision’s new remote DVR technology does not constitute a “retransmission” of the programming and thus require additional fees. The new DVR service would work by storing a viewer’s recordings in computers housed at the cable […]

Markets in Everything

Megan McArdle has two excellent posts this morning that, while seemingly unrelated, aren’t.  First, she wonders “Why Doesn’t the Market Produce Non-Smoking Bars?” This seems like a market failure.  You can explain it through preference asymmetry and the profitability of various customer classes:  heavy drinkers are more likely to also be heavy smokers, and they […]

Friedman the Scholar

Thomas Friedman begins his latest column thusly: Twenty years ago, I wrote a book about the Middle East, and recently I was thinking of updating it with a new introduction. It was going to be very simple — just one page, indeed just one line: “Nothing has changed.” It took me two days covering the […]

Premier League vs. American Team Sports

To illustrate that US professional sports have a lot of “hilariously anticompetitive interferences in the market” compared to the English Premier League, Daniel Davies constructs an artificial sports league based on all major professional teams in “Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC” in order to achieve a comparable population […]

Craigslist Killer Reax

Jennifer Collins observes, “I can tell that I am deep in exam grading because when I read news updates about the Craigslist killer, instead of pondering questions like whether his girlfriend will continue to stand by him, I am focusing on all the great questions that can come out of the case for use on […]

Fox Says No to Obama 100 Day Stunt

Friday, noting that President Obama was costing the television networks millions by constantly demanding prime time for news conferences, I mused, “given the availability of a half dozen cable news channels, I’m not sure why the networks don’t just go with original programming.”   Someone must be reading because Fox will be running “Lie to Me” […]

Bea Arthur Dies at 86

Bea Arthur, star of “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,” has died of cancer at 86. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was […]

Susan Boyle Gets Makeover

This was inevitable: Singing sensation Susan Boyle — whose dowdy image contrasted so greatly with her angelic voice that she became an instant Internet celebrity — has gone in for a makeover. Boyle, 47, had her graying, frizzy hair dyed chestnut brown and styled in what The Sun tabloid says was a 35-pound ($50) makeover. […]

Obama TV Appearances Take Toll on Networks

News photographers surround the teleprompter as US President Barack Obama delivers opening remarks during his primetime press conference in the East Room of the White House on March 24, 2009 in Washington. Obama told his crisis-weary nation he sees signs of economic progress but pleaded for “patience” as he battles to overcome the worst financial […]

The Future of News(papers)

Craig Henry surveys two pieces from the recent “How to save the dying newspaper industry” meme that’s been going around and sounds a much more optimistic note than generally seen in the blogosphere. He points to a February TIME piece by Walter Isaacson (“How to Save Your Newspaper”) that advocates a micropayment system.  While pretty […]

Bite Size News

Michael Scherer had an epiphany yesterday searching for a transcript of Dick Cheney’s CNN interview and stumbling on nine different stories in Politico about it. What struck me about all this was not just that Politico had created a hassle for me, the reader. It was that they were doing news online smarter than the […]

17 Hours of News: 15 Too Many

Justin Fox gets it just right on the current flap between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Even with the best of intentions, you can’t be on the air live for 17 hours a day and only broadcast intelligent things. And CNBC’s intention is not to do good, but to get as many […]

Obama His Own Hero? (Updated)

Kate McMillan has discovered a treasure trove of photos at placed in a sub-subdirectory called “hero.”  All of the photos in that subdirectory include a certain resident of the White House.  Bob McCarty and Jeff Emanuel discovered the same thing independently. Now, I’m pretty sure Obama doesn’t have time to upload photos to the […]

The End of Print Media

Mark Dillen‘s precis of recent developments in the news media is staggering: The news out of Philadelphia is that there is no news — no newspapers, that is. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News have joined the swelling ranks of American print media that have gone bankrupt. Last month, it was the Star […]

Obama Going Gray!

The Old Gray Lady has another of the epic scoops that made them the Newspaper of Record. Ace correspondent Helene Cooper breaks the news in a piece of journalism titled “For Young President, Flecks of Gray.” Well, that didn’t take long. Just 44 days into the job, and President Obama is going gray. It happens […]

Blu-Ray Does Jane Austen

Via Blu-Ray evangelist Glenn Reynolds, I see that the “Pride and Prejudice” miniseries from 1995 is now out and that “The Blu-ray version is not just a simple transfer to High Definition from the television show or from later DVD releases, instead technicians went back to the original 16mm film and restored it frame by […]

Telepathy Journalism

Kate McMillan is amused at the AP’s fawning reports on President Obama’s non-State of the Union speech and especially by the fact that they were written before said speech was actually given. The practice of writing up reports based on prepared remarks is hardly new, of course, but it is rather odd.   The general practice […]

Cultural Literacy

Stacy McCain decries America’s “cultural illiteracy” and bemoans the fact that kids today may be smart but they’re ignorant. [H]ow many know enough French — or enough European history — to know who Clemenceau was, or what he meant? The Tiger might as well have never lived, so far as the average college student is […]

Internet Ruining Civil Society!

John Hawkins explains “How the Internet Damages Our Culture,” arguing “American society as a whole, and politics in particular, has become considerably ruder, cruder, and more paranoid than it used to be.”  Stacy McCain counters that the Internet is just going where television has already taken us. I challenge the premise. There’s no doubt that […]

Obama Inauguration: Too Many Tickets, Too Little Space

While of no consequence whatsoever to the tens of millions who watched the inauguration from the cozy comfort of their living rooms and offices (as I did) yesterday’s event was ruined for more than a few die-hard Obama supporters who braved hours of bitter cold only to be denied entry to the event. WaPo’s Inauguration […]

Jay Carney Leaves Time for Joe Biden

Jay Carney, Washington bureau chief for Time magazine since 2005, is leaving the magazine to become Joe Biden’s communications director.  Mark Halperin broke the news with a one-liner but The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room has the closest thing to a detailed report: Time magazine Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney has left that position, reportedly to […]

TV Networks Need New Plan

When it was announced that NBC was turning its 10 pm time slot to Jay Leno, I had the same puzzled reaction as most.  Brian Stelter, though, argues that we’re likely seeing the future of network television. The programming and viewing habits of the last 50 years — exemplified by the checkerboard of competing programs […]