ObamaCare Mission Creep

Reason‘s Nick Gillespie does his best John Stossel impression in explaining why whatever winds up in the final compromise health care bill will be just the beginning. [Y]ou don’t have to side with those who warn of euthanasia classes to recognize that government programs often end up doing all kinds of things that weren’t in […]

Comcast Buys NBC to Get USA, Bravo and SyFy

I’m dubious of the Comcast-NBC merger, which NYT describes as a “Deal that Reshapes TV.” Almost immediately, the transaction reshapes the nation’s entertainment industry, giving a cable provider a huge portfolio of new content, even as it raises the sector’s anxieties about the future. In a joint statement announcing the agreement, Brian L. Roberts, the […]

Anderson Cooper’s Ratings Plummet

I’m sure I’ll see dumber stories as the day wears on but Business Insider‘s “Anderson Cooper’s Ratings Plummet” is the early morning leader. Anderson Cooper is fading in the ratings. The respected CNN anchor has seen his numbers slip significantly through the past year. His 10 p.m. show, “Anderson Cooper 360,” has declined 62% in […]

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. […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Winners will be announced Thursday PM Last Thursday Contest winners will be announced Tuesday PM

Manly Thoughts

What you’ve missed the past week if you’re not reading Manzine: Features: Mad About Mad Men (James Joyner) – “Mad Men” is the hottest show on TV, having somehow captured the zeitgeist with its meticulous portrayal of early 1960s Manhattan. Guide to Homebrewing Beer (Tim F) – Brewing your own beer is pretty easy. Here […]

Writing for Money

Harlan Ellison‘s rant “Pay the Writer” is getting some favorable linkage, notably from Max Boot and Michael Totten. He vows that “I don’t take a piss without getting paid.”  Which, I suppose, is good work if you can get it. Ellison is an all-time great and he’s been getting paid to write — and been […]

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” […]

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 […]

One of These Is Not Like the Other

Timothy Sandefur is embarrassed: So I was watching this insane video of Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie discussing the War on Terrorism with Mos Def. And it’s amusing to laugh at the utterly hapless ignorance of “Mr. Def,” as he is repeatedly called—until you stop and wonder. Why is the black community not outraged by […]

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 […]

Reality TV Politics

Steven Donegal has achieved what I’m pretty sure is an OTB first: An InstaLink to a comment, for this entry in yesterday’s Obama as Jackie Robinson discussion. There’s only one way to resolve this 3 am thing: reality TV. Set up a TV program where each candidate is called unexpectedly at 3am and tell them […]

Americans Want Government Speech Control

A plurality of Americans want “government [to] require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary” and nearly a third believe even privately owned blogs should have that requirement, Rasmussen reports. Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the government should require all radio and television stations to offer […]

Google Search Moving Web 2.0

Michael Arrington previews what purports to be a prototype of a new Google search experience, incorporating user commenting and voting such as we see on Digg and other social media sites: The video above shows a user interface being bucket tested by Google to select (probably randomly determined) users. Earlier today we showed a screen […]

‘World’s Greatest Dad’ Arrested in Internet Sex Sting

Not our standard fare but a hard one to resist: A man from Oakland County [Michigan] has been arrested and charged in an Internet sex sting. Daniel Everett, 33, of Clarkston was talking online with a 14-year-old girl who he met in a chat room. The two had graphic sexual conversations and Everett propositioned the […]

Bloggers and Journalism: False Dichotomy

Stilgherrian has attended one too many Future of Media conferences and he has a long tirade for Old Media journalists whining about bloggers and professional standards. What’s tiring about this false dichotomy is that it compares the highest ideal of journalism with the lowest grade of personal blogging about what the cat did yesterday and […]

Obama’s Surge Purge Emerges, Demonstrates Nerve, Verges on Scourge, Reactions Diverge

Barack Obama has taken things off his campaign site that might be used by opponents to embarrass him, James Gordon Meek reports in the NY Daily News under the headline “Obama Purges Web Critique of Surge.”  Why, it’s our Outrage of the Day! Barack Obama’s campaign scrubbed his presidential Web site over the weekend to […]

Tony Snow Dies of Cancer

Tony Snow has died. He was only 53. CNN Breaking: Former White House press secretary Tony Snow has died at the age of 53 after a second battle with cancer. Snow, who had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a recurrence of the disease, left his White House job September. 14, 2007, and joined CNN as […]

McCain Killing Iranians with Cigarettes, Risks Killing Presidential Chances with Bad Jokes

John McCain’s secret plan for Iran: kill them with cigarettes. Presidential candidate John McCain, who once sang in jest about bombing Iran, on Tuesday reacted to a report of rising U.S. cigarette exports to the country by saying it may be “a way of killing ’em.” McCain, known for acerbic comments and for sometimes firing […]

Jesse Helms Dead at 86

Former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms died this morning, joining John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the distinction of passing on Independence Day. Raleigh’s WTVD notes, In North Carolina Helms was a polarizing figure, and he freely admitted that many people in the state strongly disliked him: “They (the Democrats) could nominate Mortimer Snerd and […]

James Cason, Ambassador, Paraguay Singing Sensation

James Cason, the U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay, has achieved rock star status in that country. Literally. [H]e learned the obscure Paraguayan Guaraní language, recorded a music album of indigenous folk songs and sold 1,000 tickets to a concert in a downtown theater. Now, in the final year of his four-decade diplomatic career, Cason has suddenly […]

Blog Polarization and Self-Segregation

Henry Farrell, Eric Lawrence, and John Sides have collaborated on a paper, still in late draft stages, entitled “Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics.” A PDF of the working copy is available here. Henry reports that, [B]log readers seem to exhibit strong homophily. That is to say, they overwhelmingly choose […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney would’ve preferred Leisure Suit Larry. Wizbang‘s car is being recalled. Wyatt Earp is off to a black-tie event. Willisms is getting a leg up on the competition. Cowboy Blob is taking a little dip Public Pondering only likes one kind of pinball. Right Pundits is looking for one […]

Fastest Flip-Flop In History?

Kevin Drum awards the world record for fastest flip-flop to Sean Hannity in a show yesterday commenting about the North Korea deal: HANNITY: The news today brings a clear foreign policy victory for the Bush administration. But will the press report it that way? Joining us now for analysis, former ambassador to the U.N. and […]

Millionaire Penalty Struck Down by Supreme Court

McCain-Feingold, the signature legislation of the presumptive Republican nominee for president, took another blow yesterday as the Supreme Court struck down the so-called “Millionaire’s Amendment” in yet another 5-4 decision. “Supporters of reasonable campaign finance regulation are now zero for three in the Roberts court,” said Richard L. Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School […]

‘Smart Republican Strategists’ Give McCain Unsolicited Bad Advice

Mark Halperin presents a list of 22, mostly inane, suggestions as to “What Smart Republican Strategists Think Should Be on John McCain’s To-Do List.” It’s certainly true that the McCain campaign needs to be “about the American people and what is best for their lives” and that this requires going beyond foreign policy and McCain’s […]

They Took Our Jobs!

Drew Carey asks, “How are we supposed to compete against something that doesn’t get paid, doesn’t get health insurance, and never goes on breaks?” No, not illegal aliens, silly. They get paid (a little) and take the occasional break. No, he’s talking about robots. Today, we don’t need human workers to book our travel, do […]

Fallacy of Mass Appeal

Tyler Cowen argues that we should judge our opinions based on what others think. If no one agrees with you, you should be quite worried. If only a small number of people agree with you, you still should be quite worried. I don’t think it’s a numbers game, but I think whatever view you end […]

George Carlin Dies at 71

George Carlin, a comedian known for his combination of raunchy language and intellectual humor, died of heart failure last evening. He was 71. Carlin was an interesting guy, combining brilliant observational humor with political activism. Like too many comics in the HBO era, though, it often seemed that he was vulgar and outrageous simply because […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is already swinging from the chandelier Wizbang finally has an answer for Michael Moore. Wyatt Earp is moving to Elbonia. Public Pondering is just starting to ‘kozy up. Cowboy Blob thinks we should let her have the dark chocolate… now. Willisms is just a little dinghy. Right Pundits […]

What’s Wrong With One Night Stands?

You could get your TV stolen, among other things. A response to a comment in this post.

Obama Loves America — No, Really!

Barack Obama’s latest ad spot has him explaining that, no, really, he’s an American. And, despite what you might have heard, he likes it here. And he’s not a Muslim, either. Here’s the video: The transcript: I’m Barack Obama. America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life’s been blessed by both. […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney can’t decide between the red or blue pill. Wizbang has stumped the stumper. Wyatt Earp wants fries widdat. Public Pondering has a visit from Barbarella. Cowboy Blob has and idea with a Twist. Willisms has the last prisoners from Gitmo Right Pundits is ready for another take. Blonde […]

Tim Russert Dies of Heart Attack

Tim Russert has died of a heart attack at the age of 58. Family members say NBC’s Tim Russert has died. They tell The New York Times that Russert died of an apparent heart attack. The host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” was 58. Longtime NBC anchor Tom Brokaw has now confirmed Russert’s death, in […]

Ron Paul Launches ‘Campaign for Liberty’

Ron Paul has officially ended his quest for the Republican nomination, months after John McCain secured enough delegates to win, and is using his war chest to start something called The Campaign for Liberty. The new entity will be used to push a slate of libertarian-minded Republican candidates for public office in local districts nationwide, […]

Decline of Political Blogs?

Aaron Brazell, who used to blog politics but now mostly does tech and social media, notes something interesting: While political blogs are blogging in terms of media coverage of the phenomenon, they’re actually a relatively small part of the story. It’s not just that, as we all know, personal diary blogs far outnumber others in […]

Living for Big Brother

Pubs in Yorkshire are being ordered to require patrons to remove their hats. Why? Because the hats are making it hard to identify people on CCTV. Pubs in Yorkshire have been ordered to ban people from wearing flat caps or other hats so troublemakers can be more easily recognised. The Park Hotel in Wadsley, Sheffield, […]

McCain and Obama Reject Exclusive, Moderated Debate

The campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama have rejected a proposed opening debate proposed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that would have been broadcast exclusively on ABC and hosted by Diane Sawyer. While Obama has accepted in theory McCain’s suggestion that they have ten, unmoderated, town hall-style debates while suggesting that they be […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is decidin’ on a running mate. Wizbang is activating mysterious powers. Wyatt Earp has s’more Obama drama. (from a new location) Public Pondering is having an epiphany. Cowboy Blob has chaps with chaps. Willisms is comin’s off a cocky mountain high. Right Pundits is back together again. Blonde […]

Hyperlocal News Fails Without Locals

WSJ points to the failure of so-called ‘hyperlocal’ news portals, focusing on a WaPo venture. For believers in the power of rigorous local coverage to help save newspapers, the Washington Post’s launch of LoudounExtra.com last July was a potentially industry-defining event. It paired a journalistic powerhouse with a dream team of Internet geeks to build […]

Heroes Real and Manufactured

Robert Kaplan describes the heroism that earned SFC Paul Smith a posthumous Medal of Honor and the two years it took his commander to get it through the system. As Colonel Smith told me, “Everyone wants to award a Medal of Honor. But everyone is even more concerned with worthiness, with getting it right.” There […]

Fallon’s First Interview as Civilian

Admiral William “Fox” Fallon, who resigned his post as CENTCOM commander after a controversial Tom Barnett interview was published in Esquire, gave his first interview as a private citizen to CNN’s Kyra Phillips. A brief excerpt from the transcript: ADM. FALLON: I think the real story here is what’s important. What was important was not […]

Michelle Obama ‘Whitey’ Video Revealed

Larry Johnson’s propaganda effort has worked. His promise to produce a “stunning” and “dramatic” video of Michelle Obama ranting about “whitey” has overloaded his servers. The revelatory post is supposedly here; at least that’s headlining memeorandum at the moment. I can’t get to it at the moment. BooMan claims a transcription will say: Why’d he […]

Al Qaeda Unfair to Women!

Al Qaeda is in trouble now, getting complaints from women about being taken for granted. Muslim extremist women are challenging al-Qaida’s refusal to include — or at least acknowledge — women in its ranks, in an emotional debate that gives rare insight into the gender conflicts lurking beneath one of the strictest strains of Islam. […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is takin’ out the trash. Wizbang has Wisteria hysteria. Wyatt Earp is takin’ the jump. Public Pondering is matching up to the chief. Cowboy Blob has some high fashion. Willisms makes the catch. Right Pundits is all pumped up. Blonde Sagacity is having a close encounter. The Gone […]

Harvey Korman Dies at 81

Legendary comic actor Harvey Korman has died. He was 81. Comic actor Harvey Korman has died at 81, according to the UCLA Medical Center. Korman died at the center four months after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. “It was a miracle in itself that he survived the incident at all. […]

Katie Couric Major Announcement on ‘Today’

Embattled CBS News anchor Katie Couric is is making a “major announcement” on tomorrow’s edition of NBC’s “Today” show. Let the speculation begin. UPDATE: Drudge: “SOURCE: NBC, CBS, and ABC jointly hosting cancer research telethon. Couric to announce on NBC’s TODAY SHOW tomorrow… Developing…” Less interesting than many other theories, including the Katie Couric/Anderson Cooper […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is off to Alcatraz. Wizbang is in a hole and digging faster. Wyatt Earp has a balled head. Public Pondering is serving steamed rice. Cowboy Blob is bulking up. Willisms shoulda worn white gloves. Right Pundits is singin’ Soprano. Blonde Sagacity is planning for some lonely nights. The […]

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