Showing posts with label cnn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cnn. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tweet of the Day

Monday, July 01, 2013

This Is the "N"

I have to give credit to CNN's Don Lemon because when it comes to being who he is and stating his views, he really doesn't screw around or suffer fools lightly. He's out of the closet as a gay man and he has some very strong opinions on race relations and the way they should be covered by CNN and other news outlets. Personally, I agree with many of his beliefs and think that as a journalist with a wide forum he can be an invaluably powerful voice when it comes to challenging and changing the way racial issues are discussed by the media.

Tonight on CNN at 7pm ET, Lemon will be hosting a special called "The N-Word," which will supposedly debate the use of racial slurs like "nigger" and discuss whether slurs aimed at white people -- words like "cracker" and "honky" -- are comparable. To his credit, Lemon thinks that journalists or those referencing the word itself, minus any emotion or emphasis on using it to attack and demean, should be able to say the actual word "nigger" without having to self-censor. I think he's absolutely right. Way back in 2006, when Michael Richards had hell rain down on him -- fairly, I'd say, given the context of his rant, which happened as the result of his completely losing control of the audience at a comedy show and lashing out -- I wrote a lengthy piece on the dangers of not ever being willing to say out loud what we're talking about and instead trying to cheat in the name of glossing over the harshness of reality.

Here was the salient quote:

"The word 'nigger' holds an unparalleled level of ascendancy in our society. There's no better testament to the truth of this statement than the fact that otherwise educated, intelligent people -- the type who normally would rather step on a live land mine than be taken for an idiot -- will gladly allow themselves to be reduced to spouting the vernacular of a four-year-old to avoid speaking it.

No matter the alternative's power to offend and instigate, is there anything -- anything -- more painfully ridiculous than a grown man or woman saying, 'The N-word?' It's an absurd verbal tip-toe that not only proves that there is apparently no safe context in which the actual word can be uttered, but also that there exists an unspoken implication that those whom one would expect to be angered by the use of such a word are so stupid that they can't discern between the desire to dehumanize and subjugate and the need to openly discuss, and therefore should be protected from hearing the word altogether -- for the good of everyone. This latter possibility -- an indictment of an entire culture, whether out of condescension or outright fear -- is infinitely more offensive than the utterance of any one word."

I get that I'm a white guy talking about the use of an incredibly hurtful and derogatory term and I obviously haven't had to be on the receiving end of that word for decades upon decades. But when it comes to being willing to say "nigger" in a discussion instead of sanitizing it and, as Louie CK brilliantly said, forcing the other person to construct the ugly reality in his or her mind, I think we're basically being a bunch of chicken shits.

Don Lemon is trying to push an envelope that really shouldn't need to be pushed because, regardless of how offensive and oppressive a single word can be, we're all adults and I would hope can come to an agreement that there's a difference between discussion and dehumanization. No, I'm not looking for an excuse to say a "forbidden" word; I don't spend my day walking around being frustrated that the one thing somebody has asked me not to do as a white guy is an insurmountable personal crisis. I'm just not so sure we -- any of us -- should be talking like children in the name of submitting to language and a cultural reality that scares us.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Comment of the Week

I'm always curious what leads people to old pieces I've written, and certainly what would lead someone to comment on an old piece that I've written when it should be abundantly clear that pretty much nobody will see it -- unless of course the comment in question is as insane as this one.

Five years ago, I wrote about CNN correspondent Richard Quest's unusual run-in with the law. For those who don't remember, he was arrested in Central Park with a bag of meth in his pocket, a dildo stuffed in his shoe, and a rope tied around his balls. (For the record, that's how I go out every day.) He was jettisoned off to rehab for a bit but in the end didn't actually lose his job at CNN, which at the time kind of peeved me given that I had just been fired for blogging.

Anyway, it turns out the reason he wasn't let go involves, of course, the Great Zionist Media Conspiracy, which also includes Wolf Blitzer and -- eh, fuck it, just read the anonymous comment that came in overnight.

"LMFAO! The REAL reason Quest was retained (while you were not) is because he is JEWISH. It's no secret that CNN is Zionist dominated; Wolf Blitzer who is the chief anchor for CNN, is a Mossad Agent (everybody know it, nobody says it) and most of the reporters there shill for Israel; they're only 'liberal' when they criticize anybody else - otherwise they're hawkish when it comes to protecting Israeli interests. Hey, they fired their BEST reporter Peter Arnett because he was unbiased and they fired Octavia Nasr for having an opinion (something that I'm told is common in a democracy) so dumping a meth head (especially someone stupid enough to tell his arresting officer he has drugs in his pockets!) would be a no-brainer; But NOOOOOOO! The Mr. Bean copycat still has a job. I used to enjoy Quest when he was on The BBC; he was so insane (I think they deliberately let him run riot just so that they could laugh at him behind his back) at the drab BBC that he livened up the proceedings; but at CNN he was insufferable. It's hard to stand apart when you're a clown because the circus around you is even more ridiculous than you are! He seems to get picked for news that's NOT in his field of expertise and I don't learn a thing from his reports! No good if you're going to call yourself a journalist. I wouldn't be surprised if this is HIS (unique) way of getting himself fired! Amazing! Perhaps you should have tried to DELIBERATELY get yourself fired; then they would have retained you!"

It's been a while since I truly maintained this site in a manner befitting it and its storied history, and, believe me, no one's more upset about that than me. But I guess it's nice that I can still draw the occasional Thorazine-addled reader onto the premises.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Act of Godless

I've been out of the loop for the past few days because I've been spending some much-needed time with my daughter. With that in mind, I really do hate for my first mention of the devastating Oklahoma tornado to be something as seemingly petty as the response of a woman who doesn't believe in God to Wolf Blitzer's idiotic assumption that she does, but those are the breaks, I guess.

I think the reason I'm posting this and not feeling too bad about it is that this morning I listened to NPR do an interview with Republican Rep. Tom Cole -- who's from the town of Moore, Oklahoma, which was almost completely flattened by this F5 tornado -- and when asked what Americans can do to help, Cole answered, "Well, first and foremost, pray for us." Now don't get me wrong: Tom Cole sounds like a really decent guy and I have no doubt he had the best of intentions with his comment, but, really? First and foremost? That's what Americans should be doing to help people who've just had their lives utterly destroyed by what's occasionally known, ironically, as an act of God: Pray?

Maybe that's why I find the reaction of the woman in this interview so refreshing: because it proves that sometimes there actually are atheists in foxholes -- and there are almost always idiots behind cable news microphones.

Adding: This thing of beauty...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In the Crossfire

Salon's Alex Pareene, who remains one of a very select few reasons to force yourself to read anything at that site, put together a nice little piece on the possible rebirth of CNN's Crossfire. He echoes the same points I made on the podcast this week, namely that with the rise of the Fox and MSNBC model of cable news, a show like Crossfire is completely irrelevant. He expands on that point, though, using it as a means to show why CNN, as he says, still just doesn't understand why it's unable to succeed in the new cable news culture.

By the way, he also echoes something I brought up a few months back at Banter: that Fox News's stable of "liberals" is basically made up of tomato cans its hyper-conservative "Alpha Males" can easily bully.

Take a look. It's good stuff.

Salon: CNN’s “Crossfire” Talk Shows CNN Still Doesn’t Get What’s Wrong With CNN/4.24.13

Friday, April 05, 2013

"Please God Someone Help Me Find The Remote The TV's Stuck On CNN And I Can't Change The Channel"

The authority, tone and, most of all, correctness of this entire segment just cannot be overstated.

Watch as Jon Stewart utterly destroys CNN and its "new direction" under fail-upward king Jeff Zucker.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I think if I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that facts matter. And we shouldn’t be afraid to have tough and honest conversations, and maybe even argue a little bit when there’s a lot at stake. And yes, Gov. Sununu, I am talking to you."

-- Soledad O'Brien, signing off her morning show at CNN

So, there she goes: pretty much the last, best hope CNN had at doing real journalism -- certainly in the morning.

O'Brien's Starting Point, as you probably already know, will be replaced by a new Jeff Zucker-engineered Today show-like morning fluff-fest hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, which means that at all times the anchor team of this new show will look like it's about to be run down by a car on a quiet forest road late at night. Bolduan, in particular, is an almost comically perfect choice for a morning show host: plainly, unthreateningly attractive, with an on-cam delivery that acts as a kind of televisual morphine -- someone guaranteed never to say anything the least bit interesting who, as it turns out, happens to be married to Michael Gershenson, a real estate investment principal within the Carlyle Group, making her both Beltway and Wall Street royalty.

As the now-famous promo goes -- this is CNN.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Drama Kings

Today's Daily Banter column tries to dissect what went wrong with CNN's Steubenville coverage over the weekend.

Here's the opening shot:

"Let’s get right into it. Yes, CNN’s coverage of the verdict in the Steubenville rape trial, whether entirely intentional or not, came off as more than a little biased in favor of the teenagers who were on trial for the crime rather than either extending the same courtesy to the victim or, even better, remaining objective and dispassionate. Now, if you can’t see why this is, why CNN did what it did, you’ve apparently forgotten that this is the same network that went completely ape-shit over a stranded cruise ship last month, putting every available reporter on it, at the exclusion of a lot of other important news, and blowing up what was essentially a nonsense story that affected exactly nobody in the audience into the second coming of the Hindenburg. How CNN didn’t print up t-shirts with a picture of a cruise liner and the words '2/15 – Never Forget' on them is startling when you consider the amount of resources and airtime the network dedicated to the Carnival Triumph 'disaster.'"

Read the Rest Here

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Abandon Ship

Today's column for the Daily Banter examines the latest rumor coming out of CNN and the ways in which I hope it's not true (but think that it probably is).

Here's the opening shot:

"I get that as in every other field of modern entertainment, when it comes to TV news, a rumor is just a rumor. I also get that a rumor generated by The New York Post is often even less than a rumor. But given what we’ve seen lately, particularly what we witnessed last week from the network, the rumor that Soledad O’Brien is on her way out at CNN sounds anything but implausible."

Read the Rest Here

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Capus and Trade

You know, I have to admit that I've been watching Jeff Zucker's considerable behind-the-scenes moves at CNN with some fascination. It's pretty well established by now that I think Zucker's a narcissistic prick and a destroyer-of-worlds when it comes to television; his tenure at NBC wasn't just disastrous, it practically brought 30 Rock to its knees in terms of ratings, reputation and respectability. But since taking the reins at CNN, he's demonstrated that he might actually be interested in honoring the network's legacy by restoring it to hard-news greatness. Hiring Jake Tapper was a terrific move -- as was excising CNN's stable of highly paid pundits -- and potentially casting Chris Cuomo for an upcoming morning show shows promise. (Even the decision to possibly pair Cuomo with Erin Burnett would likely dull the latter's edges by making her little more than a pretty newsreader instead of somebody misguidedly led to believe that her opinion, forged by years of blowing Goldman Sachs partners, actually matters.)

But alas, it was only a matter of time before Zucker showed his true colors and made a change at CNN so significant that it had the potential to entirely, negatively impact the direction the network's news department will take moving forward. And so comes word from Reuters that Zucker is considering hiring NBC's departing news president, Steve Capus, and putting him in a position of authority at CNN.

First the good news: After a disastrous eight years in terms of credibility, Steve Capus is finally leaving NBC News. His greatest hits while at NBC include firing Don Imus for a relatively inconsequential on-air comment then, not long after, airing the final videotaped manifesto of Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho (the message seeming to be that insulting college kids on NBC gets you fired while killing a whole bunch gets you all the time you'd like to say whatever's on your mind); agreeing to pay Paris Hilton a million dollars for a post-jail interview (before being called out for it); publicly blaming the media for all the attention NBC's calamitous handling of the Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno affair received, and generally playing Salacious Crumb to Zucker's Jabba the Hutt at just about every turn.

It's sad, though not surprising considering the current corporate media climate, that it took the Today show's plummeting ratings and instantly legendary PR clusterfuck in the wake of Ann Curry's clumsy dismissal -- oh yeah, and Capus presided over that as well -- to finally force Steve Capus out at NBC, but that's exactly what's happened. Comcast began cleaning house as soon as it took over -- in a deal that Zucker's incompetence almost cratered -- and now it looks as if the lack of favors they did themselves along the way has led to most of Zucker's team being just about gone.

The questions is, will these people now resurface at CNN?

Because, you know, they were so effective at NBC -- the once-dominant network that Zucker and company unfathomably took to number four thanks to their collective ego juggernaut.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Voice Over

A couple of people have sent me this already, but it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Mediaite: Major Shakeup at CNN/1.29.13

Basically, some of CNN's highest-profile political pundits have been sent packing. The comedy duo of James Carville and Mary Matalin won't have their contracts renewed and Erick Erickson, fulfilling his destiny, will be heading to -- wait for it -- Fox News.

Zucker's asserting his authority and definitely signaling a change for CNN and I have to admit that if his goal is to ultimately cleanse the network of ridiculous partisan hackery in favor of people like Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo, I can't find a reason to argue.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I will look closely at my own understanding of the constitution, my own study, and will put that in the context of what ... others say."

-- South Carolina Sheriff Al Cannon on his potential refusal to enforce gun control laws he considers unconstitutional, during an interview on CNN this morning

Rightly, Carol Costello smacked Cannon down, reminding him of the obvious: It's not his place to determine whether a law is unconstitutional or not, only to enforce the laws as they're written. This is what we're dealing with -- gun lustful yahoos who'll do anything to thwart even common sense gun safety legislation. If they can, at the same time, take a shot at what they consider overreach by our increasingly tyrannical government, even better.

As for Sheriff Al here, it's worth repeating: It's not your fucking job to apply your "own understanding of the Constitution" in deciding whether or not something is legal. Nobody gives a crap what you think, Al. Your job is to enforce the law. Period. So shut the hell up and do that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's All Downhill from Here

Today's column for the Daily Banter takes a look at the ways in which Jeff Zucker may already be working his magic at CNN.

Here's the opening shot:

"First there was the news that may have come as a surprise to most reasonable people, but which honestly was all-but-assured to those who understand how the corporate world works: the hiring of Jeff Zucker as the new head of CNN Worldwide. Sure, pretty much everyone with a pair of eyes knew that Zucker had almost singlehandedly ruined NBC and by all accounts should’ve been radioactive for the next century or so, yet anybody experienced in dealing with modern American corporatism knows that there’s a mob-style 'blood in, blood out' thing that happens at the upper echelons of power and once you’ve been accepted into the club, with a few exceptions, you’re there to stay. Zucker has name-recognition and an adeptness at personal PR that borders on sorcery when you consider everything he manages to get people to conveniently forget about him, so the thoroughly offensive decision to give him another shot at running a television network was a punch telegraphed from a mile away."

Read the Rest Here

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quote of the Day

"I think our competition today is anybody that competes for eyeballs and attention and produces non-fiction programming. News is about more than politics and war, we need to broaden that definition of what news is, while maintaining the standards of CNN’s journalistic excellence."

-- Jeff Zucker on his plans for the network now that he's been named chief of CNN Worldwide

And there you have it -- your first indication of what's almost certainly to come.

You know what counts as "non-fiction programming?" in cable?

TLC, E! and Bravo.

Notice he saves the "journalistic excellence" thing for last.

That's right, baby -- Jeff's back on top.

Like a Boss

Yes, I know -- Jeff Zucker was just named president of CNN worldwide.

The thing is, there's no sense in my banging out anything new on this subject because I actually wrote about it a few months ago, when Zucker's name first came up as a possible replacement for the departing Jim Walton. It was then that I made all the points you'd probably expect, the ones that if you have even a cursory understanding of network television and news in particular you're probably making yourself right about now.

So with that in mind, I think the only thing left to do before reposting that column from this past June is to introduce you to the one person who not only thinks that Zucker's latest "fail upward" will be good for CNN, he thinks it's a stroke of pure Five Diamond brilliance that will align the stars and bring the favor of the gods down upon Atlanta. Because Zucker is, you know, a genius.

In his regular column today, long-time Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik calls the hiring of Zucker a "wise and winning" move right off the bat -- and then gets more and more detached from the reality you and I exist in as he goes along.

A few choice excerpts:

"Of all the major executive, talent and programming moves that CNN has made in the last few years, the expected announcement of Jeff Zucker as the president of CNN Worldwide looks like one of the best."

"Zucker's record, from his long and winning stint at NBC's Today, to the sound and classy syndicated production he built for Katie Couric, shows that he knows how to make money without shredding standards."

"Zucker is also steady, credible and tough. CNN needs all that right now in a president. You can bet Zucker, who is hardly press-shy, won't let the PR departments at other cable channels shape media reporters' perceptions of CNN as they do now without hitting back."

Okay, so was Zurawik a guest of honor at Zucker's kid's bar mitzvah or something? That little assessment of Zucker's abilities and history goes beyond glowing into the realm of hagiographically hallucinatory. I don't need to remind you of what really happened at NBC under Zucker's now infamous stewardship because I've done so many, many times and besides you can read about it anywhere.

A few choice details just for the hell of it: Zucker took NBC from #1 to a dismal #4 and made it a global punchline. He gave us Ben Silverman and Donald Trump. He lost NBC a billion dollars in ad revenue in one year. He was personally behind one of the most embarrassing prime-time clusterfucks in broadcast television history, that being the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien debacle. He was unceremoniously fired in the wake of the multi-million-dollar merger he almost singlehandedly scuttled. Four words: To Catch a Predator.

The one thing Zucker's good at, as Zurawik alluded to, is creating his own mythology through a relentless personal PR campaign to other outlets -- and it's served him very well. I'd love to believe that Zucker will do right by CNN and finally bring the network back to life. Unfortunately, there's just one problem: his proven record so far.

Adding: This ringing endorsement...

I rest my case.

"Welcome Back Zucker" (Originally Published, 6.12.12)

Here’s a little something just about everyone in the television business knows: Once you become a high-powered executive, it’s almost impossible to fuck yourself and your reputation so badly that you’ll never work again.

Let’s say you’re some poor mid-level schmuck, doing whatever it is you do right now for a living, and you almost single-handedly make, let’s say, some gargantuan mistake that turns your company into a worldwide laughingstock and threatens to crater an upcoming multi-million dollar merger that’s going to make it the most powerful organization of its kind in the world — there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be radioactive for about the next hundred or so years. Not in television, though — and not if you’re an executive.

Case in point: Jeff Zucker, the former boy wonder of NBC Universal whose breathtaking arrogance and bottomless reservoir of short-sighted quick fixes and dumb-ass gimmickry turned the once-mighty NBC into a perennial last-place loser and whose name became synonymous with epic failure. It was Zucker who was personally responsible for the now legendary clusterfuck that turned NBC’s prime time inside out, led to an affiliate rebellion and eventually culminated in the ugly public departure of Conan O’Brien, all in the name of keeping Jay Leno fat, happy and, most importantly, safely in place at the network. Zucker ultimately left NBC in disgrace, but the important thing to remember is that disgrace is a stench that washes off damn quickly in the amoral world of the television suit.

Zucker’s got name recognition. And he’s got a reputation for putting clever ways of bringing in revenue above actually putting decent programming on the air — and that’s really all anybody cares about anymore in TV. Which is why his name is apparently now being bandied about as a possible candidate for not one but two stratospheric television news positions. Turner President Phil Kent is reportedly considering Zucker as a replacement for CNN Worldwide CEO Jim Walton, whose contract is up in December; Walton’s renewal is on very shaky ground in the wake of an almost staggering drought of ratings, with CNN pulling in record low numbers for months now. Meanwhile, Tribune Co. might also be considering Zucker to help lead the company out of its own wasteland, one brought on by a 2008 Chapter 11 filing that it’s now trying to emerge from.

Actually, the Tribune job would at least make a minor amount of sense given that Zucker’s forte is conjuring short-lived financial success out of thin air through the implementation of all kinds of silly schemes, cheap on-air trickery and relentless cross-pollination. But when it comes to CNN, here’s the thing: The network is already making money. In fact — it’s still turning an impressive profit even as its ratings tank. CNN could easily not worry one bit about how many people are watching it because it’s feeding off plenty of healthy revenue streams besides the traditional ones cultivated by good ratings. Obviously, though, CNN has a reputation to uphold and being the number three cable news network doesn’t exactly jibe with how it’s been perceived in the past and how it would like to be perceived now and going forward — but bringing somebody like Zucker on board to try to bring in those ratings seems more than a little misguided.

Either way, it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Zucker. You could’ve predicted from the beginning that there would always be somebody willing to put his special brand of spoiled milk back in the refrigerator in the hope that it’d taste better later. That’s just how things work in corporate television.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quote of the Day

"I really wasn't pissed -- we just had to lay out some ground rules. You know what it reminded me of? It's like when you speak to your kid, and you're like, let me tell you something: we can disagree, or we can agree, but this is how it goes."

-- Soledad O'Brien on her contentious interview with Rudy Giuliani, one in which she scolded him to "stop putting words in (her) mouth"

I've always really liked Soledad. We worked together on American Morning for a while and I came to know her as the whip-smart talent that she is. Like a lot of people, I'm really enjoying her willingness to let herself off the leash on her new morning show and her ability to treat political bullshit artists with the respect they deserve. Namely, very little.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


One of the most inadvertently amusing ongoing memes in media involves the always inadvertently amusing Piers Morgan. Every so often, Morgan decides to exercise his imperial privilege as a CNN host and decree that someone is "banned" from ever appearing on his nightly show. Right now that list includes Madonna, Kelsey Grammer, and Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In other words, given that his show is a low-rated dud hosted by a third-rate international punchline, Morgan choosing to publicly tell these people they can't be on it is like me declaring that Mila Kunis is not, under any circumstances, allowed to perform oral sex on me. He may as well be saying, "You can't fire me -- I quit!"

On that subject, I'd really like to know why CNN continues to keep Morgan around. First of all, he was one of the final bad decisions of the bad decision machine that was former CNN U.S. President Jon Klein, and it's become obvious to everyone that Klein's stewardship and ongoing influence is burning the once-great network to the ground from the inside out. Second, there's the continuing controversy over Morgan's role in the phone and e-mail hacking scandal that shuttered News of the World, led to several arrests and resignations, and generally turned Murdoch's media empire upside down overseas.

Now, guess what? Morgan's under fire again.

The Huffington Post: Piers Morgan Faces New Phone Hacking Claims/10.22.12

Morgan's a cancer at CNN. He's all cost and no benefit. Fire him, for Christ's sake.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Silent Treatment

As promised overnight, today's column for the Daily Banter -- written before Wolf "Human Ambien" Blitzer and Erin "AmEx Black Card" Burnett decided that the factual errors in Paul Ryan's speech didn't matter -- takes aim at CNN just 24-hours after I uncharacteristically showed the network a little love.

Here's the opening shot:

"Well, it was nice while it lasted. I was allowed all of about 24-hours of magnanimity and good will toward CNN before something happened to kind of blow it all to hell. You’ll remember that when we last left your humble narrator, he was painting a mental picture of CNN functioning as a news operation that closely resembles the hyper-idealized and eminently ethical one depicted in Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. I truly believed that CNN had the potential to stand tall and assume a mantle that no other network in the country has been willing to, one of a news organization wholly dedicated to fierce, adversarial journalism; committed to letting only the facts dictate the terms of a story and unwilling to allow anyone from any political stripe to get away with trying to dance around or flat out ignore those facts. I still think CNN is capable of becoming that kind of news network — in fact, I still think it’s uniquely positioned among its contemporaries to make that little dream come true for the news-hungry public.

But then it goes off and does something stupid — like what it did less than 48-hours ago in response to an incident at the Republican National Convention in Tampa..."

Read the Rest Here

Quote of the Day (Early Edition)

"So there he is, the Republican vice presidential nominee and his beautiful family there. His mom is up there. This is exactly what this crowd of Republicans here, certainly Republicans all across the country were hoping for. He delivered a powerful speech, Erin, a powerful speech. Although I marked seven or eight points I'm sure the fact-checkers will have some opportunities to dispute if they want to go forward, I'm sure they will. As far as Mitt Romney's campaign is concerned, Paul Ryan on this night delivered."

-- CNN's Wolf Blitzer, following Paul Ryan's address at the RNC a few hours ago

Oh, just seven or eight potential factual errors. No big deal as long as he delivered a "powerful" speech, right?

Erin Burnett quickly responded, incidentally, by admitting that "there were some problems with the facts, but it motivated people."

I knew my sudden soft spot for CNN and the belief that it could be something truly special in television news wouldn't last very long. (Also see today's upcoming column in the Daily Banter.)

As for Ryan's speech, here are four separate articles that pick apart the lies upon lies upon utter bullshit upon shameless hypocrisy he dispensed while up there at the podium, proving once again that the entire Romney campaign is just daring somebody to stop it:

Salon: Paul Ryan's Brazen Lies/8.29.12

New York Magazine: Paul Ryan Bets on the Ignorance of America/8.29.12

Bloomberg: Paul Ryan's Hypocritical Attack on Barack Obama/8.29.12

TPM: Five Misleading Claims in Paul Ryan's Convention Speech/8.29.12

Ryan may as well have been saying in that picture above, "And on top of all that, my cock is this big!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reality TV

Today's column for the Daily Banter expands on something I wrote a while back regarding The Newsroom. The question: Is there one American TV news organization that could actually pull off the kind of broadcast Sorkin dreams of in his HBO series?

Here's an excerpt:

"I’ve been giving the whole 'Newsroom' impact thing some thought again after this week’s season finale of the show, which featured upper-management being forced to take the leash off Will McAvoy, the fictional anchor of News Night, and his staff. The result of that plot point led to one of the best-articulated summations of our current political crisis that I’ve ever seen expressed in pop culture or, really, anywhere. But something else got me thinking about the potential for the kind of supremely ethical news broadcast that this country has been sorely missing: CNN’s very serious recent ratings slide."

Read the Rest Here