Sunday, 9 January 2011

OWN

While I was gone on vacation....my COMCAST cable folks came up and took one of the channels off and put up the Oprah Winfrey channel.  I sat and watched six minutes last week of it (Doctor Phil).  Frankly, that was enough for me and I turned over to QVC.  I kinda doubt that it's going to make it.

I was reading through the ratings this morning, and they went from a million viewers last weekend over the nation....to around 315k by the middle of last week.

I don't know where the break-even point is....but if you only have around 300k viewers nationwide, then your ability stay on the air is kind of questionable.  

Just Observations

It has been a curious past twenty-four hours after the shooting in Tucson.  The local sheriff...from Pima County...Clarence Dupnik....wanted folks to know that:

"I think the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what (we) see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that this has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in. And I think it's time that we do the soul-searching."

Today, the sheriff added:

"The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

So a major a Democratic player in DC tossed in his comments to feed the fire on CBS's Face the Nation.  Representative Hoyer spoke:

"Bob, when you and I grew up, we grew up listening to essentially three major news outlets: NBC, ABC, and of course, CBS. We listened to people like Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid, and Huntley-Brinkley, and they saw their job as to inform us of the facts and we would make a conclusion," Hoyer said. "Far too many broadcasts now and so many outlets have the intent of inciting, and inciting people to opposition, to anger, to thinking the other side is less than moral. And I think that is a context in which somebody who is mentally unbalanced can somehow feel justified in taking this kind of action. And I think we need to all take cognizance of that and be aware that what we say can, in fact, have consequences."

I paused there and pondered.  Most of the networks and 'experts' have tried hard to focus on the story and not get into another political blame game.  The commentary leading back to the old three major news outlets was probably something you'd expect, but it lacks explanation.  Frankly, we aren't living in 1966 any longer, and we have virtually no way to retreat back to 1966.  If the Sheriff or the Representative can think of a magic formula to retreat back forty years....I'd appreciate an explanation.

I'd also like to add some observations that both gentlemen seem to have missed.  We've had attacks on political figures for over two hundred years.  The idea that MSNBC, Fox News or the Drudge Report started something fresh and new....just won't wash.  If either wanted to read the Hearst Newspaper's claims  in 1898....you'd see how one newspaper manipulated the country to start a war.  And no, there wasn't a congressional investigation to clear the air after the event.  We just accepted the newspaper's contributions and fought Spain.

As for fixing the current mess?  It's fairly simple....send the Senators and Representatives back to their districts for six months out of the year and deny them access to newspapers and news organizations.  Without the chit-chat.....there won't be much to broadcast or get upset by.  My guess is that no one wants to do that....and life will just go on.

My guess is that folks will run around this week trying to blame various folks for actions taken in Tucson.  By Friday....most everyone will admit that the kid was a nutcase and would have shoot anybody....Republican or Democrat....if he'd had a chance.  At that point.....sadly.... normalcy will return to DC.

As for dreaming of going back to 1966....it sounds real good, until someone asks how to rotate the clock in such a manner.

From the Big Apple

It is the perfect factual story for a movie somewhere.

They hold a TV show in Portugal to pick the top male model for the country.  You can imagine the US formula for such a show and how people would be drawn to it.  Of course, there has to be judges and most of the male judges are probably drawn to handsome men (I would offer a better word, but you get the image).

So there are winners and losers on the show. Even if you placed second or third....you end up getting contracts for something.

So this Portuguese male model ends up with a major Portuguese celebrity TV guy. The TV celebrity is an older guy and is more or less using his connections to help his new "friend".

So here over the last weekend....the Portuguese TV celebrity and his male model friend end up New York City....catching the new musical Spider-man.  They return to the hotel and things kinda go wrong between the two.

The Portuguese TV celebrity ends up being castrated during this argument, and is dead.  The male model is the absolute suspect with very few having doubts.  New York York cops are a bit puzzled by this....a fairly unusual episode....even for New York City standards.

I'm guessing this will eventually be made into some movie because it has all the elements of a big movie: Spider-man, New York City, male model, TV celebrity, and a couple of Portuguese gay guys.

A celebrity Portuguese television journalist was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel, and his companion, a male model who had recently been a contestant on a Portuguese reality TV show

Commentary

After watching six hours of updates on the Giffords shooting today in Arizona....a couple of observations.

This punk responsible....is a nutcase.  There are several folks noting him as a pothead (at age 22).  There's commentary over his attempt to join the military but he apparently got denied.  My guess is that they kinda did their pre-screening drug tests and asked some questions.  His readings?  Political readings mostly....Hitler's Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.  His two arrests were for minor issues and not enough in any state to deny him the ability to buy a weapon.

The plan?  A suicide by cop situation.  He would be noted and remembered in some fashion....at least in my opinion.

The court case to be taken a year in the future?  I have serious doubts that you can get past the insanity situation.  This is Arizona and folks in the jury might be willing to overlook insanity, but the appeals courts won't.  He'll spend the majority of his life in some mental hospital.  The fairness of this is likely to bother a lot of folks....but frankly, our appetite to put nutcases in mental hospitals to start with.....just isn't that great.

An observation over news coverage.  I would give CNN high marks on this episode that they did a four-star effort.  Fox News was close behind.  As for MSNBC?  Once they brought Olbermann, it was pretty much a spiraling downward effort.  MSNBC was the only network to turn this into some political vendetta episode and I thought they probably lost a quarter of their audience within five minutes after tuning in.  If you wanted real analysis.....stick with CNN and Fox News.

Finally....at some point on this punk's web site.....a moment of self-analysis.  He wanted everyone to know that he had no belief in God.  He advertised this....which is a bit odd.  In the end....you have some nutcase who probably should have been locked up but our society just isn't proactive to believe in taking actions like this.