Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Obama’s public overexposure

March 27, 2009

Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom, like the tick tick tock of the clock, like the drip drip drip of the raindrops, a voice within me keeps repeating Obama Obama Obama.

With all due apologies to the author, Cole Porter’s lyrics of “Night and Day” make a point lost on the president. No matter where he is, the Oval Office or Jay Leno‘s studio set, addressing Congress or holding up traffic in a motorcade on his way to a PTA meeting, the president is not an ordinary citizen. Like it or not, those days are behind him. The private man and the public man become one in a president. What he does, says, or doesn’t say or doesn’t do, he does before an audience.


The Washington Times

President Obama goes out of his way to seek a celebrity’s attention, and he’s still in his first 100 days. When he makes an offhand jest about his bowling score and the Special Olympics – the sort of tasteless attempt at dark humor that anyone might make within a tight circle of good friends – the whole world hears it and the pundits can’t wait to leap. We should all “lighten up,” but if a president can’t resist going on television to banter with a comedian, he ought to leave the comedy to the comedian, who gets paid for sarcasm and irony.

Lauren Bacall and Harry Truman

It’s a shame that the eye of the camera tempts presidents to try to be the entertainer-in-chief. First lady Michelle Obama might emulate Bess Truman after Harry couldn’t resist playing the piano with Lauren Bacall in fetching repose atop the upright. Mr. Truman, on a night out at the National Press Club, was only doing what any red-blooded man might, but Bess was not amused. She told him it simply wasn’t dignified, that he was definitely not to “play it again, Harry.”

Dignity, of course, isn’t what it used to be; indeed, the concept seems faintly quaint in an era when almost anything goes. As comfortable as the president may look on the CBS show “60 Minutes,” with Mr. Leno, or in a prime-time press conference, he is spending valuable emotional and intellectual capital with the relentless exposure in the modern media. Confident and cool, he is nevertheless beginning to look a lot like a man afflicted with the hubris of show biz.

Since the campaign ended, the stakes have changed. He has yet to learn the lesson learned by Steven Chu, his secretary of energy. Asked what he likes least about his new job, he replied: “The fact that I’m constantly being told that I have to be careful what I say to the press and in public. I can’t speculate out loud anymore. Everything I say is taken with total seriousness.”

Even laughter can be suspect. Steve Croft, the president’s interviewer on “60 Minutes,” suggested Mr. Obama might be “punch drunk” when he chuckled aloud in discussing the crash of the economy. “Gallows humor,” the president later called it. But that doesn’t work for a president, whether hot or cool. Most of us didn’t expect Bill Clinton to feel our pain, and we don’t expect Mr. Obama to laugh at it.

None of this will matter much if, as he suggested it would in his press conference this week, the economic crisis soon eases. He’ll get the credit, and that’s how it should be. But there should be a bright line between behaving as the commander in chief and entertaining as a celebrity in chief.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/mar/27/obamas-public-
overexposure/

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Blagojevich’s TV Defense: “Don’t Touch The Hair”

January 27, 2009

Governor Rod Blagojevich took his defense to the TV air yesterday while his impeachment trial opened in Illinois.

He appaeared on sevaral morning TV shows plus “The View” where refused help with his famous coif.

Blago’s lawyer quit last week, his impeachment trial began in Illinois and his PR manager moved him from network to network yesterday in an effort to gain public support.

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(CBS/AP) By the time the Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment trial opened in Springfield the Illinois governor was already well into his efforts to upstage it with a series of high profile TV appearances, reports CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers.

Blagojevich is refusing to take part in the trial. He says its rules are biased against him.

He’s insists his innocent and he refuses to resign. When asked about those profanity laced FBI wiretaps in which Blagojevich allegedly is heard trying to sell, among other things, President Obama’s senate seat, he says the full story hasn’t come out yet, Bowers reports.

“The fix is in,” Blagojevich said. “And soon, I will join the unfortunate legion of others who are losing their jobs in our country.”

Read the rest:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/26
/politics/main4753935.shtml?tag=topHome
;topStories

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MSNBC

Should this come as a surprise? Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s carefully coiffed hair  went untouched by “The View” staff before he took to the stage for his live appearance Jan. 26.

“No, he did not use ‘View’ hair and makeup,” a source close to Blago’s appearance confirmed.

In this image released by ABC, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ... 
In this image released by ABC, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks during an interview with Barbara Walters Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 on ‘The View.’ The Illinois Senate has convened a historic impeachment trial Monday that will determine whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich is removed from office. Blagojevich is refusing to take part in the trial. He says its rules are so biased that he can’t present a defense.(AP Photo/ABC, Heidi Gutman)

In fact, the only person to get near Blago’s bangs was Joy Behar, who gave his famous moptop a tousling — one that came as a total surprise to Blagojevich and ‘View’ staffers.

Read the rest:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28861801/

China Censors Obama Speech, Iran Kills BBC TV: Free Speech Under Attack

January 21, 2009

On Barack Obama’s first day as President of the United States, two countries underscored the state of freedom of speech and freedom of the media in the world.

China’a government censored President Obama’s inauguration speech and Iran halted activities at the week-old BBC Persian TV channel by saying its work was illegal.

It came as no surpirse to China watchers that the Communist government of the  nation most interested in censoring the media and Internet, chopped sections out of President Barack Obama’s first speech as Commander in Chief before it was distributed by state media services.

China is in the midst of a general crackdown on free media and free press and the government has some fears that the current economic downturn and celebrations of pro-democracy events may cause unrest in China.

The Ahmadinejad government of Iran has become increasingly anti-Western and recently sided very vocally with Hamas in the battle with Israel.

China, Vietnam, Iran and many Islamic groups like the Taliban are increasingly anti-free media and free press.

Related:
CNN on Iran and the BBC:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me
ast/01/21/iran.bbc.persian/index.html

Chinese censor parts of Obama speech dealing with dissent, communism

China Extends War of Free Speech Hidden by Fight Against Porn into Cell Phones

Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

Vietnam: Editors of Leading Anti-Corruption Newspapers Removed

Below from:
http://mondayevening.wordpress.com/200
9/01/21/silencing-dissent/

President Obama’s comments addressed to world leaders who “blame their society’s ills on the West” also fell foul of the censor’s red pen.

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,” the president said.

Once again, Xinhua included the passage in full in its English version, but the sentence was taken out of the Chinese translation.

Of course, President Obama didn’t mention China. He spoke of “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent.” The Chinese government censors read that and didn’t think, “Whoa, Obama really slammed North Korea; or is he talking about Iran?” No.

They thought, “Hmm… corruption; deceit; silencing dissent; yeah, that’s us. Take that part out.”

China TV Accused of Brainwashing Public

January 12, 2009

Chinese intellectuals have signed an open letter calling for a boycott of state television news programmes.

The letter says China’s Central Television (CCTV) has turned its news and historical drama series into propaganda to brainwash its audience.

The author of the damning letter told the BBC that the action should at least serve as a health warning to the susceptible public.

BBC

Woman looks at TV screens on Chinese street

Critics say state news puts a positive spin on domestic stories

The authorities have been alarmed by the latest development.

They tend to accuse the Western media of biased coverage of China.

But this open letter accuses CCTV of systematic bias in its news coverage.

‘Whitewash’

The letter – signed by more than 20 academics and lawyers – lists six broad categories of bias and brainwashing.

It says the state TV monopoly has ignored many stories of social unrest and riots, and whitewashed serious events like the recent milk contamination scandal.

The letter’s author, Ling Cangzhou, told the BBC that its signatories were fed up with the positive spin on domestic news from the central TV station and the negative tone on international events.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-p
acific/7824255.stm

Oprah, Worth $1.5 Billion or More, Fails To Do Her Work

December 30, 2008

Oprah is starting to remind me of the scum of Wall Street that got away with huge money while the customer got screwed.

In Oprah’s case, the customer is you and me.  Oprah’s work is to check out and bring us good things to read and watch.

Because of her poor research, Oprah got taken.  Then she took us all for a ride.

More precisely, Oprah allowed herself to be taken.

Again.

Oprah, like many of us, often fails to do her homework.

But the lesson of credibility, often learned once some or all credibility is lost, is that to remain in high esteem in the kind of work Oprah Winfrey has chosen, one must be right most of the time.

And that means even the Queen of daytime TV has to do her homework — or just make sure her staff does theirs.

Oprah gets paid handsomely for doing her homework.  She just doesn’t always do it.

Related:
Oprah’s Literary Liars Club: Who Is Responsible?

Forbes reported during 2007 that Oprah’s yearly pay was $260 Million — and that she was worth $1.5 Billion

Oprah was, frankly, taken in by a fraud when she discovered Herman Rosenblat’s memoir, “Angel at the Fence.”

By dubbing a fraud “the single greatest love story” ever featured by Oprah, the megastar calls into question her exact criteria for greatness.

Just as Oprah was shocked to find evil behavior at her girls’ school in Africa, Oprah got a black eye on a book because she never really investigated its lineage.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls had Oprah’s money and Oprah’s prestige and Oprah’s cachet but none of Oprah’s supervision, direction or involvement.

And Oprah cried when she found out what was going on at her school.

Cha-ching.

Well, the buck stops here.

Oprah is a fraud.

We hope Oprah has enough sense (and time) to sort all this out and do her homework with more diligence.

People trust you, Oprah, which brings certain responsibility…..You have all the money anyone could want: now how about trying to be real.  Honest.  A semi-journalist.
 


Photo: Getty Images 

By Richard Rusher
Peace and Freedom

Related:
http://princesimon.wordpress.com/2008/
12/30/oprah-winfrey-duped-again-holoc
aust-greatest-love-story-is-fake/

http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com/2008/12
/29/why-is-oprah-so-damn-stupid/?refe
rer=sphere_related_content/

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Professor Ken Waltzer, the director of Michigan State University’s Jewish Studies program, said the book “Angel at the Fence,” “was at the far end of implausibility, yet until yesterday, no one connected with packaging, promoting, and disseminating it asked questions about or investigated it. Some actively resisted such investigation and tried to shut mine down.”

By Emily Friedman
ABC News

Unfortunately for Oprah Winfrey, some stories really are too good to be true.

Herman Rosenblat’s memoir, “Angel at the Fence,” deemed by Winfrey as “the single greatest love story” she’s ever featured on her show, may now be coined by some as the single phoniest love story, after the author admitted he fabricated the story of how he and his wife met at a Nazi concentration camp.

They did not, as Rosenblat falsely wrote in the book, meet at a concentration camp during World War II, where Rosenblat claimed his wife had thrown him apples and bread over the barbed-wire fence that separated them.

In reality, Rosenblat and his wife, Roma, were set up on a blind date in New York years after the war was over.

Read the rest:
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=6543206&page=1

Related from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/30/
holocaust.hoax.love.story/index.html

Obama’s Inaugural Mistake: God Awful

December 20, 2008

Barack Obama has selected televangelist Rick Warren, author of  “The  Purpose Driven Life” and an outspoken opponent of  abortion rights and same-sex marriage, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration Jan. 20. Why? What was he thinking when he picked this particular religious spokesman—a publicity hound who fights against causes of great moral importance to many of Obama’s supporters—for such a prominent role in the inauguration?

I consider this Obama’s first big misstep, and not only because of Warren’s stance on abortion and gay rights. He represents a combination of evangelicalism and boosterism , in the tradition of Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham, that is a particularly repugnant part of American religious tradition. Many have suggested that the choice of Warren puts him in a position to succeed Graham as the nation’s  best-known pastor. No religious leader should occupy the role that Graham played in successive  administrations—as an unofficial counselor to presidents, a predictable functionary on all ceremonial occasions, and a spokesman for one brand of religion. It is a brand of religion that has always been allied with American anti-intellectualism, and that is yet another reason why Obama’s choice is so puzzling and disturbing. 

Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel ... 
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in this September 26, 2008 file photo. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Warren, who opposes gay marriage, as a speaker at his inauguration, creating a commotion over what inclusiveness will mean for his administration.REUTERS/Chip East/Files

How wonderful it would have been if a humanist had been included in the inaugural ceremony for the first time.  Secularists, unlike evangelicals, voted overwhelmingly for Obama. It is truly disappointing to me  to see Obama catering those who make up a significant share his enemies and disregarding the views of his friends….

By Susan Jacoby
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index
.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat
%3aa70e3396-6663-4a8d-ba19-e44939d3c44fForum%3a7cce
b09e-a8ae-44b4-b7af-92605cbce240Discussion%3af422deb
9-a507-4c9a-bea2-573740cc523f

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Related:
http://sheblogan.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/praying-for-obama/

Will More Bankruptcies Follow Tribune’s?

December 10, 2008

Although Tribune Co. has the distinction of being the first major newspaper publisher to seek bankruptcy protection in this sour economy, it is hardly alone in facing the deadly combination of high debt and declining advertising revenue.

For a sense of who might be next, consider publishers that have put individual papers up for sale or have had trouble meeting their debt contracts.

By Anick Jesdanun            
The Associated Press

A picture of the Tribune tower in Chicago, Illinois December ...

Read the rest:
http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/bbdp/will-more-bank
ruptcies-follow-tribunes/272904

Sorry, Conan, Jay Leno Stays at Troubled NBC in Prime Time

December 9, 2008

The Peacock has laid an egg or hatched some creative magic.  Depending upon your point of view…. is staying at NBC, and he’s moving to prime time. The network announced Tuesday that Leno will host a show five nights a week at 10 p.m. Eastern, after he leaves the “Tonight” show next year. The network had announced nearly five years ago that Conan O’Brien would move to “Tonight” and succeed Leno.

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Jay Leno

The deal not only prevents Leno from moving to another network and competing with O’Brien, it also has the potential to be a big cost savings for NBC. A talk show is considerably cheaper to produce than the dramas that usually air at 10 p.m. Eastern.

Jay Leno in 2005
Above: Jay Leno

Leno could now deliver his nightly monologue and sketches to more viewers. Generally about 50 percent more people are watching TV at 10 p.m. than at 11:30 p.m.

Dramas used to be a mainstay of network schedules, and NBC’s own history at the time slot includes “ER,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Law & Order” and “L.A. Law.”

Yet dramas have been fading in recent years. One reason is digital video recorders; more people are watching shows they taped earlier than the live 10 p.m. shows.

Ten years ago, “ER” was the top-rated show in television, with an average of 25.4 million viewers. This season, its last, “ER” is averaging 9.9 million viewers and is ranked No. 33 in prime time.

Besides “ER,” NBC this season airs “Law & Order” and its “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” spinoff in the 10 p.m. time slot — both shows that could easily move to an earlier hour. “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Lipstick Jungle,” shows in the 10 p.m. hour on Monday and Friday, have already been canceled.

NBC had said last summer that Leno’s last “Tonight” show would be on Friday, May 29, and that O’Brien would take over the following Monday, June 1.

Jimmy Fallon is taking over the 12:30 a.m. time slot that O’Brien is vacating.

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NBC is owned by General Electric Co.

–Associated Press

Related:
Peacock Plucked: NBC Shrinks Amid Economic Slide

President-Elect Obama Overexposed with TV, News Conferences, Adulation?

December 4, 2008

Do you ever recall a President-elect being on TV this much?  No, but Peace and Freedom can’t recall an economy and a world this worrisome either….

Related:
Obama’s Many “Number One” Priorities

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From Slate

After holding four press conferences on four consecutive business days, Barack Obama took today off. (On the fifth day, as it is written, he rested. …) For those of us who dissect his every word, a day without a press conference poses a challenge. The solution is to turn our attention from figuring out what it means when he does speak to figuring out what it means when he does not.

President-elect Barack Obama listens to a reporter's question ...
Fatigue?  President-elect Barack Obama on TV again.  Here he listens to a reporter’s question after introducing New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as nominee for commerce secretary during a news conference in Chicago December 3, 2008.(Jeff Haynes/Reuters)

Since winning the election, Obama has sought the right balance between saying too much and too little. He’s saying, “Help is coming, we’re on our way.” But since he can’t actually do anything yet, he’s quick to point out that “there is just one president at a time.”

This is good training for the balancing act he’ll face in office. He is the third president to govern during what I’ll call the news hyper-cycle, which demands a presidential response to nearly every incremental development. The questions for Obama and his aides are two: How often does he respond to the demand? And can he do anything to lessen that demand?

Logos.

Read the rest:
http://www.slate.com/id/2205849/?from=rss

Russia’s Vladimir (NOT The President) Putin Hosts Phone-In Show

December 4, 2008

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is set to face a series of questions about the economy when he takes part in a nationwide broadcast.

A Conversation with Vladimir Putin will be filmed at a studio near the Kremlin in front of a 400-strong audience.

People from across Russia will be able to put questions to the ex-president.

Last year, a million questions were submitted in advance, the Kremlin said. However, all were screened and none were considered overtly hostile to him.

Annual tradition

The BBC’s James Rodgers in Moscow says that perhaps the most significant thing about the “conversation” will not be the questions, but the person who is answering them.

Vladimir Putin (27 November 2008)
When Mr Putin was president, the broadcast became an annual tradition

When Mr Putin was president, the broadcast became an annual tradition.

Mr Putin left the Kremlin in May, after being obliged under the constitution to step down after two consecutive presidential terms.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir ...
When journalists see photographs like this from Russia they often ask, “Who is the school master?”  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen at their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)

But it is he, not his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who will take to the airwaves again this year, our correspondent says.

Many will see that as a sign that it is Mr Putin, and not Mr Medvedev, who wields the real power in Russia, he adds.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian media has been full of manly photographs of Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Putin this year; but it is clear who is the biggest cock. .(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7764131.stm