Mon. Jan 08, 2007
On Sunday, Fox News ramped up to Code Red when there was some confusion about a truck at the Port of Miami. From the sound of the talking heads on Fox, you’d think the city was about to explode. But ... it turns out it was a simple “miscommunication,” a language problem, and not anything sinister at all. However, it was good for a couple of hours of fair and balanced ScareTV.
Wed. Aug 16, 2006
It’s about 11am. I’m working with CNN on in the background, and there’s a “breaking news” flash that a plane flying from London to DC has been diverted to Boston, after three passengers got into a confrontation with the flight crew. That’s the story on CNN and Fox as well, as of about 11:15am.
No, wait, it was just one woman who had an “anxiety attack.”
Sat. Aug 12, 2006
If you’re not a regular watcher of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, first of all, you’re missing some of the best and most cutting comedy around today, and secondly, the following may not make much sense to you.
And, thirdly, You’re On Notice!
Fri. Dec 09, 2005
It’s a terrible time of year to be at war, especially here in our own home land. It dampens the spirit of this time to watch
biased babbling heads, er, sparkling news personalities we all love virtually rip out their hair in horror over what claim they see happening.
Americans are bleeding red. And green. It’s important to know (because you may not have seen or heard any evidence of this yourself) ... there’s a War on Christmas.
Wed. Mar 02, 2005
I don’t normally watch network TV news, but tonight I just happened to catch about two minutes of Peter Jennings on ABC. And it fully reinforced why I don’t bother with network TV news anymore.
Fri. Nov 19, 2004
In a case of cultural auto-cannibalism, in one week our society’s “moral values” were under attack by an Oscar Award winning movie about the sacrifices made in World War II, and the very next week they were assaulted by Monday Night Football.
As a precaution to preserve the few and apparently very fragile moral values that we have left, Thanksgiving has been cancelled, for fear of what might happen next. Our nation’s delicate moral sensibilities simply could not take another blow this quickly.
Thu. Nov 11, 2004
So I’m watching CSI:NY. The whole CSI Phenomenon hasn’t caught on with me, but I’m trying to give CSI:NY a shot. Because there’s little else on. It’s about 10:55pm.
Fri. Oct 15, 2004
I just watched one of the most genuine heartfelt and hilarious moments I’ve ever seen on CNN. Jon Stewart was appearing with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson on Crossfire, and he just absolutely lambasted them, repeatedly calling them “partisan hacks,” repeatedly saying, “you’re hurting us.” He said it in his usual non-threatening and jovial tone … but he wasn’t joking. At times his hands were shaking.
I wish I had a tape of it (later: it’s now available for download). It was a classic segment. It was like watching someone say all the things you wanted to say. CNN’s jumbled transcript doesn’t do it justice, but I’ve made an effort to clean it up and offer a lengthy chunk of the excerpts I found striking.
Fri. Feb 13, 2004
Canada’s War on Racist Puppets – This week, I’ve been watching Conan O’Brien broadcast his show from Toronto each night, and I’ve wondered why he ended up choosing that city. It turns out that the federal and local governments pitched in $1 million to make it happen. Now some of them want that money back, all because of an arrogant hunk of painted plastic on the end of some guy’s arm.
Sun. Dec 07, 2003
The Funnier Al – Oh, and before I forget, I did make a point of watching Al Sharpton on Saturday Night Live, because he has long proven to be good for a laugh. The opening monologue with Tracey Morgan as the ”Old Al” and the James Brown imitation was decent. But in the end, I’m left saying something I never dreamed I’d say about anyone.
Thu. Jul 24, 2003
A Parody of Reality – “...an officer is summoned over the radio to his surprise party with the urgent words, ‘Officer down,’ and enters the darkened motel room gun drawn. He fires, shooting a comrade before anyone can shout out ‘surprise.’ There is a beat, then one of the men picks up his radio and calls, ‘Officer down.’ ”
Wed. May 07, 2003
SCREAMING HOT GERALDO – This has got to be the most horrid self serving ALL CAPS piece of crap I’ve seen in quite a while. But then, I don’t frequent Geraldo Rivera’s web site, so this could be the regular fare.
He talks/SCREAMS about “MY INADVERTENT TECHNICAL VIOLATION OF THE PENTAGON’S EMBEDMENT POLICIES,” ... translation; “that wuz when I screwed up, and the commander of the 101st had to kick me out.” He further whines/SCREAMS about how he is “FILLED WITH SMOLDERING ANGER AT THE GROTESQUE EXAGGERATION FOSTERED BY MY CABLE COMPETITORS.”
Wed. Feb 26, 2003
Melanie the Storage Medium – If you’ve ever worked a job with odd night hours, you are aware of the vast wasteland the TV can become late at night and early in the morning. And it used to be even worse. Back in the late 70’s, I worked as a DJ doing either the 7pm-12mid shift, or the “graveyard shift,” 12mid-6am. I’d come home to my 13 inch black and white TV, and flip amongst the four or five broadcast stations I could pick up.
Fri. Oct 11, 2002
Push Off – I was watching a new TV series last night, the only new series of the fall where I haven’t missed a single show, and commented to Susan how I liked it because it was quirky, well directed, and oddly shot. Even the music is cool. This is a highly abnormal reaction for me to have over a new TV series.
Mon. May 06, 2002
Reality TV? – (via Meryl Yourish) You know those times someone ask you a question, you bumble through a reply, and later daydream about the cutting answer you wish you’d given? That’s the way I felt watching a scene in West Wing last week, and Meryl was kind enough to track down and post the transcript. The moment: The character of C.J. Craig, the White House Press Secretary, is asked if she is outraged by the death of Saudi girls who burned to death beacuse the religious police feared they would be seen improperly clothed by ”strangers,” i.e., the firefighters:
Tue. Mar 05, 2002
The Osbournes – It’s official. It’s an absolute hoot. It’s Spinal Tap meets Ozzie & Harriet. Ozzy may be the new Homer Simpson.
"Nearly every sentence spoken by the four contains bleeped profanity, but in some ways the Osbournes are a typical family. Daughter Kelly, for instance, has no patience for her parents, especially when her dad can’t hear her. Ozzy responds, ’You have not been standing in front of 30 billion decibels for 35 years. Write me a note.’ "
Fri. Apr 20, 2001
No Cupcake Hostess – Indeed, Anne Robinson, the dominatrix, er, hostess of The Weakest Link, seems to have made quite an impression in her crossing of the Atlantic. ”Robinson is the love child of Mary Poppins and Pol Pot. We’re talking Wicked Witch of the West nasty—and only slightly more attractive than Margaret Hamilton.”