Facebook Slider


Optional Member Code
Get News Alerts!


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Friday, 29 August 2008 08:27

Convention party pictures

TV's Craig Ferguson

by Chad Rubel

Should Craig Ferguson be the last entertainer at the White House Correspondents Dinner before they shut it down?

There must have been a time when the sense and sensibility of politicians and the White House press corps made the White House correspondents dinner viable. Those times are long gone.

When George W. Bush makes jokes about not finding WMDs, when Stephen Colbert's words speak stronger truths than the press corps can handle, when Rich Little embarrassed himself beyond belief, when the press corps sucks up to Bush on a daily basis, the era of the White House Correspondents Dinner is over.

It's also time to put the dinner to sleep permanently because when Obama or Clinton get into office, the White House press corps will wake up from their hibernation and start acting like the attack dogs they should have been from 2001-2009.

by Chad Rubel

For those with cable or satellite TV, February 17, 2009 doesn't mean a whole lot. For those who use rabbit ears to get television, the date in February is a significant deadline. February 17, 2009 marks the transition from analog to digital TV.

And if you do have cable or satellite, you probably think the transition isn't significant, but to many Americans, their TV watching depends on it.

So what does this have to do with politics? We keep hearing that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have had 20 debates. But if you are one of those who don't have cable or satellite, there haven't been 20 debates. There has been - one? The only one that leaps to mind that was on broadcast TV was the Saturday night contest in New Hampshire on ABC.

by Chad Rubel

Barack Obama has been running for president for a while. Not sure if Saturday Night Live knows this.

Thanks to the writers strike, "Saturday Night Live" had several months to decide who should play Barack Obama in skits. After all, the last new SNL before the writers strike featured a skit with the Democratic presidential candidates. And who did SNL get to play Obama? Barack Obama.

The show said they searched for an Obama lookalike who could pull it off. Fred Armisen got the nod on Saturday, but it certainly doesn't have to be permanent.

woj header


Those who helped Haiti earthquake victims

As bad as things are in the United States and other First World countries, and they certainly aren't good, especially here in the United States, we do have a basic human understanding that things could be worse.

This sentiment is clear after seeing the outpouring of love, concern, and support for those in Haiti who have suffered terribly after the devastating earthquake last week.

Food, water, shelter, medicine -- you name it, Haitians need it. And people have responded with kindness, sending money, resources, whatever they need.

In our modern world, you can even text your financial support. So far, the Red Cross text donations have passed $21 million. This total is all the more amazing given that Haiti doesn't usually get into the headlines, unless something bad or tragic happens.  

While giving has been easier to do than ever before -- picking up your cellphone doesn't even require you to get up off the couch -- finding the right outlet proved more difficult.



The Note

For reporting that is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism, and for being beholden to corporate paymasters rather than the citizens of America.

Journalists are supposed to be good as math, but this stereotype can be taken to ridiculous extremes. In math, 2 is not more than 6 and 14 is more than 10.

As we saw, the MSM dropped the pretense of understanding mathematics and went on to hype the Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan retirements as a brash statement of Democratic predictions for the 2010 elections.

But no one stepped up to grab the idiotic spotlight more than ABC's The Note with its headline: "Democrats are Dropping Like Flies."

FreeDictionary.com defines the phrase "drop like flies" as "rapidly collapse, die, or drop out in large numbers."

According to The Note, 2 is a large number. Yet, while there are two Democratic senators not running for re-election, there are six Republican senators not running. Florida (Mel Martinez), Missouri (Kit Bond), Ohio (George Voinovich), New Hampshire (Judd Gregg), Kansas (Sam Brownback), and Kentucky (Jim Bunning).

The original article from ABC notes Democratic Governor Bill Ritter (CO) and Dorgan's retirement, but this was before Dodd's announcement. So one retiring U.S. senator from the Democratic Party requires a headline about "dropping like flies." (DLF)

woj header


Jasper Schuringa

Whether there be full-body scanners, bomb-sniffing dogs, or airline passengers traveling naked, there may never be enough to keep us totally safe from terrorism.

But one mitigating factor that is often overlooked in helping prevent terrorism attacks from happening is simple human involvement. Such human involvement occurred in the bombing attempt on the Amsterdam-Detroit flight on Christmas Day.

The primary instigator of that human involvement was Jasper Schuringa of Amsterdam.

During the flight, Schuringa heard a pop. "When you hear a pop on a plane, you're awake," Schuringa said.

Schuringa said he jumped over seats and crossed the aisle. When Schuringa reached the alleged bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, he pulled a syringe from the terror suspect that was stuck inside the pants.

With the syringe activating the process, instead of an explosion, there was a fire. Schuringa began extinguishing the fire with his hands.



Tribune Company

For reporting that is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism, and for being beholden to corporate paymasters rather than the citizens of America.

Are these the new faces of political discourse?

So what happens when you put a shock jock in charge of a long-established journalism company? Try Jerry Springer vs. Bill Cunningham on TV in sound bite political "discourse."

The Tribune Company is producing a TV pilot mixing the worst of "Crossfire" and Americans' inability to think beyond 60-90 seconds on a topic.

The show is being portrayed as a political version of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," where sports topics get a few minutes for discussion.

You can almost imagine how it would go: "Should President Obama close the prison at Guantánamo Bay?" Sum up each position and have a discussion, but you better hurry; 60-90 seconds is a short time when two personalities are each trying to get their say and be somewhat coherent.

How much would you as the viewer learn about the topic in 60-90 seconds? At least with "Crossfire," there were a few minutes of shouting back and forth on each topic.

woj header


Ben Pavone

For those who have been upset over reduction in credit card limits or increases in interest rates, meet Ben Pavone.

Ben Pavone is a lawyer in San Diego who got hit with both by Bank of America, a bank that has been under a significant cloud for some time now.

Pavone's interest rate went up to 27.99%, and his credit limit went down just above his balance.

So what is Pavone doing about it? He's not paying Bank of America any money on the card, and has threatened to sue Bank of America if they damage his credit rating as a result.

You can hear the applause from miles away.

"For the record, I have a perfect payment history and I have a nearly perfect payment record on my credit... I have no doubt that you will mark my credit in light of this default, but if you do, I will sue you. I am eager to argue to a court that your interest rates are unfair within the meaning of various state and federal statutes, and anxious to point out that you 'had' to cut my credit limit from $32,000 down to $30,000 at the same time you were borrowing billions from the federal government and paid your executive bonuses in full."

The bank's explanation for doing what it did? "Economic trends."

Page 1 of 78