Category Archives: television

Are Tiger and Gate Crashers the Only News?

Forgive me, I was out of town the past few days, so I don’t know if there was a breakthrough on healthcare reform, or whether the House, Senate, or White House has come up with a magic bullet for the unacceptably high unemployment rate.

I do know retailers were cautiously optimistic about “Black Friday”. I went to a shopping mall out of town not to buy anything, but to see a movie with my daughter. There were plenty of people there, but checkout lines didn’t seem long, and lots of folks were leaving without being weighted down with packages.

What I did hear and see a lot about were two stories. Tiger Woods, Emperor of  All Golf , crached his SUV early Friday morning just outside his house. Apparently, it was early enough to cause all manner of speculation about the state of his marriage, the state of his mind (he was reportedly unconscious), and whether a tabloid report about his fooling around is true. Yawn!

Tiger’s right. He’s boring, and so is the frenzy that’s surrounding this incident. He ought to know better than to turn away state troopers trying to investigate the crash more than once. All that does is feed the media speculation. You and the missus ought to talk to them, release a statement, and be done with it already.

The other story that won’t go away is the one about the couple that crashed the White House state dinner Tuesday night. If  Michaele and  Tareq Salahi werre looking for 15 minutes of fame, they got five days. This one is amazing on several levels. Why would two people think they had the smarts and the guts to get past what most folks think is tough security at the White House?

What would they have done if they’d been turned away, just head to a fancy Georgetown restaurant? Of course, just like that “Balloon Boy” family, reports say the wife wanted to be on a reality television show. Was this supposed to be her audition?

The Salahis are reportedly talking to the Secret Service, maybe trying to avoid a possible criminal rap for their night on the town. Government security in general ought to be hanging their heads in shame, because it means security checkpoints literally mean nothing. All that stuff they make you do at the airport? Theater! Building security, where they make you show a couple of forms of ID? Meaningless!

And Sunday, here were two US Senators discussing the incident, and saying (with appropriate seriousness), that criminal charges are in order. Do I smell an investigation in the Upper House?

But hey, you tell me. Did anything else go on over this past weekend? (I do know about the awful murders of four cops in Washington state. Here’s hoping they nail the guy).
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So Where’s Lou Dobbs Going?

He has become CNN’s most controversial anchor, and some say its most divisive. So what made Lou Dobbs ask to be let out of his multi million dollar contract and leave the network, effective immediately? It must have stunned his colleagues and it’s certainly the talk of the cable new universe . The guy who started as the host of a business program, Moneyline, is now saying he wants to go beyond the role of a television jounalist. Gee, I thought he already had.

By way of full disclosure, I guested on Lou Dobbs Tonight a couple of times.

In person I found him genial and courteous, but that was until the camera was turned on. Then he became the dogmatic faux-populist we all know. No matter. The question is, what now for Lou Dobbs? Will he follow Sarah Palin’s lead and become a gadfly, appearing at rallies and tea parties convinced he really matters? Has he ridden the anti immigrant wave as far as he can on television? Will elected office be next?


The mind reels at the possibilities. Remember that Lou Dobbs met with some folks at the Fox News Channel not long ago. He’d be the jewel in the crown for them, probably airing just before Bill O’Reilly.

Maybe, however, he’s serious about staying out of the media limelight for a time. Just last month, he said his home was shot at while he and his wife were outside. The culprit, according to Lou Dobbs? “The national liberal media has chosen sides. And they have decided that they’re going to focus on the liberal view, which is that they will embrace illegal immigration no matter who is harmed, no matter how many laws are broken, or how few consequences there are for breaking those laws. My wife has now been and I have been shot at.”

The New Jersey State Police said it was more likely a hunter’s stray bullet. After all, Lou Dobbs lives in that part of the Garden State that loves its guns. Regardless, no one in their right mind thinks we’ve heard the last of the man. His ego is far too big, and maybe he’ll just goad President Barack Obama into doing more to prove he was actually born in Hawaii. That affiliation with birthers hurt his credibility, though you’d never get him to admit it.

Yet Lou Dobbs, in leaving CNN, joins an already crowded arena of conservative pols, pundits, and wannabees, all of whom have an agenda that could in theory clash with his. Will he still be relevant a year from now? You tell me.
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Does Murdoch Think Obama is a Racist- Or What?

The Grand Poobah of the Fox empire got himself in some hot water when he said he basically agreed with Glenn Beck’s characterization of President Obama. You may remember Beck said the president was racist, and “had a deep seated hatred of white people”. That was after Obama said police had acted stupidly in arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch was interviewed on (what else?) Sky News Australia. He said the president “made a very racist comment”. And what comment would that be, Mr. Murdoch? Like Beck, he must have been talking about the word stupidly, which last I checked doesn’t have racist connotations. No matter. The irony of a man commenting on race who owns the New York Post and pays the salaries of Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and an anchor who once called a fist bump terrorist shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

But wait! Faster than you can say Media Matters, one of Murdoch’s minions rushed to clarify his remarks. He doesn’t agree that President Obama is a racist, or so spokesman Gary Ginsberg told Politico. He wouldn’t comment any further on the interview, however. The White House wouldn’t comment at all. Barack Obama understands too well what a loaded time bomb race is now that he’s president. After the administration’s criticism of the Fox News Channel, is it a reach to think Murdoch was hoping Obama would go for the bait?

Which brings us back to Murdoch’s empire. I’ve always been amazed at the number of people of color who read the New York Post. It must be masochism, or habit, or something I’ll never be able to figure out. And the Fox News Channel? More of the same. Which brings up the question when will folks stop participating in their own marginalization? Ask yourself this question. According to those in Murdoch World, has Barack Obama done anything right since he’s become president?

And still the Post, which is losing money like just about every other paper in America, survives. It survives even after a woman who was fired sues the paper, saying one of her bosses referred to her as “Cha Cha Number One.”  Maybe the empire stays alive because people who ought to know better don’t take it seriously. How many times have you heard somebody say “that’s just the Post, or that’s just the Fox News Channel?”

No matter how many denials Rupert Murdoch may issue about his own views, too many of his media holdings have questionable histories when it comes to race. Remember the infamous “chimp cartoon?” Murdoch apologized for that, but no one, save Sandra Guzman, the woman mentioned earlier, got fired. She had the guts to complain about the cartoon.

All of which means, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether Rupert Murdoch says he doesn’t think Barack Obama is a racist. If it walks like a duck…..

Or am I wrong? You tell me.
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