Category Archives: Media

Rush Limbaugh

With the news this morning of Rush’s passing, I thought I might bring a few remembrances of his early days. He arrived rather suddenly to Sacramento’s KFBK radio. Not as a syndicated host, but the host. He had had a number of radio jobs, all resulting in termination. I think that he chaffed at what station managers wanted him to do, versus what he wanted to do.

KFBK has over the years, been a very influential radio station in that they have many alumni around the country. I read his autobiography years ago, and he admitted that after so many failed radio gigs, if this Sacramento post didn’t work, he would have left the industry.

Fortunately the station manager gave him a lot of latitude.

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Cooler Heads, and that

Posted by lex, on September 9, 2010

Gainesville Pastor Terry Jones has agreed under the pressure of overseas world leaders, General Petraeus, the Pope, the president and 301 million (-50) other Americans that his stupid pastor stunt was, well: Stupid.*  In light of the fact that site of the GZM project has been moved (it hasn’t).

Let us put aside for the now the exceptional phenomenon of the leader of the free world having to inject himself in this sordid spectacle, architected by a mean little man in a mean little shed masquerading as a church.

Let us focus instead on the new-found delicacy of our media, two members of which – having helped fan the flames of absurdity – decided to decline covering the actual act had it occurred.

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A Game of Inches

Posted by lex, on June 7, 2010

If the Helen Thomas meltdown proves nothing else, it demonstrates that the spectrum from responsible journalist to opinion reporter to advocate to self-important lunacy is infinitely gradated, according to Jonah Goldberg:

If there was a right-winger who’d spouted so much bile, hate, and ideological agenda-driven nonsense in the White House briefing room for half a century it would be . . . oh wait, no such person would have ever been allowed to become a Washington “institution” in the first place. According to the media graybeards, it’s always been a sign of seriousness and unwavering truth-seeking for reporters to attack from the left (c.f. Dan Rather, Daniel Schorr, et al.).

See? She’s not biased she asks Obama and Clinton tough questions too! Yes, from the hard, loony left.

All of these condemnations, equivocations, repudiations, and protestations are all fundamentally silly because they are part of a D.C. Kabuki that treats the last straw as if it was wholly different than the million other straws everyone was happy to carry.

Of course, the alternative explanation is that within the press corps she wasn’t really all that strange until she went off the deep end. One of those “tipping point” kinds of things.

That and a regrettable tendency to stay on stage long past the last curtain call.

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How it Looks from the Other Side

Posted by lex, on December 13, 2008

Media Matters for America: After an 8 year holiday on unfairly criticizing national level politicians, the media are back to their old games.

But this week brought signs that much of the media is set to resume the absurd and shameful behavior that defined the 1990s — guilt by association, circular analysis whereby they ask baseless questions about non-scandals, then claim they have to report on the “scandal” because the White House is “besieged by questions,” grotesque leaps of logic, downplaying exculpatory information, and too many other failings to list.

If that happens — if the media continue to behave as they did in covering Whitewater — they will damage the country. It’s really that simple. We cannot afford to be distracted from serious problems by overheated conjecture and baseless insinuation masquerading as journalism.

Unfortunately for the hystericals at Media Matters, the MSM are well rested after having spent the last 8 years resting on the bench, taking no notice whatsoever of the Plame Affair (at least after it came to land in the lap of a politician outside Bush’s inner circle), pornographically dwelling on the barbarisms of pointy-headed twits at Abu Ghraib (and inferring that 4AM dog trots of humiliated POWs were authorized at the highest levels of American policy), shrieking from atop the kitchen chair at the excesses of the Patriot Act (which President-elect Obama seems content to continue pretty much as it always has done), Guantanamo (about which, no one knows quite what to do), the whole “16 words” thing (much ado about nothing, as it turns out),  and the firing of politically appointed at-will employees (for whatever reason or no reason at all, that being what “at will” means).

Not to mention actively sabotaging the efforts of the national command authority in a time of war.

So, investigating the Clinton’s various and sundry sordid acts during peacetime was “absurd and shameful behavior” but undermining the actions of a command-in-chief in time of actual war was, well: Unremarkable. Because taking an militantly adversarial stance against a Republican administration is honest and admirable, while shining a flashlight on the potential corruptions of a Democratic administration is “overheated conjecture and baseless insinuation.”

Because political ideology and party trumps country.

We always knew that some people felt this way. It’s just surprising to see them come out and say it.

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Stings a little, duddn’t it?

Posted by lex, on June 9th, 2007

Having spent the last six and one-half years determinedly attempting to achieve through shaded narratives and biased reporting a reversal of the 2000 Supreme Court decision that installed George W. Bush as president – or, failing that, at least minimizing what it apparently regards as that decision’s pernicious effects, the New York Times comes face to face with the results of its own inveterate malice: Reviewing yesterday’s destruction in the Democratically-controlled Senate of a presidentially-sponsored immigration bill the newspaper had favored, the paper of record labels the fiasco a “failure of leadership.”

Well, there you are.

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That’ll fix it

Posted by lex, on January 3, 2007

Hmmm.

Hands up who likes criticism – even the constructive kind?

But who thinks criticism – especially the constructive kind – is important to prevent stagnation, stultification and terminal self-satisfaction?

Not the New York Times, apparently.

After the Jayson Blair fiasco, the Times hired Dan Okrent as its “Public Editor,” essentially an ombudsman role. In that role, Okrent is chiefly remembered for answering the question, “Is the New York Times a liberal newspaper?” with, “Of course it is.” Even though he went on to say that it didn’t matter, Okrent was respected, but not much loved at the paper.

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Some Recent WSJ Headlines That Intrigued Me

I used to think that all actors and actresses wanted to see themselves on the screen as soon as they were shown.

Apparently that is not so, and one apparently had never seen herself even 20 years after starring in an epic series.

That would be Meadow Soprano.

I mentioned in a past post that for screenwriting, the first decade of the 2000’s was an amazing time. Most of the great shows were on cable TV.
The Sopranos was about a typical New Jersey middle class family, with one exception.

The father was a Mafia crime boss.

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Perspective

Posted by lex, on December 12, 2006

The Christian Science Monitor discovers Bill Roggio:

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Good heavens!

Posted by lex, on May 16, 2006

 

I understand why any number of devout Christian folk don’t like Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code,” and are unhappy about it being made into a Major Motion Picture. The book takes sacred elements of historical fact – or at least, recorded events, if you prefer – and twists them up into all kinds of fictional knots. Analogous to those books wondering how the American Civil War would have gone if Rob’t E. Lee had AK-47’s, and so on. Interesting, perhaps. But not entirely germane.

I guess the original story wasn’t cool enough. That whole love and hope and conquering death thing? So not impressive anymore. Not in an era of CGI. Not when that nasty old hockey-masked Jason Keeps. Coming. Back. Over and over again.

But this is probably a bit too much:

In India, which is home to 18 million Catholics, the head of the Catholic Secular Forum has begun a “hunger strike until death”.

Em. Good cause, and all that. Appreciate the “passion,” etc. But, ah: Suicide, is it? Because last time I checked my catechism, that was filed under, “unpardonable sin.” Lethal lack of hope, which is bad enough in its own right, but little to no chance to make amends after, considering that it’s the dying thing which completes the act.

No, the way to go here is to go and enjoy some cinematic fiction if you feel like it. Or, if the mood serves differently, don’t. Protest if you’d like, but let’s don’t kill anyone. Not even ourselves. Read up a bit on the gospels and be prepared to tell the newly energized credulous that, yes, it was entertaining and all, well played, thought Tom Hanks was marvy, but: Didn’t happen quite that way. Or if it did, no one bothered to write about it in the first couple hundred years after the fact. Which casts, you know: Kind of a shadow.

But since we’re on the topic? And I’ve got your attention? It’s a pretty good story, just as it was written.

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I’d go

Posted by lex, on May 7, 2006

 

Andrew Klavan in the LA Times suggests it’s time for Hollywood to get on board for the big win:

We play with our children, read books, go to work and enjoy recreations only because people with guns stand ready, willing and able to kill other people with guns who would kill us if they could.

It’s sweet to forget this and therefore difficult to keep it in mind. “It is hard for those who live near a Police Station to believe in the triumph of violence,” as T.S. Eliot wrote. That’s us — we Americans, protected by a mighty military that by and large obeys the rules of our republic — safe enough, and keeping much of the world safe enough, so that we find it hard to believe in what would happen if that protection failed.

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