Saturday, 26 May 2007

GENERAL MUSINGS

Ken Berwitz

No I am not blogging about the military.  Here are just a few unconnected thoughts, apropos of nothing:

-This week, President Bush had the single best press conference I ever saw from him.  I especially liked his put-down of David Gregory, who has made it his life's work to snipe at Bush every chance he gets, and then pretend he's just a neutral white house correspondent on NBC.  Gregory asked for it, and he got it.  Good.

-Years ago, I thought Open Pit barbecue sauce, made by General Foods, was the best store-bought barbecue sauce anywhere. Then the stores around me stopped selling it.  I sort of assumed it was gone.  But I found out that it wasn't at all.  It turns out that Open Pit is now made by a company I never heard of until just this past week - Pinnacle Foods Corporation of Cherry Hill, NJ.  I found it in a Gristedes Supermarket in Manhattan,  near where my son and daughter in  law live.  I bought it for old time's sake.  And guess what?  It is EVERY BIT AS GOOD as it used to be.  It's still better than anything else out there at any price.  I will make sure to stock up when I'm in Manhattan, as needed.

-It is hard to watch the New York Yankees play this year.  With their bloated payroll and the fact that everything that happens in the game has a corporate sponsor (the first pitch, the 15th out, the BROADCAST BOOTH so help me, etc. etc. etc) they can't even crack .500.  On most teams the manager, most or all of his staff and the GM would be gone by now.  How long before it happens in Steinbrennerville?

-Also on sports, Vincent Carter of the New Jersey Nets, for all his greatness as a virtuoso performer during the regular season, falls flat during the playoffs.  If they can create a decent sign and trade deal to get rid of him, they should do it.

-Like her or don't, Ann Coulter has the longest neck in American journalism.  If she ever decides to stop writing, the porn industry will pay her anything she wants if she's willing to.........er, never mind

-Why do people who support abortion call themselves pro-choice, as if people who do not support abortion are against choices?  If I'm against, say, arson or rape does that make me anti-choice?  And why do people who do not support abortion rights call themselves pro-life, as if people who disagree with them are against life?  If I do not consider a successful sperm to be a child at the point of conception, does that mean I'm against you being alive?  Neither side does itself proud using language like this.

-For all the hoopla NBC gives him, Chris Mouthews (yeah, the misspelling is intentional) gets almost no viewers.  What does he have on those people? 

-Joe Scarborough manages to get lousy viewership too, but he doesn't get the buildup they give Mouthews.  So you can argue that, albeit at a very low level, he's doing better than Mouthews.

-My wife just celebrated a milestone birthday this week.  I won't tell you how old she is, but I'm 61, so you can at least guess.  And believe me, she not only is as beautiful as can be on the inside, but she is amazing on the outside as well.  Body-wise, she looks 20 years younger than she is.  Personally, I think it's my fault -- my body goes far enough in the opposite direction to average hers out.

-If you love Spanish/Portuguese food, and happen to be in New York, make a beeline for Sevilla, on Charles St in the west Village.  Not only is the food exceptionally good (and fairly priced), not only is the Sangria just great, but the family that owns Sevilla makes you feel like you're visiting their home.  This is what "neighborhood restaurant" is supposed to mean, though it  gets harder and harder to find.  Go there and have a really great meal.  You'll thank me.

-I read a story yesterday about an 11 year old boy in Alabama who killed a wild pig weighing over 1,000 pounds...the biggest on record.  When I saw the picture, I have to admit I started looking to see if there was a baseball cap and a master copy of "Sicko" lying on the ground nearby.


WHAT KIND OF A** WOULD DO AN AD LIKE THIS?

Ken Berwitz

I post the following AP story without comment, because it sort of speaks for itself...though I can't say I know for sure what it says.  But, as someone who hasn't eaten at fast food restaurants in quite a few years, I do know it isn't enticing me back to them:-

Jack in the Box Ads Called Misleading

Competitor Sues Jack in the Box Over TV Spots Mocking Burger Meat

CKE Restaurants Inc. sued Jack In The Box in U.S. District Court n Friday over an ad in which executives laugh hysterically at the word "Angus" and another where the chain's pingpong ball-headed mascot, Jack, is asked to point to a diagram of a cow and show where Angus meat comes from.

"I'd rather not," the pointy-nosed Jack replies.

The employee asking the question traces a circle in the air with his pen while pronouncing the word Angus.

-


ROSIE O'DONNYBROOK

Ken Berwitz

If it were anyone besides Rosie O'Donnell I would assume the event was staged.

It is just a few weeks before O'Donnell's announced departure from the nationally televised backyard gossip-fest, "The View".  She instigates a shouting match with the show's token non-leftist and -wonder of wonders - isn't going to finish out her agreed-upon final weeks.  Just in time for Memorial Day weekend so that everyone can talk about it on the beach, at the park, with the family, etc. 

Now that's too good for the show, too beneficial timing-wise, to be a coincidence.  Except...this is Rosie O'Donnell.

Rosie O'Donnell is the "queen of nice", as media have dubbed her.  That is, the nice lady who blew her daytime show up by going from fun, trivia and a little dishing of dirt, to angry gender politics, lectures on how you should think, and browbeating guests with her LAMB*** logic.  Within one year of this self-destructive left turn, the audience for her show dropped by something like 50%. 

Anyway, after self-immolating on daytime TV, O'Donnell indulged her aggressively public homosexuality by spending millions of dollars (some reports said as much as 10 million) on a show about Boy George...who is about as interesting as a used swifter.  The public responded by staying home and watching reruns of I'm Dickens...He's Fenster.   Goodbye show, goodbye money.

But then fate intervened.  The View had an opening to fill....they had to replace a large woman with a big mouth.  Need I say more?

So Rosie joined Joy Behar and immediately blew past her as the loudest-mouthed LAMB on the show (a genuine accomplishment, let's not take that away from her).  In no time she had developed a nuclear feud with Donald Trump - arguably the only person in America more hungry for publicity than she is.  She suggested the 9/11 terrorist attack was an inside job - probably perpetrated by the Bush administration.  She lovingly cuddled a doll of Hugo Chavez, the USA hating dictator in Venezuela. 

Ratings initially soared.  Other feuds followed, and while this obviously generated a great deal of publicity for the show, it also overshadowed everyone else.  The contoversy-generated ratings started coming back to earth.  Something had to give.

Well, it did.  Not content with screaming about everyone and everything OFF the show, O'Donnell then set her sights on Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the token non-leftist.  This was done, it should be noted, at a time when it was pretty obvious that host Barbara Walters, and parent company ABC, had about enough of the queen of nitro...er, nice.  Last straw, the camel's back broke, bye bye and good riddan...er, luck.

~~So goodbye Rosie, queen of confrontation, see me and Hugo, down by the oilyard....~~~  Or maybe ~~~My Hugo, My Hugo, My Hugo he steal election and run Venezuela...~~~

So what is next for Rosie?  Maybe Dan Abrams over at MSNBC can give her Joe Scarborough's or Chris Mouthews' slot.  Why not?  Neither of them gets very many viewers.  And their "star" (i.e. the guy with their highest ratings, even though his ratings are pathetic compared to his competition, Bill O'Reilly) is her political bedfellow keith olbermann. 

If Abrams is proud of putting a one-note leftist like olbermann on MSNBC, he should be orgasmic about landing O'Donnell.  She can spend an hour a day lecturing us on lesbianism and how George Bush perpetrated 9/11.  They can merchandise tinfoil hats and souvenir moveon.org memorabilia.  It can't miss.

Note to Dan:  If you do it, I want a commission.  Great ideas don't come gift-wrapped to you every day.

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***As you may know by now, LAMB is an acronym for the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade


THE AP DEBUNKS MEDIA BIAS: A POLITICAL FAIRY TALE

 

Ken Berwitz

Can these people possibly read what they write?  Can they possibly be so obtuse that they don't see the problem with what they are saying?  Are they just plain stupid, or so biased that it just doesn't hit their radar?

Here is an article put out on Thursday by David Bauder, a "Television Writer" for the AP.  Read it and see if you can find what eluded Mr. Bauder:  I'm betting you can - pay special attention to the paragraph I've put in bold print:-

News media focuses on Democrats

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television WriterThu May 24, 6:31 PM ET

By a wide margin, the news media concentrated on Democratic presidential contenders more than Republicans during the first three months of 2007, according to a study issued on Thursday.

Campaign stories in newspapers, on television, online and on the radio focused on Democrats 61 percent of the time and on Republicans 24 percent, said the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which regularly monitors 48 different outlets to gauge coverage trends.

But don't look to political bias as the most obvious explanation. Three conservative radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage talked about Democrats 75 percent of the time and Republicans 13 percent.

A fascination with the showdown between Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) is a big factor, said Tom Rosenstiel, the project's director.

The single campaign story to receive the most coverage was Clinton's tiff with former big-money backer David Geffen, who is now contributing to Obama, the study said. This drew even more ink than the first Democratic debate.

"There's nothing structurally to say that the Democratic race is more important or newsworthy," Rosenstiel said.

The study also found that nine out of 10 stories focused on campaign tactics or the relative popularity of the candidates. -

Got that?  Media coverage of Democrats is more than 2 1/2 times that of Republicans.  In other words, readers and viewers  are being inundated with news and publicity for Democrats while Republicans are hidden behind a screen. 

But not to worry, it couldn't be media bias.  Why?  Because three conservative talk show hosts talk more about Republicans than Democrats by 75% to 13%. Yep, that certainly debunks the bias claim, doesn't it?

Where to start.....

-Let's begin with the fact that, regardless of who says what, the AGGREGATE of those 48 different news venues is 61% Democrat to 24% Republican.  One may be more Republican, another may be more Democrat.  But the overall picture to viewers/listeners is hugely in favor of Democrats.  Somehow this goes unnoticed by Mr. Bauder;

-What does Mr. Bauder offer as evidence that there is no media bias here, that you aren't seeing with your own eyes what you're seeing with your own eyes?  His one and only explanation is that conservative talk show hosts are more likely to talk about conservatives. 

Holy excrement!!!  Hold the presses!!! 

What does this mean?  More specifically what does it have to do with the fact - HIS fact - that Democrats get more than 2 1/2 times the coverage of Republicans?  Who does he suppose liberal talk show hosts talk about?  Zoroastrianism?  OF COURSE conservatives talk more about Republicans.  That 61% - 24% disparity is there even WITH them doing so.

-Finally, since the big three conservative talk show hosts are so heavily invested in talking about Republicans, what happens when you take them away from the total of 48 media venues?  In other words, what happens if you eliminate the three conservative voices, which anyone in his/her right mind would assume are talking about Republicans;  what are you left with?  Hint: It sure isn't 61%-24%.  Maybe now it's 65% - 20%.  Maybe even more than that. So if not for the fact that there are a few conservatives among those 48, the disparity would be even greater - much greater. 

Plus, since the only "mostly Republican" outlets Bauder writes about are partisan talk show hosts, it means that the much-greater disparity I just noted includes all the supposedly non-partisan outlets;  i.e the newspapers, magazines, etc. that presumably are there to give two-sided balance.  Hah.

You read this stuff and you don't know whether to laugh, to cry or to just shake your head in disbelief. 


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