Posts filed under 'TV'

Monday Media Blogging

Any Dollhouse fans out there?  Does this sound at all… familiar?

Joe Resnick is the adopted son of computer expert, Professor Ian “Mac” McClaine, inventor of the BIG RAT, (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record And Transfer), a device that allows knowledge and experience to be copied from the minds of top experts in their fields to another person. Mac’s friend, Sam Loover, a secret agent for the World Intelligence Network (WIN), persuades Mac to let Joe use the machine to work for WIN. After the requisite skill is transferred, and provided Joe is wearing special spectacles containing hidden electrodes, he is able to fly jet fighters, perform surgery, and so on, while appearing to be just an innocent little boy in the eyes of his enemies.

July 27th, 2009 at 08:02am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,TV

Snake Alert!

Multi Medium PSA: Today is Snake Day on the Sci-Fi channel, leading up to the premiere of Anacondas: Trail Of Blood, starring Gimli from Lord Of The Rings. I particularly recommend Snake King at 1:00 (Stephen Baldwin vs. giant five-headed snake) and Megasnake at 3:00 (cameo by Feedback, winner of the first season of “So You Want To Be A Superhero”).

Seriously, if you miss Snake King you’ll never forgive yourself.  Really, any Sci-Fi movie where Stephen Baldwin is the hero is must-see television.

February 28th, 2009 at 08:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Movies,TV

Lost Thoughts: Dharma, Others, & Widmore

I’m probably hopelessly behind the curve, and every Lost fansite has already expanded on this theory in mind-numbingly exquisite detail, but I figured I’d share my version of it nonetheless.

Okay, so, here’s what I think we know so far about Dharma, the Others, and Charles Widmore:

1) Charles Widmore is a Dharma bigshot, possibly even the CEO.  (I can’t remember for sure whether I know this, or just assumed it.  I know something made me pretty sure about it, though.)

2) The Others have been on the island since at least the 50s.  They are very disciplined and organized, and probably have some kind of outside backing.  They appear to have a similar mission to that of Dharma: to somehow tap or exploit the island’s powers.

3) Charles Widmore used to be one of the Others when he was young.

4) Charles Widmore now has a vendetta against the Others in general, and Ben Linus in particular.

If I throw all that together and shake it around for a while, I reach the conclusion that Widmore had some kind of falling-out with the Others – presumably either a disagreement on methods or goals, or else they wouldn’t let him be the leader.  So Widmore’s response was to create Dharma to be a rival (but similar) group to the Others, which would wrest control of the island away from them and take all the island’s secrets for himself instead.

Widmore would obviously be familiar enough with the Others to know what kind of force Dharma would need to conquer the island, but he couldn’t have anticipated the Others turning Ben so that he would betray Dharma.  And this is why Widmore has a special grudge against Ben, because if it hadn’t been for him, his plan would have worked, and Dharma would still control the island.

This theory works pretty well for me – it explains the relationship between the Others and Dharma, and it also explains why they seem similar in many ways, and why the Others took over the Dharma people’s duties after they killed them.  The Others have the same basic mission as Dharma, because they were the model for Dharma.

4 comments January 29th, 2009 at 08:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: TV

Lying: If It’s Good Enough For The Bush Administration, It’s Good Enough For You

Or maybe it’s like when criminals make sure the new guy does at least some of the dirty work, so he can’t rat them out later…

Ruegsegger was one of 100 people at a Bond Hill meeting Tuesday about the digital TV conversion with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin.

Most of the questions were about flaws in a program – now out of money – by another federal agency to provide two free $40 coupons for converters enabling old analog sets to receive digital signals.

The government has ordered full-power TV stations to switch to digital signals on Feb. 17, which Martin called “the biggest change in TV history since color television.”

More than a dozen people complained to Martin that their coupons had expired in 90 days, before they could purchase converters, a clock-radio-size device.

Because the government will not reissue coupons to the same address, Martin recommended that those needing coupons ask a friend, neighbor or relative with cable or satellite service, or new digital TVs – who don’t need the converters – to apply for them.

“Find someone else to apply and get them for you. They are fully transferable. What’s important is that you get a coupon and go get a converter box,” Martin said.

Ruegsegger tried to do just that with a neighbor – but they halted the online process when the neighbor was required to lie about needing coupons for his own home.

“That’s not right, to make you falsify an application,” Ruegsegger told Martin, while several applauded at the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency conference room.

Martin agreed, but said that’s what the coupon agency – the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration – “is telling people to do. They’re saying it’s OK. I’m here to tell you it’s OK,” he said.

Not only are the Bushies operating under a completely different moral code than most people, it doesn’t even occur to them that everyone else doesn’t think the exact same way.  They’re cool with lying, so they figure we are, too – especially if they’ve told us it’s okay.

Also: Why not just have the coupons expire on, say, February 17th?

January 7th, 2009 at 07:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Republicans,Technology,TV

Nathan Petrelli For U.S. Senate!

There’s a lot of speculation about who enigmatic NY governor David Paterson will pick to replace Hillary Clinton as New York’s junior senator, with Andrew Cuomo currently leading, as Gail Collins puts it, “in several polls as The Only Person on This List We Have Ever Heard Of.”

But what about Nathan Petrelli? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Pros: Young, charismatic, idealistic, can fly.

Cons: Illegitimate daughter, supervillain father; may be pawn in plot to destroy the human race.

It’s a toss-up, really.

(Yes, I am aware that Heroes sucks now, thank you very much.)

November 27th, 2008 at 02:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,TV

I Heard McCain Once Built His Own Sex Dungeon…

SNL’s special Thursday election edition was mostly pretty disappointing, but the Hall & Oates song cracked me right up. Also “TGI’ve Been Scalded By A Monkey”.

October 11th, 2008 at 01:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Elections,McCain,Monday Media Blogging,TV

Chris Matthews Is Sooo Not Right In The Head.

Oh. My. God:

We’ve got an advanced copy of Mark Leibovich’s piece on Chris Matthews, entitled “Chris Matthews, Seriously. (O.K., Not That Seriously),” which will appear in this Sunday’s NYT magazine.

  • “Did you get a load of Lou Rawls’s wife?” Matthews said as he left the spin room. Apparently the Rev. Jesse Jackson was introducing the widow of the R&B singer at the media center. “She was an absolute knockout,” Matthews declared. It’s a common Matthews designation. The actress Kerry Washington was also a “total knockout,” according to Matthews, who by 1 a.m. had repaired to the bar of the Cleveland Ritz-Carlton. He was sipping a Diet Coke and holding court for a cluster of network and political types, as well as for a procession of random glad-handers that included, wouldn’t you know it, Kerry Washington herself. Washington played Ray Charles’s wife in the movie “Ray” and Kay Amin in the “Last King of Scotland.” She is a big Obama supporter and was in town for the debate; more to the point, she said she likes “Hard-ball.” Matthews grabbed her hand, and Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC who was seated across the table, vowed to get her on the show.

“I know why he wants you on,” Matthews said to Washington while looking at Griffin. At which point Matthews did something he rarely does. He paused. He seemed actually to be considering what he was about to say. He might even have been editing himself, which is anything but a natural act for him. He was grimacing. I imagined a little superego hamster racing against a speeding treadmill inside Matthews’s skull, until the superego hamster was overrun and the pause ended.

“He wants you on because you’re beautiful,” Matthews said. “And because you’re black.” He handed Washington a business card and told her to call anytime “if you ever want to hang out with Chris Matthews.”

  • “People are a little impressed with themselves,” Griffin went on to say, continuing his commentary about the scene. “It’s a bit of an echo chamber.” Matthews is central to that echo chamber — at the Ritz, as in the 2008 presidential campaign. He is, in a sense, the carnival barker at the center of it, spewing tiny pellets of chewed nuts across the table while comparing Obama to Mozart and Clinton to Salieri. At one point, Matthews suddenly became hypnotized by a TV over the bar set to a rebroadcast of “Hardball.” “Hey, there I am — it’s me,” he said, staring at himself on the screen. “It’s me.”
  • “I like the fact that people don’t think of me as famous, but that they know me,” Matthews said. “They come up to me and say, ‘Chris, what do you think?’ There’s no aura. It’s a different kind of celebrity. People assume they have a right to talk to me. They want to know my take.”

    Those first two bullets in particular.  I mean, wow.  How do you even snark on that?  The pathology is just… laying there, right out in the open and everything.

    (h/t emptywheel)

    2 comments April 9th, 2008 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,TV,Wankers,Weirdness

    My Brilliant TV Concept

    It would combine two of America’s favorite things: Reality shows, and monster movies. It would be sort of like Punk’d, only with monsters. And I would call it…

    Candid Gamera.

    As a special bonus, the celebrity guests would be eaten alive at the end of each episode.

    March 11th, 2008 at 06:45pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Puns,TV

    Off The Market

    Tony Bobbins helped me let go, so I could burn my ex-girlfriend with my noxious saliva.

    Sorry, ladies:

    Gary Coleman is a not-so-newlywed.

    The former ”Diff’rent Strokes” star married 22-year-old Shannon Price in August on a mountaintop in Nevada, but they have been keeping their vows under wraps, the pair told ”Inside Edition.”

    ”Nobody was around but the minister, preacher, the videographers, the photographer, the helicopter pilot and us,” Coleman, 40, said on Tuesday’s broadcast of the program.

    Coleman met Price on the set of the 2006 comedy ”Church Ball.” Price said it was she who proposed to Coleman, but that he surprised her on her birthday by whisking her to a mountaintop in the Valley of Fire State Park to exchange vows.

    She said they kept their wedding secret because she wanted to keep being seen as her own person.

    ”I just want my own identity as well because I don’t want to be known as Gary Coleman’s wife,” she said.

    Coleman played down their age differences, saying ”I don’t have issues with age, I have issues with intelligence … She’s more intelligent than I am and that’s what matters to me.”

    Price, who is 5-foot-7, and Coleman, who is 4-foot-8, also played down their height gap.

    ”That doesn’t really matter to me,” she said. ”He was 10 feet tall to me because he was sweet and I really liked his personality.”

    I guess we’ll never get to see that Gary Coleman edition of The Bachelor.

    February 12th, 2008 at 11:11pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,TV,Weirdness

    Dispatches From Earth-2

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the media and political establishment seems to dwell entirely in a strange parallel alternative universe, which bears only the most superficial resemblance to the real one. And sometimes one of its members says something that really drives that point home perfectly. This is one such example, from an Adweek story about how poorly integrated blogs and political campaigns are:

    “The jury is still out on whether the blogs can compete with the credibility, accountability and longevity of television over the last four decades,” says David Mercer, a Democratic political strategist who has worked on five presidential elections, including the 2004 John Kerry and the 2000 Al Gore campaigns.

    Amazing. I’ll concede the point on longevity, but credibility and accountability? There are hobos with more credibility and accountability than television. Clearly, the universe Mercer is speaking from is one where Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Keith Olbermann are anchoring the Big Three networks, and Fox News doesn’t exist at all. Either that, or a universe where the blogosphere is all conservative…

    Democrats, I’m begging you: Please do not employ any consultants who believe that television is any kind of honest broker.

    January 14th, 2008 at 06:30pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Elections,Media,Politics,TV,Wankers

    No. Wrong. Bad.





    Any questions?

    1 comment December 23rd, 2007 at 09:22pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: TV


    Is the Don Siegelman story about to go large?

    CBS is reportedly still working hard on a “60 Minutes” segment on former Gov. Don Siegelman’s trial and incarceration, despite some suspicions that political pressure had forced the network to back off.

    Some of those in Alabama who have been cooperating with the CBS crew said they thought the report would air this month, but now it looks like it will be on some time in January.


    “60 Minutes,” of course, is not only on a major network, it is also known for going into depth on stories like this and is reportedly in possession of some revelations not previously known about the back story that could be devastating for those who seemed determine to eliminate Siegelman from the Alabama political scene.

    One Siegelman partisan close to the story and cooperating with the “60 Minutes” producers emailed me this week and said he had been involved in “extensive detail work with CBS yesterday and today. They have been requesting photos and film footage and info to develop graphics.”


    The “only downside is that in the midst of this, Don is nearing his sixth month in prison. The 11th circuit asked [U.S. presiding Judge Mark] Fuller to give a reason for the incarceration [rather than grant bail pending appeal] expeditiously and today is the 33rd day since they made the request.

    “Also, Fuller is responsible for the transcript and you know how that is going,” he added, referring to the transcript of the trial that more than a year and a half after the trial still has not been produced.

    My corespondent was also bitter that Fuller “was able to hold a clandestine hearing to free Lanny [Young] 13 months early.” That was in reference to the Dec. 11 release of a key prosecution witness on the bribery charges against Siegelman. Young had gotten two years in the slammer for his part in what a federal jury concluded was a crime, but served only 11 months.

    Since he was jailed, it has been revealed that Young had allegedly provided similar bribes for Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions and former Alabama Republican attorney general and now U.S. Judge District Bill Pryor, neither of whom were even investigated, much less indicted and tried.

    “It’s really hard for all of us, the attorneys included, not to sense that Lanny was freed early and told to disappear and keep his mouth shut,” my email correspondent wrote. “This, we feel is directly linked to the revelations in his FBI file about Sessions and Pryor as revealed by TIME last month and echoed in the MSNBC story.”

    The Siegelman story is probably the clearest and most perfect example of just how far BushCo’s ruthless politicization of the Justice Department has gone, both in terms of destroying the innocent and protecting the guilty. It also sounds like Judge Fuller is a corrupt BushCo. tool as well (Larisa Alexandrovna also makes a cryptic reference to his “alleged mistress”). Fabulous – I hope 60 Minutes shines a spotlight on him too.

    (h/t pontificator)

    2 comments December 22nd, 2007 at 02:44pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Media,Politics,Republicans,TV,Wankers

    Good News For MST3K Fans


    The creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is returning to the movie-mocking business as captain of the Cinematic Titanic.

    Joel Hodgson is reuniting with J. Elvis Weinstein (the original Tom Servo) and Trace Beaulieu (Crow T. Robot) to sink any B movies remaining afloat in the long-running cult TV show’s wake. The celluloid target of their inaugural Dec. 10 release: 1972 horror debacle Brain of Blood.

    Hodgson and crew plan to mine the depths of the sci-fi and horror genres for movies that bear the special MST3K level of delightful god-awfulness. Rather than call the reunion a “show,” Hodgson described Cinematic Titanic as “a movie-riffing delivery system” that will keep loyal MST3K enthusiasts stocked with fresh laughs.

    I don’t really have anything to add to this, other than to say that it’s pretty awesome.

    2 comments December 7th, 2007 at 09:15pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Coolness,Movies,TV

    Call Off The Search

    We have found the dumbest person on Earth.

    Yes, that’s right: Christianity pre-dates everything. Perhaps even the Old Testament!

    This is the same woman who is so busy trying to figure out how to feed her family on her measly six-figure (seven-figure?) salary, that she can’t even contemplate inconsequential trifles like whether or not the Earth is flat.

    The mind is too stunned to even reel.

    (h/t Caro Kay)

    1 comment December 5th, 2007 at 08:38pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,Religion,Republicans,Science,TV

    Bashing CNN Just Never Gets Old…

    Tim Rutten totally nails CNN in his LAT media column:

    THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can’t afford to be sick with anything that won’t be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

    So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a “debate,” what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?


    Selecting a president is, more than ever, a life and death business, and a news organization that consciously injects itself into the process, as CNN did by hosting Wednesday’s debate, incurs a special responsibility to conduct itself in a dispassionate and, most of all, disinterested fashion. When one considers CNN’s performance, however, the adjectives that leap to mind are corrupt and incompetent.


    …CNN chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a single issue — immigration. Now, if that leaves you scratching your head, it’s probably because you’re included in the 96% of Americans who do not think immigration is the most important issue confronting this country. We’ve got a pretty good fix concerning what’s on the American mind right now, because the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center has been regularly polling people since January on the issues that matter most to them. In fact, the center’s most recent survey was conducted in the days leading up to Wednesday’s debate.

    HERE’S what Pew found: By an overwhelming margin, Americans think the war in Iraq is the most important issue facing the United States, followed by the economy, healthcare and energy prices. In fact, if you lump the war into a category with terrorism and other foreign policy issues, 40% of Americans say foreign affairs are their biggest concern in this election cycle. If you do something similar with all issues related to the economy, 31% list those questions as their most worrisome issue….

    So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters’ concerns? The answer is that CNN’s most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday’s debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. So, what’s good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

    In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans’ debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you’ve made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

    That’s corruption, and it’s why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour “debating” an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal — and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed.

    I agree with Rutten for the most part, but he’s thinking too small. CNN isn’t trying to make immigration a huge election issue to help Lou Dobbs, it’s trying to make it a huge issue to help the Republicans. It’s pretty clear by now that immigration is this election’s gay marriage, where the Republicans demagogue and demonize and make it suddenly an all-important, life-or-death issue to bash Democrats over the head with.

    Of course, the risk here, which CNN and the Republicans seem oblivious to, is that there are a lot more Hispanics than there are gays, so there will be a lot more furious anti-Republican votes this time around. Maybe the GOP is just really confident in their ability to suppress Latino votes.

    December 1st, 2007 at 12:32pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Elections,Immigration,Media,Politics,Republicans,TV,Wankers

    Dancing With The Stars Is Totally Rigged

    Helio Castroneves and his alien ringer

    Okay, I admit I haven’t been following Dancing With The Stars real closely, because, well, it’s a reality show, but…

    Is it just me, or did they give Helio Castroneves an unfair advantage by pairing him with a three-legged woman? I mean, that’s a 25% edge over all the other teams right out of the gate, and that’s not even counting Heather Mills.

    I expect the Celebrity Dancing Commissioner to make a full inquiry into any possible irregularities that may have occurred here, or else I shall be forced to send him a very strongly worded letter.

    2 comments November 28th, 2007 at 11:50am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: TV,Weirdness

    What Stoller And Sun Tzu Said

    Okay, so Frank Rich does a good job of itemizing all of Dubya’s evil with respect to war and torture, and to a certain extent he is correct that Americans in general are culpable for “allowing” him to get away with it. But as Sun Tzu points out, the biggest reason that most Americans have passively allowed it to continue, the biggest reason that Dubya was re-elected to continue his rampage, was because the media relentlessly sold them on it.

    Worse yet, as Stoller points out, it was only one month ago that Rich slammed MoveOn for doing exactly what Rich laments that no-one is doing.

    Rich sounds like a progressive most of the time, but he’s awfully protective of the media and political establishment’s turf. He laments that Americans aren’t fighting against BushCo, yet he resents those who are. Maybe he’s waiting for a centrist establishment uprising.

    1 comment October 14th, 2007 at 09:51pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Iraq,Media,Politics,Torture,TV,Wankers,War

    My Brilliant Genius Idea

    So, I was noticing that the Sci-Fi Channel is airing Highlander: The Source in Who Wants To Be A Superhero‘s old time slot, and the thought occurred to me:

    Wouldn’t Highlander be the perfect reality show? Isn’t “There Can Be Only One” the very essence of most reality shows? And really, the setup (immortals vying for ultimate power!) and the action (lots of swordfights that end in beheadings) would leave shows like Survivor and Amazing Race in the dust.

    Better yet, given TV’s penchant for imitation, the idea could spread to other reality shows as well – just think how much more enjoyable American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance would be if the contestants were all the time beheading each other, and maybe even some of the judges as well.

    September 20th, 2007 at 08:11pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: TV

    Check The Kerning

    Dan Rather is at it with the inconvenient truths again:

    …[T]his week’s edition of ”Dan Rather Reports” explores… the very paper from which punch-card ballots were made, and glaring shortcuts in how certain touch-screen voting machines were produced.

    ”Our story is not that the election would have turned out differently in 2000 if certain things hadn’t happened. No one can know that,” Rather said Monday. But his eight-month investigation has ”dug down vertically as deep as we were capable of doing” to probe the brewing problems — including on-camera interviews with workers who had a front-row seat.

    The hourlong news program premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT on cable’s HDNet channel, with subsequent re-airings and streaming online video.

    Rather’s report begins with the current congressional bid by Democrat Christine Jennings, who lost her 2006 race by 369 votes in Florida’s Sarasota County, where touch-screen machines showed 18,000 ballots with no candidate selected in that race.

    How could that happen?

    The broadcast hears from Gene Hinspeter, an electronic operations specialist in nearby Lee County, who speaks of a ”calibration issue” with the touch-screen devices: on a misaligned display, choosing one candidate’s name might actually trigger a vote for another candidate.

    The touch-screen machines are hard to keep calibrated, says Hinspeter. He describes them as ”unreliable.”

    While the touch-screens at issue were manufactured in the U.S., they are one of many components assembled in a factory in the Philippines.

    Eddie Vibar, an electrical engineer who worked there between 1999 and 2002, describes the bare-bones performance testing (”They shook the machines”). He adds that conditions were oppressive at the factory, where the temperature sometimes rose above 90 degrees and only a few air conditioners were operative.

    ”It’s hard to do repairs while you’re also holding a fan or a piece of cardboard (to keep cool),” explains Vibar. He says he earned about $2.50 a day.

    In a separate interview, Landen Tuggle, an American dispatched to overhaul factory operations, says that, despite his best efforts, 15,000 to 16,000 potentially defective voting machines were shipped to the U.S.

    Rather’s report also takes a look back at the fiasco that spurred the widespread changeover to touch-screen machines: the 2000 election, notably in Florida, where ”hanging chads” and other irregularities caused havoc. In that state, more than 50,000 punch cards were discarded as invalid because voters appeared to have voted for more than one presidential candidate (or none).

    Rather interviews seven former employees of the company that made punch cards used in Florida. They agree that after decades of maintaining high production standards, their company in 2000 began opting for cheap, even defective, paper.

    ”It’s the flour for the bread,” says one former worker. ”I mean, if you don’t have good paper, you won’t make good ballots.”

    We’re screwed.

    1 comment August 13th, 2007 at 07:06pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Elections,Media,Politics,Technology,TV

    Choose The Form Of The Destructor…


    Well, it was nice while it lasted, but today is the day that Bill O’Reilly will destroy DailyKos. It’s a damn shame – I have no idea who we’ll all take orders from now.

    Atrios has been posting some Great Moments In Bill O’Reilly today, courtesy of The Smoking Gun. His favorites so far are Item 37 (p. 8), 54 (p. 11), 55 (p. 12), 66 (p. 14), 78 (p. 16), and 81 (p. 17). Or you can just page through and look for the red arrows where TSG has helpfully highlighted the good parts…

    1 comment July 30th, 2007 at 07:47pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Republicans,TV,Wankers

    Here’s A Suggestion

    So, Fox and the CBC are supposedly desperate to salvage the Democratic debate that Fox is hosting in Detroit:

    Only three candidates, mostly lesser-knowns at that, have agreed to show up. The Big Three — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) — said several months ago that they would not debate on the network that many Democrats believe tilts far to the right.

    But organizers, including prominent members of the black caucus, are not ready to admit defeat. They still hope to entice (or shame) the front-runners into attending and, failing that, to devise an alternate format to add zest to the show beyond the lengthy discourses of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska).

    Okay, how about this, then: Let the Democrats choose the moderator and post-debate analysts. Or at least give them veto power over the selections.

    This, of course, assumes that Fox views the debate as something other than an opportunity to slime Democrats. So it’ll probably never happen.

    July 8th, 2007 at 10:33am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Democrats,Media,Politics,Republicans,TV,Wankers

    Beck To The Future

    Atrios and Chris seem perpetually amazed that Glenn Beck is still on TV despite truly abysmal (and still declining) ratings.

    Once you accept that promoting Republican narratives and talking points is far more important to the media than ratings and profits, it all makes perfect sense. (I would also note that while the 25-54 demographic might be the most desirable from an ad revenue perspective, I’m not so sure it is from a voter turnout perspective.)

    On the other hand, propaganda is only useful if people are actually watching it. I’m surprised CNN hasn’t tried to find a more popular insane dishonest wingnut to take Beck’s place.

    11 comments May 30th, 2007 at 10:11pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,TV,Wankers

    Where’s The Asian Guy?

    News flash: Asian-American guys don’t get great roles on TV or in movies. Film at 10:30.

    As an Asian American man — Filipino, to be exact — there’s a game I like to play called WTAG: Where’s the Asian guy?

    The number of Asian American men on MTV, Bravo, CBS, et al.? Not many, though there’s Daniel Dae Kim, co-star of ABC’s “Lost.” Never mind that he speaks only Korean on the show. The number of Asian American guys in recent films? Think. Hard. And no, Jackie Chan and what’s-his-face — the name is Chow Yun-Fat (no, it’s not a Hunan dish) — don’t count. They’re from Hong Kong.

    This relative invisibility — and the stereotypical characters that Asian American men often portray in films and television — is the subject of “The Slanted Screen,” a sometimes meandering but highly researched and essential documentary, the Asian American counterpart to the gay-themed “Celluloid Closet.” It airs on PBS tonight, the last show of the Friday prime-time lineup, near the end of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Ouch.

    Narrated by Kim, the one-hour doc uses film and TV clips, in addition to insightful, emotional interviews with old and young actors, to trace the history of Asian American men on the big and small screens….


    [W]ith the history come ugly, overlooked truths. Mako recalls a studio executive’s reaction when asked about featuring a non-Asian in the lead of “Kung Fu,” the classic 1970s TV show: “I remember one of the vice presidents — in charge of production, I suppose — who said, ‘If we put a yellow man up on the tube, the audience will turn the switch off in less than five minutes.’ ” James Shigeta, the star of “Flower Drum Song,” remembers a movie musical producer telling him, “If you were white, you’d be a hell of a big star.”

    …The original ending [of “Romeo Must Die”] had Aaliyah kissing [Jet] Li, a scenario that didn’t test well with an “urban audience.” So the studio changed it. The new ending had Aaliyah giving Li a tight hug. Says [Filipino-American director Gene] Cajayon, “Mainstream America, for the most part, gets uncomfortable with seeing an Asian man portrayed in a sexual light.”


    Stereotypes abound in [the] documentary: The Asian man as kung fu master. Think Bruce Lee in the classic film “Enter the Dragon” and the TV show “The Green Hornet.” The Asian man played by a non-Asian, among them Mickey Rooney as the bucktoothed Japanese neighbor in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The Asian man as supergeek. No amount of soap can wash off the stench of the Long Duk Dong character in the 1984 cult classic “Sixteen Candles.” The Asian man as the mysterious enemy, or the stiff-faced store owner, or the barely English-speaking waiter . . . you get the point.


    In the past few years, a new generation of actors and directors, in ways more liberated, more in control, than their predecessors, are making some headway. The 2002 film “Better Luck Tomorrow,” a critical darling, was co-written and directed by Justin Lin, who tells the story of Asian American overachievers in a wealthy Orange Countywealthy Orange County, Calif., suburb who, beside being straight-A students and athletes, have thriving sidelines selling cheat sheets and drugs. Yes, they’re good students, as Asians are believed to be. But they have complicated lives like others, too. Comedian Bobby Lee, on the regular cast of the Fox show “Mad TV,” took his own life experiences and created a regular sketch called “Average Asian.” A jingle at the beginning of one sketch goes: “He’s an Average Asian / Eastern medicine is not his occupation / Can’t fix your back if it goes wrong / . . . He’s an Average Asian.”

    “I wanted to confront the stereotype,” Lee says. “I didn’t want to be the stereotype.”

    In the WTAG game, that’s a victory in itself.

    Check your PBS listings for tonight for an exact airtime (might be 10:30).

    I’ll be curious to see just what it covers. Does it really limit itself to Asian-American men, or Asians in general? Why only men? Does “Asian” include Indian or Pakistani? Does it cover, say, The Karate Kid (martial arts master!) or The Last Samurai (more martial arts!) or Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (one mostly nerd stereotype, one the exact opposite), or even The Simpsons (Apu, the fecund Hindu convenience store owner).

    I will also be interested in how the documentary explains the scarcity of Asian characters as compared to black or (I think) latino and gay characters. Apparently it’s more acceptable for scriptwriters and directors to ignore or stereotype Asians than other minorities, but why? I can think of a few possible reasons, but I’m not really comfortable with any of them – they’re either half-baked or just plain icky. The latter are probably closest to the truth, unfortunately…

    UPDATE: D’oh! It’s already come and gone on my local affiliate. Rats.

    7 comments May 25th, 2007 at 11:43am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,Movies,Racism,TV

    Sunday I’m-Going-To-Hell Blogging
    The Dr. Seuss Bible.

    And if that’s not enough, I offer the following question:

    Does a military chaplain ever wear an Army surplice?

    1 comment May 20th, 2007 at 12:30pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Puns,Religion,TV

    ABC OMG!

    I can’t believe it. They really did it. They greenlighted the Geico Cavemen sitcom.

    They also have a new show called “Eli Stone,” which I think is the first TV series ever to feature a main character named Eli.

    It will surely be the biggest flop of all time.

    8 comments May 15th, 2007 at 06:00pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: TV

    Shocking Revelation Of The Day

    Apparently, people watch the network news because they want actual news.

    Who knew?

    May 14th, 2007 at 11:19am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,TV

    Bill Moyers In 30 Seconds

    Or you can watch the full version of his critique of the media’s pre-Iraq performance here.

    4 comments April 27th, 2007 at 05:00pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Iraq,Media,TV,Wankers,War

    The Greatest Lifetime Movie Title Of All Time

    Baby Monitor: Sound Of Fear.

    This is even better than the shadowy and mysterious Codename V’s pick, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

    1 comment April 26th, 2007 at 07:54am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Movies,TV


    By way of Donita, I give you The Zimmers, talking about their g-g-generation:

    Lead singer is 90, and the cool-looking bearded guy is 100 (Buster Martin, England’s oldest working citizen). By the way, The shadowy and mysterious Codename V. informs me that those wheeled walkers are called “Zimmer frames” in the UK.

    And if that’s not enough to make you all warm and fuzzy…

    Erik Estrada has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Estrada, best known for playing California Highway Patrol Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello in “CHiPs” was accompanied by family members, comedian Paul Rodriguez and highway patrol officials during a Thursday afternoon ceremony.

    The 58-year-old said his appearance on “CHiPs’ satisfied two of his dreams.

    “One, of course, a certain amount of success in the entertainment business, for which I really am extremely grateful and I’m very proud,” Estrada said. “But equally important, it represents my childhood dream of becoming a police officer.”

    Estrada recently became a reserve officer for the Muncie, Ind., police department as part of his participation in the CBS reality television series “Armed & Famous.”

    I’m feeling better already.

    April 21st, 2007 at 11:16am Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Coolness,Music,TV

    Advice For MSNBC

    If you really don’t like it when your hosts say bigoted things, then… don’t hire bigots.

    Is this so hard to grasp?

    1 comment April 20th, 2007 at 09:59pm Posted by Eli

    Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,TV,Wankers

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