Saturday, April 17, 2004
New Reality Show Underway!
Yassin Voted off the Planet. Rantisi You're Fired!
Famed TV Producer Mark Brunette announced today that the first two parts of a new reality-based TV show have already been shot, and casting is underway for the third episode. Unlike past reality shows, this one will have quite a twist. Instead of a million dollars, or a job of a lifetime with Donald Trump, contestants will be given the leadership of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas for a period of one month. At the end of that month, they will be judged on their success or failure to curb the terrorist group's murderous suicide bombings. Instead of being voted off the island by their fellow members, or fired by The Donald, judgment will be carried out by Israeli Defense Force helicopters.
"This increases the stakes for the contestants," said Brunette. "As we say on the show, find the peace spot, or become a greasespot." Brunette noted that the first two contestants, Sheik Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, had already discovered the finality of the words, "The Tribe has spoken."
Thursday, April 15, 2004
The Apprentice Finale Thoughts
As usual with Mark Burnett, brilliant production. After watching the two guys handle their challenges I had to think that Bill had it in the bag. Then his team, which had been so supportive, didn't back him up enthusiastically in the boardroom, and I thought Kwame might pull it out after all. I was right about one thing--he really should have fired Omarosa. I still wonder if she was not a plant intended to test Kwame.
Racism at Dead Air America?
Apparently they are still not on the air in Chicago and LA after the bounced check fiasco. So they put up their own "humorous" takeoff on the Drudge Report which they call the Sludge Report
. Gee, that's sooooo original!
Anyway, the piece is rather predictable, except when they get into talking about the owner of Multicultural Radio, the broadcasting company they are battling:
But Arthur Liu --- not funny. He lied to us, he ripped us off and now we’re chasing him down with a pipe wrench. It’s a metaphor.
(Brainster note: Apparently they are not aware of the meaning of "metaphor")
Here’s what really happened:
This Liu-ser was ripping off our boss Evan Cohen big time (he can’t do that, that’s our job). Evan found out about it and he stopped payment on a check to keep Liu-cifer from ripping him off even more. You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line. And if we ever get low on cash, we can always call Barbra Streisand. Or any of the Baldwins. Except Stephen.
So we got screwed, Liu’d, and tattooed. How Liu can you get? In Liu of payment. Liu’d and lascivious behavior. These write themselves. What we’re getting at is that we hate him.
Now, isn't that cute? They're making puns on his Asian name.
So now everyone’s saying we’re going down the dumper in Chicago and Los Angeles, but what they don’t tell you is that we’re still on in Portland. And we OWN Portland. And let’s not forget Riverside and Plattsburgh. And New York. And streaming on the internet. And XM. And Sirius. Actually we’re fine.
Heh, who cares about LA and Chi-town, they've got Plattsburgh!
A Reason to Like April 15th!
Today is Jackie Robinson Day
, the 57th anniversary of the breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
Although it is commonly forgotten today, in the immediate aftermath of WWII, there was a sudden and sharp movement in this country towards eliminating prejudice. I am proud that two of my favorite pastimes, baseball and comic books were part of this effort. The death camps in Nazi Germany shocked America and forced us to recognize that there was a cost to society for treating any of our citizens as less worthy than other citizens.
Robinson was a great ballplayer, easily worthy of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame for his playing ability. When you consider the enormous obstacles he faced both off and on the field, it is obvious that he deserves the honor and recognition that has come his way. As an added bonus, Robinson was a Republican, although he did not always vote that way. He supported Humphrey over Kennedy in the Democratic Primaries of 1960, and voted for Nixon when Humphrey did not get the nomination. He did support Humphrey over Nixon in 1968. Although obviously supportive of the civil rights movement, he criticized MLK for his opposition to the Vietnam War.
Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier in baseball was part of that movement, but it was hardly alone. In the Superman radio show there were literally hundreds of episodes dealing with Superman's battle against hatred and intolerance. In one series of episodes, Superman battled the "Clan of the Fiery Cross".
In fact, everybody knows what Superman fights a never-ending battle for, right? Truth, justice and the American Way! Unfortunately, few know that the last part was not added until after WWII. Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Kavalier and Clay, a thinly disguised account of the creators of Superman, made an odd gaffe in a TV appearance a year ago. He implied that "The American Way" had been added during the Cold War as a kind of chest-thumping nationalism. One would think that the fact that famed liberal Norman Lear's organization is known as "People for the American Way" would have alerted him to the fact that he was wrong.
In fact, "The American Way" was explained by Superman in a special message at the end of a 1946 Thanksgiving radio broadcast as meaning that we are all of us, white, black, yellow and brown, Americans and that we've got to pull together to solve our problems and not be divided by hatred.
Here's to you, Mr Robinson!
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Dead Air America
Okay, after the pleasure of listening to the Northern Alliance guys on the radio, I tuned into the Majority Report on Dead Air America. They are explaining that supposedly they bought time in LA prior to when they actually needed it. Since they didn't need the time, the station owner (Multicultural) sold the time elsewhere. When Air America threatened to stop payment on the checks, the station owner took them off in LA and in Chicago.
Northern Alliance Radio
Heh, Hugh's intro was pretty funny. Scott Johnson, Lileks and the Elder joining Mitch Berg in the studio.
They lead with a clip from Hardball about how the August 6th PDB had no new information, at least, no new information that was correct.
Next Kristen Breitweiser's appearance also on Matthews's show. Good point by the Elder than the 9-11 widows are not qualified to talk about security procedures.
Steven Hayward on "The Real Jimmy Carter". Carter is the transition figure between the old Democrats and the modern Democrats. Rates Carter as the worst foreign policy president and perhaps the worst president overall. Comments that Carter is much worse as an ex-president than people think. Okay on Habitat for Humanity, but awful as a foreign policy envoy. Lileks asks about Iran. Could the shah have been saved--no. Could a better regime have been put in place--perhaps. Hayward says that the Ayatollah was considered as possibly another Gandhi. Andrew Young said he might be considered a saint. Carter tried to undermine the first Persian Gulf War. Got his Nobel Peace Prize as a slap against George W. Bush (it was even described that way at the time).
The Gorelick memo gets prominent mention in the next segment (missed the beginning due to a phone call). They point out that it's getting buried, except for the New York Times. Lileks mentions the movie Three Days of the Condor
, in which the murder of a bunch of people was all a plot by the CIA. This shows how pervasive the anti-CIA attitude was in the late 1970s.
Claudia Rosette appearance. Oil for food program discussed (hope Roger Simon
is listening). The UN is very secretive, and thus this story is not getting out. Should we turn over Iraq to the UN? Also is the UN structure correct? One country one vote sounds democratic, but the regimes with a vote are not themselves democratic. China/Syria/Libya. Northern Iraq is doing better than the South because Saddam didn't have the power in the North he did elsewhere. Lileks: Where did the money go? Claudia: Not known, we should try to find out.
Callers: Pearl Harbor/9-11 parallel. Believes in conspiracy. Talks about the John Toland book. Fred in Gardenia on Gorelick. Should we ask her to apologize because her memo was responsible. Did Clinton apologize for OKC?
Dead Air America?
Drudge is reporting that Air America is already off the airwaves in LA and Chicago for bouncing a $1 million check to the stations' owner. I have to admit, I'm baffled by this one. I can't imagine anybody taking a check for $1 million these days; I'd insist on a wire transfer.
While we're on the subject of radio, I'm going to blog the first hour of the Northern Alliance's
subbing for Hugh Hewitt, coming up in about 20 minutes.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Welcome Kitty Litter Readers!
to Kitty Myers
for the link! I'm another L-Dotter, posting under the username Brain Death over there. Be sure to check out my Kerry Haters blog
, where I've been wasting most of my time lately.
You Don't Need a Pen to Connect These Dots
The Financial Times is reporting that Scott Ritter got money to produce his film, Shifting Sands
, from Shakir al-Khafaji
, who received:
"allocations" for millions of barrels of oil under the UN oil-for-food programme between 1995 and 2002. These allocations were then sold on to international traders for profit.
Mr Ritter insists he never received any money from the Iraqi government.
"I would never take any money from anyone that was derived from any business relationship with the Iraqi government, whether a legal business relationship or an illegal business relationship," he added.
There is no evidence Mr Ritter did receive any money from oil allocations. Mr Khafaji told the FT/Il Sole that he never mentioned the allocations to Mr Ritter. But, by his own admission, Mr Khafaji or his family did profit from the sale of oil allocations awarded at the same time that he was financing Mr Ritter's film. Without Mr Khafaji's money Mr Ritter's film would never have been made.
But they were different dollars! The serial numbers are not the same!
Monday, April 12, 2004
Pop Culture Update
I have been watching The Apprentice since the first show. Overall, it's been pretty entertaining, if silly, but I don't see how they're going to pull off the second show. Surely Donald is running out of things with his name on them to showcase for the rewards?
Anyway, last week's show was quite fast-paced and entertaining, although I couldn't help being disappointed at the way they winnowed down the final four to the terrific twosome. After all the entertaining challenges, we get job interviews by four of Trump's people? And there was absolutely no drama involved in the elimination of Nick and Amy; after the interviewers gave their reactions it was obvious that they were headed to the street.
I am going to be very disappointed if in the end Kwame gets the job. After a whole season of challenges, the winner ends up being the guy anybody would have predicted in the beginning--the Harvard MBA? And yet, based on the last episode if he loses, it will probably be the fault of that evil Omarosa.