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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"ESPN is estimating 99.2 million people have 'consumed' 2010 FIFA World Cup content across all ESPN platforms during the first 10 days of the tournament. The data, compiled by ESPN research, working with data from Knowledge Networks and Nielsen, shows that of those who have consumed content on ESPN and ABC, 97 percent have watched on TV, 27 percent have used the Internet, 11 percent have listened to radio, 6 percent have used mobile and 4 percent have read ESPN: The Magazine. Breaking the data down further, on an average day, 64 percent of ESPN/ABC's audience watched only on television; 27 percent were exposed on TV and some other platform; and 9 percent consumed the World Cup solely on another platform other than TV. The data also shows the multiplatform user spends the most time following the Cup competition, averaging 4 hours and 9 minutes per day, compared to one hour and 26 minutes for those who watch TV only. Those who consumed the World Cup on all five platforms have averaged 8 hours and 38 minutes of World Cup usage a day." (TheWrap)



"There are many sources of fear in world politics -- terrorist attacks, natural disasters, climate change, financial panic, nuclear proliferation, ethnic conflict, and so forth. Surveying the cultural zeitgeist, however, it is striking how an unnatural problem has become one of the fastest-growing concerns in international relations. I speak, of course, of zombies. For our purposes, a zombie is defined as a reanimated being occupying a human corpse, with a strong desire to eat human flesh -- the kind of ghoul that first appeared in George Romero's 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, and which has been rapidly proliferating in popular culture in recent years (far upstaging its more passive cousins, the reanimated corpses of traditional West African and Haitian voodoo rituals). Because they can spread across borders and threaten states and civilizations, these zombies should command the attention of scholars and policymakers. The specter of an uprising of reanimated corpses also poses a significant challenge to interpreters of international relations and the theories they use to understand the world. If the dead begin to rise from the grave and attack the living, what thinking would -- or should -- guide the human response? How would all those theories hold up under the pressure of a zombie assault? When should humans decide that hiding and hoarding is the right idea?" (ForeignPolicy)



"Germany used to be at the heart of European integration. Its statesmen used to assert that Germany had no independent foreign policy, only a European policy. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, its leaders realised that German reunification was possible only in the context of a united Europe, and they were willing to make some sacrifices to secure European acceptance. Germans would contribute a little more and take a little less than others, thereby facilitating agreement. Those days are over. The euro is in crisis, and Germany is the main protagonist. Germans don’t feel so rich any more, so they don’t want to continue serving as the deep pocket for the rest of Europe. This change in attitude is understandable, but it has brought the European integration process to a halt." (GeorgeSoros)



"CNN just announced two new hosts for the 8 p.m. prime time hour recently vacated by Campbell Brown: Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker. Last week, MSNBC announced that the new host for its 10 p.m. prime time show would be network staple Lawrence O’Donnell. What do these three people have in common (and thankfully for O’Donnell and Parker, it’s not being caught with your socks down with a prostitute)? Pretty obvious: They’re white. They’re white like Chris Matthews is white, like Bill O’Reilly is white and Keith Olbermann is white, like Wolf Blitzer is white and Megyn Kelly is white and John King is white and Ed Schultz, Greta Van Susteren, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, Chris Wallace, Rachel Maddow, and Dylan Ratigan are white, not unlike the lion’s share of their guests." (Rachel Sklar/TheDailyBeast)



"So Clay, (Bret Easton Ellis’s) autobiographical main character in both books, can notice a friend’s grotesquely bad cosmetic surgery. He can snort cocaine and watch 'The Hills.' He can check out an aspiring actress’s screen credits on the Internet Movie Database and decide they don’t count for much. He can notice that she’s getting to be past her prime, 'and it will not be fun to watch her grow old.' It’s not fun to watch Clay grow old either. As 'Imperial Bedrooms' begins, he is whinging that 'someone we knew' wrote an unflattering book about Clay and his friends, and that the book was made into a movie. 'The writer,' as Clay calls that parasitic author, sounds a lot like Mr. Ellis. Clay resents him for turning Clay into 'the handsome and dazed narrator, incapable of love or kindness.' But Clay, who seems to resemble Mr. Ellis, has no business complaining about any other writers 'showcasing the youthful indifference, the gleaming nihilism, glamorizing the horror of it all.' He, Clay, has gotten mileage out of the horror-of-it-all bit too." (NYTimes)



"The decision by the corporate owner of Newsweek to put the magazine up for sale has once more raised the question in journalism circles as to whether there's a role — or any future at all — for newsweekly magazines. 'The idea of a magazine that looks at the week, wraps it up and puts a little forward spin on it, that's pretty much an anachronism,' says Alan D. Mutter, a former newspaper editor and current consultant on digital media ventures. "People are consuming news left and right, and if you aim to be informed, it's pretty hard not to be.' Yet over at the historic Time-Life Building, in offices looking out over Midtown Manhattan from the 23rd floor, editors putting out the nation's leading such magazine are much more sanguine about their fate. 'In terms of our category, we're not only the last guy standing — we're the only guy standing,' says Rick Stengel, Time magazine's managing editor, its most senior editorial position. 'We convert information into knowledge. Knowledge is what people want. Information is the commodity.'" (NPR)



(image via NYSD)

"Living well is the best revenge. Coming up this Saturday, June 26th, up at the Stair Galleries at 549 Warren Street in Hudson, New York, 2 hours from the city by car or Amtrak, there will an auction of the contents of Dogwood Farm, the Connecticut estate of Douglas Cramer and his partner, Hugh Bush. Mr. Cramer is the enormously successful producer of films and television shows over the last four decades, as well as producing partner of the late Aaron Spelling. His most famous of many famous shows were 'The Love Boat' and 'Dynasty.' Aside of his great successes in the entertainment media, over the years he acquired a huge contemporary art collection. In the art world and entertainment industry he was also well known for his collection of fabulous properties ...I asked Doug why they were selling this magnificent property, the scene of many wonderful (and large) parties over the years. His answer was simple: between their travels and their other residences, they were there less and less." (NYSocialDiary)



"So we come to the end of a disastrous week with the annual Goldsmith-Hanbury cricket match in Wembury House, Devon. Some of you may remember my description of the drunken orgy, sorry, house party of last year. This year it was even better. Never have I seen so many pretty young girls in one setting, even if Georgie Wells was missing. Best legs Lucy Day, best figure Mrs. Sebastian Lee, best all round Stevie Winwood’s beautiful daughter, sexiest CH, whom I pursued all night only to wake up fully dressed next to her sister FH, also fully dressed. Oh yes, I almost forgot. The cricket came down to the last ball after both sides had 30 overs. We lost to the Goldsmiths by one run, which was a moral victory in view of the fact Ben Goldsmith had loaded his side with ringers. Most unpopular, one called Forbes, an umpire who raised his hands with no purpose having watched cricket on TV. Biggest teaser a tall blonde who gave one the common in pursuit of illegal substances. Most romantic, Ned Lambton and Marina Hanbury. Man of the match Dave Hanbury, bust of the match Taki, although defensively a Thermopylae in motion." (Takimag)



"'My perception is, (Eliot Spitzer) would be great on television as a magnet for viewers because he's so smart and he's such a great lawyer,' said Lanny Davis, a television pundit (who frequently appears on CNN) and former special counsel to President Clinton, who calls himself an old friend and supporter of Mr. Spitzer's. 'I was actually asked this question by a fellow who was thinking of hiring him and I said, 'Forget about his political career, he's going to have good ratings because people are going to watch and be fascinated by him,' Mr. Davis added. 'Because this is about someone who's willing to bounce back. It's part of an American narrative that goes all the way back in history. We love Horatio Alger. We love forgiving.' Others recoil at the mere presence of Mr. Spitzer's mug on TV. Recently, The New Yorker's television critic Nancy Franklin watched Mr. Spitzer filling in for Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC. 'I was practically blown out through the back of my couch, I was so repelled by the sight of him,' Ms. Franklin said. 'I found him unpleasant to listen to and to look at. ... I don't think anybody really wants to watch him. They'll tune in one or two times to see him. But he's very loud. He's very arrogant. He's very smart. But he's not really right for television.'" (Observer)

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