blog advertising is good for you

Monday, November 07, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"No one is willing to flat out say it, but the Republican and Democratic Party establishments have already written off Herman Cain. Here’s the tell-tale sign: With less than two months to go before the Iowa caucuses and the insurgent presidential candidate polling near the top of the GOP field, none of his foes in either party has taken a hard whack at him — despite the fact that he is engulfed in controversy, battling reports of sexual harassment dating to his time at the National Restaurant Association. Cain’s rivals on the right hope his support will bleed away on its own, and they don’t want to anger Cain’s remaining fans. But for other Cain critics, the whole harassment saga has confirmed what they believed to begin with: that there was never really a chance voters would put the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza in the Oval Office. 'He’s not going to be the nominee, if I can just be honest here. He was never going to be the nominee,' Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said on 'Fox News Sunday.'" (Politico)


"It was the middle of July, and Rupert Murdoch sat next to his son James in a packed room in the vast parliamentary complex at Westminster. They had been summoned to answer questions about the phone-hacking scandal that had erupted at one of Murdoch’s most notorious tabloids, the News of the World. Members of Parliament had never questioned a Murdoch, much less two of them, in such a setting, and Rupert, now 80, appeared so frail and confused that many commentators wondered if his apparent weakness was simply an act. It was not. He had arrived from Sun Valley, Idaho, and was weighed down by jet lag; by a recent confrontation with both James and his daughter Elisabeth; and by the sheer volume of responses he had been made to rehearse. By the time he arrived at the hearing, Murdoch had accepted the resignations of some of his most loyal lieutenants. He had closed the newspaper that had opened up Britain to him, 42 years earlier. And he had abandoned a business deal that would have been the largest in his company’s history. When an M.P. asked Murdoch if he believed that the notoriously competitive pressure from the top of his organization had caused people at his newspapers to break the law, Murdoch said no, and then added what seemed like a non sequitur:'I just want to say that I was brought up by a father who was not rich, but who was a great journalist, and he, just before he died, bought a small paper, specifically in his will saying that he was giving me the chance to do good.' The M.P. tried to return to his question, but Murdoch pressed on. 'That just addresses the question of it being a family business,' he said. 'I would love to see my sons and daughters follow if they are interested.'" (VanityFair)


"This Weekend’s Winner: DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots proved itself a copycat, earning a little over $33 million a weekend after opening at $34 million the weekend before. This Weekend’s Losers: Universal Pictures’ Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy ensemble comedy Tower Heist ($25 million) and New Line Cinema’s A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ($13 million) both failed to reach their expected, uh, highs. How It All Went Down: Last weekend, some commenters called into question our assertion that Puss in Boots was a success, as it underperformed studio expectations by $10 million. But not since My Dog Skip over a decade ago has a wide release held on so well in its second week. Skip actually increased its audience, while Puss lost only 3 percent of its crowds, but still: Holy frijoles! (Does your cat have 'golden eggs'? I didn’t think so.) We like its chances next weekend, too, when the major releases will be Immortals and Jack and Jill, leaving the cat-door wide open for Puss to do even more business with young families next weekend, before penguins invade on the weekend of the 16th." (NYMag)


"On his blog, film critic Roger Ebert warned last night that 'unless we find an angel, our television program will go off the air at the end of its current season… We can’t afford to finance it any longer.' Ebert relaunched his weekly syndicated movie review show, which had been cancelled by Buena Vista TV in 2010, at the beginning of the year on PBS TV stations and currently has distribution in more than 90% of the country. But Ebert notes that he and his wife Chaz Ebert, who executive produces Ebert Presents At the Movies, don’t receive any money from PBS or its stations, so they have had to finance the show themselves and can’t continue to do so." (Nikki Finke)



"With congressional approval ratings at record lows one year before the 2012 elections, Republicans and Democrats are both expressing confidence that voters won’t blame them for the ailing economy. Political analysts maintain that control of the House and Senate is up for grabs, though Democratic chances of winning back the lower chamber are seen as not much better than 25 percent. It is clear that voters are angry, and they will be looking to express their frustrations at the polls one year from now. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) declined to make any predictions, saying, “This will be one of the most unpredictable and volatile elections in the history of the United States' ... The GOP presidential nominee will not be determined for months, and the three successive waves of 2006, 2008 and 2010 means that no majority is safe. Furthermore, the redistricting process has not been completed in many states, making it all but impossible to forecast which seats will be in play in many parts of the country, such as Texas and Florida. Other factors that could shift the political winds include a possible deal on the debt supercommittee, the nation’s unemployment rate in the fall of next year and the future of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Andrew Bauman, vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a top Democratic polling firm, said voters are upset at both parties but it’s Obama who’s getting most of the blame for the economy. And that could be a drag on Democratic House candidates in GOP-leaning districts. 'It’s going to be a tough haul for Democrats, but I believe there’s a decent shot of taking the House back,' he said." (TheHill)


"Over the past few years, Mr. Cooper occasionally filled in for Regis Philbin next to Kelly Ripa on 'Live! With Regis and Kelly,' to warm reviews, in part because he could play straight man to Kelly’s bubbly persona. He was known to covet that show and was considered a strong candidate to replace Mr. Philbin when he retired. But those retirement plans were uncertain and no real offers were made, so when Oprah Winfrey announced that she was retiring as the unchallenged ruler of daytime talk, Mr. Cooper saw his chance and he took it. (His timing, it turns out, was terrible. Mr. Philbin announced his own retirement a few months after Mr. Cooper committed to doing 'Anderson.')" (NyTimes)      



"Last week’s Senate decision to kill a modest $60bn bill to upgrade America’s infrastructure before it came to debate may have exceeded even that august chamber’s recent record. The package, which included $10bn in seed money for a public infrastructure bank, was blocked by every Republican and two Democrats. They objected because it would have been funded by a 0.7 per cent surtax on earnings over $1m. And that was that. At a time when US businesses prefer to hoard rather than invest their cash, and when long-term interest rates are so low the money is virtually free, the political system is unable to accomplish what ought to be a no-brainer. Until now, America has never faced an ideological divide on infrastructure: both parties accepted the need to upgrade roads, dams, bridges, energy and water systems. Forget Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower, the presidents most often cited as having unleashed growth-boosting infrastructure – transcontinental railroads and federal highways respectively. Forget even Bill Clinton’s cheerleading for the 'information superhighway', which helped pave the way for the spread of the internet, even if Al Gore did not invent it. We need go back only to 2005 when a Republican-controlled Capitol Hill pushed through the infamous $280bn Highways Act, which was the largest transport bill in US history. Dubbed the 'Bridge to Nowhere' because it was stuffed with boondoggles, including the notorious $223m Alaskan bridge to an island of 50 people already served by ferry, the bill won near-unanimous support. A few years later, those seem like the good old days. Whether you are the victim of another domestic flight cancellation, sitting bumper to bumper on a Los Angeles freeway, or wading through electronic gateways for a human voice at your 'fast-speed' broadband provider, America’s infrastructure is fast descending to second world status." (FT)

No comments: