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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Corsair Predictions 2012

Last year around this time I made some predictions on media, politics and culture. It was fun. I got some predictions spectacularly wrong: "David Arquette will get over this really embarrassing midlife crisis that is playing itself out in the media, beg forgiveness, make amends and get back together with the very patient Courtney Cox." Yikes.

But I got some predictions breathtakingly right: "Former presidential candidate John Edwards will be indicted for campaign violations." Further: "Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee will decline to run for President, focusing instead on making money and amassing celebrity. Mitt Romney will barrel forwards as the inevitable front runner." Not bad if The Corsair does say so himself ...

I got some so-so, but in an interesting fashion: "Hosni Mubarack will die of natural causes without a strong, credible successor. There will be a good deal of chaos -- possible civil war between the Copts and Muslims -- as it becomes a new center of focus in the War on Terror with both Al Qaeda and the Iranian-influenced Muslim Brotherhood vying for control of the main political and cultural center of the Arab world. It will also signal the geographical intensification of the War on Terror in Africa."

With all that in mind, here are my media-political-cultural predictions for 2012:

Herman Cain will get a show on Fox Business, probably on the weekend a la Huckabee.

30 Rock will finally crack the Nielsen Top 10.

Charlie Rose will be forced to cut back on his hyper-media schedule due to health concerns. Walter Isaacson will replace him on his late night talk show.

Ron Paul will rise, winning the Iowa caucuses, throwing the GOP primary process into naught else but chaos. He will also win New hampshire, after an Iowa bump -- and the Granite State's mischevous love of mavericks -- creating further chaos among conservatives and the Establishment as to who will be the not-Ron Paul, Romney or Gingrich. Mitt Romney will eventually prevail, after a hard fought redemptive moment in Florida at the end of January, aided by the tireless campaigning of Jeb Bush and Rubio. It will make Romney a stronger candidate. As a result there will be talk of Jeb Bush or Rubio as a running mate, but Ron Paul supporters will force Romney into picking the libertarian in the end.

Current TV will hire OWS protesters as "correspondents" this Spring as the movement heats up in the Spring. They will use handheld video cameras to tell their stories 24/7 on the Current TV website. Current TV will become a hit on college campuses among progressive students, an important demographic for any cable channel. Keith Olbermann will woo Bill Maher to come to do a late night show, but loyalty to his comedy club days pal Jay Leno and the freedom afforded by HBO will eventually cause Maher to stay put (but get a significant raise from Time Warner). Instead, Anthony Weiner will take on the new Current TV late night slot.

Pakistan will be rocked by mass protests against the military. Protesters will demand for the rule of law and the elevation of judges over the generals. The protesters will take Tahrir Square as their model. The instability in a nuclearized state will cause much anxiety in Washington.

Tim Geithner will be forced to leave Treasury early as Elizabeth Warren's citric swipes against him on the campaign trail in Massachusetts and Obama's tentative embrace of the OWS movement will make his continuing on in that position untenable.

President Obama's tentative embrace of the resurgent OWS movement in the Spring will be as complicated and as nuanced a romance as the subtle diplomatic dance between Washington and Islamabad.

HBO's Game of Thrones will generally be accepted as the best program on television.

Howard Stern, Anderson Cooper and Carol Burnett will all host SNL in 2012.

Alec Baldwin will run for (and eventually win) the Mayoralty of New York setting off a cascade of curious celebrity Democrat politicians. Ben Affleck will mull a run for a Congressional seat -- and eventually a statewide Senate seat -- in Georgia, hoping to finally put it in the Democrat column.

The Dark Knight Rises will be the top grossing movie, but the startling depiction of violence will draw public howls from the usual sectors and media questioning "How Much is Too Much." Expect Tina Brown to do a Newsweek cover on this subject as it perfectly blends a buzzy topic with celebrity and movies.

Chelsea Clinton will appear on Howard Kurtz's "Reliable Sources," and give a thoughtful -- and highly viral via social media -- interview on the media, on the 2008 campaign, on the MSNBC reporter suspended and on her father.

Terrestrial radio, in a last ditch attempt to stave of total and absolute irrelevance, will embrace the provocative "rebel radio" format, pushing the boundaries of what can be said on the air and what will get social media buzz. Influential bloggers will be hired for lucrative multi-year deals to bring along their audience, effectively ending that significant 20th century artifact called "Radio DJ."

ABC's Good Morning America will come within a whisker of tying NBC's Today, leading to some consternation among the suits at 30 Rock as to whether or not Ann Curry was a good replacement for Meredith Vieira.

Klout and Peer Index will get a lot of competition. Social media influence index start-ups will compete by throwing lavish parties inviting social media "stars" and offering lucrative deals for endorsers/social media personas/brands.

 E-readers will revolutionize the magazine business. This will be thoroughly evident by midyear.

Jon Corzine will end the year in prison stripes.

There will be a turning towards more "interesting" media and social media personalities -- a switch from the bombastic, bomb-throwing gossip and sports and digital entertainment trend of the last half decade or so. The Occupy Wall Street movement in the US and around the world -- and other global events -- will be precursors to the trending towards social media personas with gravitas and depth as opposed to the Charlie Sheens and Ashton Kutchers and Perez Hiltons and Kim Kardashians of the world. In the absence of real leadership in an increasingly chaotic world, people of substance will begin to make serious gains in all the right demographics, in followers, in readers, in viewers.  -- Or so I hope, ;)

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