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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres






"A remarkable piece of news came out along with last month's job report—of the 74,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy in December, all of them went to women.Women today are definitely doing better than they were in the depths of the recession—in between June 2009 and February 2011, private-sector employers hired 503,000 men, while 141,000 women lost their jobs. But the December jobs number still isn't necessarily good news for women in the workforce. Most of the job gains in December were 'concentrated in low-wage sectors,' and women already make up nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners in the country.As Stephanie Coontz wrote in a recent op-ed, the problem for women in the workplace isn't the glass ceiling so much as the 'sinking floor.' While gaining ground in higher-paying sectors, women continue to vastly outnumber their male counterparts in low-wage jobs. This has led to a barbell effect, with the number of women in middle-sector jobs shrinking. So perhaps, to further stretch the metaphor, the problem isn't the glass ceiling or the sinking floor, but the contracting walls of the trash compactor in Star Wars. Still, women remain economically resilient." (NewRepublic)





"President Barack Obama has a plan to save the Senate’s tenuous Democratic majority: Sell a populist message, try to make Obamacare work better and raise lots of cash. And unlike previous years when Senate Democrats were mostly left to fight on their own, the White House is wasting no time coordinating its political and policy agenda with congressional leaders and vulnerable lawmakers. The 55-member Senate Democratic Caucus will meet with Obama on Wednesday at the White House, the first such session since October.  White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer and legislative director Katie Beirne Fallon have already briefed Senate leadership aides on the outlines of proposals Obama is considering for the Jan. 28 State of the Union address, and they’re expected to do the same with House Democratic leadership aides. A Republican-controlled Senate and House would be a nightmare for the president, likely reducing him to full lame-duck status as the GOP works to block what’s left of his agenda, including a minimum wage hike and climate change, as official Washington looks ahead to 2016. At a low point in the Obamacare rollout in November, at-risk Democrats visited the White House and made clear that the final two years of Obama’s presidency would be a disaster if he were to lose the Senate this fall, according to attendees. Obama made clear he shared their fears about the challenges to his agenda and his nominees if Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rises to majority leader, and he vowed to do whatever he could to keep control of the Senate, said sources familiar with the meeting. 'Particularly at a time when Washington is so polarized, if we do not have at minimum a Democratic Senate, it is very hard to see how we can make some of the advances that we need to make on work that is still undone,' Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser that month. 'And I’ve got three years left in this office.'" (Politico)




"Whenever change comes to the resistant television industry, it comes slow. Recognizing the threat of cable -- slow. Understanding multiplatform viewing -- slow. Embracing a 52-week television season -- slow. Rethinking scheduling, episode orders, financing, etc. -- super slow.And hell, there are still a lot of elements that have shown virtually no signs of change. Kevin Reilly, entertainment chairman for Fox, is not the first to tout, call for or embrace change. But in back-to-back press tours for the Television Critics Association -- last summer and Monday in this winter's go-round -- he has raised concerns about serious flaws in the industry's rigid, aging operating manual. And by vowing that Fox is done with the antiquated "pilot season," he's putting action with words. lot of people outside the industry who couldn't care less about its daily machinations but are nonetheless savvy enough to understand how resistance to change affects them on the living-room end may soon be saluting the decision made by Reilly and Fox. Why? Because the changes Reilly and Fox are making are really and truly about quality. To explain the main idea in the tiniest of nutshells, developing series out of the so-called 'pilot season' and doing it year-round creates opportunities across the board -- getting the right actors, making sure the pilot is as perfect as possible, tweaking the structure and direction of the show, giving writers enough time to do their best work, etc." (THR)


Daily News Cover

"The Daily News seems to have made a New Year’s resolution to go after the Post at every opportunity. Although the rivalry between the city’s tabloids has been a long- simmering grudge match, the News has been ratcheting up its attacks in the past two weeks. Weren’t their top editors once good friends? On Monday, The Observer was among the outlets receiving a press release from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, quoting remarks about the Newtown shooting that Post columnist and radio host Fred Dicker had made on his show.  Mr. Dicker had called the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School 'a little convenient massacre' during a discussion about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control policy.  Poor choice of words, to be sure, but an actual story?" (Observer)





"As of late Monday afternoon, when I was finishing this column, the most frequently emailed story on The Times’s website for the previous week wasn’t about the polar vortex, Chris Christie or 'Downton Abbey.' It was about cats. I suppose that’s no big shock. On blogs, on Facebook and all around the Internet, claws and clicks go hand in hand (or is that paw in paw?). While the meek may be inheriting the earth, the furry have already claimed cyberspace. But what is surprising — and indicative of a new chapter in the interactions of Americans and the animals around us — is the focus of the cat story in question. It wasn’t about kittens doing the darnedest things. Under the headline 'What Your Cat Is Thinking,' it examined the new book 'Cat Sense,' by a British biologist, John Bradshaw, who flags his seriousness of purpose with his subtitle, 'How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.' Bradshaw means to get into the cat brain. He’s already plumbed its canine counterpart, in the 2011 book 'Dog Sense,' which was also grounded in research, not sentiment, and in the idea that pets have inner lives more complicated than we imagine. 'Dog Sense' was published just two years after the huge best seller 'Inside of a Dog,' by the psychology professor Alexandra Horowitz, which pivoted on the same notion. It was 'Inside of a Dog' in particular that caught my friend Kerry Lauerman’s attention, cluing him in to a quickly shifting human perspective on animals. 'There’s this growing obsession with animal cognition,' he said. Referring specifically to pets, he added: 'We don’t want animals just for comfort. We really want to know them.' He mentioned another widely emailed story in The Times, from October, by a neuroeconomics professor who was doing M.R.I. scans of dogs’ brains and finding suggestions of emotions like ours. Its telling headline: “Dogs Are People, Too.” " (Frank Bruni)


This is the hunter who paid $350K to kill an endangered rhino


"Black rhino auction winner Corey Knowlton has responded to the uproar over him spending $350,000 to obtain a permit to kill one of the fewer than 5,000 black rhinoceroses left on the planet.
Unrepentant Hunting Consortium consultant and dad of two Knowlton says people should use the furor as a way to spark discussion about conservation. Knowlton said on his Facebook page — which is full of bloody images of him proudly posing next to animals he has killed, including a giant brown bear and a record-breaking mako shark — 'Thank you all for your comments about conservation and the current situation regarding the Black Rhino. I am considering all sides and concerns involved in this unique situation. Please don’t rush to judgment with emotionally driven criticism towards individuals on either sides of this issue. I deeply care about all of the inhabitants of this planet and I am looking forward to more educated discussion regarding the ongoing conservation effort for the Black Rhino.'" (P6)


Director Ann Hoyt Wazelle introduces the singers (while giving a nod to Joan Joan Jakobson) and tells the audience what thay are about to hear.

"Last night I went up to the 92nd Street Y, the great New York cultural center on the Upper East Side. My friend Joan Jakobson was participating in a program -- 92 Glee! Concert.  It’s not of any great interest to me but I thought I’d have a look. Joan is not a professional singer but she loves to sing, and her enthusiasm is contagious. I know the type, being one myself. We like to sing (especially when no one else is around to complain). She takes it a step beyond me, she is part of a group called Glad Girls. They appear at charity benefits and private parties. Every now and then.  Back when Joan and I were in school, every one had a girl group. They were antecedents of the girl groups of the '40s and mainly the 1950s. The Boswell Sisters, the Andrew Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, The Chordettes, the Shirelles, the Supremes.Last night’s Glee! Concert  is the child of Ann Hoyt Wazelle, an opera soprano  (performed the role of Cio-Cio San in 'Madame Butterfly' for the St. Louis Opera). She is a member and musical director of Glad Girls." (NYSocialDiary)





"Take some time on this cold, cold day and watch Last Call, a wonderful documentary about New York City in the '90s. It's not the most professional film ever made, but what it lacks in continuity and slickness, is made up for in sincerity, honesty and heart-warming nostalgia. Shot by Ruth Slinger, it looks back on the '90s with hundreds of images that the Brazilian director shot while living and working in NYC with her brother Carlos 'Soul' Slinger -- one of the featured talking heads -- at their SoHo and Lafayette Street store, Liquid Sky. The film mostly avoids the usual 'it was so much better then' cliches, and still manages to capture everything from Wigstock to Deee-Lite to Chloe Sevigny to Frankie Knuckles and Moby -- plus there's more obscure characters like the two owners of the cuckoo Lower East Side store Pluto Dog. At times it's like watching a rough cut of the film Kids with real people, and a soundtrack of music that defined a decade. " (Papermag)





"When the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced it would cut back its printed editions to three days a week and shift to a digitally centered model based on free content, the response was immediate, loud, and, with few exceptions, hostile. Some complained the paper and its parent, Advance Publications, was abandoning the large segment of its readership—mostly poorer and less well-educated—that relied on the printed product. Others lamented the staff cuts that accompanied the changes and the ham-fisted manner in which they were carried out. (For all the background, read Ryan Chittum’sdeep dive from last spring.) But a unifying concern, underlying all the others, was for the quality of the news itself. The “digital-first” model—dependent on a high volume of new posts to drive ad-generating Internet traffic—would, many believed, result in a shoddier product. Since the 2012 changeover, discussion about the Times-Picayune, now known as Nola.com, has been one long argument. Is the news content now worse: softer, more sensational, more trivial, less well-sourced? Or is it, as defenders argue, just different: faster, more immediate, livelier, more conversational, more engaging? Or what?" (CJR)
She takes it a step beyond me, she is part of a group called Glad Girls. They appear at charity benefits and private parties. Every now and then.  Back when Joan and I were in school, every one had a girl group. They were antecedents of the girl groups of the '40s and mainly the 1950s. The Boswell Sisters, the Andrew Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, The Chordettes, the Shirelles, the SupremesLast night’s Glee! Concert  is the child of Ann Hoyt Wazelle, an opera soprano  (performed the role of Cio-Cio San in 'Madame Butterfly' for the St. Louis Opera). She is a member and musical director of Glad Girls." (NYSocialDiary)

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