March 29, 2007

Ted Leo rocks your Intartubes

Heads up, folks: NPR is going to livecast Ted Leo's concert in D.C. tonight at 9:30 PM EST on their website.

No need to thank me; I'll be at the actual show. So there.

Update: Wowsers. It appears NPR is not only streaming the show on the site now, but letting you download the entire thing as an MP3. Hugs and kisses to the late Mrs. Kroc, I guess.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 3:23 PM

2008 election threatens 85% of USA Network's schedule

I'm surprised with all the talk about Fred Thompson considering a run for the White House, this slight complication hasn't been brought up until now:

If Fred Thompson, the one-time Tennessee senator better known to most Americans as district attorney Arthur Branch on "Law & Order," runs for president, some of his fans may be in for a letdown. Television stations are expected to drop reruns of the show temporarily if he makes a real-life bid for the White House.

Federal campaign law requires broadcasters to give all candidates equal time on the airwaves. That rule applies to entertainment programs like "Law & Order," meaning stations which run the show would be required to give other GOP candidates a like amount of prime time television exposure.

It's an FCC guideline, so technically it doesn't apply to cable networks that do multi-hour reruns, but given that most of the networks are at least partially-owned by network companies (Time-Warner owns TNT; GE owns both USA and NBC) they almost always adhere to the same rules to avoid controversy.

In other words, once Thompson's name appears on a state ballot, any episode of Law & Order with Thompson in it goes away. Not only is that a huge blow to network revenues and fan base, it sort of diminishes a huge factor of Thompson's electoral advantages: visibility as a character on a popular TV show.

The upshot, of course, is that by the same inference, Thompson's entrance into the race would also ban any airings of the classic films Baby's Day Out and Aces: Iron Eagle III. And I think we all know how horrific that would be.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:33 AM

March 28, 2007

The Muppets Take Drugs

There's wrong, and there's wrong, and then there's this.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:39 PM

An open memo to RedState

Ummm.... guys? There is a real easy way for ardent war supporters such as yourselves to get free airfare to Iraq, and I guarantee you'll have all the access you want to "what's really going on over there."

Update: the snarkiness done with, I'd like to add some deeper thoughts here. This isn't just about the majority readership of RedState and its writers being chickenhawks. (In fact, to be fair, one of the two bloggers taking this field trip is an Iraq vet). The bigger point is that RedState, like most other right-wing blogs, seems to fall over itself with fundraisers for some of the most mundane and nonsensical suggestions of "supporting the troops." By all means, I'd welcome evidence to the contrary, but I wager our troops in Iraq right now want funding for body armor, and better health care, and post-trauma care, and a host of other things that would actually, you know, help the damn troops. I would think RedState's participants, especially the rare few who have served, would give a damn about that. And yet they act as if the most important thing the troops need right now are bloggers flying over and telling everyone there's no reason to think anything needs fixing.

But as I've noted before, almost no major right-wing weblog even links to the web sites of the armed forces, or any links offering information about how you can enlist. It is almost never suggested as an option as to how you can "support the war." A handful link to organizations that offer support to veterans, but that is shadowed by the endless platitudes the bloggers make to themselves about how great they are for supporting the war. They link endlessly to their rallies and "counter-protests" and then say the calls for investigating why someone was sleeping in his own piss at Walter Reed is "partisan."

I would love to think RedState is actually attempting to deliver some unbiased journalism over there, but as they have already suggested we're not seeing "what's really going on," it's clear they have the preconceived notion that the Damn Liberal Media™ is hiding all this mysterious untapped evidence of how the war isn't a giant quagmire, and are going over there to take a few photos of some smiling kids and some painted schools in one of the few regions with running water and working power and call it a day. And the pro-war blog circles, as always, instead of heading down to the recruiting office and offering to help make the remaining 99% of the country look like the 1% they claim proves a victory, are just leaving it at that. That's neither a victory for Iraq or the state of "citizen journalism."

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:40 AM

Drudge's Politicodependent

The developing MO of the Politico is really starting to bother me for two reasons: one, I really want there to be more legitimate, intelligent online media resources out there, especially political ones; and two, I'm thrilled at the Politico making matt Weurker a rare new hire in the rapidly-dying field of staff cartoonists.

That said, I don't understand how anyone finds nonsense like this acceptable. The purpose of journalism, especially new publications operating under the guise of being legitimate competitors to places like Salon and TalkingPointsMemo, is to not be Matt Drudge. Instead, not only is the Politico apparently whoring themselves to Drudge for traffic, they're adapting his process of "reporting."

Greenwald has asked the questions but honestly I already know the answer. It's obvious Politico is hedging its bets on stories because it's exactly what Drudge does. Any new evidence on that girl Kerry was having an affair with? Everyone remember that one? To return to this site's namesake, we're rapidly entering Some Guy With a Website territory, and that shouldn't just be negative for the Politico, it should be embarrassing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:00 AM

March 27, 2007

Law & Order: Very Special Victims

Josh Marshall (and readers) provide insight into why Monica Goodling claiming she has to plead the Fifth is ludicrous. Keeping in mind, as you read the explanations of her reasoning, that she worked in the Department of Justice.

Look, I'm not a lawyer, so I'll leave the heavy legal analysis of this stuff to the legal people. But I know enough about law to understand that you can't plead the Fifth to protect yourself from a future perjury charge, as the only way to commit perjury is to knowingly lie under oath during that very testimony. You would think a Department of Justice employee would understand that to avoid that risk, you simply have to tell the truth in your testimony, but apparently, Goodling needs to plead the Fifth because she's not sure she'll do that.

Every day, you think it can't get any more absurd. Every single day.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:36 AM

March 26, 2007

"The theater crowd"

Latest comic - click here!

Seriously. He actually complained about this.

Look, regardless of political stripes, can it at least be accepted that almost since September 11, 2001, George W. Bush has been a living, breathing photo-op? For Bush to complain that his opponents are engaging in "political theater" is like... wow. I'm having trouble thinking of an analogy here.

Okay, imagine Mr. T. He's standing atop a pile- no, a hill- consisting of every single fool he has pitied in his entire life. They're all just there. A big pyramid of fools, all of whom were pitied by Mr. T. And standing atop the fool pyramid is Mr. T himself, looking down on you. And he says but one thing, and that is how upset he is with you for pitying fools.

And that's what it's like with President Bush to say that he dislikes political theater. And you're just standing there, thinking just what you would think with Mr. T on the fool pile: Man, that guy's career has really hit the shitter, hasn't it?

Please buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:04 AM