January 15, 2010

Obligatory post

The reason I don't often post stuff that seems highly important is because I don't believe in necessarily just posting stuff that "should" be posted. I have enough faith in my readership to not need me to figure out that oh, yeah, that earthquake in Haiti is fucking awful and we should do what we can to help them.

That said, this is a good roundup of ways to donate. Please consider them.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:46 PM

My single post on why Jay Leno is a spectacular asshole

The New York Times, December 23, 1992:

Jay Leno, expressing what he called "surprise and disappointment" with NBC executives, said yesterday that he believed his performance as the host of the "Tonight" show should have more than satisfied the network and that he did not deserve to be threatened with losing the leading show in late-night television to David Letterman.

"Am I crazy?" Mr. Leno said in a telephone interview. "The ratings are going up, the advertisers are happy and so are the affiliates." And yet Mr. Leno said he had not received any assurances from NBC executives in New York that he would not be dropped in favor of Mr. Letterman by Jan. 15. That is the deadline NBC is facing to match a CBS offer to give Mr. Letterman about $16 million to star in a nightly talk show at 11:30, the same time as the "Tonight" show.

"I am disappointed," Mr. Leno said. "I feel like a guy who has bought a car from somebody, painted it, fixed it up and made it look nice and then the guy comes back and says he promised to sell the car to his brother-in-law."

Mr. Leno said he would "obviously leave NBC immediately" if the network decided to give the "Tonight" show to Mr. Letterman. He said he would absolutely refuse to do a show in the 12:30 A.M. spot now occupied by Mr. Letterman's show, "Late Night," and would indeed consider creating the same problem for NBC that Mr. Letterman's proposed deal with CBS caused.


"It's a tricky situation," Mr. Leno said. "Dave is truly a star and terrific, and this is a terrible position NBC is in. But fragging your own soldier doesn't make any sense to me."

He argued that he ought to have satisfied NBC by now because his ratings have shown growth in recent weeks, after a period of turmoil when Mr. Leno's former manager and the show's former producer, Helen G. Kushnick, enraged NBC executives with her tactics in booking guests. 'We Have Great Morale'


"I've always said, 'Just judge me by my performance,' " he said. "I've done stand-up comedy for a lot of years. When I go out and see a full house of 3,000 people, I know I'm making money for somebody. If I see only 1,200 people and the house is half-full, I know I've got to do another show to make it up to the guy. But the affiliates, the advertisers, they're all happy."

Jay Leno, by the way, is 60, six years younger than Johnny Carson was when he announced his retirement. Conan O'Brien is 46. It is unbelievable what NBC is throwing away for what would likely be at most four or five more years of a now permanently-blemished host, but nowhere near as unbelievable as Leno's complete and total hypocrisy.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:30 AM

January 14, 2010

Primary indulgence

Of all the second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking I imagine Hillary Clinton and her team have done in the last year and a half, I really hope that with so many connections to the DNC, they focus on the incredible irony that Clinton would probably be president right now if Iowa didn't automatically have the first primary in the nation. And yet, I imagine, this is one change that won't ever happen.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:28 AM

Crazy like a Fox

Yeah, I know that there are undeveloped single-cell organisms on distant planets who knew that Sarah Palin was going to find herself a home at Fox News, but I guess what's so surprising about it is how shamelessly blatant Fox's decision is.

O'REILLY: I got your point. But it isn't irrelevant to this way. You now have a -- you now have a forum here at Fox News, OK, that you can immediately neutralize "60 Minutes"... (SNAPS HIS FINGERS)... like that. And I...

PALIN: And the American people are immediately neutralizing outlets like "60 Minutes." Look at the numbers of the networks...

O'REILLY: But they want to hear from you about it though...

PALIN: Right.

O'REILLY: They -- they want your...

PALIN: But more and more Americans are looking at some of these networks, that biased journalism, and they're saying, nah, that gig is up, we're not believing that stuff anymore...

Everyone said this. Media Matters pointed this out months ago. But it's just so... startling for Fox News to be so open in saying that they know Palin is biased, they have no intention of having objective discussion, and they just want to give her a forum to pretend she's running for president.

She's not, and thanks suckers for all that money, but honestly, can any of her supporters actually sit down and think about what it means if she really was running? In the last year, Sarah Palin's significant accomplishments have been thus: she generated the biggest and most destructive lie of 2009, one that embrassingly links her to a stigma of both ignorance and incompetence, quit her single term as governor halfway through, and has now turned to Fox News for an unchecked cover for all the criticism against her. I realize there's no one out there whose mind would be changed, but is there truly, honestly a single act of leadership in that?

It's all about being nasty, which is what Fox wants and is likely paying her a great deal to do. Bravo, American journalism.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:10 AM

January 12, 2010

They are driving me crazy

Josh Marshall has now made two posts today pointing out that if, hypothetically, Scott Brown wins the election and filibusters the health care bill, there's nothing stopping the Democrats from just passing the House version identical to the Senate one and then we're done.

This is where blood just started shooting out of my nose. If we're hypothetically talking about Senate Democrats maneuvering through loopholes, then why aren't we just talking about abandoning the filibuster altogether?

There's nothing stopping the Democrats from passing health care reform with 50 votes right now. The "hypotheticals" that people I hold in high respect like Marshall are promoting are simply infuriating.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:25 PM

January 11, 2010

"The Universe Did Not Exist Until... Five Minutes Ago"

Latest comic - click here!

I'm having fun returning to this bit, but unlike last time, where conservative opinions were based entirely on the sudden emergence of a Democratic president, these are brand-new opinions of conservatives who contradict things they had believed right up until they, well, said what you see in the strip. Nothing will top Rudy Giuliani, who I think by the time this comic went to print already started trying to clarify one of the most galling statements of the very, very young year.

Buy some crap and join the mailing list. And come join the public Facebook page for the strip.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:19 AM