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Television

March 10, 2005

Oh, Danny Boy, the blogs, the blogs are calling....

To show the proof, the proof that you have lied.
The trust is gone, your ratings have been falling.
'Tis you, 'tis you must go, and FOX must bide.

Missing Dan already? Thought not. Still, check out these two collections of Dan's Greatest Naked-Liberal-Bias Hits!*

Remember this one? I do, because I saw it live.

“Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner — as she sees it and she decrees it — of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the state’s election returns....The believed certification — as the Republican Secretary of State sees it — is coming just hours after a court ordered deadline.... The certification — as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it — is being signed.”
- During CBS News live coverage, November 26, 2000

And I watched this gem, too.

“Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore’s contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush.”
- Beginning the December 13, 2000, CBS Evening News

Assume the "mantle" and the honor... oh, man, I'm telling you, that takes me back... *snif* ...that's just classic Rather...

{warbling} Mem'ries... light the cor-ners of my mind...

Oh, Dan, we hardly knew ye!

 

* The bias is naked, not Dan. Come on, I wouldn't do that to my readers.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:21 AM | Comments (4)

March 08, 2005

As I predicted: Hannity/Colmes slash. Avert your eyes, children!

Well, I saw it coming. Cable talking-head slashfic — wrote about it here. Hannity/Colmes slashfic, predicted here.

Now Jeff at Protein Wisdom is doing an Alan Colmes fantasy series that's veered into the very disturbing. The comments show that the sick bastard has struck some kind of nerve.

Look, people, I'd set up the Cable Talking-Head Slashfic/Fanfic site myself, except I know my anonymity would be blown once the writs start to fly.

Come to think of it, though... I remember reading that slash involving fictional characters is of dubious legality because the rights to the characters are owned by someone. But what if the "characters" are public figures? They're not protected, are they?

Heh.*

 

* "Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.

 

Update: And I'd forgotten about the other Protein Wisdom post where Jeff says he wouldn't mind seeing someone give O'Reilly a good spanking. Hey, I warned you to avert your eyes!

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)

March 02, 2005

Another Rathergate mystery solved! All hail the Queen!

You may recall that, during Rathergate, Dan Rather acquired the evocative nickname "Queen of the Space Unicorns."

At last, he has acknowledged his position as a crowned head of Fantasyland. In an upcoming New Yorker interview, Dan finally confesses his love for his storied kingdom.

In the end, he adds, "I believe in the dream, the magical mystical kingdom of CBS News. It may exist only in our minds, but that makes it no less real."

Just so, your Royal Highness! Just because Killian's magical mystical memos, "Lucy Ramirez," and the AWOL scandal also existed only in the minds of CBS employees doesn't make them any less real, either! I'm tired of these naysayers claiming to be upholding the distinction between "objective truth" and "fevered hallucination."

Your Highness, I implore you to issue a decree banning the insidious emotion of skepticism. For only with their logical minds stilled can your subjects at last learn to cavort merrily through the poppy-strewn Fields of Credulity, heedless of the burdens placed on them by so-called "reality." Free us from the oppression of thought, O Queen! Help us to frolic forever in the magical mystical Kingdom of CBS News!

Update: As you might expect, there's more at Rathergate.com.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

February 28, 2005

So you like the Oscars -- quit apologizing and own up.

The people who strive most vigorously not to be bourgeois are doomed to be the most nakedly bourgeois of all. This universal maxim is never more obvious than when Oscar time rolls around.

Most people are unashamed about their celebrity-worship. But there's always a certain contingent that wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of the Enquirer — oh, no, they're more the New York Times type, thanks. Yet mention a celebrity's name, and they'll blurt out a piece of disapproving, up-to-the-minute dish.

These are the very people who chatter about the Oscars weeks before the show and avidly enter Oscar pools, but insist they're not really going to watch it. Well, maybe they might dip in and out. Because, you know — (this is my favorite) — they "only watch to see how bad they are."

Really? I could save you a few hours: They're really bad. I mean fall-into-a-nihilistic-depression bad. I never watch them, personally, for just this reason: because they're bad. Even the "shocks" are mind-numbingly predictable. And this is why you like them?

I'd like to make a plea to all watchers of televised dreck: Stop being so defensive. No one cares about your low-prole viewing habits. You're only revealing how afraid you are that someone will mistake you for an ordinary American, who watches the show for ordinary reasons, like seeing celebrities in their designer gowns, or watching the entertainment, or some other frightfully middle-class, Jesusland reason. Quelle horreur!

Now, of course, if you watch the exact same thing as those Jesuslanders, and for the exact same length of time, but watch it ironically... well, then you're engaging in a critique of our celeb-centered, consumerist hegemon. (So edgy! And you laughed at Chris Rock's Bush-bashing — you really get it.) And if you spend the next Monday snarking about some actress' gown, or ragging on some singer, hey, that's not trashy middlebrow gossip. No sir. You're doing it ironically, and that makes it cultural critique.

Personally, I'm not ashamed of my own dreck-viewing habits. I watch "World's Wildest Police Chases" about once a week. I've also been known to take in "The Planet's Funniest Animals." Oh, and "Unwrapped" on the Food Network. And I don't watch them "ironically." I watch them because they're stupid, diverting, and distracting, and they don't pretend to be any higher-brow than they are. They don't lecture me, and they certainly don't edify me. All they do is help me relax by whiling away half an hour in a pleasantly brain-dead way. You got a problem with my viewing habits? You think you're gonna judge me? Okay. You pay my mortgage, food, and cable bills, and then we'll talk about how you should be the judge of what I watch on TV. Till then, deal with it. My house, my TV, my eyeballs. Capeesh?

There, see? That's not so hard. Self-conscious Oscar watchers, stand up for yourself. Watch your worthless dreck without apology, and quit bending my ear with hypocritical bombast about how you don't take it seriously, oh, it's so silly — please! who do these stars think they are, they're so vapid and shallow (and did you see that dress on her?), who watches these things, anyway?, etc.

Get over it. Only the bourgeoisie care about being thought bourgeois.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:40 PM | Comments (5)

February 22, 2005

Kinky Talking-Head Slashfic: An idea whose time has come.

A little more than a week ago, in a post about Keith Olbermann's disturbingly borderline-homoerotic obsession with Bill O'Reilly, I mentioned that there was some Olby slash fiction floating around the Web.

Looks like I scooped Wonkette on the slashfic tip! Whaddya know. She posted about Daily Show slashfic on Feb 17, mentioning a few specific sites.

I've thought for a long time that talking-head slashfic must exist out there, and that there should be a site to serve as a clearinghouse for it. I even toyed with the idea of setting up such a site. I hope someone does.

It doesn't have to be only slashfic, either. For example, what cable news watcher/fiction writer wouldn't like to explore what would happen if Chris Matthews and Zell Miller really did duel? Swords or pistols? Who would each choose as a second? Where would the final confrontation take place? In Herald Square, where Matthews' booth was set up during the RNC, or on the floor of Madison Square Garden? Whose honor would be upheld, and whose would be besmirched?

I see a whole subcategory of fanfic on just this topic alone.

Yes, someone should set up this site. Who among us is brave enough to face the inevitable cease-and-desist letters from FOX when a particularly rambunctious piece of Hannity/Colmes slash is posted?

Is there no hero out there?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:25 AM | Comments (5)

February 11, 2005

Olbermann goes Olber the top.

Poor Keith Olbermann. I think he's finally lost it.

It's been a long, sad road to this unhappy destination. I began to feel his sanity was slipping when I was flipping around the channels on New Year's Eve. It seemed he was devoting about half of his year-end review to O'Reilly's sex-harrassment scandal. I kept flipping away, then flipping past again, and Olby seemed really stuck on the topic. I guess there's not much archival footage relating to the scandal; at one point, he was showing footage of O'Reilly getting into a car. Truly one of the most significant events of 2004, one that must have an honored place in any year-end video rundown: O'Reilly gets into a car. This was interspersed with months-old footage of Olbermann's "Save the Tapes!" campaign. (Guess it was just a slow news year, huh, Keith?)

I turned to the EtherHub and said, "Is it just me, or is there something borderline homoerotic about this guy's obsession with O'Reilly and the tapes?"

Well, I guess it wasn't just me, and it wasn't really borderline either. Olby's cracked up. He's lettin' it all hang out. Olbermannwatch has posted the video here. (Warning: He screams like a little girl, over and over again, pretending O'Reilly is attacking him with a loofah. It'll take more than a loofah to scrub that mental image out of my brain, that's for damn sure.)

It's a paradoxical thing, Olby's O'Reilly obsession. As his ratings have slipped to about one-tenth of O'Reilly's, he fixates more and more on his rival. But consider the messages this sends:

  1. Everything O'Reilly does is newsworthy, even things he did (or didn't do) in 1970. Gee, he must be one of the most important people in the world. He's so gosh-darn important, you should probably be watching him right now!
  2. If you're watching MSNBC at 8pm, it's probably because you don't want to watch O'Reilly. So here he is! Here are some films and photos of him to set the stage for today's rundown of news about the guy you didn't want to hear about to begin with, or else you'd be watching his show in the first place! Hey, why are you changing the channel to CNN?
  3. I, Keith Olbermann, can no longer disguise my quasi-homoerotic obsession with the cruel ratings-master who dominates me. The thought of hearing him discuss his purported tawdry and frankly unimaginative sexual fantasies titillates me to the point of madness. I will now proceed to fixate on my image of him as a college jock, obsessively dissecting minutiae until he notices me. (Oh, why won't he notice me, dammit? Why won't he say my name? It's as if I don't exist! ~sob!~.)

Disturbing update: As I scanned Technorati looking for references to this story, I noticed that I'm not the only one who's picked up on Olbermann's barely-veiled tendencies. Keith Olbermann / Anderson Cooper slashfic,* anyone?

And it's not just Olby, either, update: Al Franken is still fixated on the guy, too. I can't imagine publicly obsessing so unabashedly over anyone, personally. I'd feel like a 13-year-old fan club member. I especially can't imagine giving my rivals so much free publicity. But then, I don't have the sizzling media savvy of the unbeatable Franken/Olbermann Big O-bashing teamup. Perhaps after the show O'lby and O'Franken put their heads on each other's shoulders for a good, manly cry about how mean Fox and O'Reilly are. Poor li'l dudes.

Update: Johnny Dollar has more.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:42 PM | Comments (4)

November 21, 2004

Canadian source: Al-Jazeera fair & balanced, Fox News "right-wing."

According to this article, al-Jazeera is "a credible news source" and "the CNN of the Arab world." Fox News, though, is "right-wing," and "the unofficial official voice of the Bush administration."

Glad we cleared that up, then. But Fox News was launched in 1996; I'm still not clear on whose "unofficial official voice" they were before Bush was elected selected. Or was the whole coup already in the planning stages even then?

In any case, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission just approved both networks for broadcast on digital services in Canada. Fox, until now, had either been unapproved or outright banned, depending on whom you believe.

It's good to know that any terrorist cells north of the border now have convenient access to videotaped messages from their leaders, including any coded orders contained therein, and an endless supply of gory recruitment propaganda.

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:15 AM | Comments (2)