Tag Archives: Glynnis MacNicol

Parker Spitzer: The Break-Up Of The Band

Sam Schechner at Wall Street Journal:

CNN is considering replacing Kathleen Parker, co-host of its new evening program “Parker Spitzer,” according to people familiar with the matter, as the network struggles to reverse a steep slide in its evening audience.

The conservative columnist could be replaced by a new co-host to serve alongside former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, as executives mull a shake-up of the show, the people said, adding that no decision has been made. “Parker Spitzer” hasn’t been able to significantly build its audience since its debut just over three months ago.

Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair:

Middling cable network CNN may dispose of one half of the Parker Spitzer team. Guess which half? “CNN is considering replacing Kathleen Parker,” according to today’s Wall Street Journal. Rumors of a Parker departure have been swirling since as early as December 1, when the New York Post reported that the conservative columnist simply did not care for Eliot Spitzer. At the time, we suggested some possible Parker replacements, including Christine O’Donnell, George W. Bush, and Julian Assange. As those options are under police investigation, presumably unwilling, and under police investigation, respectively, other speculators are now recommending a new roster of potential backups. For example, Gawker proposed that “a piece of string” fill in for Parker. We like it … but think big: what about several pieces of string fashioned together to create a doll?

Flashy replacements aside, a CNN spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the rumors, telling the Journal that “the show continues to improve.” Presenting a similar sentiment last week, Phil Kent, chief executive of Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, characterized Parker Spitzer as “a work in progress.”

Mark Joyella at Mediaite:

CNN’s primetime programs performed poorly in 2010, which marked the network’s worst ratings performance in fourteen years.

Max Read at Gawker:

But who could bring the same ability to sit there and not talk? Ashley Dupre? Piers Morgan? Ted Williams? A piece of string?

Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider:

The problem of course isn’t all Parker.  While her mother hen-like clucking at Spitzer – likely conceived to make viewers feel safer with the disgraced ex-governor — is interminably annoying it is far from the only problem

The show, initially taped and edited ahead of time, often feels awkward and the terrible graphics that float behind the anchor’s heads throughout are irritating and distracting.

But the real problem continues to be that Spitzer never seems to be allowed to be Spitzer: the unpredictably, fiery person New Yorkers heard so much about when he was governor. Airing the show live, and capitalizing on the unpredictability that would come along with that would be the easiest way to grab some attention.

Meantime, who to replace Parker with.   The NYPost hears it may be E.D. Hill a former Fox News anchor and co-host of “Fox and Friends” who got booted for her “terrorist fist jab” remark.

But I think CNN needs to go big here in order to reconvince people to tune.  Someone like Michelle Malkin might work — she has a wide audience, could probably hold her own with Spitzer, but is not so extreme in her views (a la Ann Coulter) as to turn off mainstream viewers.

But perhaps she’s not mainstream enough to solve the problem.  Before Parker Spitzer first went on air CNN did the regular audience testing and discovered Spitzer wasn’t as nationally recognized as they had assumed.

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Seriously, There Is No Better Way For 2010 To Go Out Than This Mash-Up

Justin Elliott at Salon:

Andy Sullivan, a construction worker and Brooklyn native, has been one of the loudest opponents of Park51, the planned mosque and community center near ground zero. Founder of the 9/11 Hard Hat Pledge — under which construction workers vow not to work at the mosque site — Sullivan has been a regular presence on television, known for wearing his signature American flag hard hat and talking tough about radical Muslims.

So it was quite a surprise this month to read that Sullivan has set his sights on a new target: Canadian teen pop superstar Justin Bieber.

Mosque foes recently started a boycott of Bieber after he made comments in support of the mosque project in an interview with Tiger Beat, a teen fan magazine, Sullivan told WYNC earlier this month. Now, his 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have been banned from attending Bieber performances.

“I informed them, ‘Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the ground zero mosque,” Sullivan explained to Salon in an interview. “My little girl took down his poster and said she didn’t want to have nothing to do with him anymore. These are my kids. They’re living this thing.”

A Facebook page has been set up by an ally of Sullivan publicizing the boycott of Bieber and several other pro-mosque celebrities. It has attracted nearly 500 fans.

Intrigued by the idea that Bieber would weigh in on one of the most polarizing political issues of the day, I began looking for his interview with Tiger Beat.

The magazine does cover Bieber obsessively (“Justin Bieber Dodges Dating Selena Gomez Question!” and “Did Justin Bieber Grow a Mustache?” are two recent features). But I couldn’t find any sign of an interview on Park51. There is, however, a post on the website CelebJihad.com purporting to describe a Tiger Beat interview. It reads in part:

In an interview with Tiger Beat, the pop sensation stressed that freedom of religion is what makes America great, and went on to say that those who oppose the Mosque are motivated by bigotry.

“Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque anywhere they want,” the singer said. “Coming from Canada, I’m not used to this level of intolerance, eh.”

Bieber went on to say that Muslims are “super cool,” Christians are “lame-o-rama,” and that the mosque will help “start a dialogue” with all religions about which Justin Bieber song is the most awesome.

“I was like seven when September 11th went down, and frankly I’m surprised people are still going on about it. Move on, already!”

Celebjihad.com seems to specialize in softcore celebrity porn, but poke around a bit and you find this disclaimer:

CelebJihad.com is a satirical website containing published rumors, speculation, assumptions, opinions, fiction as well as factual information

I was able to reach the proprietor of the site, who confirmed that the Bieber item is in fact a hoax. “[T]he fact that some people take it seriously is hilariously depressing,” he said in an e-mail.

John Del Signore at The Gothamist:

Welcome to The United States of Dumberica, 2010 2011. Andy Sullivan, a construction worker who’s been at the forefront of the “Ground Zero mosque” resistance, says his eight-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have been banned from attending Bieber concerts. “I informed them, ‘Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the ground zero mosque,” Sullivan tells Salon. “My little girl took down his poster and said she didn’t want to have nothing to do with him any more. These are my kids, they’re living this thing.”

And a Facebook group has added Bieber to their list of “companies who support the Ground Zero Mosque.” In the weeks since, Bieber—his career in ruins—has been spotted singing backup in a Bachman-Turner Overdrive cover band, gigging in shabby hotel lobbies across the rust belt. But the former pop star still begins each set, performed for a smattering of his last die hard fans, with a defiant shout of Allah Hu Akbar. Then it’s all Takin’ Care of Business.

Wonkette:

Let’s go to the Facebook comments!

Her avatar clues us in to the fact that she has very modern views.
Haha, this CHILD is so immature he has probably never even called a Muslim a mean name! Spending your time on Facebook opposing the theoretical construction of a single building in a city of skyscrapers thousands of miles away is how you act like an adult, you idiot!

Actually, a lot of periods!
Those Canadians just do not understand that you have to bomb Muslim countries and in turn get bombed by crazed Muslims. It’s called being a hero!

Jesus! Hey! Over here! There's a pop star in trouble!
Poor Canada, living peacefully and inclusively with its peaceful Muslim population for decades. Perhaps, if we let Jesus know, He will help them murder the Muslims in their sleep.

Jim Newell at Gawker

Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider:

Meanwhile the rest of us are left to wonder whether the August news cycle is going to be a 12 month affair in 2011.

David Weigel:

There’s some point to be made here about the gullibility and outrage addiction that kicked off the “GZM” furor in the first place, but it’s probably too obvious.

Doug Mataconis:

If you needed confirmation that American political culture was in fact totally absurd, you’ve just found it.

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Filed under Music, Religion

And Tying It All Up With A Pretty Bow, Reality Television

Jon Bershad at Mediaite:

Earlier this week, three alleged terrorists were arrested in Canada. As investigators looked into their history, a truly bizarre piece of information surfaced. One of them, Khurram Sher, had appeared on Canadian Idol, a show which is exactly like American Idol except for having super polite judges. We’ve got the clip of his appearance in which he sings a song by fellow public menace Avril Lavigne and (SPOILER AND HORRIBLE PUN WARNING) bombs horribly.

The Jawa Report:

Best terrorism story evah? It’s like watching a real life Da Ali G show. Only, you know, funny.

Weasel Zippers:

His way of redeeming himself in Allah’s eyes for singing a chick song while doing the robot and moonwalking on national TV?…

Allah Pundit:

Three possibilities: (1) He was auditioning as a goof and figured his new persona would make it extra goofy, (2) he gambled that a “humble immigrant” trying his darnedest would have a better shot at advancing to the next round than a tone-deaf physician, or (3) he was already a jihadi sympathizer at the time and operating under deep, deep — deep — cover. To paraphrase Mediaite, the last place you’d look for an Al Qaeda plot is a guy on a talent show “doing the robot while singing a song written for teen girls.” And a moonwalk. Don’t forget the moonwalk.

Three men are charged in a plot to build IEDs and funnel money to terror groups in Afghanistan. Assuming that the charges are true, this clip is stark evidence of how quickly radicalization can happen.

Unrelated…

Suzi Parker at Politics Daily:

Can Bristol Palin dance?
We might find out if she ends up as a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the second biggest show on television behind “American Idol.”
Bristol, 19, the oldest daughter of Sarah Palin, may be tangoing on season 11 of the dance competition. She could be appearing along with David Hasselhoff, Audrina Patridge, The Situation and Brandy in the upcoming season, which premieres Sept. 20. ABC would not confirm any guest stars for the season. The official lineup will be announced Monday.
Earlier this summer, Bristol and her on-again, off-again fiancé, Levi Johnston, were rumored to be shopping for a reality television show. Johnston and Bristol are the parents of Tripp, who was born in Dec. 2008. Bristol is reportedly taking her Tripp with her to Los Angeles where “Dancing With the Stars” is filmed.
Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite:

All true according to sources! Phew. It is going to be a banner year. Maybe this is Bristol’s revenge on Levi for his philandering — the two were rumored to be starring together in their own reality show, up until they split and it became a Levi solo project. One thing I can say with assurance is that Steve Krakauer will be excited, ideally this line-up will result in Levi getting into a jealous feud with The Situation over Bristol.

Cassy Fiano:

Meanwhile, can you just imagine the liberal heads exploding if Bristol does well on the show? Oh, boy. I hope she’s ready for the vitriol that’s sure to be aimed her way. On the other hand… it’ll be worth watching just for the hateful “ZOMG BRISTOL IS WINNING ITS A CONSPIRACY!!!!1!!11!!” commentary alone.

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Filed under GWOT, Political Figures, TV

He Got His 15 Minutes On An Emergency Exit Slide

Radar Online:

Q10001425
CRIMINAL COURT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
PART APAR, COUNTY OF QUEENS
_____________________________________
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF QUEENS
V.

STEVEN SLATER
DEFENDANT
_____________________________________

POLICE OFFICER THOMAS EDDINGS OF PORT AUTHORITY, TAX REG#: 042792,
BEING DULY SWORN, DEPOSES AND SAYS THAT ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 9 2010
BETWEEN 12:07PM AND 12:18PM, IN BACK OF TERMINAL 5  JFK AIRPORT, COUNTY OF
QUEENS, STATE OF NEW YORK

THE DEFENDANT COMMITTED THE OFFENSES OF:
PL 120.25 RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT IN THE FIRST DEGREE
PL 145.10 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF IN THE SECOND DEGREE
PL 120.20 RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT IN THE SECOND DEGREE – DNA SAMPLE
REQUIRED UPON CONVICTION
PL 145.00-3 CRIMINAL MISCHIEF IN THE FOURTH DEGREE
PL 140.10-A CRIMINAL TRESPASS IN THE THIRD DEGREE

IN THAT THE DEFENDANT DID:  UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES EVINCING A DEPRAVED
INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE, RECKLESSLY ENGAGE IN CONDUCT WHICH CREATED
A GRAVE RISK OF DEATH TO ANOTHER PERSON;HAVING NO RIGHT TO DO SO NOR
ANY REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVE THAT HE HAD SUCH RIGHT, INTENTIONALLY
DAMAGE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS;RECKLESSLY ENGAGE IN CONDUCT WHICH CREATED A
SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON;HAVING NO
RIGHT TO DO SO NOR ANY REASONABLE GROUND TO BELIEVE THAT HE HAD SUCH
RIGHT, RECKLESSLY DAMAGE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER PERSON IN AN AMOUNT
EXCEEDING TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS;KNOWINGLY AND UNLAWFULLY ENTER OR
REMAIN IN A BUILDING OR UPON REAL PROPERTY WHICH IS FENCED OR OTHERWISE
ENCLOSED IN A MANNER DESIGNED TO EXCLUDE INTRUDERS

THE SOURCE OF DEPONENT’S INFORMATION AND THE GROUNDS FOR DEPONENT’S
BELIEF ARE AS FOLLOWS:

DEPONENT STATES THAT AT THE ABOVE DATE, TIME AND PLACE OF OCCURRENCE THAT HE IS INFORMED BY STEVEN GULLIAN, JET BLUE PILOT THAT THE DEFENDANT STEVEN SLATER DID ACTIVATE THE AIRCRAFT EMERGENCY ESCAPE SLIDE ON DOOR R-2.  DEPONENT IS FURTHER INFORMED BY STEVEN GULLIAN THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS WORKING AS A FLIGHT ATTENDANT ON JET BLUE FLIGHT 1052 FROM PITTSBURGH.

DEPONENT IS FURTHER INFORMED BY JUNE DONOVAN OF JET BLUE SECURITY THAT THE DEFENDANTS ACTIONS CAUSED DAMAGE TO THE EMERGENCY ESCAPE SLIDE AND DID CAUSE A DANGEROUS CONDITION TO THE GROUND CREW WORKING BELOW THE AIRCRAFT.  DEPONENT FURTHER STATES HE WAS ADVISED BY JUNE DONAVAN THAT THE COST TO REPLACE THE EMERGENCY ESCAPE SLIDE IS IN EXCESS OF $25,000.  DEPONENT STATES HE IS FURTHER INFORMED BY JUNE DONOVAN THAT SAID ESCAPE SLIDE IS DEPLOYED AT THREE THOUSAND PSI AND CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH IF IT STRIKES THE PEOPLE WORKING UNDER THE AIRCRAFT.

DEPONENT STATES THAT THE DEFENDANT DID ADMIT TO HIM BOTH VERBALLY AND IN WRITTEN FORM THAT HE INTENTIONALLY ACTIVATED THE AIRCRAFT EMERGENCY SLIDE AND DID EXIT THE AIRCRAFT VIA THE EMERGENCY SLIDE.  DEPONENT FURTHER STATES THAT THE DEFENDANT MADE A FURTHER ADMISSION THAT HE WALKED ON THE AERONAUTICAL AREA UNTIL HE WAS ABLE TO FIND AN UNLOCKED DOOR TO EXIT TO THE STREET AREA.  DEPONENT FURTHER STATES HE IS THE LEGAL CUSTODIAN OF SAID AREA AND THE DEFENDANT DID NOT HAVE PERMISSION OR AUTHORITY TO ENTER OR REMAIN IN SAID AREA.

Heather Robinson at Huffington Post:

And I gotta say, the guy made my day.

The funny thing is, I was seated on this flight yesterday — JetBlue #1052, Pittsburgh to JFK — next to a lady who was scared to fly. At the outset, she pulled out a rosary and started praying (that’s not unusual, especially on a flight from Pittsburgh, which is a heavily Catholic city).

As we ascended, the turbulence was a bit more intense than typical, but nothing to be alarmed over. She was crossing herself and fidgeting, so I told her, “There’s nothing to worry about. I’ve been flying multiple times a month all my life and this is normal.”

She thanked me, and we got to talking a bit. I told her the same thing — “it’s totally normal”– when we heard the bump of the wheels coming down prior to landing.

It was when we stood up to disembark — in those annoying moments when everyone is waiting to be released from the metal can we’ve been packed in together — that Steven Slater commandeered the PA system and issued his rant. I didn’t take notes so the following is not exact, but a paraphrase: “F— you! F— all of you! I’m f—— through with this! I’VE HAD IT! I’ve been doing this for 28 f—— years and I can’t take it anymore. And for the f—– a—–who told me to f— off: f— you! That’s it! I’m done! F— you all!”

At that point the older Catholic lady looked back at me and crossed herself, and I told her, “No, that is not normal.”

College students sitting nearby were laughing. One of them mentioned that a flight attendant had been bleeding and speculated that that might be “the guy” who’d just engaged in the rant.

I missed Slater’s inflation of the emergency chute, and didn’t know until I woke up this morning about his racing home to Belle Harbor, Queens in his silver Jeep Wrangler and hopping into bed with his boyfriend (leave it to the great New York Post to get those wonderful details).

Overall, it got me to thinking: in a way it’s a shame things like this don’t happen more often. Let me explain: in an age when, for good reason, authorities are constantly on the alert for terrorists and mass shooters, when any highway altercation, we are warned, can escalate into a gunfight, when eighty-year-old women are forced to relinquish their knitting needles and nursing mothers their bottles of milk at airport screening because of dread of vicious acts of brutality, Americans must restrain ourselves and behave obediently at all times in public places. Current mores leave no room, no outlet, for the venting of frustrations, or for freewheeling, spontaneous behavior of any kind.

No one who would engage in deliberate violence against another person is doing so because of petty frustrations; obviously, something deeper is askew in such an individual. But what about the rest of us? The “normal” decent people who feel fed up with the lack of civility, the many little humiliations, of everyday life? People who would never dream of doing anything violent, and who–because of the actions of a few truly evil people–are prevented from expressing normal frustrations, normal anger, out of (often justified) fear that someone might “go crazy,” show up packing a gun, etc.? Sometimes we need to get in someone’s face and tell that jerk to f— off. Likewise, sometimes people just need to get out of a situation, to take an escape, when doing so does not harm anyone else.

Gulliver at The Economist:

The ramifications for Mr Slater are serious, and he faces charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Who knows what damage the slide could have done to somebody on the ground, etc. But only a heart of stone could fail to sympathise. Indeed Mr Slater could well end up lionised by fellow flight attendants for telling a surly, unco-operative passenger exactly what he thought. And he should also be praised for the manner of his departure. If you are going to effectively jack in your flying career, then speeding down the emergency slide, beer in hand, is no bad way to do it.

Joel Achenbach at WaPo:

I think we all want to pull a Slater now and then. We want to activate the escape slide. Maybe at work, maybe at home. We want to shout “It’s been great!” and grab a beer and slater on out of there.

Flight attendant Steven Slater got arrested, of course, because you’re not supposed to deploy the emergency slide on a plane except in an emergency. But you can just picture what might have happened (and the Times story goes into some detail): Some passenger for whom the rules don’t apply, who perceives himself as more important than everyone else, leaps out of his seat before the plane has reached the gate. Slater tells him to sit back down. The passenger refuses and yanks his oversized bag out of the overhead compartment and bonks Slater on the head. Slater, temporarily deranged, uses the public address system to point out that this man is a total and complete arsehat of the first order. Slater at that point surely realizes he has future in the airline industry. What’s he going to do? Emergency slide!

But what makes him an instant legend, of course, is the beer. He grabs the beer on the way out. That’s the “Animal House” meets “Airplane!” note. No wonder he’s an instant Internet icon. His name will become a verb, just watch.

James Poniewozik at Time:

Move over, Sully Sullenberger, there’s a new folk hero in the skies. OK, maybe not a universally acclaimed hero. And not a “hero” in the sense of, like, saving lives, or stopping a terrorist, or really doing anything traditionally considered “heroic.” Still, Steven Slater—the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly had an altercation with a passenger who injured him in the head, cursed her out over the PA, then deplaned, with a beer, via the emergency slide—is the talk of the country today. (And, I’m guessing, the talk of late-night TV for a while to come.)

There are a lot of reasons Slater’s exit might have struck a chord: general frustrations with work, the economy, or the rudeness of strangers, or specific irritation with the breakdown of airline civility. But above all, the Slater story is fascinating because it provides an irresistible image of screw-you liberation: the put-upon employee telling off some jerk, kissing off his job over a PA system, then taking off. Grabbing a beer. And going down a slide. A freaking slide! Yabba dabba doo!

Obviously, Slater’s was not the most level-headed course of action. He flew off the handle, freaked out in front of a plane full of passengers and caused inconvenience and expense to others by abusing an emergency exit. I don’t endorse that. Don’t try this at home, kids stay in school, &c.

But it may be the impracticality, the ballsiness, or the craziness of Slater’s gesture that makes it so fascinating. Quitting your job dramatically, after all, would seem to be the last thing you want to do in the middle of an economic downturn. Maybe that’s the appeal. Slater may have had his personal reasons for cracking, but there was a kind of ’70s, mad-as-hell-not-going-to-take-it,  Take This Job and Shove It sensibility to his rebellion, and people responded to it: over 11,000 people had joined the Free Steven Slater! page on Facebook by this afternoon

Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite:

Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who lived out the dreams of every worker frustrated with their job (and probably most people frustrated with the state of flying in this country) with his dramatic, expletive-laden exit “not only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career,” has landed on the cover of all the major New York City papers.Not surprisingly the New York Post wins for headline, though it fails to pack the full punch one normally hopes for. Meanwhile, the NYT, who put the story below the fold on A-1 sans a picture, wins hands down for their write-up:

Mr. Slater asked for an apology. The passenger instead cursed at him. Mr. Slater got on the plane’s public-address system and cursed out the passenger for all to hear. Then, after declaring that 20 years in the airline industry was enough, he blurted out, “It’s been great!” He activated the inflatable evacuation slide at a service exit and left the world of flight attending behind.

Roger Ebert, meanwhile, thinks Slater is a hero fit for our 2010 time: “Predicting JetBlue’s batshit flight attendant becomes a folk hero and guests on cable and talk shows. A Sully for 2010.”

Chris Rovzar at New York Magazine:

When we first read the story of JetBlue steward Steven Slater, who went crazy yesterday after a passenger rudely bonked him on the head with a piece of luggage, our takeaway was simple: This guy’s going to become a folk hero. This morning in the Daily News, columnist Joanna Molloy decided it had already happened, that his status as a populist icon was already sealed. “How many of us have wanted to say Take This Job and Shove It? I’m As Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore?” Molloy asked. “Slater did it, and he did it with flair, cursing back over the plane’s public address system at the obnoxious passenger who conked him on the head with his suitcase, then releasing the emergency exit slide and jumping out and disappearing across the tarmac. He even had the presence of mind to toss his carry-on luggage down the slide first.” She even predicted: “There’ll probably be a song about him online today.” There isn’t quite yet, but of course there will be.

So what has the Internet wrought on this new icon so far?

• This morning he is both the Nos. 1 and 2 topics on Google Trends, and is trending on Twitter.
• There are already the requisite Free Steven Slater T-shirts.
• Unfortunately, they are not yet available on FreeStevenSlater.com.
• There are multiple Steven Slater fan pages on Facebook, the largest one with at least 12,000 fans.
• There is already a PayPal-linked Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund, if you care to chip in.
• There’s a movement to contact JetBlue directly on Slater’s behalf (though, judging by the fact that the airline waited nearly a half-hour after Slater’s escape from the plane to alert authorities in order to allow his full getaway — and enough time to have sex with his boyfriend before getting arrested — we suspect JetBlue is already at least a little on his side).
• Dealbreaker is already pushing to find Slater a new employer.

Of course, as Steven Slater is bound to find out soon, in the Internet era, folk heroes have about the same enduring presence as the feeling of cleanliness you get from a moist airline towelette. So to the man of the day: Sell that TV interview now, get the biggest payout you can for pictures in a celebrity weekly (we wanna see that boyfriend you were doing when the cops showed up!), and nail down at least one endorsement deal for Xanax or something. Because this isn’t going to last.

UPDATE: Byron York and Ann Althouse at Bloggingheads

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Filed under Infrastructure

Let’s Play A Game Of MSM Musical Chairs

Elise Viebeck at The Hill:

The White House Correspondents Association voted unanimously Sunday afternoon to move Fox News to the front row of the White House briefing room.

The seating change was prompted by the resignation of veteran UPI reporter Helen Thomas.

According to Ed Henry, the senior White House correspondent for CNN and member of the WHCA board, the Associated Press will move to the front-row middle seat formerly occupied by Thomas.

Fox News will replace the AP in its former seat, also in the front row, and NPR, which lobbied for Thomas’ seat along with Fox and Bloomberg News, will take Fox’s former seat in the second row.

Michael Calderone at Yahoo:

The idea of moving the AP—which normally gets the first question at presidential press conferences—was under discussion in recent years, long before Thomas retired. Bloomberg remains in the second row, while NPR moves up from the third row to Fox’s current seat.

Several news organizations also petitioned to get regular seats in the briefing room (or keep their current seats).

The Financial Times will now get a regular seat, while U.S News & World Report—a news organization that has been scaled back in recent years—lost its seat. The foreign press pool also now gets its own seat.

In addition, Politico and American Urban Radio Networks moved up to the third row. The Washington Times, which has cut back significantly in the past year, moves from the third to fourth row.

Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite:

Update: Fox is apparently pleased with the decision. From Bill Sammon, Vice President of News and Washington Managing Editor, FOX News: “We are pleased with the decision of the White House Correspondents’ Association and look forward to working with our colleagues in the front row and the rest of the James S. Brady briefing room.”‬‪

Update again: Major Garrett twitters: Those of us who will sit in the front owe a debt to Jim Angle, Carl Cameron, Bret Baier and network that supported them.

Ed Morrissey:

Congratulations to Garrett and Fox News.

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place:

Imagine how close Fox News would be if they weren’t an “illegitimate news organization” — they’d be sitting on Robert Gibbs’ podium. Clearly the White House Correspondents Association respects the ratings strength of Fox News — either that or the WHCA has a “racist Tea Partier” streak a mile wide.

Is it too much to hope for that Major Garrett will call in sick on Fox’s first day in front and to fill in for him they’ll hire Andrew Breitbart as a temp? I thought so.

Meanwhile, even though Helen Thomas might be out of the front row in the briefing room, money is being raised to put a statue of her in the front row of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn (pic of Helen with statue here). I keep one just like it in my attic because it seems to do a good job of scaring the bats away.

John Cole:

Who cares about these people. It isn’t like any news has ever been broken in the briefing room.

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Filed under Mainstream

Kipling And Teasing The Panther

Heather Horn at The Atlantic:

The Atlantic Wire likes to keep tabs on its beloved Atlantic 50. On Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly picked up the video trailer for an upcoming book, a thriller written by Glenn Beck (number seven on the list). Keith Stastkiewicz says the book, which will be released June 15, “is about twenty-something named Noah Gardner who finds himself in the midst of a massive fight to protect the country he loves from nefarious forces that threaten to corrupt it.” Points if you can get that from the video

Meredith Jessup at Townhall:

“The Overton Window” is set to be released June 15.  Meanwhile, the Left is already bashing it, despite rave reviews from authors such as Vince Flynn (love him!), Brad Meltzer and Nelson DeMille.

PS–the poem featured in Beck’s trailer is this one by Rudyard Kipling, despite folks on the Left claiming that each “over-the-top-line” was written by Beck himself.

Richard Lawson at Gawker:

Crazy conspiracy-cruller Glenn Beck has a new novel, The Overton Window, coming out very soon. And now, because I guess this is what we do these days, there is a trailer. For a book. It’s just one long, scary quote.

The quote is from “The Gods of the Copybook Headings,” a wacky poem by Rudyard Kipling. It speaks of terrible things that happen after “social progress,” which Glenn “Walking Knish” Beck really hates. Mostly, though, it is about dog vomit. Yayyyy, dog vomit.

E.D. Kain at The League:

The odd poetry in the trailer is from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The Gods of the Copybook Headings – a rather odd choice for Beck, but what do I know? Either way, pasting the last two stanzas a Kipling poem into a book trailer is certainly a bold move. I hope they make it into a film so that we can get the entire poem in there.

Ben Dimiero and Simon Maloy at Media Matters:

The opening lines of Glenn Beck’s yet-to-be-released novel, The Overton Window, read as follows: “Most people think about age and experience in terms of years, but it’s really only moments that define us.”

In a quirk of convenience, this line also describes the best way to deconstruct The Overton Window, a copy of which Media Matters obtained and read — nay, devoured — with great relish. As we slogged through its many plot holes, ridiculous narrative devices, and long-winded limited-government sermonizing passed off as dialogue, we singled out ten moments that define The Overton Window as the truly and remarkably awful novel that it is.

First, a quick summation of the plot, such as it is. The protagonist, Noah Gardner, works for an impossibly powerful public relations firm in Manhattan that has been the driving force behind pretty much every political and cultural movement of the 20th century. Their latest and grandest scheme is the culmination of a lengthy plot to change the United States into some sort of ill-defined progressive plutocracy, and the catalyst for this change is a nuclear explosion that will occur outside the home-state office of “the current U.S. Senate majority leader,” which happens to be at the same address as Harry Reid’s Las Vegas offices. The nuclear attack is to be blamed on the Founders Keepers, a Tea Party-like group — led by Noah’s love interest, Molly Ross — that is working to foil the plot.

1. Rule number one is: “Don’t tease the panther”

Noah and Molly find themselves in bed together early in the book after a harrowing experience at a Founders’ Keepers rally. They agree to sleep in bed together because Molly is too scared to sleep at home, but Molly insists that nothing sexual will take place. Noah agrees, on the condition that she “not do anything sexy.” She presses her cold feet against his legs, and Noah responds:

“Suit yourself, lady. I’m telling you right now, you made the rules, but you’re playing with fire here. I’ve got some rules, too, and rule number one is, don’t tease the panther.

Oliver Willis

Dennis DiClaudio at Indecision Forever

It appears as though Glenn Beck is making the leap from bestselling author of paranoid political opinion to bestselling author of paranoid political fiction. That’s right, he’s about to release a new book Kevin Grisham-esque thriller called The Overton Window, after a political theory popular amongst libertarians about the shifting range of what is considered acceptable political policy. (You know how Glenn Beck likes to read big piles of prop books, right?)Obviously, this is hilarious news. And there is a 112 percent chance that I will be “reading” the audiobook version of this book for the same reason that I am “reading” the audiobook version of the Left Behind series. Because life is too short to not subject oneself to third-grade-reading-level unintentional self-satire. I am not made of stone, people.

However, a lot of people are justifiably making fun of this book for unjustifiable reasons. The just-released trailer for this book (Yep! A trailer for the book!) features the excerpt from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings“…

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

These verses — which, I’m assuming people think was written by Beck — are supposed proof of how crazy and, um, poemy the book is gonna be. As if there’s any fucking chance in the world that Glenn Beck is capable of writing anything even approaching the level of quality. Has anybody ever seen this person talk? If that poem is reprinted in the book, I guaran-fucking-tee it will be the stand-out section by about six orders of magnitude.

UPDATE: Steve Krakauer and Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite

John J. Miller at The Corner

Jim Newell at Gawker

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Filed under Books, Mainstream, Political Figures

The Last Political Couple Left Standing Will Be Bill And Hillary, Just As The Mayans Predicted

Mike Allen at Politico:

Al and Tipper Gore, whose playful romance enlivened Washington and the campaign trail for a quarter century, have decided to separate after 40 years of marriage, the couple told friends Tuesday.

In an “Email from Al and Tipper Gore,” the couple said: “We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate.

“This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”

The e-mail was obtained by POLITICO and confirmed by Kalee Kreider of the office of Al and Tipper Gore. Kreider said there would be no further comment.

Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite:

Wow. Even in the messy world of political marriages this one comes as a shock

Ruth Marcus at WaPo:

So who would have thought that Bill and Hillary would outlast Al and Tipper? The Clintons’ marriage was — is? — famously complicated. The Gores’ marriage — well, except for that overwrought convention kiss — seemed pretty normal. Almost, you might say, “Love Story.” “It was just like everyone else melted away,” Tipper wrote of their meeting at his high school prom.

They survived four kids, their son’s accident, her depression, his loss.

You would have thought they were past whatever hump it is after which marriages can be deemed solid. There is something deeply unsettling about their decision to separate, because the pairing seemed so stable and so sensible — not two peas in a pod as much as two pieces that fit together.

Howard Fineman at Newsweek:

I’ve known Al and (less well) Tipper Gore since the early 1980s, and always thought that their marriage was the quirky, unstable leftover of their youths in the capital. Gore was as “federal” as you could get, the princely son of a senator living at the Fairfax Hotel and commuting up Massaschusetts Avenue to prep school at St. Albans. Tipper was all local, the fun-loving daughter or a well-to-do Arlington, Va ., businessman (and who gave the young couple the suburban house they lived in). It had to have been thrilling—and an act of teenage rebellion for them both—when they literally crossed the river for each other.

But the driven Gore—whose father reared him with the expectation that he would be president—was, after a fitful start (reporter, theology student)—focused intently on a political life. His wife, by contrast, always seemed unsettled in the role of the Good Wife, the dutiful, careful, and absorbed political spouse.

She did her best. In the old days, the Gores used to have a Christmas party at their Arlington home when their kids were young; Gore staffers would dress as Santas and elves. Al tried to enjoy these events (even though he wasn’t much for easy social chatter), but I always thought that Tipper, genial as she was,  seemed a bit nonplussed by the use of her home for such a mix of public, political, and private life.

Tipper loved to take photographs at events—a way to express herself artistically but always a way to distance herself from them.

The two sometimes could seem yoked together like the figures on a wedding cake. When, as vice president, they hosted Halloween parties, they dressed in elaborate costumes (provided by the Walt Disney Co.) that some years completely hid their identity as individuals. It was a kind of goof on the whole enterprise: guests had their pictures taken with “hosts” no one could identify. I didn’t think the Gores were enjoying themselves in the heavy armor of costumes.

Rod Dreher:

Forty years together, and now this. I remember thinking around the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that the Gores were so very different from the Clintons, whose marriage seemd like a business deal more than anything else. If the Gore break-up really isn’t about adultery on either side, then it seems that the failure of their marriage could be the cost of being a famous public figure. If Al is on the road here, there and everywhere, he’s not at home being a husband. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming him, necessarily. I don’t have any reason to put the blame on him, and I do hope that people who don’t like Al Gore as a politician and as an environmental advocate won’t take advantage of his personal crisis to whack on him. Still, if Al and Tipper Gore did grow apart over the years, surely his prominence and associated globetrotting was a major contributing factor in this sad end to their marriage. At least that’s what friends of their are anonymously telling the press.

Forty years. Man.

Dan Amira at New York Magazine:

Perhaps the love faded away through the years, like a slowly melting glacier. We suppose these things just happen sometimes. But while the Gores may never be the same again, we prefer to remember them at the peak of their love: making out in front of everybody at the Democratic National Convention in 2000.

UPDATE: Jon Bershad at Mediaite

Maureen O’Connor at Gawker

UPDATE #2: On the scandal, The Smoking Gun

Ann Althouse

Ed Morrissey

John Hinderaker at Powerline

UPDATE #3: Stu Woo at WSJ

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Filed under Political Figures