Tag Archives: Media

Media Appearance: RJ McKay Radio Show

Just a quick note to mention that I’ll be on the RJ McKay Show in Philadelphia tonight around 9pm. Tune into WPHT (1210 AM talk radio) to hear you favorite political pundit (ie, me) pontificate about the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire Primary, and what it all means for the candidates.

Dirty Chicken Wings and Helen Thomas

This post about meeting Helen Thomas gave me a good laugh this morning, which was nice because I’m bored to death in my nearly-empty office…Congress empties out quickly.

I met Helen Thomas. Who’s that, right? Many know her as a recognizable face in the crowd of reporters at White House press conferences. I knew her from a cameo role in the movie Dave, where she played herself for about three seconds.
I was out to lunch when I spotted her. Where I grew up (Florida), if you see someone famous, you approach them and ask for their autograph. You’re usually encountering a mouse (Mickey) or a duck (Donald) in costume in Orlando. Why change course now?
I walked in Helen’s direction, but she was eating chicken wings like they were going on the endangered species list. I didn’t think it was appropriate to interrupt her with animal skin between her teeth and a bone hanging out of her mouth. Finally, she came up for air and shook my hand (which then became greasy, but no problem). She’s so small and very gracious – except with the chicken.

CNN Switching to Flash

A few months ago, I bemoaned CNN’s usage of it’s proprietary Pipeline player. I couldn’t share interesting news videos on my blog, and in general Windows Media format is a bit of a hassle to view on a Mac.
Well, they’ve changed their tune. The paid Pipeline service is going away, and they’re ditching Windows Media format as well! They’ll be switching to a Flash-based player, which I hope means they’ll allow sharing and posting to blogs, etc.

…once we built our new flash video experience in the Integrated Story presentation on CNN.com, we realized that that was a better experience than even the Pipeline player for videos. There are no load times, no pop-up players, no changing software environment to worry about, and you can get more context for the story in an integrated way. In short, we could create a better news experience within CNN.com than on any other site, and once that includes free live Pipeline content, our new site will be a game changer.

A Fitting End

So, as promised, I watched the Sopranos finale 24 hours late. I spent all day avoiding co-workers, websites, and newspapers so that I wouldn’t spoil it. Alas, I had a single clue during the day when the ticker on MSNBC said “Sopranos Leaves Tony Alive.” Damn you MSNBC!
In any case, I thought the finale was fantastic. I’m not sure yet if that puts me in the majority or minority among fans, but considering that complaining fans crashed HBO.com last night, I’m probably in the minority here.
First off, I’ve been predicting for a week that the enormous plot points would be left open on the show, especially after hearing that the final show would only be an hour long. There was no way to successfully close all the points, and more importantly, to do it in a way that would satisfy fans. Remember, this is the show that would take whole *seasons* to close of threads of plots.
Second, I was just happy when Phil died. It was a gruesome scene – embarrassing, unyielding, and totally fitting for the way Phil lived his life. I wasn’t sure it was going to happen, and it was the single plot point that I needed cleared up to make the episode a success for me. I still have questions about Paulie, but he’s long been my favorite mobster, so I give him more leeway than anyone else.
I could go on forever, but I liked this article the best:

And the Journey song? It cuts to silence in the middle of the chorus, on the phrase “Don’t stop … “
It’s as if the jukebox has skipped on the fans’ unheeded plea.
Don’t Stop! Tell us if those two black guys are hit men! Tell us if Members Only just went to pick up a gun, Corleone-style, from behind a toilet! Tell us if the feds are circling outside!
Or at least, tell us: Does Meadow get a ticket for double-parking?
But Chase stopped short. He stopped without telling us if our dread was justified, without telling us whether this was just another day in Tony’s life or the last day in Tony’s life. He carried out on his oft-repeated threat to leave the plot unresolved, just like life.
Or did he? In every other way but the simple question of how Tony would go down, Chase and his team have satisfied most of our thematic questions. Existentially, at least, we know exactly where all the principle characters are heading, and that’s nowhere good.

I’m obviously divergent from the rest of the fans out there, but I got exactly what I wanted – my questions left unanswered.

CNN’s Step Backwards in Online Video

I’m a news junkie, so I subscribe to a variety of RSS feeds to keep me up-to-the-minute with what’s going on here in Washington and around the world.
Lately, Anderson Cooper 360′s feed has begun posting videos in their feed. Great idea – the show is highly visual, and bringing that to the internet is good.
Here’s the bad part (and I’m going to sound like Jeff Jarvis here). They lock you into CNN’s propriety Pipeline player (built on Windows Media, I think). What? Why? This is the age of the mash-up! Of distributed content!
First, I have to login to CNN to see the videos, which is ridiculous. Second, I can’t share them with friends, family, and colleagues via e-mail or this blog. Is it any wonder upstarts like Youtube and Vimeo so quickly eclipsed traditional media in online video?

Dramatic Imagery, Part 2…

Following up on this post about dramatic photography, I noticed that Kottke has written about the famous photograph “Migrant Mother.” It too is part fiction – the mother pictured was not a recent migrant in 1935, but had instead been living in California for nearly 10 years.

(Also, I have a weird deja vu feeling that I’ve recently seen the photo somewhere else – trying to place it…)

Mass Exodus at WAMU??

Anyone know the details? I’m a huge fan of the morning news on WAMU.

DCRTV hears that there is a “mass exodus” of news people from American University’s mainly news and talk WAMU (88.5 FM). Two have left and two more have given notice and are “actively job hunting.” We’re told that there’s “major unhappiness with new news director. Just as they are enjoying being the only public radio news outlet with WETA returning to classical, they seem to be shooting themselves in the foot.” Says another WAMU source: “They will soon be down to just one fulltime and one part-time reporter. WAMU management plans to dumb down local news by replacing fulltime professional reporters with interns from American University”…..

Media Ownership: Who Owns What…Right Now and Next Year

Mark Potts found a great list of who owns the top 20 newspapers in the country.
1. USA Today … Gannett Co.
2. The Wall Street Journal … Dow Jones & Co.
3. The New York Times … New York Times Co.
4. Los Angeles Times … Tribune Co.
5. New York Post … News Corp….
Mark has some interesting points on this, but I will say that I’m really surprised that the Philadelphia Inquirer is number 18 in circulation. Consider that Philly is the 5th largest city in the U.S. and the 4th largest metropolitan area. The Inky is the main newspaper in the region – but is only 18th in circulation?