The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Saturday, April 09, 2005

The TiVo Files...

I hate network television for the most part. It was a minor thrill when cable broadcast finally beat its big brother during sweep weeks with the assurance that network television dominance is now a thing of the past.

So I wanted to reach out to the readers and give me the shows you have a hard time missing from week-to-week.

For me it breaks down like this...And this doesn't include the live sporting events I love to watch...

-- It's Take a Thief: Two former houseburgulars (Matt Johnston and Jon Douglas Rainey) try to educate the average family into better securing their property through an interesting experiment.

Basically Matt will ask a family if they will let Jon rob them to test the measures of their security. Of course they give the stuff back, clean the house and help them build a strong security system (since Jon will come back for a second run two weeks later).

Needless to say Jon robs the shit out of these people, he had one family in tears he was so brutal. And Matt adds a really condescending/smartass commentary, generally saying things like: "you don't lock your windows" right after Rainey opens them.

It's a funny show unless you own a house without a security system. It's also got great educational value because you're not as safe as you think. Comes on the Discovery Channel [link]

-- The Amazing Race: I like some reality television, I especially like The Amazing Race because of the "Cannonball Run" aspect and I enjoy the different stratigies each team implements. It's also tough to have a bad season in this sort of format since the show pretty much writes itself.
Comes on CBS [link]

-- Pardon the Interuption: I love sports, I love journalism. I get the best of both worlds as Washington Post columnists Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon discuss the daily sports gossip.

The chemistry the two have is great because you can tell that they aren't best friends but that they have worked together long enough to know what buttons to push. Also neither takes themselves too seriously. Of course PTI comes on ESPN. [link]

-- Ceasars 24/7: I love Las Vegas and I love the stories that come from Sin City. This show follows a couple of storylines from Vegas' most popular hotel/casino (Ceasars Palace) and generally follows around high rollers or business openings or weddings...or whatever. It comes on A&E. [link]

-- Real Time With Bill Maher: It's politics and pop culture with Bill Maher. It's a seasonal show on HBO, but unlike The Sopranos, the seasons aren't two years apart. Obviously the star of the show is Maher and he'll usually have an interview with some newsmaker (i.e. Ward Churchill, Mario Cuomo, etc.) and he'll have a panel that usually includes a conservative, a liberal and an actor of sorts.

It's extremely funny for the most part as Maher seems to be at home on HBO where he can curse freely and doesn't have to worry about the same muzzle he had on the ABC networks. This show is a LOT better than Politically Incorrect. [link]

Anyone out there got a show they can't live without??

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Un-Related Ramblings (Part 2)

BTW there's no guarantee this is just going to be two parts.

-- I can see the grey forming. I'm willing to accept it in the hair, my dad also started his grey trend before he was 30 and apparently my paternal grandfather was approaching grey at 26. So tell me ladies, is grey still considered attractive or is it vastly overrated.

-- My tax return dollars went to: A new suit. I haven't bought a nice suit in a couple of years. Luckily there's one place in town to get a nice suit tailored so they will probably get my business. Not sure what brand yet but I'm leaning towards Sean John.

-- Al Gore keeps it coming with his creation, first the internet and now this [BBC]. It seems like it could be a pretty good concept and I'm glad the guy seems to be enjoying life after politics. Hosting SNL, teaching at Columbia, growing a beard and now this joint project with Google.

"We have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or a TV version of Air America," he said, referring to the liberal radio network. "That's not what we're all about."

I also like the idea of networks that aren't attached to the major corporations like Viacom, Capital Cities, etc. Satellite Radio, now Satellite television. It's sad that we have to pay to get forms of electronic communication not controlled by so many personal agendas. Hopefully he'll put a patent on this one because that internet thing was a solid idea.

-- Google Maps with satellite imagery [link]...This thing is so damn fun, they need to rename themselves God-oogle.

-- Apparently I'm the fourth most sexy, or at least my profession of journalism is according to this story from salary.com. [link] To be perfectly honest, I'd rather be a CEO (#3) than a firefighter (#1)...Granted I know how chicks fall for firefighters, but if an extra $500K a year doesn't get you laid, nothing will.

Flight attendants is #2. I know of one sexy flight attendant and she lives in Chicago, still does flights for Southwest. Name is Michele, we went to high school together. If you see her, tell her I said hi.

And Interior decorator goes at #5. I've been trying to coax my friend Kellie into this line of work. I think she'd be good at it and I think she'd really enjoy it. I've yet to meet a decorator who really hates their job. And all the people on HGTV seem to be having such a good time painting, caulking, and drawing shit.

-- First there's Drudge Report and now Gawker Media (the same group that brough you the ultra-funny Wonkette) has introduced SPLOID! [link]. First thoughts is that its definitely rough and they could use better headlines.

Apparently Drudge and SPLOID! are not the only players in the internet news site game as former California govenutorial candidate and occasional nutcase Arianna Huffington is trying to start her own with some Hollywood liberals [New York Observer]. The theory is since Drudge leans right (although I think he leans more Bush than actual right), these guys will lean left. One of the contributors will be Warren Beatty (who I would've NEVER pegged as a liberal).
The partisan left has slowly been constructing outlets to counterbalance the partisan rights perceived influence in radio and television (Air America; former Vice President Al Gores TV channel). Ms. Huffington, Mr. Beatty and Co., however, are aiming not at the margins but at the center of the media scrum: the news cycle itself, now being deftly nudged, goosed and spun by Mr. Drudge daily, hourly, instantly.

"As the day follows the night, Drudge will inspire its opposite," Mr. Beatty said.

I don't know how long Hollywood will stick with their idea (Drudge has been around for 10 years...with a horrible design for a website no less) since they tend to get bored with trends, like blogging, pretty easily.

-- BTW, if you need examples of out-of-control spending. Take the New York Yankees since their payroll of $205.6 million includes 10 players making over $10 million [CBS Sportsline]. For an average major league baseball players make $2.6 million, a 6% jump from last year. So much for those luxury taxes.

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Un-Related Ramblings (Part 1)

-- Well I need to add Prince Rainier of Monaco to the death scorecard [Reuters]. In case you don't know who he was, he was married to legendary American actress Grace Kelly (chose her over Marilyn Monroe) and if you don't know who Kelly is...well you should get out more but here's an IMDB bio for you. [link]

He'll be replaced by son Prince Albert. Here's a profile [ABC News]

Also brilliant Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner Saul Bellow died at 89. [Reuters]


-- Peter Jennings, longtime news anchor and smoker was diagnosed with lung cancer. [AP]
"Almost 10 million Americans are already living with cancer, and I have a lot to learn from them," Jennings said. "And living is the key word."

So now every newsperson of my era has been affected -- Tom Brokaw (retired), Dan Rather (retired), Ted Koppel (will retire).

Actually are these guys the newspersons of my era or of my childhood and early adult stages? I hope I can toss them in under my era because I'd hate to be grouped in with the era that got their news from Crossfire, Scarborough Country and Hardball with Chris Matthews.

At least I still can turn to Jon Stewart for an honest outlook.


-- Really isn't much to add on my work situation. I've been in line for a promotion, a promotion I'm not sure if I want it. I have a feeling the extra hours will be brutal and I'll hate the job a month into it.

Already my editor is starting to act strange, sending me these crappy email forwards about having his back and what not. It's as if he's forecasting his future screwups and he'll need me to have his back...

See, I can already tell I'm not going to be the person he wants me to be. I'll have his back to an extent but I'm not part of the "program", people who do that lack integrity. He's already got an administrator who's part of the program and he wants to dump him.

This isn't going to last long...

Time to take a jog.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Tom DeLay Needs a Time Out...

Apparently somewhere in his blueprints to run the free world, our fine congressional majority leader had to deal with that annoying Consistution.

And someone's gonna pay! [Yahoo!]
"The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," he said Thursday. He called upon the Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation of what he says is "an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president."

As compared to a president and a Congress that thumbed their noses at the fucking laws of the land in order to appease the Christian wrong??

There's a reason why I've invited my conservative friends like Cameron and Dave onto the blogger, mainly because I agree with some conservative views and also because I want to know how anyone can defend these sort of actions. The president was wrong, Congress was wrong and they were tying up the judicial system to grandstand. Now if the congressional and executive branch of the country want to ignore the rest of the land's issues to talk Schiavo, that's fine, but let's let ONE branch of government try to do something worthwhile.

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