Roger Friedman writes: More from my hilarious interview with Jerry Lewis last week at the Museum of the Moving Image. Jerry had been interviewed earlier by his “The King of Comedy” director and old friend Martin Scorsese. Remember Jerry played Jerry Langford, a Johnny Carson-like talk show host in “The King of Comedy” who is kidnapped by Robert DeNiro and Sandra Bernhard.
Lewis, by the way, regularly guest hosted for Carson back in the day. He told me once did a six week stint for Johnny. When was that, I wondered?
“When Johnny went to have a sex change,” Lewis snapped back with glee. He is 89 and faster than you or I will ever be. Listening to him with Scorsese reminded me of the last time I saw Milton Berle perform– at Denise Rich’s famous original Angel Ball at the Sheraton circa 1999-2000. Berle was over 90, I think. I don’t know if anyone recorded it, but his 15 minutes at the podium were historic. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Challenged By National Review Reporter, Mark Halperin Can’t Offer Single Policy Solution To Gun ViolencePosted: October 2, 2015
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street.”
Daniel Bassali writes: National Review reporter Charles C. W. Cooke challenged Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin to offer his solutions to gun violence in America Friday morning on Morning Joe. After he insisted lawmakers must act to prevent further mass shooting in America, agreeing with President Obama, Halperin failed to deliver a single solution.
“Well, I think that the finding solutions are short-term in terms of legislation, state and federal,” Halperin said. “Then also, coming up with ideas.”
Halperin did not, however, ever manage to come up with an idea. The co-host of With All Due Respect’s idea was to have lawmakers come up with ideas of their own.
Cooke took issue with the president’s angry words at Washington’s refusal to pass gun control laws so soon after the mass shooting at Umpqua Comminuty College in Roseburg, Oregon. The reporter claimed liberals talk tough as if they have the solutions, but they do not offer specific ideas that could begin a dialogue. Halperin was his case in point.
“The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”
“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street,” Cooke said….(read more)
Source: Washington Free Beacon
Admitting that the way we were getting news was desperately flawed—at least until a few years ago—is really admitting to a larger failure in ourselves. So, of course, we will never do it.
“What gets lost is a proverbial sense of communal experience. We’re not all getting it through Walter Cronkite. We’re not all going to experience him choke back a tear. The danger is that we become isolated in our own echo chambers—that we don’t get different points of view that open us up to thinking about other people. That’s the dystopian view. That’s the fear—that everyone’s essentially in their own bubble.”
— Jordan Levin
The reality is the opposite: The protections that we now know need to be provided to TV journalists—the expectation that they could be human, that they could quickly admit to mistakes without being permanently reviled, that they could unveil their process while reporting on what they know and don’t know—are really only provided to comedians.
Comedy and news collided not because comedy needed the news, but because news needed the protections of comedy.
Here’s how we know it: The most prominent cases of clear government corruption that were brought to light—and eventually killed—by a TV show in the last year did not come from the Nightly News, a tepid-by-design, rote reconstruction of the day’s events told slowly and dispassionately, as not to ruffle the feathers of the powerful.
Those scoops—acts of journalism in the truest sense—happened, instead, on places like Last Week Tonight, hosted by Daily Show alumnus John Oliver.
His show, for example, highlighted an FCC Commissioner—one whose last job was the head of the telecom lobby—proposing rules that would have allowed that same cable lobby to rake consumers over the coals by artificially slowing down the speed of some websites while simultaneously raising prices. His show launched a protest that was so swift and immediate it crashed the FCC’s servers. That commissioner, Tom Wheeler, did a 180—and last week proposed different rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling.
[Note: If Ben Collins actually thinks the Obama administration-pressured FCC’s 300+ page stack of regulations aimed at transforming the internet into a highly-regulated government-controlled public utility is as simple as consumer-advocacy “rules that would protect the Internet against that kind of throttling” one might conclude that guys like Ben are also among those Kool-Aid drinking journalists who shamelessly promoted the Affordable Care Act as a popular, successful “reform” package that made health care “more affordable”. If this sloppy comment about Tom Wheeler raises serious doubts about the credibility of everything else Ben’s article, so be it.]
— Barracuda Brigade (@BarracudaMama) February 10, 2015
Then it happened again with payday loans, which prey only on the poor. (The Consumer Protection Agency, as of three days ago, is trying to put an end to them.)
And then again with civil forfeiture—a process that allowed police to seize assets from citizens who were never arrested or charged with a crime. (Attorney General Eric Holder laid out an edict effectively putting an end to it.)
These issues were on the fringe of public consciousness. Fifteen minutes, a lot of reporting and a little bit of comedy later, three pieces of legislation that would’ve negatively affected less fortunate Americans—or, in the first case, all Americans—were about to be killed.
The Nightly News couldn’t dream of doing this that efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »
The NSF has already poured nearly $1 million into Truthy. To what end? Why is the federal government spending so much money on the study of your Twitter habits?
“The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.”
If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your “partisanship’’?
My guess is that most Americans would answer those questions with a resounding no. But the federal government seems to disagree. The National Science Foundation , a federal agency whose mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” is funding a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data.
The project is being developed by researchers at Indiana University, and its purported aim is to detect what they deem “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” including how memes — ideas that spread throughout pop culture — propagate. What types of social pollution are they targeting? “Political smears,” so-called “astroturfing” and other forms of “misinformation.”
“The federal government has no business spending your hard-earned money on a project to monitor political speech on Twitter.”
Named “Truthy,” after a term coined by TV host Stephen Colbert, the project claims to use a “sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex network models” to distinguish between memes that arise in an “organic manner” and those that are manipulated into being.
But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems.
It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes. Read the rest of this entry »
Network Succession: Beloved Left-Wing Icon Colbert to Replace Liberal Grumpy-Pants Letterman on CBS “Late Show”Posted: April 10, 2014
Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of “The Colbert Report,” will replace Letterman in 2015.
Here’s the official announcement from CBS on Stephen Colbert taking over as Late Show host. pic.twitter.com/gggTzmx5X1
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 10, 2014
Like Ace, I don’t know why you’d hire a comedian who got famous playing a character to host a show out of character. It’d be like giving Larry the Cable Guy a sitcom but insisting that he play mild-mannered Nebraskan Dan Whitney. Then again, Colbert’s always sort of “in character” even when he’s not playing a faux-conservative pundit like the one he plays on “Report.” If you go back and watch “Strangers With Candy” or his bits as a correspondent for “The Daily Show,” you’ll find that his style’s consistent even though neither of those characters was overtly political. He’s so arch, so far over the top in exaggerating his target’s ideas or persona while retaining a deadpan affect, that his shtick always feels like caricature. Even his famous takedown of Bush at the 2006 WHCD, with the president sitting right in front of him, was delivered as a pretend Dubya supporter. I don’t think he’s comfortable playing comedy any other way; I’d be surprised if his CBS show is any different. Instead of playing the faux-conservative, which works during Comedy Central’s 11 p.m. hour of right-bashing power for a millennial audience but might not work for an older, more diverse crowd on CBS, he’ll probably play the faux-late-night-host, mocking the conventions of the format. Which wouldn’t be terrible: After 50 years of the same crap, right down to the demographics of the various personalities, anything different at that hour is good.
If you’ve seen this ad, you know what the buzz is about.
This “Best Of” video captures the media reaction to it. Priceless.
Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) is a business titan, inventor, scientist, Nobel Laureate, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist, and genius… who also happens to be a dog. Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman (Max Charles) hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. But when Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, our two heroes find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future, while Mr. Peabody may face his biggest challenge yet – being a parent.
US Release: March 7, 2014
Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, Allison Janney, Mel Brooks, Lake Bell, Zach Callison, Dennis Haysbert