Friday, November 09, 2012

Presidents in the Movies

According to Slate Magazine, care to guess which U.S. president has been portrayed most often in the movies? No big surprises here...

1. Lincoln (130)
2. Washington (70)
3. U.S. Grant (47)
4. Thomas Jefferson (46)
5. (Tie) Richard Nixon, George W. Bush (36)

How many do you think have never been portrayed in the movies? Only 3.

1. John Tyler
2. James Buchanan
3. Warren Harding

I'll be honest--that last one doesn't sound right. If he has never been the focus of a movie, even tangentially, then Hollywood is blowing it. The Warren Harding story has to be one of the most interesting presidential stories ever. Same with James Buchanan for that matter. It's been widely speculated that he was the first (and only) gay president.

John Tyler? OK. No arguments there.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Jim Johnson ‏@JimJohnsonWLS
Tillman will play Sunday and new James Bond movie opens this weekend (God bless America)

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995
Happy Veteran's Day! Outback, Hooters and tons of restaurants are giving away free meals to the Vets! .

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic
Don McLean will sing "American Pie" on South Dakota's Mt Rushmore float in Macy's Thanksgiving parade: …

Bill Zwecker ‏@billzwecker
How does Senator @AshleyJudd sound?

Morning Joe ‏@Morning_Joe
Congratulations Willie Geist! You may have lost some sleep over the years, but we're forever indebted to your mixing Nas with news.

Mully And Hanley ‏@mullyhanley
#Cubs have expressed interest South Korean LHP Hyun-jin Ryu - They have put their bid in & now wait to see if theirs was the highest #MLB

Mike Baker ‏@MikeBaker45s
Pope Benedict 16 will start tweeting from a personal Twitter account by the end of the year.

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk
Navy: 7 members of SEAL Team 6 gave classified info to makers of video game, to make the game more realistic.

Jonny Saraceno ‏@jonnysaraceno
Good news? Danica Patrick will keep making Super Bowl commercials

Gawker ‏@Gawker
CNN's Don Lemon dukes it out on Twitter with... Jonah Hill??

Mark Knopfler & Bob Dylan

Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is touring America with the legendary Bob Dylan. Their first show in the country is tonight in Chicago at the United Center. I can't go, sadly, but I thought I'd give you a taste of each...

Will the Election Change Talk Radio?

I found these quotes today to be truly fascinating. They come courtesy of Tom Taylor's newsletter...

An Election Night Facebook posting by Clear Channel VP Talk Radio Darryl Parks – “This is directed to my associates in talk radio. Life as you know it changed tonight. If you continue with the shrill act and constantly talk politics, focusing on an ever shrinking ultra partisan audience, choosing to exclude instead of include, your future in the medium is bleak.”

That's Clear Channel's CEO. Clear Channel. Let that sink in for a moment. Also, in case you didn't know it, Bain Capital essentially owns them now.

This talk radio consultant sounds a little more realistic. Yes, it's a problem. No, radio isn't smart enough to change...

Bill McMahon: "Talk radio is currently defined by its two primary formats - conservative politics and sports. Talk radio's audience is limited (surprise, surprise): it's primarily men. The real question about the future of traditional broadcast talk radio is, will the industry expand the definition and appeal of talk radio by developing new formats of interest to more and different segments of the current and potential audience for broadcast radio - like women, and younger men who aren't interested in sports talk radio? I think not. I don't see much appetite for innovation in the traditional broadcast radio industry."

I think he's right. Talk radio is basically giving up on the under-40 crowd. They're just going to ride this out until their audience dies. Amazing.

Cubs 365, November 9

On this day in 1912, the Cubs put their Hall of Fame manager/first baseman on waivers (while he was in the hospital recovering from brain surgery).

The Cincinnati Reds couldn't believe their eyes when they saw a four-time World Series champion player/manager on the waiver wire, and immediately claimed him. Chance never did play or manage for the Reds, however. They put him on waivers again just a month later.

This time the Highlanders (now known as the Yankees) claimed him, and that's where he got the final 33 at bats of his big league career. He also managed the team to a 6th and 7th place finish in his two seasons at the helm.

Chance got one last chance to manage in Boston during the 1923 season. The Red Sox finished in 8th. Frank Chance passed away the following year at the very young age of 48.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Think For Yourself

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac today...

November 8, 1965…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles recorded the new George Harrison composition "Think For Yourself," with George singing lead, for their "Rubber Soul" album.

I love that one. One of my favorite George Beatles songs. This is audio of the Beatles working on the song in the studio that day. You forget how young they were until you hear them talking between takes. They were kids.

Here's the final version...

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are some that caught my eye today...

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin
From @Jeremy_Roenick's new book: Drunken nights hiding from Mike Keenan, the NHL's last great asshole coach.

Kevin Corrigan ‏@kevincorrigan
Cool Fact: Tropicana has one orange tree in NYC. They make one carton of OJ from it a year and auction it for charity. It tastes terrible.

Roger Ebert ‏@ebertchicago
"Skyfall" is the best James Bond film in years. My review:

Christopher Hayes ‏@chrislhayes
.@aoscott on Lincoln: "among the finest films ever made about American politics" Totally agree.

"Angry Birds Star Wars" is out today. Check out the dark side of the Force in @mikesnider's preview:

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller
Since Mitt Romney lost the presidential race to Obama. Now the most powerful Mormon in America is once again Donny Osmond.

Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport
Republicans Consider Welcoming People Who Believe in Math and Science:

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner
Kiss 30 mins goodbye! Possibly best Tumblr ever: #GOP

Gawker ‏@Gawker
Free Republic wins Obama victory overreaction contest with letter asking United Kingdom to take the US back

Lin Brehmer ‏@LinBrehmer
Pot without the high? @cnnbrk reporting Israeli firm producing pot with medical benefits but no intoxication. Ahh, progress.


I think the best thing that has happened in this election season was the long overdue humiliating discrediting of Donald Trump.

*He had one final election night hissy fit that was so insane, even he realized that his ridiculous tweets needed to be deleted.

*Down-the-middle newsman Brian Williams described Trump as "long past the last exit of relevance."

*His moronic video offering Obama $5 million for his college transcripts continues to be widely mocked by the left and the right.

He's now considered a total joke. As he should be. I think that's one thing that unite America.

Pollsters Praised

Enjoyed reading this article in the New York Times, which essentially echoes the points I made yesterday on this blog.

Of course, because it's in the New York Times, it's written better, has quotes from the participants themselves, and has data to support their arguments. It's good to see there is still a difference between a professional journalist and a guy sitting in his basement.

Election Ratings

NBC was the big winner election night.

Full details are here.

Some Love From Shore Magazine

An excerpt from Pat Colander's Everyday Living blog at Shore Magazine...

Catching up with Shore Columnist, Renaissance Man and World's Best Dad Rick Kaempfer: I'm beginning to lose track but I believe when the The Balding Handbook starts shipping next week (November 16th) it will be the fourth book for his Eckhartz Press, which Rick launched about a year ago. The first was a novel Rick wrote with Brendan Sullivan called “The Living Wills,” a comic morality tale about a bowling team I thoroughly enjoyed. (Can't wait for the movie!) This season, The Balding Handbook by David Stern is going to be a hit for creative gift-givers who are victims—or members of the family of victims---of involuntary hair loss. Stern describes the five-stage grieving process including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. On the cover, the author is shown working through Stage 4. At the end of the process, Rick says, the fully actualized bald man can emerge whole into the light. “Of course, you'll need sunscreen when you get there, but the few extra bucks you shell out to the Tropicana people is a trifle when you consider the incredible life that awaits you after reading this book. Whether you're a fellow sufferer or just a mean person that wants to give this book as a gag gift to that baldy you know (Tee hee, Get it? You're bald.) The Balding Handbook is for you.”

Next up for Eckhartz? The long-awaited story of John Records Landecker, Records Truly is My Middle Name will be published as part of John's 66th birthday celebration in March. With Rick's help---not to mention his other famous friends and colleagues including Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, John Gehron, Joey Reynolds, Jan Jeffries, Catherine Johns, Eric Ferguson, Bill Zehme, Kevin Matthews and Don Wade---John has managed to tap into his inner playlist and remember an astonishing amount of what actually happened during the past 40 years. You heard that number correctly Boogie Checkers. John Landecker first conquered nighttime radio in Chicago, oh, I don't know, probably some time in the 1970s or 80s. I mean who cares, right? But Landecker is still going strong in the same time slot from 630 – 11 pm weekdays on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM (94.7) Keep your eye on this blog for more information on this upcoming bestseller. Who knows you could be in it?

Will Howard Show Up?

Howard Stern was inducted into Radio's Hall of Fame, and the ceremony is this Saturday night in Chicago. Will he show up for it? From this morning's Tom Taylor column...

“Howard Stern keeps Radio Hall of Fame guessing” about whether he’ll appear at Saturday night’s induction ceremony in Chicago, says Robert Feder in TimeOut Chicago. Stern hasn’t RSVP’d Bruce DuMont – though he also hasn’t trashed the awards, as he did on four previous occasions when he was on the ballot. This time, the steering committee simply chose him outright. He’ll be inducted – perhaps in absentia – by former Chicago Bears star Amobi Okoye, a bigtime fan of the Stern show.

Jews in Baseball

This is an interesting article in the Daily Herald about a Buffalo Grove man who has created lithographs featuring some of the great Jewish baseball players in history.

You can see one of the lithographs and read the article here.

Interesting stuff. One of the Jews not included in the lithograph is the gentleman pictured here, who according to the article, has the most career wins of any Jew that ever played in the big leagues (even more than Sandy Koufax). Holtzman didn't want to participate.

Cubs 365, November 8

On this day in 1963, future Cub Dwight Smith was born. He made an immediate impact with the Cubs after he was called up in May of 1989, finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind teammate Jerome Walton. Dwight hit .324 that year. Unfortunately for the Cubs, he never really came close to repeating those numbers, and he was brutal in the outfield.

He stayed with the Cubs through 1993, and had flashes of rookie self, but for the rest of his career he was essentially a journeyman outfielder and occasional pinch hitter. He filled that role magnificently with the World Champion Atlanta Braves in 1995.

Smith is remembered in Chicago for his great rookie season, his singing voice (he sang the National Anthem), and his stubborn reluctance to give up on that fashion statement above his lip...the rare 1990s mustache.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Jeff Greenfield

I've always appreciated Jeff Greenfield's commentary. He is not a partisan bomb-thrower, he's an old fashioned political correspondent who calls 'em like he sees 'em.

This is what he wrote this morning on Yahoo News...

"I’m particularly eager to read the wisdom of Dick Morris, the most consistently, hilariously ignorant pollster/strategist, who wrote just a few days ago “Here Comes The Landslide.” Mr. Morris’ continued employment is an inspiration to all those who believe that a career should in no way be limited by a total lack of competence."

Top Chef

My favorite television show returns tonight: Top Chef

This season is in Seattle.

Liberal Schadenfreude

First a definition of the word...

Then an example of liberals enjoying it: Talking Points Memo

I admit to giggling a little when I read the Donald Trump tweets.

John Lennon Letter

A letter that John Lennon wrote to Eric Clapton is going up for auction.

Got $30,000 I can borrow?

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are some that caught my eye today...

Slate ‏@Slate
The five stages of Fox News grief including Karl Rove's freakout--WATCH:

NBC News ‏@NBCNews
'Joe the Plumber' loses, and more under-the-radar races #NBCPolitics

Slate ‏@Slate
RT @mattyglesias: Romney may have fewer votes, but at least he’s got momentum.

@realDonaldTrump Our country is now in serious and unprecedented never before.

Gawker ‏@Gawker
Watch Brian Williams go off on Donald Trump on air last night.

@TedNugent: Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav a president to destroy America

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Sarah Palin: "It's a perplexing time for many of us right now"

daveweigel ‏@daveweigel
Dems have now won two national elections while promising to end Bush tax rates on income over $250,000. Pretty mandatey.

Paul Konrad ‏@PaulKonrad
I am trying to find out what Diane Sawyer consumed before her election coverage last night. Hope to have it...

John Berman ‏@johnsberman
13 minutes until Rassmussen Poll

The Ten Worst Predictions

The ten worst predictions, according to Think Progress, belong to Dick Morris, Roger Kimball, Karl Rove, Peggy Noonan, Larry Kudlow, Fred Barnes, Michael Barone, Dean Chambers, Newt Gingrich, and Jim Cramer.

See how bad their predictions were here.

The Polls

Now that the election is over, can we point out the hysterical rantings of the right wing regarding unfair polling practices were utterly, completely, and totally wrong?

Nate Silver of the New York Times 538 blog was lambasted by Fox News (and Joe Scarborough at MSNBC for that matter). They went after him day and night. Called him delusional, partisan, and in one case, "sort of gay". Nice. How did his predictions turn out? He got all 50 states correct. All 50.

What about poll tracker's poll of polls? 49 out of 50 states correct. Only Florida was picked incorrectly.

And Rasmussen--the one poll that Republicans pointed out time and time again? They got Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and New Hampshire wrong. They also got the national vote wrong (so did Gallup)...and there were at least four other states they had wrong, but changed in the last couple of days when they saw everyone else was picking Obama.

And what about the pundits? Dick Morris said Romney would win by 5-7 points. George Will predicted a Romney landslide (over 300 electoral votes). So did Michael Barone. So did Karl Rove. And so did a dozen or more other Republican pundits.

Shouldn't you have to give up your pundit job when you're that spectacularly wrong?

Just sayin'.

Not Going Back To Radio

Former syndicated radio personality Tom Leykis has been podcasting for awhile now (ever since he lost his last radio gig), and he has come to the same conclusion that Steve Dahl did--there's no need to go back to radio.

"Not only is it satisfying to state there our show is a success by the number of people listening, but we are also making a profit. I want everyone to know that I'm not rooting for the demise of radio. On the contrary, most of my friends still work in radio. It's just clear from the sheer tonnage of listeners we now have that there is no need to return to radio."

You know what? I believe him (and Steve).

Herman Cain Accuser Sues

Remember the woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, causing him to leave the presidential race? She is back in the news.

Yesterday she sued Bill Kurtis for “knowingly false” and “malicious” comments that smeared her reputation. He was a guest on WLS-Radio at the time (Roe & Roeper's show). Roe and Roeper and WLS were not part of the lawsuit.

She also used to work at WLS.

Cubs 365, November 7

On this day in 1928, the Cubs acquired the greatest right handed batter in baseball history; Rogers Hornsby.

He had one of the greatest seasons in Cubs history in 1929, got hurt in 1930, was named the manager of the team. After ticking off his whole team, borrowing money from everyone to sustain his gambling addiction, and turning the city against him, Hornsby was run out of town in the middle of the 1932 season. The Cubs went to the World Series that year and didn't even vote him a share of the playoff money.

There's no doubt Hornsby wasn't a people person, but he sure could hit. Here he is explaining how he did it...

Bob Brenly

The reason for Bob Brenly's departure from the Cubs: Family considerations.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are some that caught my eye today...

Chicago Tribune ‏@chicagotribune
First official presidential election results end in a tie: Romney, Obama both get 5 votes in Dixville Notch, N.H.

Stephen Colbert ‏@StephenAtHome
Make sure you get out there and VOTE today! Then enjoy your orange juice and cookie... wait! Did I just give blood by mistake?

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein
Why 50 million Americans won’t vote Tuesday, in two charts: … (via @bradplumer)

Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight
IMPORTANT: That we have Obama as a ~90% favorite does NOT mean we're predicting a landslide. We expect a close election.

Richard Roeper ‏@richardroeper
I will not wait in line for: $300 sneakers, $500 phones, $250 concert tickets or entrance to some club. I will wait in line to: Vote.

White Castle ‏@WhiteCastle
Let your voice be heard and vote for top Fry on election day and get a free order!!

Chris Rock 'Oz' ‏@chrisrockozfan
Election Day is TODAY. Don’t forget to vote everyone! And remember, Democrats vote today. Republicans vote tomorrow #Election2012 #VoteObama

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman
Rumor has it The Prez is gonna play some hoops at East Bank Club today! That PROVES he's not a Muslim! He's obviously Jewish! Ha ha..

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom
Wait a minute, I believe Gabe Carimi already has been flagged for holding J.J. Watt.

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast
Britney Spears to Pen Novel #cheatsheet

(I wish that last one was a joke)


Holy mackerel...I just heard there was an election or something today. Why don't they advertise these things?

Cubs 365, November 6

On this day in 1898, future Cub Chick Tolson was born. He was a backup first baseman and pinch hitter for the Cubs in the late 1920s. His real name was Charles, and in the 20s, Chick was an appropriate nickname for Charles, but he was also known as "Slug" for his less than speedy wheels.

Slug played four seasons for the Cubs, and had his best season in 1929, when the Cubs won the pennant. He had a career high 109 at bats that season, and even got one at bat in the 1929 World Series. He struck out.

In 1930, however, he did something that must have caused his teammates to hoot and howl. Slug stole the only base of his career.


This article does a nice job of explaining a few of the objections I have with publishing behemoth

It's called: Why E-book Distribution is Completely And Utterly Broken (And How To Fix It)

No Cheering in the Press Box

I always thought that was an informal rule, a sort of word to the wise. If the police get involved, it must be an official thing. This news from Radio Online...

"WWL-AM/New Orleans LSA pre-game co-host Bobby Hebert was kicked out of the Tiger Stadium press box in Baton Rouge for cheering during the fourth quarter of Alabama's 21-17 victory against the Tigers last Saturday evening, reports The Avocate. LSU spokesman Herb Vincent confirmed to the newspaper that campus police asked Hebert to leave after repeated requests that he stop cheering, which is forbidden in the press box.

"We got some complaints from some reporters around him that he was cheering in the press box," Vincent told The Avocate. "So I asked him to tone it down. I continued to observe him, and I asked him again, and he said he would comply." Hebert didn't comply after three warnings and after the last LSU touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, he was booted out without incident.

Must have been some Alabama people in there.

Jim Durham

Sad day for Bulls fans. Former Bulls announcer Jim Durham passed away. Here's the information in Tom Taylor Now...

"Former Bulls, White Sox and ESPN Radio voice Jim Durham dies at 65. ESPN Radio Senior VP/GM Mo Davenport says “Jim was a respected play-by-play specialist who combined a tremendous gift for storytelling with a Hall of Fame voice.” Just last year, Durham was recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts with the Curt Gowdy Media Award. Jim worked as recently as last Tuesday’s season-opening NBA game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. In addition to handling the games of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox, Durham did work for teams like the NBA Dallas Mavericks and baseball’s Houston Astros. Sometimes he did TV, sometimes he did radio – understanding the different requirements for each medium. He’d worked with “The NBA on ESPN Radio” since it was launched in1996. He died over the weekend in the Houston area, at his home in Tomball.

I ran the control board for Bulls games back in the day at AM 1000, and actually talked to Jim quite often during the commercial breaks. It was never more than "back in twenty seconds" or "you're up", other than an occasional back and forth about the game itself, but I felt like I actually knew him. Sad to hear the news.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing column is called "Character Builder".

It's about my experiences this year coaching soccer.

Rush, the movie

Why do I think this news is not exactly making Rush Limbaugh happy today: A Rush Limbauah movie is being developed by John Cusack.

Just for the record, Cusack is not a dittohead.

Chris Rock's Message to White People

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are some that caught my eye today...

Google Facts ‏@GooogleFacts
High fives didn't exist until 1977.

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman
I'm all for gaining an extra hour on the weekend, but when it's time to LOSE the hour why can't it be at 2 PM on a Monday?

Marc Leepson ‏@MarcLeepson
One of my pedantic pet peeves is correcting people when they say "Daylight Savings Time." It's actually Daylight Saving Time--no s. Got it?

@NeilDiamond Working the phones for Obama... If I call you, don't hang up. It's really me and I need you.#OFACulver

Ann Coulter ‏@AnnCoulter
Illinois in play: Early/absentee voting down 57% in Chicago. Unless O wins BIG in Chicago, he loses the state.

HowardKurtz ‏@HowardKurtz
The pundits have spoken: It's Obama! Guess we have to go through the ritual of voting tomorrow anyway.

Christopher Hayes ‏@chrislhayes
If you have genuinely no partisan preference, the amount of independent research you need to do for down ballot races is overwhelming.

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller
Bill Clinton's four events today for Pres Obama will bring his total to 37. That's 36 more events than he did for Al Gore in 2000.

2m The Associated Press ‏@AP
Forecasters tracking nor'easter that threatens #Sandy recovery, cleanup in New Jersey, New York: -CJ

Mental Floss ‏@mental_floss
On this date in 1955, Doc Brown hit his head on the edge of his sink and invented time travel.

Cubs 365, November 5

On this day in 1970, Cubs pitcher Charlie Root passed away. Of course, Root's daughter is still alive and she was interviewed in 2009 about her father. She tells a very touching story about what he said the day before he died...

John Records Landecker

The mystery radio memoir I was teasing last week has been revealed by Robert Feder at TimeOut Chicago. Here is what he wrote...

Next March 28th will be a red-letter day for fans of John Records Landecker. It will mark not only the Chicago radio legend’s 66th birthday but the publication of his new memoir, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. Written by Landecker with longtime producer Rick Kaempfer, it’ll be published by Kaempfer’s Eckhartz Press. “I worked with the guy every single day for 10 years, and never heard some of these stories he tells in this book,” Kaempfer says. Among colleagues and pals who contributed additional stories about the great man are Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, John Gehron, Joey Reynolds, Jan Jeffries, Catherine Johns, Eric Ferguson, Bill Zehme, Kevin Matthews and Don Wade. Forty years after he first conquered nighttime radio in Chicago, Landecker is still going strong — from 6:30 to 11pm weekdays on Cumulus Media classic hits WLS-FM (94.7).

I'll have more details in this space in the weeks and months to come.