Friday, August 16, 2013

Hilarious Video

Just watch it. Words don't do it justice. (It's safe. No swears.)

Journalism Grads Don't Read Print Media

From the Washington Examiner...

Reporters graduating out of journalism school and headed to work at newspapers and magazines don't read print media, with over seven of 10 choosing digital news and social media websites instead, the highest number ever, according to an authoritative new study. The University of Georgia's "Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates," which surveys J-School grads, their habits, salaries and the jobs they take, found that just one-third had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That's a stunning drop from the 81 percent in 1994.

It may be bad, and it may be good, but it's the future and nothing is going to stop it.

Soccer on TV

It's a big weekend for soccer fans in America. Two big debuts are coming on Saturday.

Tomorrow morning the Fox Sports 1 network debuts at 6AM (which will feature a lot of international soccer), and the NBC Sports Network debuts it's coverage of the English Premiere League two hours later. (Details in the New York Times)

Of course, my cable doesn't get either channel, but I'll be cheering on my fellow soccer fans in abstentia.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger 6m
RNC to burn the books before reading the books. Bars NBC & CNN from hosting debates because of Hillary projects that do not yet exist.

HowardKurtz ‏@HowardKurtz 46m
Maybe the GOP debates can be on the Food Network and they can add a cooking bakeoff to get ratings

Slate ‏@Slate 7m
The Romanian princess who allegedly hosted illegal cock fights in Oregon: #royalty

Kim DeJesus ‏@KimDeJesus9 16m
Who else loves sneezing like I do? Nose orgasms are so fun

Cisco Cotto ‏@CiscoCotto 22m
I know China is known for producing counterfeits, but this is ridiculous. …

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 25m
Let's try again: @javy23baez line vs LHP with AA Tennessee: .447/.500/.915 w/5 HRs; vs RHP .217/.278/.481 w/8 HRs. #Cubs

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 30m
#Cubs: Moniker Madness is Back - The Best Names in the Minor Leagues

HuffPost Teen ‏@HuffPostTeen 31m
“Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.” -- Tina Fey #QOTD

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 38m
Party tonight. Party tomorrow. Party Sunday. Party. Party. Party. (Say the last part aloud in your best Jan Brady voice.)

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 38m
Mila Kunis doesn’t need an epidermis to turn heads. This perennial sex kitten sizzles in this flesh-free look:

People Are Actually Defending the Rodeo Clown

I just read this article in the Washington Post about the reflexive defense of the rodeo clown who dressed up as Obama, put a stick in his rectum, and got chased by a bull while he played with his big lips. If you just read that sentence and wondered how in the world somebody could say it wasn't racist, I've picked out a few of the defenders from the article...

1. “I’ve got no respect for him,” said Virgil Henke, 65, a livestock farmer who explained his distaste for Obama with several falsehoods about his background: “Why, he’s destroyed this country. How much freedom have we lost? I don’t care whether it’s a black man in office, but we have to have a true-blooded American. I think he is Muslim and trying to destroy the country, catering to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.”

2. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.), who tweeted that liberals are “thin-skinned and totalitarian,” has invited the clown to perform at rodeos in Texas.

3. Henke said he sometimes surfs the Internet for Web sites making fun of Obama and his family. For instance, he said, one site he looks at compares “Obama’s wife to a monkey — they have the same expression. The media makes it all hate. I don’t hate a black person. It’s just funny.”

4. Bernadette Brock, 67, who was square-dancing at the fair, said the rodeo incident was nothing compared with anti-Obama displays at lower-profile events. “Honey,” Brock said, “if you had been in some of our counties down here, this was mild.”

See? Not racist at all.

The clowns facebook page has over 60,000 likes.

I know this isn't a big story, but to me, it's just about the most depressing one I've read in years.

Michael Savage


Buckle up everyone. This news comes from Inside Radio this morning...

Savage predicts: I’m getting Hannity’s timeslot. While media attention has focused on a potential Rush Limbaugh split with Cumulus Media, whatever happens with Limbaugh is likely to also occur with fellow Premiere-syndicated talk host Sean Hannity. “There’s good evidence that I will replace him in afternoon drive on Cumulus stations,” Michael Savage announced to listeners Thursday night.

That should help our country's intractable political conflict. The nuttiest pundit of all is about to get more airtime.


He died on this day in 1977...


According to a report by CBS News, A-Rod's inner circle was the source for unveiling a few of the redacted names in a news report earlier this year.

I'm sure being known as a stoolie will not exactly help his already shaky reputation among his peers.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rocky Raccoon

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this little tidbit from 45 years ago today...

August 15, 1968…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles recorded the Paul McCartney composition "Rocky Raccoon," the last Beatles song to feature John Lennon playing harmonica. Producer George Martin played the honky-tonk piano.

A Case For Canned Beer over Bottled Beer

I read this piece in Slate magazine this morning, and while I agree with some of the conclusions about why canned beer is better than bottled beer, my taste buds tell me a different story. I don't think my taste buds are controlled by any psychological or cultural stimuli. Just taste.

On the other hand, is there anything more subjective than taste?

Today's Best Tweets

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

The Heckler ‏@The_Heckler 31m
Cubs starting to think this might not be ‘The Year’ after all


SportsPickle ‏@sportspickle 14m
Where Are They Now?: Members of the 1918 Chicago "Black Sox." All dead. This concludes SP's first Where Are They Now? issue.

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 6m
A dominant #Bears defense is no sure thing. Column from Steve Silverman:

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein 4m
Why the Justice Department blocked the American-US Airways merger

Slate ‏@Slate 11m
Russell Simmons apologizes for this awful "Harriet Tubman sex tape" parody, as well he should--VIDEO:

chuck swirsky ‏@swirsk054 22m
About time. Great decision. “@BNightengale: MLB plans to move forward where managers now allowed to ask for replay reviews”

Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale 21m
The replay will be a manager call system that will involve 89 percent of reviewable plays and voted on in Nov

Christopher Hayes ‏@chrislhayes 34m
Anyone get the sense Soriano likes NY a touch better than the Chi?

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 42m
"He’s friendly, relatable, and just a general salt-of-the-earth dude." – Lying acquaintance of Hollywood megastar

MSNBC Map Puts Every City in the Wrong Spot

New York Magazine caught this, a map of Obama's upcoming bus tour that gets the location of all four cities completely wrong. I'm no geography expert, but even I know that Buffalo is by Lake Erie. And MSNBC broadcasts out of New York!

Keith Olbermann's Unlikely Return to ESPN

I really enjoyed this article in the Hollywood Reporter about Keith Olbermann.

Sounds like he's beginning to understand that many of his problems have been of his own making...but of course, the real test will come once the show gets on the air. It's easy to say all the right things when you are looking for a job, or just beginning a job. What happens when you start having success again?

To me, the most disappointing thing about Keith has always been what I read about the (alleged) way he has treated people behind the scenes. I've been in similar situations and seen people that haven't treated staff well. I don't care how much talent someone has, that never reflects well on someone's character.

I have no first hand knowledge he is like that. I've only read things from disgruntled co-workers. Maybe they were wrong in every instance, and Keith was always right. It's possible, I suppose. But as someone who worked with talent for more than twenty years, I have an incredibly accurate radar about these things.

I wouldn't take a job working with him.

And that's despite the fact that I'm a big fan of his talent.

Life is too short to be miserable.

The Latest in the CBS/Time Warner Hissy fit

The hissy fit standoff between Time Warner and CBS, which has resulted in a few big markets having CBS blacked out, is ending up where everyone knew it would: in court. But maybe not exactly how everyone thought it would get there.

Time Warner has been slapped with a class-action the viewers.

Unfortunately for the viewers, neither CBS nor Time Warner care what the viewers think. Time Warner cable has a monopoly in these areas, so they don't care if viewers are upset. Where are they gonna go? CBS doesn't even call them viewers anymore--they call them consumers. Something to sell to the only people that matter to them...the advertisers. Both parties only care about the dollars. That's what this is all about.

But maybe the viewers will force a resolution.

The Weather Channel Forecasts What You Will Buy

From this morning's Wall Street Journal...

The Weather Channel knows the chance for rain in St. Louis on Friday, what the heat index could reach in Santa Fe on Saturday and how humid Baltimore may get on Sunday.

It also knows when you're most likely to buy bug spray.

The enterprise is transforming from a cable network viewers flip to during hurricane season into an operation that forecasts consumer behavior by analyzing when, where and how often people check the weather. Last fall the Weather Channel Cos. renamed itself the Weather Co. to reflect the growth of its digital-data business.

Behold the future of media, my friends. It may be bad and it may be good, but it cannot be stopped.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Big Change at WGN Radio

From Radio Insight, moments ago...

Tribune News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago is bumping midday host Mike McConnell from its on-air schedule.

McConnell, who had been hosting from 10am to 3pm, will now be heard on WGN’s WGN2 online stream. The station is currently listing the daypart as “WGN Daytime” with various hosts. The station has yet to set a timeslot for their addition of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano.

McConnell joined WGN in August 2010 after spending 25 years at WLW Cincinnati, along with a brief run in syndication.

This wasn't unexpected. I hear McConnell is a very nice guy. He just didn't fit at WGN.


#1 on this day in 1968, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown...

Dig it, man.

Today's Best Tweets

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

WGNMorningNews ‏@WGNMorningNews 3m
We love ya Tom Skilling!! He is celebrating 35 years at WGN by singing 7th Inning Stretch:

Stephen Colbert ‏@StephenAtHome 4m
A sinkhole opened up in the ground near Disney World. The line to get in it is already 4 hours long.

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 5m
Working on Paul McCartney's new album was "revelatory," says producer Ethan Johns:

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 17m
Beatles-mania strikes Abbey Road ahead of anniversary

Ken Rudin ‏@kenrudin 21m
@OUHetts John Goodman played Germond, one of the funniest SNL skits of all time.

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 29m
RT @mdgonzales: Cubs third round pick Jacob Hannemann slight tear in right non-throwing elbow. rehab and rest prescribed. no surgery.

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 20m
#Cubs: God's Wrath Watch: Jorge Soler Not Expected Back This Minor League Season

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner 22m
RT @bardball: Yu Darvish almost no-nos the #Astros yesterday, with AJ Pierzynski doing what he does best: #Rangers...

Hub Arkush ‏@Hub_Arkush 46m
New coaching staff, but same old questions for #Bears offensive line.

The Associated Press ‏@AP 9m
MORE: White House condemns violence in Egypt, says "world is watching" what happens in Cairo: -KM

The Future of Journalism?

The Sun Times has followed the lead of the Tribune and created it's own "low-cost content unit". Details are here in Crains.

You may like it, and you may hate it, but this is the future, kids. Once an industry finds a cheaper way of doing things, it happens quickly. That's just how capitalism works.

Oracle CEO Calls Google Evil

He also calls his late best friend Steve Jobs irreplaceable, and predicts Apple will go down...

Meet Dan Burns

Eckhartz Press author Dan Burns will be appearing this Sunday at the 2nd Annual Writer's Block Party at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin. This is the flier...

2013_August_Panel_Flyer-page-001 2

I was at the first annual event last year, and moderator George Rawlinson does a wonderful job getting the stories out of people. Dan Burns has some good stories to tell, including the really unique way he constructed his novel "Recalled to Life"

If you have some time on Saturday afternoon, it's well worth a visit. I've met the first four authors on the list, and they're all good storytellers.

RIP Jack Germond

I remember him as a fixture on the McGlaughlin Group on PBS for years (a pre-curser to all the political cable news shows), and an old school reporter. As Jeff Greenfield says in this USA Today obit, "Germond's bull---- detector should be implanted in every political reporter."

He was 85 years old.

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Settled

From Tom Taylor's NOW column today...

A former Chicago AE settles his age discrimination suit against Spanish Broadcasting System. As usual, the door’s locked tight and we don’t learn any details - just that Daniel S. Turpin filed for voluntary dismissal of the suit he lodged three months ago (May 21 NOW Newsletter). There was a “status hearing” coming up in court on August 28. But now Turpin’s asked for voluntary dismissal “with prejudice,” meaning the suit won’t be re-filed...He was fired, then obtained a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC earlier this year. Sounds like the suit got the attention of the company, and they’ve settled.

I think he's just a few years older than me. I worked with Dan at the Loop.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dave Baby Cortez

Organist Dave Baby Cortez is 75 today. His most famous song is "The Happy Organ". We played it as our traffic music bed at WJMK about 10/15 years ago...

Today's Best Tweets

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

Sarah Spain ‏@SarahSpain 5m
Bill Murray's pregame speech, HRs from @CMPunk & @JeffDye, a dance party w/ @Finessemitchell & @JennyMcCarthy & more! …

Slate ‏@Slate 12m
Parents who don't vaccinate their kids should face criminal charges or lawsuits. Simple as that:

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 18m
America's most important soccer player conquers the old world: (from the new issue of @whatahowler)

chuck swirsky ‏@swirsk054 18m
Regardless of what you or I think of the NCAA the truth is rules are rules. I don't see Johnny football ever playing again If he took money

SportsPickle ‏@sportspickle 24m
Report: Johnny Manziel Has Terrible Penmanship -

Harry Shearer ‏@theharryshearer 20m
Why France stayed out of Iraq War: better satellite imagery? …

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein 30m
"Things have gotten pretty bad when the departure of an evil genius actually makes the situation more dangerous" …

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 31m
Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba's elaborate marriage proposal has prompted a police investigation:

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 35m
Jennifer Aniston would really like everyone to stop speculating about the contents of her womb, thanks

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller 43m
Anthony Weiner currently has an 80% disapproval rating. Which means he's only 10 points away from qualifying as honorary Khloe Kardashian.

Is Hannity on the way out of primetime?

Sure sounds that way, according to this piece in the Daily Beast.

Fox News has announced that Megyn Kelly will be moving to prime time, but hasn't yet said who she will replace. There are really only a few options...O'Reilly (not gonna happen), Hannity, or Greta (has a contract).

The article says that the reason may be demos (as in Hannity's are OLD).

There May Be A Scientific Explanation For Near-Death Experiences

According to this piece in the Washington Post, those stories you hear from people who have "died" and come back to life, may be scientifically explainable. A study with rats has shown increased brain activity after the heart stops.

The story is here.

Of course, we all know that there's another possible explanation too. I'm choosing to believe that one for the time being.

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing is about a new twist in the never-ending of story of sibling rivalry. It's called "Same Words, Different Messenger"

You can read it here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Presented without comment

(And of course, submitted by "DS" a Sox fan)

Led Zeppelin

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this tidbit from 45 years ago today...

August 12, 1968…Beneath a record store in London, the New Yardbirds, soon to be re-named Led Zeppelin, began their first rehearsal, performing Johnny Burnette's "Train Kept A Rollin.'"

Less than a year later they played that song at the Filmore West...

Today's Best Tweets

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

daveweigel ‏@daveweigel 14m
First they came for the rodeo clowns, and I said nothing, because I was more of a "corporate parties" clown

Slate ‏@Slate 14m
Missouri State Fair humiliates state of Missouri by putting rodeo clown in Obama mask:

Katie Couric ‏@katiecouric 42m
Thought this was hilarious from this weekend's @WSJ - "Henry David Thoreau's Instagram"

Gawker ‏@Gawker 45m
Casino accidentally awards $1 million to wrong guy with the same name as the winner

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 47m
Beatles fans swarm Abbey Road as the iconic album approaches its 44th anniversary:

Richard Lewis ‏@TheRichardLewis 53m
#NewLewisSeries. "No Friends"

Jenny Milk ‏@jennymilk 56m
Eh, who needs love when you have coffee.

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 13m
VIDEO: Goalie completely whiffs on clear-out kick, gives up easy goal

Jay Zawaski ‏@JayZawaski670 18m
Question in the Score studios : If you went as hard as you could with fists at Doug Buffone, how long would it take you to die?

The AV Club ‏@TheAVClub 19m
Wiki Wormhole: Here's a comprehensive list of the worst movies ever made

Missouri Fair clown draws criticism for Obama mask

I get that some people just hate the guy and think "the race card" is played too often. I always point out that Obama himself almost never plays the race card, but I get it. Some liberal commentators do use it too often, and "Racist" is a strong charge to be tossed about lightly. But to think that this story isn't an example of racism, stretches the limits of my imagination...

Missouri Fair clown draws criticism for Obama mask.

This is the first sentence in the AP story...

A clown wearing a President Barack Obama mask appeared at a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend and the announcer asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."

At one point, another rodeo clown came up and played with Obama's lips as the crowd screamed wildly. That's right, his lips.

The Republican Lt. Governor denounced it as "disrespectful". A spokesperson for the Republican governor said he agreed.

The commenters at the end of the AP story, however, make me about as depressed as I can be about this country. I try to remind myself that these are just the loudest voices, not the majority, but it's not easy to do when you read the way these commentors compare this rodeo act to run-of-the-mill political satire you'd see somewhere like SNL.

As someone who has written satire, I'd like to offer my critique of the satirical content. Having a white guy dressed as a black guy being chased by a bull while someone plays with his big lips is not satire. It's an historical recreation of a minstrel show. Satire would be having a black guy dressed up in white face being chased around by a junkyard pit bull while someone plays with his WASPy nose.

That would be satire.

It would also be racist and offensive.

Just like this was.

Albert Pujols vs. Jack Clark

There's a big controversy brewing right now in St. Louis. Former Cardinal Jack Clark and his radio co-host Kevin Slaten are goners after making statements on the air saying that Albert Pujols was juicing when he was on the Cardinals. Pujols threatened to sue.

The St. Louis Dispatch has the details.

Obviously, you can't just say something like that without evidence. In this case Clark was directly quoting Pujol's former trainer. Either Clark made that up, or the trainer made that up, or it's the truth. Those are the only three options. Albert's very strong response (read the full denial in the article) sounds very convincing, but I think we should follow the story to see if he actually goes through with the threat to sue.

If he's innocent, the discovery process shouldn't scare him. If he's guilty, it could and should scare him quite a bit.

The Hillary Clinton Mini-Series

From this morning's New York Times...

The script for the proposed mini-series on the life of the possible presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn’t even been written but we may already have a plot twist. While NBC has come under heavy fire, especially from Republican critics, for agreeing to broadcast the series, the project may wind up being produced by another company: Fox Television Studios, the sister company of the conservative favorite, Fox News.

Interesting, eh? I've said since I first heard about this that it is just as likely to be a hit piece (emphasizing scandal) to get ratings as it is to be a puff piece. Either way, it's not fair. They should abandon the entire concept. If no script has been written yet, what harm is there in that?

Time Warner-CBS Standoff

Time Warner cable and CBS are still at a negotiating standoff, and people in some major markets are not able to see CBS right now if they have Time Warner cable.

It's gotten to the point that the F.C.C. is going to step in.

Hard to pick a good guy in this story, however. Should be interesting to see which side they favor.

Photographic Commentary

Got a kick out of this one. Thanks to "BS" for sending it...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

At the Morning Show Boot Camp with John Landecker

The Morning Show Boot Camp was celebrating its 25 anniversary this year, and they came to Chicago to stage this momentous event. Among the memorable panel discussions was the "WLS, Then and Now" panel. It was a star-studded panel featuring John Records Landecker, Dick Biondi, Fred Winston, Brant Miller, and Jeff Davis, and it was moderated by current WLS PD (and Cumulus Programming VP) Jan Jeffries...

(Above photo: Jeff Davis, Dick Biondi, John Landecker, Jan Jeffries, Brant Miller, Fred Winston & John Gehron)

The panel told lots of stories about the old WLS days and the current WLS-FM, and gave advice to some of the younger broadcasters in the audience. After the session was over, John Landecker autographed copies of his book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"...

(Above photo: Radio's best friend Art Vuolo chats with the panel before it begins. Art recorded it on video)

(Above photo: Boot Camp Organizer Don Anthony introduces the distinguished panel)

(Above photo: Jan Jeffries leads the discussion)

(Above photo: John Landecker sells autographed copies of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", as Fred Winston looks on)

In the evening, Morning Show Boot Camp recognized the top 25 most influential radio personalities of the past twenty five years. Among the honorees, Chicago radio stars John Records Landecker, Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, Jonathon Brandmeier, and Kevin Matthews.

(Above photo: Garry Meier, Don Anthony & John Records Landecker)

(Above photo: Kevin Matthews & Garry Meier)

(All of the winners and/or their representatives. In the crowd, Tom from Bob & Tom, Scott Shannon, Ace & TJ, Kidd Kraddick's crew, and more)