Friday, July 24, 2015

A Real-Life Episode of "Ballers"

I don't know if you watch the show "Ballers" on HBO, but if you don't, here's a real-life example of a typical episode. It involves former Chicago Bear Bernard Berrian catching someone in his posse stealing from him.

The ridiculous security system he describes in the article and the fact that this guy stole $30,000 in cash is something right out of the show. When you watch "Ballers" you find yourself thinking, "Man, I sure hope my favorite players aren't like this", but you know deep in your heart they probably are.

John Fox

I get excited every time I read something like this Tribune article about John Fox and what he has done in his previous stops. But yesterday I was listening to the radio and they listed the potential starters on offense and defense, and whoo boy. Converting that team into a winner will require a miracle worker. No pressure, John Fox.

Lafayette Shooter

There was yet another shooting in a movie theater last night, and the Daily Beast reported this...

A TV host who occasionally had Lafayette theater shooter John Russell Houser on his show says the assailant was a “radical guy.” “He was on from time to time because he was a very radical person with radical views,” Calvin Floyd told NBC News. “He was a Republican and then I would have someone with a real strong Democrat view on.” Floyd also answered “no” when asked if he was surprised that Houser is accused of shooting up the Louisiana movie theater. “The association I had with him was for entertainment,” he said. “He was very entertaining. He made for good TV and when it was over, you would leave shaking your head.”

The whole idea of putting someone on the air who is so crazy you aren't surprised in the least when they shoot up a movie theater, is not Good TV. That's morally bankrupt TV.

By the way, yesterday was the 204th day of the year, and the Lafayette shooting was the 204th mass shooting of the year.

100 Years Ago Today

The Eastland Disaster in the Chicago river. It was just a fluke. The boat flipped over, and it was just a few feet away from the shore, but over 900 people died. They were on the boat to go to an excursion to Michigan City Indiana.

The Channel 11 website has some pictures and videos.


The argument against Pandora has always been: "How are they going to make money?" That argument has now been laid to rest. From this morning's Radio Ink...

With Q2 revenue of $285.6 million Pandora reached a new milestone. Over the previous year, Pandora generated over $1 billion in revenue. By comparison, the entire radio industry generates about $17 billion per year. In Q2 Pandora generated $231 million (up 30%) in advertising revenue; subscription and other revenue was $54.6 million (up 31%). Mobile revenue came in at $230 million (up 37%) and local advertising revenue was $58.9 million (up 67%). Total listening hours were 5.3 billion, up only 5%, which CEO Brian McAndrews says is normal for this seasonal time of the year. Active listeners were 79.4 million at the end of the second quarter of 2015, compared to 76.4 million from the same period last year

Big Changes Coming to MSNBC

It sounds like MSNBC is ready to jettison it's entire afternoon lineup, according to Mediaite.

The shows they intend to cut include: "The Cycle", "Now with Alex Wagner" and "The Ed Show".

The article doesn't say what is taking the place of the first two, but it appears that Chuck Todd will be given the 5pm slot (4pm Central time) now held by Ed Schultz, and that they will be taking more of a "news" approach rather an opinion approach.

How the Trump Brand Really Works

This Washington Post article explains it pretty well. In fact, even the headline gives you an idea...

How Donald Trump Cashes In Even When His Name Brand Properties Fail.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another CBS Firing

Just saw this cross the wire...CBS Radio just announced further management restructuring on the local level that involves Dave Robbins (Orlando)...I wonder if Dave Robbins was told by the guy who fired him "Oh man, I'm so jealous of you because you get to spend more time with your family now." Because that's what Dave Robbins said to me after he fired me at WJMK. True story.

I guess I'm not hungry after all

Thanks to "KS" for this one...

Dirty Harry is Right!

Bill Simmons Goes to HBO

They announced the deal yesterday. Details are here at SI.

I guess I'm a little out of the mainstream on this guy. I think he's a good writer, but I have a very hard time watching or listening to him on television and podcasts. He comes off as insufferable, at least to me.

Bill Cosby Revealed (Further)

The Washington Post has another piece today about Bill Cosby, quoting extensively from his deposition, but I think pretty fairly painting both sides. Even while bending over backwards to be fair to Cosby, it's still an open and shut case. He may not ever be prosecuted, but he is without question, a sexual predator.

Trump's Latest Reality Show

The other day, after hearing that Sen. Lindsay Graham called him a "jackass", Trump did what any presidential candidate would do.

He gave out Graham's personal cell-phone number.

When I saw him do that, I finally figured this guy out. This whole campaign is a reality show. It's a good one, and will make for some incredible viewing when we go back and watch it after he finally actually steps over the line, but in the meantime that's how I'm viewing this. After each ridiculous comment, I'm picturing him going into the writer's room and brainstorming.

"So, guys, how'd I do?" Trump says

"I think the war hero ripping was better," Head writer responds, "But giving out a sitting Senator's private cell number will make for a good episode."

"I've got the Washington Post on the line here," another writer says. "Want to talk to them?"

"Are they asking me if I have spent a dime yet?" Trump retorts. "Because I haven't."

(Howls of laughter in the writer's room)

"No," the writer says. "They want to know--"

"--if I have any actual proposals for any actual issues?" Trump says.

(Howls of laughter again)

"No," the writer says after the laughter subsides. "It's about the cell-phone number."

"Tell him I got the number from Graham's gay lover," Trump says.

(There's an audible ooooooohhhh in the room)

"Over the top?" Trump asks.

"You know the rule," his head writer says. "If it oooooohes, we dooooooo it."

"What if that ends it before we're ready?"

"You called all Mexicans rapists and that didn't end it," Head writer points out. "You ripped war heros and that didn't end it. You react like a high school bully when someone calls you out, and that doesn't end it. Do you really think that mocking his sexuality will do it?"

"Good point," Trump replies.

"Pace yourself Donald. We're right on track. We just need to make it to that debate," head writer says. "That's where we'll have our grand finale. Better optics."

"Have we got anything for Carly Fiorina if she's there?"

"If she's there," one of the writers improvises, "I was thinking of you saying 'Honey, why don't you go to the kitchen and fix me a sandwich.'"

That gets the brainstormers going.

"And bring a French Maid's outfit and hold it up when you say it," another says.

"If she gets offended," another writer piles on. "Say this--I've got an apology in my pants, want to see if you can find it, sweet cheeks?"

"Those are all great, guys," the head writer says, "But I have a feeling offending all women won't make a dent in our support. We can't possibly have too many of them. We still need a finale that actually ends this thing."

The room goes silent.

"How about I tell them we're taking their guns away," Trump says confidently.

(There's an audible ooooooohhhh in the room)

"If it oooooohs, we dooooo it," the head writer says.

"But not until the debate."

Bernie Sanders Folk Album

Did you know that Senator Bernie Sanders recorded a folk album? It wasn't in the 60s, it was in 1987. He performed the song "We shall overcome", although his part (thankfully) is spoken word.

There's only a small sample out there. Listen to it here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


For literary buffs, this is fun.

Click here to see the map, which will take you on the road trips from the following books and more: The Cruise of the Rolling Junk by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934), A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins (1979), The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson (1989), On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957), Roughing It by Mark Twain (1872), Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (1974).

Have a Yabba Dabba Doo Time

This is very cool. Behind-the-scenes photos taken for Life Magazine during the making of "The Flintstones". If you're into that at all, you should check out the link.

This is just one example below. Mel Blanc (left) and Alan Reed (right) doing the voices of Barney and Fred. (Photo by Allen Grant)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This is what true equality looks like

Congrats to Alex Morgan. Sharing the cover with Messi on this game is a big deal.

Lunch with Stephen

You can now have lunch with Colbert every day...

"Go Set a Watchman" Sells A Million Copies

I'll admit that I'm not one of those million. I love Atticus Finch the way he was in To Kill a Mockingbird. He was one of my all-time favorite characters. Don't think I can handle him being a racist, which is what he supposedly is the new Harper Lee novel.

The Wall Street Journal has the story.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The 1938 World Series

An 88 year old Cub fan recalls the 1938 World Series.

At least he's seen one. (Presumably, he's seen two, since they were in it in 1945 too).

Granted he hasn't seen one in 70 years, but he had a pretty good run there in his childhood. I'm working on 50+ years of nothing here.

The New York Times Gets the Full Cosby Deposition

They described it in detail in yesterday's paper.

At the very least, his wife has to be contacting attorneys right now.

Obama to appear on Daily Show Tuesday

It will be President Obama's 7th appearance on the show with Jon Stewart.

Tonight begins the countdown...the final three weeks of Daily shows (12 in all). I know I'm going really miss it, no matter how good the new guy is.

Huffington Post To Cover Trump as "Entertainment"

That's the announcement they made late last week. You can read it here.

And this was BEFORE he criticized John McCain's war record (which he refuses to take back despite being roundly destroyed by his fellow Republicans for saying it)

You can probably guess where my loyalties lie, but I totally disagree with Huffington Post's approach. Yes, Trump is a clown who says terrible things, but he's also leading in the polls for the Republican nomination. Like it or not, that's a political story.


40,000 demand slave memorial be taken down in South Carolina because it shames whites.

A story so ridiculous I believed it was an Onion story. It's not. It's real.


Nick Digilio Returns

The late night talk show host has been gone from the airwaves of WGN for a month for an undisclosed illness. He returned last night and spilled the beans.

He had a stomach ailment caused by too much drinking.

Nick has been clean and sober for a month and vows to remain that way. Best of luck to him. I know that's not an easy one to overcome.