Friday, October 27, 2017

The Mooch Follows Minutia Men

Steyer versus Trump

This ad ran on Fox & Friends this morning. Tom Steyer is a billionaire who doesn't much care for his fellow billionaire...

This is how the president reacted, because of course, he was watching Fox and Friends.

There has never been an easier person to manipulate than the president. Foreign leaders must be licking their chops waiting to pwn him.

Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference

I will be there, and not just because I'm on the CWA Board of Directors. This is going to be a great event for writers.

You have just a few more days to take advantage of early bird registration for Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference on March 10-11, 2018. Save $50 by registering before October 30th.

For more information and to meet our presenters click here: Let's Just Write! 2017


David Cop-A-Feel

I think this one doesn't quite fit in the category of the other stories that have been coming out, but former President George H.W. Bush is also in the crosshairs for his behavior. He apparently sits in a wheelchair, so when a photo is taken with him, his arm can only go as high as a person's backside. That has led to a few butt pats...

“To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner,” said a spokesman for Bush on Wednesday, while noting that the former president’s wheelchair posture keeps his arms at butt-level.

Could that “same joke” be the one that he allegedly told another actress, Jordana Grolnick, while posing for a photo with her in August 2016? Grolnick told Deadspin that Bush and wife Barbara visited her backstage at a Maine theater, that the president asked her to guess his favorite magician, and then, as he squeezed her rear end, revealed that the answer was “David Cop-a-feel.”

Clearly he shouldn't do it, but I doubt any woman was worried about her safety around this 90-something year old man. That's like a scene out of a Mel Brooks movie.

More Details about the Creepy Mark Halperin

The Washington Post has more details on Mark Halperin, the famous journalist and author, who was working at MSNBC until CNN dropped their bombshell report the other day....

The fallout from the CNN report has been swift. HBO said Thursday that it has canceled a miniseries based on “Game Change.” MSNBC said Halperin “is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

The Post spoke with nine women, including May, who said they were aware of, or had directly experienced, unwanted contact by Halperin over a period dating to the mid-1990s. All except May spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe their encounters, or colleagues’ encounters that they said they were told about.

The alleged conduct ranged from relatively trivial unwelcome contact — grabbing and holding women’s hands, for example — to inappropriate late-night phone calls and aggressive and repeated sexual propositioning. Several of the accusers recounted episodes in which he rubbed his erect penis against them — a claim specifically denied by Halperin in an interview. One woman said he appeared wearing only an open robe when a young campaign operative was summoned to deliver information to his hotel room.

Fellas, seriously, what's with the open robe thing? That's common to all of the accused so far, and none of them are exactly Fabio. Look in the mirror.

The Kennedy Files

Not all of the secret Kennedy Files were released yesterday, but the Washington Post went through the ones that were, and found some interesting gems. (Amazingly, nothing implicating Ted Cruz' father). Seems like our CIA was filled with numskulls back in the 60s. Here's one tidbit, there are lots more here.

Another outlandish plot described talks of prepping a “booby-trap spectacular seashell” that would be submerged in an area Castro enjoyed diving. The seashell would be loaded with explosives that would go off once lifted. “After investigation, it was determined that there was no shell in the Caribbean area large enough to hold a sufficient amount of explosive which was spectacular enough to attract the attention of Castro.”

Stephanie Menendez

I'm always a fan of radio producers who work their way up the ranks. Stephanie Menendez at WGN radio is a great example. From this morning's Tom Taylor column...

Stephanie Menendez continues her career advance at Tribune’s only radio station, Chicago talker WGN/720. She hired on in 2008 as a producer, then became executive producer, assistant PD, operations manager – and now, reports Robert Feder, “Director of News and Operations.” Stephanie confidently says “We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city” – and she signals that her ambitions include “expanding WGN radio’s presence in the digital space.” Todd Manley is WGN’s Vice President of Content & Programming. Before WGN radio, Stephanie worked in broadcasting as an associate producer at pubcaster WYCC-TV/Channel 21 and interned at ABC-owned WLS-TV/Channel 7. She’s a product of Northeastern Illinois University.

I'm not Tom Puller

If you see a picture of me promoting Donald Trump or other Republican causes under the name Tom Puller, here's a word of warning: I'm not Tom Puller. Somebody I don't know is using a picture of me on Facebook, claiming to be Tom Puller.

Not sure if he or she is Russian scammer, but he or she is definitely a scammer.

And by the way, that picture is from 12 years and 20 pounds ago, sadly. It was my promo picture for my column Father Knows Nothing.

Two More Famous Victims of Another Hollywood Creep

The name of Hollywood writer and director James Toback was brought up last weekend by the LA Times, and at the time there were 38 on-the-record accusers. There are now 300 women who have come forward, including famous actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams. From ABC News...

Blair, 45, said her meeting with Toback happened in 1999 after she filmed "Cruel Intentions." She says that while she protested, Toback insisted she meet in his hotel room to talk about a new project called "Harvard Man," which would eventually star Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joey Lauren Adams as two of the female leads.

"Against my better judgment, I went upstairs," she told the magazine. "I went in the room feeling a little off balance about the arrangement, but he seemed nonplussed. He pulled out the script and said, 'I look at you, and I see that we have a real connection. You could be an incredible actress, just by your eyes. But I can tell you don’t have confidence.'"

She says less than an hour into their meeting, he asked her to "do this monologue naked.”

After taking off her sweater, Blair says he asked if she would sleep with him. She said, "No," but that when she "went to leave," he stopped her. To avoid being assaulted, she says she conceded to let him touch her while he masturbated.

She says he also threatened her life if she ever talked about what happened.

"When my manager called me back and said, 'James Toback wants to see you again,' I said, 'That man is vile. And I never want to be in a room with him again. Do not send any girls or women to him,'" she said.

McAdams, 38, says she was also invited to his hotel room to read for "Harvard Man," where he allegedly admitted to masturbating while thinking about her.

"Eventually, I just excused myself. I can’t remember how long I was there. I felt like I was there forever. This has been such a source of shame for me -- that I didn’t have the wherewithal to get up and leave," she told Vanity Fair.

Brent Petersen

Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen ("Truffle Hunt") has started up his own author page. He blogs there regularly and it's quite entertaining. (He will, however, make you feel like you never get out of the house--the man is a world traveller!).

If you'd to check it out (and bookmark it), here is THE LINK.

The Founding Fathers React

Chapter 19

Melissa Forman got her copy of the HOF edition of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" and was surprised to see her name in the title of Chapter 19. This is what she posted on facebook yesterday...

NEVER expected when I became dear friends with Radio Hall of Famer and legend John Records Landecker that he would one day Title a chapter in his new book after me. HONORED beyond words. ❤️ Get your copy while they last...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 71

EP71 – Rick and Dave discuss tickets for singing, punny Halloween costumes, extreme nagging avoidance, the Mad Monk, and Rick’s brush with Lara Flynn Boyle.

You can listen to it here.

Another Creep Revealed

Mark Halperin, longtime journalist and author, has been accused of sexual harrassment by five women. Among the things he allegedly did was rubbing against women with his erect penis (inside his pants).

CNN has the details.

These stories are going to keep on coming.

FCC Chair Wants to Relax Media Ownership Rules

The biggest mistake in broadcasting history is going to be repeated...on purpose...if FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his way. By my counting, this is the fifth time the FCC has tried to relax media ownership rules again since they initially made the collosal mistake in 1996. The last four times they tried it, the country erupted and flooded the FCC with (literally) millions of complaints, causing the FCC to lose its nerve.

This bunch doesn't appear to care about millions of complaints. They want their media giants to get gianter (new word), and they don't care if anyone has a problem with it. Mark my words--these three FCC commissioners will wind up working for the gianter conglomerates when their time is up, and they will be handsomely compensated for having done the opposite of their FCC duty. The FCC's prime directive is to work in the public's interest to protect the public airwaves.

Sounds almost quaint, doesn't it.

Wish I didn't have to run this video every few years...

O'Reilly May End Up at Sinclair

Sinclair Broadcasting, America's most sanctimoniously conservative broadcasting network, is reportedly in talks with serial sexual harrasser Bill O'Reilly to do a syndicated show to air on their 173 television stations.

The details are here.

Their scruples are in a waste-basket in the corner over there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

RIP Fats Domino

Just across the wires...

Fats was one of the most important figures in early rock and roll. This is the song that probably had the biggest impact...

Grammy Special

This sounds like a good one. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

The Recording Academy™, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS have set the table for the upcoming 60th Annual Grammy Awards® with Grammy's® Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special -- a televised retrospective featuring epic moments from the past 59 years of Grammy® history. The primetime special will air on Friday, Nov. 24, from 9-11pm ET/PT, on CBS and CBS All Access. The one-of-a-kind broadcast event will feature rare archival footage, exclusive interviews, and special appearances by multi-Grammy winners Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Bruno Mars, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, U2 and Keith Urban, among others. Special segments will include reactions from Grammy producers and members of the music community following the tragic loss of Whitney Houston, Aretha's unexpected opera performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards, and Paul McCartney bringing the Beatles' legendary Abbey Road album to the Grammy stage.

Cumulus Quietly Spends $71 Million in Chicago

From Tom Taylor's NOW column. It's a little complicated, but see if you can follow along...

Merlin Media tells Cumulus it’s time to buy Chicago’s WKQX/101.1 and WLUP/97.9. The January 2, 2014 arrangement signed by Lew Dickey included an LMA that apparently worked well for Cumulus. There was also a purchase agreement, allowing Cumulus to buy alternative rock WKQX and classic rock WLUP at any time during the “call period.” That was the first three years and nine months of their deal. But during the “90 days prior to the fourth anniversary of the [January 3, 2014] Commencement Date, Merlin may elect to require” Cumulus to buy the stations. That’s called a “put.” So (from NOW’s reading of the “Put and Call Agreement” here), Cumulus chose not to pay the specified price during the past 3-3/4 years. Now Merlin, which worked with Randy Michaels to mount all-news and news/talk stations in several major markets, tells Cumulus “it’s time to buy” the pair of Class B FMs. What’s interesting is that Cumulus didn’t issue a release or have CEO Mary Berner talking about this major deal. The only footprints are at the FCC, with the filing to transfer WKQX and WLUP.

Fun Day in Indiana

Spent the whole day in Indiana yesterday. First we went to see Mr. Landecker at his house and had him sign EVERY copy of his limited edition HOF book. (It's available here)

Then we went to Purdue University and I interviewed John in front of a freshman communications class. That was a blast. The hour and fifteen minutes flew by. The whole thing was filmed for future broadcast.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

RIP Robert Guillaime

Another sad passing...

Going Back to Indiana

Fellow Eckhartz Press publisher David Stern and I are heading back to Purdue University today to teach a Freshman communications class. This time we're bringing along our old pal, soon-to-be Radio Hall of Famer John Records Landecker. I'll be interviewing him in front of the class, and the local television access will be there to chronicle the event. Looking forward to it

(While we're out there, we'll also get John to sign all the copies of the limited edition Hall of Fame version of his book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". That book is shipping to customers later this week.)

Country Star Harrassed by DJs

This whole harrassment issue has turned out to be a huge story, and it seems like there is no end to further examples. This morning the country music singer Katie Armiger had her say. Radio Ink has the details...

Armiger says she was at a radio station in Texas taking a photo with one of the DJs after a performance. She says, “He grabbed my butt during the photo. And at the same time he was whispering in my ear, ‘When are you going to be legal?'” After complaining about the incident, Armiger says she was told to get over it, that’s how the business worked (Armiger is now 26).

According to the lawsuit with Cold River Records, Armiger said she was asked to “purchase ‘hot, game-changing’ clothes,” and “hug, kiss and flirt” with radio programmers. Armiger said she was told she needed to make the programmers “wish you would take them home with you.”

In a second example, Armiger says during a lunch meeting a PD asked everyone to share their “top five list of women they would want to sleep with.” After sharing his first choice, Armiger says the PD turned to her and said, ‘But you would absolutely be my No. 2.'”

Armiger also says a DJ was interviewing her about her album at the 2010 ACM Awards when he became inappropriate. “As we were doing the interview, he is trying to feel me up under the table — this is on air — trying to ask me whether or not my album title was true because surely I couldn’t be a nice girl. I had to be a naughty girl.”

Armiger told Fox News she is not naming names out of fear of retribution, and she’s telling her story now hoping changes will be made in the country music world.

Russia probe might snare a Democrat

From this morning's Skimm...

One focus has been Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business dealings. Including reportedly with Tony Podesta - a lobbyist and brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. Mueller is reportedly looking into a PR campaign Manafort and Podesta worked on to boost Ukraine's reputation in the West. This campaign promoted a group reportedly backed by a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

I say fine, bring it on. Whoever is involved in this has to go down, and I personally don't care what party they are in.

Radio Hall of Fame Ceremony

If you can't go to the ceremony (and I don't blame you--it's $275 a plate), you can listen to it. Robert Feder has the details...

Even if you can’t attend the National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony next week, you can still hear it all for free via live audio streaming.

The sold-out event November 2 from Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications will be live-streamed and available on-demand on TuneIn, the online podcasting site. It starts at 7 p.m.

Heading the list of this year’s inductees is Chicago radio legend John Records Landecker, who’ll be presented by longtime colleague and friend Bob Sirott. The two worked together at WLS AM 890, where Landecker rose to fame during his first run from 1972 to 1981.

Monday, October 23, 2017

New CNN spot

A Recommendation

I watched the Patton Oswalt comedy special on Netflix last night. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

The first half is hilarious. The second half is moving. The whole package is a masterpiece.

Seriously. I'm a tough comedy critic. This is gold.

KFC on Twitter

This is pretty clever. If you go on KFC's Twitter feed you'll notice that they follow only 11 people.

The five Spice Girls, and six guys named Herb.

Get it? A tip of the cap to the folks in KFC's social media department.

More of a Plea than a Question

Apology not possible

Myesha Johnson, the widow of the slain soldier Sgt. La David Johnson, confirms Trump was insensitive and couldn't remember her husband's name...

Trump followed up with this tweet, essentially calling the widow a liar...

Even if you are right, Mr. President (and I believe her more than I believe you), in this case wouldn't a simple "I'm sorry my words weren't heard the way I meant them. We all grieve for your loss" be more appropriate? Your inability to say you are sorry, especially in this situation, is absolutely unbelievable.

RIP George Young

George was a member of the Australian group The Easybeats. He recently passed away at the age of 70

The biggest hit of their career is this one from 1967.

Super Bowl Halftime

Looks like he has been forgiven for the momentary exposing of Janet Jackson's nipple...

Yet Another Hollywood Creep

After the news about Harvey Weinstein hit, there were rumblings that other famous Hollywood types engaged in similar behavior and it was just a matter of time before that news became public.

The LA Times is on it.

The first shoe to drop belongs to director James Toback. 38 women came forward to accuse him, and they all tell a remarkably similar (creepy) story. The names of the victims aren't as famous as Weinstein's, but that shouldn't make a difference. This is some pretty reprehensible (and probably criminal) behavior.

Since the article came out, the number of women who reported similar behavior from Toback has doubled.

Every harasser in Hollywood (and elsewhere) is shaking in his boots today, worried that the gig is up. To which I say...Good!

(And every time a new story comes out, someone will mention that we elected a serial harasser as president)

O'Reilly's Harrassment Payoff

The New York Times had a piece about Bill O'Reilly's latest harrassment charges. He eventually settled out of court for a whopping $32 million! And then, Fox News re-signed him to a new contract after they heard about it.

By the way, is there a human being in the world (no matter how rich) who would pay $32 million if they were innocent?