The Entertainers Are Splitting

Easy joke: Breaking news, Fox is separating news from entertainment, so naturally Fox News Broadcasting will be on the entertainment side.

From the WSJ:

News Corp.’s board unanimously approved a plan to split the media conglomerate in two pieces, separating its lucrative entertainment operations from its publishing business, said a person familiar with the situation.

. . .

Moreover, without the taint of the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp.’s British newspapers, the entertainment company may have an easier time doing certain acquisitions, say people familiar with the situation.


It is kind of funny that there has been behind the scenes discussion at cloudtransit about not following the story of the minute like a puppy dog.  So why do it, when cloudtranist is decidedly against wagging its tail at every news report?  That’s because anything that hurts FOX is funny.  This is about being funny.  Bart Simpson has to keep his distance from phone hacking of British citizens.  Sure, the news will report a thousand other reasons, but its about phone hacking.  Do you think FOX News would report it any other way this was happening to one of their competitors?  Hell no.


The Mafia State

Please watch this video:

It is an interview of Yves Smith and Matt Taibbi by Bill Moyers.  Yves Smith runs a great blog called Naked Capitalism.  Matt Taibbi is one of the great journalists of our era.  Bill Moyer is very good at drawing them out.  The topic is on the financial crisis and the recent testimony by Jamie Dimon.  Both Yves Smith and Matt Taibbi provide plenty of colorful details.  Neither one holds back from calling our society a Mafia State.

Smothers Brothers and Google Algorithms

Here is an interesting link that mashes up a short history of the Smothers Brothers show with the manipulative effects of search engines algorithms.  It is short and worthwhile read.

To get an idea of how great the Smothers brothers were one could start with this video where they have the Wh0 on their show and Tommy Smothers offers his folk guitar up for smashing.  It took real courage to put the Who on your show back then.

rich reasoning

i love you, frank rich.

That’s one way to go. There’s also the flip-flopping Mr. Etch A Sketch. There’s Romney’s countless tone-deaf attempts to feel the pain of the 99 percent. (My favorite, delivered to a group of jobless workers, remains “I’m also unemployed.”) There’s his risible, if dogged, effort to deny that his Massachusetts health-care law was the precursor of Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

It also remains a good idea to recycle attacks already made by those who know the candidate best: the critics in his own political party. In Romney’s case there are many, reflecting the anyone-but-Mitt hostilities of the primaries. But the most brutal Romney takedown will require a fear factor, and for that, there may be no better inspiration than the likes of Marc A. Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld who is best known for his defense of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” and for his tireless efforts to portray Obama as soft on terrorism. In April, Thiessen wrote a little-noticed column for the Washington Post op-ed page headlined “Mitt’s Bent for Secrecy.” What had aroused his concern as a GOP loyalist was Romney’s stealth announcement, at 5 p.m. on a Friday, that he was delaying the filing of his 2011 tax returns. Thiessen worried that Romney’s continued ducking of questions about taxes was playing into the Democratic trope that Romney has something to hide. The serial evasiveness, he argued, could provide “a clever way for Obama to exploit some Americans’ discomfort” with Romney’s “secretive” Mormon faith “without ever raising the issue directly.” Mitt’s secrecy “could cost Republicans the election,” Thiessen wrote.

None of this is wrong, though Romney’s “secretive” faith looms larger than it should precisely because he keeps it secretive. He bristles when asked questions about the Church of Latter Day Saints’ controversial record on secular issues (like civil rights), and he refuses to let voters in on his own substantial career as a Mormon bishop and stake president. In a political culture where all candidates, and especially Republican candidates, advertise their own religious activities, Romney’s reticence is all the more conspicuous. But the overall scope of Mitt as Mystery Man is bigger than Thiessen indicated, or perhaps wanted to spell out. He did not mention, for instance, Romney’s strange departure from the Massachusetts governorship at the end of his term. Romney’s aides not only scrubbed all e-mails from a computer server in his office but also purchased and removed the hard drives from seventeen state-owned staff computers. This month, The Wall Street Journal uncovered a small cache of e-mails that had survived. They revealed that Romney was a gung ho defender of his health-care bill’s individual mandate, the single feature most vilified by foes of “Obamacare” now. What other ­secrets lurked on those hard drives?

The campaign’s strategy when asked about these matters is to refer questioners to its website, which is stuffed with weightless platitudes that are the verbal equivalent of Styrofoam pellets (a 59-point economic plan, for instance).