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Monday, June 11, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Last night I watched roughly a minute of the Sopranos, having flipped over from the NBA Finals. As such, I really have no comment on the controversy over the finale.

Really, the only thing that struck me was that Tony Soprano sounded a lot more like Buddy Hackett than I otherwise would have expected.

Also: I have long found the Sopranos phenomenon interesting, because while the show has long been discussed in the mass media, the truth of the matter is, given that it is on HBO, that most people probably have no idea what is being talked about. It is clearly an elite-level phenomenon that is treated like it is a mass-level experience.

For example: it has been a key topic of discussion on ESPN Radio this morning, but how many of the people who tune into listen to sportstalk necessarily have HBO?

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Sunday, June 10, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via KPIX: Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A ‘Gay Bomb’

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called “Gay Bomb.”

Edward Hammond, of Berkeley’s Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force’s Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, “One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.”

I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry…

(BTW, for those who don’t get the title, the first attempt to take Maxwell Smart to the silver screen was called The Nude Bomb and it was a real stinker of a flick).

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Thursday, June 7, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Paris Hilton released from jail

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Tuesday, June 5, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

It is one thing to speculate about whether the age differential between Thompson and his wife might have electoral consequences.

Further, it is hardly surprising that discussions of pictures of an attractive woman might garner attention on the internet (no, really).

However, what is up with this? (Via the Palmetto Scoop: Scarborough has an “Imus moment”):

The transcript:

SCARBOROUGH: Have you seen Fred Thompson’s wife?
CRAWFORD: Oh, yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: You think she thinks she works the pole?
CRAWFORD: That’s what a Hollywood career will do for you, I guess.
SCARBOROUGH: What do you mean?
CRAWFORD: You get wives like that.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, look at that guy. God bless him, I love his voice. But I mean, you know. He ain’t Robert Redford in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
CRAWFORD: Well I would like to see him back into politics because I think he’s a lousy actor.

My word–what is the deal with that suggestion?

The Palmetto Scoop also has a round-up of response to the comment in a separate post.

Libby at the Newshoggers also has more comments on the overall brouhaha.

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Saturday, June 2, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

The Mother of All Trailers:

h/t: Arms and Influence

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Saturday, May 26, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Crooked Timber notes a report on a coming movie about Karl Marx and great hilarity ensues in the comments section.

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Friday, May 25, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Osmonds reuniting for 50th celebration

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Wednesday, May 23, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

It is bad enough that they have to fill two freakin’ hours with a whole lot of nothing before getting to the winner, but then to let the show run over so that TiVo doesn’t capture the actual ending. Well, quite frankly, that sucks.

The only part of tonight’s show that I wanted to see was the naming of the winner and the reactions of said winner and such.

Ah well.

Still, at least the internet will let you find out who won (and the right person won, but I will refrain from saying who in deference to any West Coast readers).

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Sunday, April 15, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I have alluded in past posts on the Imus situation that I thought that a lot this story was as much about the Northeastern media elite in NYC and Washington as it was about Imus himself.

Specifically, I wrote:

I think that Imus is getting the attention he is getting because so many in the Northeastern media elite are either regular guests or are listeners/viewers of Imus. If Imus was headquartered in LA, I suspect that there would have been less fixation.

I also noted the peculiar nature of some of Imus’ defenders.

My hypothesis on Imus and the Northeastern media elite was confirmed in large measure (or, at least, agreed with) in the following interchange on today’s MTP:

MR. BROOKS: I would also say that one thing that struck me about the Imus audience, it was not a mass audience, it was an elite audience.

MR. ROBINSON: It was, it was.

MS. IFILL: Yeah.

MR. BROOKS: I actually—I never listened, I hate talk in the morning because I’m in such a bad mood, I don’t need his bad mood on top of mine. But, but, but I, I went on the show the first time, and I got response from, like, everybody in our business. I was amazed by how many people listened to this thing. I think Bill Bennett has, has bigger ratings in the same time slot, but I don’t know too many people who listen to it. But Imus had the New York, the Washington media audience, and…

MS. IFILL: And that’s why it took so long for him to fall, honestly. That’s why it took an entire week for someone to decide—I mean, nothing really changed between the time he uttered the words, and the time he was fired, except the reaction. And that’s why—and it took so long for, I think, the media elite to see what was wrong about this because they had been complicit.

I that all of that is quite right.

First, part of why Imus has not gotten as much attention in the past is because not that many people listened to/watched his program. Indeed, I think his significance was inflated (as relative to his actual audience) in the national dialog because so many media types went on the show and then would talk about having gone on the show on their shows. The only places I ever saw Imus clips was on TV news programs–often hosted by Imus guests. I think that, as I noted in the post on Imus-defenders, that a lot of the media establishment were so enthralled with being on th show that they ignored a lot of what he said. Further, since the audience was limited, a lot of people never heard his nonsense. I think this explains the lag time between the comment and the reaction and why it seemed to build slowly before hitting critical mass.

A lot of the exposure the comment received was because of the sports tie-in. I first heard the comment on ESPN’s PTI and a lot of the conversation about it that I heard was on ESPN Radio. I wonder how many people heard about it via ESPN rather than a news broadcast.

Second, I think that one of the reasons that Imus lost is job over this comment and not others is that a lot of the aforementioned NE media elite were embarrassed by the fact that they were enablers of this behavior. Further, it seems that a lot of media types that were not Imus fans (especially black journalists, but not exclusively) found this to be an opportunity to speak out (publicly and privately) on their long-held contempt of Imus and his enablers.

It was quite clear that Gwen Ifill was a bit miffed at Imus’ regular guests, Tim Russert included, but especially the gang at Newsweek.

Update: See Ifill call out Russert and guest David Brooks on this issue at Think Progress.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

So reports ABC News: MSNBC Drops Imus Simulcast Amid Furor

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