Friday, November 13, 2009

Clashing Media Notes

= 1) She Wrote (-ish) a Book: I predicted (with several good reasons) that Palin's book would be rife with errors. Now that AP has obtained a copy, it appears that the deluge of errata is beginning. For instance concerning the reasons for the Couric interview and paying the cost of her "vetting." The AP has started detailing more.

That's after less than one day and a very cursory report-- wait until the digging starts. Also, don't be surprised if Levi Johnston really does have some unpleasant news for Palin.

= 2) Miranda Hart, who I know mainly from a radio series and a one-off program for Radio 4 (as well as supporting roles in Hyperdrive and Not Going Out) has a new eponymous TV sitcom on the BBC. The first episode was aired Monday and largely a redo of her radio series. The cast is great (and due to get better). The gag writing is fairly deft; the characters show promise; the performances are solid; and the retro style combined with a knowing approach to the audience is, so far, winsome. Looking forward to more.

= 3) Chris Matthews-- Still an Idiot: One of the most frequent search terms used to find this blog is "Chris Matthews Idiot." I'm proud of that and have returned to that rock-solid theme a few times over the years. Just yesterday Matthews evinced several of his dismal traits in an interview with Daniel Zwerdling of NPR who talked with some of mass-killer Nidal Hasan's colleagues at Walter Reed and produced some important reporting. [Transcript of the whole program--search for the second instance of "Zwerdling" for the segment in question.] In the space of a few short minutes Matthews:
  • Interrupted with trivialities while Zwerdling was trying to detail his reporting.
  • Used that interruption to demonstrate that he does not know the difference between "psychotic" and "psychopathic."
  • Exhibited his shallow film-criticism approach to covering current events by trying to shoehorn Taxi Driver into this conversation, and demonstrated he also doesn't understand Taxi Driver, either.
I'm glad Lou Dobbs is gone for several reasons, not least of which is that Dobbs is the main reason CNN is unwatchable when one seeks refuge from Matthews. Hardball will probably lose a lot of eyeballs when (if?) Dobbs is replaced by a sane person. BBC America's newscast is a great option, but sometimes I need a bit more US news.

= 4) Cymbal History: BBC Radio 4 had a fascinating and lively program (with occasionally misjudged comedic asides) on the history of the cymbal called A Cymbal Tale. It prominently features Zildjian and covers that company's history a bit as well as the broader story of the instrument and includes helpful sonic examples. It's on IPlayer for a few more days.

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