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Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

Life Has Become Super-Cereal

January 27th, 2015 - 12:47 pm

“Why A Fake Article Titled ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?’ Was Accepted By 17 Medical Journals,” Fast Company explains:

Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish an article. So he made one up. Like, he literally made one up. He did it using www.randomtextgenerator.com. The article is entitled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” and its authors are the venerable Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles. The subtitle reads: “The surgical and neoplastic role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals.” Shrime submitted it to 37 journals over two weeks and, so far, 17 of them have accepted it. (They have not “published” it, but say they will as soon as Shrime pays the $500. This is often referred to as a “processing fee.” Shrime has no plans to pay them.) Several have already typeset it and given him reviews, as you can see at the end of this article. One publication says his methods are “novel and innovative”!. But when Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish an article. So he made one up. Like, he literally made one up. He did it using www.randomtextgenerator.com. The article is entitled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” and its authors are the venerable Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles. The subtitle reads: “The surgical and neoplastic role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals.” Shrime submitted it to 37 journals over two weeks and, so far, 17 of them have accepted it. (They have not “published” it, but say they will as soon as Shrime pays the $500. This is often referred to as a “processing fee.” Shrime has no plans to pay them.) Several have already typeset it and given him reviews, as you can see at the end of this article. One publication says his methods are “novel and innovative”!. But when Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

Shrime’s experiment, uncovering numerous bogus scientific publications that will publish anything for a buck is sort of the reverse of the experiment by an NYU physics professor named Alan D. Sokal, who in 1995, who drafted the most densely-written academic gobbledegook he could imagine, titled it “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” sent it off to a leading academic publication, who happily, cluelessly published it.

Ultimately, unless you’ve set out to publish a long form advertorial or quasi-direct response ad, if you have to pay to publishing something (beyond say, monthly badwidth charges if you host your own Website or blog, of course), you’re doing it wrong.

But two questions: Why shouldn’t Michael Crichton’s “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” apply exclusively to laymen?

And doesn’t this article call out for the expert commentary of one superstar political commentator in particular?

Scenes from The Dark Knight Rises

January 26th, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Huh. The reporting out of Bill de Blasio’s New York turned into a Batman movie a lot sooner than even I expected when I Photoshopped him into Bane a year ago:

di_blasio_bane_batman_1-2-14-3

By the way, the doomsday “reporting” on CNN tonight was hilarious: Don Lemon leaves his usual search for airplane-sized black holes to stand under slushy snow coming down in midtown Manhattan, while other CNN anchors stand and drive in snow down Park Ave. and Boston. They covered no other news, and there wasn’t even a ticker at the bottom on the screen reporting on news elsewhere in the US and around the world. And the Chryon described “‘Historic’ Snow Falls,” complete with unnecessary quotation marks around “Historic” for extra-added postmodern irony. Dave Barry’s tweet sums up the tone perfectly:

And speaking of wintery movie tie-ins:

But hey, news mastermind Jeff Zucker always knows what he’s doing, right?

Related: Andrew Klavan on the media, decades of their zany global warming predictions, and “All of the Leftists, All of the Time.”

When Memes Collide

January 26th, 2015 - 6:13 pm

FDR had breadlines for as long as the eye could see. Bill de Blasio has…

Entirely related!

And of course, as with FDR and the Depression, de Blasio and Cuomo are doing everything they can to make a bad situation worse, because, power: 

 

 


A few years ago when New York was pounded by many inches of global warming despite the Times predicting in 2000 that snowfalls would be a thing of the past, Victor Davis Hanson warned of “The Bloomberg Syndrome:”

It is a human trait to focus on cheap and lofty rhetoric rather than costly, earthy reality. It is a bureaucratic characteristic to rail against the trifling misdemeanor rather than address the often-dangerous felony. And it is political habit to mask one’s own failures by lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings. Ambitious elected officials often manage to do all three.

The result in these hard times is that our elected sheriffs, mayors, and governors are loudly weighing in on national and global challenges that are quite often out of their own jurisdiction, while ignoring or failing to solve the very problems that they were elected to address.

Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.

The names of the players have changed — and going from Bloomberg to de Blasio, the players themselves have gotten worse. But the political disease lingers on.

Update: One Twitter user squares the circle:

The Theory of Moral Relativity Defined

January 24th, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Shot:

Chaser:


Shot:

Chaser:

Hangover:


Paul Johnson, call your office.
Update: “You know, Robert Conquest once wrote, ‘The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,’ but that statement is striking a little too close to home lately.”

“In-Flight Catalog SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy,” the Wall Street Journal reports:

“With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog,” Mr. Wiley said.

The increase in the number of airlines providing Internet access “resulted in additional competition from e-commerce retailers and additional competition for the attention of passengers, all of which further negatively impacted SkyMall’s catalog sales,” he added.

The SkyMall business had revenue of about $33.7 million in 2013, but only $15.8 million for the nine months ended September 28, 2014.

SkyMall filed to preserve their assets by seeking “to achieve a sale of their assets and complete an orderly wind-down of their affairs,” said Mr. Wiley.

Is nothing sacred? 2015 is certainly starting off on a consolidating note as first Radio Shack, and now SkyMall as the mighty buzzsaw of Amazon continues to devour the rest of the retail world. I’m not sure if I can face living in a world without SkyMall, but how will Barney Stinson survive?

And where will the rest of us get our backyard-enhancing products made from “quality designer resin,” eh?

 

Tweet of the Day

January 21st, 2015 - 11:21 pm


As John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, “Greatest. Democrat. Ever.”

Though Chris Dodd and the late Teddy Kennedy might very much argue with that assessment, after allegedly attempting to tag-team Carrie Fisher in 1985, then at the height of her superstardom as Princess Leia, asking her “Would you have sex with Chris in a hot tub?”

“So, having recently graduated completely healed and normal from my first stint in a rehab, and appearing in an almost perfectly respectable piece of work, I found myself driving from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., to have dinner with Chris Dodd, this senator who I knew virtually nothing about. Nor did Senator Dodd — like most people, then, now and always — have any idea who I was in the wide, wide world beyond this cute little actress who’d played Princess Leia.”

“Suddenly, Senator Kennedy, seated directly across from me, looked at me with his alert, aristocratic eyes and asked me a most surprising question. ‘So,’ he said, clearly amused, ‘do you think you’ll be having sex with Chris at the end of your date?’ … To my left, Chris Dodd looked at me with an unusual grin hanging on his very flushed face.”

Her reply: “‘Funnily enough, I won’t be having sex with Chris tonight,’ I said, my face composed and calm. ‘No, that probably won’t happen.’ People blinked. ‘Thanks for asking, though.’”

His retort: “‘Would you have sex with Chris in a hot tub?’ Senator Kennedy asked me, perhaps as a way to say good night? ‘I’m no good in water,’ I told him.” (A representative for Dodd did not immediately respond to ABCNews.com’s request for comment.)

That bit in parentheses is a reminder that we only have Fisher’s word that this happened — along with Dodd and Kennedy’s reputation for “waitress sandwiches.” But note how nonchalantly ABC reported all this; if the senators had an (R) after each of their names, this would be reported as a front page hate crime and a sign of the Republicans’ War on Women™, of course.

cnn_unknown_anchor_big_12-18-14-1

CNN morphed into the Gong Show so slowly…

“CNN to Produce Political Game Show,” according to TV Newser. Because, what else would you expect from the flailing low-rated, desperate for attention network?

Insiders tell us the show will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and will air on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16. If it’s successful, further episodes would go into production.

We hear the program will be a quiz style game show, focused on presidential politics.

As the Sony email hacking story unfolded last month, one of the more interesting TV news stories to emerge was that CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker had asked a Sony TV executive if the company would consider producing “Political Jeopardy!” for CNN.

That was a nonstarter. But now it appears Zucker is going his own way on a quiz show.

Insert obvious Wolf Blitzer bombing on Jeopardy reference here. And as John Nolte adds at Big Journalism:

With its ratings at an all-time low and its journalistic ethics almost constantly under fire…With its endless race hoaxes, scandals, and talks of airplanes disappearing into black holes, 2014 might have been the worst year for CNN of any news outlet in recent memory. We’re only 21 days into the new year, but 2015 is already shaping up to be worse.

Bonus Question: For the Final Jeopardy round, I’ll take “What are European Muslim No-Go Zones for $10,000?”, Alex.

(H/T: Kathy Shaidle.)

Update: Currently trending on Twitter, is the #CNNgameshowpitches hashtag. Play along at home!

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Man of a 1000 Faces

January 21st, 2015 - 1:41 pm

“More than ever, I am convinced MSNBC is one giant sketch comedy designed to showcase the many talents of Chris Hayes,” Twitter user “Nino” wrote yesterday, along with a collage of photos combining Hayes with fellow MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and their fellow smart glasses-wearing Mark Potok, spokesman for the far left Southern “Poverty” Law Center, and Arsalan Iftikhar of TheMuslimGuy.com, banned from MSNBC after his racist remarks earlier this week that Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal is “trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin.”

As I noted yesterday, Hayes also bears a striking resemblance to hapless Obama foreign policy flack Marie Harf, and Ethan Krupp, the infamous foul-mouthed footie-pajama-wearing Obamacare mascot.

Are we sure Hayes wasn’t also in the audience for his boss’s State of the Union address last night? As Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon noted, “Woman Showcased by Obama in SOTU is a Former Democratic Campaign Staffer:”

Rebekah Erler has been presented by the White House as a woman who was discovered by the president after she wrote to him last March about her economic hardships. She was showcased in the speech as proof that middle class Americans are coming forward to say that Obama’s policies are working.

Unmentioned in the White House bio of Erler is that she is a former Democratic campaign operative, working as a field organizer for Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.).

This also wasn’t the first time the White House used the former Democratic campaign staffer as a political prop. Obama spent a “day in the life” of Erler in June so that he could have “an opportunity to communicate directly with the people he’s working for every day.”

“They keep it in the family, don’t they?” Ace adds:

Check the Free [Beacon] for more; they have his quotes narrating the incredible success story of Rebecca “Please Use Me As A Prop” Erler. Obama forgot to mention her long years suckling at the teat of the Democrat-Government Industrial Complex.

But are we sure that’s Erler? Comparing the photo of her that accompanied Ace’s post with Hayes and his other disguises as spotted by Nino yesterday, the resemblance is quite remarkable:

chris_hayes_master_disguise_artist_1-21-15-2

35 years ago, NBC’s Saturday Night Live featured Chevy Chase morphing before our eyes as he presented the vocal stylings of Peter Lemon Moodring. But today, there’s a far more versatile quick-change artist at work at NBC. Who will he morph into next?!

Two Posts in One!

January 20th, 2015 - 3:39 pm

“The Washington Post Still Has No Idea If Dave Weigel Is Conservative,” Betsy Rothstein writes at the Daily Caller, linking to this quote from the Post’s Terrence McCoy on “How Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ stoked the American culture wars:”

The exchanges are just the latest eruption in a long culture war, analysts said, with lines clearly demarcated. “As screenings have sold out, conservative media has manned barricades against liberals who have attacked the movie or the idea of lionizing Kyle,” conservative David Weigel wrote for Bloomberg. He noted that much of the controversy involves the extended battle over guns — and gun control — and pits pro-Iraq war conservatives against anti-war liberals.

Conservative? After voting for Ralph Nader in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, Weigel was hired by the Post in mid-2010 to cover conservatism allegedly from the inside, but not surprisingly given his background, Weigel famously imploded a short while later. When archives from the “Journolist” listserv of 400 or so leftwing journalists, who described themselves in 2008 as the “non-official campaign” to elect Obama began circulating publicly, Weigel was caught using the following language, as the Daily Caller noted in June of 2010:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  E-mails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

“Honestly, it’s been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited right-wing group Y?” Weigel lamented in one February email.

In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to “violently, angrily divide America.” According to Weigel, their motives include “racism” and protecting “white privilege,” and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power.

“There’s also the fact that neither the pundits, nor possibly the Republicans, will be punished for their crazy outbursts of racism. Newt Gingrich is an amoral blowhard who resigned in disgrace, and Pat Buchanan is an anti-Semite who was drummed out of the movement by William F. Buckley. Both are now polluting my inbox and TV with their bellowing and minority-bashing. They’re never going to go away or be deprived of their soapboxes,” Weigel wrote.

Of Matt Drudge, Weigel remarked,  “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.”

In March, Weigel wrote that the problem with the mainstream media is “this need to give equal/extra time to ‘real American’ views, no matter how fucking moronic, which just so happen to be the views of the conglomerates that run the media and/or buy up ads.”

When Obama’s “green jobs czar” Van Jones resigned after it was revealed he signed a 9/11 “truther” petition, alleging the government may have conspired to allow terrorists to kill 3,000 civilians, Weigel highlighted the alleged racism of Glenn Beck – Jones’s top critic.

This forced Young Ezra Klein, founder of the “Journolist’ to offer a mea culpa of sorts a few days later titled “On Journolist, and Dave Weigel:”

At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join [so much for that idea -- Ed]. The second was the hard one: The membership would range from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left. I didn’t like that rule, but I thought it necessary: There would be no free conversation in a forum where people had clear incentives to embarrass each other. A bipartisan list would be a more formal debating society. Plus, as Liz Mair notes, there were plenty of conservative list servs, and I knew of military list servs, and health-care policy list servs, and feminist list servs. Most of these projects limited membership to facilitate a particular sort of conversation. It didn’t strike me as a big deal to follow their example.

And as as Moe Lane of Red State added at the time:

Nice of Ezra Klein to shaft his good buddy Dave Weigel on the way out by explicitly admitting that Klein wouldn’t let anybody on the Right onto JournoList in the first place, but that’s the Online Left for you.  You ain’t with them all the way, you ain’t worth nothing to them.

Klein’s response to Weigel’s meltdown appeared in…The Washington Post where he served as a regular columnist until Jeff Bezos purchased the paper in 2013. Terrence McCoy’s bio at the Post today describes him as “a foreign affairs reporter at the Washington Post. He served in the United States Peace Corps in Cambodia and got his masters’ degree at Columbia University.” Despite being a relatively young looking fellow in his bio photo, evidently, learning how to use a search engine wasn’t taught at Columbia during his tenure there. Or how to search a newspaper’s own archives.

Wiegel of course, landed on his feet; the Post was so alarmed by their hiring choice that upon being caught in mid-2010, they simply transferred Weigel a few months later down the hall to Slate, which the paper then-still owned. In 2014 Weigel eventually wound up at Bloomberg News, where today even he’s laughing at the paper’s latest gaffe. As Betsy Rothstein writes, “Weigel ran the excerpt [from McCoy] about himself, adding, ‘smdh,’ as defined by Urban Dictionary as “shaking my damn head.”


Heh. Good to see those layers and layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post still earning their keep. And Michael Crichton’s “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” still very much in force there.

Add two more to the list of Hayes’ brilliant disguises:

This side-by-side juxtaposition created by the Rush Limbaugh Show in December of 2013, when Obamacare’s Footie Pajamasboy first debuted helps make the comparison plain:

As Frank Burns famously uttered on M*A*S*H 40 years ago, “Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.” Of course, some people rock the smartglasses™ much better than others:

rick_perry_smart_glasses_9-5-14-1

(Photo of Rick Perry by Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.)

“Michael Steele: If Charlie Hebdo were published in the U.S., evangelicals would ‘raise up mightily,’” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air of the former Republican National Committee chairman’s visit to NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday:

Via NRO, I’ve watched this three times and still don’t see the point of the question or the answer. It seems to be a half-baked version of a tu quoque. Sure, says Chuck Todd, we laugh at French Muslims for being angry when Mohammed is mocked, but how would America’s Christians feel if there were a U.S. version of Charlie Hebdo goofing on their idols every week? Pretty darned offended, Steele concedes. There would be protests! Okay … and?

* * * * * * *

Guy Benson, reading a draft of this post, e-mailed with this recent clip from “Family Guy” about Peter Griffin trying to help Jesus lose his virginity. A magazine that’s a bit more crass in its mockery would be water off a duck’s back for most of them. Besides, a true American analog to Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t stop at Christians because Hebdo itself doesn’t. It would have to satirize Muslim sacred cows too, and I think Christians are more likely to cut a satirist some slack when they see that he really is an equal-opportunity offender.

Gee Michael, where have you been for the past 30 years? As I wrote in 2006 during Islam’s first round of cartoon wars, “Remember all the riots, looting and torching when Dogma and The Last Temptation of Christ played at your local multiplex? Me neither.” And the protests of religious conservatives haven’t stopped AP (until the Charlie Hebdo story broke) from selling photos of “Piss Christ” on their Website, or from the New York Times from hiring the “artist” who created it to illustrate their articles. Seinfeld co-creator Larry David would piss on Christ himself in 2009, and last time I checked, he’s also still very much alive and well. Similarly, far from even harassing the stars and director of 2005′s gay-themed Brokeback Mountain, as Mark Steyn wrote in National Review in 2006 regarding the hyper-politicized Hollywood of the Bush years, “The more artful leftie websites have taken to complaining that the religious right deliberately killed Brokeback at the box-office by declining to get mad about it.” Shortly thereafter, lefties at the L.A. Times were complaining about the lack of large-scale protests over the Da Vinci Code.

Heck, in the 21st century, conservative Catholics are so laid back, you can call them Nazis to their face on national TV and they won’t even attempt to slug you in response.

Just ask Michael Steele.

‘Hold Me Closer, Tiny Francer’

January 16th, 2015 - 3:59 pm

My eyes, ze goggles do nothing!

(more…)

Shark Jumped

January 16th, 2015 - 11:30 am

Behold the international healing power of bad ’70s folk music.

“Kerry Brings James Taylor to Serenade French With ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’” the Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren reports. No, I’m not kidding:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Paris Friday in what was billed as a show of solidarity with the French people after terrorists attacked last week. The former Massachusetts senator brought fellow Bay Stater and singer-songwriter James Taylor to sing a slightly off-key rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend” to a Parisian audience. Watch the video below:

No. And you can’t make me. If the New Republic can write film reviews without actually watching the movie, I can snark about this without risking the video of James Taylor singing “a slightly off-key rendition of ‘You’ve Got a Friend’” being seered — seeered! — into my brain.

Picture this: Tom Wolfe is working on his next satiric novel, set in the White House. A French magazine has just had a dozen staffers murdered by Islamic terrorists. The president, who was dubbed by his critics “The World’s Biggest Celebrity” after his 2008 speech to pick up the badly needed electoral college votes of Germany, can’t be bothered to attend the enormous protest rally in Paris in memorial to the slain writers. His Francophile secretary of state can’t be bothered to attend. A week later, the 71 year old Washington lifer whose mind and haircut are trapped in his halcyon youth of Vietnam and the Beatles arrives to pay his respects.

With a folk singer in tow.

Critics would howl that Wolfe has gone senile — that this would never happen in real life. No administration is this cartoonish. Even George Bush, known for his “cowboy diplomacy” wouldn’t have brought a country & western singer armed with a Martin guitar to France.

Of course — it could have been worse. Kerry could have brought Cat Stevens, aka Yusuf Islam, to sing “Peace Train.” Or Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to play “Stairway to Heaven” on acoustic. I wonder if they were Kerry’s first choices?

In his Third Law of Politics, historian Robert Conquest posits that “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.” This administration, which began with handing out an iPod of Obama’s speeches to the Queen of England and a Staples-style “Reset Button” to Putin really does seem to be the living embodiment of how a conservative would satirize a far left White House, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, look on the bright side. “With this the Boomer era is officially over, making today a wonderful day,” Allahpundit writes.

And speaking of aging boomers — if Lorne Michaels doesn’t jump on this tomorrow night on Saturday Night Live, we’ll know that…no wait, that shark was jumped decades ago. But this sketch does write itself, doesn’t it?

Update: Naturally, Twitter is having loads of fun with Kerry’s stunt:


Plus Senator Blutarsky offers his thoughts on the musical stylings of his esteemed Bay State colleagues.

Life Imitates Dark Star

January 15th, 2015 - 2:05 pm

“Smart grenade seeks out bad guys,” a headline at Fox News claims:

What if grenades could locate threats and detonate all on their own?

A new smart grenade can do just that.  With this grenade, soldiers will know with certainty that it will strike its target.

The U.S. Army is developing the SAGM, Small Arms Grenade Munitions round.

The SAGM is a new kind of grenade that can find an enemy hiding behind an object, a wall or other would-be cover. This is next-generation enhanced grenade lethality.

Oh the conversations we’re going to be having with our smart weapons in a few decades, to convince them of the purpose of their missions. The conclusion of the 1974-cult sci-film Dark Star (which launched the careers of a number of the folks who would bring you Star Wars and Alien a few years later) explores how this will all eventually play out, as smart grenades get smarter, bigger, and more neurotic:

Correction of the Day

January 14th, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Mr. Bennet, permit me to suggest that when the first ten paragraphs of an article in a respected publication like The Atlantic are in error, that alone should serve as sufficient grounds for the withdrawal and correction of the piece.

— A botched story in the Atlantic? This ever-so-rare anomaly positively begs scientific explanation!

(Via Small Dead Animals.)

Update: Correction of the Day, Part Deux: Far-left Alternet and Salon “originally wrote and published that Darrell Issa is richer than Hong Kong. To quote a physicist friend of mine: that’s not even wrong.”

Will it be titled “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Hitting on High School Girls?”

OK, sorry about that. But presumably, Jeff Bezos was prepared for plenty of bad jokes about the Woodman’s rather complex reputation these days. “Amazon Makes a Risky Bet on Woody Allen’s Tarnished Prestige,” David Sims writes at the Atlantic (a Website that’s no stranger to hiring names with tarnished prestige themselves):

Will the viewer boost outweigh whatever hit Amazon’s prestige might take? It’s hard to say. Thinkpieces will undoubtedly flood the Internet, but despite the chilling nature of Dylan Farrow’s public letter, when actors who worked with Allen were asked about it, they mostly referred to the matter as a complicated family issue too sensitive to wade into, and the furor eventually died down. Other networks have worked with unappealing creative personnel without really harming their brand—FX gave accused serial domestic abuser Charlie Sheen 100 episodes of Anger Management in 2012, but remains best-known for highly praised original programming like Louie, The Americans and Justified.

The even bigger question is whether Allen will produce anything remotely watchable. He won an Oscar just three years ago for writing the breezy Midnight in Paris, and within the past decade Blue Jasmine and Vicky Christina Barcelona have both won high praise for their performers. But Allen’s output has been undoubtedly scattershot since the mid-‘90s, with a series of duds usually surrounding every mild-to-moderate hit.

While I understand that the man needs to keep his cashflow up to live in New York (see also: subplot of Manhattan, a film whose gorgeous cinematography helped to make its creepy themes go down that much smoother with unassuming late-’70s audiences), as Sims writes, I’m not at all sure how Amazon benefits from this deal, other than, as United Artists and Orion bet in the ’70s and ’80s, Amazon hopes that Allen’s name will bring in younger, hotter directors looking to establish themselves.

A warning to Amazon: partially thanks to Allen’s increasing number of box office busts starting in his post-Annie Hall period, UA and Orion ultimately each lost that bet. And note that Allen is once again employing his self-deprecating shtick to discuss this new project:

Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price spoke of the decision in a statement, saying, “Woody Allen is a visionary creator who has made some of the greatest films of all-time, and it’s an honor to be working with him on his first television series.” He finished: “From Annie Hall to Blue Jasmine, Woody has been at the creative forefront of American cinema and we couldn’t be more excited to premiere his first TV series exclusively on Prime Instant Video next year.”

Allen also spoke of the opportunity, adding: “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”

That routine was charming when Allen was at the apex of career as a comedic cinema auteur with Annie Hall and Manhattan. These days, Amazon might want to take him at his word.

In the meantime though, might want to buy plenty of shares of whichever company produces the Windsor type font. Just to be able to short it in a few months.

Given the Allahpundit-esque headline this post started with, we might as go out with another of his trademarks. Exit quote:

‘Damn It, Who Talked?’

January 13th, 2015 - 11:42 am

Meanwhile, in France:

Drugs — and/or earth tones — are bad, kids. This is how it all starts:

The above tweets are where it can end up.

Or worse, the above passages were written…sober? Actually, the latter is far more likely the case, at least for Naomi. As Jonah Goldberg wrote on Friday, in the latest edition of his weekly G-File, “the liberal ideological comfort zone is incredibly narrow:”

If an issue can’t be turned into a critique of America (or: white privilege, the religious Right (variously defined), capitalism, the GOP, or some other float in the parade of horribles that is the legacy of those horrible Pale Penis People who gave us so much of Western civilization), then the conversation must be pulled in that direction. It’s simply where their minds go. Rhetorically they have to fight every fight on home turf.

Hence Bates says, “I think we also have to remember that this isn’t just Islamic extremism . . .” Blah blah blah. No, we don’t have to remember anything of the sort. You have a pathological need to change the subject. People like Bates can’t help themselves. They have to get the conversation back to a place where they are comfortable talking about their preferred enemies and demons, even if he has to haul a 30-year-old 600 pound red herring into the studio to do it.

Hence the descent into the fantasyland conspiracy theories. Not the first time in recent weeks for Naomi Wolf, former Al Gore advisor, and not the first time for the rest of the American left in recent years.

Update: Ace squares the circle: “Paris’ Muslims and Jimmy Carter Agree: The Charlie Hebdo Murders Were Engineered by The Jews.”

From the socialist perspective, isn’t everything?

Tuning to Ronan Farrow’s MSNBC show today, I was surprised to find him in Paris, and asked myself: what is he doing there? One thing shortly became clear, he wasn’t talking to a wide range of people.

Because in discussing the absence of any top US officials from President Obama on down from the Paris march yesterday, Farrow claimed that “everyone here that I spoke to personally said they understood the limitations of schedule that led to that.” Everyone? Really, Ronan? What kind of bubble do you float in?

Not surprisingly, Finkelstein jokes, “Shades of Pauline Kael:”

Kael famously commented, after the 1972 Presidential election, ‘I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.

But whatever Kael’s flaws as a film critic, she could be infinitely more perceptive about her fellow leftists’ lies and sophistry than any of the hacks employed by MSNBC. Not to mention, she made her bones as a working journalist before receiving her awards and accolades.

By the way, speaking of NBC, if only there was a go-to person at the TV network or its subsidiary for its fellow journalists to test the credibility of Joel Pollack’s theory that Obama skipped marching in Paris because of potential blowback from his fellow radical chic leftist base after personally snubbing Ferguson protestors. Somebody who’s “thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is,” as the network’s president has publicly stated. If only he could be interviewed for his take on this issue…

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Update: Top. Men.:

CNN Special Report: Blitzer to Host ‘Voices of Auschwitz’ Jan. 27 at 9pm ET” said the spam from CNN’s marketing department that arrived in my inbox earlier today:

Eva Kor arrived at Auschwitz with her mother and twin sister in 1944, when she was just 10-years old. That day on the selection platform was the last time she would ever see her mother again. Eva’s mother was sent directly to the gas chamber. For the next nine months, Eva and her sister Miriam were housed in a rat-infested bunk with 300 other children and subjected to medical experiments daily. Despite the daily torture, Eva was determined to survive, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “I was not going to perish here in Auschwitz.” When liberation finally came on January 27, 1945, Eva and Miriam were at the front of the line as the children were led out of Auschwitz.

This one-hour special report, airing on the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, will look back at the atrocities committed at Auschwitz through the eyes of those imprisoned there more than 70 years ago.

Isn’t the real lede here that after decades of drooling over the Soviet Union, Cuba, Saddam’s Iraq and China, CNN discovers a totalitarian socialist regime whose murderous crimes it can report on, straight, with no morally equivalent chaser? Of course, it’s one that America put out of business 70 years ago, but still as with Hollywood, CNN will take no firm moral stance before its time! (Nor maintain that stance for very long.)

And speaking of totalitarian regimes we put out of business 70 years ago:


During President Bush’s administration, there were lots of blog and video parodies imagining what CNN would have sounded like had it been in existence in the 1930s and ’40s. I’d say pretty much like this:

Related: “Revealed: The video CNN will play when the world ends.” If Stanley Kramer were alive and directing his 1959 all-star end-of-the-world piously liberal anti-nuke morality tale On the Beach today, he’d have to include a scene where this clip plays before the Australians take their suicide pills. On the other hand, such a scene might confuse audiences: were the mass suicides occurring rather than risking the lethal radiation cloud about to sweep the island continent, or due to the Aussies having been forced to endure painfully lethal levels of CNN?