Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Be Still "i Heart"

As a former radio sales person, manager and broadcast devotee for 28 years, Clear Channel Radio is, to me, a dirty word name.  The original "one size fits all" radio station conglomerate led the way in the destruction of original radio programming, unique on air voices, the promotion of new artists while defining radio formats as narrowly as possible and depriving listeners and advertisers of diversity.  Additionally, their hate mongering syndicated radio voices,  Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity have been a consistent source of revenue...until recently.

iHeart Radio or iHateRadio? Fans ‘Rush Out’ After Seeing Limbaugh Ad In Their FB Newsfeed  Liberals Unite   8/22/14


Clear Channel Radio was one of the first conglomerates to gobble up huge market shares of radio stations in major and middle size markets across the U.S, thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  Clear Channel squeezed the life out of live broadcasting by reducing the 24/7 live radio broadcast to a handful of pre-recorded dee-jay voiceovers that simulated a live broadcast.   Program Directors, once the heartbeat of  most radio stations began to go the way of the dinosaur.  They were primarily responsible for the sound, the look, the style and unique individuality of a station through their choices in music, on air personalities and promotional approaches.  Corporate cost-cutting relegated PDs to regional jobs or market jobs (1 guy for multiple stations) and disc jockeys to .  Do you ever wonder why no matter where you travel in the U.S. all  formatted stations sound the same?   Do you miss the great jazz stations, classical stations, news stations?  They weren't profitable enough.  They had to go.

It should be noted since 2006, Clear Channel has been co-owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital Partners & thomas H. Lee Partners.  Remember, "corporations are people, my friend."
The company, which has laid off thousands of employees in recent years, announced that it would move to more centralized programming and lay off 1,500 employees, or approximately 7% of its workforce, on January 20, 2009. The reasoning was bleak economic conditions and debt from its transition to a private company.[37] Later on January 20, the company said that the total count of employees to be terminated would be 1,850, or 9%.
Between January and May 2009 Clear Channel eliminated 2,440 positions.[38] On May 20, 2009, Clear Channel announced an initiative to help its radio station listeners who are seeking employment to market their skills and unique features on the air to attract the attention of employers with available positions.[39]   Wikipedia

Clear Channel has been steadily losing ad revenue and market share in their brick and mortar stations thanks to contracts with the above-mentioned broadcasters, particularly since Rush Limbaugh's  malicious attack on Georgetown student Sandra Fluke in 2012 resulted in a "Boycott Rush" campaign. 

Apparently, people are continuing to boycott, complain and condemn the man for his wretched tactics and Clear Channel Media lost $309.2 million in 4th Q 2013.

With a song in my heart, that makes me feel good.



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Friday, August 22, 2014

2016's "Sarah Palin"


Rick Perry has never looked better than he does in his new mug shot. 

Currently under indictment on "abuse of power" and "coercion of a public servant" charges,  the Perry case is grabbing headlines and column inches around the country.  According to Dallas Morning News columnist, Wayne Slater, the indictment is neither frivolous nor spurious as characterized by Perry, his supporters & Republican talking heads.  Slater thinks it has legs.  

Meanwhile, Perry is out and about making speeches and gaining new followers. He made a big splash at the conservative Heritage Foundation by raising the alarm of ISIS at the back door of the U.S.  
"There's the obvious great concern that, because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure, and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be [crossing]," he said. "There's a very real possibility that they may have already used that [strategy]."   The Hill 8/22/14
The article goes on to state the Pentagon strongly refutes that theory.   
This is the guy who, during a 2011 Presidential debate with Romney, Obama, Ron Paul, et. al couldn't remember the three agencies he was going to dump when he became president
Perry was discussing his jobs plan and his flat tax plan when he said: "And I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the... what's the third one there? Let's see..."
 "...I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."    CBS News 11/10/11
Who does this remind me of...hmmmm...could it be ... SATAN?  Sarah Palin!  Wasn't she the good-looking empty headed alarmist spouting Barbie doll who commanded an impressive following to bolster her campaign and a surprising war chest despite her inability to conduct an informed interview with Katie Couric or anyone else for that matter.




Sarah & Rick have much in common.  They are attractive, well-dressed politicians full of sound and fury signifying nothing.  But hey,  at least we don't have to think too long and hard about ISIS beheading journalist James Foley earlier this week or the ongoing anger and police state tactics in Ferguson, MO. 


 This post is inspired by today's The Political Carnival post on the same.   


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Monday, August 4, 2014

Gun Control Advocate Hero & Victim James Brady Dies

James & Sarah Brady 2011  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)






















    James Brady, former White House Press Secretary to Ronald Reagan, has died. Brady was shot in the head by John Hinckley Jr. as he tried to assassinate then president Ronald Reagan.  The assassination attempt took place March 30,1981.  Brady had been on the job just 69 days.    Brady survived, confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. He became an ardent gun control advocate, co-sponsoring, with wife Sarah Brady,  the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  Their push for national legislation eventually became known as the "Brady Bill".  He leaves a legacy of courage, perseverance and strength.   

I came across this anecdote today.

How James Brady Didn't Get Me Fired
AUG 4, 2014 4:37 PM EDT
By  
In 1979, I wrote a critical front-page Wall Street Journal profile of leading Republican presidential contender John Connally. The tough-talking Texan demanded that his press secretary call the Journal's top brass and get me fired. Later that press secretary reported back: "They won't do it; those bastards always stick together." Connally just shook his head.
The press secretary was James Brady, who of course never actually called the Journal's executives. Rather, he mollified the candidate without causing further damage.
Jim, who died today at 73, left a mark on America; he was a man of indomitable courage in the face of awful adversity.
A couple years after the Connally incident, he was riding high as Ronald Reagan's press secretary when he was severely shot in the head during an attempted assassination of the new president. My wife, Judy Woodruff, then NBC's White House correspondent, was standing yards away; it was a gruesome scene. This was only 10 weeks into the Reagan administration and Brady -- who was smart, funny, knew the ways of Washington and was respected by the press -- could have been become a Reagan insider.
It wasn't to be.
Jim never really recovered from his near-fatal brain injury, was wheelchair-bound and faced numerous health setbacks over the next three decades. But he didn't disappear. He and his incredibly persistent and gutsy wife, Sarah, became the most visible champions of a sensible gun policy in America. In 1993, the so-called Brady Law was signed by President Bill Clinton; it requires a background check before purchasing most firearms.
The law was diluted by the courts and politicians, and had too many loopholes. Still, millions of gun purchases have been blocked and probably many lives saved.
The Bradys became an inspiring presence at major events in Washington and in the corridors of Congress, sometimes at the White House. Jim lost a lot, never his spirit or humor.
A few weeks before the shooting in 1981, Jim and Sarah took my wife and me to dinner. Near the end of a delightful evening, I asked him a needling question about the White House. His instant retort: "I should have gotten you fired."
To contact the writer of this article: Al Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net.





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Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner Gone




As women of a certain age, we have our favorite actors and a number of them are passing; one of mine was James Garner.  He was handsome, witty and an excellent character and lead actor.  He was so nuanced I think his performances were under appreciated at times.  He played romantic leads (Murphy's Romance, The Americanization of Emily, The Notebook), con men (The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily), a hapless husband (The Thrill of It All, Move Over Darling) a hapless gangster (Victor, Victoria), comedy (Support Your Local Sheriff, his Doris Day films and more), race car driver (Grand Prix), all his western roles which began with the TV show "Maverick" and, for me, his most endearing turn as the reluctant private eye in "The Rockford Files".  



There will be many accolades and remembrances.  Here's a brief encapsulation of his career.  The second to the last paragraph mentions his 12,000 sq ft home in northern Santa Barbara County. One of my friends was the builder.  From what I understand, it's one heck of a homestead.  But, of course, he was one heck of a man.

Clip from "Support Your Local Sheriff", a very funny film.



Siskel & Ebert's review of "Murphy's Romance".  The visual resolution on YouTube is fuzzy but their review is spot on; a terrific, funny and very romantic film.




"The Americanization of Emily" was Garner's favorite film.





RIP James Garner


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Christina

Christina
by Cole Scott