Newt Gingrich, Keith Olbermann and You -- Media Odds and Ends During a Holiday Week
It's one of those weeks where there doesn't seem to be much in the old media news hopper. So we'll have to make do with some odds and edds I have observed so far while trying to get through the pre-Xmas stuff.
Newt Gingrich was doing a fine job recasting himself as a more even-handed politician on Sunday's Meet the Press -- talking up his much-balleyhooed rapproachment with Hillary Clinton for example -- before he took a detour into crazy conservative-land.
The shift occurred when Russert asked about past comment from Ginrich that he would essentially suspend the First Amendment to deal with terrorism. Here's how it went down:
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: You close down any Web site that is jihadist.
MR. RUSSERT: But who makes that judgment?
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: Look, I—you can appoint three federal judges if you want to and say, “Review this stuff and tell us which ones to close down.” I would just like to have them be federal judges who’ve served in combat.
MR. RUSSERT: Are you concerned, however, that with carte blanche, that the government could move in and say, “This mosque is closed, this Web site is shut down”?
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: (some nonsense about the McCain-Feingold bill, then...)So we’ve had a 30-year period of saying it’s OK to infringe free speech as long as it’s about politics. But now if you want to be a jihadist, and you want to go kill people, well who are we to say that’s morally wrong? I think that’s suicidal. I’m using the word deliberately. A country—a Supreme Court justice once said “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.” This country has every right to defend itself, and you saw the same thing recently on this U.S. Airlines provocation, where you had six people go way out of their way to cause trouble, and then claim they were infringed upon. And I think, frankly, the president should invite that U.S. Airlines crew to the White House and thank them, because we ought to set a standard that if you’re provocative about killing people, we’re not going to show you any mercy."
Forget that Gingrich just advocated ripping the Constitution to shreds. What struck me, is that there are plenty of Web sites out there which already advocate violence against Americans.
There are loads of racist sites in which white supremacists call for fueling race war in America. There are other sites which advociate similar ends for homosexuals and Jews and any other group you can imagine.
If Gingrich cares so much about the American people, why isn't he advoating those sites get shut down? (not that I think they should; I believe, unless someone makes a direct, specific threat of violence, free speech -- even abhorrent speech -- rules).
Even by his own crazytown rules, Gingrich makes no sense.
DVD Surpasses VCRs in Homes for the First Time
For all those who insist YouTube will make Tv networks obsolete, peep this fact: we just crossed the line where there' more DVD players in American homes than VCRs.
The press release follows: "Nielsen Media Research released findings today from its 3rd Quarter Home Technology Report which show that more U.S. households now own DVD players (81.2% of all households) than VCRs (79.2% of households). Findings from this quarterly study also show ownership of most media technology trending up from previous years, which could continue to climb as the upcoming Christmas season approaches.
Computers -- 73.4% of U.S. homes currently have a computer in the household, and homes with children and teens are more likely to have a home computer. There is a large difference in the percentage of lower income homes vs. higher income homes that own a home computer. Homes with an income over $60K are 50% more likely to own a home computer than homes with an income below $60K.
Internet – 95.4% of consumers with Internet access go online at least once a week, and 37.3% of Internet users go online more than once a day. 78.2% of online users have made purchases over the Internet. 46.8% of online users (ages 12+) have used the Internet to download and play music from the Internet.
MP3 Players – 26.7% of U.S. homes own or rent an MP3 player. Households with the presence of children 12-17 years of age are nearly 2 ½ times more likely to own or rent an MP3 player than compared to the Total U.S. The percentage of homes owning an MP3 player has risen by 149.5% since 3rd Quarter 2003.
PDA – 16.4% of U.S. homes own a PDA, and since 3rd quarter 2003, PDA ownership has increased by 4.5%. Not surprisingly, higher income homes are more than four times as likely as lower income homes to own a PDA."
More Krazy Konservative Stuff
With great fanfare, the conservative think tank Media Research Center presented its quote of the year -- evidence of liberal bias, I guess:
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it’s the rights of immigrants to start a new life, or the rights of gays to marry, or the rights of women to choose. You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren’t. But you are. And for that, I’m sorry.”
—New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s May 21 graduation address at the State University of New York at New Paltz, shown on C-SPAN May 27.
Call me crazy, but Arthur's making al ot of sense to me....
More Odds and Ends
Can we call a moratorium on griping about TIME magazine's pick for Person of the Year: the digital media user, or You? Yes, lots of folks have been doing YouTube and MySpace and iPodding for years, but it reached critical mass in 2006 and it's TIME's job to tell us about trends we're already hip deep in. If you're hip enough to know they're not, griping about it just makes you look petty.
After watching the first two episodes of NBC's Los Angeles iteration of the Apprentice, I'm not shocked by the Survivor-like twist forcing the team which loses competitions to live on the lawn of a California mansion; and I'm not surprised a knuckleheaded Donald Trump rewarded the winning team in the second episode with a party at the Playboy mansion, forcing the women on the team to find fun in hanging with a roomful of jiggling Playmates. I was surprised by how pasty Trump looked when he stripped off his shoes and socks for a beachside fashion show -- somebody grab a tanning bed stat!