Saturday, November 14, 2009

Newsmax, Media Tidbits, Dogs, and Muppets

The first of my Newsmax columns on political media is up (from their November issue), and the second, I think, will be in the December issue on stands within the next couple weeks.  Below, though, are seven items that didn’t make it into that short first column (and I really ought to start making my blog entries as short as these snippets, since you all have things to do — except the blog entries should have punk and sci-fi references):

•Reporter John Stossel gave a typically libertarian explanation for his move from ABC News to Fox News: “It means more freedom.”  A producer at ABC said that network has been more and more reluctant to criticize government since Obama took office.

Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the well-known, cartoon-like “HOPE” poster of Obama’s face (and a popular poster of wrestler Andre the Giant) defends Yosi Sergant, the National Endowment for the Arts staffer who resigned after revelations he’d been encouraging pro-Obama art.  Fairey’s site called Sergant a victim of “the right wing hate machine.”

Michael Moore’s documentary Capitalism: A Love Story concluded by calling capitalism an “evil” that must be “eliminated.”  That didn’t stop Esquire magazine from hosting a Lincoln Center screening of the film, followed by friendly Q&A with Moore conducted by Daily Beast editor Tina Brown.  When New York Post’s Kyle Smith tried to ask Moore if he endorses communism, Smith’s microphone was cut off.

•The New York Post was the victim the same day of a large-scale prank underwritten by the left-wing documentarians called the Yes Men.  During a climate-change conference at the U.N., at least a dozen young leftists handed out thousands of fake issues of the Post, filled with global warming articles.

•During the same climate conference, the libertarian documentarians behind the film Not Evil, Just Wrong cornered several celebrities, including X-Files star Gillian Anderson, getting them to admit they flew carbon-emitting jets, some private, to the conference.

•New York City’s Channel 5 news anchor Ernie Anastos created a sensation — and an instant catch phrase — recently by (presumably accidentally) using an expletive.  He told a meteorologist, during on-air banter, to “Keep fucking that chicken,” shortly after making a Frank Perdue joke.

•And that leads us to the Segway, or rather to inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway and other motion-assisting devices.  In his speech after receiving this year’s Popular Mechanics Leadership Award for a lifetime of inspiring technological achievements, Kamen said that America is doomed as a world leader unless we make science and technology as exciting to kids as we now do athletes and movie stars, and he said it’s more about culture than about spending more on public schools: “Someone has to inspire kids to do things that matter.”

P.S. One thing that might help with Kamen’s pro-science mission is the set of talks being given under the auspices of NYC Skeptics today from 1-4pm at Pace University’s downtown Manhattan location, 1 Pace Plaza, in Lecture Hall South — where you’ll find me listening to two ACSH Advisors and others talk about health myths.

P.P.S. Never a candidate for inclusion in Newsmax was this invention that was not created by Dean Kamen: decorative dog armor.  This outfit would be useful to the members of an obscure old DC Comics hero team I only just learned about recently: the Space Canine Patrol Agents, including such members as Tail Terrier, whose tail stretches and can capture villains, and Drooly, who makes lassoes and such out of drool.  Seeing some of the members described online as having died in the line of duty is strange.

And since all that puts one in a Muppet-like mood, here are clips from Steven Schub, L.A.’s premier libertarian ska band leader, of his childhood appearances on Sesame Street.  Good thing he and his bandmates in the Fenwicks weren’t psychologically damaged by his youthful experiences.

1 comment:

Steven Schub said...

“Not damaged”, huh?

Tell that to my therapist.

It was public television after all…

p.s. the Cookie Monster is a closet Objectivist…

You heard it hear first!

A is A.

(and Oy vey is Oy vey!)


SS & the furry, freaky, funky, freedom-fighting Fenwicks