Television

The Specter of Deep Fakes?

Featured image I have heard about the arrival of “deep fake” videos, but hadn’t paid much attention to it. But then I saw the video below, which is pretty amazing. Worth catching closely, a couple times. I have wondered for a while when we might get to the point where digital Hollywood tech might replace actors—or even be used to being back long dead ones. I know I’d be up for some »

Is ESPN reverting to its old, leftist ways?

Featured image For years, ESPN indulged in left-wing politics. I wrote about this here and here. But John Skipper, under whose direction ESPN took this unfortunate turn, is no longer running the network. It turned out that he had an addiction problem. Also, ESPN was hurting financially. ESPN’s new head, Jimmy Pitaro, issued a directive — stop doing politics. To my knowledge, it has been followed. Earlier this week, however, an ESPN »

Bosch

Featured image Michael Connelly’s books featuring Los Angeles Detective Harry Bosch are among the world’s most popular police procedurals. Connelly published the first Bosch book in 1992, and there have been 22 altogether. The Bosch series has spun off two other characters, Mickey Haller (the Lincoln Lawyer) and Renee Ballard, a young detective who has been featured in two books so far, which I like a lot. One of my sisters-in-law turned »

A Good Night to Watch PBS

Featured image I wrote here about a doctor who preyed on Indian boys and young men on reservations for decades before finally being brought to justice. One of my closest childhood friends battled the bureaucracy to blow the whistle on the predator, with the result that he–my friend, not the predator–was effectively forced out of the Indian Health Service. That appalling story was reported by the Wall Street Journal and PBS Frontline. »

TV Industry Slams President Trump

Featured image I’m not sure why anyone would watch a televised awards show, and I wouldn’t have dreamed of seeing tonight’s Emmy show, which was advertised as a Trump hate-fest. The program is being hosted by Stephen Colbert, who has revived his career by doing pretty much nothing other than ripping the president. Presumably you didn’t see it either, but the Associated Press’s account confirms that we didn’t miss anything: “Saturday Night »

On missing the (alleged) new Golden Age of television

Featured image When I hear certain leftists deny that they dislike America, I often wonder what they like about it. Not our Constitution, the handiwork of greedy, racist patriarchs. Not our history, one long, continuous exercise in oppression. Not our people, a huge percentage of whom are “deplorable.” All I can come up with is the natural beauty of some of the land, some of our music, and certain trendy television shows. »

HBO Kills “Mogadishu, Minnesota”

Featured image A year ago, there was buzz in the Twin Cities about a projected HBO series that would center on the lives of Somali refugees in Minnesota. It was to be called “Mogadishu, Minnesota” and was hailed as the possible savior of Minnesota’s moribund film industry. Well-known director Kathryn Bigelow, who made “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” was involved, but the main creative talent was a Somali-Canadian rapper named »

Confederate: More Left-Wing Propaganda

Featured image HBO has announced that the team that produces Game of Thrones will, when that series concludes next year, take on a new project: a series called Confederate. The premise of Confederate is that the South prevailed in the Civil War, and now, in the 21st century, slavery still exists there. HBO’s initial publicity for the new program drew some criticism, so the network’s programming president, Casey Bloys, met with the »

Is Trump panicking? Should conservatives?

Featured image John notes that some Republicans may be panicking about the Trump administration. He argues that such panic would not be justified. The question I want to raise is whether President Trump is panicking? The answer, I think, is no. However, there are signs that he may be a bit unnerved and that he’s overreacting to early setbacks. The Trump administration is nearing the 100-day mark. This represents a non-event — »

In re O’Reilly, Part Three

Featured image At the end of my post about Bill O’Reilly’s dismissal, I wrote: I very much doubt that the decision to fire O’Reilly was driven by the facts of his conduct. In all likelihood, it was driven by sponsor reaction. In other words, it was the product of corporate America — spineless and liberal as ever — and left-wing groups that exploit these weaknesses. The link for “left-wing groups” was to »

In re O’Reilly, Part Two

Featured image Fox News has fired Bill O’Reilly. It stated: “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” The unnamed “allegations” are of improper sexual comments and/or behavior and retaliation against at least one woman who says she rejected a sexual advance. It seems very likely that O’Reilly made inappropriate remarks over »

In re Bill O’Reilly

Featured image Bill O’Reilly reportedly is fighting for his television life because a woman, Wendy Walsh, claims the talk show host asked her to come to his hotel room and, when she declined, he retaliated by dropping her as a regular guest on his show and reneging on an alleged promise to help her land her own show on Fox News. Walsh has not raised this claim in a court of law, »

Is ESPN unraveling?

Featured image I don’t know, but it’s certainly hurting. Clay Travis reports: Two years ago ESPN cut several hundred behind the scenes jobs to save hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly costs. Since that time ESPN’s subscriber losses have accelerated, averaging over three million lost subscribers a year. Now new jobs cuts are coming, only this time you’re likely to know some of the casualties — different sources [say] that ESPN »

NFL ratings are down. Why?

Featured image The National Football League’s television ratings have declined significantly this season. After four weeks, the NFL’s ratings are down 11 percent across FOX, CBS, NBC and ESPN. And the Thursday night game that kicked off Week Five experienced a 17 percent drop in viewership compared to the corresponding game last season. The biggest hit is on prime time. On Sunday afternoon’s, the traditional NFL slot, the decline is only around »

Read more, watch ESPN less [Updated]

Featured image John Skipper is the President of ESPN, Inc. The Washington Post adoringly paints him as one-time Southern hippie who studied literature, wanted to write the Great American novel, and enjoys late night “high level sophisticated conversations about American literature, Faulkner’s place in it, [and] the influence of alcohol and race. . . .” You probably know the type. In a commencement address at the University of Central Florida, Skipper bemoaned »

A Republic, if we can keep our TV shows

Featured image When Scotland was getting set to vote on whether to leave Great Britain, “stay” supporters raised the specter that an exit might mean loss of access to popular BBC television series. The “leave” movement took pains to assure Scots they would still be able to watch such shows as EastEnders, Doctor Who, and Strictly Come Dancing. Scotland voted to stay, so we never found out whether an independent Scotland would »

A Rare Foray Into Culture Criticism

Featured image I can put up with just about any Game of Thrones sub-plot, as long as the show eventually gets back to Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen. But the current Arya Stark misery, with no name or no face or whatever it is–no eyesight, for sure–needlessly and stupidly sidelines one of the program’s best characters. The story is boring, repetitious and as far as I can tell, going nowhere. We don’t »