Tag Archives: Television

Firm Grip: Gun “Control” Debate Needs Reframing.

18 Dec

The reactions on the events of December 14th started to get political almost immediately. Those wanting to create more restrictions via new laws and those wanting to expand gun rights took to the internet and airwaves to get their voices heard. The same general rhetoric was heard by both sides. Each getting responses from those stuck in the echo chamber of which belief system they fell under.

So far I’ve heard only one person start to really put things into perspective regarding the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school. What happened there is nothing less of heartbreaking. Parents sending their children off in the morning only to identify their lifeless bodies later is inconceivable to most people. Yet it is the reality of some of those parents. The talk has shifted to politicizing the tragedy. Rham Emanuel’s famous quote keeps ringing in my head:

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

What is being lost is the real perspective of this one event to public schools as a whole. We need to step back and ask ourselves this one question: How often are shootings like this happening in public schools kindergarten through high school? Some stats can be found on Wikipedia [1]. Once the colleges and universities are removed, the total number of school shootings total 77 since 1992. So in a 20 year span only 20 public grade school shootings have occurred, though none at the level of Sandy Hook. Of those 77, over half were at a high school with 50 incidents. There were 17 at middle schools and 10 at elementary schools. Until the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the largest number of injuries at an elementary school was the Amish school shooting in 2006 where 5 children were killed and the gunman killed himself.

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Keep Calm and Legislate: CALM Act Begins

13 Dec

It has taken a few years but the CALM () Act will begin to be enforcable today. The idea behind the law is to limit the louder volume of TV commercials from the TV show which they air around. As an avid TV viewer I can appreciate this bit of peace and calm. Parents with younger children who go to bed before they do will likely also welcome the news.

However, as I began to enjoy the idea of a more peaceful viewing experience thanks to this new law, my mind began to think back a few decades ago. I could have sworn this technology was tried on the open market before. After doing some searches on the web, I found out I wasn’t just making the idea up in my head.

The technology my mind was recalling was from 1992 and promoted by Magnavox. It was known at the time as SmartSound. Below is a link the commercial at the time illustrating the technology.

Magnavox SmartSound Commercial

I never owned a TV with this technology but if I had, and it worked as advertised, I don’t know if I would have ever thrown it out. The website eHow gives this brief summary of how SmartSound worked:

Smart Sound, introduced by Magnavox in 1992 on its television sets, is designed to reduce sudden extreme changes in volume, namely the sound of TV commercials relative to the sound of the TV shows they follow. Magnavox refers to Smart Sound as “automatic volume control” to describe the feature’s ability to monitor the sound level of TV shows and limit how much louder the subsequent commercials will play.

So why didn’t more companies pick up and run with this? That is a question we might never know. But what is interesting is it wasn’t then, it hasn’t resurfaced almost 20 years later as a feature in TV’s and now we have a federal law requiring TV stations to do the same thing the free market rejected. With the way media consuption is headed, to a more on demand, pay to view (either per viewing or subscription) it will be interesting to see how long this law will be needed after all.

Source –
Magnavox SmartSound – eHow

Words Mean Something: Sheila Jackson Lee Talks but Says a Lot of Nonsense

13 Dec

This woman  is an embarrassment to Houston, Texas and the country as a whole. Sheila Jackson Lee keeps getting re-elected by wide margins due to a rigged congressional district. She couldn’t sound like a bigger idiot if she tried. Seriously do a youtube search on her and witness first hand the brilliance of her speaking and thinking skills. Her latest gem is getting lots of feedback, mostly negative. If you haven’t seen it here it is. Viewing could lower one’s IQ by a few points.

What the heck is shipshod? She wants to “use that terminology”? What does that mean? Has anyone heard of a narnstarter? I sure haven’t. Of course there is the typical political garbage spin heard from the vast majority of politicians.

After viewing this atrocity I was quickly reminded of a comedy show I used to watch back in the 90’s. The name of the show was In Living Color and for a time it was hilarious. There was one skit which was brought back to my mind though. It was this one:

I don’t care what a person’s race, religion, nationality, etc… are. If someone is just trying to sound intelligent by using “big” words they are doing a disservice to themselves and those who they are speaking. Just stop speaking and do everyone a favor.

Let’s contrast her speech with one by Ted Poe:

The difference is crystal clear.

Will Costas Get on His Soap Box Again for NFL DUI Fatality?

9 Dec

By now many people have heard of the car accident of involving Jerry Brown Jr. and Josh Brent, which ended Brown’s life. It has been reported Brent was arrested on charges of intoxication manslaughter. His life will be over as a professional athlete if it is true he was drinking and driving.

However, after the last tragic event the NFL faced just over a week ago regarding Jovan Belcher and his muder and suicide using a fire arm, a question on many people’s mind is will Bob Costas lecture the public again? It wouldn’t seem too far of a stretch for Costas to come on again for another round of sportscaster parenting.

Look at all what he could wag his finger about:

  • Driving wrecklessly
  • Drinking alcohol or drinking alcohol in “excess”
  • Being out past midnight
  • And others I’m sure Costas could conjure up.

Maybe this time he would be smart and get more than a minute or two. Then he could get real in-depth and not have to give his audience too much credit. Yeah he said that was one of the reasons for the backlash last time.

Hopefully some real lessons can be learned from people with this. Don’t drink and drive, ever. If someone does they need to face some real punishment. Which brings up another lesson to be learned, the punishment for drinking and driving is too little. Especially when the innocent life of another person is taken.

So here’s some advice for Mr. Costas:

  • Don’t say a word
  • If you feel you must, don’t use a moron as a source to cite
  • Keep your remarks to ideas the vast majority could agree (like drinking and driving is bad)
  • But the best idea is to not say a word. See a pattern here Bob?

Dig Dug: Costas Digs Deeper Hole with “Apology”

5 Dec

Ever hear the saying, “Stop talking you’re just digging your hole deeper”? Maybe someone needs to relay it to Bob Costas. Apparently he is unaware of how bad the backlash is against his mini-rant against gun ownership rights. When a media personality makes a mistake as epic as Costas, causing many, many people calling for his resignation, it’s best to just keep quiet and wait for the next “big story” to come along. When it does, the mistake made will be bumped down the line and forgotten.

Instead Costas is trying, and failing, to do some kind of damage control and only digging his hole deeper. He was on the Dan Patrick show yesterday and made the following statement:

And for a long time, I’ve been wanting to get off my chest my disgust with this idea that every time something tragic happens, no matter what it may be, that in any way touches sports, there’s a chorus of people saying, ‘You know, this really puts it in perspective.’ Which is a bunch of nonsense, because if that was true, we wouldn’t have to have that perspective readjusted every time the next tragedy occurs. It’s a bunch of nonsense.

And what I was trying to say was, that if you want some perspective on this, there are a number of issues related to this that we could begin to talk about and think about. The problem was that I didn’t have enough time to get to many of them. And that, I think, was my mistake, to be quite honest, Dan. A friend of mine in broadcasting pointed this out to me yesterday, and I agree with him. He said, ‘You violated your own rule.’ Because we have had this discussion before. I’ve always said, if you’re going to get into touchy topics, nuanced topics, make sure that you have enough time to flesh them out, that you have enough time to make yourself fully understood, or save them for forums where you do. In this particular situation, the timeliness of it was, if you’re going to comment on it at all, it had to be this Sunday. Because this is when the Belcher situation had played itself out.

So, I’m thinking I can’t address all of the possible aspects of this. Domestic violence; the possibility of athletes, especially athletes who play a violent sport are more prone to domestic violence than people the same age elsewhere in society. The possible connection between football and this particular tragedy. We know that football is connected, and it’s effects are connected to other situations. We don’t know yet whether it’s connected to Belcher, but that’s certainly a question that could be asked. The easy availability of guns is another.

And so I saw what Jason Whitlock had written and a portion of what he wrote resonated with me and given the time that I had, I thought that was on aspect that I could put out there and maybe, maybe I gave the audience too much credit, but I said if you’re looking for perspective, a bit of it could be found. And my implication there — with every second counting, I had maybe 50 seconds total for this — my implication was a bit of perspective, here’s one aspect of it. I also put in parenthetically that in the days ahead, Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. That was meant to imply there are many aspects of this, I’m addressing one by quoting what Jason Whitlock said in his column.

So I think that my mistake there was that I left it open to too much interpretation.

Talk about missing the point. The point wasn’t addressing the issue or even having enough time. The issue is choice of venue. You want to talk about the issue of guns and gun violence? Go for it. But one better pick the right time and place to do it.

What I really love is the quick insult at all the people who didn’t agree with his point of view. He gave the audience too much credit? What exactly does that mean? Are they too stupid? Is his audience, which was mainly Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles fans, not educated on gun ownership or guns in general? Please Bob help your audience understand your incredibly high and in-depth level of analysis of the situation in your less than 60 second mini-rant.

Another tip for Mr. Costas, when trying to make a point, be sure the source cited doesn’t have a history of looking like a racist fool, like Jason Whitlock has done in the past. It only takes away from trying to strengthen your side of the argument. But since the in-depth research was done this was already done this was known when you went on air, right?

It’s time these left-leaning talking heads who want to pontificate about their personal opinions be held as accountable as those they criticize on the right for doing the same thing.

Source –

Costas: “Mistake” To Give Anti-Gun Commentary During Football Game – Real Clear Politics

Old Navy + Griswolds = Brilliantly Funny Christmas Commercial

27 Nov

I’m not the biggest Chevy Chase fan anymore but this is a funny Christmas commercial. Well played Old Navy. Well Played.

Book’em Danno: Network Affiliate Runs Photoshopped Petraeus Book Cover

13 Nov

Editorial checking has taken a back seat to getting the latest scoop in those who practice journalism. This trend started decades ago and contines through to today. This is a great example of the lack of the downfall of fact checking.

How could anyone miss this? Just look at the book title. Jokes have been and will be made about the book title and the controversy surrounding it. But that does not excuse this level of incompetence. One of two things happened.

  1. The editor for this segment some how completely missed this.
  2. The editor saw it and let it go for what ever reason.

Stuff like this, no matter how funny, gives an already beat up media another black eye. These incidents do not bring a sense of honor to the craft of journalism. Quite the opposite.

I have to admit, reading the Photoshopped image did get a chuckle out of me.

Source – The Weekly Standard