Hey, CBS 5, promos aren’t news!

Just to prove this happens in every city large enough to have its own network TV affiliate – it makes no difference whether I’m at home in Sacramento or vacationing in Phoenix, the promos disguised as news phenomenon is a constant.

On this mornings CBS 5 Phoenix local morning news program, the “Entertainment News” segment transpired. Rarely is entertainment news of a local variety, unless you’re in Los Angeles or New York. So it’s suspect to begin with whether such a segment shoud appear at all on a local newscast.

That noted, the first “news” item was about how Stephen Colbert would transition into his role as David Letterman’s Late Night replacement. Turns out we were in luck, because Colbert would be appearing with Letterman to discuss that very topic.

The local anchor then told us, “You’re not gonna want to miss this on CBS.”

(The “on CBS” part reminded me of Kevin Nealon’s SNL impression of Brent Musburger.)

Needless to say, real news doesn’t garner an anchor advising us not to miss a broadcast on his/her network.

Let’s just cut out the pretense and call what it really is… a giant waste of our time. Now THAT would be news.

Now imagine no federal income tax.

Hope you had a wonderful tax day. Now consider this.

Of all the concepts John Lennon asked us to imagine, having no federal income tax wasn’t among them. (He was U.S. resident at the time he recorded the song, so the example does apply.)

On tax day, I heard snippets from the likes of Conservative radio hosts Andrew Wilkow and Mark Levin lamenting many aspects of april 15 – including the Left’s hackneyed “fair share” rhetoric, the pitfalls of having people subsidize other people; and even some ridicule for people who get excited by a tax refund (suckers!).

Of course, this site’s purpose is to provide original commentary not already provided elsewhere. So with that once again noted, I offer two points not made by Wilkow or Levin.

The first point is that Americans have become so conditioned to paying sizable portions of money to the government – especially thanks to wage withholding (Wilkow did make that point) that we can’t even imagine a world with no federal income tax.

No income tax? That’s crazy talk, isn’t it.

Well. Last year, I commemorated our 100th anniversary of the federal income tax.

That’s right. Do the math.

That means. America as we know it lasted 137 years without an income tax – still exceedingly longer than we’ve had one.

But how is that possible? How did we equip the government with soldiers and postmen as outlined in the Constitution. Apparently we did so by producing and exporting more goods than we imported, with excise tax differentials providing the needed government revenue.

“Imagine all the people… keeping what they earn.”

I get it. That model couldn’t work with World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and more people to protect, more soldiers and weaponry, etc.

I also get that the Constitution created a government that was able to pass legislation to create the income tax. What’s more, I’m not advocating that life in 1912 and earlier was preferable to today.

But just think about all the non-military spending now included in your tax bill. As recently as the 1990s, I heard then Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne argue that if the Federal government did only that which the Constitution outlined it to do, then it could still be funded sans income tax.

That brings me to my second point. At the very least, if the notion of an income tax at least followed the principles of the Constitution, then the lowest percentage oof our tax dollars would be allocated to the Federal government (it began at a rate of 1% of income; today it’s more like 25-50%).

Government, outside of national defense, was intended to be provided at the State and local level. Instead, we pay large sums to the Federal government, only to have the redistribute portions of the money back to the states – minus the waste of bureaucracy.

That’s just plain backwards, and explains in a nutshell what’s wrong with America today.

Alas, we can’t even fathom a construct where we pay only a percent or two to the Federal government. That’s what 100 years of conditioning (i.e., applied rogressive ideology) will do.

ESPN Masters crawl misses mark

If I were in charge of content management for ESPN’s “bottom line” update crawl, and it was Sunday evening following the Masters, I would begin with the premise that people who missed that day’s final round and were interested in the results probably knew which players were in contention heading into Sunday.

As the result of this premise, after I’d report that Bubba Watson won by 3 shots, I would focus on how the other players did on Sunday who began the day on the final page of the leaderboard.

Let’s look at it from a different perspective. If I had missed Sunday’s coverage and were relying on the ESPN ticker to fill me in on the final results – perhaps while watching Red Sox-Yankees that evening – the first thing I would’ve wondered after seeing that Watson was triumphant would’ve been, “What happened to Matt Kuchar? He started the day only 1 shot back.”

But instead of providing this type of perspective, ESPN opted for a seemingly random display of content, including, “Rory McIlroy finished 8th” and, “Defending champion Adam Scott finished at +1.”

Thanks! Neither McIlroy nor Scott were in contention at the start of the final round, so why would their results have been noteworthy to ESPN viewers?

I know why.

Because with no Tiger and no Phil, ESPN felt no other recourse than to pick two of the biggest remaining names and give them the Tiger-Phil ticker treatment.

Ugh. They didn’t even bother to include that Jonas Blixt finished tied with Jordan Spieth (who was mentioned) for second.

That’s ESPN for you. They could’ve given us context, but they gave us so much more.

Peculiar storyline at Masters.com

"How wide is it?"

“How wide is it?”

I downloaded the Masters mobile app to find one of the top storylines on the front page was: “Wide open field at this year’s Masters.”

Huh? Wide open field? Moreso this year than any other year?

Oh that’s right, that’s code for you-know-who isn’t playing. NOW it’s okay to talk about how “wide open” this tournament is. I mean, anybody could win it. Funny how that was never the story the last several years – even though Tiger Woods hasn’t won this event since 2005. Guys named Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera and Charl Schwarzel have won it – but those weren’t “wide open” fields when those Masters began.

Such is this era of golf coverage. Some of us will enjoy the “wide open field” because it means we’ll likely see more players in lieu of the prototypical Tiger-palooza coverage in which we watch him stand on the tee, circle his ball on the green, walk from shot to shot – to the point where we feel like creepy stalkers.

On that note, enjoy the tournament, enjoy your Spring Break (if you have kids and aren’t in college) and don’t forget to have a Happy Easter – we’re not afraid to use the E-word in this space.

Commentary will return in late April-early May. Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/distd2.

Dems imitate art… again. (Holder = Nicholson)

Contempt-Holder

Contempt-Holder

I’ve just created a new topic category for this site called “Dems imitate Art” – because, intentionally or unintentionally, it keeps happening.

A couple months back, we saw Congressman Keith Ellison and Speaker Nancy Pelosi trumpeting the benefits of unemployment and work-life balance – including a talking point to the effect of unemployment as an opportunity to try something new like painting.

Clearly, they took this page from the book of George Clooney’s character in “Up In the Air” – in a scene with J.K. Simmons dubbed on Youtube as the “Follow your dreams” monologue. (See clip here. Warning: contains explicit language.)

Can I prove they pilfered the premise from this movie scene? Nope. I just know it. It’s obvious to me.

It’s a stratagem reminiscent of the Clinton years when then President Clinton would sometimes synchronize legislative (or Executive Order) announcements with the release of a Hollywood movie – there was one that Drudge cited involving the environment and some Travolta movie about the environment.

I surmised the most recent example while hearing clips on Glenn Beck’s radio program of Eric Holder’s testifying to Congress Louie Gohmert at a congressional hearing (see recap on TheBlaze here).

In this example, Holder displays the same contempt for the American system of government as his boss regularly does – you know, that pesky Constitution that always seems to get in the Progressives way of “progress”.

You can read about the “good luck with your asparagus” remark and its context at TheBlaze. The objective of my site is to give commentary you haven’t heard/read elsewhere. So with that backdrop, I am proposing that Holder’s contempt is – though this time unintentionally – strikingly reminiscent to the Jack Nicholson Colonel Jessup character in Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men.

As part of Nicholson/Jessup’s signature soliloquy in that film – one that I can recite verbatim, incidentally – Nicholson is clearly perturbed and perplexed that someone sees the need for him to be there in the first place.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it. I’d rather you say, ‘Thank you!’ – and went on your way. Or, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. EITHER WAY, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!”

-Said Jessup.

(You’ll have to take my word for it that I typed that directly from memory; I didn’t have to look it up. Nor do I have to have it read back to me – as Jessup also remarked to Tom Cruise’s Lieutenant Caffey character.)

This is precisely the sentiment Holder displayed with his mocking, ridiculing behavior toward Gohmert, who is the real-world Lieutenant Caffey in this Dems-imitate-Art scenario. The mere suggestion that Holder would have to waste his valuable time serving the good King he faithfully serves – to have to explain himself to an insignificant figure like Gohmert – is nothing but a source of irritation to him.

And THAT is today’s edition of “Dems imitate Art”.

Curry favors (climate change) propaganda.

Distaste for Curry.

Distaste for Curry.

This one incited my pet peeves on many counts. First, perhaps my least favorite TV news phenomenon is when your local news station devotes its local news time to promote corporate fatherland national network promotions.

I witnessed this happenstance on the Saturday morning local KCRA (Sacramento) newscast, which – in case you didn’t see it the first time – played a clip of their weeknight anchor interviewing national NBC reporter Ann Curry (yes, as Albert Brooks’ Aaron Altman character of Broadcast News accurately foreshadowed, the media interviews itself). The clip is then, in compulsory fashion, followed by a full-screen graphic displaying the date and time of Curry’s documentary on Climate Change. Yes, NBC programming equal local news - in Sacramento and in your hometown. Sacramento, when I interned at KCRA back in 1990, was the 20th U.S. media market. Thus, when I see my local anchorman doing a segment with Curry, I’m left wondering how many such segments did Curry have to do with all the other local affiliates across the country?

Or perhaps the whole thing was a fake, and the KCRA anchor simply recorded fake questions which were juxtaposed with Curry’s recorded/canned answers – which would’ve saved Curry hours of time. (I wouldn’t put it past them – that’s how shameless and fraudulent today’s TV news has become.)

Then comes my pet peeve over ‘Climate Change’. This can be broken into several sub-pet peeves, if you will. First, why’d they change the name from “Warming” to “Climate Change”?

Too easy. We all know the answer to that one. Propaganda, pure and simple. What used to be my SUVs causing an Earth-wide warming trend – when the data no longer substantiated this – was changed to my SUVs causing the temperature to go up AND down. That’s evolution! (Funny how the temperature of the Earth demonstrated precisely the same tendencies before anyone drove SUVs.)

The fact that “Climate Change” – the phrase and phenomenon – is obviously propaganda by definition. The fact that supposed NBC journalists are presenting it as fact, even – for the love of God - after the Copenhagen scandal revealed that so-called ‘scientists’ were rigging the data is at least equally detestable. The likes of Curry and the other ‘mainstream’ news networks lap this stuff in the same manner in which they cite Affordable Healthcare statistics straight from the White House wholly defeats the entire purpose of journalism.

Journalism is based on skepticism – especially of government. After the so-called ‘Climategate’ scandal, the ‘science’ community has doubled-down and increased its propaganda – which is only made possible by the willing accomplices in news media.

No, I didn’t bother to watch the Curry documentary. Hence, as O’Reilly would say, if you can prove me wrong – i.e., you watched the presentation and found that Curry gave a fair and balanced report complete with skepticism, with testimony from skeptics within the science community, then good on you for correcting me.

I took a quick look at the nbcnews.com menu of video clips from the documentary and found the premise to that many things happened around the globe – including drought conditions here in California and supposed “rising seas” in Florida – that perhaps finally, as if in a poorly-conceived Hollywood movie such as The Day After, Climate Change has hit home.

Funny how that works: cherry-picked phenomenon which are easily offset by other phenomenon like the blizzard conditions we saw in Eastern and Midwestern America – and yet they somehow suggest a trend. But wait, a climate change trend? How can the changing climate, which presumes temperature changes in either direction, demonstrate a trend?

Ugh. No, I’m not a scientist – nor do I need to be to apply common sense to this argument to easily refute it. Drought-like conditions? Did we never have those prior to SUVs being driven?

Bottom line: no evidence whatsoever will cease the propaganda machine, and the fact that supposed journalists are pushing such propaganda means one thing: it’s time to change the channel. Once you’ve changed enough channels, only to find no contrasting positions presented, hopefully you’ll understand the movement perpetrated upon us and simply turn the TV off.

Another way of putting it: Curry may be an acquired taste, but none I wish to acquire.

Yappers are better than (Yankee) broadcasters.

Don't quit your yappin'!

Don’t quit your yappin’!

Sticking with the April sports threads, I’ve got to give a plug to the Sports Yapper app. It’s a simple premise; no different than sports chat rooms we’ve seen since the advent of AOL. I find it preferable to Tweeting to #Yankees, because the App filters the field of commenters to Yankee fans who are commenting specifically on a game in progress. Hence, you don’t receive tweets from parents whose kid’s little league team is called the Yankees, for example.

This afternoon I gave kudos to fellow Yankee fans commenting during the Yanks’ home opener vs. Baltimore. It’s quite the dynamic, being on Sports Yapper, where fans watching the Yankee game enter their comments, while listening to the WFAN radio broadcast of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Here’s the recent scenario: Derek Jeter hits one off the left field wall. Sterling gives it entire the HR call, then corrects. Tells us Jeter is safe with a double and Showalter is out talking to the umps.

The fans on Sports Yapper are commenting on how Jeter hot-dogged it and he was just barely safe at 2nd. They cite that the replay showed he just got his foot in under the tag.

On the radio side, Waldman says, “I have no idea what Showalter is asking the umps about.”

The discussion proceeds on how close the ball was to being a home run. No mention whatsoever of how close the play was at 2nd base.

As I’ve cited many times previously, there’s a reason for this approach that goes far beyond simple lack of baseball savvy and insight on the part of Sterling and Waldman. They begin the broadcast with a central premise: that they are to deliver you an infomercial designed to present the greatness of the New York Yankees. This is their objective. It is not to provide you a detailed description of the game itself. Their approach is broader than the individual game.

Hence, in the Jeter double example, it was more important for them to tell you how close he came to hitting a home run. They describe where the ball landed on the wall and commented for the second time how, if such a ball had been struck in June with warmer weather, it would’ve landed in the upper deck.

See, they’d rather fixate on what could’ve happened, or in their hopes and dreams, what should’ve happened, than they are at telling you aspects of what actually did happen (like Jeter wasn’t running hard because he too probably thought he’d hit a home run, then he was almost out at 2nd).

But that’s not what Yankee fans want. They don’t need to be sold on the greatness of the Yankees. They merely want an objective description of what is happening on the field. That’s what they deserve. Ah, but Sterling-Waldman have decided for you that you deserve better! In doing so, they provide you a giant disservice.

Consequently, a bunch of fans watching the game are giving me a vastly superior description of what’s happening than the two professionals paid to provide such description.

A Sterling Silver Lining

HR calls not high nor far; just gone.

HR calls not high nor far; just gone.

A preponderance of sports-related posts recently can only mean one thing: it must be April – one of the two biggest sports months of the year (September is the other).

Alas, with the baseball season a week old – or two weeks if you count the two games down under (the ‘Kookabura sittin’ in the ol’ gum tree’ get the royalties for that phrase I think) – Yankee fans may have found a silver lining to the weak-hitting start to the ‘Bronx Bombers’ season.

Sterling silver.

Yes, we’ve had fully 5 games with nary an insipid, hackneyed, and forced Yankee home run call from buffoon broadcaster John Sterling. (Sidebar: I once uttered a Sterling tagline as a tribute – right in front of Sterling – at a Hawks-Nets game back in the 80s. Who remembers this one from his Superstation TBS Hawks broadcasts: “Another springer from Stinger!”? Yep, he was doing his schtick long before he signed on to Yankee broadcasts.)

On a related note, I may or may not have started a Yankee nickname of my own: “Never Nervous Yangervis” (Solarte) – another tribute to former Louisville standout and Sacramento King (whom I once served a plate of lasagna) Pervis Ellison.

Soon after I Tweeted it on a #Yankees thread, it emerged as its own hashtag. I’m sure someone came up with it before I did. Perhaps Sterling himself has dubbed Solarte “Never Nervous Yangervis”; we don’t know because he hasn’t gone deep yet.

We may have (thankfully and mercifully) lost Curtis Granderson’s voluminous “The Grandyman can!” descriptions, but those eventually may be supplanted with the (Brian) McCann-Can! – or perhaps (Carlos) “Beltran can!”

But they have to hit the ball over the fence for us to find out.

Take your time, fellas. No rush. The 2.8 runs per game output thus far has at least produced a silver lining. Again, that’s Sterling silver, if your scoring at home.

Wonder what the Yankee record for most games to start a season without a long ball is. Records are made to be broken, and that could mean the curtailed broken-record Sterling calls, coincidentally.

After March Madness comes MLB (Replay) Madness.

'Under Review' Overdo

‘Under Review’ Overdo

Perhaps the most apt analogy I can produce is this:

Replay = Fed Gov”.

Despite everything we’ve seen with instant replay – i.e., what a fiasco it is, how inefficient it is, and how it fails to meet its original intent (as favorite columnist Phil Mushnick often points out in his NY Post column), the only solution the people who run professional sports can come up with is MORE replay. Sounds like the Federal Government, doesn’t it? Any program that fails is simply the result of there not being enough of it. Hence, every solution proposed is “more of this program – i.e., more spending, larger/broader role of government, etc.”

Now, here’s what I consider to be the dumbest part. You, as the MLB manager, get one challenge (though you can ask the umpire to review calls of their own volition in an unlimited fashion). However, if you use your lone manager’s challenge and the call is overturned, you get to keep your challenge and use it again later (though only once).

Huh???

That’s like saying you get one timeout, and after you use your timeout, depending on what happens during your timeout, you might not get charged a timeout.

Baseball already has long had the problem of “unmanageable” (as YES broadcaster Michael Kay dubbed them) game durations. Now, we’re going to, in effect, give managers and umpires the ability to review ad infinitum – though the manager is limited to two challenges, he can lobby the umps after the 7th inning to review other questionable calls.

This essentially removes the aspect in which a manager would have to make the tough decision of whether he wants to use his one challenge per game at a certain point in time. Instead, as long as he is completely convinced the call will be overturned, he can challenge away – knowing he’s not taking too big a risk of losing his challenge ability later.

Meanwhile, one guy on Twitter had it right today. He wrote something to the effect of, “Who’s ready for Yankees-Red Sox with thousands of replay challenges added?”

And, while following #Yankees during last night’s New York Yankees-Houston Astros affair, a replay stoppage was conducted to double check that the 3-1 count on batter Yangervis Solarte was accurate.

That prompted fellow Yankee aficionado “Joey D” to send this irreverent Tweet (click on image to enlarge):

MLBReplayTweet

The above exchange illustrates the lunacy of instant replay and the fans’ reaction to the incessant delays they produce.

Yet, the geniuses in charge of professional sports – after everything we’ve already witnessed with the NFL and stoppage after replay stoppage – can only envision implementations involving the expansion of instant replay usage. Never will anyone suggest to scale it back.

In other words, the prevailing mentality is: “If it ain’t broke, fix it.”

To stick with my original analogy, I’d suggest that professional sports is in dire need of a Tea Party movement.

I mean, if this is what it takes to “get it right” then I guess I want to be wrong.

Somebody stop the madness!

UPDATE: the aforementioned and often-mentioned (on this site) Phil Mushnick agrees with my analogy. See his column, hot off the presses, here. (Thanks for the nod! Maybe we’ll pick up a few readers.)

Graham over, man! No more goalpost dunks!

(No) Post-celebration. Literally.

(No) Post-celebration. Literally.

Amen! Hallelujah!

They didn’t kill Kenny but they did kill Jimmy Graham’s, stupid, self-promoting and at least one-time game-delaying goalpost dunk post-TD celebration!

All is right with the world.

Ah, but as you might’ve suspected, the media covering the NFL is pandering to the players and their rights to express themselves like juvenile idiots.

Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s Raider reporter Scott Bair lamented the decision on Twitter with this offering:

New rule just passed: Dunking ball over the goal post is now illegal. Using ball as a prop at all is a penalty. Ugh. That’s too far.

To which I replied:

@BairCSN No it’s not. Jimmy Graham literally delayed the game in Atlanta, a night game, on a school night. http://distyblog.com/?p=4857

(I included the link to my post from last football season on the matter.)

So take that, Jimmy Graham! From this day forward, you’ll have to be content with playing the game, helping your team win and acting like you’ve done it before. Get over yourself!

Now the key question is: how do I go about celebrating the news that Graham’s celebration antics have been squashed? (I just blew my mind.) Guess I’ll do what’s most apropos and finish typing this sentence, then gracefully hand my keyboard to the referee beside me – like I’ve done it a thousand times before.