Ken's Project Blog

August 18, 2011

Broadcast News

Filed under: media — Ken @ 2:27 pm

A friend recently decided to point out a mistake that Fox News made playing a tape of Ron Paul at CPAC from 2010 instead of from 2011, so it got me thinking, I bet every network has its share of mistakes, so I’ll share a few here:

Who was it that rigged pick-up trucks to explode to demonstrate how easy it is for a Chevy pick-up to explode when you stuff explosives in the gas tank?

Oh yeah, NBC in 1993

Who rigged an Audi to unexpectedly accelerate when you blew compressed air into a sealed transmission?

Oh yeah, CBS in 1986

Who rigged a Toyota Avalon with a short-circuit to cause unintended acceleration?

Why ABC in 2010

Who used Actors to Demonstrate imaginary ‘Racism’ Surrounding AZ Immigration Law?

Why, ABC in 2011

Which newspaper had a reporter that made up stories either out of whole cloth OR plagiarized them from other papers?

Why, The New York Times

What are your favorite “fake” news stories?

And in case you ever wanted to get in on the act and create your own “fake news,” here’s a website for just that purpose – The The Newspaper Clipping Generator” at (see example at right).


Wikipedia: Dateline NBC, GM vs. NBC, 60 Minutes, Unintended Acceleration entries Video: Smoking Gun? ABC News expert recreates sudden acceleration without CPU error code *UPDATED w/Toyota response

The Blaze: ABC News Uses Actors to Demonstrate ‘Racism’ Surrounding AZ Immigration Law The Jayson Blair Project The Newspaper Clipping Generator


February 11, 2011

“dozens and dozens and dozens”

Filed under: media,Politics — Ken @ 10:18 am

Back in December Rachel, Maddow was on the David Letterman show and when discussing rival cable channel Fox News she said:

“I of course think that we (MSNBC) are much more true than Fox is true,” Maddow said in the Dec. 15, 2010, interview. “The problem that I think is reasonable to assert about Fox and its coverage is that they make up stories out of whole cloth and then make a big deal out of them.”

She continued, “For example, they said the New Black Panther Party decided the election for Barack Obama. They ran dozens and dozens and dozens of stories about the New Black Panther Party, which was one guy who braided his beard in Philadelphia and who didn’t have an organization, yelling on a street corner. They represented that story as if that is the guy who decided the election. That was fake.”

So Fox News channel ran “dozens and dozens and dozens” of stories about the New Black Panther Party deciding the election in then-Senator Obama’s favor – got it?

Well, Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact looked into that claim, and found – wait for it – exactly zero instances where Fox News asserted that the New Black Panther Party had a decisive role presidential election.


As Politifact wrote in its conclusion:

In all the coverage we examined, we couldn’t find a single case in which the discussion revolved around the political impact of the incident, including whether the New Black Panther Party had helped put the Obama campaign over the top in 2008. So we rated the statement False.

I guess that is the definition of “dozens and dozens and dozens”…

As a further reminder, the man brandishing the baton outside a public polling place was a member of The New Black Panther Party and he has been served with an injunction that is intended to prevent him from brandishing that type of weapon within 100 feet of a polling location until after the 2012 election (until Nov. 15, 2012), though oddly the prosecution of the individuals involved was dropped by the Department of Justice.


Politifact. com: Maddow takes on Fox News over New Black Panther Party

YouTube videos: David Letterman – Rachel Maddow Talks FOX News and Black Panther “Security” people intimidating voters at polls New Black Panther Seen At Polling Place

The Washington Post: Report: Justice Dept. tried hiding officials’ role in Panther lawsuit dismissal FindLaw | Voting Rights – New Black Panther Party Figure Shabazz’s Weapon’s Order


Wikipedia: New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case entry

December 22, 2010

In praise of Fox’s Red Eye

Filed under: media — Ken @ 9:35 am

As any long-time reader of this blog would know, I have been frustrated with the coverage of the house fire in Tennessee – AKA The $75 House Fire, but Fox’s Red Eye got it right… Eventually.

I’ve never watched Red Eye before (aside from a few snippets here and there), but last week I decided to record an episode and see what I was missing. In short, it’s not my kind of show. Red Eye is a panel show with minor celebrities and comedians discussing the news of the day in a humorous way – which they do well, but the thing that stands out is the so-called “Half-time Report” where a reporter comes on and corrects the factual error made by the guests/host in the first half of the show, again with humor (as warranted) – that is the secret sauce that makes the show special.

October 27, 2010

Joy Behar

Filed under: media — Ken @ 7:19 pm

Our friends over at have alerted me to Joy Behar‘s latest demonstration of class and logic on The View, the ABC daytime gab-fest.

I have a couple of questions for Joy: How do you know who picked the flowers you got (many flowers are picked in foreign countries and shipped in overnight) – how do you know the pickers were illegal? Second, Unless the pickers are legal citizens residing in Nevada, they CAN’T vote in the Nevada Senate Race Sharron Angle is in (you do understand that the flowers were arranged and delivered from NYC, NOT Nevada, right Joy?)?

Were I Sharron Angle, I would have gone a step further and used the $150K raised on-line to make an ad buy in Nevada during The View.

I hope Sharron Angle keeps pushing Joy’s Bronx-proud buttons right up to the election, causing Joy to continue to meltdown and get Ms. Angle’s message out nationally.

Prove it Ed

Filed under: media,Politics — Ken @ 7:14 am

While some outlets willonly give you a minute or two of Ed Schultz’s tirades, I’ll give you the entire segment in all it’s spittle-covered, hand-waving twelve minutes. Of all the questions Ed raises, I just have one – you claim the Republicans “endorse” this violence – prove it Ed. You wouldn’t make such a statement without any supporting evidence would you?

Oh, and Ed wondered aloud what Glenn Beck’s reaction would if an Obama supporter stomped the head of a Tea Party Supporter – will this do Ed:

And on this subject Glenn Beck said:

October 24, 2010

Left of the Dial

Filed under: media — Ken @ 11:50 pm

I just got my copy of “Left of the Dial”, a documentary about the first few fit-full months of the now-defunct “answer to conservative talk radio” Air America.

Of course, the smug, condescending attitude is fun to watch, but the best moments come when the “network” decides to go all in to cover the “obvious” defeat President George W. Bush is about to get, only to find they have committed their entire schedule to covering George W. Bush’s re-election!

The dejection in Janeane Garofalo’s face is priceless, and Randi Rhodes proudly declaring “she refuses to believe…” – well, it is a delight to watch.

It most likely is available on Netflix, I bought my copy as a discounted brand-new DVD for under $10 shipped from an Amazon affiliate.

Check it out, I think you’ll find a delightful hour and a half…

Here is a link to the movie trailer.

Of mattress tags and the three-fifths compromise

Filed under: media — Ken @ 4:10 pm

Our friends over at have a story up about an exchange between Keith Olbermann and Rep. Barney Frank, and it triggered the following reaction from me:

Any chance Olbermann is saying that the three-fifths compromise was a bad idea? Does he imagine America would have been a better place if representation in the Congress was skewed to slave holding states? No, of course not. But by invoking this image, he gets to play off the ignorance of many, many Americans who were never taught (or never learned, same difference) why the 3/5th compromise was an important step towards erasing the stain of slavery off our country.

Without the compromise, there either would have been no union OR we would have remained a slave-owning country much longer.

It’s kind of like the old “tag on the mattress” joke – there is a tag on all mattresses that says “do not remove this tag under penalty of law”, and comedians like to mock that tag, but if you ever read the tag you’d see that the tag is not to be removed by anyone except the purchaser, and the point of the tag is to declare the origin of components in the mattress whether new or reused. At one time re-use of mattress frames, springs, padding was fairly common, common enough to have been a problem that the Gov’t felt the need to address anyways. The joke is only funny if you don’t know what the tag says, and Keith Olbermann’s comment is only effective if you ignore the purpose of 3/5th compromise.

As a side note, I understand that Barney Frank has felt the need to donate $200K to his re-election campaign… Feeling a little heat, Mr. Frank? Good.

October 23, 2010

Rob Reiner and Hitler

Filed under: media,Politics — Ken @ 10:03 am

Rob Reiner, actor, producer, director and a ranking member of Hollywood’s “I Know Better Than You” class was on Bill Maher’s HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” and, in the opinion of this basement-dwelling, Cheetos-eating bloviator, embarrassed himself.

I’ll let his words speak for themselves, with a couple tiny reminders along the way:

Reiner: You never get into a political discussion unless you bring the word Hitler in – Hitler, you have to have Hitler, let’s put Hitler out there, here’s Hitler. OK, you have, you have bad economics times, right, Hitler, by the way never got more than 33% of the vote, ever, in Germany. You have bad economic times…

Maher: Well, he only had that one election, let’s be honest – after that there wasn’t… Hitler never ran for “re-election” – there was no 1937 election.

Reiner: He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was a charismatic guy, and they were having bad economic times, just like we are now, people were out of work – they needed a job – and a guy came along and rallied the troops. Worse if, my fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader because all they are selling is fear and anger, and that’s all Hitler sold: “I’m angry, and I’m frightened, and you should hate that guy over there.” And that’s what they’re doing…

Oh Rob, do you honestly not see how some on the other side could take the exact same criteria and arrive at exactly the same conclusion about the Democratic Administration?

Bad economic times – check.

Charismatic Leader – check.

“I’m Angry, I’m frightened” – check.

“and you should hate that guy over there” – Check.

I point this out not because I think President Obama/the left are or are displaying Hitler-like tendencies, no, it is because the criteria presented by Rob Reiner were laughably simplistic and could apply to “his” side just as easily as it could to the Tea Party.

I would suggest Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Facisim“, or, if you only have a passing interest, there is a blog by the same author available at National Review Online by him that captures the main points.

October 22, 2010

NPR Funding Sources

Filed under: media,Politics — Ken @ 3:14 pm

NPR Logo

Thanks to my friend on twitter @ggreenwald (not sure it’s reciprocal, but that’s OK) I have a very, very informative posting on the sources of NPR funding – direct from NPR.

The takeaway from this posting, with regard to the latest calls to “defund NPR,” is that NPR, the parent organization, does not receive any direct federal funding, instead it is the local affiliate stations that get about 6% of their operating budget from federal sources. NPR is largely operating on programming fees from the affiliates (40%) and sponsorships (26%) as well as direct donations (like the $200 Million donation from Ray Kroc’s widow (about 5%)).

At the local station level, about 10% of their revenue comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967. The mission of CPB is outlined in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (as amended). In brief, CPB’s mission is to facilitate the development of, and ensure universal access to, non-commercial high-quality programming and telecommunications services. It does this in conjunction with non-commercial educational telecommunications licensees across America.


And another 5-6% of non-specific federal, state, and local government aid (See NPR Public Radio Finance page). Can any of the money from CPB or other taxpayer funded sources be traced to NPR through subscription/programming fees? Perhaps. But just as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was wrongly vilified for the possibility of some of the $100,000/year in foriegn dues might have been used to pay for political ads, this attack on the funding of NPR are mis-directed. (Others claim the number is closer to $885,000 – so noted.)

Calls for the government to defund NPR are, in my opinion, mis-guided, and I hope this post, based largely on NPR’s own information, explains how I got to that decision based on the facts, not jingoistic rhetoric.

NPR CEO to Affiliates – KTHXBYE

Filed under: media,Politics — Ken @ 2:24 pm

Juan Williams on "Fox & Friends"
Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of NPR issued an internal memo to their affiliate/member stations on the Juan Williams termination (full text here) which explains the reasons and backstory that led to her “tough decision”.

Her one regret in the letter is:

We’re profoundly sorry that this happened during fundraising week. Juan’s comments were made Monday night and we did not feel it would be responsible to delay this action.

Which loosely translates to “KTHXBYE” – from the Urban Dictionary:

shortening of “k thx bye”. The K is short for OK, which is short for oll korrect, which is a facetious alteration of All Correct. thx is short for thanx which is a facetious alteration of thanks which is short for thank you. Bye is short for goodbye, which is an alteration of alteration of God be with you. “kthxbye” is the pinnacle of English’s advancement, shortening “All correct, Thank you, God be with you.” into seven lowercase letters. Humanity is doomed. Obviously, it is used to end a conversation *fast* that you don’t want to be in anymore.

Don’t worry, Juan landed on his feet – Fox news offered Juan a three year contract increasing his profile on Fox News:

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on

“Juan has been a staunch defender of liberal viewpoints since his tenure began at Fox News in 1997,” Ailes said in a statement, adding a jab at NPR: “He’s an honest man whose freedom of speech is protected by Fox News on a daily basis.”

I don’t think the “freedom of speech” angle is fair, but it is a press release, not a news report.

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