Tag Archives: cnn

Rick Sanchez Fired, My Days Just Got Better

Rick Sanchez is an idiot.

He was an idiot before he went on XM/Sirius show Stand Up with Pete Dominick. He was an idiot when we said that Jon Stewart is a bigot, when we pulled back to not bigot but just prejudiced, when he sarcastically ranted that the networks are run by entitled, villainous Jews who he hopes worry about another Holocaust (what?!), and when he got his stupid ass fired by CNN as a result of it all.

Salon summed it up elegantly on Friday:

That was fast. CNN just waited until 6 pm eastern to fire Rick “CNN’s Second-Dumbest Anchor” Sanchez. CNN will pay morons to read Tweets on-air, but they won’t employ morons who semi-coherently express resentful antisemitic comments on satellite radio.

Here is CNN’s brief statement:

“Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.“

This summary pulls out the good parts, with audio. What kills me most isn’t that Sanchez tries to play the race card while employing Speedy Gonzalez-like sound effects on his show every goddam day and acts as though he’s the only famous person whose dad worked hard, it’s that he thinks it’s prejudicial to make fun of him for mispronouncing things:

[Speaking as Stewart] Oh, I know… wait, hold on, let me find, oh that Rick Sanchez, that little Puerto Rican guy. I’ll make fun of him. Do you have anything.” “Uh, yeah, last week, he mispronounced the word indutably or whatever.” “Yeah, that’s it, find me that and we’ll do a whole 4-minute segment on how he mispronounced the word arithmetic.”

You think that shit’s funny because your family is Puerto Rican? No, ya moron, it’s funny because news anchors are supposed to be smart. Jesu Christo, ese. The whole point of The News is to enable people who don’t know the word “indubitably” to turn on the TV and learn things from people who do. And the fact that you have — ahem, I mean had — a job reading the news when you don’t know “the word indutably or whatever” is as hilarious as it is disappointing, terrifying and stupefying.

Speaking of reading, by the way, Ricky  boy goes on to say that if he just read the teleprompter every day without going off-script Jon Stewart would have nothing to say about him. Dude! Exactly. That’s the whole freaking point. As soon as you start running your stupid mouth you give Stewart and the like more fodder to feed on.

Case in point: Where was your teleprompter when you got yourself fired? Aye dios mio, indeed.

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CNN, et al Ridiculous, SNL Reports

Ug. Spare me.

TV news is getting harder and harder to watch. I’m not talking about the natural disasters, personal miseries and constant flow of global atrocities. It’s the  stations, anchors and correspondents that make me want to tune out. I long for the days when newsmen sat at a desk and told you what you needed to know.  Why is it in vogue for anchors to stand up all the time? Is it supposed to make the news more fun? It doesn’t. Sit down, please, just sit the hell down. Easy on the banter. Standing and chatting doesn’t draw me into the conversation and you’re not half as charming or witty as you think you are. Quit it with the queer sound effects and Top 40 songs. And spare me the citizen journalism; if I want to get my information from some amateur shmo with a goofy handle I’d go online.

The Internet is also where anonymous tweets and personal-opinion emails need to stay. “‘We need better healthcare reform,’ says @robbyray” is not news and I don’t care what Carol29 thinks about Tiger’s divorce. Astonishingly, Saturday Night Live pretty much hit it on the head this weekend. Spot on. Funny? Meh. But spot on:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Way to go with the astute commentary, guys. Anchors, take note.

CNN and NBC Get Nasty On Air

CNN’s really going all out to cover this Austin plane crash story. So all out, in fact, that they’re apparently Googling for anything they can find on the suicide pilot Joseph Andrew Stack. And, yes, of course they’re using to the fullest all the technology in the newsroom, from the shmancy big board to desktop PCs. Sometimes, though, when you’re toggling between windows, you might accidentally broadcast more than you meant to. Like search results that include music from the A-Team and the song title “Last Real Nigga Left.”

The broadcaster realized it and quickly opened a new window, but you can’t be too fast for my DVR.

A similar R-rated misstep took place  last night during NBC’s Olympic coverage. It had just become clear that Shaun White had won the gold, and the cameras were rolling at the top of the hill as the news set in and he prepared for a victory run down the pipe. You could clearly hear White say “I can’t ride right now!” and wonder aloud if he should just ride through the middle. You could also hear his coach, once White decided to showcase his crazy McTwist, tell him to “stomp the shit out of it.”

Sometimes I really love live TV.

Haitian Women Channel Aristophanes

CNN reports today that women in Haiti have barred men from food aide sites. Seems the not-so-gentle men were pushing and fighting and causing unruly scenes, and are no longer allowed to collect emergency relief rations.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you’ve studied the Classics, or are a freelance tech writer with too much time on your hands, perhaps you’re familiar with Lysistrata, by Greek dramatist Aristophanes. In the play, a bawdy, excessively double-entendre’d, proto-Benny Hill political comedy, women are fed up with their men’s propensity for war, which is tearing the country asunder. So, led by a loudmouth named Lysistrata, they take over the Acropolis and citadel and promise only to relinquish them once a peace accord is assured.

Lysistrata
…the women have taken the Acropolis. Athene’s Citadel is ours!…
Let’s hurry inside the Acropolis and help the others shoot the bolts.

Kleonike
Don’t you think the men will send reinforcements against us as soon as they can?

Lysistrata
So where’s the worry?
The men can’t burn their way in or frighten us out.
The gates are ours — they’re proof against fire and fear — and they open only on our conditions.

Kleonike
Yes! That’s the spirit — let’s deserve our reputations:
Up the sluts!
Way for the old impregnables!

In truth, their strategic position is not the real bargaining chip. The ladies achieve leverage through sex, and the withholding thereof until an agreement is reached. (To be sure, it’s not easy on them, either; Aristophanes’ women are as horny as they are Hellenic.)

Men in Haiti can certainly empathize to some extent with the leader of the men’s chorus in Aristophanes’ play:

I won’t be played to revise, re-do,
amend, extend, or bring to an end
my irreversible credo:
Misogyny Forever!
–The answer’s never.

[Above translation by William Arrowsmith and Douglass Parker. Sometimes the translation feels fatuously over-the-top. For a free download of the work by other translators (I assume) try Gutenberg, or EServer.]

Tufts, CNN Screw Jumbos For Screwing

Ah, the power of the media to mislead. This truly riveting segment from a Massachusetts CNN affiliate reveals a new Tufts University policy against getting it on while your roommate is in the room and that prohibits “sexiling.” The piece confuses on two counts.

It makes Tufts students look like idiots and implies that they are getting lucky. That’s not how I remember it. Well, to be fair, there were plenty of idiots there.

The Punisher

serena-williams-yelling

In a pun-soaked teaser to an update on the Serena Williams debacle from over the weekend, CNN’s Kyra Phillips just said:

Tennis superstar shows contempt of court. Now Serena Williams is going to have to pay for her verbal volley. Was she over the line?

I know how tempting it can be. I could pun the pants right off ya. But really, show a little restraint.

Maybe this would be a good time to review some basic writing rules. This list, in various forms, has made the writer rounds for years; certainly any journalist has been read the liturgy once or twice. Here’s a good version of it:

1.       Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

2.       Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3.       And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

4.       It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5.       Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat)

6.       Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7.       Be more or less specific.

8.       Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9.       No sentence fragments.

10.     Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

11.     One should never generalise.

12.     Don’t use no double negatives.

13.     Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

14.     Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.

15.     Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

16.     Kill all exclamation marks!!!

17.     Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

18.     Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.

19.     Puns are for children, not for groan people.

20.     Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Note, the Unhappy Mediator is a dedicated subscriber to usage rules — but also believes that (pardon the cliche (pardon the cliche)) rules are made to be broken. That is, when I’m doing the breaking.

CNN Nearly Sparks Interesting Conversation

When I heard that CNN had polled their viewers for a discussion on overused words in the current parlance, I was thrilled to think that people were engaging in thoughtful analysis of the way we speak. Unfortunately, the responses selected for the “Words you love to hate” video served only to reinforce my already steely conviction that most Americans just don’t talk good.

Figure these excerpts present a somewhat inflated representation of the public, as they were submitted by CNN watchers who would take the time to craft an iReport. Then factor in that these answers were probably the cream of the crop. The fact only half of them were coherent, only one was remotely insightful, and one of them was straight up laughable (Your kids, like, say, like, “I know” a lot? You should, you know, like, rant to CNN about it.) really disappointed me. That’s what I get for succumbing to a flash of faith.

By the way. What the fuck is an iReporter? According to the site:

iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post.

(They do note that “Only stories marked ‘On CNN’ have been vetted for use in CNN news coverage.”)

So basically an iReporter is any schmo who feels like playing journalist with absolutely no shred of accountability or verification? F that. I paid my dues interning and fact checking to earn the right to pretend to be a journalist. What have you done?