Friday, May 29, 2009

Bloomin' Idiot

NY1 has been running a story all morning about Bloomberg throwing a hissy fit when a reporter from the New York Observer asked him whether the improving economy negated Bloomberg's decision to impose term limits. It was a completely fair question, and Bloomberg responded by snapping, "Can we get some serious questions, please?" in his trademark bitchy little whine. Well, Bloomie, I guess these are the kinds of questions you can expect to face when you manipulate the democratic process to suit your will. He had an earlier outburst at another press conference when he yelled at a disabled reporter whose tape recorder went off, saying "This is a little more serious than playing music." He later apologized, but still, it was a very douchey moment. I actually think he has done a good job, but he needs to exit gracefully. You served your term, now let somebody else do it! If he REALLY has such a massive ego that he thinks he is the only person who can do the job, he should volunteer to serve in the next administration in an economic advisory role. But nooooo, he has to be in charge. I'm pretty fed up with him. But enough of this tirade.

I watched quite a bit of NY1 yesterday but never got around to posting. Two things cracked me up. One was a segment by the "Cooking at Home" guy, Dan Eaton. First of all, is that REALLY his name? Secondly, I have never been able to actually follow his recipes, because I start laughing every time he says, "Hiiiiiiiii, I'm Dan Eaton and I'm glad you're heeeeeeeeeeeeere" at the start of the segment and then basically can't stop.

The other hilarious thing was Roma Torrey's report on Tony voters. She did a couple of revealing interviews with two voters who told us exactly how they plan to vote on key categories. These people didn't want to be identified -- fair enough -- but the station went to RIDICULOUS lengths to conceal their identities, even going so far as to use that voice distortion technique they normally reserve for situations like whistle blowers and mafia informants. It was just so WEIRD.

That's all for now. Bon weekend, y'all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

No Pat in "Night at the Museum"

Happy Friday, everyone.

So in today's ITP, Pat revealed that he had a small cameo in the sequel to "Night at the Museum," but it was sadly left on the cutting room floor because of a "camera malfunction". Suuuuure, Pat. J/K, of course - I'm sure he was just fine.

Elsewhere in ITP, we learned that NY1 reporter Stephanie Simon is getting married to the head of the stagehands' union. Good for her. Ages ago, when I posted a question about who the most attractive NY1 lady reporters were and a commenter said that lots of guys dug Amanda Farinacci, I replied that I could not figure out why, because she looked like a chick from Staten Island. I realized later that I was actually thinking of Stephanie, and not Amanda, when I wrote that. Well, I have to say, Stephanie has actually been looking quite foxy since she straightened her hair. If that's a style she's road-testing for the wedding, she should definitely stick with it. And of course, congratulations and all that.

Also in the segment, Pat referred to the Obama/EvilOverlordCheney debate about Guantanamo (what? me biased?) and actually mentioned a Washington Post article in the segment. He made reference to another WaPo story in the same segment. Is ITP broadening? Maybe now that he's doing Pat's Papers for the Web, the temptation to mention great stories not in NYC papers is becoming too strong. Unless there is some broader remit that was mentioned awhile ago and I didn't catch it.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely Memorial Day weekend outdoors. And if you are stuck indoors for some reason, there's always NY1 to keep you entertained.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Swine flu and local news

NY1 is reporting the city's first swine flu death this morning - an assistant principal of a school in Queens. Last week NY1 aired an interview with his wife -- this was just after he'd been hospitalized -- in which she was critical of the city for not closing the school any sooner. Bloomberg said something defensive, along the lines of "we can't just go around closing schools willy nilly, children need to be educated, etc." Sounds like a weaker argument now in light of the death. This will be an interesting story to watch.

In other news, I was saddened and quite upset yesterday to read that the New York Times' City section will cease publishing from now on. They're going to wrap it up into another section, which will be less City-centric and will encompass more of the metro area and the suburbs. SCREW the suburbs. I want my City section! The reason I read that section, and the reason I obsessively watch NY1 (hence the theme of this seemingly unrelated diatribe) is because I crave LOCAL news. I obviously care about the world at large, but I have numerous outlets to choose from for national and world news. Also, I view this as a sad commentary on the state of newspaper publishing in general, but that's a rant for another time (and one I believe I've subjected you all to before, anyway). So yeah, the homogenization of news continues... soon USA Today will be the only paper Pat is able to refer to in In The Papers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Most annoying reporter?

Here's a question for all six New York Two readers - who is the most annoying NY1 reporter? For me, it's a toss-up between entertainment reporter George Whipple (he of the revolting eyebrows) or parenting reporter Shelley Goldberg. It might be the latter, since I pretty much have to mute the TV during all of her segments.

Who else am I forgetting about?

In other news, I physically cringed with embarrassment for Dean Meminger, who filed a totally pointless report from Mexico City about how Mexicans aren't shaking hands with people they meet for fear of spreading/contracting swine flu. One man he interviewed said, "We've actually been doing it with our feet," to which Meminger exclaimed, "REALLY?!?!" The man sighed impatiently and with a look of disgust said, "It's a joke." OH DEAN. That story is clearly winding down. Come back to NYC and start filing from the Bronx again, will you?

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm baaaack

Howdy folks.

I'm back from Paris (where I attempted to watch some local news despite the fact that I speak no French -- quelle surprise, I had no idea what they were talking about) and I'm filled with resolve to update more regularly again.

I've been working from home today, so I got to catch today's ITP on its first run. It was a pretty good edition. The highlight was Pat's discussion of a story about how John Wayne Bobbit doesn't hate his ex-wife Lorena, despite the fact that she "did some surgery" on him a few years ago, as Pat hilariously put it. He pointed out that the headline -- "No Hard Feelings" -- was probably the best in a NYC newspaper today. I think it was a Daily News story, though that does sound like a Post headline.

He lead the segment with a Daily News story that confirmed what I've always suspected -- the comparatively expensive Priority Mail option doesn't actually get your mail to its destination any faster than a garden variety. $0.42 first-class stamp. Pat pointed out that it's a remarkably simple story, but a good one.

In another paper - I didn't catch which one - he highlighted a story about an 8-year-old who drove Go-Karts that can achieve speeds of up to 60 mph. Pat wryly noted that there is zero chance you'll see his 7-year-old daughter doing that.

He also mentioned a WSJ story, cleverly titled "Big Bored," about how traders on the NYSE are now spending their work days sneaking off to watch movies and otherwise kill time now that trading volumes are down so dramatically.

Elsewhere in the WSJ, there was a story about how publishers are trying to launch their own versions of Kindle, to push their content and attempt to revive their dying newspapers. I have to say, I will be REALLY upset to see the day when this segment has to get re-named In the Blogs. I know this sounds patently idiotic, coming from a blogger, but I do not like reading many blogs, and I certainly don't like reading them for news. This blog is in NO way a news service, but you knew that.

Anyway, I think there are some amazing blogs out there, but the only good ones for news are written by professional journalists. The newsgathering processes for pro bloggers and pro journos should be exactly the same. And I still love my dead-tree newspapers, even though half the content is outdated by the time I get it. Do I sound like an old crank? Yes? Oh, to hell with you, then! (That was my old man/Walt Kowalski imitation.)

Other highlights from this morning: Poor Dean Meminger, who is covering the Swine Flu beat from Mexico City, filed a story mostly memorable for the shot of a man playing guitar to an empty church -- the guy's eyebrows made Frida Kahlo look like she had regular tweezes at Bliss or something. And the New Yorker of the Week segment focused on a woman who teaches math to poor New York City women who are trying to get work in construction jobs. The teacher does this for free and gets results, though her students are shockingly undereducated when they first enter her class. One woman reported that she could not read a tape measure before taking the class. And I thought I was bad at math!