Friday, June 26, 2009


So it turns out that I am not stupid after all, and my cable box is actually quite dead. This is not a shock as it was four years old, but it does mean I have to make a trip to the Manhattan Time Warner Cable center, which is almost exactly like the DMV. Seriously, they give you a number and you have to wait for hours and then you deal with someone surly - EXACTLY the same. They should just combine the two entities and get it overwith.

Anyway, I HAD to watch today's In the Papers online, given what happened yesterday.

As Pat noted, on today's edition, “I don’t have to tell you what the lead story is on today’s papers," then started with an analysis of the New York Times, which devoted almost its entire front page to the man the New York Post once called "Wacko Jacko."

Pat commented -- as others have, and I agree -- that he feels sorry for Farrah Fawcett– “not in any way to suggest her cultural contribution was euqal to Michael Jackson’s", Pat said, but she did bravely battle cancer and was a pop culture icon in her own right, so it's a bit sad that her death is so overshadowed.

Pat aso mentioned a story about Mark Sanford – who has got to be secretly thanking Jacko for taking some of the media attention off him for a second. Pat didn’t mention it, but today’s Wall Street Journal has an interesting story online about how American voters can now pretty much deal with adultery in all but two circumstances: where the adulterer is a hypocrite (e.g., anyone who ran on a family values platform, like Sanford) or where the adulterer broke the law or abused their office (Spitzer).

There was also a story in the Times about the 35 year anniversary of the bar code. Which reminded me that when I lived on East 6th street, the super ghetto Met Foods supermarket across the street didn’t get scanners until about 2003.

Moving on to the Daily News, Pat noted that the paper's main story said Jackson "died as dramatically and mysteriously as he lived”. The News also had a story about his money problems, calling him a “millionaire who lived like a billionare.” And of course, there were mentions of the accusations of kiddie fiddling. The paper also included a special supplement section that covered both Jackson and Fawcett.

Finally, the Daily News is turning 90 – let’s all hope it goes on for another 90.

Moving on to the Journal, Pat pointed out that the journal front page didn’t give Jackson much coverage – which to me seems appropriate, frankly, given it's mainly a financial paper. I'd have been able to see the Journal's cover myself if the WSJ people bothered to deliver my (expensive) newspaper in a timely and consistent fashion. Grr. Anyway.

The Post cover simply said “Dead” – bit of a disappointment for them, given their famous "Wacko Jacko Backo" cover. I was secretly hoping for "Wacko Jacko Heart Attacko," but they chickened out. Anyway, the article pointed out that his heavy medicine use was blamed as a factor in his death. Another story said Google got so many searches that its security system assumed it was a DNS attack where hackers were tryig to crash google’ servers.

Elsewhere in the Post, the paper gets credit for publishing the first photos of Sanford’s Argentine lover, a news anchor whom the Postt described as a “raven-haired news babe.”

Finally, Pat confessed that he has a soft spot for Letterman before highlighting a Post story about how Letterman's Late Show is edging out Conan's Tonight Show in terms of ratings.

And that's a look at some of what's in today's In the Papers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NY1 Video Star

So Monday, in the process of moving around some furniture, I somehow managed to completely dislodge the cables connecting my TV and cable box and have yet to figure out how to restore the connection. I have never felt quite so dumb. Needless to say, until I have time to actually deal with this, I will not have access to NY1. Thus, the rest of this week's blog posts will deal with the station's Web site,

As you all know, NY1 has been running a contest, "NY1 Video Star", the winner of which will be featured in a new station ID ad. What you may not know is that every submission they have received so far is online. And people, there is a wealth of entertainment there.

Many of the entries are charmingly low-budget, like the station itself. The majority appear to have been filmed in the contestants' apartment buildings, and for most of them, the phrase "production values" does not seem to apply.

Among the best low-budget entries so far is a submission by a girl group called ko chicks lares, who did as much as possible with a budget of what appears to be about $5. They even have costume changes and a backup dancer! (Plus they can actually sing, which helps).

I also LOVE the entry by Judy Berman - they've actually shown this one on TV; she's the batty old loon who's standing in the stairwell of her apartment building, strumming a ukelele and warbling off key. Not only can she not sing to save her life, she's wearing clothing that looks like she pulled it from a dumpster and has not even bothered to memorize the lyrics, instead referring repeatedly to sheets she's taped to the wall. In other words, it's delightful.

There's also one by a gentleman named Huck Demilo, who performs while wearing a bizarre butterfly mask. He looks like a psychopath, but his lyrics are fairly amusing.

These are the only ones I've had time to watch so far, but I'm sure there's lots of (comedy) gold in these vaults. Go check it out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pat's back

I'm back!

I was actually in New York all last week, but the magazine I work for was going to press. Plus, Pat was on vacation, and NY1 is way less fun on Pat-free weeks.

This morning, he's back, and we've already been treated to an enormously entertaining segment featuring Roger Clark - who is, I'm guessing, one of the tallest reporters at the station - in what Ripley's Believe it or Not has deemed the world's smallest car. It weighs 150 pounds - less than Roger and probably less than the other passenger in the car with him as well. It reminded me of that Simpsons (I believe it was "32 Stories About Springfield") when Nelson is making fun of the huge guy in the tiny car and the guy says, "This was the largest automobile I could afford", before publicly shaming Nelson and forcing him to march down the street with his pants around his ankles while the other residents of Springfield pointed and laughed.

One of the Entertainment Weekly guys also did a segment on the 20th anniversary of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, which is surely one of the best films ever made about New York and almost certainly one of the best films ever made about race. If you haven't seen it yet, go out and rent it right away.

And speaking of anniversaries, there have also been reports this morning about the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, widely considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement. Nearly 50 years later, and still no marriage equality. Let's hope we're getting there...

Finally, as Pat pointed out, it's been a week since he was last in the anchor's chair, and there's still no resolution in Albany. Whatta mess.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sanity, reason adjourn for the season in Albany

I only caught the last 15 minutes of last night's Road to City Hall, which is too bad - the Albany mess is probably one of the biggest things they've ever covered. But the tiny bit I did see was fairly illuminating.

Dominic Carter did a good job (as usual) grilling Democratic turncoat and alleged girlfriend-stabber Hiram Monserrate, getting him to pretty much admit that the coup was planned in secret and that he made no mention of it to the Democratic majority leader, Malcom Smith. (PS - I didn't know his name either before all this broke.)

Normally I would have said that the Republicans could have Monserrate, except that this now tips state balance in their power. Ugh. The whole thing is such a farce, and so clearly a power grab. Whatta buncha dopes.

Anyway, this was followed by the NY1 Wiseguys, who actually discussed it in a rational manner. The Republican wiseguys said they understood the frustration of Senate Republicans but stopped short of endorsing their methods. And Josh Robin filed a report that revealed that the coup was plotted right across the street from the Governor's mansion.

Speaking of DP, virtually everyone on the program, Republican and Democrat alike, expressed the view that his prospects for a successful gubernatorial run are looking worse than ever. Poor ol' DP. He's about as unpopular now as Gordon Brown is in the UK.

Stay tuned; this story has miles to go.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Whoa. Just, whoa. Apparently Pat Kiernan is just as stunned as I am about the insanity in Albany. Tonight's Road to City Hall ought to be very interesting.

In this morning's In the Papers, Pat took the New York Times to task for devoting so little coverage to the Republican coup in the Senate, saying he was "stunned" that the paper ran only one article and didn't run any sidebars on the players behind the scenes or any analysis whatsoever. I have to say I agree. Come on, Gray Lady, get it together! (That said, I felt I had a better understanding of what happened after reading the NYT's coverage than the Post's.)

Elsewhere on NY1 this morning, Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly offered his opinion of the job Conan O'Brien is doing as host of the Tonight show. (An aside - I LOVE the Entertainment Weekly guys. I'm never for eliminating journalism jobs, but really, why does NY1 keep Neil Rosen on the payroll when they have the awesomely acerbic and fairly astute commentators of Chris Nashuwaty, Dalton Ross and Owen Gleiberman?) Anyway, DR says that after a shaky debut, Conan is finding his groove. He perfectly described Leno's humor as "a little too broad for my taste" (amen, bro) and said he has high hopes for Conan's potential.

Monday, June 8, 2009

NY1 Theme Tune

Viewers of NY1 are undoubtedly aware that the station is running a contest right now to find the best new NY1 music video. They basically want people to submit videos of them singing a new version of one of those "You're Watching New York One" commercials that run all the time. You know the ones - one stars Dominic Chiani (or however you spell his name - Junior from the Sopranos); another stars some jazzy guy whose name I never catch; another features a local act called Nuttin' But Stringz (or as New York Two reader Beth H. calls them, "Bone Thugz n' Stringz").

Anwyay, I've been waiting with bated breath to see who is going to win. Today, I saw a commercial that highlighted some of the entrants so far. Sweet mother of Christ on a pogo stick, they are HORRIBLE. Truly, gutbustingly, earbleedingly, terrifyingly bad. If you are reading this and you have the faintest speck of musical talent, I urge you to enter this contest. Because you know that whoever wins, we're going to hear it eleventy billion times. Deadline is June 15. Get cracking, people!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Darryl Littlejohn's attorney

I will be SO happy when this Imette St Guillen case is over, if only so I won't have to look at Darryl Littlejohn's hideous defense attorney anymore. Apart from the fact that she is defending a remorseless, repeat-offender rapist, she is physically repellent. Seriously, lady, get something done about those growths on your face. I do wonder if I would feel differently if she were working for the right side of this case. But the defense they are trying to mount is totally ridiculous, and the evidence against Littlejohn is overwhelming. That said, I think NY1's coverage of the whole affair has been pretty thorough and balanced.

Speaking of courts, I have to head out to jury duty later, so this is probably my only post of the day. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dude, do I know you?

This weekend, a very good friend of mine was in a bar and spotted a man he was sure he knew. He told the guy in question that he looked very familiar, and then he started rattling off a list of names of people they might know in common. After suffering my friend for a couple of minutes, the guy explained to my friend that he probably looked familar to him because the guy is on TV. As a reporter. For New York One.

My friend, who was very embarrassed, apologized to the man -- who turned out to be Roger Clark -- and ended up chatting with him for a few minutes. Apparently RC was quite friendly. Just thought I'd pass on that amusing anecdote (with apologies to my friend, who shall remain nameless).

Last night's Road to City Hall was fairly interesting, at least the bit I caught. The Consultant's Corner seemed to take the view that there isn't much Governor Patterson can do to acquit himself in the eyes of NY state voters. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but has he really been that bad? I mean, at least he's not screwing hookers and paying for it by check and conveniently ignoring the fact that he's supposed to be prosecuting that type of thing. He inherited a red hot mess and seems to be wading through as best he can, in my view. But maybe I'm horribly misinformed and he's a walking train wreck. It sounds weird, but I kind of don't know what to think of him.

So here's another New York Two snap poll: Governor Patterson -- yay or nay?