Tales of the Sausage Factory

Comcast Channel Shifts — Looking for info.

I’m getting email about Comcast migrating MSNBC and CNN out of its expanded tier to a higher priced tier while keeping Fox News on expanded tier in a number of markets. If this is actually going on, I’m mightily curious.

Such shifts do not happen casually. They are generally the product of fairly intense negotiations among cable operators and programmers. They also require advance notice to viewers. This makes me extremely reluctant to impute a political motive here. If NBC and Time Warner (the owners of MSNBC and CNN respectively) were being screwed against their will over a political agenda, I would have expected to hear it in DC. What mainstream coverage there is of this suggests it is part of Comcast’s general digital upgrade. So we should expect to see all remaining channels migrated off to the higher priced tier eventually. While that will constitute a significant rate increase, it will put everyone back on equal footing. Besides, as the DC Circuit instructed us all last month, cable operators have no market power and cannot influence the programming market, whatever your personal experience to the contrary may be.

So if anyone has more info on this and would like to either comment below or talk to me, I’d love to hear about it.

I suppose I should add that unless Comcast failed to give proper notice to subscribers before changing their channel line up, their is nothing the FCC can do about it, so don’t bother complaining.

Stay tuned . . .

Posted in Cable, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

General Exception

Fox News: Now With Incisive Commentary by “Stud u like”

Other news stations might just run a “aw… look… cute video” segment. Nope, not Fox News of Dallas… they have to turn it into a controversy!
This cute video of someone playing “whack a kitty” (really, just gently pressing a kitty’s head down in a box they are playing in, with sound effects) raised the ire of the MSPCA… err… no, not them. Uhhh… PETA? Nope, not them either. It really seemed to mildly upset noted animal rights advocates such as “supersmithy on I-Love-Cats.com’s forum” and “Stud u like” on Digital Spy.

Well, there you go! If some guy(?) named “Stud u like” on some forum somewhere doesn’t like it, it must be controversial!

That’s some darn fine reporting work there, Lou.

Posted in General, General Exception | Tagged | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

How Fox News Killed The Bradley Effect

Pundits and talking heads have debated the Bradley Effect (or, as we locals call it, the Wilder Effect) and whether Obama’s current lead in the polls represents false positive. Even before Obama, there existed considerable evidence that the Bradley Effect was fading. Having canvassed this weekend in VA, I have concluded that it has pretty much vanished.

Why? Because conservative talk radio and Fox News have given voters the tools they need to say things that might sound racist, but don’t really make you a racist for saying them. Whatever one may think of this as an argument, it has had the enormous benefit of eliminating the polling problems associated with the embarrassment of being mistaken for a racist when you are simply saying things that only sound racist.

More below . . .

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Back In the NCMR: Pappa Bear Comes To Town!

So here I am at the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform, and I have the most exciting news: the FOX NEWS TEAM IS HERE for Bill O’Reilly. (No doubt he is in town to endorse Al Franken in his bid for the Senate.)

Woo hoooo!!!! Talk about your status symbols. We have really made the big time if Poppa Bear himself has come to town to pay his respects. As for me, it’s as if the Goodfeathers had fallen into a catnip truck then accidentally wandered into a cat show.

I understand that some folks, however, may be nervous talking to the good folks at Fox News. Here is my advice: keep confusing O’Reilly with Stephen Colbert.

So for example:
Fox News: Can we interview you for O’Reilly Factor.
Person: Great! I’ve always wanted to be on the Colbert Show!
FN: That’s not us. This is Bill O’Reilly.
Person: Oh yeah. I saw him on the Colbert Show once.
FN: Anyway —
Person: Do you think O’Reilly can get me on Colbert?
FN: No. Now —
Person: Because Stephen Colbert is just a god, you know. A. Total. God. O’REilly should definitely try to get on Colbert again. You know, for the Colbert bump.
FN: We want to talk to you about —
Person: Did you know Stephen Colbert was just given the distinguished “Understandable Vanity Award by the Princeton University Class of ’08 (Go Tigers!). Did O’Reilly ever go to college?
(Persist until FN people quit in disgust.)
Person: Wait! Come back! Does this mean O’Reilly won’t introduce me to Stephen Colbert?

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Media Ownership, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A Plug For My Friends At WIMN

The awe-inspiring thing about the progressive reform movement is how many small organizations of dedicated people are making a major difference in the word.

Below, I reproduce a recent end of year letter from WIMN — Women In Media And News. These women run a small and incredibly effective shop. If you want to support organizations that are making a difference, these are good people who can really use the money.

Stay tuned . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Lessons of the Google/Moveon/Collins Dust Up: My Other Shoe Drops and It Fits Quite Nicely

For those wondering about the dust up over Google dropping Ads from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) because she used Moveon’s trademark in her ads, I reproduce below my post on the Public Knowledge blog. I don’t usually to that kind of “repurposing” of my blog content, but this one seemed reasonably important.

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Posted in Fighting the IP Mafia, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Don't call me, I'll call you…

I just got a phone call. It was Fox News calling to tell me “shocking news about Hillary Clinton.”

I wonder who they had to pay to get around the fact that I’m on state and federal “do not call” lists.

And these guys just bought the Wall Street Journal.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Brilliant Indictment of Bush and His Proxies from MSNBC

See Keith Oberman give a passionate, well spoken condemnation of the efforts by Bush, the folks at Fox News, and the rest of the Republican “noise machine” to rewrite history. Ten minutes long, but well worth it. Click here.

Would that we could find such willingness to challenge the powers that be on broadcast networks.

Stay tuned . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

What we can Learn from the “War on Christmas”

The latest effort by social conservatives to rally their troops around the so called “war on Christmas” teaches us many valuable lessons for the season. Notably, we can look forward to more ugliness in 2006 as the conservative sound machine ramps up the volume to try to drive its troops out for what (for now at least) look like pretty dismal ’06 by-election for the GOP.

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Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 8 Comments (Comments closed)
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