…Let’s see what sticks.
I think the most important broadcaster on television during the 2003-06 period was Keith Olbermann. When many were afraid to take on the Bush administration, KO provided some of the most eloquent, but passionate commentaries on politics ever to appear on television. Since the Democratic takeover of Congress, he has lost some of his way, as Olbermann is at his best when he is taking on the majority. This is the way it is for most political broadcasters/entertainers. Why do you think so many Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter types want McCain to lose? It isn’t just because they think he is not conservative enough, but they realize that being out of power makes for more engaging radio.
While MSNBC’s Countdown is still a quality show, he has lost his way a bit during this primary season. Since he seems to be strongly behind the Obama campaign, he has a hard time not spinning most of what Hillary or McCain do as negative. Some would say that he has always done this, which I wouldn’t totally disagree with, but when slinging the poo at Dubya it was almost always justified. Olbermann has reshaped how a cable news show can be presented, as he has combined hard news and analysis, with a wit that blends the Daily Show and vintage Sportscenter. Here’s hoping that he starts to offer up some of his pointed barbs at Obama, just like he has done with the other candidates. As the only news broadcaster who regularly quotes the great dead comedian, Bill Hicks, I suggest he take a page out of Hicks’ comedy style and swing for the fences on everyone.
I was sad to learn that Tucker Carlson is losing his show at MSNBC. In a cable news world where pundits are generally partisan or dull, Carlson was much more Libertarian in his views than he was given credit for. He railed against politically correct speech and reveled in taking a contrarian view on many issues. He hadn’t worn a bow tie for quite a long time, but most Liberals still identify him as being the cosmic son of George Will. I’m guessing the bashing he took from John Stewart on Crossfire a few years back has stuck to him, even though he was not a deserving candidate to receive this verbal lashing. Carlson is a real talent, but I think his willingness/desire to not be pigeonhold alienated both sides of the Washington establishment and the partisan viewers that also happen to be most of who watches these shows.
Prostitution should be legal, but regulated. Kind of like abortion, it definitely has its moral questions, but since it’s going to happen if you like it or not, why not have a safer and more dignified approach to the profession? While I could care less if some guy spends a bunch of money to copulate with some chick, I do love when some ethics crusader like Spitzer gets busted. I have appreciated most of the fatcat targets Spitzer has taken down, but when you are in the biz of coming off like you are holier than thou, you should face a different type of scrutiny than other people. As someone who has enjoyed when the Ted Haggard’s of the world get exposed as hypocrites, it would make me one as well, if I didn’t write that the same rules apply for a guy like Spitzer, even if I do think he has accomplished some important things.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the Missouri Valley Tournament Final, I feel badly for you, as Drake played 40 of the most entertaining minutes of b-ball I’ve ever seen. The Bulldogs have taken many of the great elements that are unique to the Tom Davis system, but head coach Keno Davis (Tom’s son) has tweaked it with a more European style of offense. The players all have a real high b-ball IQ, plus they all can shoot it from deep. Led by point guard Adam Emmenecker, who plays with a Steve Nash-flair, Drake will cause match-up problems with anyone they play. It isn’t surprising to me that possibly the 2 most entertaining tourney teams to watch happen to be led by coaches (Keno Davis and Bruce Pearl) who were deeply influenced by Tom Davis. While some in the game see many of the tenets of the Tom Davis system as gimmicky, like football’s run and shoot, I know if I was an AD at a school that has traditionally struggled to compete with its rivals I would hire a coach who would implement this style of play. I grew up going to Drake games and not since the days of Lewis Lloyd competing with Indiana State’s Larry Bird have the Bulldogs provided any real hope for their fans. Now they are back in the Big Dance, something they haven’t done since 1971. Underestimate this team at your own peril.
This just might be the most promising event to be provided by a pitcher in quite some time. In this story by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Royals ace Brian Bannister is featured. The piece focuses on some great quotes that Bannister gave Tim Dierkes at mlbtraderumors.com. Bannister is the first real saber-nerd pitcher I’ve ever heard of who has put up all-star like numbers.
Every once in awhile, a recording slips by me and I learn about it too late to make my year-end list. The unfortunately named band And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead put out a great release in 2006 titled So Divide that I highly recommend. I hear echoes of Pet Sounds era Beach Boys, The Flaming Lips, and a load of 70’s art rock groups on this ambitious record. Check it out.