Digging some Carson Daly

I admit I am not a fan of media personality Carson Daly nor have I been a fan of his late night show Last Call. I may still agree with Jimmy Fallon’s old parody from SNL that Daly is a tool but I have started to like his show a bit better now that it is a magazine format.

Last Call was Daly’s attempt at a traditional talk show with guests, and joky bits. He was trying to play off his popularity from his hosting duty on the old TRL show on MTV. Frankly it was lame. The guests were fine and he had on musical guests who were either new to me or just breaking in the US, but his impression of Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien came off stiff and lame.

A few years into the show it moved to Los Angeles and actually became more lame with the addition of a house band and really unfunny sketches. I watched less and less.

In 2007 the show was forced to go back on the air during the WGA strike or the non-striking members of the show would be fired. I boycotted the show after that.

Then one day I caught an episode. Basically I was writing on the computer and left the TV on after Late Night and Daly was in Seattle or some place touring the best hang out places and what not. His guests were interviewed in a bar or hotel restaurant and sometimes in a studio. The musical guest was filmed playing live at some club and they would spend a short time letting them speak to a camera about themselves.

Basically due to budget cuts Last Call became a magazine style show rather than the old lame talk show format.

Carson Daly is a good host in this style of show where he introduces the segments and interviews the guest.

Breaking News: Medicare will pay for a penis pump!

Let’s take a time out on politics for a moment.

Being a night owl I get to see some funny television and crappy television. Late at night, stations show commercials they wouldn’t show during the day. Usually they focus on sex. Male “enhancement” pills, condoms, and personal lubricants are some of the products seen when the kids are asleep. The other night I saw the following commercial during a late movie and it just cracked me up.

So, Medicare pays for a penis pump… WOW!

Erectile dysfunction is a real medical problem and I don’t intend to insult those who suffer from it, I just thought this pump commercial was comedic in an adult comedy way.

It just amazes me that products like the pump have to “nudge nudge wink wink” around the fact they are for sex related issues. The pills are for “male enhancement” and the lubes are “personal lubricants” for example. I’m sure most adults catch on and the kiddies miss it, but unless the words used are obscene, the makers shouldn’t have to use innuendo.

It reminds me of the scene in the movie Kindergarten Cop when the little boy tells Detective John Kimble, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina”. The kid probably had no idea what he said but the adults all did.

There seems to protests if there is too much sex on TV – or commercials about sex related products. It took years for even a watered down condom commercial to air on TV.

The reasoning is “we must protect the children”, but on the other hand protecting the children leads to sexual repression and that isn’t good either. The best defense against sexual issues is information – clear and frank information.

Okay, sorry. Said I would take a break from politics on this post…. my bad.

Tilted election coverage on WBNS in Columbus

WBNS is owned by the same company that owns the Columbus Dispatch, which endorsed John McCain for President on Sunday.

Here is a video from their late news about the day in the election. John McCain was in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus.

A big bag of candy to people who can tell what is wrong with the report:

In case you can’t or don’t want to see the video here are the things that are wrong in the news report:

1. Gave McCain a couple of minutes to express his talking points. They were not based on any truth – like saying Obama’s tax plan is a give away like his plan isn’t or that Obama’s “share the wealth” comment was meant to give away people’s money – it wasn’t. The news report didn’t challenge any of the talking points.

2. McCain said it was a dead heat even though Obama has a slight lead in Ohio it isn’t a dead heat in the rest of the country.

3. The video showing the women marching to Vets Memorial to vote failed to show the size of the crowd while there were many crowd shots of the McCain rally.

4. The part on Obama in NC failed to let him speak. *To me this is the HUGE diss to Obama* so much for equal time.

5. Later in the newscast (not on the video I have) the anchor told about Powell’s endorsement but didn’t once allow Powell to explain why – the piece only had Powell explaining why he still supported going to war in Iraq – which happens to be McCain’s position.

This isn’t the first time WBNS has been “in the tank” for McCain. During the primary season when McCain was heckled about the war at a rally, the talking heads never once mentioned what the protests were about. I sent an e-mail to the news director and he said I was right they should have mentioned why he was heckled.

They have not provided the same amount of coverage for Obama and most of the news stories I’ve seen, Obama never is allowed to speak – the talking heads paraphrase what he says.

Looks like he needs another e-mail about his stations coverage of the campaign. 

The news director’s is John Cardenas

Big Ten Conference profiting from tax payers

Jim Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten Conference and the member schools decided to create a cable TV network to showcase the conference’s cash cows – football and basketball games.

Exclusive television deals aren’t unusual. Notre Dame has had an exclusive deal with NBC for many years to broadcast its football games each fall. What is different is that the Big Ten Network (BTN) will be on cable and no local broadcast stations will be able to show games slated for the BTN.

The network is slated to start on August 30th but as of now BTN only has coverage on 20% of the cable audience available in the conference’s region. One of major cable providers in Ohio – Time Warner – has refused to carry the channel.

The problem is that not only does BTN want to charge $1.10 per subscriber but also is insisting that cable providers put the channel on Basic cable. The cable providers say that BTN is a niche channel – that only a limited number of people would be interested and so it should be on a sports tier where fans would pay extra.

Delany and BTN President Mark Silverman countered:

…it’s ridiculous to banish BTN to a sports tier when channels such as Versus, the Golf Channel and Sports Time Ohio—not to mention Food Network, Animal Planet and HGTV—have homes on expanded basic.

“There’s already niche networks all over expanded basic,” Delany said. “I get 70 channels at home, and I watch about 12 of them.”

Playing Defense: Jim Delany knows if you can’t watch the Buckeyes, he’ll get the blame

I don’t have a problem with the conference having a TV deal because such deals pass on funding to all member schools. I do think that such schools, a majority state supported, should not be allowed to put their games on cable TV. Such games should be available, for free, on TV.

I help pay for the programs through my tax dollars and I am being asked to pay for cable to see the games.

Cowtown Qube

In an earlier post on the history of MTV I mentioned that the idea evolved from a successful music video program on the Qube network in the late 70’s.

Qube was the first try at interactive television and debuted in Columbus in 1977. It was a demonstration project from Warner Cable (now Time-Warner Cable).

The subscriber used a large remote box that plugged into their set-top cable box and allowed them to pick from the 30 channels available and it included 5 buttons for the interactive part. Programs on Qube could ask poll questions and users would pick their answer and the results would be collected then displayed during the program.

Qube had a live local component that originated from a studio in Columbus. I remember that local TV personality Flippo the Clown had a show on Qube. When Qube was installed in other cities (like Dallas and Cincinnati) there were shows that were shown nationally like Sight and Sound (the prototype of MTV) and Pinwheel, a children’s program that evolved into the Nickelodeon channel.

For a more geeky version of the history of Qube check out the following link:

When CableWent Qubist