Blogs > In The Mix

Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

TI the leader of a generation!?

Rapper T.I. gave a statement at a press conference Friday (March 27) after being sentenced to one year and one day in prison for felony weapons charges.
He had been arrested in October 2007 on the even of the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
During his statement, T.I. referred to himself as a "leader of a generation."
I'm not going to say the guy's statement was heartfelt or that he is sorry for what he did.
However, as someone who covers police and is familiar with urban crime, I hope he truly does realize his influence.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ah... Hypocrisy

So Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck want President Obama to fail.

Who cares?

Apparently many liberal politicians and pundits do.

Who cares?

Apparently many conservative politicians and pundits do.


Because now, just a few short years after saying questioning the President (Bush at the time) was un-American, those same people are pulling a 180 and attacking anyone who suggests wanting the President to fail is anything but patriotic.

Does anyone think Limbaugh and Beck don't want to see people get their jobs back and see the country flourish? Of course not, they don't want Obama to fail in his objective, they want his methods to fail.

It's absurd for either side to suggest that questioning or outright disagreeing with an elected official is unpatriotic. It's equally absurd to switch stances on the issue depending on who is in office at the time.

I would hope everyone involved with politics has better things to discuss than the patriotic nature of their discussions. Don't we have enough problems to focus on?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Hillary: The Movie"

I was surprised I didn't know about this. Either I'm that out of touch or this really hasn't been that big of a hot button issue.
Anyway, the Supreme Court is tackling a First Amendment case involving a movie about Hillary Clinton.
A 2008 documentary that is critical of the former presidential candidate and current secretary of state ran into a snag as it is questionable whether the 90-minute flick should be subject to campaign finance laws.
I guess this could determine whether documentaries carrying a political message can be regulated by the government or not like campaign commercials. Interesting, but wouldn't that be a violation of the First Amendment?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kramer vs. Stewart

Jim Kramer, host of "Mad Money" on CNBC, is apparently worried about his reputation now that several of his worst bits of financial advice have been showcased on The Daily Show. Kramer has made appearances on several NBC programs in the last few days where it appears they are all throwing him a pity party. They're practically saying "Cheer up Jim, Jon Stewart's a jerk and just a a stupid mean comedian."

Unfortunately for Kramer, all this is really doing is providing more fodder for the writers at The Daily Show. It's wasn't personal the first time they mocked CNBC, but it's quickly turning into that. Kramer can't win either. Rather than admit his mistakes and take his licks, Kramer is trying to fight back, and it's not working. Stewart and The Daily Show writers are very good at what they do, and they don't take themselves seriously like Kramer does. Kramer thinks he's dueling for his honor while Stewart's weapon of choice is a water pistol. The longer this fight goes on, the more Kramer is going to lose.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reality TV's new star

Well, that was fast. A week after being dumped on national television, Melissa Rycroft, who turned down being the next Bachelorette, ended up being a last minute replacement for Access Hollywood Host Nancy O'Dell on Dancing with the Stars, who was injured during pre-show training.,

Now this is a stretch of the word "stars." Melissa seems like a good enough person, and she really did get screwed over by the producers of The Bachelor, but I'm shocked to see her back on TV so quickly, and in such a capacity, and on ABC of all networks. She obviously was stung by ABC enough to turn down being the Bachelorette, but Dancing with Stars is a safer show to join. No heartbreak, just fun, no real drama. Plus now she has been categorized as a "star" even though her claim to fame is extremly tenuous.

Some people may be surprised to learn this is actually Rycroft's third experience on a reality TV show. The former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader was featured on a CMT show about women trying out for the cheerleading squad prior to her appearance on the Bachelor.

Her quick leap between shows is proof Rycroft is definitely not shying away from the spotlight, and it seems the viewing public is happy to see her. It would seem we have a new reality TV star like Rob and Amber of Survivor/Amazing Race fame. The only question is... what show will she be on next?


Off the deep end...

On his radio show, conservative commentator Glenn Beck says removing the ban on federal funding for stem cell research will lead to the creation of a "master race." Chuck Norris thinks Texas will secede from the Union. Beck has joined Rush Limbaugh in saying he hopes Obama will fail, but for different reasons. Beck thinks stem cell research is opening the door for eugenics (it's not) and Limbaugh thinks Obama is a socialist (he's not).

What is going on here? One of the great things about this country is everyone can make their voice heard, but how do people like Beck and Norris get in positions to say the things they are saying without someone tapping them on the shoulder and suggesting they tone down the crazy? Are conservatives so bitter from their losses in November that they'll give credence to any anti-Obama argument no matter how far from reality it may be?

This is almost as bad as all the liberals who were saying they would move to Canada if Bush was reelected in 2004. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, conservatives are acting just as bad. Why are the conservatives calling for the GOP to reorganize and find a solid voice being overshadowed by those who are practically hoping for the worst to happen?


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stem cell debate about to explode

President Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing the Bush administration's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The debate has, if anything, gotten only hotter over time, and this will only likely throw gas on that fire.

Michigan voters also recently repealed a state-wide ban on stem cell research. Public opinion seems to be shifting in favor of research, but those who remain against it continue to strongly voice their opposition. Monday will start things on new course, with one side celebrating and the others planning counter-moves. What will happen next? States will not be able to vote on local regulations for nearly two years, and a lot can happen in that time. Will the research be able to make enough progress in that time to silence some of the critics? Will public opinion shift once again? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm really curious to hear what people think on the matter.


Limbaugh as the voice of the GOP

I think anyone who supports President Obama loves the fact that Rush Limbaugh is suddenly becoming the voice of the GOP, with many conservatives quickly rallying behind him. But why?

Pundits like Rush are school-yard bullies who act tough only when they know nobody around will actually challenge them. Here's an old video from the 90's when Rush had a short-lived TV show. See what happens when people can actually talk back to the loud-mouth?

So why would conservatives rally around someone like Rush despite groups like FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) finding numerous inaccuracies in his coverage and has quotes like these attributed to him:

"One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the Homeless Olympics... [Events would include] the 10-meter Shopping Cart Relay, the Dumpster Dig, and the Hop, Skip and Trip." (L.A. Times, 1/20/91)

On NAFTA: "If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people--I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do--let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work." (Radio show quoted in FRQ, Fall/93)

Speculating on why a Mexican national won the New York marathon: "An immigration agent chased him for the last 10 miles." (USA Weekend, 1/26/92)

This is asinine! A Caesar Chavez Day in California? Wasn't he convicted of a crime?" (Quoted in FRQ, Winter/94)

"Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentleman, I just--he was a worthless shred of human debris..." (TV show, 4/11/94)

"When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult ; it's an invitation." (Quoted in FRQ, Summer/94)

"Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream." (Quoted in FRQ, Summer/93)

"Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men.... It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men." (Ought to Be, p.53)

"Why is it that whenever a corporation fires workers it is never speculated that the workers might have deserved it?" (Ought to Be, p.275)

These quotes are just some of the many questionable things about Limbaugh listed in detail on

So again... why would anyone rally behind someone like Limbaugh? Who else are they going to get behind? Republican leaders seem unable to shake bad habits that have hurt their image over the past few years. Rudy Giuliani mocked community organizers at the RNC like community betterment was something to be embarassed about and Sarah Palin... well, was herself. Most recently the "up and coming star" of the GOP, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's condescending response to Obama's first congressional address was deemed a disaster even by conservative commentators. Consevatives need a face to unite behind. Limbaugh is certainly not the right person for the job, but he'll do it if it boosts his rating and sells his books. In the long run, however, much like his "Operation: Chaos," this will probably do nothing but ensure Democrats more victories in 2010.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Octomom to marry Batboy

Is it just me, or is this Octomom feel like something "The World Weekly News" would have splashed across their front, underneath a massive picture of Hitler and Saddam for a story about their gay love spat while sharing lakeside condo in Hell.
From politicians fighting to sponsor bills that would limit the number of embryo implants to daytime television hosts who tout themselves as health gurus, it's all really bizarre.
It's as if circus sideshows of the 1800s have never gone away.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

For better or for worse... Celebrity Apprentice is back

Donald Trump is back with another group of "celebrities" who have come together to raise money for charity and crawl back into the spotlight, if only for a moment. I've only ever caught partial episodes of The Apprentice before, but I decided to watch the season premiere of the new celebrity season this past Sunday because I wanted to see what celebrities were trying this time around. Of course it's obvious why Trump went with celebrities again instead of going back to the original formula of the show. Rating have dropped consistently between seasons 1 and 6, but the celebrity season was a big boost. After all, the winners of the other season never really got the dream jobs they were promised. That's not surprising though, since Trump pretty much uses the show to promote himself and his children now while looking for sponsors to pay for everything. Can you believe this guy has filed for bankruptcy numerous times and is currently hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, yet still tries to present himself and one of the best businessmen in history?

Needless to say, this season's roster is somewhat disappointing. The show is really using the term "celebrity" loosely. Sure, there are few people who are still popular and famous in their own right, but there are plenty of D-listers or otherwise nobodies who look like they are just trying to some attention.

Andrew Dice Clay? Really? Has he done anything in the last two decades? While it was annoying to see him walk and talk like he's still a big shot, it was funny to see his reaction upon seeing that both Joan and Melissa Rivers were on the women's team. He said what I, and I'm sure a lot of people were thinking at the time. Why is Melissa Rivers a "celebrity?" Her mother at least had some big deals in the past, though now she is just a reminder of what too much plastic surgery can do to a person. Melissa, on the other hand, is just a tag-along who has no discernible accomplishments apart from appearing alongside her mother. Having them both on show just made this even more painfully obvious.

Then there's Claudia Jordan. I bet you're thinking... "who?" I was too. You've probably never heard her full name before because Howie Mandell only says her first name when asking her to open case 17 on Deal or No Deal. Yep, that's what passes for a celebrity on this show, being one of two dozen models on a gameshow whose entire job consists of opening a briefcase an reacting to the contents.

I'm fairly certain the rating for this season will be pretty good. Heck, I might even watch again. There's something strangely comforting about watching celebrity trainwrecks, though by the time