Glenn Beck Destroys Scott Brown: “This One Could End With A Dead Intern”

You won’t see TV Glenn Beck touch the things that Radio Glenn Beck sometimes says, as he edges toward Howard Stern levels of comedy and tone.

Today he absolutely obliterated Scott Brown over the ‘my daughters are available’ comment, going so far as to suggest Brown could be a secret pervert.

Brown got over-excited and particularly creepy when he declared his daughters “available” during an improvised portion of his victory speech tonight. It was awkward – and it wasn’t immediately cleaned up.

“Bad enough,” said Beck after he played the initial comment. “Hey my two daughters on the meat market!”

If he had made the comment, said Beck, his daughters would “never have spoken to me again,” and his wife? “Collection of my parts in drawers scattered throughout my house.”

After Beck played more of the clip, making his own commentary throughout (including a reference to the infamous Cosmo spread), he took the whole thing to the next level. “I want a chastity belt on this man,” he said, while his producer tried to justify Brown’s comments. “I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy…This one could end with a dead intern. I’m just saying, it could end with a dead intern.”

Classic. The whole conversation ends with Beck issues some well-wishes to Brown. “Congratulations, let’s monitor him,” he said.

Maybe Beck will be Keith Olbermann’s Best Person In The World tonight!

Here’s the clip from the radio today (via Breitbart.TV):

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My Blood Runs Cold: Where Was the Outrage Over Scott Brown In Cosmo?

By now you’ve heard: Scott Brown, the Lt. Colonel of the Army National Guard, has just been elected to the United States Senate. Oh, also, he posed nude in Cosmo in 1982. And now that this campaign is over, I have to wonder – where was the outrage?

I have yet to find any. But had a woman candidate done the same, it would have cost her the election. Continue reading "My Blood Runs Cold: Where Was the Outrage Over Scott Brown In Cosmo?"

Mediaite’s First Offspring, Geekosystem, To Launch Monday, Jan. 25th

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that the term “geek” stopped describing a carnival performer whose act featured biting the head off a live chicken and started describing an intellectual who is overly obsessed with things that, well, intellectuals overly obsess about. But recently, “geek culture” started to connote something even more — something cool, curious, and perhaps most importantly, something that can be really difficult to explain to those who don’t “get it.”

It is from this world that Mediaite founder Dan Abrams will be launching a new site covering geek culture on January 25th, aptly titled “Geekosystem.”

According to Abrams, “when it comes to Internet culture, readers already know where they can go for in-depth technology coverage or cool photos. Our goal is to create a broader interest site that will celebrate and cover everything from technology and science fiction to video games and comics.”

Geekosystem will delve into geek culture with reports and analysis on the myriad aspects of geekdom: from gadgets and video games to comic books and science fiction. The site will merge the content aggregation of popular web culture destinations with the editorial voice of the post-Web 2.0 generation of geek luminaries. The site will be top edited by Robert Quigley, who has proved to be a real standout among the ranks of Mediaite’s stable of contributors.

“Robert has been a star at Mediaite. Not only did he write the story that remains our most viewed post ever, but he is also one of the smartest people about the web that I have ever met,” says Abrams. “Oh, and he is a nationally ranked Scrabble player too, so he knows his words. . . even if they’re short ones.”

The site will be loosely modeled on Mediaite’s content structure — balancing aggregation, reporting and a power grid ranking, though the Geekosystem version will focus less on media types or personalities and more on geek heroes, concepts, and titles. Abrams: “If everyone can rank celebrities or businesspeople, why not do the same for Jules Verne? Or the guy who invented HTML?”

Mediaite is thrilled to have a new descendant, though we’re probably more eager to tease him and pull good-natured pranks. In fact – what’s that on your shirt GeekO? Got you! Welcome to the family!

Mediaite’s two other announced siblings, Styleite and Sports Grid, are expected to launch in late February or early March.


Wow, What A Difference A Year Makes: Happy Anniversary Obama?

It has been a year. Has it ever. Likely no one knows that better than President Obama who one imagines is having a pretty crappy day today. Who could have predicted amidst January 20, 2009’s euphoria that one year later we would be waking up to news that out of nowhere a former nude Cosmo model, pick-up driving Republican had snagged Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat and derailed Obama’s agenda. Or that his approval ratings would have plummeted so far. Or that, well a lot of things. But enough of that, at least for a moment. In a nod to nostalgia here’s a look back at how the nation covered the day one year ago. The headlines are mind-boggling happy. Plus: after the jump Jon Stewart offers his own retrospective (Obama is “not a magic negro.”).

The Newsstand: Click the picture below for a slideshow of the day’s covers. The NYT sold out of theirs within a few hours.


The Cablers: ‘MSNBC’s Highlights Of Inauguration Day’: Probably it will be a while (if ever) before we see anyone strike this sort of tone again: (Short version: people were happy and hopeful, Aretha Franklin got a lot of attention for her hat.)



>>>NEXT: Jon Stewart on what we have learned during Obama’s first year.


Conan’s Exit: Turning That Frown Upside Down

“My name is Conan O’Brien, and I am just three days away from the biggest drinking binge in history.”

Conan O’Brien has taken to opening his monologues with self-deprecating references making light of his situation — that is to say, the situation of being kicked out of the Tonight Show after just seven months in specific violation of his contract that he signed five years ago thinking Jay Leno was retiring but instead NBC gave Leno a 10 p.m. show that tanked which screwed up Conan’s lead-in and caused an affiliate revolt which meant The Jay Leno Show had to be canceled which led to NBC’s brilliant plan to give him a show at 11:35 that would bump The Tonight Show back a half hour which essentially meant giving him back the Tonight Show which Conan refused to do so he’s out and now Jay Leno is taking back the Tonight Show which was the one thing that Conan’s contract was meant to protect against. Yes, that situation.

It’s a good attitude — and it’s making for great comedy. Gone is the bitter edge from last week — understandably bitter but it had a shelf-life, especially against the backdrop of the catastrophe in Haiti. Besides, he more than got his low-blow digs in at NBC.

But — there is a weird silver lining to this, that Conan alluded to last night and Monday: He’s never been so beloved. The support O’Brien has enjoyed has been off-the-charts ridiculous — there were nationwide rallies, for God’s sake. Where the PR wars are concerned Conan has won hands down, despite Jeff Zucker’s attempt to justify his actions on Charlie Rose and Jay Leno’s spin on it on his own show, which WaPo’s Tom Shales called “disingenuous to an intolerable extreme” and David Letterman just gets-personal-hits-jay-leno-where-it-hurts/”>eviscerated last night. Conan now has attack dogs taking the nastier shots for him — an army of Dick Ebersols, if you will — so it’s left him to continue his assault on NBC from a more defensive position (see: joke about visiting the NBC theme park to ride the “The Tunnel of Litigation”) rather than going for the jugular.

Which has left him — and his staff — free to sort of…enjoy this. And why not? They’re out; they know they’re out. But as Shales points out, it’s bigger than that. They’re in this line of work for a reason, and getting to The Tonight Show is the apex, one worth uprooting lives and families for to move from New York to L.A. They may not be able to create a long legacy, but they are certainly creating a lasting one. They’re creating television history right now, every day. That’s a pretty decent silver lining.

It’s also extremely freeing. Conan and his team no longer care, no longer need to care, about pushing back against rumors, standing up to the big guy, or fighting for survival. Now they can just do what Conan has always done best, and what might even have worked at the Tonight Show, given enough time: be goofy. Insulting NBC in Spanish, calling the network execs “brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble” – in Spanish? That’s hilarious. Saying that “NBC’s headed downhill faster than a fat guy chasing a runaway cheese wheel?” That’s also hilarious. Miming an evil executive with a cat and a wheelchair? Hilarious! Ridiculous! And sublime.

At Monday’s rally in L.A., Andy Richter spoke to the crowd gathered in the rain and thanked them for making a weird, sad situation that much better. “It’s been kind of a tough time, but also – a really fun time!” All things considered, it’s not a bad way to go out.



It’s True: News Aggregators Are Spelling Doom for Newspapers

Outsell Research, a research and advisory firm devoted to the publishing and information industries, just released their “News Users 2009″ report, the results of which suggest that–surprise!–many readers turn to aggregator sites before heading to the print paper proper.

Here are the numbers:

-19% of people accessed Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL News for news in 2009. 10% did so in 2006.

-6%  go directly to newspaper websites, as opposed to 3% in 2006

-44% scan headlines on Google “without accessing the newspaper sites”

Clearly, this augments the feeling of doom surrounding print papers, but what does this imply for their online counterparts? Well, basically, it means that they’re not going to make money either. If online papers follow the Grey Lady’s lead and start charging for their content, then users have no incentive to pay for bite-sized pieces they can snatch from an aggregator.

Also, clearly, this doesn’t necessarily mean that online newspapers will cease to exist; without their existence, the aggregators would have nothing to grab from. However, it does add significant weight to the debate about the purpose of newspapers (recently furthered by Dave Egger’s mammoth Panorama). Bite-sized new pieces may have a greater place in aggregators, while news producers may want to focus on long-form and investigative journalism.

Either way, this new research highlights the fact that newspapers will have to create varied and innovative fee structures for the future. Because one thing’s certain: someone’s going to have to pay.


It’s Official: NYT To Start Charging For Content In 2011

It has finally happened. After twelve months (or more) of rumors and speculation the New York Times has announced that it will start charging for content in 2011. Here’s the money quote from the press release:

The new approach, referred to as the metered model, will offer users free access to a set number of articles per month and then charge users once they exceed that number. This will enable NYTimes.com to create a second revenue stream and preserve its robust advertising business. It will also provide the necessary flexibility to keep an appropriate ratio between free and paid content and stay connected to a search-driven Web.

Also worth noting is that the Times says will spend the next year creating and building their own “new online infrastructure,” which is good news in the sense that the NYT.com has continually been a leader in what a news organization should look like online. Hopefully they will apply the same ingenuity to whatever pay model they create. That said, the metered system is viewed by many as a way of ‘punishing’ the most loyal readers; people who use the site most have to pay the most, which in most other industries would make perfect sense, but in this one may prove a challenge.

Meanwhile, before everyone gets too riled up, according to Times media reporter Richard Perez-Pena the details are still super foggy:

But executives of The New York Times Company said they could not yet answer fundamental questions about the plan, like how much it would cost or what the limit would be on free reading. They stressed that the amount of free access could change with time, in response to economic conditions and reader demand.

In a memo to staff ‘Arthur and Janet’ [Sulzberger and Robinson] explain why the change now:

We are doing so because we believe that a second revenue stream will be an important part of our future…Fundamentally, this is an important step in our effort to support The New York Times’s high-quality, professional journalism….We also selected the metered model because it offers a number of important virtues from a financial and growth perspective. It allows NYTimes.com to remain a vibrant part of the search-driven Web, which has proven to be an integral reason for why we have become an industry leader in display advertising.

Also, rest assured print subscribers, according to the same memo you will not have to pay an additional fee for online access.

Full press release after the jump. Full memo at Romenesko.