Archive for the ‘Media Frenzy’ Category

Overcoming SCOTUS Disease

Posted: May 10, 2010 in Media Frenzy

John Jay just rolled over in his grave.   Surely the venerable first Chief Justice is looking down on us from a heavenly abode.  He doesn’t recognize what he sees, and we are not talking about the ideological landscape of today’s high court.    That Barack Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the Court as the potential fourth ever woman might be somewhat surprising to Jay.   Afterall, in his day Kagan could have only risen to the level of America’s needle point sweetheart, a la the flag making Betsy Ross.     

John Jay in a Kodak moment. While Sandra Day O'Connor may have broken the gender barrier on the Court, it was John Jay who broke the man with two first names barrier.

But no, the real source of wonderment for Jay about today’s Supreme Court would undoubtedly be “What the hell is a SCOTUS?” 

Now maybe Jay can’t be bothered or worried about things from his afterlife perch.  Perhaps he plays croquet in heaven on alternating afternoons with his Federalist Papers cronies Hamilton and Madison – highly contested games where he often gets razed by Madison for his woeful lopsided Jay Treaty with Britain in 1794. 

“Thanks a lot for that one, Johnny,” fires the salty Madison at Jay right as he is about to mallet the croquet ball towards the target.   “Luckily for you, I bailed your ass out in the War of 1812 or we would still be subjects of the Queen.” 

Maybe Jay is not in heaven at all.  Let’s not discount, however, that where ever he is he still has access to a WiFi connection and is able to get some good old-fashioned New Media piped in.      He can’t be happy that his Supreme Court has been replaced in every third headline with a case of SCOTUS, an acronymic affliction that is ravaging internet news feeds.     If you didn’t know it SCOTUS is the abbreviation for Supreme Court of the United States.    Get it, SCOTUS.    Headline writers far and wide have taken to renaming the Supreme Court SCOTUS because they are lazy, and it has to stop.  It’s not like we are talking about the old media where there was at least the cost of ink at play.    The internet media has no fear of running out of web space, so why not spell it out.  

This latest governmental acronym is just the latest threat to our way of life.   In fact acronyms as a whole have our society on the brink of communication ruin.    Try working in IT or Government or Healthcare on any other profession that has not been overrun with abbreviations and short-cuts.   It’s a HTTP/SQL/DoD/PAC/PDA/LCD world that we live in.   It’s too much to say can you get me the report as soon as possible.   Now it has to be ASAP, or by EOD.   

Elena Kagan in happier times before she found out she was infected with an unsightly case of SCOTUS.

And you – casual social web user – are not helping when you type LOL or LMAO on every third Facebook thread you comment on.     What you are really saying is that I’m too lazy too say, “Wow that was very funny, that makes me laugh.”     

For their part, acronyms themselves are under pressure from one button emoticons such as smiley, frowny and random wink at me faces saving users of LOL two extra key strokes – three if they needed the exclamation point.    That’s no way to communicate.   

And now to that abbreviation heap we add SCOTUS.   May John Jay RIP.

SCOTUS on the loose in today's headlines

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Atlanta, GA.     In a stark contrast to the hardline that former anchor Lou Dobbs took on illegal immigration, his replacement John King wasted no time soothing immigrant relations as he announced that he would empoy a migrant worker force  in the back office production jobs that get the show to the air each night.   The idea is sure to turn heads.    It has long been common place to find immigrant workers employed in low cost manufacturing operations, crop harvesting, and in the lawn maintenance industry, but in this latest twist CNN hopes a Migrant workforce will solve its 7pm EST ratings dilemma.      

king

Breaking News! Mike Huckebee is a Hit in the Rural South!! Viewers would have never guessed that counties that Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty used to like to paddle about in were going to vote for Huckebee. But, John King’s deft touch confirms it.

For King, it started as a weekend landscaping overhaul in his back yard.     His new wife, CNN reporter Dana Bash, had demanded that he install a brick paver walkway in the back yard of their DC area home.    “I’m not a real handy guy,” King noted.   “The most I’ve ever done with my hands is move that gigantic maperotor thing around on election night.    When I drill into the 17th district of Ohio and make up stats about if Obama can carry that district it will be a very tough night for McCain, yada yada.   So I knew I needed help, or the job would have never gotten done.”    

And that’s when it happened.   King was picking out pavers at an area Home Depot well known for its street corner gathering of immigrants who are willing to put in a hard day’s work.    Landscaper and roofing contracters routinely pick up workers at the store.   King knew that the back breaking dirt moving and leveling in his yard would require some extra hands.   

“I met four nice guys and paid them each $50 for the afternoon.    Dana was out doing one of those fluff pieces on Obama playing basketball with dudes and not including girls.   So before she even got home, the crew had all the pavers laid out and compacted,”  King mentioned. 

“What I didn’t anticipate, however, was the attention to detail that the workers displayed.  I have my own video production studio in my home office where I will edit tape and do voiceovers on the weekends.    I asked one of the guys, named (REDACTED to protect his immigrant status) to come in and hit the record button and splice up a few tapes.    And really that’s when I figured it out.    Most jobs in television are very repeatable and training up a lower cost workforce would be a good first fiduciary step in getting my show off the ground.”

What he also knew was that the grumpy Lou Dobbs had alienated many viewers for his hard line approach on immigration.  Dobbs’ nightly diatribes over the immigration problem had made him a lightnening rod among the the very liberal production staff at the Atlanta based cable news channel.   So in a telling shift of the way the new King show will go, he  thought a good first step would be to have about 20 members of his staff be made up of migrant workers. 

“The biggest challenge is that my Ford Explorer only fits 6 guys.  But, Dana can probably squeeze 4 guys into her Prius.    If we each make 2 trips into the CNN offices each morning we should be fine,”  King said.

And once the workers get to the office, King expects results.   “What I noticed when we were doing the brick pavers.   Is that none of the workers ever took a break.  No one was standing around.   At CNN, you will see staffers hanging out by the watercooler, going outside to get a smoke.    Even Dana likes to waste time at her desk playing Bejeweled Blitz.   This new hardworking culture is really going to change things here.”

And maybe that’s what has some of the current staff at CNN so jumpy.   And fearing that their jobs may be on the line.     

“Well we never appreciated Lou Dobbs taking such a polarizing position on immigration,” said Chelsey Campbell a production assistant at the network.    “I guess we thought that our jobs would never be effected.”

The popular website the Onion’s on-going courtship to buy the Small Ball Report was withdrawn last night citing irreconcilable differences with the use of the English language.   The Onion and SBR had been courting for weeks, but broke off talks over SBR’s knack for often misusing the words there and their.   A spokesman for the Onion, Mel Kandahar, said “It’s as if the writers of the Small Ball Report have absolutely no training in proper grammar.   They dangle more participles than Willy Olson.” 

When reached for comment, SBR founder Anthony Liebrandt asked, “What’s a Participle?”

The Onion also questioned the veracity of many Small Ball Report feature stories claiming that the SBR had once tried to stoke the fears of pansy white middle class suburban kids by denigrating the hard working and friendly Ice Cream Man.   

Anthony Liebrandt seen here in the early days at the Small Ball Saturday update desk.   His ability to multi-task using 4 different laptops at once is legendary.

Anthony Liebrandt seen here in the early days at the Small Ball Saturday update desk. His ability to multi-task using 4 different laptops at once is legendary.

That particular episode was an early black eye for the fledging web site.   Calling the Ice Cream Man scarier than the one he remembered as a kid, the outspoken Liebrandt ignited a backlash from the powerful Ice Cream Men lobby, and although vindication would come when the Million Ice Cream Man March on Washington had to be cancelled because too many of the organizers were wearing police ankle bracelets, the slight did detract new readers and valuable ad revenue.  

But despite its setbacks the Small Ball Report would continue to grow during the summer of 2009 and captivated the hearts of readers everywhere – and in particular readers related to Anthony Liebrandt in the middle part of the U.S. as well as Arizona and North Carolina – with insightful observations on the sports of Mutton Busting and Competitive Eating.   

It was a meteoric rise that began on Facebook when Liebrandt tried to explain small ball baseball theory to a group of housewives who didn’t care about sports.   Though that backfired, he turned it into a weekly status update series called Small Ball Saturday.   But, after just two short weeks, it was clear that Liebrandt would quickly run out of commentary dealing with Small Balls, as these two statuses clearly point out.           

“Small Ball Saturday (The Debut Edition): Bowling is the only sport that gives the athlete holes in which to clutch, grab & release the ball into its intended motion. This aide allows even people with smaller balls to do well at the sport (April 4)”

“Small Ball Saturday (The Small C^% Edition): The game of badmitton is played by athletes who propel birdies into flight with light rackets. During side-outs some will joke about the birdies other name, the Shuttle-Cock.   These athletes are usually compensating for their small balls.  (April 11)”

So Liebrandt took the Small Ball Report to the web and expanded his message to a wider audience.  Rumors had been circulating for weeks that he was in talks to sell Small Ball Report to focus his attention on the upcoming opening on the Murmuring Ponds HOA board in January.   He had planned to use that race as a launch pad for the proliferation of the new political Small Ball Party that he had just announced last week as an alternative to Republicans and Democrats, plugging the gaping hole left by the 1800s extinction of the Whig party.   

So what will come next?  Hints may have come from Liebrandt’s defiance in the wake of the failed Onion buyout, “I don’t give  *%(^&  about The Onion.  They are a foul breath inducing sliver of Subway Sandwich to me.    They can kiss my &^&*# dangling participles butt.   Game on!”   

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com

Charles Bierbauer, a one-time fast rising CNN correspondent during the first Gulf War is being held in protective custody this morning, in the wake of a horrific plot to sabotage the media career of Wolf Blitzer.    

Bierbauer stands accused of appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy dressed up as Wolf Blitzer and systematically tanking questions in an effort to settle an old score and dampen the public affection for the host of CNN’s Situation Room.    

“Clearly, as my work on CNN indicates, I’m no dummy,” Blitzer said as he reacted to his initial screening of the Thursday episode.   “There is no way that I would have gotten drubbed by a Desperate Housewife (Dana Delaney) and a Conan O’Brian Sidekick (Andy Richter).”

Wolf Blitzer (left) looking way to brilliant and charming to stink so putridly at Jeopardy.   Bierbauer (right) still miffed for not getting the Situation Room gig is being questioned in the Jeopardy debacle.

Wolf Blitzer (left) looking way to brilliant and charming to stink so putridly at Jeopardy. Bierbauer (right) still miffed for not getting the Situation Room gig is being questioned in the Jeopardy debacle.

Amazingly Blitzer, or the man dressed up as Blitzer, ended the two rounds of Jeopardy with an unfathomable negative 4600 points.  That’s about the same amount of points that a certifiable jack-ass idiot repbrobate loser would get.   And that is when IGSIB (the International Game Show Investigative Body) made the decision to investigate.   They dispatched some investigators that had previously cleaned up the Slumdog Millionaire case in Mumbai and put them to work grilling Charles Bierbauer for inconsistencies.

Bierbauer and Blitzer, one-time friends, both came to prominence during the first Gulf War when CNN first broke onto the cable news media scene.  Together they made popular the CNN technique of showing the same Iraqi Scud Test Missile being launched over and over…and over some more, and alternating that with stock footage of Saddam shooting a rifle into the air followed by a US soldier quickly putting on his gas mask suit.

It was riveting television in the early 1990s and it was made all the more special by the fact that both men had simultaneously broken the Beard Barrier which held that TV anchor roles once the fraternity of only good looking clean shaven men, could now be worked by men who could also be confused as Amish farmers or NHL hockey players not shaving for the playoffs.  

But somewhere along the way, Bierbauer’s once bright star went dark and it was Blitzer who went on to recreate cable television news.   Blitzer is best known for his election night coverage when he coyly makes half hourly announcements on which states are now red and which are now blue based on One/One Millionth of the results being reported.   In 2008 he further added to his legendary repertoire as he acted as MC to the four rows of ‘Pundits’ who on camera acted busy getting the latest scoop from their laptop. It was only later discovered when Jeff Toobin stupidly dropped his laptop at the Atlanta airport security line, that the CNN laptops were actually fake Dells like the ones used by real estate house stagers.

For his part, Bierbauer has been mostly quiet, releasing a statement to MSNBC and Fox News, and not CNN:  “As anyone who has ever known me can attest, I am a skilled Trivia Pursuit Player.  This notion that it was I that looked like a clown on Jeopardy is without merit.  I’m confident that my name will be cleared.”  

“And if there is any further doubt,” he went on to say.   “Just check out all my high NTN bar trivia scores that I have accumulated under the name BierPauer at Buffalo Wild Wings.”

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com

The Small Ball Report announced this morning that it has fired Chuck Todd as its Chief Political Contributor in the wake of his careless, insensitive, reprehensible and wanton disregard for the new Obama Sneeze Into Elbow Law.     No word yet on whether his other employer, MSNBC will follow suit. 

Anthony Liebrandt, VP and Managing Editor of the Small Ball Report had this to say, “Anytime we send our reporters to the White House briefing room or battlefield or to our outdoor parking lot when we are trying to crack the ‘We Just Saw a Snowflake Story, Tonight at 10’, we want them to know that they have a responsibility to do things the right way.    And no, I’m not talking about things like fact checking or source attribution, we don’t get all hung up on that around here.  

Chuck Todd with his smug I don't have to follow the new Obama Sneeze Law look

Chuck Todd looking all smug with his "I don't have to follow the new Obama Sneeze Into Elbow Law pose"

“I get it.   It is Ragweed Season.   I have allergies too.   Today one of the guys at the office, said to me, ‘Easy their Limbaugh, how many Zyrteks is that for you today.’   But for heaven’s sake Chuck Todd, if you have to sneeze, please do as Kathleen Sebelieus asks and sneeze in your Elbow.  She’s from Kansas and the Kansas state flower is the Weed so obviously she oughta know.”

“We wish Chuck the best,”  Liebrandt continued.  “And we know that he can continue to work at MSNBC because despite his limited talent and face for radio that was the one place that he could work behind the camera, I mean look they even gave Rachel Maddow an hour.”

Liebrandt then left the Small Ball office complex, went home,  and gathered his children around the living room ottoman last night and used Chuck Todd’s poor sneeze form as a teaching moment for his children.   His daughters took turns making their American Girl Dolls sneeze correctly into their Elbows.   He then showed them what would happen if the Mia doll passed germs to the Reece doll by sneezing the wrong way they would pass swine flu to each other and fall over dead.   There was perhaps, some crying heard after that demonstration.  

The new law has not been without its detractors, however.   Thom Rundrey, a lobbyist for Benadryl, had this to say, “Look, this is a flat out encroachment into our very way of life.    If I want to sneeze, I’m going to sneeze into my hand every time.   Everyone knows the reason you sneeze into your hand at the office or school is that you can than casually rub that sneeze snot into your palms over the next several minutes without anyone getting wise to it.   What happens when the sneeze snot lands on your brand knew shirt.   A little bit harder to hide, right?”

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com    

newspaper3THE SMALL BALL REPORT welcomes the former readers of Small Ball Saturday by Anthony Liebrandt. 

We approached Anthony Liebrandt three weeks ago with a buyout offer after his stunning newsbreak of a Scary Ice Cream Man on the loose terrorizing young children in his suburban Chicago neighborhood.   This was exactly the kind of news our readers had been clamoring for.    …And speaking of clamoring.   The fact that Anthony Liebrandt’s compelling lifestory began in a town infested by smelly, mollusky clams all but sealed the deal.   We knew we had to act quickly before the other big dot-coms beat us to it.    As it turned out operatives from the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report were both waiting in the lobby as we were consumating the transaction last evening.

There will be a minimal reduction in workforce as workers at Small Ball Saturday have agreed to be interviewed for the few open positions that are available at the THE SMALL BALL REPORT.   This is also corporate code for they should expect a pink slip as soon as we have been shown how they were doing the financials as we don’t want to run into a Sarbanes Oxley situation.    Some attrition is expected.   We hear that beat reporter Trash Toter will likely find a role outside the company (We can only hope). 

Thank you for finding your way over to smallballreport.com.