Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Meet some American Muslims on TLC’s All-American Muslim

November 24, 2011

 

Muslims are jihadis. Muslims subjugate women. Muslims stone adulterers. Sound familiar? Perhaps as familiar as Jews are stingy and control the media, Irish are drunks and raise one child to be a priest or nun, and blacks are ignorant and want special treatment.

These ethnic stereotypes are held by people who don’t know. If you know some Muslims or Jews or blacks you know that they’re just people, some like the stereotype, most not.

I was raised in segregated Delaware and went to segregated schools. The first black family I knew was the Huxtables: obstetrician Cliff, attorney Clair, dyslexic son Theo, and normal daughter Denise, from The Cosby Show. The first Jewish family many people of my generation knew was the Goldbergs, Molly and Jake and their kids Rosalie and Sammy. And the first Indian-Americans many people knew were Gogol Ganguli and his parents, Ashima and Ashoke, from The Namesake.

Most Americans don’t know any Muslims, even though there are almost three million Muslims in America. You can meet several Muslim families from Dearborn, Michigan on All-American Muslim, telecast Sunday nights on the TLC channel.

Some on the right say the program is nothing more than (more…)

Free Apps for your iPhone, or more likely your kid’s, can cost you a lot…$100? $500?

November 1, 2011

Ever wonder how people make money when you download a free app for your smart phone or tablet? So did I, until I read this article about Apple’s app store on zdnet.com, and downloaded the free Tap Pet Hotel on my iPhone. It’s a cute game app: you build a pet hotel and attract pets by building more rooms and giving treats.

It was free—I built a reception area and a washing room and was on my way to acquiring a panda—all I had to do was build a “jungle room” to house it. Then I got this notice:

“Purchasing a jungle room costs 75 coins. You only have 47 coins. Would you like to get more coins?”

I clicked “yes” and got the price list. I had these choices:

Vial of coins: 75 coins for $0.99

Pouch of coins: 165 coins for $1.99

Can of coins: 450 for $4.99

Bottle of coins: 938 for 9.99(25% extra for free)

Satchel of coins:  5250 for $49.99 (40% extra for free)

Trunk of coins:  11,250 for $99.99 (50% extra for free)

You can also buy treats for similar prices.

Apple aims games at kids, calls them “free,” then seduces them into spending big money to continue to play. There’s a warning on the download screen that purchases are available in the app, but I bet most kids won’t even read the warning, let alone heed it. That’s why this free app is Apple’s #2 grossing game app.

Apple should be ashamed.

Morning Joe Scarborough is an unethical coward for letting his friend Mark Halperin take the fall alone

July 1, 2011

It’s always upsetting when one of your heroes turns out to be an unethical creep. I was sick when I learned—for certain—that Bill Clinton had lied to me on national TV, sad when I learned that my Dodger hero, Manny Ramirez, had used banned substances, and devastated when my biggest hero of all. Greg Mortensen (of Three Cups of Tea fame) had not really built girls schools in Taliban country and had in fact stolen millions from his non-profit.

Still, I’m not getting used to my heroes falling. Not even after the latest, Joe Scarborough, conservative ex-congressman (R-FL) and host of the fun morning political conversation, Morning Joe.

I posted yesterday about how Joe and his co-host, Mika Brzezinski, had goaded and cajoled Mark Halperin into expressing his honest opinion of President Obama’s performance at his press conference Wednesday. They assured him that any off-color remark would be bleeped by way of a seven-second delay. When the show’s producer pressed the wrong button, Halperin’s opinion, “I thought he was kind of a dick,” went out into the ether for all to hear. More giggles from Mika and Joe, then a heartbroken apology from Halperin, then Halperin was “suspended indefinitely.”

In urging him on, Scarborough had promised, “You fall down I’m going to catch you.” But he didn’t catch him. Not a word protesting the suspension or owning up to his responsibility. (more…)

Stephen Colbert exposes the threat to America from creeping Sharia law and flying robot drones

January 26, 2011

 

Thanks again to Islamophobiatoday.com for tipping us off to this expose by the Colbert Report of the threat to America from creeping Sharia, along with flying robot drones and crystal meth-laden vacuum cleaners.

 

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow matches Fox News’ distortions about Obama with her distortion about George W. Bush

November 9, 2010

 

Tonight’s Rachel Maddow show ran a clip from Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush, telecast tonight to coincide with the roll-out of Bush’s book. Maddow had an early “teaser” to hook viewers into staying around until the Bush interview ran, near the end of the show. The teaser urged viewers to stay to see Bush’s “whopper.”


Sure enough, here came a whopper. Lauer asked, “Did you ever ask yourself, ‘What more could I have done to prevent this [9/11] from happening?’ “ Bush responded, “We just didn’t have any solid intelligence that gave us some warning on this.”

Maddow followed this clip with video of Condoleezza Rice admitting to the 9/11 Commission that the President’s Daily Briefing for August 6, 2001, was entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.” Maddow punctuated the segment this way: “George W. Bush is trying to sell the same kind of spin he tried to sell when he was President.” That is, in her words, “a whopper.” For extra emphasis she repeated the clip of Bush saying no intelligence and Rice reading the title of the PDB.


But the whopper was Maddow’s, not Bush’s. For she had carefully truncated Bush’s answer. Here’s his full, undoctored answer to Lauer’s question: (more…)

Which reporters, commentators, and pundits are objective? “Nobody,” says Mika Brzezinski. “Let’s be honest.”

October 22, 2010

 

In the search for diverse opinions on television I like MSNBC’s Morning Joe, an entertaining roundtable of people you would enjoy having at your next dinner party. Hosts Joe Scarborough—a conservative former Congressman—and Mika Brzezinski—a liberal daughter of President Carter’s National Security advisor—are politically balanced while being friendly and civil. Their guests span the political spectrum, and the conversations are usually spirited. Nobody on the show claims to be objective, they just bounce their opinions off each other. Fun and informative.

Today, in the wake of NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, there was some discussion of objectivity in the media. Mika had a proposal that would improve the credibility of reporters and commentators of all stripes:

“I would argue that nobody is objective in journalism: that we all come from our own world views and our own backgrounds and our own political affiliations, and we’ve voted for Presidents, and you know what! It’s time to be honest [about it}—and then we can be trusted.

Honesty: What a concept!

 

Dr. Laura Schlessinger teaches us how to apologize

August 17, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is ending her radio show at the end of the year, nudged along by the furor over her repeated use of the “n-word” in a conversation with a caller. Dr. Laura repeated the word six or seven times, not in a racist way, but in a complaint about a double standard whereby black comics can use it ad nauseum, but it’s off limits to whites.

In the conversation Dr. Laura spoke disrespectfully and hurtfully to the caller, who, after all, called in for some consoling and advice. The next day Dr. Laura taught us all a lesson about apologizing. Not a Category 1 (defiant) apology: “I’m sorry if you think I did something wrong.” Not a Category 2 (evasive) apology: “I may have made an innocent mistake, and I’m sorry for it—if I actually did it.”

No, Dr. Laura issued an all-out Category 3 apology that’s so rare in public life:

“I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing. I didn’t intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done.

“I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the “n” word all the way out – more than one time. And that was wrong. I’ll say it again – that was wrong. (more…)

Shame on Morning Joe for encouraging obesity

May 26, 2010

My favorite TV program is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The hosts are conservative ex-Congressman Joe Scarborough, liberal television journalist Mika Brzezinski, and humorist/sports fan Willie Geist. While their politics are very different, they are intelligent and good natured as they talk about the world. They have interesting and nice guests—the kind of people you’d enjoy having over for dinner.

So I was disappointed Wednesday morning when, after Mika introduced a report by NBC reporter George Lewis on the threat to public health posed by super-sized restaurant meals, Joe and Willie and guest Mike Barnicle started clowning and joking about how great it was to eat huge meals at the restaurants identified by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as contributing to America’s epidemic of obesity.

CSPI cited P. F. Chang’s double pan fried noodle combo (1820 calories), California Pizza Kitchen’s tostada pizza with grilled steak (1680 calories), and the king of the gorge plates, Cheesecake Factory’s pasta carbonara with chicken, weighing in at 2500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat. That’s 250 more calories than the Mayo Clinic recommends for an average fairly active man in an entire day. Clearly such meals consumed regularly are deadly. No joke. Not funny, Joe. (more…)

Lena Horne, battler for civil rights in Hollywood, dead at 92. (Oh, yes, she sang and acted too)

May 17, 2010

Lena Horne died last week at 92. I only knew of two prominent African-Americans when I was growing up in segregated Wilmington, Delaware. One was heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, and the other was singer Lena Horne. I knew she was a good singer, and quite beautiful, but I didn’t know anything else. I’m indebted to Jack Marshall’s EthicsAlarms.com blog for educating me about her groundbreaking role in the civil rights movement.

Marshall called Horne “Ethics Hero Emeritus” for her relentless fight against segregation and her principled refusal to play demeaning roles in the racist Hollywood environment of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Her career suffered, and she finally left Hollywood for Europe, where people didn’t seem to care much about her skin color.

There’s a fascinating PBS Fresh Air program, broadcast on May 14, that replays an interview that host Terry Gross conducted with Horne’s daughter, Gail Lumet Horne, in 1986. Listen to it for an inspiring story of this heroic woman.

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