Posts Tagged ‘MSNBC’

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DONALD’S DETOUR

April 18, 2011

If any of you seriously believe Donald Trump is running for President, it’s time to re-think your meds. And if you think you would actually vote for him, just quit taking them altogether.

Donald Trump is not going to run for President. His current “birther” antics are simply a scheduled detour on the path of drumming up attention for his TV series which, after this season, needs some help.

He can’t be a presidential candidate and keep the show, so he says he’ll announce his decision on the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice. When the fall line-up for NBC is announced in May (around the same time as the May 22nd finale), his show will be on that list, according to those who work at NBC/MSNBC.

Also, according to the same personnel, he has not been offered a three year contract, as he recently stated. That’s not how things work in the “here-today, gone-tomorrow” world of entertainment.

For those who may not know, most of Trump’s money was inherited from his father, Fredrick Trump, a real estate developer who left his children over $400 million. Donald has not done well managing his portion. Bankruptcies and re-financings have forced him to relinquish ownership of nearly all of his real estate.

Most of what Trump currently “owns” is really owned by financial institutions and other real estate entities that pay him a fee to use his name for promotional purposes. He calls himself the “founder” of this and the “president” of that, but the truth is Trump is the sole owner of very little.

Bottom line: The “money-is-my-god” Donald will not give up a $3 million an episode job for a $450,000 a year job that has real-life responsibilities he can’t ignore like he does his accounts payables.

As for the $600 million Trump said he would invest in a campaign? He doesn’t have that kind of liquidity. He would have to borrow the money or do many, many fundraisers. Either way, it would be an embarrassment for this self-proclaimed billionaire.

Trump’s attention-getting stunts are simply filling the “Narcissism Segment” of the media once occupied by Sarah Palin.

Nothing more.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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THIS IS NOT ABOUT A BIRTH CERTIFICATE

July 23, 2009

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Here we go… again.

The people who are creating the story about President Obama’s birth certificate are not telling the truth. They couldn’t care less about his birth certificate. They KNOW he was born in Hawaii. The evidence is overwhelming.

This “Birther Movement” is just the latest in “coded rhetoric” and actions by those who hate our President because he is black. They’ve tried Socialist, Communist, Marxist, Fascist, Baby-killer, Anti-Semite – you name it, and nothing has worked. President Obama still holds high popularity marks – as good as or higher than Clinton or Reagan in their first six months. With everything that needed attention when he came to the Presidency, that’s a remarkable achievement. You have to go back to FDR to find a President who came into the Whitehouse with so many different critical situations on his plate at once – and Roosevelt wasn’t dealing with two wars.

This poorly veiled bigotry will get less traction than the “Tea Parties” from earlier this year. At least the Tea Party Movement sounded rational, even if it wasn’t actually about taxation.

Rep. Campbell wants this bill to go to the President’s desk because it would put Obama on the spot. If he doesn’t sign it, he looks like he’s hiding something. There are currently nine co-sponsors of the bill that was sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL). Not one person of color among them. Interestingly, half are from Texas.

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Facts anyone?

Here are what the top fact-checking websites in the country have written on the subject. Snopes.com  PolitiFact.com  FactCheck.org

What post would be complete without a media morsel (or two) on the “crazies.”

Convicted Watergate felon and well-known crazy radio talk show host, G. Gordon Liddy, looking VERY tired on Hardball, tried to defend the Birther Movement.

No crazy conspiracy theory would be complete without “legal” action so it appears legitimate. Attorney Philip Berg filed a lawsuit that was summarily dismissed by Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the US District Court in PA.

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Berg was also mentioned in a civil action that Air Force Colonel Gregory Hollister brought to the court, stating he would not serve under Obama because Obama wasn’t a citizen and therefore could not be the Commander-in-Chief. This case was also dismissed. The judge called this case “frivolous,” having ruled on two previous interlocutory cases on the same issue. Here’s the date-by-date rulings by the court on Hollister’s Civil action.

FactCheck.org had this to say:

“FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it’s stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.”

Hawaii has two major newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin. BOTH newspapers include birth announcements (which come from hospitals, not family), and BOTH newspapers record the August 4th, 1961 birth of Barack Obama.

Barbara Nelson, a teacher at the Honolulu prep school attended by Barack Obama recalled discussing his birth with the obstecrician who had delivered him:

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Time for some rational thinking.

“In this day of heightened awareness about terrorists, illegal immigrants, etc. and (Bush Administration) policies hell-bent on invading the privacy of virtually everyone in this country under the guise of protecting us, does anyone really think Barack Hussein Obama would have received the necessary security clearances to be a US Senator and on the Foreign Relations Committee, if he wasn’t a citizen?”

I wrote this during the 2008 campaign in Faith Trumps Fear, when this birth certificate nonsense was first debunked.

I know the Republicans can’t be responsible for the crazies like Lou Dobbs, Liz Cheney, Sean Hannity and Orly Taitz. But they can, and should, reign in their fellow congressmen who are legitimizing this bigotry. Allowing these members to disguise their hatred of our President’s skin color behind proposed birth certificate legislation that will go nowhere, is harmful to the GOP. Media is doing a good job of exposing these clowns for who and what they are. (Of course, this excludes FOX News and the rest of the alarmist talking heads.) If nothing is done by the Republican Leadership to publically oppose this dialogue, then it becomes apparent to many that the fear-and-hate mongers have the support of the entire party.

Are Republicans TRYING to become even MORE insignificant?

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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SOUR GRAPES

July 16, 2009

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He just can’t stand it.

He has to be in the spotlight. His narcissism is second-to-none. He never retracts statements – regardless of how malicious and untrue they may be. Fortunately for him, he’s not paid to be a nice guy – a role that would be an anathema to his existence.

The idea that a counterpart could actually achieve a modicum of success that surpasses his – on just one level – is enough to drive him crazy. So he does the only thing he knows how to do: attack. No congratulations. No respect. No recognition for the hard work that it took to get there.

This is the sad and pathetic amoeba that is Rush Limbaugh.

In Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, I wrote…

“On January 2, 2004, a new voice entered the nation’s airwaves  – on two radio stations…naturally, there were detractors. Some said the voice wouldn’t last a month. Others called it a $4 an hour nobody.”

The “others” I referred to were Rush and his ilk.

Since his attack on MSNBC backfired in May of this year (KO’s K O), Rush has now decided to go after their latest host and his one-hour show (6:00pm EST weekdays), Ed Schultz.

Some people just don’t learn.

True, Ed still has some rough edges. His presentation isn’t always the smoothest but he’s only been on television since April 6th. Not bad for a guy who started out as a “nobody” a little over five years ago. Based on his instincts so far, I would say that he’ll do just as well in front of the camera as he does in front of a radio microphone. BTW – The ratings in his time slot are up 30% since he went on the air according to the latest cable news ratings.

Rush had his own TV show from 1992 to 1996 that he cancelled because he could only get it aired late at night. The show was too big of a departure from what his fans had come to like about him on radio – his constant attacks on the Clinton Administration. A comedic Rush was not what his audience wanted so the ratings/reviews were never strong enough to move it into a better timeslot.

And then there’s this more recent gem ala FOX News. God help us all if this tidbit of fiction ever comes true.

It’s amazing to me that a man with a $400,000,000 contract is so insecure that he has to attack a guy who is earning 2 to 3 percent of that income. Why is Rush so concerned? Why take up valuable air time on a three hour radio show to go after this “nobody?” The “business” answer is that Rush knows by attacking Ed, he increases his exposure.

But it’s more than that.

This is sour grapes, plain and simple. Ed has his own television show – Rush doesn’t. Rush has not been offered a TV slot since 1996 – not even from FOX News. What Rush fails to see is that by going after Ed, he makes Ed look even more successful. Ed has everything to gain and nothing to lose by talking about Rush. By attacking Ed, Rush looks petty.

Life lesson, Rush: money and success are NOT synonymous.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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20TH CENTURY FOX

June 24, 2009

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We all know that FOX News has always topped the TV ratings  for cable news.

That’s a problem – for FOX News.

Millions of people are moving away from watching news on TVs to watching news on their PCs and cell phones.

FOX has been outfoxed in the last two election cycles.

What’s the most visited online news website? MSNBC. According to the latest Nielson Ratings, in March, 2009, MSNBC topped the online ratings list with 39,900,000 hits to FOX News’ 16,800,000. Add to this the tens of millions that went to YouTube during the last two election cycles, and it’s not hard to understand that traditional TV news viewership is rapidly decreasing.

Internet traffic numbers are only part of MSNBC’s website success.

MSNBC’s parent company is a partnership between Microsoft and NBC (which is owned by General Electric). With Microsoft as one of your owners, there’s a good chance your website is going to be second-to-none – and theirs is. Add to that the fact that NBC News uses MSNBC’s website for THEIR programs and you have a very powerful online news website. It even beats CNN’s online traffic.

This is why you hear FOX News commentators railing against NBC and GE, with conspiracy theories, conflicts of interest stories, etc. Here’s one of many, many examples:

It’s not surprising that they’ve created this dialogue about the NBC family. FNC’s parent company, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, lost over $6,000,000,000 (that’s BILLION dollars) last year.

So why doesn’t FOX News’ TV ratings translate into big ratings for website viewership?

Most of FNC’s TV audience is above the age of 45. Generally speaking, that demographic is not nearly as internet savvy as the 34 to 45 and 18 to 33 demographics. They are also less educated in the latest technologies. Ten years ago, that didn’t matter. Today, it’s critical. The 45+ demographic that watches cable TV news, while having very loyal FNC viewers, is no longer large enough for FOX News to help Republicans win national elections. The 21st Century has moved beyond FOX News.

I can attest to these facts based on the people I know that are avid FOX News fans. Most are not computer literate. Many are at least my age or older. Those that are younger than me do not spend time researching information. Whether it’s from a lack of computer knowledge, or a lack of desire, I can’t be sure. These are the people that FOX News counts on – what I called the “Low Information Voter” in Faith Trumps Fear. Some of these people are family members as I wrote in Twelve Words and Yes, I’m Going There.

MSNBC, whose TV ratings are still far less than FNC’s, does not seem to be worried. Their ratings are increasing drastically and they managed to edge out CNN during primetime in March, 2009.

One more thing that gives MSNBC TV an edge is NBC. Contrary to what FNC spews about NBC, Brian Williams is #1 in the 6:30pm news ratings. Their news department is one of the most widely acclaimed in the industry for its fact-based reporting.

FOX News will never have the talent or gravitas of NBC, Microsoft or MSNBC.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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THANK YOU, TIM

June 16, 2009

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One of my co-workers walked over to me on that June afternoon, with a sullen face. He knew I followed politics, so he thought I might be interested.

“Tim Russert just died.”

“What? No. You mean his dad just died – his name is Tim, too.”

“No, the TV Tim Russert died.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Tim was only five months older than me. How could he have passed at such a young age? I immediately took a minute to read the breaking news on the MSNBC website. It was true. One of the most beloved newsmen on TV was never again going to share that smile with the world.

Later that Friday evening, my wife and I sat on the couch, literally in tears, as we watched the story unfold.

Neither one of us realized how much this man was a part of our lives. His was always the most insightful, intelligent, well prepared and executed Sunday Morning News program. Nothing else came close. If you wanted the truth and the facts on the issues, it was always Meet the Press with Tim Russert.

His wife, Maureen and their son, Luke, both exhibited extraordinary strength through what had to be the most difficult days of their lives. No amount of consoling can reduce that sense of loss. Only time helps.

As I sat on the couch that night, it dawned on me that Tim, sitting at his desk, passed doing what he loved. His passion for life, combined with an unyielding work ethic that no doubt doubled the forty-hour work week was evident in everything he did. He had an energetic zeal that few could match. Some might say that’s what killed him. True or not, he left this earth living life to the fullest.

This event made me take a look at my life. At the time, I had a forty-hour-a-week job. I also helped out with our small church’s needs by handling the administrative work, the website, recording and mastering the CDs of the service and performing every Sunday morning. It added an additional twenty-five hours to my “work week.”

Late into the night, I silently asked myself this question: “Although each week is filled, is it fulfilling?” I enjoy my job – but it’s just that – a job. I work with very nice people in an environment that most would call enviable. The service to my church, while gratifying, encompasses so much in so many areas, that by Sunday afternoon, I am exhausted. Then it starts all over again Monday morning at 6:00am.

So the answer to my question was… no.

As sad as it is to think Tim’s passing helped wake me up to my life’s reality, that’s exactly what happened. I have a feeling millions across this country took a hard look at their lives in much the same way. Knowing what I know of Tim, he would be happy to know that he once again helped others, even at this sad time.

That was a year ago.

Today things are different. I relinquished my responsibilities to the church. The minister completely understood.

Now that I’m no longer exhausted from seven day work weeks, my desire to be involved in something creative is front and center. I’m in a new musical group which is still in rehearsals and will be ready to go public late in the year. In addition, I’ve started blogging, of all things. Who knew I would enjoy this? (Actually, my son, Adam, did.)

To say that both projects keep me busy is an understatement. My creativity is surfacing in so many different ways. Musically, my vocal and instrumental skills are growing – even at my tender age of fifty-eight. I’m improving my “chops” on the keys, singing styles of material that are new to me, and really expanding my repertoire.

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Blogging is the surprise. I never enjoyed writing when I was in school. I did only what was required to get a decent grade. The rest of my time was spent at a piano keyboard, not a typewriter keyboard. (Insert age joke here.) Now? I can’t wait to get to my next post. The ideas are endless. I’m not able to get to them fast enough.

PianokeysBecause I create a graphic for each post, I am also tapping into a different creativity. In addition, blogging has taught me a great deal about how to write with precision and clarity. It appears I may have learned a few things in those English Literature Classes.

Imagine that!

Thank you, Tim.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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KO’S K O

May 24, 2009

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It was bound to happen sooner or later.

In a brilliant move by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh was revealed for the intellectual field mouse that he is. Combine that “attribute” with the personality of a rake and his Jabba-the-Hut posture as seen on  his “Ditto Cam” and you have the buffoon that conservatives are inexplicably afraid to defy.

Many think Rush is a genius when it comes to how well he markets himself, but let’s give credit where credit is due. ClearChannel Communications through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, markets Rush’s show free of charge to hundreds of radio stations. Because Rush’s popularity is barely 20%, Premiere uses his show as a loss-leader to obtain advertising time for national sponsors. In other words, radio stations don’t pay a dime for three hours of national programming. They simply trade for 45 minutes of advertising in that three hour time slot. None of this was Rush’s idea.

Olbermann has gone after Rush in the past for some of his insulting, racist, and incendiary rants. Here’s Keith highlighting some of Rush’s “greatest hits.”

Rush has now challenged MSNBC. He believes they can’t go 30 days without talking about him.

This was a bad idea.

What Rush didn’t expect was Olbermann throwing the same challenge back on him in his “WTF!?! Moment” on May 21st, which featured Keith saying… you guessed it… “F. U.”  to Rush. (Not the actual words – just the letters.)

Rush responded by saying that Olbermann’s “back-at-you” challenge was incoherent.  That’s rich. The man with no ability for thoughtful discernment calls the highly educated and intellectually superior MSNBC host “incoherent.”

Never give Keith Olbermann a second chance to make a fool of you. He’s too good at it the first time. Olbermann not only re-issued and re-aired his challenge the next night, calling it the “WTF Coherency Test,” but had his graphics team create a new “Bouncing Rush” logo from Rush’s entrance at the CPAC Convention earlier this year.

Maybe “buffoon” is too generous.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

 

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?

April 5, 2009

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On January 2, 2004, a new voice entered the nation’s airwaves  – on two radio stations. Sometime in early spring (2004) I learned that it was out there – I don’t remember how. Once I started listening, I was hooked. I had a feeling then that this voice was going to make a difference in the political landscape – sooner or later.

Naturally, there were detractors. Some said the voice wouldn’t last a month. Others called it a $4 an hour nobody. Still others said that the message was not in line with America’s thinking. Yet, even with all the negative publicity, the voice continued, three hours a day, five days a week, month after month, quickly adding stations. Today, it airs on 100 radio stations with 3,200,000 listeners every day.

And who is the face behind the voice?

I, like millions of “Ed Heads” across this country, feel like we’re on a first-name basis with “Big Eddie” Schultz.

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This self-described “Gun-totin’ Liberal” sticks to the truth, does not pull punches and makes sure he knows the facts on an issue before he opens his mouth. He is the radio voice of and for the middle class. He has worked very hard to be where he is today, against what seemed like insurmountable odds.

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Unlike many of his conservative counterparts, Ed owns his radio show. This gives him programming freedom that many talkers do not enjoy. His business instincts are second-to-none. Whether he is behind a microphone on the radio, or at one of his town hall meetings that he calls, “The Voices of America Tour,” Ed Schultz is reaching the heartland throughout all of America.edtownmtg01 He had a 97-100% sell-out rate in every Town Hall in 2008. 2009 looks even better. Even self-proclaimed conservatives (Ed’s producer does not “filter” the callers) are calling Ed’s show. They say that although they disagree with him on issues, they respect his candor and “straight talk.” They also say they are tired of the name-calling conservative talkers that would rather scream insults into a microphone than offer a good idea.

Ed is recognized by the Obama administration. He was invited to the Inauguration and an Inaugural Ball.

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Ed and Wendy Schultz.

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His was the first (and so far, the only) progressive radio show to get an interview with President Obama. Ed is also an invitee to White House Press Conferences.

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FOX News called him a “…failed far-left talker…” on the same day he could be seen sitting in the front row next to the now famous Helen Thomas at Obama’s first press conference.

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Failed? Really? I don’t recall seeing Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity at any of President Bush’s press conferences.

I wrote about Ed last year. I said then that I thought he was the best of the progressive talkers and apparently, I wasn’t alone in my thinking. He has been offered his own television show beginning Monday, April 6, 2009. The show will air during dinner time (thus the title for this page) at 6:00pm EST every week night on MSNBC. It was announced on “Countdown” with Keith Olbermann Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

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It’s called “The Ed Show.”

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The show should do well enough to get a second airing later in the same night, much like “Countdown” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.” I believe Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s President, will decide to re-run it at midnight, EST, which would be great for West Coast viewers.

edradio01Ed has made a promise to us – the listeners that HE says got him this far – that he will continue his radio show. Aside from the fact that he thoroughly enjoys doing the show, he has five years remaining on his contract with the affiliates around the country.

Personally, I think he’ll do radio until he leaves this earth.

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No one in radio has worked harder or deserves this more than you!

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com