A Serious Woman: What the critics—and a lot of men—don’t get about Oprah Winfrey.

A Serious Woman: What the critics—and a lot of men—don’t get about Oprah Winfrey.

TV continues to be the sledgehammer of political campaigns, with even the most digital-oriented candidates, like Scott Brown, who ran for a Senate seat in Massachusetts in 2010, only spending about 10% of their media budgets online. But that percentage is expected to inch upward in the 2012 election cycle, and sites like Hulu stand to benefit as media buyers look to buy political spots in competitive districts in expensive media markets.(via Ad Age)

(via Ad Age)

Just as a banner season for political advertising is starting, the Obama administration has thrown broadcasters a curveball — and broadcasters are hustling to figure out what it might mean in terms of costs and implications.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed requiring television stations to post online information about their political advertisers.

That information, currently kept in paper files at the stations, includes the names of candidates or groups requesting to run an ad, the reason for broadcasting the ad, the time and placement of the ad and its cost.

This is a good thing, right?

David Simon: Television Man Americans watch an average of 140 hours of television every month,  much of it devoted to the “real” lives of people whose highest ambition  is to be on your TV screen. The majority of the rest relies on tired  tropes meant to build audience numbers and nothing more.
The worlds David Simon creates for television are different beasts. There’s his highly acclaimed series The Wire, which looks at all avenues of American life through the lens of the drug trade; Generation Kill, a miniseries about Marines moving toward Baghdad at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Treme, an exploration of post-Katrina New Orleans that is slated to enter its third season on HBO.
“American  entertainment and television especially have been constructed to make  viewers comfortable,” says Simon. He looks to television to do something  more in line with the long tradition of storytellers in many media,  especially those “who attempt to use their medium for the purposes of  making political, social, and economic arguments.” The fact that  television has until recently been “a juvenile mechanism for  storytelling” doesn’t mean it must continue to be so. There’s now the  opportunity for television to be “darker, more political, and more  politically honest,” says Simon.
David Simon was chosen as an Utne Reader visionary in 2011.
Keep reading …

David Simon: Television Man Americans watch an average of 140 hours of television every month, much of it devoted to the “real” lives of people whose highest ambition is to be on your TV screen. The majority of the rest relies on tired tropes meant to build audience numbers and nothing more.

The worlds David Simon creates for television are different beasts. There’s his highly acclaimed series The Wire, which looks at all avenues of American life through the lens of the drug trade; Generation Kill, a miniseries about Marines moving toward Baghdad at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Treme, an exploration of post-Katrina New Orleans that is slated to enter its third season on HBO.

“American entertainment and television especially have been constructed to make viewers comfortable,” says Simon. He looks to television to do something more in line with the long tradition of storytellers in many media, especially those “who attempt to use their medium for the purposes of making political, social, and economic arguments.” The fact that television has until recently been “a juvenile mechanism for storytelling” doesn’t mean it must continue to be so. There’s now the opportunity for television to be “darker, more political, and more politically honest,” says Simon.

David Simon was chosen as an Utne Reader visionary in 2011.

Keep reading …

Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger are two Internet archivists who have put together a project called “Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive.” Kahle explains: “[9/11] was a major event, that was really a television event. People understood this through television.”
The  archive is a collection of 3,000 hours of television news from  around the world from September 11 to September 17. The project is  exhaustive and impressive, at times even overwhelming—seeing all the  news organizations’ coverage in one spot. Watching Charles Gibson  reference New York fashion week going into a break, on the other side of  which would be footage of one burning tower, has an effect like nothing  felt on the page. It brings you back to that exact moment. Read more …

Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger are two Internet archivists who have put together a project called “Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive.” Kahle explains: “[9/11] was a major event, that was really a television event. People understood this through television.”

The archive is a collection of 3,000 hours of television news from around the world from September 11 to September 17. The project is exhaustive and impressive, at times even overwhelming—seeing all the news organizations’ coverage in one spot. Watching Charles Gibson reference New York fashion week going into a break, on the other side of which would be footage of one burning tower, has an effect like nothing felt on the page. It brings you back to that exact moment. Read more …

In America, Monty Python addicts were once the outcasts and the eggheads. Awkward teenagers discovered Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS in the 1970s and were hooked by the British comedy troupe’s  avant-garde, irreverent style, choosing to watch John Cleese and Eric  Idle in their parents’ basements instead of going to Friday-night  football games.
These same geeks are now serving time as perennial  graduate students and scoring tenure. Their arcane obsessions are  intact, however.  
Last fall academics  gathered in Lodz, Poland, to hold the first-ever conference celebrating  Monty Python. The attendees—80 percent male—discussed Python’s relevance  to philosophy, religion, literature, history, political science, and  the media.
Read more …

In America, Monty Python addicts were once the outcasts and the eggheads. Awkward teenagers discovered Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS in the 1970s and were hooked by the British comedy troupe’s avant-garde, irreverent style, choosing to watch John Cleese and Eric Idle in their parents’ basements instead of going to Friday-night football games.

These same geeks are now serving time as perennial graduate students and scoring tenure. Their arcane obsessions are intact, however.  

Last fall academics gathered in Lodz, Poland, to hold the first-ever conference celebrating Monty Python. The attendees—80 percent male—discussed Python’s relevance to philosophy, religion, literature, history, political science, and the media.

Read more …

The Crockpot: A Weekly Link-Digest from Utne

A new Pew study shows that, yes, news is being consumed online more and more these days—but if we’re talking television: it’s being consumed on Fox. (Personally, I’d have thought the breakdown would have been a little more equal.)

A new Pew study shows that, yes, news is being consumed online more and more these days—but if we’re talking television: it’s being consumed on Fox. (Personally, I’d have thought the breakdown would have been a little more equal.)