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Palin Book Sheds Light on McCain-Camp Battle

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 17 November 2009 07:33 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Bruce Springsteen's 'State' of Confusion
2. Democrat Jerry Brown Governor-Run in Jeopardy
3. Crass TV Language on the Rise
4. Palin Book Sheds Light on McCain-Camp Battle
5. Web Piracy on the Rise


1. Bruce Springsteen's 'State' of Confusion

We know that Bruce Springsteen was “Born in the USA.” But the rocker apparently needs to brush up on his geography.

The Boss recently gave fans in Auburn Hills, Mich., a spirited greeting, screaming out, “Hello, Ohio!”

His shout-out received a less than enthusiastic reception.

The 60-year-old singer referred to Ohio several times during the concert.

Finally, E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt whispered the location of the concert into Springsteen’s ear.

Maybe his band mates can chip in and buy the Boss a GPS smart phone.

2. Democrat Jerry Brown Governor-Run in Jeopardy

Republicans are taking advantage of a scandal that involves the former and future Democratic candidate for governor of California, Jerry Brown.

A former aide of current Attorney General Brown admitted that he illegally secretly recorded phone calls with journalists. The aide in question, Scott Gerber, recorded six interviews before he was forced to resign.

In damage control mode following the resignation of the staffer, Brown pledged to fully investigate the matter.

One problem, though, is that the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the Golden State is investigating himself as he gears up for a run for gov.

Dane Gillette, Brown's chief assistant attorney general, wrote a report that found the taping didn't require a criminal investigation because the conversations were “on the record” with a journalist.

State law prohibits the recording of telephone conversations without the consent of all parties.

A Republican online ad is running, which begins with the phrase, “Jerry Brown is at it again.”

The ad points out the conflict and states, “We just can't trust you [Brown] on this one.”

3. Crass TV Language on the Rise

In 1972 the late George Carlin performed a comedy routine titled “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”

Carlin's act led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation that affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.

In Spring 2009 the Supreme Court dealt with its first broadcast indecency case in more than 30 years. The High Court ruled that the FCC may regulate even one-time uses of profanity on live broadcast television when children are likely to be watching.

The case stemmed from a 2006 FCC ruling that News Corp's Fox television network was in violation when Cher and Nicole Richie blurted expletives during the Billboard Music Awards. Cher let a profane word slip out in 2002 and Richie used two expletives during the 2003 awards. No fines were imposed but Fox challenged the decision.

The FCC was prompted to become more aggressive in overseeing indecent content on the airwaves when pop star Janet Jackson briefly exposed her breast area during the 2004 broadcast of the Super Bowl halftime show.

It is not simply profane language that is presenting problems for family audiences, but that profanity, sexual activity, and explicit violence that used to be restricted to the 10 p.m. hour has leaked into earlier time slots, eroding what was left of the family hour.

At a 2009 summer symposium sponsored by the Alliance for Family Entertainment (a consortium of 40 national advertisers) major network execs declared the family hour obsolete.

They claimed that the idea of a family hour did not fit the manner in which families consume television today.

A study conducted in 2005 by Barbara K. Kaye of the University of Tennessee and Barry S. Sapolsky of Florida State University determined that television viewers were more likely to hear offensive language during the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours than during the 10 p.m. hour.

Profane words in the study were defined as including sexual, excretory words and extremely impolite terms such as “hell.” Kaye and Sapolsky found that the use of profanity on broadcast prime-time television increased from a rate of 5.5 times an hour in 1990 to 7.6 in 2001, and 9.8 in 2005.

The fastest growth was in the use of the same strong four-letter words Carlin listed in his now-famous routine.

Perhaps this explains why words that were rarely heard on TV are suddenly polluting our home atmosphere and, even worse, emanating from our children’s mouths.

4. Palin Book Sheds Light on McCain-Camp Battle

After leaks by members of the McCain campaign, which suggested Sarah Palin wasn’t up to the job she was nominated for, it looks like the former veep nominee is fighting back.

In released excerpts from her new book, “Going Rogue,” part of the blame for sending her into the clutches of a ratings-hungry Katie Couric is laid at the feet of the McCain folks.

Palin fingers the McCain campaign for scheduling the interview in the first place and ignoring her own suggestions to put her on Fox News. She also reveals that she covertly contacted Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

With the mainstream media gunning for her at the time, Palin would certainly have benefited from a friendlier venue.

The former Alaska governor recounts that the Couric interview was set up at the suggestion of Nicolle Wallace, a McCain campaign staffer. Wallace advised Palin that she had worked at CBS News and knew Couric, and that the CBS anchor liked her and would love the interview to help ratings.

“Nicolle went on to explain that Katie really needed a career boost. ‘She just has such low self-esteem,’ Nicolle said. She added that Katie was going through a tough time. ‘She just feels she can't trust anybody,’” Palin wrote.

Palin relays that she thought to herself, “And this has to do with John McCain's campaign, how?”

She recalls Nicolle saying that “she [Couric] wants you to like her.”

“If it doesn't go well, if there's no chemistry, we won't do any others,” Nicolle said.

Palin agreed to one interview with Katie and the rest is history.

McCain adviser John Weaver is snapping back at Palin.

“Sarah Palin reminds me of Jimmy Stewart in the movie ‘Harvey,’ complete with imaginary conversations,” Weaver told the Politico. “All books like these are revisionist and self-serving, by definition. But the score-settling by someone who wants to be considered a serious national player is petty and pathetic.”

“The problem wasn't who her interview was with, the problem was her interview,” Weaver added. “Couric asked no trick questions. This just seems to be an attempt to obscure as bad a performance since Roger Mudd asked Ted Kennedy that simple question.”

Palin also indicated in her book that the McCain folks wouldn’t take any steps to counter the “Saturday Night Live”-Tina Fey attacks, not even the suggestion that Sarah be a guest on the show.

5. Web Piracy on the Rise

Hollywood is consumed with the subject of piracy — not the high seas kind but the Internet type, i.e., the digital plundering of music, films, software, etc.

Internet piracy is rampant, particularly in the music industry, and efforts to persuade music lovers to pay for downloaded music has been met with little success.

Zach Horowitz, president and CEO of the Universal Music Group, testified at a House committee that only 1 out of 20 music downloads are legit, and only 1 in 3 music CDs are not pirated versions.

In 2008 some 40 billion music files were illegally shared on the Web, a piracy rate of 95 percent, according to industry estimates.

An irony of the plunging music business is that the very same companies that have promoted and sold sludge laden gangsta rap and heavy metal records are feverishly trying to convince the youthful looters they influenced that stealing is wrong.

Even a U.N. agency head is speaking out on the subject.

Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, said music copyright protection was “under the most severe stress” and the problem will likely spread to films as Web connections speed up.

But Gurry contends that punishing illegal Internet file sharers is counter-productive in the global fight against Internet piracy and copyright infringement. “I don’t believe we are going to win this, [to] find the solution by putting teenagers in jail,” he said. “I think that is not going to win public sympathy.”

Another global player, the European Parliament, dropped its opposition to France’s “three-strikes” policy on Web piracy.

France, of all places, has created an aggressive crackdown on Internet piracy that includes barring defendants from accessing the Web. The French plan compels Internet service providers (ISP) to take consecutive actions against those who are accused of piracy. After three warnings, an ISP could suspend an individual’s Internet access for up to a year.

Initially, the French Parliament voted down the piracy law, resistance to it having been spearheaded by the Socialist Party.

It is significant that the Socialists would block anti-piracy laws since a firm grasp on property rights is a precondition to understanding the moral dimensions of illegal downloading.

Meanwhile the gaming world is reeling after Microsoft barred as many as a million people from using Xbox Live in an attempt to clamp down on piracy.

About 20 million gamers are signed up to compete with each other on Xbox via the Web. Microsoft says it blocked consoles because owners altered the hardware to play games they had not paid for.

Those affected will have to buy new machines if they want to connect to Xbox Live, which allows them to compete with other gamers online.

For those of you who are interested in more in-depth coverage on the topic, I will be moderating a panel discussion on Internet piracy at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on Nov. 19. The panel will feature top entertainment executives, lawyers and technology experts.

You can send me a note via the Newsmax contacts page to obtain further details on the event.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Bruce Springsteen's 'State' of Confusion2. Democrat Jerry Brown Governor-Run in Jeopardy3. Crass TV Language on the Rise4. Palin Book Sheds Light on McCain-Camp Battle 5. Web Piracy on the Rise 1. Bruce Springsteen's 'State'...
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 07:33 PM
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