Posts Tagged ‘@potus’

Letter From New York 05 19 15 Media Musings

May 19, 2015

Today started out grey and grim in New York City, a morning fog left us feeling a bit like London. It was damp, almost chill. Then as the day wore on, the sun began to peep out and then it filled the sky. The rain promised hasn’t appeared though I brought my umbrella.

Also, today, I am going to do something a little different. I work in media but don’t write that much about it. Most of my take is on what is going on in the world around us, from migrants in the Mediterranean or the South China Sea, to the sorry advance of IS, to the efforts to put Humpty-Dumpty together again in Nepal.

But today I am going to take a quick look around some of the media stories that captured my attention. I may do this once in awhile.

First of all, the Cabletelevison Advertising Bureau has been renamed the Video Advertising Bureau and it will include both cable and broadcast networks. I had to blink and rub my eyes when I read that. I grew up in cable and broadcast networks did their best to ignore and make fun of cable until cable starting really nibbling into the bones of their business.

That they are beginning to work together is breathtaking. But they have to because they are the bastions of linear television, shows that start on the hour or half hour.

Collectively, they are beginning to feel the heat of the digital revolution and are banding together to stand up to the digital alternatives. They are talking a lot about “premium video” and the place it holds in the advertising plans of brands. And the largest cable companies such as Time Warner are joining them in this effort.

It has a bit of the feel of the Persians assembling their massive fleet at Salamis only to be outmatched by the smaller, swifter Greek ships, resulting in a Persian rout that has been called one of the most important battles in history.

So the networks, broadcast and cable, joined by cable companies are assembling their ships to fight off the digital upstarts who are beginning to take some of their meat, advertising dollars.

Wow, I am still getting a grip on this.

Last night were the Webby Awards, the Emmys of the Net. Ellie Kemper won as Best Actress for “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Here’s where you will find her being presented with the award and her thank you speech, which is limited to five words by the Webby rules. It is adult humor.

The press today was filled with reports from yesterday about how Obama as President of the United States is now on Twitter as @POTUS. There were witty back and forth comments from Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Vice President Biden. I wasn’t sure it deserved all the hoopla but then we need to think about other things than the loss of Ramadi.

Tomorrow you may want to watch CBS’s Morning Show as it will be broadcasting from atop 1WTC, the building previously known as “The Freedom Tower,” the one built on the site of the old World Trade Center. They promise a preview of the building, which officially opens on Friday. I will look for the YouTube cuts.

Everyday I get The Daily Digg, highlighting the top stories of the day. Today I found out that Shell Oil Company’s legendary band of futurists is predicting that the world will probably get four to seven degrees warmer sooner than later, which is why it makes sense to go to the Artic to drill for oil. We’re not moving fast enough to turn back the tide.

They seem like a merry band, these futurists. They establish scenarios for best and worst-case scenarios. But it seems they think the best-case scenario for global warming has missed its boat and we had better prepare for worse.

And, lastly, tonight is the finale for the long and storied run of David Letterman on CBS, who is signing off “The Late Show with David Letterman” for good. Sayonara, David, and good luck!

Letter From New York 05 18 15 Of a grey day with some things interesting, some tragic…

May 18, 2015

As I trained into the city today from Claverack, the east bank of the Hudson River was shrouded in a fog, hiding the foliage on the far bank of the river, casting a ghostly pall across the landscape. It felt like the first shot in a Gothic romance set in the Victorian Age.

Closer into the city, the fog dissipated but New York has been grey all day, a heaviness that seems to have affected the citizens. Smiles have been hard to find today. One crossed my mouth as I passed through Penn Station this morning on my way to the subway.

I have almost gotten to the point where the soldiers blend into the background and are simply a part of the scenery. Today one soldier was tapping his foot to the rhythm of the music being played by a busker a hundred feet away. I smiled.

While on the train and the subway, I scanned the headlines of the day.

Blazoned across all the news outlets was the story of the fall of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, hard fought for by American soldiers twelve years ago, now in the hands of IS. Iraqi soldiers were reported fleeing as fast they could. 25000 civilians fled the city, seeking safety in the capital. Reports have indicated at least some have been turned away from Baghdad.

It is also grimly reported that IS has slaughtered at least 500 as they overran the city, specifically seeking any soldiers or policemen.

In Waco, Texas there have been at least 192 arrests of bikers after a fistfight got out of control in front of a Twin Peaks restaurant, ending with nine bikers dead and eighteen others wounded. There are rumors that bikers from around the country are riding toward Waco, an image that calls up scenes from Mad Max, the older one, as I haven’t seen the new one yet. Police have cordoned off exits around the area and have said they’re ready.

At least five different motorcycle gangs were involved, including the Cossacks and the Bandidos.

Speaking of Twin Peaks, do any of you remember that quirky, creepy television show “Twin Peaks” from twenty-five years ago? It’s coming back. David Lynch will return to direct. Kyle McLachlan will be back to play his character, Special Agent Dale Cooper. Showtime has committed to a new series, picking up the crazy thread of a show that had everyone confused most of the time, while contributing regularly to nightmares. Will the “Log Lady” return?

The southern boundaries of Europe have seen increasing migrations of people desperate to depart Africa, much of the traffic coming from Libya and organized by criminal gangs involved in human trafficking. The EU has proposed launching a naval campaign to destroy their boats, thus disrupting their business. It awaits UN approval.

It appears the smugglers are being allowed by IS to operate out of the part of Libya they control in exchange for half their profits.

Macedonia’s crisis continues. The opposition is demanding the departure of Prime Minister Gruevski and he has been saying: no way, Jose! The opposition has rallies. Gruevski gets out his followers. Violence is in the air. Gruevski is saying this is all the result of foreigners.

That sounds familiar.

What is unfamiliar is that President Maduro of Venezuela may face real opposition in the next elections. Sentiment is growing against him. Polls indicate that if elections were held today, he would be out on the street.

In less dramatic news today, the President of the United States got his own twitter account. @Potus. There was some kidding back and forth between Obama and Bill Clinton [@billclinton]. Apparently the twitter handle will go to the next occupier of the Oval Office.

Also, little Elian Gonzalez, who was found floating off Florida in 1999 by some fishermen is now grown up. His mother died attempting to get the two of them from Cuba to America. His arrival caused a tug of war between those who wanted him to stay and those who thought he should be returned to his father. In a dramatic moment, armed men stormed the house where he was staying with one of the rescuing fishermen and forcibly removed him so as to return him to Cuba.

He now would like to return to America to express his love for this country, he has said in an exclusive ABC interview.

Speaking of ABC, George Stephanopoulos has found himself in some uncomfortably hot water. Apparently he has given $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation without telling his bosses at ABC. They consider it an honest mistake. Republicans are, not unexpectedly, calling for some version of his scalp.

Today has been full of events, some just interesting, some like Ramadi, tragic, and it would be possible to continue longer but it’s time to wrap up.

I’m off to seek some sustenance at the end of the day and see if I can shake the weight of this grey day.