Bad TV, Bad Behavior and Bad Reading

Justin January 22, 2011 0

As much as I like MSNBC, MSNBC sucks.

This is not a political statement. I’m a super liberal upper crust New York Jew stricken with social guilt and an irrational fear of guns. I’m the network’s model viewer and it’s shows serve my purposes perfectly.

This is not a personel statement. Obviously, I enjoyed the hell out of Keith Olbermann’s nightly show, but that dude’s clearly fucked in the head. His ego is ridiculous and if management decided he was more trouble than he’s worth, then more power to them.

My complaint is a programming one. Olbermann ends his show Friday night by saying he’s done forever. Viewers are left stunned. They want answers. Did something happen? Was he fired? Did he quit? Luckily, MSNBC is a 24/7 news network, so answers will be forthcoming.

Except they weren’t. Chris Hayes filled in for Rachel Maddow Friday night. He hosted an hour of live television immediately following the most important announcement in the network’s history. And he didn’t mention it once. He didn’t even allude to it.  Even if he had started his show by saying, “Wow. That just happened. I honestly have no idea what it means or what led to it, so it’s best that we not discuss it.” Viewers wouldn’t be happy, but at least they would know that this guy is capable of spotting a giant pink elephant when it saunters into his studio a couple of minutes before airtime.

OK. Chris Hayes isn’t a broadcaster. He’s a print journalist who was quite obviously blindsided seconds before starting his own show and may not have the experience or on air confidence necessary to deviate from the script. Thankfully, Lawrence O’Donnell hosts a live show at 10pm. He’ll definitely address the situation.

Whoops. It’s Friday. No O’Donnell on Friday nights. So, after Chris Hayes hosts an hour of terrible live television, complete with discussions of West Virginia coal mining policy and impolite comments from the governor of Maine, MSNBC airs “Lockup: San Quentin,” a ten year old documentary about life inside a federal prison.

It was mind numbing. How could you just let this thing hang there with absolutely no discussion?  Luckily, I was able to find some answers. ON CNN! Anderson Cooper kicked off his 10 pm show with a full discussion of the breaking news. He had Bill Carter from the New York Times, former MSNBC host David Shuster and assorted political pundits.

It was the embarrasment cherry on the shit sundae MSNBC was forced to eat last night.

Good night and good luck.

Sports Illustrated: January 24th, 2011

Calvin Pace, Football, New York Jets

THE PREGAME

This week’s “For The Record” includes a mention of Brett Favre’s sister. She was arrested as part of a meth bust in Mississippi. There are 2 points I need to make.

1. Brandi Favre is identified as a former Miss Teen Mississippi.

Ahem:

Pick up your game Miss Teen Mississippi pageant.

2. I thought Meth heads are supposed to be gaunt and thin. Brandi Favre is clearly fat.

Pick up your game greater Mississippi area methamphetamine producers. Your product is not doing it’s job.

Either way, Brett Favre is still  the most embarrassing  member of this family.

THE ARTICLES:

Once More Unto the Breach by Tim Layden

That’s an awfully high fallutin’ title for an article that didn’t really deliver. The Packers and Bears are old rivals and have played many times before. Ok. Turns out, they’ve only met in the playoffs once, though. How about we write about that game? That would have been interesting. This? Not so much.

Fun Marches On by Damon Hack

This Jets playoff run has captured the attention of New York like no sports team in years. Maybe even since the 1994 Rangers ride to the Stanley Cup. I’ve been trying to figure out why. They’re not exactly underdogs. Yes, both the Colts and Pats were home favorites the past two weeks, but the Jets aren’t a scrappy bunch of overachievers. They’re a collection of pro-bowlers and future hall of famers coming off an appearance in last year’s AFC Championship game.  I think the title of this piece  sums it up. The Jets are fun. Rex Ryan saying ridiculous shit is fun. Bart Scott yelling at Sal Paolantonio is fun. Braylon Edwards doing backflips is fun.  Sports should be fun.

What Is This Man Thinking by Ian Thomsen

The impact of this article was undercut by the Nets announcement that they’re no longer going after Carmelo Anthony. That news broke the day this issue hit newsstands. Anthony’s comments about LeBron were interesting, though.

The Gift of Grab by Luke Winn

This was a feel good article, though one fact caught me by surprise:

“I don’t know how long I have left,” she said. “I always wanted to see you achieve your dreams, and see you have a child … but I don’t know how long I have left.”

Unbeknownst to Waudda, Faried’s close friend, Rebecca McCarthy, was due to have their baby girl, Kyra, in just a few days.

Aren’t we glossing over teen pregnancy a bit lightly here? The dude’s in college and probably doesn’t have a ton of money. It’s probably not the best time to be having a kid.

The Case Against Lance Armstrong by Selena Roberts and David Epstein

When I turned the page to this article, the timer on my elliptical machine showed  11:15 left in my workout.  I hate every second I spend on the elliptical machine. The only way I get through it every morning is to read magazines to distract me.  Still, I couldn’t get through this fucking article. I chose to stare at the numbers slowly dwindling on the elliptical over reading this garbage. WHO CARES? It’s cycling. It’s not a major American sport. Nearly every single person who competes in it has been proven to be a cheater. Lance Armstrong is an unlikable mega-dick. And if that’s not enough for you, Tommy Craggs wrote this brilliant take down of the article’s main witness earlier in the week.

POINT AFTER by Joe Posnanski

I expected to cry when I realized what this column was about. But, I didn’t cry. I’m not saying  that’s good or bad. I’m just stating a fact.

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