One of the Best Emails I Have Ever Received

From the Dipset Mailing List -
Video here

And for all you people rocking apt 4E, this.

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CNN: Give us your tragedy. Let us sell it for our own benefit.

Within a few hours of yesterday's horrific events at Virgina Tech, had posted video, submitted by a student, capturing some of the gunfire. The video (found here) was shot on a cellphone outside a dormitory and appears to be a police officer shooting at an unseen target. It is shaky, grainy, and entirely inconclusive outside of the situation. However, given the circumstances, it is incredibly jarring.

After viewing the video, I thought to myself, how exactly did CNN get this - and how did it get it so soon after the incident?

The answer was quite simple: They set up a web page (linked prominently on its main site) specifically asking witnesses to send videos, photos and audio.

I am not passing judgment on whether or not CNN, or any other media outlet, should be posting video of this event so soon after it has taken place. But I am questioning these methods.

CNN is not YouTube or MySpace. It is not a web site that is created specifically to encourage users to create their own content. It is a news agency. It is not in the business, nor should it be in the business, of asking (read: begging) witnesses of tragic events to create content for them. Further, they should not be so blatantly abusing the very people providing them with these materials. In small print, CNN notes that users submitting media agree to their terms of use, which includes this particularly exploitative language:

By submitting your material... you hereby grant to CNN.. a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, sublicense, distribute and otherwise exhibit the materials you submit... without payment to you or any third party... CNN has the right to edit and/or alter any submission.

Boiled-down version of the page: Give us your tragedy. Let us sell it for our benefit and not yours. Read more...

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Tucker and Anderson to Take over Television, Have Sex

Tucker Carlson will host a game show on CBS called "Do You Trust Me?"

While annoying, this news does not signal the end of Western civilization. If there's any job in the world more suited to douchebaggery than being a bowtie-wearing conservative talking head, it's game show host.

What Tucker's new job does show is the ever-blurring line between entertainment and news. And between him and his should-be lover, Anderson Cooper, it seems the networks are making their choices for newscasters whom they will put on every show imaginable. To drive this point home: Anderson Cooper recently hosted HBO's comedy-panel show "honoring" Jerry Seinfeld. Ignoring for the moment the pointlessness of the show itself, what exactly has Anderson Cooper done that would merit him hosting a panel discussion on (intentional) comedy?

Perhaps we're running out of able emcees, or perhaps we're running out of intelligent newscasters. Or perhaps I'm asking the wrong questions. This blogger asks the question, "What Effect Has Anderson Cooper Had on You Today?" And really, maybe this is what we should be thinking. Because there is no limit to what these guys can do. If we're lucky, maybe we'll soon get these shows: "Tucker and Anderson Go to the World Series," "Cooper and Carlson at the AVN Awards Red Carpet," and "Tuck and Coop at the Movies."

What would you like to see Tuck, Coop, or even their trainee Ryan Seacrest (face it: it's only a matter of time before he's hosting the evening news), do next?

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Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

This Wikipedia article on Phil Hartman's old SNL character "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" is currently my favorite Wikipedia entry.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and was later thawed by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! When I see my image on the security camera at the country club, I wonder, are they stealing my soul? I get so upset, I hop out of my Range Rover, and run across the fairway to the clubhouse, where I get Carlos to make me one of those martinis he's so famous for, to soothe my primitive caveman brain. But whatever world you're from, I do know one thing: in the 20 years from March 22, 1972, when he first ordered that extra nicotine be put into his product, until February 25, 1992, when he issued an interoffice memorandum stopping the addition of that nicotine, my client was legally insane."

Read on for an episode of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

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So Much Dancing and Singing in the Streets - World Cup Soccer on US TV

Can we talk about the TV coverage of the World Cup for a moment?

The World Cup, as it seems, is a pretty big deal, and TV is a big part of why it’s great. Germany’s fairly hospitable time zone for US viewing (in comparison to those nightmarish early-AM matches from the Far East in ’02) and the fact that the Teutonic sun stays out until about 9:45PM this time of year means that live games can be seen all day on the ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 family.

We all know about the difficult time soccer/football has had here in the US for any number of reasons (Is it OK to call it soccer? Too pretentious to call it football?) and I’m not even going to get into that discussion. But as a casual fan and admirer of the beautiful game who has watched something like 12 hours of soccer on TV in the last three days, I’ve noticed a few things about how this game is presented to the US.

As Bono (of course) so eloquently puts it in ESPN’s promotional spots for the Cup, “It’s a simple thing, a ball and a goal.” He then reminds us that once every four years, this simple thing closes shops, stops wars, changes the world, does more than politicians ever could, and so on. These spots were the opening salvo in ABC/ESPN’s campaign to bludgeon its viewers repeatedly with soccer’s profound importance in the world. ...more

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The Simpsons Movie? How About The Simpsons Cinema!

"For the average consumers such as ourselves, television is virtually an anonymous medium."

Rosalind Coward

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24's Got An Axe to Grind. But What Is It?

Like George Clooney, I'm a Liberal. There, I said it! With a capital L! But I also Love the show 24, with a capital L.

How could this be? Have we entered yet another chapter in the book of the hypocrisy of me that is neverending?

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