Monday, August 16, 2010

Steve Slater’s vicarious outburst
Who doesn’t what to tell their boss off or give some rude SOB the business?

QUEENS, NY—Flight attendant Steven Slater has made more than headlines with his outburst at unruly passengers; he’s made himself into a sort of public folk hero—but one that could face criminal charges.

Mr. Slater, a former JetBlue flight attendant was attempting to deal with a disgruntled passenger when he was struck over the head with a piece of luggage. The passenger refused to yield or apologize, and instead of telling the pilot of the fiasco, Mr. Slater chose to take to the plane’s public address system a give every passenger a piece of his mind. He then proclaimed, “It’s been great!” and deployed the emergency chute and slid down to the runway, with a couple of beers to go. The police found him in his home later that afternoon and placed him under arrest.

Forgive us for not calling him Robin Hood, but he certainly has captured the attention of media consumers in a big way by doing what we all feel like doing from time to time—telling someone to take this job and shove it. We hope this incident serves to remind passengers of the strain airline employee endure but certainly do not hope his example will be followed by other airline employees.

—Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chelsea Clinton’s day
Estimates for her wedding range upward of $2 to $3 million—so what?

RHINEBECK, NY—Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton wed her beau, Marc Mezvinsky on July 31st. The press couldn’t get enough of the event, the Obama and Gore snub, and the cost. Reports estimate the wedding costs anywhere from $2 million to $3 million dollars—we at KP ask, so what?
We get the celebrity factor here; the need to be in the know. But what have we heard about Chelsea up until the wedding was announced…..bupkis, nada. Put numbers to the event and it becomes an event—a media event where speculation reins supreme.

So what if the shindig costs a couple million? The bride and groom are private citizens and can do (within the means of the law) as they please. Compare it to Michelle Obama’s trip to Spain—unemployment near 10 percent, foreclosures at an all time high. Making the tax payer funded Air Force 2 vacation wholly inappropriate and in poor taste—a trip along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico might have been nice but we know the Obama’s affinity for suffering—let them eat cake.

—Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snooki calls out Obama
The Jersey Shore star swerves into the complexities of the US tax code

MTV—Jersey Shore star Snooki took a jab at the president in a recent episode regarding new health care reform regulations of UV ray sessions:

"I don’t go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10 percent tax on tanning. [Sen. John] McCain would never put a 10 percent tax on tanning. Because he’s pale and would probably want to be tan. Obama doesn’t have that problem. Obviously.”

Not one contributing member of KP has seen a single episode of Jersey Shore but the sound bite made its way virally through the Internet for all to see. It showcases the sad state of reality television as well as the sad reality of unintended consequences of bad legislation. Perhaps it will shine a light bulb over the dim heads of MTV reality junkies—when you regulate something more, you get less of it. But then again, if you so recall, liberal minds don’t reconcile basic economics.

—Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

“Barefoot Bandit” returns home to face criminal charges
Teen thief and police taunt Harris-Moore begins his ride through the criminal justice system

The barefoot bandit comes home. 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore steps from a plane in Seattle to face a blizzard of criminal charges. And his defense attorney says the teenager has a message for the 90,000 fans who followed his escapades on his Facebook page.

Attorney John Henry Browne said, "He actually gave us a message to give you and the public and that is for any of the kids out there than think this is fun it is not.  And that he was scared to death most of the time he was on his lark."

But his mother, Pam Kohler was a no-show at his brief arraignment and she has not visited him behind bars.
"She missed her ride this morning, with me actually, and I just couldn't wait for her any longer.  So she wasn't able to make it," said Browne.

We're learning about Colton's difficult childhood.  A social worker's report filed when he was 12 said, "Colton wants mom to stop drinking and smoking, get a job and have food in the house.  Mom refuses."

There is no welcome mat outside his mother's home near Seattle.  The sign says,  "If you go past this sign you will be shot."

And this is what happened when ABC news reporter Neal Karlinksy tried to talk with her.

A man came out of the trailer and said, "The lady tells me you people need to leave. Period. Goodbye."
"Just give us a second," said Karlinksy.

"Goodbye! Going inside, I'm coming back with a gun.  You better be gone!  Period!"

Harris-Moore is being hailed as a cult hero by some.  But in court, his attorney says Harris-Moore doesn't think that's appropriate and is worried others will try to copy him.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lindsey Lohan and Tiger Woods send Mel Gibson flower bouquet
More proof that there is no such thing as good press

BEVERLY  HILLS, CA—Profanity laced, anger-dripping audio bites of Mel Gibson shouting and emotionally abusing his girlfriend, Oksana Griorieva, have been making their way around every conceivable media outlet and blog on the Internet. Not wanting to be left out, KP is taking advantage of the opportunity the latest celebrity schadenfreude.

Aside from the unbelievable theater this gives gossip hungry Americans, Brits, and Aussies, is the sad tragedy we here at KP have long railed about—the sensationalizing of a tragedy such as this. Mr. Gibson needs serious help and owes more than an apology to his fans, his children, and Oksana.  

We all know celebrities live public lives and must trade privacy for fame. But some things are too egregious to keep private and this certainly qualifies. While Gibson is not the poster child of pity, at least two other celebrities are ecstatic that he has taken them off the news cycle.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lohan, environmental disaster, and the news
The news moniker, “If it bleeds, it leads” again rears its ugly head

BEVERLY  HILLS, CA—Last week a California judge handed a 90 days jail sentence down to disaster-in-waiting, sometimes actress, Lindsay Lohan for violation of probation. Another imploding Hollywood star, another side-item in the news media—so one would think—because of her fingernail paint, Ms. Lohan managed to push the Gulf Oil spill, Afghanistan, and Obama’s socialist recess appointee off the lead.

Lohan is the epitome of what has gone awry in American pop culture, celebrities at one time were decent persons and their station was reflective of admiration. Today, Hollywood takes a couple with a precarious marriage and eight children, shoves them in a house, scripts the entire fiasco and then calls it “reality television”.

The sad truth is reality has barreled its way into the life of a boorish attention starved media whore, who does not possess the talent to entertain the public any other way but by schadenfreude.  

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Police reopen Gore investigation
While global warming falls in July, the former Veep denies the allegations

PORTLAND, OR—In a shocking turn of events, Portland police have reopened the assault case against former Vice President Al Gore, whom is accused of "unwanted sexual contact" in 2006 by a masseuse. Randall Vogt, the accuser’s attorney originally schedule her for a police interview, but she cancelled it, reportedly because friends had talked her out of pursuing charges.

Rumor has it, the masseuse—a Clinton/Gore and Obama/Biden supporter—was convinced in part by one girlfriend not to go forward because Al Gore was the only hope of stopping global warming.

The former Vice President admits that he was in contact with the masseuse but adamantly denies her account of trying to proposition her for sex. A spokeswoman for the Gores released a statement saying, "The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading, and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial" and went on to say the reopening of the investigation will “only benefit Mr. Gore.”

Al Gore has largely been out of the spotlight since the Climategate scandal first broke. Gore and his wife Tipper separated after 40 years of marriage and an affair was rumored. This investigation is not Gore’s only public dilemma, last week; New Hampshire recorded a July snowfall and Dr. Michael Mann said his hockey stick graph should not have become the icon of global warming.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lady Gag Me
The pop star’s antics are of shark jumping proportions

LONDON, ENGLAND--Sporting 12 inch platform boots, Lady Gaga fell while walking in London's Heathrow Airport on June 23rd, apparently tripping over a train following her chaps. We here at KP have intentionally not commented nor written about Ms. Gaga for this very reasonit had to happen sooner or later. The pop diva, though a talented song writer and classically trained concert pianist, has been desparitely seeking more media attention (any attention) over and above that given to a top of the charts performer.

For those of us that grew up with Michael Jackson and Madonna dominating the pop scene, we've seen entertainers at their best and worst and at their most absurd. Madonna and Jackson were geniuses for reinventing themselves and becoming new all over again to older fans while expanding a larger fan base. But Ms. Gaga's latest escapades are pure and pathetic attempts to garner press for no other reason than to garner more press for no other reason than to garner unneeded publicity. 

--Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Al Gore reportedly had an affair
Star magazine says the former VP was involved in an extramarital relation with Laurie David

NASHVILLE, TN—In a bombshell announcement, Albert and Tipper Gore circulated a note among close friends and associates stating they were ending their 40 year marriage amicably but little reason was given. Now, Star magazine is reporting the former Vice President was involved with Larry David’s ex-wife, Laurie.

After being questioned about the relationship, Laurie said the allegations were untrue and denies that any such affair occurred. Ms. David was the producer of the propaganda, court adjudicated, junk science movie An Inconvenient Truth.

If the allegation is true it would be great for the environment, these two do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do environmental alarmists would reduce their carbon footprint. Each live in mammoth 14,000 square foot houses that use over twenty times the energy of an average home and chem-trail their carbon footprint all over the sky flying in private jets while telling everyone else to cut back their lifestyle.

If it isn’t true, then the two environmentalists can continue doubling down on hypocrisy, while preaching the end of the world is at hand.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Piers Morgan replacing Larry King?
Slumping ratings are forcing a change at CNN

ATLANTA, GA—The headline says it all and apparently its all but a done deal, Larry King is out, Piers Morgan is in. The Britain’s Got Talent judge is about to ink a £5.5 million ($8,129,177) deal with CNN to replace Mr. King.
The former newspaper editor caught the interest of CNN executives with his talk show, Piers Morgan's Life Stories when he interviewed former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The host switch is supposed to occur in the fall (likely before fall sweepstakes) and CNN execs are hoping to rescue the time slot as ratings have fallen a full 3 percent since just last year alone. From January to March of this year, Mr. King’s viewership reached an all time low, with only 771,000 viewers tuning in; by contrast, The O’Reilly Factor garners well over 3 million viewers.

Mr. King, 76, has been on the air since 1985 and was a dominant force for years, but when competition showed up, Mr. King began to lose some of his audience. In part, his interview style morphed into something all but unrecognizable and currently is thoroughly uninteresting. Mr. King has no doubt secured a place in the television host’s hall of fame but he might well find himself with a plaque hanging across the street in the television host’s hall of shame.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A perfect game, imperfectly called
Umpire Jim Joyce’s error deprives Armando Galarraga of a record

DETROIT, MI—Umpire Jim Joyce blew a call in the ninth inning with two outs and a batter behind the count as Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga had what would otherwise be a perfect game at home in Comerica Park. “Would” being the operative word in the previous sentence as many of you know, Joyce called Jason Donald safe after his ground ball it was fielded by first baseman Miguel Cabrera and relayed to Galarraga, covering first.

The call came with disbelief and Tiger’s manager Jim Leyland argued the safe call with Joyce but to no avail. The fans were left to boo and watch helplessly the replay over and over again, but reality had no intervention into history, though it occurred only seconds before. What’s more, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has stated he will not overturn the call, even though it is clear the official was in error.

Joyce tearfully apologized to Galarraga in person for his mistake as it was clear he blew the call; Selig should revisit his decision and overturn the call, granting Galarraga what he and his teammates earned—a perfect game.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Simon Cowell departs from American Idol
The show’s creator is on to his next concept, The X Factor

LOS ANGELES, CA—American Idol creator and music executive Simon Cowell sat in his judge’s seat for the final time last week, ending nine seasons of recording breaking TV ratings. The British music mogul and entrepreneur has found enormous success in his brutally honest repertoire.

Clearly a man whom knows how to market himself and his concepts, Mr. Cowell has set a new standard for reality television and hopes his newest venture, The X Factor will outdo American Idol and has amassed a net worth of over $170 million. Cowell’s brilliance comes from bringing to the public what is not seen in music videos: the arduous task of shaping young talent with no direction and prima-donna instincts. His shows reveal what managers and producers have long been yelling from the recording studio.

We wish Mr. Cowell much success in his venture and its short history already has a proven track record for such success; as for American Idol, we believe the best course of action is to re-brand and re-vamp the entire show because you wouldn’t continue to call a show Seinfeld if Jerry Seinfeld had left before the franchise ended.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No talent required: fame from infamy
Lindsay Lohan’s name stays in the news because she makes the news

LOS ANGELES, CA—Lindsay Lohan posted $100,000 after a California judge issued a warrant for her arrest after missing a May 20th court hearing. Lohan claims her passport had been stolen while in Cannes, France but had been photographed on the French Rivera lounging on a yacht the day of the hearing.

The 23 year old pop star and actress has been arrested for DUI and drug charges on different occasions and according to close friends is unable to control her addictions.

So why write about Miss Lohan? Well, because she’s in the news. No, we don’t know what Miss Lohan is famous for, only that she seems to be famous for her infamous behavior—her shenanigans keep her name circulating in the news. And that is precisely what’s most curious about western pop culture: giving someone face-time and name recognition not because of great talent, but bad behavior.

Yet again, we find ourselves in the position of agreeing with Team Obama. When Miss Lohan offered herself to assist in Obama’s campaign, an unnamed source told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lohan was "not exactly the kind of high-profile star who would be a positive for us."

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Privacy and social networking
Privacy concerns of social website users are hard to reconcile

THE INTERNET—Privacy concerns about social networking sites are causing some users to logout for good. Facebook has seen an estimated 25 to 50 percent drop in new accounts because of privacy concerns that have been raised over the past few months.

When new users register an account with a social networking site like Twitter, they are typically asked to enter their email address, name, location, and create a username. This is familiar to anyone that has accessed their checking account online, paid bills online, or started a blog.

Perhaps what is most curious is why are there concerns by users? In law, one would certainly not cite logging onto Internet sites as extending a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. After all, is that not what the Internet is for? Sharing information?

Consumers would think their financial institution would keep any and all personal information private, but a site that users voluntarily post personal information? If a social networking site user posts information about their favorite places to shop or favorite spot to eat on MySpace for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others to see, what privacy do they expect?

A clear dichotomy exists when a user willingly registers with a site, posts content and then expects none of that information to be disseminated.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You give tasers a bad name
In a nation obsessed with pop culture and political correctness, we overlook substance

CITIZENS BANK PARK, PA—Tasers made their Major League Baseball debut during a May 3rd game when a 17 year-old male wearing a red Phillies shirt and khaki shorts ran into the outfield looping about.

It is presumably the first time a taser has been used during an MLB game but not the first time a taser has been used to subdue someone perpetrating a criminal act (it is against the law to run onto a field during play of a game and the youth will be charged with criminal trespass).

Tasers are an alternative to much more brutal force, yet they have a stigma attached to them as being cruel or unnecessary. What seems to be overlooked is the actually totality of events—if the seventeen year old had run onto the field and was pepper-sprayed, would the tone of reporting be different? Or is he was piled-on and put into a choke hold?

Its an interesting thing to see how the story is reported, the focus put on the instrument rather than the criminal behavior. Of course bad behavior makes for good copy and tasering a hell of an image—especially when there is video footage.

-- Killswitch Politick


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conan O’Brien breaks his silence
Mr. O’Brien’s treatment underscore the unraveling of NBC

In an interview with 60 Minute’s Steve Kroft, former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien speaks about NBC’s decision to replace him with the host he replaced, Jay Leno and moved his spot back to 11:35 EST.

Though we here at KP are not big fans of Mr. O’Brien’s humor, we certainly know the comedian was treated poorly—and what’s more, his audience. After just six months of hosting the Tonight Show, NBC yanked the rug from under Conan, announcing Jay Leno would return as host; the reason? NBC claimed it was losing money for the first time broadcasting The Tonight Show.

Mr. O’Brien doubts this assertion as would anyone skeptical to NBC’s motives and its handling of the whole affair which put Leno in his own disastrous 10pm timeslot only to heave O’Brien in and out of the Tonight Show’s host seat.

GE, NBC’s parent company has had its share of missteps, doing business with Iran among the most notable. And NBC’s programming under Jeff Zucker hasn’t kept up with the competition. NBC’s green programming format hasn’t garnered more audience; in fact, NBC continues to lose market share.

We wish Mr. O’Brien well and hope his new cable show on TBS will find success far beyond what NBC did not give him a chance to earn.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is Kim Kardashian an animal abuser?
PETA doesn’t like Ms. Kardashian’s photo-op, we don’t like the pop culture

Socialite Kim Kardashian got PETA and other animal rights groups’ collective attention when she posted a picture of herself holding a kitten by its scruff. On her Twitter page, the reality television star sent out the tweet, “Pic from my shoot yesterday...good kitty cat!"

For those new to this section of KP, this is our contribution to American pop culture and the ridiculous nature that has overcome it. No more are celebrities those with genuine talent, an ability to invoke laughter, to entertain with song-and-dance; they are now given notoriety for reasons altogether different.

Kim Kardashian is indeed a very beautiful young woman, but her fame was gotten through her father, a member of the OJ Simpson defense “Dream Team”. The defense attorney passed away some time ago, but through his public performance, Kim and her sisters have become celebrities.

Celebrities without the grueling comeuppance the Rat Pack had to endure. PETA’s outrage at Ms. Kardashian’s photo only lends her more undeserved publicity. But in an age where reality programming exists, one can only expect more of the same insanity.  

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oprah’s tamed Kitty
Kitty Kelley is well known for writing tell-alls about well knowns

Author Kitty Kelley has written a tell-all book about the most recognized media figure in America, Oprah Winfrey. The unauthorized biography, Oprah: A biography by all accounts only lends to what most of the talk-show diva’s fans and Hollywood knows, from here humble beginnings, to a teenage pregnancy, peppered with allegations about considering prostitution at a young age and speculation about her sexual orientation.

Miss Winfrey has proven to anyone that will look objectively that she has an enormous marketing talent and sound business sense. And like some before her in showbiz (like Seinfeld); she’s made the announcement her day time talk show is coming to an end. Indeed, her ratings have been sliding in the latest Neilson ratings book but she remains a media force.

And that’s probably why Kelley hasn’t gotten much face time to promote her work. Many of the morning talk shows have said thanks-but-no-thanks to interviews. Host Bill O’Reilly did interview the author last week. Mr. O’Reilly, no fan of paparazzi or salacious publications gave her a stark reality interview and Miss Kelley defended her work.

But like most tell-alls, it relies heavily on information provided by those only too eager to give it. One must wonder why the public would want to know such alleged intimate details about a public figure that doesn’t hold elected office.

-- Killswitch Politick

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tiger Woods: Forgive me, now buy my products
The golfer proves he has put himself before the public

Forgive us for again writing about Tiger Woods, but the latest news is a chance to say, we told you so! Last week, this publication asked a question about to which end the golfer is asking for the public’s forgiveness, “To rebuild a brand for the financial gain of one individual at the expense of the public trust?”

With the release of the new Nike ad, we apparently now have the answer to the question—yes.

Mr. Woods has a phenomenal talent and work ethic. The public was sold this image over and over again, by Mr. Woods himself, the PGA, and his sponsors. But since the truth of the real man has come to light, we know the reputation/his brand, to be a complete lie.

While it certainly does not mean he has no talent, it does mean that he has the will to perpetrate an image fabrication for the express purpose of professional and financial gain. In the wake of one of the hugest scandals in sports history, the golfer is asking for the public’s forgiveness so that he may return to his family and to the sport in a commercial designed to guilt consumers into granting their forgiveness and then go buy the products he endorses.

Before granting Mr. Woods forgiveness, fans should ask themselves would they give TV evangelist Jim Bakker the same chance?

-- Killswitch Politick

Monday, April 5, 2010

A tale of two Tigers
The adulteress golfer and his comeback

The week of April 5th will certainly be an exciting one for the world of golf. The PGA’s Progidal Son, Tiger Woods will return to compete at The Masters in Augusta. Ratings will surely burst at Nielsen’s seems with curious viewers wishing to see a car-wreck in slow motion. Will Tiger perform well? Will he suffer heckles that break his famed concentration? Will his return be overshadowed by some new bombshell?

Only time will tell.

But what is most interesting is the phenomenon of building up a celebrity, then gleefully tearing their brand apart with sordid details, innuendo, and voyeurism. Mr. Woods was presented to the public by way of his marvelous talent and by extension, so too must be his personal life (and we all know what an assumptution makes of you and me).

But over the 2009 Thanksgiving weekend, that fa├žade was shattered by an early morning auto collision—the image of a superstar in a mortal predicament. Following the exposition of several extra martial affairs was the predictable forgive me for my transgressions speech. And now begins that rehabilitation tour—but for what purpose? To rebuild a brand for the financial gain of one individual at the expense of the public trust?

-- Killswitch Politick