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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tiger Woods appologizes for transgressions that let his family down

Still more questions about Tiger Woods and Elin Nordergerden than I raised here:

In a blockbuster new post on his website, TigerWoods.com, Tiger Woods made a statement that's sure to cause even more questions to be raised than answers. Woods said he appologizes for "transgressions" that let his family down. But with who? Jaimee Grubbs? Rachel Uchitel (who denies this)? Or the to-be-named third woman?

Here's what Tiger Woods posted:

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.

Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

I will have my video commentary later today. My view is that while a little confession is good for the soul, in this case David Letterman's example is still one Tiger Woods should follow. Letterman explained exactly what happened and made a joke of certain details in the process. It humanized Letterman.

In the same way Tiger Woods can both bring sympathy and support for himself, and reduce the chatter, by explaining exactly what happened. What he's done is open the door a little bit, which only encourages people to look in through the gap.

For example, just what does Woods mean when he refers to his "behavior and personal failings"? That's the question of the day.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MTV VMAs - Beyonce shows class to Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga dazzles, Kanye West: classless

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The MTV Video Music Awards.

As I write this we're watching Beyonce, who just won Best MTV VMAs Video of The Year, really show that class still exists in America by asking Taylor Swift to come out and take a bow that she really should have been able to have before.

What happened was that Kayne West really showed how little class he (surprisingly) has by storming the stage, grabbing the mic and saying, as Taylor won for Best Female Video..

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!,”

Taylor was shocked. My jaw hit the floor. The Radio City crowd hooted and screamed. And over the next segment of the show, it seemed as if the mood was racially divided, and there was no need for that at all. Kanye really did a bad thing. I can't think of any other sane way to put it.

What somewhat made up for Kanye's butt-showing moment was the awesome voice of Lady Gaga. That chick, and yeah, she's all woman, can rock the house. Amazing talent. Beautiful woman. Focused and talented.

And now, Jay-Z's riffing a new song that's a tribute to New York City to end the show.

I've got to give Janet Jackson a real big thank you for opening the show with an incredible number celebrating the music of her brother Michael Jackson. You could see the emotion just pouring from her and his soul was in every second of the music she produced.

Show host Russell Brand was just ok. I didn't like the way Brand stopped to make fun of Megan Fox's comments on her mental condition, which I blogged about yesterday. No one laughed at all. He could have left that out.

In all, a great show. But I also give MTV a a load of credit for a website that integrated Twitter and Facebook in a way that will change the way I look at how such efforts should be designed for events like this. Check out the site.

Now, I can't wait for the new clip of the movie "This Is It" about what was to be Michael's concert tour. I have mixed emotions about this, which I'll share later. They're playing it now. I'll have it here later.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Calvin Klein SF Union Square - Is store front racist?

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On YouTube.com

I received this email below from a viewer which explains the person's shock over the Calvin Klein SF Union Square store front display. I went over to make the video above and get your view on the display.

As I've stated in the video, it was not a good idea to approve a store front that is at best questionable. Everyone who's seen the video thus far has a reaction to it, from furled brows to frowns and raised eyebrows, the video does not make for a stoic reaction.

Why someone would do this is a question I will ask Calvin Klein's staffers in the days ahead. Indeed, the worker that talked to me through the glass admitted that she did not the racial overtones in the display until they were pointed out to her.

But for now, read the email below, then take my poll on this certainly controversial Calvin Klein store display.

The email:

Hey Zennie,

I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture (I don't usually use my phone for anything other than a phone, so it escaped me in a moment of anger), but I just got back from the San Francisco Shopping Center where I happened upon an appalling window display in the Calvin Klein store next to Bloomingdale's on the 3rd floor.

Imagine a window full of frolicking monkeys, swinging from tree branches in various playful poses, but instead of monkeys, there are mannequins wearing the latest Calvin fashions. And instead of swinging from tree branches, the mannequins are swinging from ropes finished in nooses at the ends. All of the mannequins are black. It doesn't sound like much, but I'll tell you, those nooses caught my eye in the first place, and it didn't take long to piece it all together.

Why am I sending this to you? Well, you've got a voice on several forums, and could make this very public and embarrassing for Calvin Klein. That anyone could get past the basic design stages of such a display without questioning its bad taste is unbelievable. That such displays are crafted by designers with an eye on every detail makes it even less excusable. That such displays are often dictated to stores by corporate headquarters and duplicated at all locations makes it a disgusting travesty.

If you happen by that store, or know someone in SF who could take some pics for you to post, you could shine a bright light on a very ugly message going out to the thousands of people who pass by that carefully composed collection of symbols. I was deeply offended, but rather than contact Calvin Klein so they can quietly change their windows, I figured I'd contact someone who can give it a bit more exposure.

Thanks for listening and keep up the good blogs,

Name withheld by Zennie
San Francisco


More fun polls on pollsb.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chevron Ecuador Judge Nunez focus of bribery allegation

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In a blockbuster development, Ecuador Judge Juan Nunez, the key legal figure in the Chevron Ecuador environmental damage case, is captured in a video shown here explaining that he plans to rule against the oil giant and for an award of $27 billion "more or less". The judge explains that the verdict will happen and that Chevron will be blocked from filing an appeal of his ruling. In that segment of the video, the Judge explains he's only there to talk about the verdict, not about "the other stuff" which refers to a $3 million payoff request. Later in the video its implied that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa will benefit from the bribe amount.

On video today I talked to Chevron Media Relations representative Sean Covey about the video and Chevron's investigation.

In the video Judge Nunez, Aulo Gelio ServioTulio Avila ("Avila"), and Pablo Almeida and are talking with two gentleman, Wayne Hansen and Diego Borja who are environmental remediation contractors and in the Judge's chamber in Lago Agrio, Ecuador.  Hansen and Borja have pen-installed camcorders in their shirt pockets.  Diego Borja has worked for Chevron before, Hansen has not, according to Chevron.

Judge Nunez (on the left)

The idea of the meeting was for the Judge and his political associates to be paid by the environmental company for business that would come to them as a result of the Judge's planned verdict.  Here's what the Judge said from the video and the Amazonpost website:

Núñez:             “Any other questions for me as a judge?”
Hansen:           “Oh no, I, I know clearly how it is, you say, Chevron is the guilty party?”
Núñez:             “Yes Sir.”
Hansen:           “And the, the, the act (decision) is October or November of this year?”
Núñez:             “Yes Sir.”
Hansen:           “And it’s….?”
Núñez:             “No later than January.”
Hansen:           “January 2010. And the money is twenty-seven (billion dollars)?”
Núñez:             “It might be less, and it might be more.”

The Judge says "I have nothing to do with that other part" which is not explained in full but Garcia below fills in "the blanks" later, explaining that the Judge will be paid part of $3 million from the consulants.

 Patricio Garcia

The second part of the video has an operative Patricio Garcia (photo from the Amazonpost website) who's reportedly a member of Ecuador's ruling party talking about how the $3 million would be delivered and transfered. This is what was said by Garcia:

Borja: “OK. Of the three million … one million is for the judge?”

Garcia: “Yes.”

Borja: “One million for the presidency…?”

Garcia: “Yes.”

Borja: “And one million for the plaintiffs?”

Garcia: “Yes, that’s right.”

Borja: “But, Loco, for the plaintiffs, who gets the money? Fajardo?”

Garcia: “No. The thing is, we’re going to handle it here.”

Borja: “You mean Alianza PAIS would receive the payment here?”

Garcia: “Right.”

Here's the 30 minute version of the video (the full two hour version is here):

But there's more to this video than what's reported in the press thus far. The focus here is on President Rafael Correa, who's office is named by Patricio Garcia as a beneficiary of the planned bribe money as is "his sister" as stated in the video above. As of this writing Correa has not issued a statement, but his reputation has already come under attack.

The second part of the video was filmed at Alianza PAIS (which means "Proud and Sovereign Fatherland" according to the Wikepedia listing)  Offices June 22, 2009.   PAIS is a political movement led by President Correa.   Who Patricio Garcia is beyond his appearance in this video and his role in PAIS is still basically unknown as of this writing. 

Garcia says that the President's sister  Pierina will be helpful (presumably in making sure that the businessmen get their piece of the planned $27 billion pie) and will meet with "The Gringo" (that's Hansen).  I checked and "Prierina" is indeed  described here as "Pierina Correa, the president's sister and an Alianza País leader in Guayas province".  That confirms my assertion that Garcia is tied to the President and his family as he states in the video.


Chevron wants Nunez taken off the case

The implication here is that as Chevron Media Relations representative Sean Corney said in my video above, Chevron wants Nunez taken off the environmental damage case.  But given that Chevron has informed the U.S. Department of Justice, the revalation could have deeper implications.  

It could cost the country its Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) status, which was just renewed in June of this year.  Whatever the case, this news sends a clear message that doing business in Ecuador is not the "clean" experience it should be. Until now, blogs have reported the problems of corruption in Ecuador and with respect to President Correa's involvement in the Chevron case, but now we have visible evidence to back those claims.

The news also forever destroys the claim made by Ecuador lawsuit legal advisor Steve Donziger and others who say that the lawsuit against Chevron has nothing to do with the Ecuadorian Government and is brought by citizens of the Amazon. But Correa has appeared with Donziger in public and has been interviewed about the case.


One can see that the bribe money's not going anywhere near those groups of people Donziger claims to represent; the political party PAIS would get it and "handle it" as Garcia said in the video.  The question is, did Donziger or his associates in Ecuador and America know about this bribe plan?  Was he to be one of the plaitiffs that would get the bribe money? In the Amazon Defense Coalition statement today, he does not address the possibility that he may be involved, instead he said "As the facts come out it's going to backfire heavily on Chevron."

Amazon Defense Coalition defends Judge Nunez

Karen Hinton of the Amazon Defense Coalition told Reuters that the video shows Judge Nunez resisting the bribery matter. (This is Hinton's full statement.)  In point of fact, the video shows the judge saying that he's speaking in the role of Judge and "does not know about that other matter" which is a way of saying he does know but does not want it to be officially said that he does know.  It's called "plausible deniability ." 

Stay tuned.


Full video transcripts:

Meeting 1 Transcript (228 KB)
Meeting 2 Transcript (195 KB)
Meeting 3 Transcript (218 KB)
Meeting 4 Transcript (217 KB)

Monday, August 24, 2009

'Skank' Blogger v. Google and "The Violence Against Women Act"

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YouTube, Metacafe and DailyMotion

Rosemary Port is the blogger (and fashion model student) who for some reason believed it was ok to call fashion model Liskula Cohen a "psychotic, lying, whoring...Skank," under the blog post title, "Skanks of NYC" and from under the cover of a name not her own. On Wednesday August 19th, a U.S. Federal Judge ordered Google to identify the name of the person who we now know as Ms. Port.

Rosemary Port

But for some weird reason I can only attribute to a lawyer with a super large ego, Rosemary Port thinks she can win a lawsuit against Google for $15 million.

No way.

And it's not because she's suing Google; it's because in using her blog to make malicious fun of Cohen, Rosemary Port unknowingly violated a provision of "Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act" that was passed in 2006.

Liskula Cohen 

The little-talked-about law has three sections that specifically concern cyberstalking Sections 113 (Preventing Cyberstalking), Section 114, and Section 2261 A . This is what is posted at GovTrak.com for the purpose of this discussion. The entire bill section reads in summary:

Section 113. Preventing Cyberstalking ... Whoever ... utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet ... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person ... who receives the communications ... shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

The punishment for this is not less than a year in jail and the charges can be brought forth by the Department of Justice. This, then, is the law Ms. Port has ran up against. Given what she was doing against Ms. Cohen, Rosemary Port is in clear violation of this law and could see jail time if Ms. Cohen or the Department of Justice, or for that matter Google, pressed the issue.

I really think Ms. Port's lawyer is giving her some terrible counsel.

Cyberstalking is not free speech

Some are under the impression that the kind of blogging Port was doing is free speech. Nothing could be further from the truth. Classic free speech is standing on a corner and talking about something using your mouth to blast your voice into public airspace.

A blog is not really public to start with: everything from the web page to the internet service provider is privately owned, so they can control the content that gets out there - it's not the place for free expression. I think what's happened is that the relative ease of blogging has seduced some into thinking that they can write whatever they want, whenever they want, thus believing they have the right to free speech.  Not so.

People are jailed for cyberstalking

Something else Ms. Port must consider is the timing of her actions could not have been worse.  They not only come after 2006 and the laws against cyberstalking, but at a time when there's a war against the act and the people who do it.  In England, a teenager by the name of Keeley Houghton is facing three months in the juvenile detention system for harassing and threatening Emily Moore, eventually writing that she was going to kill her.

And law enforcement has been active in America, too.  In Southwest Florida in 2008 a teenager was arrested for the act.  In Louisiana a pastor recently turned himself in after an arrest for cyberstalking.  In that case, he was accused of "sending several anonymous, sexually-explicit e-mail messages" to a 21-year old woman who attended his church. 

And more and more states and cities are installing their own versions of the law, and police departments are adding cyber crime units, so the infrastructure to stop this behavior is being created.  It's about time. 

I'm cyberstalked on a daily basis, as I have several blogs and video channels (10 channels with an average of 200 videos on each one, and over 600 on YouTube)  and am on SFGate.com and the Examiner and CNN's iReport.  I get racist emails, and comments that lie about me, insult me, or threaten me every day. 

To say I'm tired of it is an understatement but I'm not going away.  In 2008 I was twice the subject of a death message (and got such a comment on SFGate.com this year), leading me to make this video:

And vloggers like MelissaJenn (who I referred to in my video) have been treated terribly, with people stalking her and taking photos not just of her but of her dwelling then sending the photo to her writing "I know where you live."  That's sick.  Just plain ill.  She stopped making vlogs for a few months after that, then came back to her normal schedule of vlogging.  But the bottom line is we're tired of this and fighting back. 

Blogs, news outlets and other online information outlets must beware of this war, because it they're not policing their sites, they too could be the focus of a huge lawsuit by someone who's life was threatened or just plain made to suffer emotionally.  It's not right.  

And now we have the legal tools to use, and will do so. 

Rosemark Port should appologize to Liskula Cohen rather than going through a legal path that will only do her more harm than good.   Port's not the victim here; she's her own worst enemy.  She's not going to beat Google and moreover, she's not going to overturn that provision of  "The Violence Against Women Act".   Ironic that a woman would run up against that law, eh?

Still, I think it's time for some healthy and civil talk about where we go from here.  I don't think teenagers should be jailed for these acts, and I do believe that more training is needed to save people, well, from themselves.   Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Miley Cyrus' stripper pole dance at Teen Choice Awards

TAKE THE POLL - http://www.pollsb.com/polls/p2137290-...



When I learned that teen star and Twitter mogul Miley Cyrus had literally done a number on a stripper pole at the Teen Choice Awards Monday night, two thoughts entered my mind: first, who convinced the 16 year old to do it, second, does this mean a sex tape's in her future too. I say and write that because I learned she and her father Billy Ray Cyrus came up with the dance production idea. So if her dad's cool with his daughter dancing around that pole at her age, the sky's the limit, right?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lou Dobbs home to "birthers" and white supremacists

http://www.zennie62.com - After years of ducking complaints about his occasionally offensive coverage, Lou Dobbs, host of CNN's Lou Dobbs show, may finally see either the end of his days of pretty much getting away with whatever crap he puts out, or the end of his show altogether.

Obama "Beer Summit" , Crowley Press Conference

http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/2009/0... - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/a... - President Barack Obama held a "Beer Summit" today, as some have called it, with Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., Cambridge Police Sergeant Officer James Crowley, and Vice President Joe Biden, bring an end to an unfortunate but necessary event in American Cultural history, and starting a new chapter in American race relations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

John Edwards has a sex tape?

http://www.zennie62.com - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b...
For more perspective on this story, click on the above links.

Win $300 from TheChampReport.com and iwearyourshirt.com

On Youtube from iwearyourshirt, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FXCComxqu4

We couldn't resist posting this because of our interest in the power of social media.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Henry Louis Gates arrested for being "uppity black man"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/a... - http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/2009/0... - It's all over the Internet: Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested by Cambridge police officer Sgt. James Crowley after trying to pry open the lock, which was already damaged, to his own Cambridge home with the help of his driver, who picked him up from a trip to China. President Obama, in a press conference on his health care initiative, chimes in by saying "the Cambridge Police acted stupidly." President Obama's totally right. Here's why. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Erin Andrews video peep show on CBS? Why?

http://www.zennie62.com - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b...
For More information on this story, click on the above links.

"Obama not American" believers: are they just racist?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/a... - You know, I'm sick of racists. Just plain tired of em. You know who they are - or maybe they're you. People who are really upset that America elected a black man as president but since they feel they can't say so without the anonymity of the Internet, they craft other means of expressing their anger, like hanging on the to the crazy idea that President Obama's not an American citizen. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Chris Brown: do you accept his apology? A poll.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/a... - http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/2009/0... - Today, singer Chris Brown, who violently struck his girlfriend the lovely and talented Rihanna earlier this year, gave a video-based apology to his fans and the World on his website and YouTube.

To review the story, Brown was arrested in the early morning hours after he and Rihanna had an argument over a text message she found in his phone from one of Brown's lovers that Rihanna didn't know the existence of. What Brown did during the argument was horrifying, CNN.com reports: The incident began when Rihanna, who was riding in the sports car driven by Brown, found a text message on his cell phone from "a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with," according to a sworn statement by Los Angeles Police Detective DeShon Andrews. "A verbal argument ensued," followed by the physical attack, the statement said. It went on to describe the assault in great detail, saying Brown punched Rihanna numerous times and put her in a headlock, restricting her breathing and causing her to start to lose consciousness. He threatened to beat her and kill her, according to the statement, and he bit her ear and her fingers. Eventually, "Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away," the statement said. "A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.'s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response. An investigation was conducted and Robyn F. was issued a Domestic Violence Emergency Protective Order."

That's a terrible level of violence and so much so that I personally find it hard to believe the appology he gave, and you can see in my video above. In an effort to gauge public opinion in the wake of Chris Brown's video, I created this poll:

More on pollsb.com

The poll captures not just the "Yes, I believe him" or "No, I don't" choices, it has three others: Yes, but I believe he cares more about his career than Rihanna; Sort-of. I need to see more from him; and Chris doesn't need to apologize for anything.

The last choice is deliberately controversial. It came from an episode of Oprah I happened to see where she and Tyra Banks had what could be called a kind of "town-hall" studio meeting on the incident in March. There' a teenager said "I kind of think she deserved it. If a girl has enough nerves to hit a boy, she should get hit back." That (not mentioned in the Salon blog article for some reason) set both Oprah and Tyra into orbit, and me too. I could not believe what I was hearing, but she said it.

I wanted to capture that view with this poll, if possible. Of course, given the fact that I'm focusing on it here, that it's rather ugly, and a choice in the poll, means those who would normally pick that choice may avoid it here. Still, one never knows so here it is in the poll.

What do you think? Take the poll and let's see what you and the public thinks. My view is Chris made the video for himself; he never once mentions Rihanna in the video and since she was the focus of his anger, she should be the first person on his mind beyond his fans. That's telling and may also mean Brown really feels no remorse for what he did to her, but what he did to his career.

The sentence of "labor" was really stupid. Brown's a public figure and should have been made to be a spokesperson against domestic violence, not just taking some course in anger management. What the judge was thinking here, I don't know, but it was the wrong way to go.

Oakland's Green Building: 1100 Broadway

http://oaklandfocus.blogspot.com - Oakland's first tall green building is 1100 Broadway. It won the U.S. Green Building Council's "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED) award. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blueprint America - New York Now

On YouTube from wmhttv, http://bit.ly/hUAa1
This feature story depicts the struggle between New York State Democrats and Republicans and who and how much gets spent on infrastructure projects.

Comic Character - New York Post

On YouTube from NYPost, http://bit.ly/rGgq2
A Superman wannabe is back on the street in Times Square after being detained last week for resisting arrest. http://video.nypost.com

New York City All Stars @ Times Square

On YouTube from gundleok, http://bit.ly/6cd7Q
New York City All Stars break dancing on the 4th of July at Times Square in New York, NY.

City Room: Long Island Family with One-Track Mind -

On YouTube from, TheNewYorkTimes, http://bit.ly/usFIa
The Dumicich family on Long Island has three members racing stock cars, usually against each other in the same races, at Riverhead Raceway. Related article: http://bit.ly/X44iV

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is the Senate stalemate almost over?

On YouTube from WIVBTV, http://bit.ly/Zv2JL
After a month of no-work in Albany, a power-sharing deal could end the senate stalemate. http://www.wivb.com

Gay Pride Parade - New York City - 2009

On YouTube, from grishno, http://bit.ly/8XATb
On the 40th anniversary of the stonewall riots I had the great honor of marching in the New York City Gay Pride Parade with the Dykes of Bike-Cycles. This was an amazing celebrations of all things Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and transgender! Especially those transsexual... gotta love them!

Harlem Remembers - New York Post

On YouTube, NYPost, http://bit.ly/3OO1N
Residents gather to watch the memorial service of the late Michael Jackson held in Los Angeles. http://video.nypost.com

Science: Paper, Plastic and Persistence - nytimes.com/video

On YouTube, TheNewYorkTimes - http://bit.ly/uvIM1
An energetic group of volunteers spreads the word about recycling to residents of one of New York City's public housing projects.

Related Article: http://tinyurl.com/nytimes183

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson passes | public opinion: "We Are The World"

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YouTube, Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, StupidVideos, Sclipo and Viddler

Michael Jackson's passing is still a shock to me. The very idea that someone I feel like I grew up with left us at the age of 50 is just not right at all. I first saw Michael perform when I was 10 years old at the old Chicago International Amphitheatre in 1972; the Campbell family, who babysat me, took me and I remember it like it was yesterday. The Jackson Five was then the must see event and Michael was the star.

Michael was like my brother. In a way for many African Americans he was just that, a sibling. I knew him as the guy who grew up in Gary, Indiana. We knew people who knew them in Chicago, so I felt close to him long ago. I think it's for that reason so many African Americans were on Michael's side during the years when it seems he was kind of flying the coup: changing his skin color from brown to near white; narrowing his nose, and basically seeming to channel his best friend the legendary singer Diana Ross. Then, of course, there were the claims that he "liked boys" which we figured wasn't the case, and was more a byproduct of the money and attention seeking people who surrounded him. Michael was a person with an arrested development: he never had a childhood so to escape the trappings of a constant adult life, he created a childhood for himself.

I think being an adult just literally killed Michael.

For me, Michael Jackson was the person who wanted to bring us all together, as shown in his "We Are The World" effort. That amazing production and song, created with a group of the World's best known music talents, with Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Steve Perry, Bob Dylan, the late Ray Charles, and a host of others and to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia, was just amazing. Amazing. I loved that song then; I still do today and I cry every time I hear it. (the lyrics and video are at the end of this post).

Talking with people About Michael's passing

The death of Michael Jackson is one of those events that will cause you to remember where you were when you learned of it. In my case I'd just emerged from a private movie screening at the Saul Zaentz Film Center in West Berkeley, CA. My Mom just happened to call with the news as I was walking to my car; I was stunned. Just stunned. So I took my Flip Video Camera and set out to talk to people about what happened to Michael. I had plenty of places to do this: the BART train station, the San Francisco Magazine "Best of The Bay" party, and all points in between.

What's amazing is the sheer number of people who were immediately informed via text messages and the reactions: shock, sadness, but not joy. No. No one expressed anything close to that at all, even given the part of his life where it seemed he was overwhelmed with "kid" issues. Nothing.

Dominic Phillips, the master of event planning in San Francisco, and who produced last night's "San Francisco Magazine Best of The Bay" party said "It's horrible. First and formost, anybody dying is horrible. There are so many family members that are just gonna be torn apart. But also Michael Jackson; on the one hand he was a very maverick person. But on the other hand he was part of my generation's life. He was like part of my experience, my growing up and I feel a little robbed that he's not there anymore. Like whether you thought his experience was your experience,that doesn't really come into it for me. I just sort of bonded with him in my youth and now he's gone."

Another woman I talked to on Howard Street in San Francisco said "I was just walking and three people got text messages (that he died)...just terrible. My friend Beth Schnitzer, who's the Director of Sponsorship Marketing at Pier 39 said "I can't believe it. Every time I listen to his music, it brings back a great memory from growing up somehow, some way. You know, it really hasn't hit me. He was too young; way too young." Jerusha, "The Last Single Girl In The World" said, as only she can, "We all have to go sometime and boy did he have a fabulous life before he went. He did it up and he did it up right. You know what they say, you only live once and that's all you need if you do it right!"

I talked to a lot of people, and if you see my video there are more than what's presented here, but all just variations on what was expressed. People loved Michael, warts and all. The "Best of The Bay" event turned into a kind of tribute to Michael, with his music playing continuously through the evening, and people danced, especially to "Thriller" which is a modern classic.

Sad day it was to have this happen. Michael, the world will miss you.

We Are The World - Lyrics and video:

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones.

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WSJ's Kara Swisher attacks Zennie on Twitter

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On YouTube.com

So a few days ago I wrote a blog post with a vlog about the Iran Elections or given what's going on over there the "Iran Revolution" and in preparing for it ran across an article who's take on Twitter, the main event in the Iran uprising, I disagreed with. It was written by Kara Swisher, the semi-well-known Wall Street Journal vlogger who covers "All Things D" or "Digital" as her blog site's called.

I wrote:

The amount of information communicated through Twitter has been of staggering proportions. While Kara Swisher may write that it's "inane and half-baked", the fact that Iranians can use their cell phones to tweet information and share photos has done more than the mainstream media in telling the World what's happening.

Well that sent her into a tizzy. She got on Twitter and publicly blasted me, writing things like:

karaswisher@zennie62 "inane and half-baked" were NOT my words and you said they were. I said it was simple which is different. Are you all-baked?

At first, I looked at her words with empathy and offered to make a correction, even though I totally disagree with her take. As a response, she wrote:

karaswisher@zennie62 it is not a favor to me for you to make an alteration. You attributed a quote to me I did not say. You made an error, so fix it.

After that, I reconsidered. After all it's my view, my opinion, and it's not against her at all. I like Kara's work and her -- not met her yet. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything she writes.

And her title did use the words Inane and Half-baked. Maybe she'll go back and change it (please don't), but that's what was there.

So Kara, it wasn't personal. Ok? Twitter is a complex system to me. The rules of engagement on how to gain followers, following the right people, improving one's reach; that's a complex set of relationships in my view.

Twitter's not simple, and it's indeed revolutionary.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek Formed My Longtime Friendships


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Today the long awaited Star Trek movie is out and like any nerdy Trekker, I'm excited. I got our tickets 10 days ago and didn't have to stand in line, contrary to what you might think. But the real story here is that on Saturday, May 9th, I'm going to see Star Trek with my long time friends Bill Boyd and Lars Frykman.

This is an Oakland Trekker story in brief.

Bill, Lars, and I met in Oakland in 1976 when we were 14 years old at what was then called Bret Harte Junior High School, now Bret Harte Middle School. I was new to Oakland, having moved with my mom to the city from Chicago as my mom was in search of better schools for me. How times have changed!

The Bret Harte Star Trek Club

I was a big Star Trek fan and wanted to start a club at Bret Harte. I had no clue how to do this, so my friends said "You should talk to Bill Boyd or Lars Frykman!" So I was introduced to Bill, who at 14 had the deepest voice I've ever heard in my life, and has the same voice today! Then there was Lars, who's just unique and uses terms like "GROK" the meaning of which I've forgotten.

At any rate, Bill and Lars are white; I'm black. But in Star Trek, as Doctor McCoy once said, "People are different. You get used to those things." We formed a diverse set of people, all interested in science and led by Craig Pryor who famously worked through all of the problem sets in our calculus book before the end of the semester. But whom I bested in a massive debate on American versus foreign cars - I took American and won!

But we were and to this day are great friends. At Bret Harte in 1976 we made the most money of any club at our carnival taking in $104.76. We did it with a game Craig came up with where you throw a set of "Tribbles" (from the Star Trek episode "Trouble With The Tribbles") our moms made from fur and stuffing at a ping pong ball suspended from the air from a vacuum cleaner.

You laugh.

But Star Trek was the show that brought all of us together and caused us to work conventions in Oakland and have parties and get girlfriends. And it was because Star Trek continues to show a positive view of the future and how we relate to each other.

I can't wait for Bill, Lars, and Craig to see this and I can't wait to see Star Trek, even if the movie messes up the San Francisco Skyline.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Amazon Defense Coalition A Fake Company of Hinton Communications

Ok.  Here's one for the books.  Because I dare bring a balanced view of the Chevron Ecuador case, Karen Hinton of Hinton Communications decides that I must be paid by Chevron.  In other words, no one can possibly take a middle ground position, or even think that one exists.

The problem is that it does.  Moreover, I have evidence here that the claims against Chevron are part of Ecuador's plan to clear the Amazon of foreign oil interests and replace them with state-owned Petroecuador's oil drilling activities.  Ecuador cares about the poor of the Amazon far less than it cares about extracting petrodollars from the Amazon. 

A Front For Ecuador and Petroecuador

Ok.  Let's do some house-cleaning over the mess Hinton Communications has left for me to clean up.  The first fact is this:  the "Amazon Defense Coalition" does not exist except in the mind of Karen Hinton.  It's presented as a firm, a group, a company, but Hinton is the only constant spokesperson who issues material for this supposedly operating organization.

In point of fact, there's no "Amazon Defense Coalition" there's no website, no office, no president, no secretary and no budget.  The only person who is consistently listed is Hinton herself.  What she's done, in a brilliant stroke of PR genius that I've got to stop and admire for a second, is to consistently flood the Internet with press release after press release with the words "Amazon Defense Coalition" on the title, so what comes up in a search is for "Amazon Defense Coalition" are results with that listing, so the layperson says "Well, there is an Amazon Defense Coalition because of all these search results."

Yeah.  Right.  Look deeper.

The vast majority of the results are reprints of the same press releases Hinton sends out.  There's no evidence of anyone consistently writing for the "Amazon Defense Coalition" other than Hinton herself or Hinton Communications.  It's no wonder a Google lookup of "Amazon Defense Coalition Hinton" shows over 3,000 results!  

Karen Hinton should come clean and reveal what I already know: that her American company is working for the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa as a foreign agent and appears to be financed by them.

Hinton's ties in this matter are deep.  She's linked with Washington lobbyist Ben Barnes, who's linked with Steve Donziger, of the law firm Kohn, Swift, and Graft (who hired Barnes), and who's the master lawyer in the lawsuit against Chevron and who may be getting resources from the Ecuadorian government, too.   Indeed, the The Ben Barnes Group is listed as one of Hinton's clients and Hinton's the Amazon Defense Coalition so one can effectively say that Barnes has a major role in the Amazon Defense Coalition because it's really just Hinton who's paid by Barnes, who in turn is paid by Donziger / Kohn, Swift, and Graft, who must get its money from the Ecuadorian government, because they too stand to rake in billions, even with the one-third award stake Donziger will gain should he prevail in these legal battles.    It's worth the investment. 

The Ben Barnes Group is an effective lobbying organization, and its founder, Barnes, has made millions doing deals between special interest groups, companies, and powerful Democratic office-holders.  Barnes has served as the spokesperson for R. Allen Stanford, who's the focal point of the Stanford Investment Scandal. (To be fair, Barnes says he has played no role in Stanford's business dealings and is said to be "shocked and saddened" by the allegations against his friend and client.) 

It's hotly rumored that The Barnes Group hired former Speaker of the California Assembly, San Francisco Mayor, and SF Chronicle Columnist Willie Brown to work with them and Donziger against Chevron in the Ecuador case, and that news is "loose" because my friends - and I have a lot of them - tell me Willie's yappin' about the deal all over San Francisco!  I wonder how much of this gravy train he's going to take in? 


President Correa, Donziger, Barnes, and Hinton care about bucks, not the people of the Amazon.  And it's questionable at best that President Correa himself really cares about the poor people of the Amazon over oil exploration, as he would have others believe.  Indeed, in 2007, Correa's advanced a proposal where countries would pay them $4 billion to protect a part of their country called Yasuni National Park in the Amazon from oil exploration, but if they didn't get the money, Ecuador itself will drill for oil there anyway!

Guess what?  They didn't get the money!  That led to a new round of drilling that effected the Yasuni National Park, which is supposed to be the "protected area" according to the "World Rainforest Movement" which reports:

In December 2008, the Waorani denounced new oil exploration activities in the Cononaco oilfield. In order to appease the community, the Ecuadorian state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, paid them 35,000 dollars. But these new activities affect the Yasuní National Park, a protected area.

Previous oil operations in Cononaco have been inspected as part of the trial underway against Texaco, since the activities in the field were undertaken by this multinational oil giant. Of the 35 samples taken, 30 showed readings higher than those permitted by law.

The area in question forms part of both the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve and the Waorani people’s ancestral territory, and the contamination caused by oil activities there directly affects Yasuní National Park.

When the pipeline between the Auca and Cononaco oilfields burst in 2006, the resulting oil spill contaminated the Tiputini River which runs through the National Park. But the new exploration activity is even more menacing, because it is taking place in areas vital to the survival of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation.

So much for Ecuador's real concern about their own people, let alone the environment. Ecuador fans will say President Correa stopped oil exploration in the area, but he didn't stop it.  He put a stay on it.  That means after June 2009, oil exploration activities start again.  The Amazon is a revenue generator for Ecuador, but Correa knows he can't effectively win a lawsuit against Chevron and stick it to Ecuador's poor at the same time, so he made a brilliant political move designed to get him good press.

For a month.

If the "Amazon Defense Coalition" really cares about the Amazon, ask Karen Hinton why Correa's planning another round of oil exploration in the Yasuni National Park area?   Don't ask "SOSYasuni" because they cover for the Ecuadorian Government.  Indeed, by first asking for Western oil companies for payment to protect Yasuni, then threatening to drill for oil themselves (using Petroecuador) if they don't get the money, Ecuador's trying to crowd-out its own oil market from foreign interests and pave the way for the state-owned Petroecuador and the Petroecuador-owned Petroamazonas S.A to drill and gain revenue.   A very clever campaign.

Petroamazonas S.A  got the rights to drill at "Block 31" from Ecuador, which retook control from the Brazilian-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras in 2008:

Petroamazonas, which is majority-owned by state oil company Petroecuador, is looking for financing from multilateral lenders and foreign countries to develop block 31, but Pastor didn't give details.
"We are in talks to get financing. If we obtain financing this block will be developed this year. We plan to drill around 14 wells," Pastor said.
Last year, the Ecuadorian government and Brazil's state-run oil firm, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, agreed to finish the contract for block 31, which was transferred to the state.
Block 31 has 200,000 hectares, some of this within the Yasuni National Park, which Unesco has declared a world biosphere reserve.

To the press, it looked like Ecuador's Correa was being an environmental hero, but in point of fact, he was just gathering more Ecuadorian territory to be drilled by the Ecuadorian government.  U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp was litterally kicked out of the country and while Chevron / Texaco left long ago, Ecuador's trying to extort money from them via this disingenuous environmental damage claim ; the indigenious people of the Yasuni area are an afterthought both to them and to Donziger's people; the color of money is the only green they care about.  Have doubts?  Ask Steve Donziger if he would work for free.

New TV Show by Zennie62's On BART and Oscar Grant

On Saturday, May 2nd, my new television show starts. It's called "The Blog Report With Zennie62" and features the use of my video blogs in a weekly 30-minute format broadcast and co-produced by CoLoursTV in Denver. The start time is 3:30 PM Pacific Time, 6:30 PM Eastern Time and the show is replayed at 11:30 PM and 2:30 PM respecfully.

If you don't have a TV you can see the live stream at CoLoursTV.org. or Zennie62.com

The first show focused on selected events that occured after the shooting of Oscar Grant by BART Officer Johannes Mesherle on New Year's Day. It opens with my walk through a riot-ravaged downtown Oakland where I talked with many people about what happened, including a group of kids who were some of the rioters. Then we focus on the words of "DaveyD", America's foremost hiphop reporter and voice of the street, who shares his observations of how Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums handled the situation. And finally we hear from Dellums himself. This is not the last time I will visit this issue, but it's a good place to start the show.

The standard format is to present politics, news, sports, and tech in some combination for each show. Sometimes it's me talking about an issue; other times it's me talking to someone else, and with this show we will feature the work of other video-bloggers. It's a vloggers' playground.

The show will have a deliberate vlogger feel. Videos that you see on my channels at YouTube, Blip.tv, and other places make up the show. There's no studio; the camcorder is the star instrument. That means we can go anywhere at anytime and quickly make a video. It also means I can share what's happening in the news on the blogsphere in video form and show it on "The Blog Report". A lot of ground we can cover considering I never dreamed of having my own television show, but this whole road I've taken has been totally unplanned by me.

"The Blog Report" all started last year when I met Art Thomas who's the Executive Vice President with CoLoursTV at a media walk-through for the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He lived in Oakland before moving to Denver and so we had a lot to talk about. I was looking for a sponsor for our show at the time, so I sent a proposal to Thomas. That exchange turned into an idea for placing our videos on CoLoursTV and that became the concept called "The Blog Report With Zennie62".

Our first concern was how to get the videos up on television without a loss of at least the quality that is seen on Blip.tv and Viddler, which have the sharpest video uploads (that written, I love YouTube and the quality's really improved over time such that it's competitive with the two, but YouTube's best system is the website design and its "viral" nature as well as The YouTube Partner program.) I think we solved that problem and I understand the TV version looks even better than what you're going to see here.

I look forward to your feedback and questions. We're seeking sponsors and there are some organizations we simply want to establish strategic partnerships with, so please contact me. The possibilities for this are many and should serve as an example for a possble future for newspapers as well.

If you're a video-blogger located anywhere in the World and have material that's not longer than 4 minutes tops, notify me via email at zennie@sportsbusinesssims.com and we'll go from there. I prefer the video is already uploaded on some site, Brightcove, Blip.tv, YouTube, etc, so I can see it.

I wish to thank Art Thomas, Damon Purdy, and Tracy Winchester of CoLours TV, as well as Steve and Bernard who made me look good in the promo. I also wish to thank Google / YouTube for their support and encouragement and specifically Chad, Emily, and Hunter. A big loud shot-out to the iReport team at CNN: Lila, Henry, Rachel, David, Nicole Saldi, and the rest. And thanks to the team at CNN Special Projects, Errol and Jessica, and to Roland Martin and his staff at CNN for discovering me. Finally, thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for seeing the value in how I do what I'm doing and providing a platform. To the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell, Greg Aiello, and Frank Supovitz ("Mr. Super Bowl") And of course, thanks to my Mom and my relatives in Chicago and Tennessee.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On "Crazy Right-Wing Extremists" v. Susan Boyle

On Crazy Right Wing Extremists

You can't please everyone, especially conservatives.

What's interesting regarding the outcome of my Susan Boyle video-blog of two days ago is the reaction I received from some viewers toward what I considered to be a throw-away line at best. I was trying to state that in a news World where we hear about "nasty pirates, mean internet commentators, and crazy right-wing extremists it's great to have some good news in the form of Susan Boyle's performance and story.

My blog post was clear as a bell, but I discovered you can't combat the insecurities of the reader; they're going to think what they want to think depending on their background and beliefs. It's literally impossible to anticipate every reaction to what's written, so better to just go for it.

As I state in the video, about 15 percent of the commenters focused on the "crazy right-wing extremists" part of the sentence and came up with some really weird interpretations. One person used the term "bigoted" to describe what they thought of my comment. In point of fact, being a "crazy right-wing extremist" is a behavior and not a race or ethnicity. For some to "go there", as the term is used, was pretty gauche to say the least.

I can't spot a "crazy right-wing extremist" on the street at a distance, and I certainly don't know what "crazy right-wing extremists" wear to a concert. But what I do know is the FBI has released a report that points to "crazy right-wing extremists" as a threat to the safety of the country. Moreover they're growing in numbers. Remember, Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVey was a member of a "crazy right-wing extremists" or "White supremacist" group, so the FBI has reason to fear what these organizations might do.

Why support them, then?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Alex Shoumatoff's Vanity Fair Article On The Bohemian Club

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Bringing an end to a story that made my blogs famous, infamous Vanity Fair (VF) Contributing Editor Alex Shoumatoff finally published his work on the Bohemian Club’s timber management plan and how he got snared by police for tresspassing at its private retreat near the town of Monte Rio, Calif. 

If you remember, Alex Shoumatoff set out last year to help his Harvard roommate Jock Hooper do a smear job on the Bohemian Club, which is a kind of resort home for many San Francisco luminaries, and not all of them male.  Hooper was someone described as a "disgruntled former member" of the exclusive gentlemen’s club that has is favored by the business elite, former presidents, international leaders, and men who enjoy music, wine and song, and ok, I know at least two women who've recently been there (with their boyfriends).  The club's lightened up a lot over the years.

Anyway, Hooper quit the club when it wouldn’t approve his forest management plan (read: major ego) and then became the leading critic of the club’s plans to preserve and protect old growth redwood trees on its property.  He then got Alex and Vanity Fair to do some dirty work for him, or try to. 

Now I write this with the full expectation of being invited to the 2010 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, rather than having to sneak into it.  Hear me talking Graydon! 

This story started last year when Shoumatoff managed to sneak in to the Bohemian Grove during the annual event the club holds in July. But his wandering, covered in detail in his story, only lasted 40 minutes before he was arrested by security guards and a part-time service employee at the famed Grove who quickly spotted that the kind of sloppy, preppy Topsider-wearing editor was not one of their own. 

In VF, Alex writes that he was trying to fit in with that style of dress, but folks I talked to say he wasn’t hard to miss: he was dressed like a caddy wearing a Pebble Beach pullover and apparently asked off-beat questions that proved to be his downfall.  Most of which he mentions in his article. 

He was quickly captured cowering behind a bush, but his large body gave him away.  He was then arrested by the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department, spent the night in county jail, and forced to pay a fine for trespassing.  His arrest was captured in the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, Gawker, Huffington Post, and, of course, here at zennie62.com and the San Francisco Sentinel .

Shoumatoff’s piece in Vanity Fair this month may be the first case of a hatchet job that turned into a hachet boomerang:  Club members say Shoumatoff’s piece is so  dramatized and so full of factual errors (that I will detail in a follow-up post), that it proves to be an embarrassment for him and well as Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter. And they refered to being attacked by "right wing bloggers"! 

I'm neither right of center, nor posessing wings like a bird, but I am a blogger.  As an Oakland guy who hangs out in San Francisco a lot, has worked for and helped  many local politicians both Democrat and Republican (but I'm a Dem), and gotten to personally know a number of "Grovers" as Alex calls them, I can tell you they're more than a little tired of people putting them into this "conservative White male" box, especially since this "liberal Black male" has been invited to visit and by members who are not all White, and aren't at all conservative. 

I'm happy to come to their defense to be frank. 

I'm glad Alex got caught because he could have just used the contacts he was developing to visit the club in a legitimate fashion.  Instead, he bozoed his way in and looked like a clown in doing so.

And the club's forest plan?  According to several sources, it's going through the review process well.  But what I find so interesting even over the important consideration of the trees, is how one blue-blood institution, Vanity Fair, can muster the gall to call another blue-blood institution The Bohemian Club "elitist" when VF's not even invited me to its Oscar Party, and Graydon Carter will not take my calls. 

This'll teach 'em!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fox News' Female Short Skirts Get Ratings Over CNN

For the first time, according to Nielsen, CNN came in third place in cable news program ratings behind Fox and MSNBC. CNN had 1.14 million viewers in March, compared with 1.16 million for MSNBC and 2.3 million for Fox News. Some say the reason is Fox is conservative; it's really their focus on women anchors with short skirts.

So Fox could be liberal as heck and still have the same ratings if they had the same "sex sells" strategy. There have been a lot of Fox female anchors doing the showing of a lot of leg: E.D. Hill, Ainsley Earhardt , Linda Vester, Gretchen Carlson, and Catherine Herridge to name some of them.

That's a lot of women, and I'm sure I've left someone's name off the list without intention. The point is, it's too much of a habit to ignore, thus it's part of the high ratings, because it builds expectations that a viewer will see women in short skirts, especially in the morning.

Is this a bad thing? Well, yes and no. Look, we can't deny that above all else, television is a visual medium. It's not radio at all. So people react to what they see. Moreover, we're wired to reproduce -- people forget that -- so visual cues that appeal to our sexual nature will get more attention than those that don't.

That's a fact.

I can't blame Fox for this. But I can blame Fox for coupling it with some lame reporting. Much of it's so biased I don't watch it at all. I flip between CNN and MSNBC. And CNN has some attractive female anchors, but they don't present them like Fox does. If they did, I hate to write this, but CNN would overtake Fox for the ratings lead.

The question is will they do this?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Paul Krugman is WRONG about The Obama TARP Plan

Economist Paul Krugman has been attacking the Obama / Geitner Troubled Assets Relief Plan (TARP) as using taxpayer money to pay investors to take the assets off bank's hands. But he offers no alternative. Paul is wrong in that he wants the "bad assets" to remain on bank statements, but for what? To continue to freeze the credit market? His blog posts in the NY Times on this matter are intellectually sloppy at best. That -- for a Nobel Prize winner -- is terrible.

Krugman sets up straw person examples to prove the idea that the investor spends little of his or her own money -- but that is the idea. I do not know why he comes up with these half-baked statements at all. Perhaps he is just angry that Obama did not pick him to be economic advisor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Star Trek Movie: Where Are The Black Men?

There's a lack of Black men in the Star Trek trailers and director J.J. Abrams called and invited Tyler Perry to be in the movie to make up for the oversight

Sunday, March 8, 2009

U2 Honored on Broadway - New York Post

West 53rd Street is named after the famous Irish rock band for their charitable work around the world. http://video.nypost.com

World's Longest Legs - New York Post

Friday, March 6, 2009

Michael Jackson? CNN, I Will Not Impersonate Michael Jack...

Michael Jackson annouced he would hold his last concert of his life in London this summer. In celebration, CNN's iReport team came up with this idea of asking iReporters to impersonate Michael Jackson; no way, man!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Midnight Cowboy" Featured By Directors Guild of America Theatre in New York City

I got an email from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that they are going to screen the classic "Midnight Cowboy" in New York City, March 16th. You can gain a "taste" for the film from this fan-made trailer:

The Academy reports: "The 1969 Best Picture winner “Midnight Cowboy” will screen for New York audience as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Monday Nights with Oscar®” series on Monday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America Theatre in New York City.

"Academy Award®-winning producer Jerome Hellman will join Academy Award-nominated actress Sylvia Miles in a post-screening discussion. David V. Picker, the executive-in-charge at United Artist during the film’s development, will moderate the onstage conversation, which also will include actor Bob Balaban, cinematographer Adam Holender, composer John Barry and costumer designer Ann Roth.

“Midnight Cowboy” stars Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight as two mainstream society outcasts who forge an unlikely friendship on the lonely and unforgiving streets of New York City. The film endures as a powerful story of friendship, compassion and redemption.

The tickets are cheap: $5 and the DGA Theatre is located at 110 West 57th Street in New York City. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved, which means get their early. For more information, call (212) 821-9251

Terrell Owens Released (Cut) By The Dallas Cowboys Today

After three years, 3857 yards and 38 touchdowns, the Dallas Cowboys released wide receiver Terrell Owens. Rhis was a mistake as Owens is an exceptionally talented athlete who has no off-field problems and years left in him.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye AMEX Gold Card (For Now) - Zennie62

Goodbye Gold Card my old friend! We've seen good-eats on the high-end.. People tell me AMEX has crashed. People say their credit is smashed. But I'll tell you, that's not going to happen to me; I'll set you free. And use, my cash!

Queens NY Mafia Family Said To Have Extorted Funds From Condo Tenants

Queens tenants at condo had to pay fees and fines to Mafia thugs, feds say: “Gambino gangsters controlled a condo board in Queens and extorted tens of thousands of dollars in bogus and inflated fees from owners when they tried to move, the feds say.
Testifying at the trial of reputed hit man Charles Carneglia, former residents of the Greentree Condominiums in Ozone Park said they were slammed with steep last-minute charges for "failure to comply with condo bylaws."”

Robert Morgenthau - Iconic Manhattan DA leaves a legacy of law & order

More at NY Daily News: “Morgenthau, now 89, mentored generations of lawyers who used his office as a launching pad: Lanny Breuer, an Obama administration nominee for the Department of Justice; ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer; state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo; John F. Kennedy Jr., and sex crimes prosecutor turned author Linda Fairstein.
His biggest cases ran the gamut from white-collar crime to cold-blooded murder:
1981 - John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty to murder.
1987 - Subway gunman Bernie Goetz was convicted on weapons charges.
1988 - "Preppie Killer" Robert Chambers pleaded to manslaughter in a Central Park killing.
2000 - Mom-and-son grifters Sante and Kenneth Kimes were convicted of murder.
2005 - Tyco corporate crooks Dennis Kozlowksi and Mark Swartz were convicted.
"They were all memorable," Morgenthau said Friday, declining to name his most significant prosecutions.”

-- Now this is what people think of when they talk about "New York Lawyers"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eric Holder Is Right: Twittering About Race Causes Cancer!

Attorney General Eric Holder is right! Twittering about race causes cancer as toxins build. Best to have a diverse group of friends to talk to, and only a coward would be afraid to have friends of different backgrounds!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NY Post Racist Cartoon Is "New Yorker" Eyeball Strategy

The NY Post Racist Cartoon Is "New Yorker" Eyeball Strategy. It's a ploy to get web visitors and to sell newspapers and it's working. It was done by the New Yorker last year with that Obama cover and now the NY Post is doing it.

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook's Benevolent Dictator

Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook's Benevolent Dictator who says the social network is 176 million or the sixth largest nation in the World. Electing to preserve member privacy was him being nice. Suppose he didn't do it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Josh Wolf Documentary Project: Sierra Choi Needs Your Help

John Wolf spent 226 days in jail to protect his videos and sources, and caused the creation of a new law protecting video-bloggers. Now Sierra Choi is directing and producing a documentary - the trailer is here as part of my video blog.

At the time in 2006, I met Josh when he worked for the television division at Peralta Community College. He was also in the middle of his battle with the Federal Government, but even then was still focused on his work, and didn't spend a lot of time fretting about what could happen.

Then Josh defied San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Alsup's order to turn over the videos Josh had taken from a anti-G8 anarchist protes heldt in San Francisco on July 8, 2005. Wolf feared that the U.S. Government in the form of the FBI simply wanted to identify the people who were protesting and not solve a crime they claim had been committed against a police officer. Wolf's videos did not contain any footage of a police officer being harmed.

Still, U.S. District Judge William Alsup order Wolf to be held in jail for civil contempt of court later in 2006. Then, after negotiations, he was released but still refused to give up any of his videos, offering instead to post them online and show them to the Judge himself. Initially the judge refused, and Wolf was ordered back to jail.

Eventually, and after 226 days, Wolf agreed to show the then unseen video clip online and was released from jail. He never gave a copy of the video to the goverment.

In the wake of his ordeal and new stronger "shield" law has been placed in California law to protect journalists of all kinds, from print to blogs. We have Josh to thank for this.

Now, video film producer Sierra Choi is working to raise $250,000 to create a documentary called "Quiet Uprising: The Story of Josh Wolf" and needs our help. You can contact Sierra through me by sending an email here: zennie@sportsbusinesssims.com

Please help as many need to know Josh's story so this will never happen again.

Visit the new Zennie62.com