Mocha Mr. Clean's The Dirty Truth

October 26, 2010

Shame on You, NPR!

Filed under: Current Events,Media — mochamrclean @ 1:02 am

No matter what your political beliefs are – whether you go left or right, Fox News Channel or MSNBC/CNN – everyone should be outraged by National Public Radio’s firing of longtime analyst Juan Williams.

NPR fired Williams for comments he made on “The O’Reilly Factor,” where he had been a frequent contributor. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for Williams, he was a lot more honest about his feelings about Muslims in traditional garb in a post-9/11 world than most folks dare to admit. He confessed that he gets nervous whenever he sees Muslims in traditional attire on a plane.

Williams, to his credit, was open with The Dirty Truth about his feelings. Most people are too ashamed or PC to admit the fears and prejudices they have. Williams never said he was proud of it; he never demanded that anyone subscribe to his feelings. He was being honest – and giving his opinion, which is what analysts mostly do.

What happens? About 36 hours later, NPR gives Williams the axe, without so much as giving him the courtesy – the decency – of a face-to-face meeting with the corporate honcho that wanted his head.

Listen folks, NPR was long aware that Williams was a frequent face on Fox News Channel. It’s not like he could hide it. Besides, wouldn’t they have to give their blessing to that type of thing? It’s also well-known within news industry circles that NPR didn’t really like what Williams had to say on FNC. He didn’t say the things they thought he should say.

But to fire a man for giving his honest opinion – which is what he was supposed to do as an analyst – that is an absolute disgrace. When Bill O’Reilly, Whoopi Goldberg and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough all fall under the same tent of agreement and defend the same person, you know someone’s been done wrong. And Williams, often an eloquent voice of careful thought and reason and honesty on Fox, was done wrong. That’s The Dirty Truth.

~mmc

October 15, 2010

A Different View on the O’Reilly-Joy-Whoopi Spin Machine

Filed under: Current Events,Media — mochamrclean @ 10:23 pm

Mocha Mr. Clean knows a lot about things that are brown and quite frankly, stink. And this hullabaloo involving Bill “No-Spin (Wink-wink)” O’Reilly and the wenches from The View stinks.

If you missed seeing the clip, watch the video below. O’Reilly got into it with View co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg over the Ground Zero mosque controversy, prompting them both to storm off when he said, “Muslims killed us on 9/11.”

Watch the O’Reilly Skirmish on “The View”

Ok folks, it is a fact that the folks responsible for 9/11 are Muslim. But it is important – vital – to point out that they were extremists, the worst of the very worst. We cannot condemn an entire religion for the acts of a few.

But here’s The Dirty Truth about the O’Reilly-View dustup. It had nothing to do with 9/11, mosques, Muslims or extremists. It had nothing to do with perceived hate speech.

You see, Billy Boy has a new book to sell, Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama. That’s why he was on The View to begin with. And does it surprise you that the Fox News Channel machine wasted absolutely no time capitalizing on the fracas, cranking out those promo commercials faster than Lindsay Lohan crack binge.

O’Reilly could hardly hide his shit-eating grin as Whoopi and Joy waddled off the stage. He knew he had just mapped out half his show for that night and would milk that brouhaha with a week’s worth of segments. (How soon will that B.S. body language expert show up on The Factor, “analyzing” the encounter?) He also could probably hear the cash registers ringing as his book flew off the shelves.

Hell, even Joy got a little joy from the spectacle, as Bill paid a visit to her own show on CNN’s Headline News. And The View reminded people early in the new season why it’s must-see TV for so many.

So, you see, everybody got a little something out of The View fracas – except those who thought the players involved were fighting any kind of “good fight.” Don’t be a pinhead, folks. Bill, Joy, Whoopi, Barbara – phonies, all of them, playing their roles to perfection. And that’s The Dirty Truth.

~MMC

Mocha Mr. Clean knows a lot about things that are brown and quite frankly, stink. And this hullabaloo involving Bill “No-Spin (Wink-wink)” O’Reilly and the wenches from The View stinks.

If you missed seeing the clip, watch the video below. O’Reilly got into it with View co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg over the Ground Zero mosque controversy, prompting them both to storm off when he said, “Muslims killed us on 9/11.”

Ok folks, it is a fact that the folks responsible for 9/11 are Muslim. But it is important – vital – to point out that they were extremists, the worst of the very worst. We cannot condemn an entire religion for the acts of a few.

But here’s The Dirty Truth about the O’Reilly-View dustup. It had nothing to do with 9/11, mosques, Muslims or extremists. It had nothing to do with perceived hate speech.

You see, Billy Boy has a new book to sell, Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama. That’s why he was on The View to begin with. And does it surprise you that the Fox News Channel machine wasted absolutely no time capitalizing on the fracas, cranking out those promo commercials faster than Lindsay Lohan crack binge.

O’Reilly could hardly hide his shit-eating grin as Whoopi and Joy waddled off the stage. He knew he had just mapped out half his show for that night and would milk that brouhaha with a week’s worth of segments. (How soon will that B.S. body language expert show up on The Factor, “analyzing” the encounter?) He also could probably hear the cash registers ringing as his book flew off the shelves.

Hell, even Joy got a little joy from the spectacle, as Bill paid a visit to her own show on CNN’s Headline News. And The View reminded people early in the new season why it’s must-see TV for so many.

So, you see, everybody got a little something out of The View fracas – except those who thought the players involved were fighting any kind of “good fight.” Don’t be a pinhead, folks. Bill, Joy, Whoopi, Barbara – phonies, all of them, playing their roles to perfection. And that’s The Dirty Truth.

August 21, 2008

My Fill of Phelps … Give Me Some Lightning!

Filed under: Current Events,Media,Sports — mochamrclean @ 9:37 pm

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of the Michael Phelps show.

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated

Just like the media always does with a genuine, feel-good story, they’ve overdone it and showed someone down our throats. There’s no doubt that Phelps’ accomplishments at the Olympics are amazing – and by all reported accounts and appearances, he’s a humble, grounded nice guy. But I think I know a little too much about the guy now. His diet, what he stands to make, the length of his fingers, the way he turns to get out of bed in the morning … enough is enough!

NBC seemed hell-bent on shoe-horning a Michael Phelps reference every chance they could get in the days after his competition ended. “What It’s Like to Be Michael Phelps: Interview with a Man Mistaken for Olympian” was just the latest story Today ran Thursday morning. That story spelled awfully like the humorous Big Era “You No Big Papi” Baseball Cap commercials. Could NBC have staged a story just to squeeze out another Phelps story? Hmmmm….

While there is no other Olympian like Phelps, there were plenty of spectacular athletes who are not American who took the Games to new heights. How about some in-depth coverage of Usain Bolt, who broke two world records in winning two gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters?

AP

AP

The guy is a phenom – he proved that lightening can strike twice in the same place. He’s in a class by himself as he became the first man to break two world records in the same Olympic games. I want to know more about him – his inspiration, background, his family for Chrissakes! What about the general profile of the Jamaican track and field team, which has put other teams, particularly the U.S. team, to shame?

Listen, if NBC – and the general mainstream media in general – were really interested in the “true spirit” of the games, they would have broadened the coverage of the outstanding athletes a little … just a little. Yes, we’re a U.S. market. But isn’t everything supposed to be on a level playing field when it comes to the Olympics?

I guess not, when it comes to advertising dollars and ratings … and unfortunately, that’s The Dirty Truth.

July 23, 2008

Things That Make You Go …

Filed under: Media,Pop Culture,Pro Wrestling — mochamrclean @ 5:04 am

As Arsenio Hall used to say, some things just make you go, “Hmmmm …”

For example, wrestling fans, isn’t Shawn Michaels looking more and more like the late George Carlin every year? (And I’m not just talking about the thin layer of fuzz on his chinny-chin-chin.)

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

And doesn’t Cody Rhodes bear a striking resemblance to that Geico lizard?

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

And shouldn’t that 49-year-old Michael Polinko guy from those Bowflex commercials be 50 (or older) already?

I’m not being a hater; I’m just sayin’ …

That’s not just some food for thought, ladies and gentleman. That’s a dose of The Dirty Truth.

~mmc

July 13, 2008

Press Pissing Matches: For the Pits

Filed under: Media — mochamrclean @ 1:58 pm

Don’t believe everything you read, hear or see, folks.

Question everything; don’t take anything at face value. Don’t trust anybody or organization that’s the president, vice president and treasurer of its own fan club (in short, the biggest mark for itself). And especially, don’t trust anything that calls itself, “The Most Trusted Name in News” or “The Paper of Record” or “Fair and Balanced” or anything like that. (I’ll decide that for myself, thank you very much!)

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of pissing matches between news organizations. If there was an unwritten code of conduct during the heyday of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, you wouldn’t know it today. The New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Times, Bill O’Reilly, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and others regularly take public pot shots at each other and recently FOX News Channel’s “On the Record” host Greta Van Susteren caused a stir over the media trade blogosphere with candid comments made in response to remarks made by the executive producer for CNN rival show “Anderson 360.” (The producer called “Record” a missing person of the day show that’s not really news, incurring the wrath of the mighty GVS.)

A few of things should be noted here: Throughout all this brouhaha, no one – no one – has noted just how utterly insensitive the “missing person of the day” comment was. No matter how common missing person reports are, we should always remember that these people have families. They have people who care for them. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters … friends. They are not just news fodder for greedy, ratings-hungry networks. In short, they are human beings.

Secondly, Joe Blow on the street doesn’t care if he’s watching the top-rated news program. Joe Blow doesn’t care how many more viewers watch your program than the nearest competitor. Joe Blow doesn’t care about petty pissing matches among rich TV executives and their TV “talent.”

An old, wild professor once told me, “Report the news. Don’t become the news.” A journalist’s job is to inform – and sometimes entertain – and help the public arrive at the truth. A journalist is supposed to inspire thoughtful debate, not use his or her platform to promote their own agendas and settle vendettas.

So please, you major media news conglomerates out there, stop being marks for yourselves and concentrate on informing us again. There are much more important things in the world than your pissing matches.

But who knows? Maybe these pissing matches are all a work, a collection of staged battles among rivals in a business everyone knows one another and personal and professional nepotism runs wild. In short, maybe these rivalries are just a ratings, circulation and Web hits ploy.

Is that The Dirty Truth? I’ll let you decide …

~mmc

One Sad Day …

Filed under: Media,Sports — mochamrclean @ 8:22 am

On one Saturday, two gentlemen who fought the good fight – and battled an insidious disease bravely – were called home.

Be safe at home, Bobby Murcer. I hope you’re shagging a few fly balls with Mantle in the outfield and Munson behind home plate. Say hello to my grandmother and great-grandmother, who loved watching you and their New York Yankees:

Rest in peace, Tony Snow. You have been remembered by your friends and colleagues in journalism and Washington, D.C. as a true gentleman. (And you have to tip your hat off to a man who can have a band on the side called Beats Workin’.)

I’m tired of death notices, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s have some good news for a change …

~mmc

June 29, 2008

Tasteless: WWE Mocks a Real-Life Death

Filed under: Media,Pro Wrestling — mochamrclean @ 5:36 pm

Is there no decency, even in pro wrestling and WWE, anymore?

When I saw Mr. McMahon’s “accident” following the last of his million-dollar giveaway on Raw last Monday night, my fears and suspicions of the past three weeks were unfortunately confirmed. Almost a month ago, my stomach churned when I saw Mr. McManiac rear his ugly mug back on TV and announce that he was going to give away millions of “his own” money to the public. McMahon had mostly stayed away from TV for a little, especially before WrestleMania XXIV, and I had hoped he would stay away.

But when he re-emerged and announced “McMahon’s Millions”, I smelled a stunt. For some reason in recent years, VKM has seemed hell-bent on pulling off stunts that he really believes will give WWE a mainstream jolt in a good way. Last year was the limo explosion and “death” of Mr. McMahon – and we all know where that went. That angle just had bad karma from the very beginning and had to be shelved when the murder-suicide involving Chris Benoit and his family shook the entire industry to its core. I had hoped that McMahon would never stoop to another life-death-murder angle again. Right now, WWE is portraying the story as an “accident that befell Mr. McMahon.” But anyone who has watched wrestling closely and for a long time can tell you this angle won’t stop at that. It will turn into a “Who tried to kill Mr. McMahon” storyline.

Last week, as the stage set fell on Mr. McMahon in an amateurish-looking stunt (on live TV, you could tell that he wasn’t actually hit by anything), I was reminded yet again to never say never about the wrestling business, especially where WWE is concerned. Hell, incredibly, KHOU-TV in Houston actually reported the incident as a legit, straight-up news story. (Dumbasses. Note to KHOU-TV: Professional wrestling is choreographed. It consists of storylines where the outcomes are predetermined. Read the memo next time.)

You see, I might be taking this form of “entertainment” a little too seriously, but I don’t find death/murder/attempted entertaining in wrestling. I can’t believe McMahon decided to launch a “Who Tried to Kill Mr. McMahon” storyline practically a year to the day that Chris Benoit killed his wife Nancy and son Daniel before he hung himself in their Atlanta suburban home.

Honestly, is there no shame? Is there no consideration for the family and friends of Nancy, Daniel and yes, Chris? Is there no compassion for these poor people who will never find true closure in their loss and will never really know why Chris Benoit killed his wife, child and then himself? Where’s the humanity in any of this? No, instead these poor people, whose hearts are particularly heavy around this time, will probably have to endure having someone asking them whether they are aware McMahon’s outrageous little storyline.

Death is not a game. Life is too random, too fragile and must be cherished. We shouldn’t play games with bad karma. Vince McMahon must really want to die a tragic death – that’s really the only reason he must have for his penchant for putting himself in “wrestling death/attempted murder” storylines. Either that or he’s a true egomaniac. VKM has repeatedly said in recent years that he doesn’t want to be in front of the camera. However, time and again, we find him soaking up the airtime, like a some kind of parasite or crack fiend. Imagine the Superstars who could have been elevated if VKM had stayed behind the scenes for any real length of time? He must REALLY think he’s a ratings magnet, the star of the show.

One of the real problems with the assassination attempt angle is that VKM just legitimizes the criticism lobbed by people like Phil Mushnick, Brent Bozell and anybody in the media (and that includes CNN, MSNBC and FOX) – people who don’t know the industry. He erases any good will WWE generates with all the charity work it does for places like Make-A-Wish and the support it gives our troops.
Instead, WWE comes off as a heartless, money-grubbing, lowlife company.

No one is saying that Chris Benoit himself should be mourned and held in high regard. After all, he did the unforgivable. But the memories of Nancy and Daniel should be respected, and WWE spat on their graves last Monday night.

Just remember this: WWE did everything it could to separate itself from the Benoit murder-suicide last year, including attempting to hitch itself onto a one-source, largely unsubstantiated claim that Daniel suffered from Fragile X syndrome. WWE suggested that that may have fueled friction between Chris and Nancy. If anything, WWE owes a bit of gratitude to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and their late summer/early fall steroid dramas last year. It’s a good thing the mainstream media and government in general care more about the national pastime than professional wrestling because VKM would not have come off very well testifying in a Congressional hearing.

Last Monday night was a sad say – not just because of the Benoit tragedy, but for the WWE I once found fun, free of stunts. A WWE that didn’t take itself too seriously and didn’t feel like it had to rip off a “Who Shot J.R.” storyline. I miss the WWE that had heart and compassion – which the families of Nancy, Daniel and Chris Benoit all need at this time.
And that, my friends, is The Dirty Truth. Thanks for reading.
~mmc

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