Wednesday, January 26, 2005
As a former 18-year eyewitness to the Washington, DC television market, I find myself periodically surfing to the excellent DC DCRTV web page maintained by Dave Hughes.
Hughes, a media outsider, often has the local media news before Washington’s stuffy media will admit or broadcast it and, I understand from highly placed sources, DCRTV is often a painful thorn in the plump sides of the 9th market’s executive ranks.
The always hot Ted Turner
This morning Hughes has a link to Broadcasting & Cable’s report on a heavy session of fire-breathing by liberal legend Ted Turner before last evening’s National Association For Television Programming Executives' conference in Las Vegas.
As a former Cincinnatian (the orginal Turner billboard company was here in metro Cincinnati, Ohio), independent broadcaster and outrageous liberal (who I've forgiven for marrying Jane Fonda) Ted has always grabbed my attention.
He grabbed it again this morning.
Ted, in his first appearance before a NAPTE conference since his ouster from Time-Warner 5 years ago, singed a few right wing shibboleths and America’s oh-so-touchy broadcast media.
Broadcasting & Cable’s lead sentence:
Ted Turner called Fox a propaganda tool of the Bush administration and indirectly compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolph Hitler's popular election to run Germany before World War II.
The magazine, in typical US TV fashion, bullet-points Turner’s primary arguments and buries the actual lead, the war in Iraq:
On Fox News: … He said the network is the propaganda tool for the Bush Administration. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy. Particularly when the news is dumbed down, leaving voters without critical information on politics and world events and overloaded with fluff.”
On TV news in general: "…Consolidation has made it almost impossible for an independent. It's virtually impossible to start a cable network." [Broadcasters and programmers] "don't want more independent voices out there. They own everything. That's why I went into the restaurant business."
The war in Iraq: "We've spent 200 billion destroying Iraq. Now we've got to spend 200 billion to rebuild it, if they'll let us -- and all to find a nut in a fox hole -- one guy," Turner said. "He posed no threat to any of his neighbors, particularly with us there with overwhelming military superiority." --"it is obscene and stupid"
A Google quickly discovered Ted’s new restaurant chain is Ted’s Montana Grill specializing in Bison.
The 66 year-old billionaire owns 5 of these in Columbus, Atlanta, Nashville and Denver and plans to open 40 more within the next 5 years.
Next, I guess, Ted will find competition from a chain of Rupert Murdock restaurants specializing in kangaroo.
Modified Image: Google