June 30, 2009

Foul on Wilbon

Michael Wilbon wrote a column June 26- five days ago- in which he reviewed the NBA draft and made repeated references to Amare Stoudemire having been traded from Phoenix to Golden State. No such trade has yet taken place, and with Golden State saying they won't trade Stephen Curry, it's looking like it probably won't.

But what's weird is that Wilbon, an NBA expert who is on ABC's friggin' coverage of the league, would miss something so major. And not only that, but it's five days later and the column has not only not been corrected, but it doesn't look like any blogger has noticed it either. What gives? Isn't Deadspin normally all over this sort of thing?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:07 PM | Comments (0)

Best Movies of the Half Year

"Up," "(500) Days of Summer," "Adventureland," "Duplicity," "Anvil: the Story of Anvil," "Star Trek," "The Hangover," "Two Lovers," "Observe and Report."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Movies of the Half Year

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Really, that's the whole list. I could name some other bad movies, but I wouldn't want to insult the filmmakers of those by putting them on the same list as "Transformers." After all, none of the other movies had robot testicles in them.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, Microsoft Really Produced This Commercial

Clearly, Bill Gates' entire career was building towards this, a new product to prevent your wife from discovering your porn habit at breakfast, and subsequently vomiting all over you:

Another great idea- don't look at porn at the breakfast table.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

The Latest Shocking Obama Scandal

He, he, he.... he looks at people!

Should he resign now, or wait until after the impeachment trial?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Back From Missour-Uh

I'm back from my trip to St. Louis and Kansas City; stay tuned later tonight for a full travelogue.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

On Michael Jackson

I eulogize the Gloved One in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

Senator Franken

The Minnesota Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that Al Franken is the winner of the state's long-disputed Senate race, coming to a conclusion that's been obvious for several months. Franken thus becomes the first U.S. Senator from my hometown of St. Louis Park.

May he enjoy a glorious five-and-a-half-year term.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

Prediction: He'll Make the Last Out of the World Series For the Second Straight Year

News Item: Yankees trade for Eric Hinske.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2009

Meet Me in St. Louis

I'm off tonight to St. Louis, going with my dad to see the Twins both there and in Kansas City. I've never been to either city so I'm excited to go and see my team.

No more blogging until Tuesday, but I'll likely be tweeting a bit, so check it out.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Best iPhone Screen Ever

This guy clearly had some fun. I don't know, but this made me laugh for about ten minutes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Sports Radio Moment of the Day

On Thursday's show, Mike Missanelli suggested that if Jimmy Rollins keeps slumping, the Phillies might have to think about trading him. But only if they can get a really good pitcher back, a #2 at least.

How can anyone watch baseball for any number of years and not know how this works? If a pitcher is in position to trade high-end pitching, they're going to ask for multiple top prospects back. They're not going to want a veteran shortstop, especially one who's having the worst year of his career. And this goes for the talk show callers too, who regularly suggest trade scenarios along the lines of Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino and Jamie Moyer for Roy Halladay.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

"Transformers" Sucks: Drees!

"The notion of geography is non-existent. Our heroes run through the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and exit out the back door onto some parking lot for old planes in the middle of the desert. Another sequence features our heroes escaping from a disused power plant on the Schykull River in the Philadelphia suburbs by making a left turn out of the parking lot and suddenly being in the wooded foothills of some mountains. Even if you aren’t familiar with these real world locations, such dislocation is jarring, taking one completely out of the film.

And let us not forget the plot point that completely invalidates the entire franchise’s premise! If one of the evil alien robots can convincingly disguise itself as a human being, why do the rest of them spend their time disguised as cars, planes and construction vehicles?"

- My friend Rich Drees of FilmBuffOnline.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Sullivan on MJ

What Andrew said, much better than I could.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

The Death of Michael

It's shocking and sad, of course. Just a few months ago, I remember hearing one of his songs on the radio and thinking "wow, how will I ever explain Michael Jackson to my children?"

That said, the next three weeks of cable news is not going to be fun, with the wall-to-wall Michael coverage probably rivaling the Anna Nicole nonsense of a few years ago. Oh well, it was nice getting some coverage of Iran while it lasted.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)


And with that, I am once again an NBA fan. The Wolves needed a face of the franchise in a major way, and with Ricky Rubio, they've now got one. You've gotta love a guy who's gone toe-to-toe with international competition despite being 18 years old. He also looks just like Dmitri Martin. Howeve,r I don't really see why they drafted Johnny Flynn instead of Stephen Curry- how many rookie point guards do you need?

Oh, and an Israeli was drafted by Sacramento.

And the Knicks traded for Darko? I knew they wanted someone from that draft, but I figured it would be LeBron or Wade...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:48 AM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2009

"Transformers" Sucks: Ain't It Cool!

"This film is a total and complete waste; a soggy, half baked dessert of a film that you can’t even say “Well, at least the action was cool.” It is an embarrassment, a pathetic misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars that only serves as the new model for excess run amok. Hopefully ten years from now I can put this in and laugh about it the way I laugh about BATMAN AND ROBIN, giggling furiously at the idea that they spent that much money of robot balls and a cybernetic minstrel show. But right now I’m too disappointed, too bitter and just too appalled to find any of this funny. You know, now that I think about it, maybe Bay got his giant, limp, swinging cyber-phallus after all. It’s called TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN."
-Massawyrm, Ain't It Cool News.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Headline Ever

UPI: No Conviction in Walmart Toilet Birth

I don't know what's worse- the "Walmart toilet birth" part, or the "no charges" part.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

The HBO Dykstra Piece

It's sad and pathetic and all that, but my biggest takeaway is to ask this: Does Dykstra have some sort of brain damage? I feel sorry for all the people he owes money to, but then anyone who trusted this guy with their money probably should've seen trouble coming a mile away.

Also, Bernard Goldberg is 150 percent more appealing when he's talking on TV about something other than liberal media bias.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2009

Much Better Than "Two Weeks Notice"

I review the surprisingly not-bad "The Proposal" on Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

Why, Despite It All, I Still Watch "The Real World"

There's a girl on this year's cast named "Ayiiya." Yes, that's right- six vowels, no consonants, and a palindrome to boot.

Well, that's one reason. I also want to know what Simmons is talking about on his next three months of podcasts.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:40 PM | Comments (3)

Hopkins Again

It happens at least once a year, like clockwork: Philly-born boxing champ Bernard Hopkins goes on WIP and goes on a vicious, racially tinged diatribe about Donovan McNabb. It's always the same thing, as Hopkins insinuates that because McNabb is from a middle-class, suburban, two-parent household, he's somehow not tough enough, lacks heart, and will never, ever bring Philadelphia a championship.

You can hear the latest version here (Mp3 link), but really, Hopkins has given pretty much the same speech five times already in just the last few years. I'm guessing the WIP executives gathered last week and said "hey- Eskin's ratings are down- let's get Hopkins on again to stir up the McNabb stuff!"

Look, there's a lot of coded racial stuff said on that station all the time, usually by white callers who, for some reason they can't quite put their finger on, prefer Kevin Kolb (or Jeff Garcia or A.J. Feeley) to Donovan. But we also get a lot of this equally ugly "he's not black enough" bullshit, which is just about as hateful and noxious as the worst of the Kevin Kolb Klub.

It's one more reason to root for McNabb to win a title in Philly- it would shut a whole lot of very loathsome people up.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:31 PM | Comments (1)


On the occasion of the NBA Draft Thursday night, Bill Simmons pens an epic column, couched as a warning to Blake Griffin that he should avoid signing with the Clippers and literally make a run for the border. Bill goes through the Clips' entire sordid, 30-year history of bad trades, bad drafts, bad coaching hires and bad luck.

You know, once Donald Sterling passes from the scene, someone should buy the team and pull a Tampa Bay Rays: change the name, change the colors, and pretty much admit that everything about the past sucked and must be totally abandoned. Unfortunately for Bill, and for Blake Griffin, that scenario seems many years away.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

Their Worst Decision Since They Gave Best Picture to "Shakespeare in Love"

News Item: Oscars to double number of Best Picture nominees

I can't even begin to describe what a terrible idea this is. What, like they didn't have enough mediocrity to celebrate, that now they have to recognize even more vile Oscar-bait?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:37 PM | Comments (1)

The Latest in Walmart Robbers Everywhere

This week's international edition- there's one Canadian story- of The Week in Electronics Retail Crime is up. Also, this guy apparently had a ton of fun with his gig doing the crime blotter.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

Way to Go Rosen

Congrats to WCCO's Mark Rosen, who appears to have broken the story that Brett Favre will report to Vikings camp, especially after the ESPN big guns and Peter King have whiffed on this story repeatedly for months.

But of course, Bus "Multiple Personalities" Cook appears to have denied it, yet again...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

Sanford Gets Weird

Hey, if a governor wants to disappear for a few days to write hike the Appalachian trail fly off to Argentina, whose business is that to any of us? I mean, who really needs a governor?

Can't say I'm the slightest bit surprised about what was really going on. Guess this is the end of his presidential aspirations, meaning- Sarah Palin it is!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)


Conan pays tribute to Ed McMahon:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

"Transformers" Sucks: Phoenix!

"Revenge of the Fallen has already achieved at least one Hollywood first: it's the only major movie I know of to be released without press notes. Tetro came with a bound volume of production information the size of a paperback novel. Even Land of the Lost had a good 70 pages. There, perhaps, lies Michael Bay's secret: those who read do not know, and those who know do not read... it's just like watching the toys on which the movie is based, but on a gigantic scale, and as if played with by a monstrous child without joy or any imagination. Said toys are big heaps of mobile, pasted-together crap  kind of like the movie itself, whose æsthetic is to toss in all the shit that sticks for two and a half hours."
- Peter Keough, the Boston Phoenix.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

"Transformers Sucks": The Voice!

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bewildering, noisy, sloppy, cynical piece of work, a movie that sneers at the audience for 147 minutes and expects us to lap it up as entertainment and be grateful. This is blockbuster porn absent even the suggestion of care or concern for anything that might resemble  a point, save the obvious one to move more Hasbro action figures and animated-series DVD boxed sets. In a word: distasteful... But why speak when you can SCREAM for almost two and a half hours? Why go subtle when there s shit to blow up?"
- Robert Wilonsky, the Village Voice.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

"Transformers Sucks": Ebert!

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys. If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."
-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

"Transformers" Sucks: Cracked!

If Michael Bay directed life.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Excellent column by Jonathan Chait, on how Obama deals with foreign adversaries much the same way he deals with political opponents in the U.S.:

This is a perfect summation of Obama's strategy. It does not presuppose that his adversaries are people of goodwill who can be reasoned with. Rather, it assumes that, by demonstrating his own goodwill and interest in accord, Obama can win over a portion of his adversaries' constituents as well as third parties. Obama thinks he can move moderate Muslim opinion, pressure bad actors like Iran to negotiate, and, if Iran fails to comply, encourage other countries to isolate it. The strategy works whether or not Iran makes a reasonable agreement... Obama's defining political trait is the belief that conciliatory rhetoric is a ruthless strategy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

"Rock Around the Cock"

The Phillies beat the Rays 10-1 to snap a six-game losing streak and help assuage the fears of all those who had jumped off the bandwagon. Because who ever heard of a team going on to win the World Series after having a terrible June?

At any rate, this classic Chris Wheeler moment was the highlight of the night for me, and many others who mentioned it on Facebook:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:14 AM | Comments (1)

June 23, 2009

"The Robots Are All Back: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Megan Fox."

I sign on to James Berardinelli's "Transformers 2" review:

My problems with the second Transformers are largely the same ones I had with the 2007 edition: the story doesn't make any sense, the characters are annoying, the action is dull and repetitive, and during machine-on-machine throwdowns, it's impossible to figure out who the good guys are. The biggest difference: 15 more minutes. Talk about self-indulgent. This movie would be too long at 1.5 hours. It never wants to end.
IF you liked this movie, I can't be friends with you anymore, I'm sorry.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

The First Good Wolves Trade in Five Years

News Item: Wolves to trade Randy Foye, Mike Miller for three players, #5 pick

The deal gives Minny four #1s, including picks 5 and 6; supposedly they want to trade up for Rubio. So, so good to finally have McHale gone...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Ad Critic Quote of the Week

Seth Stevenson, on the Black Eyed Peas' Target ad:

People, look at this commercial. Observe how eagerly—how incredibly naturally—the Peas embrace the role of discount store shill. Stop for a moment and ponder the fact that will.i.am has a giant Target logo on his hat.

A line must be drawn. I draw it here. I realize I'm not breaking news. I realize when the music's this bad it's sort of beyond the point. And I realize the "artists" in question couldn't care less. But I need to say it just the same: Black Eyed Peas, you're a bunch of sellouts.

Grade: F. Let's get some dignity up in here.

I don't care how many #1 singles the Peas have- I still think they suck.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

Pac Liked Jews a Lot More

Seth Meyers, on Twitter:

More Nixon tape released posthumously. Yet another reason why he is the Tupac of American Presidents

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

It's Their Revolution

My take on the Iranian revolution is online at the North Star site.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

"Exactly What's Wrong With Success in Hollywood"

I'll have a full review next week, but I agree with every word of David Poland's video review of "Revenge of the Fallen":

Oh, it's so, so bad.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

Best Web Site of the Year

Flip Flop Fly Ball. Oh yea. This was my favorite of many great graphs.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Everything Looks Worse in Black and White

Kodak announced this week that it is phasing out Kodachrome film. So guess what the obvious headline was?

Christian Science Monitor: Kodak takes your Kodachrome away

NPR: Kodachrome To Fade Away, Paul Simon Or No

Wired: Mama, They Took My Kodachrome Away

Guardian: Mama, They've Taken Away My Nice Bright Kodachrome Colours

Dealerscope (i.e., me): Kodak Takes Kodachrome Away

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Gawker, of all places, striking back at National Review's Andy McCarthy, for writing that "as a man of the hard Left, Obama is more comfortable with a totalitarian Islamic regime than he would be with a free Iranian society.":

Andy McCarthy is well-educated enough to know that a theocratic dictatorship is not compatible in any way with Leftism. He knows, when he writes that the "hard-Left... was more comfortable with the Soviets than the anti-Communists," that many of these anti-Communists were, in fact, fascists, theocratic totalitarians, and dictators. (Like the heroic Afghani freedom fighters who beat back the Russians! Now we call them "the Taliban.") He knows that a ridiculously inequitable oil state that throws occasional sops to its massive underclass is more or less the opposite of the Socialist ideal. And yes, of course he fucking knows that Barack Obama is not even close to being "a man of the hard Left." (Why did President Barack Castro over here appoint Geithner?) Any idiot knows that the President of the United States would obviously rather see a non-insane moderate in charge of Iran, because seriously, how does Obama benefit by having Ahmadinejad still in power, again? He just likes the dude because they both hate America so much? In fact not a single one of the sinister insinuations made in that one simple sentence should even require any sort of rebuttal, because it is all just half-assed trolling.

UPDATE: Hilzoy, too:

None of the people I have known, in a long life of knowing leftists, has been "fine with dictatorship". None of them has the slightest interest in the "suppression of freedom", or "intrusiveness in all aspects of life". Like most people, they would prefer that the policies they think are best get adopted, but none of them would want to impose those policies by force if they lost the political argument.

UPDATE II: LGM has more.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Deep Throat on Deep Throat

Amusing story from the AP about recently declassified FBI files about a wide-ranging investigation of "Deep Throat"- not the Watergate informant, but the movie. Not that the former Deep Throat doesn't appear too:

The file includes memos between the FBI's top men — L. Patrick Gray, William Ruckelshaus and Clarence Kelley, successive heads of the agency after J. Edgar Hoover — and field offices so widespread, it seemed nearly all of the country's biggest cities were involved.

On various entries in the file, a checklist of top FBI brass appears in the top right corner, with initials next to some names. One of those listed is W. Mark Felt, the FBI second-in-command whose "Deep Throat" alias as a Watergate informant came from the movie's title. None of the markings indicate he read any of the materials on the movie whose name became synonymous with his role in bringing down Richard Nixon's presidency. However, former FBI agents interviewed by the AP after the documents were released said Felt almost certainly would have been aware of the huge investigation.

It was in the Woodward Felt book that Felt absolutely hated being called "Deep Throat."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Autotune the Sports

Oh yes:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:18 PM | Comments (1)

Ed McMahon, RIP

The legendary cohost of "The Tonight Show" has passed away at 86. Thus joining Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston and many others long played by Phil Hartman who outlived him.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

Enough to Get Me To Give Up Gumballs

fail owned-choking pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

Mr. Sanford Is Missing

I'm sure if he runs for president in 2012, there will be lots of questions about that time he disappeared for a few days....

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2009

Fehr Strikes Out

News Item: Donald Fehr to resign as head of baseball union

Fehr, who's been in that job for almost 30 years, sports an undefeated record in labor disputes, and presided over a huge skyrocketing in player salaries. Not to mention, his son Mark was one of my roommates my senior year.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

Who Ambushes the Ambushers?

O'Reilly's chief goon gets a taste of his own medicine.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2009

The Absolute Biggest Outrage of All From Iran

Forget the vote suppression, the murder, and the trappings of dictatorship- all pales in comparison to Obama's ice cream cone.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

All Joe Morgan's Fault

News Item: "Moneyball" movie likely off

Yea, it didn't sound like a very cinematic story to me, great as the book is.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

A Triumphant Return

Triumph makes his first "Tonight Show" visit, reporting live from Bonnaroo:

My favorite part is the Scooby Doo joke, for sure.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2009

All About Cholly

Excellent profile of Charlie Manuel in SI by Mark Bechtel. Some great nuggets- Charlie is friends with Jerry "The King" Lawler! He used to go carousing with Billy Martin and Mickey Mantle when he played for the Twins! He once woke up in a Japanese bathhouse with 40 naked women! Definitely worth a read.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

I liked the movie a lot more than him, but I still enjoyed John Lingan's review of "Whatever Works":

Having apparently filched all he could from Bergman, Fellini, and 19th-century Russian novels, Allen’s now just recycling his own movies for material. So we get the same old morbid-Jewish-asshole character, Boris Yelnikoff (did you know that Woody’s read some Russian literature?), who addresses the camera Annie Hall-style... it points to the same conclusion: Isn’t this self-absorbed, obnoxious Jewish guy adorable? Doesn’t he deserve to fuck a beautiful shiksa like Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Mira Sorvino, or Evan Rachel Wood? And isn’t he smarter than all of them?
I found the movie funny and engaging, but yea, that's all true too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:29 PM | Comments (1)

Escape From the Taliban

Awesome news out of Afghanistan:

David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban, escaped Friday night and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan... Mr. Rohde, along with a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, was abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 10 while he was researching a book.
This is great news, but... how come we didn't know he was kidnapped in the first place? The Daniel Pearl thing, the whole world had its eyes on it, and the same thing with Jill Carroll.

The Times reported that "the kidnapping has been kept quiet by The Times and other media" for security reasons, but there have been various reports in the time since. At any rate, glad he's safe, and I'm sure he'll have some story to tell.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2009

Inspired by the '05 Vikings, Part I

Shocking news from the hockey and baseball worlds:

14 major NHL hockey players are suing a developer named Kenneth Jowdy for allegedly screwing them out of millions of dollars -- and then blowing the cash on escorts, strippers and private jet rides for some of the biggest names in Major League Baseball history.

The list of NHL players includes some of the sport's most famous guys -- Michael Peca, Sergei Gonchar, Chris Simon, Greg deVries, Jason Woolley, Mattias Norstrom, Vladimir Tsyplakov, Jay McKee, Raymond Murray, Glen Murray, Bryan Berard, Dimitri Khristich, Jozef Stumpel and Darryl Sydor.

The players claim they each invested between $250,000 - $500,000 with Jowdy -- who allegedly promised to use their money to develop a luxury golf course and resort.

Instead, the suit alleges the money was blown on private jets, 5-star hotels, and parties with various female porn stars, escorts, strippers, party girls and other women for MLB greats like "Roger Clemens, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose (to name a few)."

The NHL players are suing for at least $15 million.

I'm shocked to discover that Roger Clemens and Pete Rose, in particular, would be involved with something unethical.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (2)

Inspired by the '05 Vikings, Part II

Jewish style!:

Police had to clear an "out of control" bat mitzvah party Saturday night at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

Brian Fischer, rental coordinator for the museum, told police the younger guests at the Jewish ceremony, which celebrates a girl's coming of age, tore out ceiling tiles and a light fixture in the 141-year-old, 62-room mansion. Fischer said he saw several boys and girls engaging in oral sex in the bathrooms, Officer Carleton Giles said.

My first thought is, "Best Bat Mitzvah Ever!" My second? How'd this happen? Who ever heard of an unsupervised Bar/Bat Mitzvah party, without parents and rabbis and cousins and aunts and uncles?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (3)

Quote of the Day

Will Leitch on the Joe Buck show:

Buck didn't help himself by going to his sports media buddies and apologizing for the whole episode, like it was some terrible ordeal he feels awful that children had to see. (You'd almost call it a "disgusting act.") But you think last night's episode was bad? Wait until the "safer," "friendlier" Episode Two of "Joe Buck Live." That's going to be the talk show equivalent of when, in the wake of Stephen Colbert's blistering mockery of George Bush at the Correspondent's Dinner, the White House asked Rich Little to do it. Episode Two is going to feature Troy Aikman and Billy Crystal playing checkers.
I didn't actually see the Artie Lange segment until yesterday; when I first watched the show I turned it off after the Favre interview, and HBO had pulled all the YouTubes in the subsequent days. I was expecting it to be funny, but really it was just damn uncomfortable to watch.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

WWE's Trump Card

ALOTT5MA walks us through a funny wrestling/legal/financial dilemma:

For your first question in the ALOTT5MA Securities Regulation Final Exam, please discuss the following fact pattern (all real). On Monday night's live television broadcast of its RAW program, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announces that it has sold its "RAW" brand to Donald Trump. WWE issues a press release the following day announcing the deal, and multiple media sources pick up the story. WWE's stock drops almost 10% that day. WWE subsequently clarifies that the press release was merely "promotional for that ongoing story arc." Let's assume that there was no active wrongdoing by WWE employees in shorting the stock or otherwise. Is "everyone knows wrestling is fake" a valid legal defense to any securities claims that might be asserted by the SEC or a class action? Should it be?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

Tech Critic Quote of the Day

Slate's Farhad Manjoo, coming to the same conclusion as I do about the Kindle:

the Kindle is an imperfect match for the paper. Indeed, it's not even as good as a smartphone. At about 10:30 last night, I loaded up my Kindle expecting to find today's newspaper—which, after all, had already been posted online. But all I found was old news; the Kindle updates once a day, in the middle of the night. My iPhone gets news all the time, and, through each paper's Web site, it shows me the news in a way that suggests what's important. It makes calls, too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (1)

AD: The Doc

This sounds great, even though it appears to be two hours of people bitching that America was too dumb to watch their brilliant show:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:03 PM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2009

Ranking the Woodys

Ken Tucker Owen Gleibermann ranks all 40 Woody Allen movies. I'd put "Annie Hall" first and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" second, with "Sleeper," "Take the Money and Run" and I guess "Love and Death" rounding out the top five.

All of the worst are the last ten years; I don't think there's been a worse Woody film than "Hollywood Ending," the one where Woody's a director who suddenly goes blind, without anyone noticing.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Ross Douthat makes sense on the current political moment:

"In the West, especially, there’s been more hysteria about the specter of extremism than actual radical activity. If you listen to certain conservative media personalities, you’d think Obama is channeling Leon Trotsky. If you listen to certain liberal pundits, you’d think that talk radio was fomenting a wave of right-wing violence.

But nothing of the sort is happening. Barack Obama is pushing the United States leftward, but his wish list — universal health care, a green industrial policy — has been pinned to the Democratic National Committee’s bulletin board since the 1970s. Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly do not, in fact, command an army of gun-toting vigilantes, the crimes of a few lunatics notwithstanding. And in Europe, despite the angst over a few penny-ante racists getting themselves elected to the E.U. Parliament, the crisis’s major beneficiaries have been the cautious, incrementalist parties of the center-right."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:13 PM | Comments (1)

June 17, 2009

"He Will Rape Them With His Mouth"

It's the funniest two minutes in television:

And yes, I know exactly with "schmuck" means, in "Jewish."

Morning Glow's commentary on what we've just seen:

Okay, in order: Letterman never joked about rape, the joke was aimed at 18-year-old Bristol, it was a baseball game, the language is Yiddish not Jewish, Letterman has a son out of wedlock, I suppose it’s possible his wife is a slut although I don’t know for sure, America’s periods of isolationism have historically led to wars the country was ill-prepared for, and mouth-rape is somewhat less of a threat to your children than teaching them ironclad certitude at protests against late-night television shows.

(Granted, this is probably the highlights of the crazy, and it’s possible that there were thoughtful and well-spoken people at the rally, but c’mon people. Letterman caved and apologized, and Palin even accepted the apology. If the mother of the alleged mouth-rape victim can let it go, maybe you should, too.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:13 PM | Comments (6)

Taking the Blame

Stewart on how the Holocaust museum shooter can be blamed on... everyone's political opponents:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran
Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

The Supreme Court on Circuit City Porn, and More

The latest look at electronics retail crime is online at Dealerscope.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

It's Been a Constructive Summer

I review the recent documentary about The Hold Steady, "A Positive Rage," on Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Who Saw That One Coming?

News Item: Sammy Sosa tested positive for steroids in 2003

Sosa was always the one guy who everyone assumed took steroids, but he had never tested positive or been tied to a supplier, nor had he embarrassed himself before Congress nearly as badly as McGwire did. Well, so much for that. Not that this news changes anything about anything.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (1)

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

News Item: Kevin McHale will not return as Wolves coach.

Because when a guy is responsible for several consecutive years of franchise failure and has already been fired from one job, it's important to take four weeks to decide whether he should be able to keep his other job. Had McHale been fired five years ago, I might even still be an NBA fan.

The next coach? I vote for Sam Mitchell, but I'm very prepared to be disappointed. And besides, it's not like the draft's coming up, or anything.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (1)

Worst Headline of the Day (On Multiple Levels)

News Item: Courtney Love revives Hole

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2009

30 Days?

Drive drunk, kill a guy, and be ready for training camp!:

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth took full responsibility for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida and began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter.

Stallworth also reached a confidential financial settlement to avoid a potential lawsuit from the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, according to Stallworth's attorney, Christopher Lyons. Reyes was struck and killed March 14 by Stallworth, who was driving his black 2005 Bentley after a night drinking at a swanky hotel bar.

That, to me, was much, much worse than shooting yourself in a nightclub, though whether it's worse than Vick's crime is debatable.

Though clearly, none of the above is a worse crime than playing quarterback in the NFL for ten years without a Super Bowl championship.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

There is No Fairness Doctrine, Cont'd

News Item: FCC nominee reiterates opposition to Fairness Doctrine.

So clearly, it's coming back any day now.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, Virginia, There is Right-Wing Extremism

I discuss the latest vindication of the right-wing extremism report in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

Approaching His Final Meeting with the Gods

The Ultimate Warrior turns 50 years old today.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Against Entourage

College Humor has a note-perfect parody of a show that's but all but unwatchable for the past few years:

Watch Every Week on Entourage on CollegeHumor

There's also a great prediction of how the upcoming season will turn out.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (1)

Favre on Buck

Brett Favre may have given a nationally televised interview tonight, but all we learned from the show is that Joe Buck is probably the worst American talk show host since Magic Johnson. Oh my goodness was that terrible, from the rambling interviews to the laugh-free monologue to the awkward pre-credit bit with Favre.

Buck makes Jimmy Fallon look like a seasoned master of the form. And why would they build such an elaborate, expensive studio set, for a show that's only going to air four times a year? I remember Costas' show being pretty much a bare stage with a couch and a couple of chairs.

As for Brett, I long ago made my peace with the fact that he'll be a Viking this year. Will it work out? Probably not, but it certainly beats another year of T-Jack. But damn, they're going to hate him in Green Bay, especially after he compared himself to Vince Lombardi.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:29 AM | Comments (2)

Five Years Later...

Deadspin discovers the famous "Wrestling Sleaze" thread. I suppose it's a good thing that some of the laugh-out-loud stuff on there will now become common knowledge among that audience.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)

Of Course They Will, And It's All Favre's Fault

City Pages: Will Minnesota get cheated out of a real summer?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2009

The Revolution That is Bing

There's something pretty major going on with it. But most of the media can't talk about it... Might be the "undernews" story of the year.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:10 PM | Comments (1)

MoDo vs. HD

Maureen Dowd has outed herself- as the only person in America who doesn't like HD. In her Sunday column, she uses the occasion of the DTV transition to write about how unfair it is for women to have to wear HD makeup. But here's the worst part:

As an explosion of pixels hits our TV screens this weekend, with the digital and high-def revolution, my unscientific survey shows women are less excited about high-def than men.
"An explosion of pixels?" HD, of course, has been around for several years, and last Friday's switchover from analog to digital has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Therefore, show me someone who describes the DTV transition that way, and I'll show you someone who has no earthly idea what the DTV transition actually is.

The rest of the way, the column is about what ever Maureen Dowd column has generally been about- extremely thin gender-based theorizing that's about equally insulting to men and women. And who said women don't like HD?

UPDATE: Speaking of MoDo, this is classic.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)


I'm pretty torn up about what's going on in Iran- the government brazenly stealing an election, not even really trying to cover it up, and it's not especially certain how things are going to end up. Check out Totten and Sullivan for good takes, including Farsi-speaking people on the ground.

You know what's awful? We have three 24-hour cable channels in this country, and not only do none of them have anyone in Iran, but none of them were even covering the story over the weekend! It's probably the most intriguing story of the year, and they're talking about Palin vs. Letterman, and bullshit like that?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

The Gang Fights the Phanatic

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is doing its annual Philly location shooting this week; based on this description, I sure can't wait:

South Philly-raised creator and star Rob McElhenney joked that a World Series-flashback episode will include a battle pitting Charlie Day as his alter ego, Green Man, against the Phillie Phrenetic. Um, Mac, you mean the Phanatic? "No," McElhenney said. "We have a great relationship with the Phillies, but [Major League Baseball] is very careful about the brand."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:18 PM | Comments (1)

Michael Kinsley Vs. the National Anthem

In his typical contrarian way, Kinsley goes after the "Star Spangled Banner." It's a good essay, but then there's this nugget:

The Star-Spangled Banner" is notoriously unsingable. A professor of music, Caldwell Titcomb of Brandeis, pointed out years ago in the New Republic that its melody spans nearly two octaves, when most people are good for one octave, max.
There's a professor at my alma mater whose last name is Titcomb? And I made it through four years there, and nine years since, without ever hearing about this?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:17 PM | Comments (2)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

Andrew O'Hehir, of Salon on "Taking of Pelham":

On the other hand, the producers have handed the directorial reins to Tony Scott, and that isn't an upgrade over anybody, because Tony is known around the world as the shallower, more superficial and more style-obsessed of the filmmaking Scott brothers, which is really, really saying something. I was seriously trying to figure out if I had a "favorite" Tony Scott movie, and I kind of got stuck on that problem. I think it's going to have to be a tie between "The Hunger" (hottest David Bowie lesbian-vampire flick of the entire MTV era) and the music video he made for George Michael's "One More Try."
Perhaps that was the key to Tony Scott's success- his teacher has told him goodbye.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

Walsh vs. Billo

Joan Walsh does a pretty good job going toe-to-toe with Loofah Man:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Daniel Larison, on Sotomayor and her critics:

The continuing objections to Sonia Sotomayor as a racist and practitioner of identity politics simply baffle me. Her record on discrimination cases alone seems to show that the latter charge is bogus, and the other charge is so absurd that I can’t believe it continues to circulate... Conservatives write things like this, and then they wonder why minorities flee from them in droves.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2009

Movie Critic Quote of the Week

"Sorry, "Gran Torino." The best movie about an embittered old man who learns from a puckish Asian boy is now "Up."
-Dave Weigel (Via Twitter.)
Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

New York Stories

I had a hell of a trip up to New York, covering the CEA Line Shows for my day job company. A few highlights:

- At the event itself, I was able to see some cool new TVs from Mitsubishi and Toshiba, as well as a few nifty accessories from several manufactures. OmniMount has a new mount product called... the OmniMount, which sort of reminds me of when Pearl Jam named their seventh album "Pearl Jam." I covered a panel on netbooks- they're here to stay, everyone agreed- and I also had the chance to see a keynote by, and meet, Aneesh Chopra, the nation's first Chief Technology Officer, who told me that despite having an iPhone that he loves, the Obama White House is a BlackBerry White House. Here's our interview with him.

- My first night in town, since I was staying at a hotel downtown, I grabbed a PATH train and headed over to Hoboken, where I lived from 2001 to '04. It had been awhile, and while a few things have changed- they have a Five Guys!- just about every block of that place reminded me of at least a couple of long-forgotten stories, whether of crazy nights out, disastrous dates, or the afternoon of 9/11. I'd also been wondering if my old apartment still had an Indian restaurant under it, but the smell, two blocks away, confirmed that it does.

Also had a steak at Arthur's, walked in Sinatra Park along the river, and even walked into the Starbucks at the corner of Newark and Hudson streets to see if the gorgeous Puerto Rican counter girl still works there (she wasn't in, but a different one was.)

- My coworker and I were walking up 5th Ave. towards 42nd Street when we saw a Google camera truck drive by. I was excited that maybe we'd be on Google Street View for that intersection, but sadly we were not.

- Wednesday night I went to Citi Field for the first time to see the Mets play the Phillies. I thought the Mets did a great job building a great park, paying tribute to Ebbets, and adding in their own touches, and I especially loved the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

I've always had respect for Mets fans, and we had a good time good-naturedly discussing our respective teams with the fans around us. The only real unpleasantness of the evening was during the national anthem, when some guy didn't stand up, so another guy, sitting at the top of our section, decided to spend the entire anthem screaming at the first guy ("STAND THE FUCK UP! IT'S YOUR FUCKING COUNTRY TOO, MOTHERFUCKER!") thus drowning out the anthem. I joked that I should try the same thing with everyone who didn't rise for the seventh inning stretch.

And yes, I stayed until the end, as the Phils won in 11 on a Chase Utley homer.

- One thing I missed? The Hold Steady, who were playing four shows, throughout the city, over the course of the week. Unfortunately, by the time I heard about the shows, it was too late to get tickets.

I've never for a minute regretted leaving New York for Philly four years ago- after all, I've got a wife, a house, a much better jobs, and an overall much better life out of the deal. But even if I only visit once or twice a year, I'll always love the Big Apple.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:31 AM | Comments (2)

I Bet He's Smiling

News Item: Eagles rework final two years of Donovan McNabb's deal.

An extension probably would have made more sense, but this is certainly defensible. Those who irrationally hate him- in the Kevin Kolb Klub and elsewhere- will have #5 to kick around for two more years at least.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

The Museum Guard Shooting- Blame the Muslims!

Yes, Debbie Schlussel is the dumbest woman on Earth.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

Go Shep!

The only sane Fox host speaks out once again:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

"Discussin’ Politics...And the Issues of the Daaaa-aaaay"

News Item: Robin Gibb visits Washington

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

He Should Sign Autographs "Avoid the Clap, Kelly Dugan"

The Phillies' top pick in the amateur draft this week, Kelly Dugan, is the son of Dennis Dugan, who has directed numerous Adam Sandler movies such as "Happy Gilmore," "Big Daddy" and "You Don't Miss With the Zohan."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)

The Best Electoral News of the Year

The worst DNC chairman in history, Terry McAuliffe, failed in his bid to become governor of Virginia.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

Jeremiah Wright vs. "Them Jews"

I side with "Them Jews," no doubt about it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

The Most Explosive Commercial Yet

If your car exploded and was on fire for that long after flipping over 10 times, chances are a personal-injury lawyer wouldn't be able to help you.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Jeffrey Goldberg, on the Holocaust Museum shooting:

It means something. More than something, in fact. The great tragedy of the rift between blacks and Jews is that while we waste time arguing with each other, our common enemy -- racialist fascism -- goes unfought. Add Stephen Tyrone Johns to the group that includes Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman. All were victims of the same sick ideology.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:26 AM | Comments (0)

Tastefully Done, But Definitely...

Eleven years after Garnett and Marbury called for it, ESPN the Magazine at last goes ALL NUDE.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:25 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2009

Still in the City

I'll be in New York for one more day, but in the meantime here's my review of "The Hangover," and here's Part 2 of my podcast with Jordan Rockwell, where we discuss "Swingers," "The Tao of Steve," "Eternal Sunshine," and many other movies.

In addition, you can see read our CEA Line Shows coverage here. Back to regular blogging tomorrow, including my report from Citi Field last night.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)

You Know, I'm Starting to Think That Right-Wing Extremism Report Had Something to It After All

News Item: Guard shot at Holocaust Museum

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2009

Back to New York

I'm in Manhattan for the CEA Line Shows, so stay tuned to E-Gear for stories from the event. Then, tonight, I'll be in left field at Citi Field for the Mets-Phils game; look for me if there's a homer to left.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:01 AM | Comments (2)

I'm With Raul, But...

Did he really have to play the "mother's basement" card?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:00 AM | Comments (3)

I Think I'm Almost All of Them

It's the seven types of bookstore customers. I'm not an "idiot," and haven't ever asked for a coffee-table book, but all the others.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

June 09, 2009

Blood on Whose Hands?

In this week's North Star column I, for once, defend Bill O'Reilly.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

I Find It Interesting...

In the tradition of the "Cavuto Mark," Stewart finds a lot of stuff "interesting" on Fox:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
"i" on News
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview
Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

"This Show Is an Assault on Our City"

The Philly tourism people aren't happy about "Parking Wars"? It's hard to imagine why.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

Zach is Back

A great bit, which would've been even greater if Fallon weren't such a fidgety, nervous disaster.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2009

"ESPN Reported That Favre is 'Conflicted.'"

Gee, ya think?

Giving Favre a deadline is a good idea, not that I expect it to stick or anything.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

Sunday Night Yakking

I had forgotten just how unsufferable ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" booth was, but I'd like to thank Joe Morgan, Steve Philips and special guest Dan Schulman for reminding me.

The idiots spent last night's Phillies-Dodgers game talking mostly about... other sports, most notably the Lakers game that was going on across town at the time. They spent the last three innings pretty much ignoring the game in front of them to compare notes about which sporting events they've been to- "I've been to the Super Bowl!," "I've been to the Masters!," and on and on.

And then, about an inning after that conversation was supposedly over, Morgan suddenly blurted out, "I know, we should go to Wimbledon!"

Then again, the few times they contributed actual baseball analysis, it was pretty ugly. Morgan, at one point, declared that he doesn't think Brad Lidge's six blown saves so far this year are any kind of big deal because, after all, "if he'd blown three saves this year and three last year instead, no one would be panicking." Oh, come on!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:33 PM | Comments (3)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

David Poland, on "Terminator: Salvation":

Don’t get me wrong, McG still has no concept of space or time in his directing. The most classically McG moment in the film is when we are inside an out-of-control helicopter and he offers the feeling of being trapped inside of that by giving us absolutely zero ability to know where we are or what will happen next. Of course, in the middle of a giant complex battle in which we have no way of knowing where anyone is or who is killing who or what machine is which, it is irrelevant. But still, his best claustrophobic moment in the film.

But it’s the story that truly sucks here… not even the terrible, clunky dialogue. Or Christian Bale’s career-worst performance. Or Dallas Bryce Howard being used as a lady in the pool object again. Or John Conner not seeming to recognize a character with whom he had an intimate and life-changing relationship. Or molten steel not having the effect on a machine that it had in previous movies.

I didn't see the film, but most of what I've heard is in line with that.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2009

Sitting in For the Cat

My podcast debut, appearing as a guest on the Jordan and Chloe show, is online here. We discuss "Sex and the City," "How I Met Your Mother," and much more. Count how many times I say "you know"!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:15 PM | Comments (1)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

A.O. Scott, on "Away We Go," which looks like about the most smug, self-satisfied movie to come along in years:

Or something. Really, “Away We Go” is about the flight from adulthood, from engagement, from responsibility, even as it cleverly disguises itself as a search for all those things. But the dream of being left alone in a world of your own making, far from anything sad or icky or difficult, is a child’s fantasy. Not an unattractive or uncommon one, it must be said, and for that reason it is tempting to follow Burt and Verona into the precious, hermetic paradise that awaits them at the end of the road. You know they will be happy there. But you should also understand that you are not welcome. Does it sound as if I hate this movie? Don’t be silly. But don’t be fooled. This movie does not like you.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

Conan Addresses the Mario Set

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2009


News from my day job: The new E-Gear Weekly newsletter debuted today, featuring an interview with the inventor of Twitter, plus information on the Palm Pre and a whole lot more. Check it out here.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Obama Speech

I liked it quite a lot, but my lord, it's like he was trying as hard as he could to piss off the irrational right. Denouncing American exceptionalism? Talking about Islam's history of tolerance? Starting it off by saying "a salaam aleichem"? I bet Pam Atlas' head exploded when he said that.

I didn't agree with every word, but this was still an important speech. Writing off all 1.5 billion Muslims in the world as enemies is no strategy for the future, and peeling them away from extremism and towards us- while we continue to due what we can to crush al-Qaeda- is certainly the only strategy going forward.

And he "didn't mention terrorism?" Really? What about the long section about 9/11, in the first five minutes of the speech? Or when he denounced "Violent extremism?"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

The Case Against Buchanan

A really good essay on HuffPo by Bob Cesca, asking why in the world this bigoted old coot is on TV all the time:

This is the same Buchanan who supported a white supremacist for the Supreme Court (Harold Carswell in 1970). This is the same Buchanan who incited the anti-black, anti-gay modern culture war during his 1992 Republican convention speech. This is a man whose worldview is so twisted that he honestly believes that white men, a demographic group that's controlled most corridors of global power for centuries on end and thusly enjoyed untold riches, privileges and worship, are somehow being treated like subhuman chattel today. White men, Buchanan believes, are the new second class race/gender.

But that's not exactly the crazy part.

It's the implication of this analysis that so completely disqualifies him from enjoying the respect of any reasonable person on television or off.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Obama at Five Guys

Someone I know sent me this video with the tagline "What an Asshole!"; I'm still trying to figure out why:

I can't help but be reminded of this classic SNL bit:

Ah, the golden days, when the biggest thing people made fun of Clinton for was being fat.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Ta-Nahesi, on that drunken-young-Jews-bash-Obama video:

For what it's worth, on a very visceral level, what I see is a bunch of drunk racist white kids, doing what I'd expect a bunch of drunk racist white kids to do. I don't really have "higher expectations" because of the particulars of the Jewish experience, anymore than I have "higher expectations" for Irish-Americans due to the oppresive immigrant experience of their ancestors.
JewSchool has more, describing it as "Drunk Americans = Israeli Public Opinion":
Presenting this the way Max Blumenthal did is misleading. Anyone who knows Israel sees these kids and knows those accents are American. With the exception of the South African-sounding girl and the Israeli accented guy at the very end, these all appear to be pre-college, right-wing yeshiva Americans. It’s a very recognizable demographic in Israeli life, not the broader public.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

Worst Movie Mashups Ever

A great list here. My favorite? "Sex in the City of Swingers," which doubles as the topic of my long-awaited appearance on the Jordan and Chloe podcast, coming this weekend!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:52 AM | Comments (1)

June 04, 2009

Walmart is Dangerous

I've got a new Week in Electronics Retail Crime update up on Dealerscope, featuring some gems as Mexican drug cartels smuggling drugs into the country along with big-screen TVs, and the five lawsuits coming out of the case of the Fry's Electronics exec who embezzled from the company and blew millions of it in Vegas. But this is my probably my favorite story of the week:

A 70-year-old man was stabbed in the parking lot of a Walmart in York County, Va. According to the Daily Press newspaper, the man was stabbed in the arm, but then fought back, leading the assailant to flee to the woods behind the store, where police believe he was living in a tent. The 39-year-old assailant was arrested later that day.
Yes, that's right- the assailant managed to get subdued by a 70-year-old man- who had just been stabbed- when he had a knife and the 70-year-old did not. I bet he feels even worse about that than he did about living in a tent. Then there's this:
A car crashed into the entrance of a Walmart location in Danvers, Mass., injuring a mother and her one-year-old daughter, the Boston Globe reported. Police said the driver of the car, who was 93 years old, had stepped on the gas when he intended to brake.
That's it- if you're older than 70, just avoid Walmart parking lots altogether.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

Drunken American College Students in Jerusalem vs. Obama

Max Blumenthal turns his camera on some American teenagers in Jerusalem, asks them about Obama, and sees them do their best impression of the frat boys from "Borat":

This video proves only one thing- drunken idiots in Israel aren't particularly different from drunken idiots in any other country. And "Who's Benjamin Yahu?" Girl- I know the type so, so well.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

Tim Pawlenty: Hockey Dad

Nate Silver sees him as having a chance to be a male Sarah Palin. But is he sure he wants to have the same nickname as this guy?

Meanwhile, Jay Weiner breaks down what's really important about T-Paw not running for re-election: the Vikings stadium implications.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

Too Soon...

But still very funny: David Caruso on David Carradine's death.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2009

Life in 'Hell'

I review the generally underwhelming "Drag Me to Hell," on Philly.com. Saw "The Hangover" last night, the funniest thing I'd seen in awhile, probably since "Role Models."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

Burn Your Siddur Award Nominee

News Item: Minn. rabbi calls for Muslim genocide, sparks outrage

I had a feeling it probably wasn't someone from Temple Israel; actually, it's some nut I'd never heard of.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

Angelo is Always Wrong, Cont'd

Angelo Cataldi's Metro column, yesterday morning:

By the end of the 2009 season, Kevin Kolb will be the Eagles starting quarterback, and Donovan McNabb will be filling out change-of-address forms. That’s right. You read it here first.

The Kevin Kolb era is about to begin.

This news broke, about 10 hours later:
he Eagles are working on a new deal with Donovan McNabb.

A league source has told CSN’s Derrick Gunn that the two sides have been discussing an extension for the past month. They have agreed to pause negotiating an extension until a later date and instead decided to focus on reworking the two years remaining on his current deal.

So let me get this straight. McNabb is a very good quarterback; Kevin Kolb is not a very good quarterback. What seems like a significant percentage of fans in this town want the quarterback to be... Kolb. A 700Level commenter:
There's only one possible reason people would want to start Kolb over McNabb.

Just fucking call yourselves the Kevin Kolb Klub and be honest about it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

Indict Obama!

This video definitely goes in the unintentional comedy Hall of Fame:

He missed the part about Malcolm X being Obama's father.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:36 PM | Comments (1)

Technology Ruins Everything

Another amusing Cracked list.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:35 PM | Comments (0)


Quite a start by the Phils' newest pitcher- I couldn't help but notice how similar, in size and pitching motion, he looks to Johan Santana. And, he beat Jake Peavy- are you sure you want to trade for him?

Things I learned from last night's broadcast- there were about as many Phillies fans in Petco Park as Padres one, and Bastardo apparently doesn't speak English. He probably has no idea his name means "Bastard."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2009

Not Making An Ass of Himself

I review Michael Smerconish's new book in this week's North Star column. And I still can't believe he actually showed his ass in Philadelphia magazine last month.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Eskin in Trouble?

Howard Eskin's falling behind Mike Missanelli in the afternoon ratings, so they're tweaking. I can't imagine it'll help:

610 WIP's Howard Eskin was paired last week with Rob Ellis, his first time with a co-host since he partnered with Mike Missanelli from 1999 to 2002. Missanelli's ratings on 950 ESPN, where he hosts opposite Eskin's afternoon drive show, have surpassed Eskin in the coveted radio demographic of men 25-54. Is the new coupling part of WIP's reaction to the ratings slip? Eskin now features more guests on his show, runs contests and even seems to be acting more polite to callers.
My take on Eskin has always been that he (meaning, his radio persona) may be a raging A-hole who's wrong most of the time, but at least he's entertaining, which is more than I can say for the station's morning team, which is just as nasty and wrong, but all but unlistenable. Eskin's also the only host on the station who doesn't mindlessly hate the Eagles.

I don't like the changes, though. Eskin doesn't work with a sidekick- he's a lone wolf, all the way- and he's at his worst when he has guests. His show is much better when he's yelling at stupid callers.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:09 PM | Comments (2)

Conan the First

Conan O'Brien's very good opening sketch on "The Tonight Show":

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

Death of the Bulletin

News Item: Philadelphia Bulletin folds

What were the odds that a Philly paper would fold, and it wouldn't be the Inquirer or Daily News? At any rate, the Bulletin was a further-right, less-capitalized, smaller-circulation version of the Washington Times; it had so little distribution that I could probably count the amount of times I actually saw a copy of it on one hand.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

The Lines

It's 100 movie lines in 200 seconds! See how many you can recognize:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

So Far, So Good

Very good first show for Conan tonight. The opening bit killed, the set is awesome, and it looks like they've retained just enough of what was good about the old show that it'll work at 11:30. But when will we see Triumph? This week? Next month?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:52 AM | Comments (2)

Why, Zack, Why?

A question for the author of the Zach Galifianakis profile in Sunday's Times magazine- how do you write a 9,000-word Zach G. piece, and not mention "Between Two Ferns"? It's the best thing he's done, and he hasn't done that much.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2009

Calling Out Pat

I'm no Bob Shrum fan, but I give him credit for saying what every MSNBC panelist opposite Buchanan should always say:

Protecting white people against minorities has been the only thing Pat Buchanan's political career has ever been about. The ONLY thing.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)


News Item: After Myers injury, Phillies call up Antonio Bastardo

The wonderfully-named lefthander will start for the Phils Tuesday, giving the the team a four-fifths left-handed starting rotation. The hip surgery also likely means the end of Myers' time with the Phils, bringing him ever-so-closer to actually turning into Kenny Powers.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Yglesias, on Sotomayor:

One thing conservatives might want to ask themselves is what would they be saying about Sotomayor if she had the exact same background and record but was a middle class white woman from Riverdale instead of a poor Latina from the projects. Of course, they still wouldn’t like her but they’d find a non-offensive way to express that. They’d say things like “she’ll probably vote with Ginsburg and Breyer whereas I would prefer a justice likely to vote with Scalia and Roberts.” That’s a perfectly good reason to be unhappy with a judicial nominee. Instead, they’re freaking out about her name, about Puerto Rican food, about the idea that she’s bitchy, that she’s benefited from “preferential treatment,” that she must secretly be stupid, that she’s a Klan member, and all kinds of other nonsense that’s only explicable as a hostile reaction to her ethnic background.
Julian Sanchez has more:
ook, it’s not racist to oppose a Latina judicial nominee, or to oppose affirmative action, or to point out genuine evidence of ethnic bias on the part of minorities. What we’re seeing here, though, is people clinging to the belief that Sotomayor has to be some mediocrity who struck the ethnic jackpot, that whatever benefit she got from affirmative action must be vastly more significant than her own qualities, that she’s got to be a harpy boiling with hatred for whitey, however overwhelming the evidence against all these propositions is. This is really profoundly ugly.
When will we start hearing about Sonia's own "Whitey" tape?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day II

Jeffrey Goldberg, as arch an arch-Zionist as you'll ever find, on the settlers:

Since the United States partially underwrites Israel, it has the right to make certain demands; since this demand is something that the majority of Israelis, in any case, understand, it's hard to see this as something akin to slavery. Here's the thing: The settlers are arguing that their human rights would be violated if they were made to move to Israel. That's right. It used to be that a person could fulfill his Zionist destiny in a place like Petah Tikva, but no more: Now, it's a sin against God, apparently, to live anywhere but in a government-subsidized trailer on a barren hill in the mountains of Samaria.

I don't have any problem with the American demand for a settlement freeze; the settlements are an impediment to peace, they are a security burden, and they are petri dishes for the worst sort of fundamentalist messianism

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:49 PM | Comments (2)