Trade Organizations Warn Of National Clown Shortage

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The New York Daily News reports that trade organizations are warning of an impending national clown shortage, blaming it on a “lack of wannabe Bozos.”

I fail to see a problem here. There are plenty of wannabe Bozos out there. Just turn on the radio. Glenn Beck has even described himself as a rodeo clown. What about Limbaugh? Plus there’s pretty much the entire “news” department at Fox, not to mention almost the entire Republican Party.

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Wingnuts Say The Darndest Things: Rape Kits, Sex-Ed, and Muslims Coming Here With Three Wives

Texas Republicans, with their usual strong support for owning guns and opposition to women owning their own bodies, recently tried to push through a bill to restrict abortion rights. When Democrats pushed for an exception in case of rape or incest, Republican Representative Jody Laubenberg made this claim for why it is not necessary: “In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert gave this reason for opposing sex education:

Let the kids be innocent.  Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don’t have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They’ll find out soon enough.  And, in fact, … mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody.  And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions.  It’s just incredible.

And there is a natural law that parents should be involved in education, they should know about, they should be part of the training – that’s a law of nature; Alan Keyes was just talking about it this weekend when we were together. That is such an important part of nature and yet that is the very thing that some of these liberals want to take away.

And it reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union back in the Seventies and I was shocked when they were saying ‘no, the children don’t belong to parents, they belong to the state.’ And if any parent said anything in front of their children negative about the wonderful Soviet Union, then we will take their children away and give them to somebody more deserving.  And I just thought how horribly shocking that was, that of course parents were the ones who love the children, not the state. And I thought thank God that we don’t have that in our country.

And now I’ve seen this coming with a lady from MSNBC saying “hey, children belong to the state” … and it just sent chills because it took me back to the Seventies when that’s what the Soviet Union used to say and we know how well that worked out.

Ignoring the idiocy about the Soviet Union, is Gohmert aware of all the misconceptions floating around about contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases? Mankind dealt with lack of education for a long time. It was bad enough when this led to syphilis. Now we have to contend with HIV.

Rand Paul is with him. Shorter Rand Paul (my interpretation of his views, not a quote): My daddy taught me to hate minorities and I will always find an excuse to keep them out of the country.
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SciFi Weekend: Hannibal Finale; Matt Smith Says Good By; Marvel Movies; Veronica Mars; True Blood Sex Scenes; James Gandolfini; Disney Princesses and the Doctor

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Those who haven’t watched Hannibal may want to skip down below as there are some major spoilers here. The first season of Hannibal ended with a scene which was sort of a reverse image from Silence of the Lambs with Will in the prison for the criminally insane. Looking back, this ending seemed almost inevitable, but I am glad we didn’t actually see Abigail’s death. As for Will, it appears that having been framed for her murder is a problem which will not be resolved quickly. Bryan Fuller gave some hints as to where next season will go:

Jack conveniently comes in after Will accuses Hannibal of all the murders. Would Jack have been swayed if he had heard Will’s thoughts?
Fuller: In Season 2, Jack will be investigating those accusations. I think after Will woke up from getting shot by Jack and before he was put into the institution, he shared his theories about Hannibal. Now it’s up to those characters and Hannibal Lecter to either support or deny those accusations in a properly investigated way.

Do you intend to keep Will locked up for a while?
Fuller:
He will be incarcerated, and we will be dealing with all of the threads of that. We need to see all of the things happen that would happen in that scenario. Will Graham needs to go on trial for the murders that he may or may not have committed. Jack has to be brought before a review board for his participation in what happened to Will, and Hannibal, as Will’s psychiatrist, is going to continue to try to help Will see the truth that Hannibal wants him to see. The ball is up in the air in so many ways for Jack and Hannibal and Will. The fun of Season 2 will be spiking those balls…

From the beginning, you made it clear you were telling your own story, but do you fear that this choice will alienate some of the diehard Red Dragon fans?
Fuller:
If you look at the scant two pages that talk about Will Graham’s back story, they tell us that Will was so psychologically compromised from investigating the Minnesota Shrike that he had to become institutionalized. So, I feel like I’ve got a car jack and I’ve wedged it in between those lines. I’ve just opened them up for room to tell more between the lines than what you may have anticipated. But we’re also sticking to the canon. We will deliver what we’ve come to expect in Red Dragon of Will Graham, but he’ll just have a longer, harder journey to get there. I gave myself room to wiggle, so we’re going to see some wiggling in the next two seasons.

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Bryan Fuller revealed his seven year plan for Hannibal, getting into the novels by season four. Beware, this contains spoilers for the books as well as future seasons.

AX: How many seasons do you have plotted?

FULLER: I can see pretty clearly seven seasons. I think that there are always shifts and alterations and course corrections that you have to take, because you’ll be cruising along and then you’ll hit an idea and go, “Oh, wow, that’s a great idea, we have to do that now.” That being said, I can see the structure for a seven-season arc for the show, but then I also am very open to course corrections along the way to adapt to changes.

AX: If you don’t get to run for seven seasons, are you going to make available to the public in some form what the unaired seasons would have been?

FULLER: Well, when you get into Season Four, you get into the literature. And so Season Four would be RED DRAGON, Season Five would be the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS era, Season Six would be the HANNIBAL era, and then Season Seven would be a resolve to the ending of that book. HANNIBAL ends on a cliffhanger. Hannibal Lecter has bonded with Clarice Starling and brainwashed her and they are now quasi-lovers and off as fugitives, and so that’s a cliffhanger. It might be interesting to resolve that in some way and to bring Will Graham back into the picture. So once we get two more seasons, say, of the television show, those are the aren’t-novelized stories, and then we would get into expansions of the novels after that and kind of using the novels as a backbone for season arcs that would then be kind of enhanced.

AX: Assuming you cover the eras of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL, when Will Graham isn’t a character in the books, what do you do with Hugh Dancy for those two seasons?

FULLER: Well, it would be about incorporating him in a way that he hasn’t been incorporated in the books, because Will Graham was only mentioned in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, he was not seen, and so I would be curious to see what happens to Will Graham after RED DRAGON. By the time of RED DRAGON, he’s married to Molly and has her son from a previous marriage, but doesn’t have any children of his own. And then that relationship is more complicated by Francis Dolarhyde and there were suggestions that there was a not-so-happy ending for Will Graham after RED DRAGON because he has his face carved up and you wonder what’s going to happen to Will now, and I’m curious to see what happens to Will after that.

More from Fuller here.

Matt Smith says thank you in the video above. Interested in tea at the Ritz with him? Check it out here.

Jenna-Louise Coleman will be appearing in Death Comes To Pemberley:

Last month, BBC One set Matthew Rhys to play Mr. Darcy in Death Comes To Pemberley, the three-part serial based on P.D. James’ suspense novel which revisits Jane Austen’s most iconic characters. A vast lineup of British TV talent has now been added to the cast, including Doctor Who star Jenna-Louise Coleman as Lydia Wickham, the sister of Austen’s Pride And Prejudice heroine Elizabeth Bennett. As previously announced, Anna Maxwell Martin is playing Bennett and Matthew Goode is George Wickham, Lydia’s husband. The story picks up six years into Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage as they prepare for their annual ball. When Lydia arrives, she brings a shocking halt to the proceedings and a murder investigation unfolds.

It looks like there may be no truth to the rumors reported last week of finds of more lost episodes of Doctor Who. They are being described as destroyed rather than lost, which doesn’t sound very encouraging.

Joss Whedon says Loki won’t be appearing in The Avengers 2. More importantly, Robert Downey, Jr. will be back for The Avengers 2 and 3. Like we really thought there was any chance they would do it without Tony Stark, or anyone else could replace him. At present chances don’t look good for another Iron Man movie. More Marvel movie news here.

Shailene Woodley’s role as Mary Jane Watson has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and MJ won’t appear until the third film. Maybe this means that the rumors that Gwen doesn’t get killed off in the second movie are true.

Veronica Mars

Filming on the Veronica Mars movie has begun. I’m looking forward to getting my digital copy when the movie opens due to contributing to the Kickstart campaign.

Secrets of True Blood sex scenes here.

Dan Harmon didn’t like season 4 of Community any more than we did.

Sopranos Diner

The scene went to black for James Gandolfini in the past week. It looks like he was way too busy to die. Here’s a list of his unfinished work. Apparently the Grim Reaper isn’t a fan. Some of Tony Soprano’s best quotes can be found here.

Last week we looked at the combination of Disney and Marvel characters. This week we’ll look back at prints by Karen Hallion combining Doctor Who and Disney princesses and other stories. (More here). Incidentally, Disney recently had a coronation for their eleventh princess. Eleven Disney princesses. Eleven Doctors. Sounds suspicious to me. Glenn Beck has devised elaborate conspiracy theories based upon less.

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Limbaugh Still Losing Advertisers Over Calling Fluke A Slut

Rush Limbaugh received a lot of criticism for calling Sandra Fluke a slut and many advertisers dropped his show. I hadn’t heard anything about this in a while and thought that over time the issue might have been forgotten. According to Medialite, major advertisers are still avoiding Rush Limbaugh:

As we reported earlier this morning, Rush Limbaugh is allegedly in the midst of a battle with Cumulus Media, the distributor of his radio show. The company’s CEO has blamed ad revenue losses on the conservative talkers’ controversial 2012 “slut” comments about Georgetown student Sandra Fluke.

Mediaite’s own sources confirm that the ad troubles in connection with Limbaugh’s show are, indeed, severe. In fact, one source within the radio advertising world with direct knowledge of the ad buys on Limbaugh’s show confirms the extent of the problem: “The vast majority of national advertisers now refuse to air their ads during Rush Limbaugh’s show,” our source tells us.

Limbaugh’s contract with Cumulus runs through 2013. Will he suffer the same fate as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin at Fox? If Limbaugh leaves Cumulus he presumably will have other opportunities, but driving away advertisers would reduce his appeal to other radio outlets.

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Wingnuts Say The Darndest Things (Boston Terror Edition)

“I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?” — Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell (R)

Right Wing Watch quotes Glenn Beck on a rant about a cover-up of a Saudi tie to the Boston Bombings and quotes Bryan Fischer as proposing an immigration policy to ban anyone who believes the “Quran is the holy book of God.”

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Quote of the Day

“Con men like Rush and Beck are one reason the Republicans are in such dire straits today. Because they don’t care about winning elections. They care about separating rubes from their money. They’ve discovered there’s a fortune to be made by keeping a small portion of America under the illusion that they are always under attack. From Mexicans, or ACORN, or Planned Parenthood, or gays, or takers, global warming hoaxers; it doesn’t matter. They don’t want a majority. They want a mailing list, a list of the kind of gullible Honey Boo Boos out there who think that there’s a War on Christmas, and that the socialist policies of our Kenyan President have been so disastrous that the end of the world is coming.” –Bill Maher

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The Conservative Movement As Money Making Venture

Being on some conservative mailing lists I regularly receive not only ridiculous emails on politics but also a large number of ridiculous sales pitches from the same sources. You have to be a sucker to accept the conservative political line. Apparently some of the same suckers are also easily separated from their money. Salon looked at the moneymaking ventures which are common in the conservative media:

The conservative media movement exists primarily as a moneymaking venture. As Rick Perlstein explained in the Baffler, some of the largest conservative media organs are essentially massive email lists of suckers rented to snake oil salesmen. The con isn’t limited to a couple of newsletters and websites: The most prominent conservative organizations in the nation are primarily dedicated to separating conservatives from their money.

FreedomWorks, which is funded primarily by very rich people, solicits donations from non-rich conservative people. More than 80,000 people donated money to FreedomWorks in 2012, and it seems likely that only a small minority of those people were hedge fund millionaires. And what are people who donate to this grass-roots conservative organization funded mostly by a few very rich people getting for their hard-earned money? In addition to paying Dick Armey $400,000 a year for 20 years to stay away, FreedomWorks also apparently spent more than a million dollars paying Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to say nice things about FreedomWorks, in order to convince listeners to send FreedomWorks money that FreedomWorks would then give to Limbaugh and Beck. It’s a pretty simple con. Beck, meanwhile, also has a subscriber-based media operation, in which people pay his company money for access to programs where Beck expresses opinions that he was paid to hold. He also spent years telling everyone to buy gold from a company that pays him and defrauds consumers.

As Armey admitted to Media Matters, FreedomWorks at this point essentially raises money for the sake of raising money. It exists to bilk “activists.

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Advertisers Avoiding Rush Limbaugh And Other Far Right Wing Extremists

We already knew that right wingers were out of touch with reality based upon their views, but who knew they were so out of touch with reality that they had no idea that antagonizing a group making up over 50 percent of the population could backfire. From Radio-Info.com via Think Progress:

When it comes to advertisers avoiding controversial shows, it’s not just Rush From today’s TRI Newsletter: Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” The list includes carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway). As you’ll see in the note below, those “environments” go beyond the Rush Limbaugh show

“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory...They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).’

This is an even dumber move than Rick Santorum losing Catholic votes by attacking John Kennedy and the First Amendment.

Think Progress notes the comparison to Glenn Beck:

The advertising flight is reminiscent of Glenn Beck’s Fox News program. After major companies refused to advertise on Beck’s show in light of racially insensitive comments, he was left with just fringe businesses like survival seed banks and gold sellers. Not long thereafter, he left Fox, reportedly under pressure.

John Avlon has more at The Daily Beast:

This is big. According to the radio-industry website Radio-Info.com, which first posted excerpts of the Premiere memo, among the 98 companies that have decided to no longer sponsor these programs are “carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm), and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway).” Together, these talk-radio advertising staples represent millions of dollars in revenue.

Valerie Geller, an industry insider and author of Beyond Powerful Radio, confirmed the trend. “I have talked with several reps who report that they’re having conversations with their clients, who are asking not to be associated with specifically polarizing controversial hosts, particularly if those hosts are ‘mean-spirited.’ While most products and services offered on these shows have strong competitors, and enjoy purchasing the exposure that many of these shows and hosts can offer, they do not wish to be ‘tarred’ with the brush of anger, or endure customer anger, or, worse, product boycotts.”

There are already tangible signs that the three dozen national and local advertisers that have pulled their ads from The Rush Limbaugh Show are having a financial impact.

While many major businesses want nothing to do with Limbaugh or other right wing extremists, there are still people out there who defend people like Limbaugh. Despite all the awful things Rush Limbaugh has said and done, at least he has done one thing of value. Thanks to Rush it is now possible to determine within seconds whether a person is a scumbag by seeing if they are defending Limbaugh on their Facebook page.

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A Free Market In Conservative Endorsements

Conservative talk show hosts claim support for the free market. Ignoring for a moment the degree to which the right wing actually undermines our market system while promoting plutocracy, there is one market they are strongly in favor of–a free market in selling endorsements. Politico reports:

If you’re a regular listener of Glenn Beck’s radio show and you wanted to contribute to a political group that would advance the populist conservative ideals he touts on his show, you’d have plenty of reason to think that FreedomWorks was your best investment.

But if you’re a fan of Mark Levin’s radio show, you’d have just as much cause to believe that Americans for Prosperity, a FreedomWorks rival, was the most effective conservative advocacy group. And, if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity are who you listen to, you’d be hearing a steady stream of entreaties to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation.

That’s not coincidence. In search of donations and influence, the three prominent conservative groups are paying hefty sponsorship fees to the popular talk show hosts. Those fees buy them a variety of promotional tie-ins, as well as regular on-air plugs – praising or sometimes defending the groups, while urging listeners to donate – often woven seamlessly into programming in ways that do not seem like paid advertising.

“The point that people don’t realize,” said Michael Harrison, founder and publisher of the talk media trade publication TALKERS Magazine, “is that (big time political talk show hosts) are radio personalities – they are in the same business that people like Casey Kasem are in – and what they do is no different than people who broadcast from used car lots or restaurants or who endorse the local roofer or gardener.”

This returns the the question I’ve often wondered about the right wing talk show hosts–do they believe any of the nonsense they say or are they just saying what makes them the most money?  Both Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have provided reasons to question whether they believe what they say on air.

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Glenn Beck TV: Paying To Rot Your Brain

Glenn Beck is leaving Fox this month, being too wacko even for them, but his fans will still be able to watch him. There is a catch, besides rotting their brains listening to him. He is starting his own internet network, and will charge to watch.  Beck finds advantages to the new format:

The on-demand nature of an Internet network was one of the appeals to Mr. Beck and the president of Mercury, Chris Balfe.

Also appealing, Mr. Balfe said, was not having to worry about whether the shows that lead into and out of Mr. Beck’s show have “exactly the same sort of tone.” (That was perceived to be a problem at Fox, since Mr. Beck’s conservative sermons and speeches at 5 p.m. were followed by a straightforward political newscast at 6 p.m.)

The lead-in and lead-outs do not matter, Mr. Balfe said, because “we’re not trying to keep viewers, we’re trying to please subscribers.”

Mr. Beck pointed out another potential advantage: “It’s my network, so if I want the show to run 2 hours and 15 minutes one night, it will.”

The charge will be around $4.95 per month to watch Beck or $9.95 per month to watch the entire network. Personally I think that access to all the material on Netflix for $7.99 per month is a far better deal. Netflix provides hours of a wide variety of movies and television shows. Beck provides hours of  recreating old Bircher conspiracy theories.

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