Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It seems like a hundred years ago that Americans sat paralyzed in front of our primitive black and white television sets, watching the post-JFK assasination activities unfold. The mid-20th century civil rights movement seems almost like something we saw in a movie, rather than the blood and guts struggle that changed the course of American culture. The day astronaut John Glenn circled the earth for the first time may not seem so monumental now, but it certainly was then. I was seven years old. All the kids in George Washington Elementary School gathered in the gymnasium to watch the liftoff on one small black and white TV on the stage. It was a different time.

Every week for decades, Americans rushed to the newsstand to buy the new issue of LIFE Magazine,, the primary chronicler of the American dream, of war and peace, of racial strife, of Hollywood, of star athletes, of scientific miracles, of all that ever mattered. Starting today, LIFE is reborn at LIFE.com, where the world's largest collection of professional photography is finally showcased. There you will find Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in American baseball and later played himself in a biopic. You'll see Marilyn Monroe, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Howard Hughes, Bette Davis, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Clark Gable -- LIFE was our national yearbook. Everybody we cared about showed up at one time or another.

Through its exquisite photography, LIFE Magazine reminded us, every week, that all that happened that week was about us -- all of us. Hunger was hunger, whether in Ethiopia or in Appalachia. Cultural warfare was as brutal and life-altering in Eastern Europe as it was in Selma, Alabama. LIFE was, and is, as much a part of our lives as what we see in our aging parents' 8mm home movies. Please take three minutes and one second to catch this brief preview of some of what you will find at LIFE.com. (Go full screen and pump up the volume)

Monday, March 30, 2009


CBS News weighed in on the bleak future of newspapers in its March 29th edition of CBS Sunday Morning. Jeff Greenfield reports:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Did Brenda Starr get fired Saturday? As inconceivable as it may seem, the hip, sexy comic strip reporter who first entered the American consciousness in 1940 was canned this weekend by her tough, old bird editor, Bottomline. Never mind that in human years Starr would probably be way beyond retirement age by now. And let’s not get picky about Bottomline chomping on a cigar, even though there’s not a newsroom in America today that permits smoking. Right here we get to see the exact moment when the comics intersected in the most distressing way with real life:

Is it sheer coincidence that Starr got the ax the same week the Christian Science Monitor published its last print edition? This was also the week that the New York Times revealed it will roll all salaries back by five percent. It gets worse: The Washington Post offered employees a second buyout package this week – more than 100 staffers took the bait last year and voluntarily left before they got the Brenda Starr treatment. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cut its news staff by 30 percent, just as the Houston Chronicle announced a 12% reduction in its own staff. Just weeks ago the Rocky Mountain News published its last edition after 149 years in print, followed closely by the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, after 146 years. The Tucson Citizen is reportedly being published on a day-to-day basis until it can be determined if it is financially possible to continue publication. The San Francisco Chronicle is hanging on by a fiscal thread, while … well, you get the dismal picture by now, right? The newspaper business is at the least, in transition, and at the extreme, obsolescent.

I attended one of the best journalism schools in the country, the University of Missouri School of Journalism. That was more than 30 years ago, when we used newsprint in manual typewriters to produce our stories in triplicate, using carbon paper. Yes, carbon paper. At the copydesk we edited stories by hand, some that ran upwards of 1500 words. Fast forward to 2009, when I do not often even read a newspaper, because I get my news online. When I produce a story for a print publication these days, the max word count is usually about 700 words. No more typewriters, carbon paper or newsprint, and some would say that within a couple of years there will be no more newspapers. I do not agree with that prediction, but I feel certain that the age of newspapers as a primary source of news and information is now over.

Industry observers will point squarely to the rise of new technology as the reason for the demise of newspapers. I think otherwise – I believe newspaper professionals were so determined to preserve their product in its traditional form that they quietly overlooked the digital age. When they finally did concede to the existence of the online world, instead of innovating and creating something dynamic and compelling, many of them simply took the traditional product and duplicated it online. Instead of researching the market, conducting focus groups and studying new media possibilities, they kept churning out the same product that worked during the Civil War, hoping the public would eventually come back into the fold—or above the fold, as it were. It was a classic case of burying their stubborn, corporate heads in the sand. It was commercial suicide. It still is.

So, here's the result: Since 2,000, daily newspaper circulation has dropped from 55 million to 50 million. Just in the past two years, ad revenue has dropped 28%, more than $11 billion. Classified ads are suffering bigtime, largely due to online resources like Craigslist. Every day, more people are migrating online for their news, partly because it's free. No one has yet figured out how to properly monetize online news. Don't get too comfortable with that. In the very near future you will likely begin to pay nominal subscription fees for online publications, and possibly a fee per story for aggregate news (e.g. Drudgereport.com, Huffington Post) site postings.

Why were other American industries, such as retailing, banking and travel, so much further ahead of the digital curve than newspapers? Once the newspaper industry recognized the mass communicative power of the Internet, why did it not aggressively mount new business models to take advantage of it? And above all, why did an unwavering commitment to traditionalism trump the obvious coming of digital innovation? Digital communication did not creep up on us overnight. Watch this 1981 report about the San Francisco Examiner’s experimental computer version of its newspaper:

I seem to be one of the few journalists of my generation who are truly embracing the evolution of online news and information. I don’t get it. Wouldn’t you think that an industry that is dedicated to conveying information would fully support any vehicle that would allow them to update this information constantly, around the clock? Further, the people who work in the newspaper industry do so because they believe in contributing to the mix of ideas. So, why are so many of them rallying against bloggers and citizen journalists? Wouldn’t you expect them to respect the technological opportunity for men and women on the street to have a voice in world events?

The evolution I have been fortunate enough to witness, from manual typewriters to digital communication is stunning. It has altered the culture in ways almost as monumental as advances in medical science, space exploration and the election of a black man as President of the United States. Note to all the middle-aged white guys who still call the shots in the news business: Get on board with it, or perish. We are in the midst of the most fascinating moment our business has seen – ever. You can fight it, and ultimately drop out of it, or you can dive in and have the adventure of your lifetime. It’s your call.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

LIGHTS OUT! Saturday, 8:30PM

Remember when civic activism was all the rage? Anti-war rallies in the 60s, women's rights marches in the 70s, pro-choice gatherings in the 80s--those were the days, right? If you think we've all been a bit too passive and quiet lately, Saturday, March 28 is your chance to make a difference in the world. EARTH HOUR is an international event that started with one city, Sydney, Ausralia, in 2007. Since then it has become a worldwide statement about global warming. Do something positive for the fight against global warming by turning your lights out for one hour on Saturday at 8:30 PM. Watch this:

The organizers have this to say about this year's effort:

"In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30pm."

Click here to find out more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


What a week it has been in media: Pope Ben keeps talking about condoms; former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has taken to the radio airwaves. Then someone named Tammy Bruce filled in for conservative radio commentator Laura Ingraham, and used her time on the air to call the Obamas "trash in the White House." Oy. But hands down, the television moment of the week had to be Barbara Walters' showdown with Mika Brezinski about...vibrators. How many times do I have to tell you kids? Don't shoot the messenger. See for yourself:

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine who I consider informed and intelligent, said this to me: “I can’t listen to any more of these reports about AIG because I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s just too confusing.”

That made me start to wonder if there might be a widespread “bailout malaise” coming over Americans. And that is the worst thing that could happen. So, I’ve decided to over-simplify this crisis. Listen up. When the economy started to go south, the government stepped in to reinvigorate it by doling out some money to the banks. The banks, in turn, were to make loans to the American people, so that they would start spending again, and re-infuse the system. Period. Make no mistake here. I’m not trying to speak to you as though you’re incapable of figuring this out for yourself. I’m just reminding you of the premise of this dilemma.

Unfortunately, bankers are bad boys. And bad boys do not follow the rules, even bad boys in $1500 suits and $600 shoes. Bad boy bankers took some of the cash and paid off some of their own debts to other banks, instead of loaning the money as they were supposed to. Then, as some of their organizations were hanging on by a thread, some of the bad boy bankers paid what may ultimately be hundreds of millions of dollars in “retention payments,” allegedly so their treasured top employees would not quit. But then it was revealed that some of those who received the massive payouts had actually been involved in their companies’ downfalls that led to the need for bailout cash. And even worse, some of those who were paid retention payments no longer even work for the companies who paid them millions of dollars to stay.

Anecdotally, the stories keep coming at us: Remember the Big Three auto CEOs (below) who each took private planes to Washington to beg for bailout money, without even a plan to present Congress on how they would spend it? Remember John Thain of Merrill Lynch, the CEO who presided over record corporate losses, but still approved a capital expenditure of $1.22 million to remodel his office and conference room? Perhaps you heard the news today that 13 companies who have received government bailout funds owe a total of $220 million in back taxes. Some of the taxes owed date back five years. Here’s the rub: Each company signed a contract that stated they owed no back taxes. Inexplicably, the U.S. government took each at their word, and did not request tax records.

You begin to see the true nature of this mammoth debacle. It is not a time to give in to the temptation of malaise. Your government did not exercise due diligence. It did not properly research the financial condition of the companies it bailed out. It did not monitor the manner in which those companies spent the money. It did not properly stipulate parameters under which recipients could allocate salaries and/or bonuses to employees who may have played a major role in this country’s economic collapse. It failed to take into account the part that personal or corporate greed could play in manipulating the bailout process. Further, the government did not use foresight when it enabled the banks to bail out desperate homeowners. Statistics now show that more than half of Americans who were aided by the banks ended up defaulting on their loans within six months.

So, I say to my acquaintance mentioned earlier in this piece: You cannot afford right now to let your guard down. You can’t possibly allow yourself to stop listening or to ignore any of this. It is about you. And me. And everyone we know. The free enterprise system is in near-collapse, and the U.S., the most powerful nation in the free world is losing stature, power and direction. “Bailout malaise” is not an option. Sit up, pay attention, stash some money away, do everything possible to stay employed and simply hope we can ride this out and survive.


Regular readers of Greenberg Rants know that I am not a big fan of Pope Benedict XVI. This week, as a sequel to his greatest hits of 2009 – (First, re-admitting an excommunicated priest to the church who denies there was a holocaust; and then elevating a bishop to a prestigious post in Austria, even after the bishop said Katrina hit New Orleans because of widespread sin, and that Harry Potter books were demonic) the Pope said this about the fully out-of-control AIDS epidemic in Africa:
"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem."
Watch this report:

Ben, as I’ve come to call him, is still a proponent of sexual abstinence. Me? I believe they need to get an Internet connection in the Vatican. Then I would not have to publish the following numbers, but as usual, the numbers tell the story: According to UNAIDS, there are about 22 million people infected with HIV in Africa. In 2007, three-quarters of all AIDS deaths worldwide were there, as were two-thirds of all people living with HIV. The statistical evidence linking poverty and AIDS is a matter of record now, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa are among the most poverty-stricken regions in the world.

If there is one clear element of Ben’s strikingly naïve worldview, it is simply this: The human condition does not improve relative to the number of papal dictums. The human condition improves when there is a concerted effort to lift the weakest among us at least to a level of socio/economic mediocrity. Much of Africa has never enjoyed even that luxury. This is an egalitarian view that on paper anyway would seem to be in concert with Catholic teachings.

Until Africans have enough to eat and drink, and a consistent continent-wide awareness program about HIV/AIDS is instituted, the estimated 3,000 AIDS-related deaths there per day will only increase. Since there is no perfect solution to the AIDS pandemic, condoms are the best hope at this moment. Ben fails to recognize the widespread ignorance among the nation’s poor, and he clearly expects a level of self-discipline that has never existed, and likely will not. It is stunning that Ben fails to understand that if a sexual act will enable two starving Africans to forget about their hunger pains and their hopelessness, even for a few minutes, the act will take place.

And what are Catholics to do, when their spiritual leader is so far removed from the reality of desperation? On some level it is reminiscent of 1961, when the birth control pill was first introduced. How many millions of Catholics worldwide used and continue to use the pill, even though the Vatican forbids it? And if the masses of Catholics have made their views known by adopting birth control, what does it say about the religion itself that it refuses to listen? Further, when will public safety and humanity finally trump the Catholic hierarchy’s continual proclamations of religious dogma? How many more starving Africans with no health care facilities or food must die before the Bens of the world are finally displaced by the basic Judeo-Christian tenets of respect for human life and dignity?

Instead of talking to reporters about his opinions, perhaps Ben might want to go on a listening journey. First stop? The World Health Organization, to become more educated about the pandemic. Next? Individual settlements of Africans dealing with hunger, thirst and AIDS. After that, a stop in Washington, D.C. where it was reported just this week that fully three percent of the population there is infected with HIV. Then Ben could continue on to meet with the world’s top researchers to see the slow progress in battling a virus that mutates to battle the few effective medications that have been invented. After Ben holds dying babies in his arms as he sweats under his elaborate robes, perhaps then he can form a more informed opinion. Until then, he needs to simply step out of the international conversation about AIDS, condoms, et al., and let those whose mission is the preservation and quality of human life step forward.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


UPDATE: 52 AIG EMPLOYEES WHO RECEIVED BONUSES NO LONGER WORK FOR THE COMPANY. Senator Chris Dodd takes responsibility for the loophole that allowed the bonuses to be paid. Bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both planning to pay out huge retention bonuses
UPDATE: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NOW CLAIMS IT ONLY FOUND OUT ABOUT AIG'S PLANNED $1.65 MILLION IN BONUS PAYMENTS THIS MONTH. This, of course, begs the question: How recklessly is the bailout money being distributed? And how many other bailout recipients have not been properly investigaged and researched before receiving the funds?

Was it just me or did you think you heard a chorus of angels when they found O.J. Simpson guilty of 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping last October? Finally. Some kind of karmic justice for the slimeball who clearly murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994. You will recall this was the case where O.J. and his posse stormed their way into a hotel room to confront some guys who slimeball believed had stolen some of his valuable memorabilia. Intimidation, guns, yelling ensued. The usual O.J. stuff. Now comes news that two of O.J.’s friends, Tom Scotto (often called his best friend), and Barrett Prody, brother of O.J.’s ex-girlfriend, have formed a corporation to accept donations on slimeball’s behalf. It seems Scotto and Prody believe O.J. got a bum rap, so they formed Society Against Legal Injustice. Get this: Once you get to the web site you get to read about how O.J. is the victim in this case, and how his appeal may take a year or longer and cost up to $1 million. Pass the Puffs.

Now, about this whole AIG bonus mess: I couldn’t help wondering why it suddenly came into the public consciousness that AIG was giving out bonuses. When the government agreed to give AIG that big ole bailout, did they not know about the contractual agreements for retention payments to these 100 employees? Did they not know that the payments would amount to something in the neighborhood of $165 million? The facts: The government bails AIG out to the tune of $170 billion; AIG turns around and pays up to $90 billion directly to US and European banks to finance transactions already in progress. Although $165 million may not sound like much in the shadow of $170 billion, it turns out that some of the bonuses were paid to individuals whose division caused AIG to need government bailout money in the first place.

Back to the original question: Yes, reportedly the government did know about the planned bonuses -- a year ago. It appears that the administration did not plan to make this knowledge public, but it came out anyway, of course, and suddenly Obama started yelling “foul.” And it turns out AIG has the U.S. government by the proverbial balls, because if AIG is allowed to go under, all economic hell will break loose. AIG insures everything from movie companies to health insurance underwriters to auto insurance companies to…well, everything that matters. Still, legislators are calling for true, immediate action that would prevent AIG from paying these bonuses. AIG says it would cost them more to break the bonus contracts than to pay the $165 million. AIG further states that it could lose some valuable employees if they don’t pay the bonuses.

And I say, WAKE UP. It’s 2009. Our unemployment rate is higher than it’s been since the 1940s. Something tells me those valuable employees can be readily replaced. Let’s let the greedy ones walk, and let’s reduce the bailout of AIG by exactly $165 million. And then let’s put in place a corporate oversight committee to monitor how AIG spends its remaining free billions. And who should sit at that particular table? CEOs of American-owned companies that are in the black and not in need of bailout funding. Evidently they are individuals who know how to run a business. Or, if you prefer, some nuns. There, see? Done. Jeez.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yes, Virginia...They REALLY Said That

I am constantly amazed at the things that come out of the mouths of public figures. I am starting to think that some younger people in the public eye do not care that much what people hear them say, while some older people still don’t get the fact that whatever they say publicly will be heard around the world within seconds. A few recent examples:

JOE BIDEN: It could have been a non-news event when Vice-President Joe Biden appeared at Washington D.C.’s Union Station to announce $1.3 billion in stimulus funds for the nation’s rail industry. That is, until a Senator addressed him as “Mr. Vice President.” Biden’s response? “Give me a fucking break.” Poor Joe didn’t know the mic was hot. I don’t know about you, but I’m picturing an endless echo in the cavernous D.C. train station. Say it ain’t so Joe?

DICK CHENEY: The (mercifully) former Vice President, Dick Cheney, is evidently having a tough time adjusting to life out of the spotlight. He keeps talking. And talking. This week, Dick, as I now really enjoy calling him, had this to say about the country’s current financial crisis and Iraq:

Did Cheney just say “Stuff happens?” Note to Dick: Dick, how interesting that you still contend that the Bush administration did not create this financial havoc. Just one example of the last administration’s reckless spending: To date, according to the National Priorities Project, a research organization that analyzes how tax dollars are spent, the war has cost the U.S. $605,247,741,697. By the time you read this, that figure will be way low. As a reminder, this is an ongoing war that the American people do not support and the international community has largely abandoned. Oh, and although I believe you would see this as nothing more than an aside, I feel compelled to remind you that there are now 4,257 confirmed U.S. deaths as a result of this fully pointless war. Oh, and Dick, now that you are not terribly important anymore, you probably do not get all the latest updates on casualties, so I want you to know that one of the most recent is 22-year-old Jessica Y. Sarandrea, of Miami, FL. Jessica, a supply specialist, who was reportedly hit by shrapnel that pierced her liver and severed a main artery. Now that you have been retired, perhaps you’d have time to call Jessica’s husband, and her father, and her siblings, and get a true taste of how successful we have been in meeting our objectives in Iraq.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Honestly, aren’t the most extreme figures in the far right conservative movement starting to do some real damage to their cause? This week, radio host Laura Ingraham reacted on-air to some comments Meghan McCain (daughter of former presidential candidate Senator John McCain) made about conservative extremism. Rather than address the issues, Ingraham leveled blatant personal attacks against McCain. The worst of her comments came when she said this in a mocking “valley-girl” tone, supposedly imitating McCain: “Ok, I was really hoping that I was going to get that role in the Real World, but then I realized that, well, they don’t like plus-sized models. They only like the women who look a certain way. And on this 50th anniversary of Barbie, I really have something to say.”
Laura, once again you’re all about grabbing attention rather than establishing credibility. That does not make for real longevity in broadcasting, but then, you knew that.

ROSEANNE BARR: Don’t you love how everybody has become an instant psycho-analyst since 19-year-old Chris Brown allegedly pummeled 21-year-old Rihanna? Now Roseanne Barr (Dr. Roseanne?) weighs in on the story, insinuating that Rihanna is a violent, control freak. Oy. Roseanne says:
Rihanna "thinks she has him right where she wants him now. His career is over, and he is working her to help him get it back. She thinks that since he needs her and has shown some contrition that she can call the shots now. Violent people are control freaks, and she thinks she is in control right now. Violent couples also have passionate make up sex, and that keeps a lot of battered and beaten women hooked. Once she realizes that her fans and their parents are going to write her off completely and end her career as well as his if she stays with him, that might convince her not to do that."

Friday, March 13, 2009


From the beginning of GreenbergRants, I promised to keep you current on the juiciest headlines that seemed to fade out fast. For example, what ever happened John Edwards? Is the Pope ever going to fess up about his inexplicable error in judgment in re-admitting that holocaust-denying Bishop into the church? Is Ann Coulter ever, ever going to shut up? You know...stuff like that. Here are some of this week's juiciest follow-ups:

After his much publicized tryst with ladies for hire, one would think Louisiana Senator David Vitter (see header photo) would do everything possible to keep his head down and be a good boy. Right? Wrong. Last week Vitter missed a flight out of Dallas, and reverted to baby David, threw a tantrum, and made headlines once again. Now he is under investigation by the Transportation Security Administration. David, David, David...what next, buddy? Read all about it.

Did you think you would live long enough to hear a Pope apologize -- twice? Rejoice, y’all. Pope Benedict came forward last week to say that lifting the excommunication of holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson was a “mishap,” and that he can’t understand why people "thought they had to attack me with open hostility." The Pope said he did not know before he decided to readmit Williamson to the church that the bishop had denied the holocaust. Do they have the Internet at the Vatican? I’m just asking. Note to the Pope: Ben…may I call you Ben? Ben, I think you did know in advance, and I think you do understand why people are not impressed with your behavior. Just as I think you knew three years ago your comments linking Islam to violence would also evoke a negative international response.Your apology then rang just as hollow as your current statement of regret does now.

Newly minted RNC Chair Michael Steele seems a bit rough around the edges when it comes to finessing the press. Last week, Steele dared to use the word “choice” in relation to abortion, during an interview with GQ Magazine. (Hello? Why is Steele granting interviews to GQ? I’m thinking NY Times, or Politico.com, but GQ?)The next day all hell broke loose among conservative Republican stalwarts who evidently believed Steele was showing himself to be a traitor to the conservative ideology. The day after that, Steele backpedaled. Hmm…I wonder what makes me think that although Steele will not go gently into that good night, the words RNC Chairman will shortly disappear from his resume? Watch this:

Oh, so as it turns out, there is a God. Prototypical hate monger (some would say “Bitch” – their word, not mine, but you know…if the little black dress fits…) Ann Coulter, (pictured at right), seems to be losing some of that attention she so desperately craves. Her current book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and their Assault on America, is not selling anywhere near the number of copies her previous efforts sold. Could it be that in the era of Obama, those who spew the type of venom Coulter puts out are simply passé? Yes, it could. Read all about it at Conde Naste’s Portfolio.com.

If you want to see what happens to a guy like Chris Brown when he’s all grown up, (if you allow him to get by with smacking women around when he’s 19), perhaps you need look no further than singer Bebe Winans. Although not publicized nearly as aggressively as Brown’s behavior, Winans, 46, was booked on a domestic assault charge this week. It so happens that just one day before his friend, our holy St. Oprah of Chicago, devoted an entire hour to domestic abuse, Winans got into an altercation with his ex-wife, and knocked her to the ground. The Smoking Gun has the details.

And finally, former one-term Senator and former presidential hopeful John Edwards peeked out from behind the humiliation curtain for the first time in months this past week. Edwards accepted a speaking engagement at Brown University. Of course, the elephant in the room was the question on every single person’s mind – did he father Rielle Hunter’s baby, and if so, why does he not come forward and claim paternity? No one asked, but one student did come close. Edwards danced around the issue, never really said anything substantive, and as is his habit, avoided answering the question directly. See for yourself:

Sunday, March 8, 2009


This morning I spent $25 on a guy named Tim. Don't know him. Probably never will know him. Could be him in the blink of an eye. Tim is the new face of homelessness in America. Now, thanks to an online viral marketing campaign, Tim may get a second chance at the American Dream. You remember the American Dream, don't you? That's where we all have a chance to have a piece of the American pie, a roof over our heads, wheels in the garage, plenty of beef in the fridge, chips in the cupboard and a soft bed to sleep on in a quiet room?

Tim's story is sort of a contemporary social experiment. It is the story of the intersection of technology and socio-economic struggle. Find out more. Go to PimpThisBum.com. There you will learn that Tim is 37, dreams of having a family, considers himself honest and loyal, calls himself a "jack of all trades," thinks about God every night, and wound up living on the street after he gave up hope.

Here's a newsflash. You could be Tim. I could be Tim. Tim is the face of New America. I hope you'll ante up a few bucks and do the right thing. Hopelessness is just a guy named Tim, but hope is in your hands. Just do it. Now...meet Timothy Edwards:

Thursday, March 5, 2009


1. In 2003, Rush Limbaugh resigned from his commentator position at ESPN, after he said this about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb:
"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve."

2. In 2006, Limbuagh imitated actor Michael Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease symptoms in an exaggerated fashion, and then said, “Fox is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act…This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting."

3. In 2007, Limbaugh played on air the controversial song, “Barack the Magic Negro,” after referring to candidate Obama as “Halfrican-American.”

4. Limbaugh, on feminism: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

5. Limbaugh, on Abu Ghraib prison torture and prisoner abuse: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation... And we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release?”

6. In the 1990s, on his radio show, when Limbaugh reported stories on people with AIDS, he would introduce the report by playing Dionne Warwick’s song, “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again.”

7. Limbaugh, on slavery: “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

8. Limbaugh on the Obama presidency: "I don't care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it."

9. Limbaugh, on Dr. Martin Luther King: “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Dr. King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

10. Limbaugh admitted in 2003 that he was addicted the painkiller oxycodone. That same year he was arrested on a charge of “doctor shopping.” Three years later, shortly after cutting a very sweet deal on the above charge, Limbaugh was detained in the Palm Beach airport after a prescription bottle of Viagra was found in his bags. The prescription was not in his name.

Yes, yes, I know…you’ve heard much or all of this before, but in light of Limbaugh’s recent high-volume notoriety, it seems important to remind you who he really is. The 58-year-old, thrice-divorced college dropout’s radio talk show is currently carried by approximately 600 broadcast stations nationwide. His salary is a reported $33- $38 million per year. His current contract with Clear Channel Radio runs through 2016 and is reportedly worth upwards of $400 million.

Is it just me, or what’s wrong with this picture?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Every day there is more bad news for the newspaper industry, but it is usually reported in the context of dollars and cents, economic doldrums and shifting paradigms for information delivery. The 149-year-old Rocky Mountain News published its last edition on Friday. Matthew Roberts, the multi-media producer for www.rockymountainnews.com decided to showcase the human element. The loss of daily newspapers, at least in their current format and frequency, is imminent. It is an emotional moment in American culture, and perhaps the clearest evidence of what happens at the intersection of rapid technological advancement and prolonged economic downturn. See for yourself:

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.