Comedian Dennis Miller is now hosting a game show – Hold on, that’s not the good news/bad news, although it could be. I only bring it up because the game, “Amnesia,” is built on the contestant’s ability to remember facts from their own lives. It’s a little bit like a bad Valentine’s Day dinner where, during interrogation, the man is unable to remember where he met his girlfriend or who introduced them.
But the show may represent an emerging TV trend: Reality games. And if it does, then I want to get in early with my pitch for “Good News/Bad News/No News.” In my game, contestants win points by correctly guessing if an event in the news is good or bad or simply not news at all. Or maybe it’s a Triple Whammy: All three at once! And just glancing at last week’s news, I’m not concerned about having plenty of material for the show.
We Shoot, We Score
Last week the Navy scored a direct hit… on our own failing satellite. Questions remained about the official reason for taking out the satellite (it had toxic fuel onboard) since it was a spy satellite that might have been carrying secret spy “intel.” While officials played down the event, some military experts thought it demonstrated the strength of the U.S. missile system… again, against our own crashing hardware. Good News: We can intercept ballistic objects. Bad News: Osama bin Laden wasn’t onboard the satellite.
Fidel Castro is out of the picture. No, wait, he’s not. On the morning of the day that Castro resigned, CNN was panting to lead with the story of “change in Cuba.” But by midday, they were already qualifying the announcement by pointing out that as long as Fidel was alive, he’d be a powerful voice in Cuba. By evening, multiple pundits were emphasizing that despite the resignation very little would change in Cuba. At one point it was noted that Castro has been a thorn in the side of no less than 10 U.S. Presidents, although Rush Limbaugh threatens to crush that record. No News: El Jefe Maximo still crazy after all these years.
Here’s What We Meant By “Free Elections…”
Bush fights for freedom, and freedom means free elections. Even if those elections threaten the delicate toehold of Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Whoops, looks like freedom’s gonna deliver a pink slip. Musharraf’s party was dealt a bruising defeat – what politicians with low numbers refer to as getting “thumped” – that might cause opposition parties to seek his ouster. They have already voted to reinstate dozens of judges that Musharraf fired. Good News: Creepy repressive guy might be out. Bad News: Who’s taking his place? No News: Pakistan is to “stable” as Larry the Cable Guy is to “entertainment.”
McCain Don’t Play That
The New York Times thought they had their fork in something when they ran with a story indicating that John McCain may have had an improper relationship with an attractive blond lobbyist. Because this is 2008 I need to add “female” to that description, thank you Larry Craig and Mark Foley. The story seemed to have all the earmarks of a scandal. But the blowback was immediate. Readers and critics took the Times to task for not having the goods on the sexual angle, and some thought it would actually help McCain with conservatives to have the NY Times biting him. McCain’s people used it to solicit donations, saying he needed money to beat down “the liberal attack machine.” Bad News: If the NY Times can’t get it right, where do I turn? USA Today? Good Morning America? TMZ.com ?
J-Lo to Deliver Twin Publicists
Queen of something or other Jennifer Lopez was reportedly offered $4-$6 million for exclusive rights to first photos of the twin babies she delivered last week. The offer came from People magazine, which also pays millions of dollars to its writers. (Wait… let me get back to you on that.) At $6 million the offer would top the amount People paid in 2006 for photos of “Brangelina” baby Shiloh, although Reuters reported that such figures are often wildly exaggerated. But wouldn’t exaggeration just draw more attention to – Oh, I get it. Good News: It’s like getting more J-Lo… forever! Bad News: American newspapers still gasping for life as they report actual news. No News: Hungry and homeless reportedly boil old People magazines to make tasty “Has-Been Soup.”