The President's Weekly Address:
Saturday, March 8, 2014.
The New York Times ran a breaking news banner (no link) at about 7:50 am ET that a just-discovered oil slick was the first clue into the disappearance of a Malaysian Air passenger plane. ...
... The Times has now updated its story: "A 12-mile-long oil slick spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam on Saturday afternoon is thought to be the first sign that a missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard went down in the waters between southernmost Vietnam and northern Malaysia, according to Vietnam’s director of civil aviation."
Public Service Announcements
Washington Post: "Researchers are reporting that injections of long-lasting AIDS drugs protected monkeys for weeks against infection, a finding that could lead to a major breakthrough in preventing the disease in humans."
New York Times: "General Motors will more than double the size of a recall issued this month for an ignition switch defect in some of its small cars, the automaker said in a news release Tuesday. The expansion brings the number of vehicles covered by the recall to nearly 1.4 million in the United States. The recall is aimed at vehicles with ignition switches that could inadvertently turn off the engine and vehicle electrical system – disabling the air bags – if the ignition key is jarred or the vehicle’s operator has a heavy key ring attached to it."
New York Times: "The essence of [a] disagreement [among experts] comes down to a simple question: Will e-cigarettes cause more or fewer people to smoke? The answer matters. Cigarette smoking is still the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States, killing about 480,000 people a year."
2:40 pm ET: President Obama speaks at Coral Reef High in Miami, Florida
If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Driftglass has a series of posts on the media's adulation and employment of right-wing talking heads who perpetually get it wrong. Here's a particularly good one on the ever-present everywhere Bill Kristol & his many media enablers.
Canaletto, Meet Google Earth. Guardian: Artist Halley Docherty has superimposed "well known historical paintings of city scenes around the world, from Istanbul to Saint Petersburg and Tokyo to New York ... on to Google Street View." CW: You owe it to yourself to study these here and here.
Maureen Dowd: In Hollywood, women still lack clout.
So you won't enjoy watching the Oscars presentations too much, Kathleen Sharp of Salon writes, "While movie stars celebrate the year in film, industry workers are struggling to get by."
Paul Krugman, having attained "mature adultery," announces that he will retire from Princeton in June 2015 & take a professorship at CCNY's Graduate Center & a distinguished chair at CCNY's Luxembourg Income Study Center. The Graduate Center's announcement is here.
Actor/comedian Seth Rogen goes to Capitol Hill to talk about Alzheimer's, & ends up talking to ABC News about other things, including what politician he would want to smoke pot with.
** Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times: "Carefully assembled and soberly presented, Robert May’s 'Kids for Cash' takes a lacerating look at America’s juvenile justice system — the United States is one of only three countries in the world to decline to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child — and the perils of its increasing privatization. Focusing mainly on the federal prosecution of Mark A. Ciavarella, a former juvenile court judge in Pennsylvania accused of accepting kickbacks from a for-profit detention center in exchange for providing a steady stream of young inmates, Mr. May patiently uncovers a more complex tale of cronyism, corruption and moral crusading. A staunch advocate of the 'zero tolerance' policies embraced by many authorities after the Columbine shootings, Mr. Ciavarella jailed more than 3,000 children, often for years and for what amounted to youthful pranks and poor impulse control.... In the end, we may be troubled less by the events on screen than by the fear that they’re being replayed all over the country."
RT network anchor quits on-air:
... Daily Beast: "An American anchor working for state-owned television station Russia Today quit on air on Wednesday. Liz Wahl, in the network's D.C. bureau, announced she could no longer be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin." CW: The Beast labels this a "profile in courage." Sounds more like a career move to me. Wahl complained to the Beast that she couldn't get ahead at RT because she often "strayed from the narrative" that the network was pushing.
How to Put a Star in a Bottle:
How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the "I"s. CW: Alec Baldwin, in a New Yorker as-told-to (apparently Baldwin is too busy to write his own stuff), feels very sorry for himself because everybody is picking on him. I couldn't get through it but I found out he's not homophobic & he was just trying to save MSNBC. Anyway, the Internets is loving Baldwin's sob story, so here it is.
David Carr of the New York Times: CNN host Piers "Morgan said last week that he and [CNN President Jeff] Zucker had been talking about the show’s failure to connect and had decided to pull the plug, probably in March.... It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate ... and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial." ...
... Steve M.: "Piers Morgan's CNN prime-time show has been canceled, and David Carr of The New York Times blames, among other things Morgan's advocacy of gun control.... There is a way to quantify that: compare Morgan's ratings before he became identified with gun controls with his ratings afterward.... The Morgan show's ratings were awful all along, and were usually comparable to the awful ratings of CNN's other prime-time shows.... The gunners ... are going to claim that they killed Morgan's show. They didn't." ...
... UPDATE: Dave Weigel: "Morgan was the beneficiary of a curious American habit. We assign 20 extra IQ points to anyone who speaks with a British accent, redistributing them from the people who speak with Southern accents. This was what led people, like Alec Baldwin, to assume that Martin Bashir 'might help get MSNBC to a higher place,' and why every B-movie producer has assumed he could elevate the material by casting Malcolm McDowell or Ben Kingsley." CW: quite a takedown of Morgan.
More from the "Tonight Show." This is hilarious. And, yes, any of us can be rappers:
Hadas Gold of Politico: "The curtain rose this week on a new era of late-night TV — altering the terrain for politicians who frequent the shows and complicating life for Republicans, who have lost their most comfortable seat in front of the camera.... Jimmy Fallon replaced Leno — who was seen as the one late-night host with a welcome mat out for the GOP — and moved 'The Tonight Show' back to New York City after decades in Hollywood. Beyond the location, expect another big departure from Leno: Not nearly as many heavy-hitting political jokes or guests."