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ESPN Regrets Being Complete Garbage

ESPN has zero competition, and so ESPN can pretty much do whatever it wants, even if it’s absolutely horrible. Never has this been on display more than a report on the showering habits of Michael Sam, an openly gay St. Louis Rams player. The backlash to the ESPN report was swift and severe, and now the network is apologizing:

ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.

Clearly. In case you missed it, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that an anonymous Rams “defensive player told me that ‘Sam is respecting our space,” and then added that other players said they didn’t track Sam’s showering habits, mostly because why the hell would they do that. 

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Adrien Brody Charms New York Times Reporter

Brooks Barnes has uncorked a breezy, admiring and – at times – hilariously opinionated profile of actor Adrien Brody for this weekend’s New York Times. We’re referring, in the last instance, to this paragraph:

He has a reputation in Hollywood as loyal and affable. Women seem to find him sexy, at least judging by the knockouts he dates.

And this one:

Mr. Brody was certainly ready to talk. And talk. At one point, I wondered if I had stumbled upon That Guy You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.

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The Jennie Garth Pitch

JennieGarthProjectAt FishbowlNY, we glance at heaps of PR copy. And for the semi-slow week of August 11-15, the following strand is going to be hard to beat. At least from a media-blog male editor’s point of view:

To save money, Jennie will get down and dirty refinishing the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and will crank up a chainsaw…

There’s also info in the release about Garth’s contractor Scott and the HGTV program’s back-to-back season debut Tuesday September 16. But really, it all pales once the eyes reach a tease that is one part West Beverly Hills High and two parts iconic rural Texas.

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John Oliver on Banner Ads

There are many memorable sound bytes in John Oliver‘s 11-minute rant about native advertising from this weekend’s Last Week Tonight.

FishbowlNY particularly enjoyed Oliver’s take on the waning effectiveness of Web banner ads:

“One study found we only intentionally click on banner ads less than two-tenths of one percent of the time.”

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How Steve Hofstetter Went From Writing for Sports Illustrated, to Hosting a TV Show

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Queens-born comic Steve Hofstetter can take the heat. The stand-up comedian has been heckled more times than he can remember. But that doesn’t faze the former Sports Illustrated columnist. “Stand-up, to some people, is a springboard. To me it is my life force,” he tells MediabistroTV.

For his new show Laughs, debuting Saturday night on FOX5 and more than 20 other TV stations, Hofstetter has scoured the country to find the best club comedians. “Being a king and a kingmaker at the same time,” he says. And he doesn’t kid around when he predicts “Laughs” will be around for a long time. We caught up with Hofstetter last week at Gotham Comedy Club.

Michael Wolff: NY Times Should Buy CNN

CNN304x200Michael Wolff has an interesting take on who/what should buy CNN should it ever be up for sale: The New York Times. Well, Wolff wrote that the “most obvious buyer is CBS,” but his runner-up is the Gray Lady.

Before you laugh this off, it’s actually an interesting idea. Wolff says the partnership would benefit both brands. The Times would gain the much needed ad dollars that come with TV. Meanwhile, CNN will finally be seen as a respectable news company if it has to maintain the standards set by the Times.

“In that combination, news, increasingly devolving from platform specificity, takes a major leap forward by creating a quality news company widely distributing its product through all outlets,” explained Wolff. “Television can’t do quality news, but it has great profits. Print still has high news standards, but ever-dwindling profits — so voila!”

Voila! Now let’s make this happen.

Critics Sip on ‘Shark-Tinis’ at Sharknado 2 Premiere

Monday night’s screening at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles was, appropriately enough, poolside at the Beverly Hilton. Among those in attendance: Chuck Barney, critic for the Contra Costa Times and other Bay Area newspapers.

From his write-up, ahead of The Second One‘s broadcast debut on SyFy Wednesday July 30:

While the sequel features just slightly better production values, it is louder and splashier. In short, there’s more bite for the buck – and more chain saws.

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Long Island Star Trek Fanatic’s Story Takes Flight

Captain’s media log [July 10, 2014; 12:30 p.m.]: The press on planet Earth has grabbed hold of Anthony Sforza‘s kooky basement tale.

BarcroftMediaLogoThe Daily Mail, the New York Post and UK’s The Mirror are likely just the beginning of this comet trail. And who can blame them? Packaged for worldwide consumption by Barcroft Media, the story of a Long Island dad’s fastidious three-year effort to erect a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise in his expansive home’s basement has everything:

  • Tons of Star Trek SEO;
  • Split family feelings (his two young sons love the basement set-up; Sforza’s sister thinks he’s a little nuts);
  • An out-of-this-world slide show.

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Mets Farm Team Are Masters of Seinfeld Anniversary Domain

Bravo, Brooklyn Cyclones. Bravo.

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There was no shortage over the weekend of tributes to Seinfeld on the occasion of the beloved NBC sitcom’s 25th anniversary. But none did it with quite the flair as this group Saturday. From a Rolling Stone report:

Players took batting practice in puffy shirts; a guy named George Costanza (who drove down from Rhode Island) did radio commentary; the foul poles were re-named Festivus poles (and the stadium dubbed Vandelay Industries Park); and the Soup Nazi threw out the first pitch.

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Dick Cavett Revisits Alcohol-Soaked ‘Worst Show’

In the brand new book about The Tonight Show with Jay Leno by show producer David Berg, one of the many memorable guest anecdotes involves how Quentin Tarantino in 2003 hit “The Jay Bar” cart a little too hard and paid the incoherent, frenetic price.

Reading about that brought back memories of an even more epic artifact from the annals of late night slosh. Back in September 1970, Dick Cavett – on an ABC show shortened to 45 minutes from the usual hour and a half by Monday Night Football – welcomed Husbands director John Cassavetes together with the film’s co-stars Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk. From the get-go, it was a triple-shot challenge for Cavett, who handled it with amazing wit and grace.

The host was especially funny before and after the commercial breaks, at one point welcoming back “our friends on the Emmy Award committee” and pleading, at the end, that his guests “go do the same things to Griffin and Carson.” At another point in the program, Cavett walked off stage, with Falk taking over as interviewer and the host finally returning to the sounds of the audience chorus ‘We Want Dick!’

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