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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Shales’

Bill Simmons: ESPN‘s Bristol Headquarters Can Be ‘Cultish’

The book isn’t even out yet, but Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales is generating an awful lot of controversy in the sports media world. Awful Announcing got a hold of an excerpt of ESPN star blogger Bill Simmons‘ interview in the book, which takes some digs at ESPN‘s corporate culture in Bristol, Connecticut.

“I need to figure out a way that I can operate in my own sphere and not deal with Bristol as much. Nothing against Bristol, but I do worry that it becomes a little cultish after a while. You go there and there’s ESPN everywhere. At the cafeteria, there’s Mike & Mike getting a sandwich… It’s really hard to think out of the box when you’re trapped in that box the whole time… that’s one of the reasons PTI succeeds – it’s in Washington, it’s out of the box, they leave it alone.”

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Variety TV Critic Checks In with Pulitzer Prize Winning Elders

Are today’s web-powered TV critics nastier than their print predecessors? That’s the question Variety TV critic Brian Lowry posed to a pair of retired masters of the TV criticism game, Howard Rosenberg (LA Times) and Tom Shales (Washington Post).

Rosenberg (pictured), who now teaches at USC, says that while he always tried to avoid being “nasty,” he doesn’t feel today’s critics are any worse than some of his former colleagues. It’s just a matter of the whole discussion being amplified. Shales however is firmly of the belief that things have gone down the broadband hill, fast.

“If reviews are bitchier now, it’s because of the Internet and all the amateurs who are reviewing movies and TV,” Shales said via email. “They don’t have training, they don’t have standards. … Old-fashioned virtues like ‘literate,’ ‘thoughtful,’ ‘witty,’ ‘clever,’ those kinds of things are no longer reached for.” With some online opinions, he added, “It’s just conversation; it’s not writing, and it’s not criticism.”

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Palination: A Morning After Round-Up

bidenpalinscottolsongetty.jpgWe took a stroll around the Internets this morning to see what Joe Klein, Peggy Noonan, Andrew Sullivan and other powers that be were saying about last night’s debate. The general consensus? Palin exceeded her extremely low expectations. Also? SNL got lots of new material.

Peggy Noonan (WSJ): As far as Mrs. Palin was concerned, Gwen Ifill was not there, and Joe Biden was not there. Sarah and the camera were there. This was classic “talk over the heads of the media straight to the people,” and it is a long time since I’ve seen it done so well, though so transparently. There were moments when she seemed to be doing an infomercial pitch for charm in politics. But it was an effective infomercial.

David Brooks (NYT): When nervous, Palin has a tendency to over-enunciate her words like a graduate of the George W. Bush School of Oratory, but Thursday night she spoke like a normal person. It took her about 15 seconds to define her persona — the straight-talking mom from regular America — and it was immediately clear that the night would be filled with tales of soccer moms, hockey moms, Joe Sixpacks, main-streeters, “you betchas” and “darn rights.” Somewhere in heaven Norman Rockwell is smiling.

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Clark and Michael Funnier than On the Lot?


Alessandra Stanley, writing in the NY Times, is clearly confused by reality television. Writing about FOX’s new reality show, On the Lot, she lumps Fear Factor (debut in US 2001) and Real World (1992) together, as examples of early days of the genre. No matter, her mistakes are legendary. Anyway, she’s not sure that On The Lot is very compelling. Even though she’s an idiot, she’s right. Tom Shales said so, too.

Better is CBS’s online, scripted Clark and Michael,about two friends trying to develop a TV show. The series, which will premiere new episodes every Wednesday, features Clark Duke and Michael Cera.