Tuesday, July 17, 2007

1-18-08 - Name The Monster In J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield Movie - Video

2008 Presidential Election: CNN Shows Balance, Finally

After months of what I have pointed to as reporting bias, CNN's finally designing its news with balance. As of today, gone are the minutes upon hours of negatively-slanted reporting on Barack Obama and positively-slanted reports on Hillary Clinton. For example, I just saw a report detailing Senator Obama's donations and that about 1 percent come from people who purchased items.

The report ended up being a plus for Senator Obama.

Then, Wolf Blitzer's about to explain how John Edwards' wife reportedly said that Hillary Clinton's too much of a man. Well she said something more complex in Salon .

GEEZ! I personally don't like that take. Senator Clinton's breaking new ground. I'm an Obama suporter, but I'd never make a comment like that.

Well, at least CNN's focusing on the story. Before today, I thought CNN was blocking bad news about Hillary Clinton.

Moe From Jezebel Drinks Martini's With Amber, The Obama Girl

This account is way too funny. You've got to read Moe's column. Apparently Ariana Huffington threw a party at her apartment in Washington, and...

"I'm Amber," said a petite woman with a cheery smile. She was very very thin and very very tan, though too naturally olive-complected to be called tanorexic, too compactly curvy to be "anorexic." Her white skirt stretched across an ass that was difficult to look away from, except when she smiled and flashed the flawless teeth of a sixteen-year-old cheerleader. It was the Obama Girl, and she was spectacular. "I've got a crush on Obama girl," my friend Crowley said at her sight. "I'm just going to repeat that until funny." We were at Arianna Huffington's apartment, and there was so much free booze everything was funny.

As inconceivable as it may sound to anyone who has marveled over Amber's God-ordained perfection in the role of Obama Girl -- the star of the esteemed "I Got A Crush On Obama" series of pro-Barack slow jam videos designed to give cable news outlets something about the presidential campaigns to report on when nothing is actually going on besides the counting of money and realizing that ..

Ok, you've got to go there to read the rest!

Packers Sign Aaron Rouse and David Clowney; Nego With Justin Harrell

Even with this, the NFL teams are showing a good record of signings at this time. It's typical that the higher dollar draftees take longer to sign.

Packers aim to get rookies under contract
By Rob Demovsky

With organized team activities completed, the Green Bay Packers have one main objective before training camp begins in less than six weeks: Get the rest of their rookies under contract.

The Packers have signed two of their 11 draft picks, third-round pick Aaron Rouse and fifth-rounder David Clowney. The more difficult negotiations, however, have not yet begun in earnest.

General Manager Ted Thompson and vice president of player finance Andrew Brandt have a tight rookie salary pool of $4.907 million, which is the maximum amount of salary cap space the Packers can use to sign their draft picks and undrafted rookie free agents. That's about $630,000 more than the NFL rookie pool average for 2007, but no team had more draft picks than the Packers.

The Packers had the highest rookie salary pool at $6.647 million last year, when they had 12 picks, including the fifth overall selection in the draft, linebacker A.J. Hawk. Their rookie pool this year is close to what it was in 2005, when it also had 11 draft picks but selected at No. 24 in the first round. Their first-round pick this season, defensive tackle Justin Harrell, was at No. 16, meaning he likely will command more first-year money than quarterback Aaron Rodgers received as the 24th pick in 2005.

Signing bonuses won't be the difficult parts of the negotiations with the draft picks, because those tend to fall in line with the players taken in similar spots, but structuring the deals to fit under the rookie salary pool will be the challenge facing Brandt and Thompson.

"The process continues as it always has," Brandt said this week. "We're in discussions with all of our draft picks."

Considering how heavily the Packers could rely on several rookies — especially Harrell, second-round draft pick Brandon Jackson, a candidate to start at running back, and James Jones, a possible No. 3 receiver — it would behoove them to have their entire draft class under contract before training camp begins on July 28.

That timetable is even more critical for Harrell, who played in only three games last season at Tennessee due to a torn biceps tendon. That injury caused the Packers to take cautious approach with Harrell this spring, holding him out of most minicamp and OTA workouts.

Like most agents, Harrell's representative, Eugene Parker, can be difficult to negotiate with at times. One of his clients, Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson, missed nearly all of his rookie training camp in 2005 before agreeing to a deal. However, the Packers haven't had any trouble signing Parker's clients of late. Parker represents receiver Greg Jennings, a second-round pick last season who signed before training camp. He also represented former first-round pick Ahmad Carroll, who also signed his rookie contract before camp opened.

"I'm fully confident in my agent, and he has a pretty good relationship with people here in Green Bay," Harrell said. "So pretty much, I ain't worried about that. (Signing before camp) was the goal coming in, even if I wouldn't have been hurt. My agent pretty much has a good feel where I'm coming from, and I feel 100 percent that he's going to get the job done."

Several NFL teams have signed a few draft picks, but the signing season begins in earnest now that most clubs have wrapped up their offseason workouts. The Packers completed their OTAs on Tuesday.

Rupert Murdoch Closer To Buying Wall Street Journal - WSJ Online

You've got to admire Rupert Murdoch's flair for the deal. Just a day after the reported block by Chris Bancroft , he engineers a deal, or is at least close to it. It's up to the Bancroft's now.

Dow Jones, News Corp. Set Deal
Tentative $5 Billion Pact
Gets Board Vote Tonight;
Family to Meet Thursday

By SARAH ELLISON - Wall Street Journal
July 17, 2007; Page A3

News Corp. reached a tentative agreement for the purchase of Dow Jones & Co. at its original $5 billion offer price. The deal will be put to the full Dow Jones board this evening for its approval, said people familiar with the situation.

In what could be the final round of talks, yesterday negotiators from News Corp. and Dow Jones -- including Chief Executive Richard F. Zannino, company advisers and two independent directors -- reached an agreement in principle on a deal first proposed by News Corp. in mid-April. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch resisted pressure from Dow Jones to raise his initial $60-a-share offer, which represented a 67% premium to where the Dow Jones stock was trading before news of the offer became public. But Mr. Murdoch suggested the possibility of nominating former Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger to the board of News Corp., according to a person who was there.

The deal still faces its biggest hurdle -- getting approval from the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of Dow Jones's voting power. Mr. Zannino has indicated to News Corp. that the family's position on the deal is too close to call, according to a person who spoke to him.

Michael B. Elefante, the Bancroft family's lead trustee, has scheduled a meeting for Thursday at which he would present the agreement to all Bancroft family members before asking for their final vote. Mr. Elefante is expected to give the family several days to make a decision, suggesting a final resolution could be achieved some time next week.


• Complete Coverage: A Deal for Dow Jones?
• Graphic: Key Players in the Dow Jones Bid
However, the Bancroft family remains sharply divided on a sale to News Corp. While some members are open to a deal, others have been looking hard for an alternative. Christopher Bancroft, 55 years old, a Dow Jones director who serves as a trustee overseeing shares that account for about 15% of the company's total shareholder votes, has spent the past several weeks approaching hedge funds, private-equity firms and others in an attempt to buy enough shares of Dow Jones to block a sale. Another family director, Leslie Hill, has pressed the company to meet with investors, such as supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, who have alternative proposals for Dow Jones. Ms. Hill's mother, Jane Cox MacElree, serves as a trustee for or owns shares that account for about 15% of the company's total shareholder vote.

News Corp.'s unwillingness to raise the price could also harden opposition from within the family. Some Dow Jones top executives and independent directors had hoped the Bancroft family's ambivalence about the Murdoch deal would help the company extract a few more dollars per share, according to people close to Dow Jones.

Dow Jones shares were down 54 cents to $56.95 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday. The shares rose about 50 cents in after-hours trading.

The negotiations yesterday began with a lunch meeting attended by Messrs. Murdoch and Zannino.

In addition to The Wall Street Journal and its international and online editions, Dow Jones publishes Barron's, SmartMoney magazines and other periodicals; DowJones Newswires; Dow Jones Indexes; and the Ottaway group of community newspapers.