Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sarah Palin Newsweek Cover: Palin not Carrie Prejean

Well, just one day after Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin appeared on Oprah for what was a good interview and on the day her book "Going Rogue" was released (I have to admit I bought Star Trek on DVD instead), Newsweek helps keep Palin's name near the top of the public conversation (and makes her into Carrie Prejean) by using this cover photo:

The pict got the best of Governor Palin who took to her Facebook page to complain about it, writing:

The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this "news" magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner's World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness - a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention - even if out of context.

- Sarah Palin

Palin's post - I can see her frowning as she wrote it - sparked a powerful reaction that's bound to keep her name up in online search results for another two months. (A momentary aside. Yesterday I wrote that Palin's Internet popularity was due to Oprah and not herself; today, it's due to Newsweek and not Palin.)

The LA Times asked if Palin was really concerned that the photo was sexist and used their entertainment blog for the Academy Awards to issue the observation, leading me to believe they're saying (or at least LA Times blogger Elizabeth Snead holds) that Palin's acting.

The Kansas City Star's headline was "It just goes on and on". Blog SheKnows.co asks if Palin is really offended or just seeking press. If she is looking for media coverage, she's getting it.

But aside from what Palin thinks, I will say it certainly is sexist.

Look, I'll use a revealing photo to get the readers attention in a second, so I know what Newsweek was doing and it was a ploy to sell magazines and draw web traffic in a recession. Governor Palin's no longer, well, Governor, which makes her tanned and fit good looks the perfect target for their intentions.

But the bottom line is Newsweek didn't have to employ the Runner's World photo and could have opted to just show Palin in the suits she's generally wearing in public appearances. Instead Newsweek wanted to grab a photo that really looks like one I'd expect to see on a truck with a gun rack.

Maybe that was the point.

Whatever the case, I thought Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham's explanation was massively weak:

"We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Sorry but that's the biggest bunch of horse manure I've ever seen. Jon Meacham obviously didn't want to explain that they realy wanted to make a real point, which is 'Sarah wants attention and this photo's the best way to make sure she gets it, focus on our point that we think she's an attention monger, and get a lot of buzz, magazine sales, and Internet traffic too.'

But all of this to me is another wound in the scaring of Sarah Palin. All of this - the book, the book tour, the Oprah Interview, etc. - is a way for Palin to heal. It's not a path to Palin 2012. No.

Sarah Palin is damaged.

Here's a young woman executive plucked from obscurity and thrust at warp-speed into the hyper-media spotlight. Then, when Senator John McCain and the GOP were done with her and lost the Presidential election to Barack Obama, they turned on Palin, cast her aside, and made her feel crappy in the process.

Remember the accusations that Palin was essentially stealing clothes given to her for use by the GOP and a lawyer had to fly to Alaska to get them back? Or how about the constant drumbeat of statements on her lack of understanding of policy from everyone including me.

Sarah's saying "You can't treat me that way and cast me aside."  You know what; she's right.  

Look, I don't agree with Governor Palin on a number of political issues, but in my way of living that does not mean I have to want to see her mistreated by anyone. Newsweek's actions were horrible. The Newsweek photo was totally off base and I think they should apologize for using a photo intended for an athletic publication in the way they did.

To be clear, I agree with using photos like the one of Carrie Prejean, but hey, she's a model. Ok? Sarah Palin's a government executive not far removed from office (and if she kept herself in it, this would not have happened).

Governor Palin is not Carrie Prejean nor should her image be altered to make her look that way. Again, she may be a Couch Potato Conservative, but at least let her relax on the couch in peace. Now, she's scarred all over again and we're not going to hear or see the last of her until she's healed and that's going to take a long time.

Count on it.

49ers San Francisco Stadium: Carmen Policy on KNBR today

Carmen Policy (left) with Eddie DeBartolo

Just right on the heels of my blog post comparing the environmental impact reports (EIR) of the Candlestick Point and Santa Clara 49ers stadium development proposals, do I find the mp3 recording of an interview of former 49ers President Carmen Policy.

The show record link is here.

Carmen Policy is the spokesperson for the stadium effort and went on KNBR's Murph & Mac Show to talk about stadium progress to date and make his case for keeping the 49ers in San Francisco.

The conversation opened a brief talk about the Browns v. Ravens game on Monday Night Football, then moved to talk about the progress of the stadium and the redevelopment of Hunter's Point.

With the release of the EIR, Policy says the project can go forward without negative impacts on the community. "The curtain's drawn now. Everyone's ready to go ahead and get this ball rolling."

Policy says the Santa Clara project is "frustrating" but feels they should move forward with their project and "keep this situation on a parallel path."

I know what Carmen's thinking here without having talked to him. NFL politics is such that Policy knows the league will essentially want and have the Yorks pursue the best deal. From that perspective the NFL will use Santa Clara as a, well, pawn, in the creation of a deal that ultimately works for both the league and the 49ers.

In the interview, Policy said that in the end the 49ers will get the best deal. He believes the Hunter's Point project offers the best option.

What about Mayor Newsom?

KNBR asked about the roll of Mayor Newsom given his recent decision to drop out of the California Governor's Race and jet off to Hawaii (in fact Brian Murphy remarked that the "Chronicle was all over him" and called it a disappearing act) and how that impacted their efforts. Policy said the Mayor's actions didn't hurt the development process and that they were allowed to move forward.

Stay tuned.

Niners Candlestick Point stadium looks better with Santa Clara problems

Candlestick Point

An interesting development occurred over the past few days and virtually under the radar of much of the media in the Bay Area. Two environmental impacts reports were released at almost the same time: one for the Candlestick Point / San Francisco 49ers Stadium development and the other for the SF Niners stadium proposed for Santa Clara.

I also must explain that I'm biased toward the idea of keeping the 49ers in San Francisco, but I'm not beyond telling it like it is with respect to how the enviromental impact reports are presented.

I've read both EIRs (it was part of my role as Economic Advisor to The Mayor of Oakland when Elihu Harris was Mayor and for Robert Bobb before I worked to try to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland) and while at 3,000 pages (I didn't read all of the pages), the Candlestick Point includes comments and a detailed and well-organized list of anticipated impacts and ways to work to dampen or eliminate them (called "mitagations"), the Santa Clara DEIR is not so well-written.

I've got to say the Santa Clara EIR's not very good at all. In fact, some of the responses to comments are irresponsible and don't show that the project's impacts are being well considered.

Many of the Santa Clara EIR answers to comments are defensive rather than technical and call into question to what degree this document was rushed into production to beat the City of San Francisco's Candlestick effort.

There's a threat of comments regarding the anticipated transit use that would be generated from a new stadium in Santa Clara. The problem with the Santa Clara DEIR is that it bases future estimates of use of cars, buses, and trains on the existing Candlestick Park stadium, which the Candlestick Point DEIR seeks to replace with a new stadium.

In other words, the use of trains versus cars is dependent on the design of the streets, roads, and buildings with respect to each other. The Santa Clara DEIR does not seem to reflect that.

Take this comment / response example:
Comment B-2: Table 15 indicates tbe modal split at the existing stadium is: 82% auto, 10% charter bus, and 8% transit for attendees; 90% auto and 10% transit for employees. For the proposed stadium, modal split is 74% auto, 7% cbarter bus and 19% transit for attendees; 80% auto and 20% transit for employees. Since Candlestick Park is situated within a rich public transportation network, it should have higher charter bus and transit modal splits compared to the proposed stadium. On the contrary, the proposed stadium shows higher charter bus and transit modal splits. What are the underlying assumptions to justify these modal splits tor the proposed 4gers Santa Clara Stadium?

Response B-2: While the City of San Francisco overall has a good public transportation network, the area where Candlestick Park is located does not. There is no rail transit of any kind available to Candlestick Park attendees. The only transit currently used is chatter and municipal buses. As explained in the EIR (pages 176-178), an extensive multi-modal transit system serves north Santa Clara. The assumptions for each type of available transit are described on pages 177-178, including subsections labeled "Bus and Light Rail" and "Heavy
Rail Service".

The Santa Clara DEIR states:

There is no rail transit of any kind available to Candlestick Park attendees.


If that's the case, why is it I can take either BART, Caltrain, or Muni Metro rail and step on the Candlestick Express bus? Yes, it's not direct to the stadium's front door, but its rail and its not far away. Moreover, an EIR is a technical report that's supposed to be devoid of such errors in wording. It's the one place where detailed, accurate description is expected and vital to the success of the project.

The Santa Clara EIR was written as if by a snickering, snipping bureaucrat who had no patience with questions from, well, other bureaucrats from Bay Area agencies, which are in abundance in the document.

By contrast, the Candlestick Point DEIR, while it does concern a much larger 700-acre development, does in detail explain transit impacts and professionally lists the answers to anticipated impacts. There's not the hint of schoolmarm whining that dominates the comment responses in the Santa Clara document.

All of this should make former San Francisco 49ers President Carmen Policy more excited over the prospects for the successful construction of a new 49ers Stadium at Candlestick Point in San Francisco.

But regarding Santa Clara, the San Francisco 49ers should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a substandard EIR to be produced. I've seen a lot of EIRs in my time and this one's just plain terrible.

If this is an example of what we're to expect, 49ers owner John York should jettison his Santa Clara stadium efforts and work with the more professional team over the Candlestick Point development. Yeah, I'm biased, but it's not without justification.

The Big Game: Ray Ratto, forget it: Stanford will not beat Cal

 The Big Game

Hey Ray Ratto. I just read your column regarding possible Stanford bowl scenarios and the Emerald Bowl, and you write that the Stanford road to the Rose Bowl starts with the Cardinal beating Cal.

Forget it. It's not happening.

Again, Cal 30, Stanford 21. And yesterday I explained why this was possible here.

The bottom line is stopping the Cardinal running game and putting the contest in Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck's hands. Cal wins, and smashes Stanford's Rose Bowl hopes. 

Movie Theaters: Parkway Oakland founders start new business

The Oakland Parkway Theater closure and restoration issue hasn't been in the main news cycle for a few weeks now, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on. Catherine and Kyle Fisher, the now former owners of both the Parkway and Cerrito Theaters have done a lot of soul searching in the wake of their loss of both facilities and the controversy that followed.

When I interviewed them earlier this year they were at a cross-road in their life and it came out in our talk. Oh, and if you missed that talk, it's here below and it's a good idea to take a look at the video then read what their next move's going to be, which is presented in the email below the video.

Here's the email from Catherine and Kyle on their new venture:

Catherine and I have had our walk on the beach. We've licked our figurative wounds and are ready to start the next chapter in our lives for better or for worse. We're sharing this with you, our wonderful former patrons because our next endeavor concerns some of you.

Over our 13 years at Speakeasy Theaters many people approached us for information on how to start a business like Speakeasy Theaters that spoke as much to the needs of the community and the lifestyle of the operators as to earning a living. When asked, we gave the best answer we could under the circumstances of the encounter, but I fear that given our time constraints our responses were mostly inadequate. We would like to answer this question in the appropriate detail. What we also determined on our walk was that one of the things that we enjoyed most about operating Speakeasy Theaters was working with and nurturing the often fledgling independent contractors who held events at the Parkway, helping them bring their ideas into focus and executing them as well as they could.

To this end, Catherine and I developed Wild Card Circle. Wild Card Circle is several things each of which are intended to help entrepreneurs develop community responsive businesses that in turn allow the developer to live a lifestyle that is rewarding mentally, spiritually and hopefully financially. One of the main components of Wild Card Circle are workshops designed to help the individual find their inner entrepreneur and show him/her how to express it. If any of this seems remotely interesting to you, you can find out more about it at WildCardCircle.com or contact us at Kyle or Catherine @WildCardCircle.com, otherwise this is us signing off from your lives and wishing you well and thanking you for your years of support.

I wish them the best of luck. Regardless of the outcome of the theaters or how you may feel about them, they did give the Oakland and El Cerrito communities fun places that helped to define the East Bay's unique culture.

Michael Jackson - Janet Jackson and AEG blocking Jackson's doctor

According to TMZ.com, relations are becoming more contentious between Janet Jackson, event producer AEG, and Michael Jackson's doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray.

Dr. Conrad Murray holds that AEG owes him $300,000, and is late paying for two months of service.

I wonder if that period includes the segment of time leading to Jackson's passing? If so, Murray not only may not see that money, it seems he should understand the circumstances surrounding AEG's actions and have some kind of insurance backup plan. His job was to keep Jackson not just working, but alive. Still, a contract is a contract.

In reading TMZ.com, I have to wonder why Murray's lawyer needs a publicist and who's paying the publicist? Only in LA.

Which leads to this new bit of related information: Janet Jackson doesn't want Murray to practice again. She says he was the only one giving drugs to Michael Jackson.

I think there's a connection between the non-payment by AEG and Janet Jackson, but that's just my gut.

Stay tuned.

Miley Cyrus: Seventeen’s Style Star of the Year

Miley Cyrus bounces back! After getting the not-so-flattering AOL award as Worst Celebrity Influence of 2009...

...singer Miley Cyrus gets a more flattering award as Seventeen Magazine’s "Style Star of the Year".

Just Jared reports:

The 16-year-old starlet was chosen as the mag’s Style Star of the Year. The mag quotes, “She finally shed her Hannah Montana shell and showed the world she’s an A-lister with it-girl style, which is why Seventeen is honoring Miley as our Style Star of the Year!”

Great to see the Miley Cyrus PR Machine hard at work.

UCLA basketball shocked by CS Fullerton 68, Bruins 65 (2OT)

The stage was set: UCLA basketball opening home game at legendary Pauley Pavilion with what was supposed to be fodder in Cal State Fullerton, making for an easy win coming off close games against Concordia and Humboldt State in preseason.


Someone forgot to tell Cal State Fullerton. They won in double overtime 68 to 65 and broke a nine-game string of losses to UCLA. With strength training and the Internet used to pass on coaching points, it's harder than ever to beat a non-ranked team without the ranked team playing its "A" game.

Teams don't just "see the name brand" and lay down anymore. If anything, "UCLA" or "Notre Dame" in football just fires teams up, in some cases causing them to play over their heads. Is CS Fullerton that good down the stretch? We shall see.

What I Saw in Week 10

[Late Monday Night Edition]
Tuesday Morning Huddle
What I Saw in Week 10

By David Ortega for Football Reporters Online

Vikings quarterback still fantasy stud…. 
When the season started quarterback Brett Favre was not on anyone’s radar as a number one fantasy quarterback. At 40 years of age, Favre’s better days looked to be in the rear view mirror or so we thought. In Favre’s last four starts he is averaging 300-yards passing per game with eight touchdowns and only one interception.

Marvelous McNabb throws for a mile…. 
The Eagles quarterback played very well on Sunday, but no matter how often he threw (55 times) or who he threw the ball to (seven different receivers) it wasn’t enough. While the Eagles fell McNabb’s numbers rose with 35 completions for 450 yards in the air and two touchdowns in a week 10 loss to the Chargers.

Action Jackson will not be stopped…. 
If you drafted running back Steven Jackson, but had second thoughts because the Rams offense is just bad pat yourself on the back for sticking with the stud. The St. Louis Rams may be 1-7, but that is not stopping “Action” Jackson from having a big season. On Sunday Jackson turned in his third straight 100-yard rushing game with 176 total yards against the Saints. Only twice has Jackson totaled less than 100 yards and for the season he has 1,146 yards of total offense ranking second behind Chris Johnson.
Worst of the Worst

When it comes to the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry, the Silver and Black know very little about home-field advantage. Thanks primarily to an inept offense that converted just 12 percent (2/16) of third downs, completed just 13 of 32 passes, and turned the ball over twice, the Raiders lost for the seventh straight time at home against the Chiefs. The Raiders are now 2-7; how did they win two games?

Jury is still Out

Has the Broncos offense finally turned the corner? Well after a fast start on Sunday against the Redskins, it certainly appeared that McDaniels had made the necessary adjustments and the offense was finally right. This was all until disaster struck. After watching Orton complete 11 of 18 for 193 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, the Broncos offense completely disappeared with backup Chris Simms in the game for the injured Orton. With a big matchup with San Diego in week 11 and Simms the likely starter, the offense might regress some before taking any more forward steps. The Jury is going to remain out on Denver’s “Patriot’s West” offense, at least until a healthy Orton returns.

10 Things I Remember From Sunday
(Week 10)

1. The Panthers used their two-headed monster out of the back-field to take down the Falcons; Stewart and Williams combined for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
2. One of my “Four Horsemen” Sidney Rice puts up 201 receiving yards against the Lions secondary.
3. The Titan’s running back Chris Johnson plays like a stud in a league of his own totaling 232 yards and scoring two touchdowns against the Bills.
4. The Redskins offensive line just blew holes into the Broncos defense all day to the tune of 174 yards on the ground.
5. Despite their recent struggles through the air, the Broncos and quarterback Kyle Orton came out gun-slinging in week 10; Orton passed for 193 yards in the first half before leaving with an injury.
6. The “Old man” in Arizona Kurt Warner took a while to get started, but once he did he was unstoppable completing 29 of 38 passes for over 300-yards and two touchdowns.
7. The Bengals defense showed up on Sunday against Big Ben and the Steelers recording four sacks and a forced fumble in their 18-12 win.
8. Steven Jackson is a one man wrecking crew in St. Louis rushing for 131 yards and catching nine balls for another 45 yards.
9. Who is Brandon Gibson, likely the next Waiver wire darling after catching seven passes for 93 yards.
10. Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning; Sunday night against the Patriots he passed for 327 yards with four touchdowns.


Mediocre NFC Yields Giant Strides For Big Blue During Bye Week

Mediocre NFC Yields Giant Strides For Big Blue During Bye Week
BY Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large Football Reporters Online

New York Giant fans can now calm down a little this week. Rest assured, at this point, there’s still very much of a season left for Big Blue.

It wouldn’t be New York if its fans and media didn’t often overreact to each game that any professional team plays in New York. That response just comes with the territory when rooting for or discussing teams in the New York City area.

Sure enough, to the degree that the Giants were being discussed as part of the National Football League elite after a dominant 5-0 start, was the extent to which many in the New York area were asking what was wrong with the Giants and how New York could let its entire season slip away after a subsequent four-game slide.

No doubt, the questions surrounding the problems that the Giants still need to fix this season were, and still are, legitimate. And, if the Giants don’t soon rectify a lot of the issues that were exposed during their aforementioned four-game losing streak, it’s true, Big Blue’s goal of reaching the playoffs could be in serious jeopardy.

But, for those who were spewing all of the doom and gloom talk about the Giants’ playoff possibilities, many going so far as to say that the Giants’ fourth straight loss ended their season, take a look at the current NFC standings after what happened on Sunday, as the Giants tried to regroup during their bye week.

Sure, New York had slipped from 5-0 to 5-4, and from first place to third place in the NFC East.

Yet, simply by not playing, the Giants moved back into a tie for second place with the 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles (who were beaten in San Diego on Sunday), and are now just one game behind the 6-3 Dallas Cowboys, the NFC East leaders, who lost at Green Bay this week.

As for the NFC wild-card race, the Giants and Eagles are not only tied for the wild-card lead with each other, but also with the 5-4 Atlanta Falcons (losers at Carolina on Sunday) and the 5-4 Green Bay Packers. Carolina, San Francisco, and Chicago are each a game back, at 4-5.

For all of this past week’s chatter about the Giants’ season being over, New York still very much controls its own destiny as long as it can pull everything together and play better.

The Giants host Atlanta next week, while having other home dates with Dallas, Philadelphia, and Carolina in December. And, the Giants are done with both the Cowboys and Eagles on the road.

The bottom line is that while the Giants have to correct a lot of what plagued them while losing four games in a row, and they still have much work to do in order to reach the playoffs this year, they’re very far from the fate many had prematurely predicted for them (if any Giants are Mark Twain fans, they can certainly relate).

As evidenced while the Giants rested this week, no one else in the NFC East seems to be running away with their division, and even less so in the NFC wild-card picture.

So, at least for now Giant fans, view the remaining Giant games in this season the same way your team plans on approaching them. It may sound clich├ęd, but forget about the recent past and take the rest of the season one game at a time.

Because it doesn’t appear that anything regarding where the Giants are headed this season, one way or the other, will be determined any time soon.