Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiger Woods at The Masters is not the bad guy; the media is

See: tiger woods, the masters, phil mickelson, billy payne, maters tv ratings

On Sunday, Tiger Woods finished what for anyone would have been a respectable Masters golf game, but what for him was a failure. Tiger Woods finished in 4th place. But the unwritten story - at least until now - is how Tiger Woods' appearance in the Masters brought people of color back to Golf if only for a weekend.

Tiger Woods just showing up at The Masters caused rating to jump 47 percent, and that was before Sunday's final round. And on Sunday, ratings were the best since the pre-New Media age of 2001, when a younger Tiger Woods brought viewers to Golf at a level not seen before. Sunday's third round wasn't the near-record this blogger predicted, but it was the third highest round in TV ratings in Maters history.

Tiger Woods at The Masters helped everyone, especially the media, yet we have the SF Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins, ever the fine sports writer and all really an around good guy, shockingly telling us that Tiger Woods is now the bad guy. And for evidence, Bruce went to all of the older, white male sports media guys to get their view.

Sorry for this, but Bruce Jenkins didn't talk to anyone black who wasn't part of the media, like my Mother. My Mom is a Tiger Woods fan, and so much so that my 76-year old parent believed there was a conspiracy to have Woods lose The 2010 Masters. I had to talk her down from that point of view. But you have to understand, as a kid my Mom walked to school while white kids rode the bus to school and occasionally threw rocks at her.

Yes, it's a much different time, but such vivid memories form the basis for suspicion of any media criticism of an African American public figure. And in this case, the media came off to many blacks (update: and whites) I talked to like it was trying to kick Tiger Woods while he was down, at least that's the expressed view of another friend of mine who will only go by the initials of "DG."

DG says the older white media basically could not stand that Tiger Woods had got away with being with a lot of white women and wanted to take him down. That's DG's view.

In fact, the only black guy I can think of who runs contrary to my point is Jason Whitlock, he of the Kansas City Star.

But J-Whit, as he's called, sometimes acts like he doesn't like blacks and seem to save his worst behavior for African Americans, like the family he famously insulted at the NBA All Star Game in Las Vegas.

To write that Tiger Woods is the bad guy and Phil Mickelson is the new hero is questionable at best, especially when Google Trends was dominated with searches related to unproven allegations of marital infidelity between Phil Mickelson and his cancer-stricken wife Amy, and just after his Masters win on Sunday and through Monday.

There are no saints here. Sorry.

The point is, it seems every older white guy in the media at The Masters was looking to beat up on the young black guy, Tiger Woods. And even one older white guy who wasn't in the media, Masters chairman Billy Payne, used the media platform The Maters provided to beat up on Tiger Woods. The end result was the media, especially the wing dominated by the older white men, came off as the real bad guy. That's the real, unvarnished truth.

Stay tuned.

Slavery and the U.S. Civil War (or War between the states)

Lest you fall for sanitized revisions of the history leading up to the U.S. Civil War, I suggest you read this brief article by Carl Cannon: Why Liberals Are Right to Refuse to Honor the Confederacy, at
Jefferson Davis, in a speech to the Confederate Congress in April 1861, extolled slavery as a benevolent invention that allowed a "superior race" to transform "brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers." Alexander H. Stephens, Jefferson Davis' vice president, proclaimed that Jefferson and the Founders' high-minded declarations of universal liberty were "in violation of the laws of nature." This was profoundly wrong, Stephens said.
There are those who stridently insist there were many important factors other than the abolition of slavery that led to the "War between the States." There certainly were other factors, but those who examine the record agree: Slavery was undeniably a central issue for those rallying southern citizens to secede and fight.
"Our new government is founded on exactly the opposite idea," thundered the vice president of the Confederacy. "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition."
As Mr. Cannon notes, the Governor of Virginia certainly did go a long way to make public amends after the fact when he revised his proclamation in the face of the firestorm after he'd signaled his solidarity with white racists to include:
WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history...
Yet he'd already made it clear that racism is such a fundamental and acceptable part of his world-view that neither McDonnell nor his staff saw anything wrong with the first version of his "Confederate History Month" proclamation, which was tantamount to glossing over the brutal realities of slavery in exchange for the support of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Playboy looking for "Girls of The Pac-10" at Cal Berkeley and Stanford

Do you look like Megan?
According to Richard "Big Vinny" Lieberman, Playboy is on the Cal-Berkeley campus today April 12th and Tuesday, April 13th looking for a Berkeley representative for their segment "Girls of The Pac-10." Aa the photo reads, Playboy wants Cal women to pose for the magazine.

As the Playboy webpage reads:

Playboy's college pictorials have been one of the magazine's most talked - about and popular features for the past 33 years. Thousands of coeds have auditioned over the years and many selected to appear in the magazine have gone on to become Playboy Playmates, models and actresses. Playboy's 2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood and Miss June 2008 Juliette Fretté were first featured in the magazine’s October 2005 "Girls of the PAC-10" pictorial. That pictorial marks the last time that Playboy highlighted the "Girls of the PAC-10."

Playboy's not doing photo shoots, but conducting interviews to determine who they want to work with. Playboy has alread visited UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, and this week, Berkeley, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford on IRS Tax Day, Washington and then Washington State.

If you're reading this and want to sign up, click here: Playboy on campus.

If you're reading this and think no Berkeley woman would do this, consider that in 2009, Ellen Degeneres had some random-looking people ask Cal students to strip down to their bare nothings and in one case stand in the ASUC.

Stay tuned.

NFL Draft: 2010 Mock Draft notes and C.J. Spiller

As of this writing, two NFL Draft: 2010 Mock Draft's have been presented in this space, but there's some misunderstanding of their intent by some. The idea with the Mock Drafts thus far was to present the player who this blogger felt was the best choice for each team.

The overall philosophy here is pick for need unless the best athlete available comes to you. Then, it doesn't matter if the player's a center and you have an experienced center (in fact that may be a good thing), or if you will have a logjam at wide receiver, you have the most effective team of players.

In the NFL Draft the idea is to find new players who can help your team, not draft to protect existing players. Otherwise, the a team like the Washington Redskins would never get better at a position.  The San Francisco 49ers have a golden chance to land a player, C.J. Spiller, that will change their offense overnight.  Yes, the Niners have Frank Gore, but Gore can't do this:

C.J. Spiller is a prime example of "best athlete available." That's why the Redskins should take him at #4 and the San Francisco 49rs should trade up to get him. But can you imagine C.J. Spiller with the Indianapolis Colts? You could punch Indy's ticket to Dallas for the Super Bowl on the day of the NFL Draft.

Stay tuned.

CNN's overdosing on The Tea Party "movement"

For some reason, someone at CNN feels constantly mentioning the Tea Party Movement makes for good television. It seems every time this blogger tunes in to CNN, the words "tea party" are uttered many times per hour.

In fact, it's so much that it seems as if CNN's trying to fuel the growth of this so-called movement, when in point of fact it's barely larger than the PUMA group that was supposedly going to take town the presidential campaign of then-Senator Barack Obama.

Not only did that not happen, but the PUMAs were revealed to be only a shadow of their media-enhanced self. CNN was involved in that too at the time, much to the consternation of "Obama Rapid Response" team members, one of them named...Zennie Abraham.

This method of the media creating a political movement should be against the law. CNN and Fox News have spent a lot of time covering, and in Fox's case allegedly promoting, Tea Party events. But in CNN's case, the time spent on this takes away from other more important news. The keyword "tea party" seldom shows up in Google Trends, which means even with the one-two punch of CNN and Fox News, many Americans don't give a you-know-what about the Tea Party "Movement."

CNN should stop; then its ratings would jump.

Stay tuned.

@StephenFry hosts Academy's Noel Coward’s Weekend this Friday

Monday, April 12th - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has a special event featuring my Twitter friend, fellow Beverly Hills Polo Lounge fan, and iPad evangelist Stephen Fry this Friday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. AMPAS reports:

Actor and writer Stephen Fry will host the first night of a special Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ weekend salute to playwright, composer, director and actor Noel Coward that will include a live theatrical presentation of two of Coward’s little seen short plays – Design for Rehearsing and Age Cannot Wither – followed by a screening of the 1932/33 Best Picture Oscar® winner “Cavalcade,” on Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The salute will continue through Saturday and Sunday with double-feature screenings at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The events are presented as closing weekend festivities for the exhibition “Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

Friday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

“Star Quality: The World of Noel Coward,” will be open for viewing in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery from 6–7:30 p.m. and immediately following the program.

Design for Rehearsing – live theatrical presentation by L.A. Theatre Works
This brings to life the rehearsal process Coward undertook with his friends Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt for the 1933 debut of Design for Living.

Age Cannot Wither – live theatrical presentation by L.A. Theatre Works
This is a fragment from Coward’s last, unfinished work, begun in 1967, about a reunion of three 60-ish school chums.

“Cavalcade” (1933)
Based on Coward’s 1931 London theatrical production, “Cavalcade” follows a wealthy family as they experience key historical events in the first three decades of the 20th century, including the Titanic tragedy and World War I.

Directed by Frank Lloyd. Produced by Winfield Sheehan. Screenplay by Reginald Berkeley, based on the play by Noel Coward. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox. 110 minutes.

Academy Award® winner (1932/33): Outstanding Production (Fox), Art Direction (William S. Darling), Directing (Lloyd)

Academy Award nominee (1932/33): Actress (Diana Wynyard)

Stephen's a great ringmaster and thoughtful person. It's an event not to be missed! Also, catch him on Twitter @StephenFry.

Stay tuned.