Monday, August 02, 2010

Bill Cosby not dead 2010 - another Internet hoax

Like Justin Bieber, Kayne West, and so many other celebrities, Comedian Bill Cosby is the latest target of the now famous "dead" Internet hoat. "Bill Cosby dead," "did bill cosby die," and "Bill Cosby dead 2010" are at the top of search trends on Google as of this writing, topping search terms like "dan resin," "mitch miller," and "my super psycho sweet 16" as of this writing at 4:40 M, PDT.

But Bill Cosby is not dead. In fact, "The Cos" took to Twitter to report that he's alive and well:

Again, I'm rebuttaling rumors about my demise. But, I'm confirming I have an app - :)

Why Is Bill Cosby a Target?

Why Bill Cosby became a target of the "dead" rumors, or why anyone becomes the focus of such cyber games, is a mystery. But Bill Cosby has at least used the same New Media tool to tell the World that he's alive and well.

Lady Gaga Flower Power SEX Vanity Fair by Suzannah B. Troy

Lady Gaga is confident she is unconditionally loved by her fans.  Am I going to read this new article on her in Vanity Fair that comes out Wednesday here in NYC?  Yes.   Come on!!!  Bring it on!!!

Dear Lady Gaga:

Have the sex!!! Go for it.

People with no life will project on to you, try to suck your energy, hope to get some kind of fame vicariously throught you, so don't worry about someone sucking energy out your vachina -- try and use good judgement which is very hard because there are not many good guys out there and let's face it most would use you for your money and fame but still try and find someone and just enjoy.

Recycling old lovers before you were famous -- highly recommended!!!!

Here is to flower power and recycling!!!!!!!!!!

YouTube channel Zennie62 hits 16 million views

YouTube channel Zennie62, the companion to this blogger's blog at and at and Seattle has reached over 16 million video views (which is different from channel views).

This is due, first, to the constant support of the YouTube Partner Program team of Chris Rewak, Jim Woods, Yenie Ra, community manager Mia Quagliarello, and others, including YouTube Co-Founder Chad Hurley.

Second, it's due to folks like you, who watch and even send ideas for new videos.  It's also due to people like David Glanzer at Comic Con, Inc, and John Russo, my friend who's Oakland's City Attorney, and Megan Avalon, and Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, and interviews with Sylvester Stallone, and part of the cast of The Expendables.

The most watched video continues to be my Susan Boyle commentary...

Which, with Boyle's incredible voice and my heartfelt comments, seemed to strike a chord with many around the World. Of all of the 1,033 videos I have on YouTube, that's the one I'm proudest of.

The objectives for Zennie62 on YouTube, and other video channels, is to interview more people with interesting backgrounds, take you to events like The Super Bowl and The Academy Awards, talk to politicos locally and nationally, cover sports and news, and provide commentary. Also expect to see a lot of entertainment-related news and interviews, like my limo ride with the people from the movie Hatchet 2:

As well as the occasional "out of pattern" video, like me on an airplane or something, but I'll leave that to surprise.

Subscribe to Zennie62 on

American Idol chaos: no deal for Jennifer Lopez, yet

No deal for J-Lo, yet 
American Idol's still in a state of chaotic flux. Last week it was reported that Jennifer Lopez was in as a judge while Kara DioGuardi was fired and Ellen DeGeneres quit. Randy Jackson was the only American Idol judge to be retained, although reported that he too almost got the axe.

Hold everything.

Broadcast & Cable reports that there is no deal with any American Idol judge "who was not on last year" which means that Jennifer Lopez is not set as an American Idol judge and the show is still in a chaotic PR mess.

According to Fox Networks Group Chairman Peter Rice, "The only thing I can tell you with any certainty right now is no one has signed a deal yet to be on American Idol who was not on last year."

Rice said that at the top of Fox' executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour, Monday. Rice said he tried to get Ellen DeGeneres to stay and would not confirm reports that judge Kara DioGuardi was fired.

Rice, as he said to reporters, has a hard job of negotiating a contract in a public forum. A rumor about a deal going in a certain direction can either help or hurt discussions. Reading between the lines, it appears that's what's happened with Fox and American idol.

Rice said:

"When we have deals, we'll tell you. I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of how we're trying to make this decision. You guys are really really good at this. You get information from all sorts of places. As I said, some of it is correct and some of it is wildly incorrect and I'm not going to tell you which is which."

Stay tuned.

Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys, Tiny and Tip wedding news is Internet buzz

The Internet proves what this blogger has said for years: people are voyeurs. People want to know about what other people are doing and that's a good thing. Take three of the hottest Internet buzz subjects, the weddings of Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys, and Tiny and Tip. Together they represent 20 percent of the top searches for the morning of August 2, 2010.

Chelsea Clinton Wedding

The Chelsea Clinton Wedding was called "Our Royal Wedding" by Bonnie Fuller in The Huffington Post, who argues that "we need it," because it's an escape. I guess, but I could have done without Bonnie's wacky sentence:

"Chelsea grew up in the palatial White House and is marrying a wealthy white knight named Marc Mezvinsky, an investment banker with an impressive $4 million Fifth Ave. apartment."

(Ah. Bonnie, he's just another insufferable Stanford grad. Chelsea, too. Just two more reasons to want Cal to kick Stanford's ass in the 2010 Big Game!)

Now it's that kind of take which makes me wish Marc Mezvinsky were black and not white. I'd bet even money Fuller would not have called Mezvinsky a white knight, although doing so in that context would have been path-breaking. Her use of the term causes me to wonder how far we have to go as a country before such institutionally racist signals are gone?

But I digress, sort of.

Alicia and Swizz courtesy of
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

I mean no one called Alicia Keys' new husband Swizz Beatz a "white knight," even though he was wearing a white suit in wedding photos. Instead, we have referring to Swizz Beatz as "baby daddy" because he and Keys have a child already.

But why do we see the term "baby daddy" applied to an black man in his time of glory: a wedding? Yeah, it's TMZ, but to take this a step further, The Huffington Post didn't even mention the Alicia Keys wedding beyond a five-paragraph post.

T.I/Tip and reality star Tameka "Tiny" Cottle wedding

T.I/Tip and reality star Tameka "Tiny" Cottle's three-city (wow!) wedding managed to escape any mention in The Huffington Post as of this writing. In fact, the only content I located about T.I. was his win of a BET award from prison.

I think you can see where this is going.

I just don't like the underlying message that's sent: white is good, black is bad or at best not worthy of coverage.

I don't think Arianna Huffington intends to have a publication that has such an institutionally racist appearance, but in this case it looks that way. Some of you will complain that I'm seeing things or "seeing race" but my forceful counter is that you're too willing to consume the messages delivered to you by a particular brand without questioning them.

In other words, if it's The Huffington Post or The New York Times, you'll take it "hook, line, and sinker," but if it's another brand, you'll question it. My point is, you should question every news brand for the stereotypes they present.

...and Rock the Casbah!

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Pawlenty's "red hot smoking wife" a calculated tittilation

A topless First Lady?
While it’s arguably inappropriate, sexist objectification of his spouse to bolster his career when lame-duck MN Governor Pawlenty describes her as his “red-hot smoking wife,” I disagree with Wonkette’s characterization that it’s “two years early.” If Obama hadn’t started early he might not be President, and remember Pawlenty isn't exactly breaking new ground: Senator McCain tried to woo votes from Harley riders by suggesting his wife enter the topless Miss Buffalo Chip contest in Sturgis in 2008.

If voters made their choices rationally the political calculus of candidates and campaigns would be very different. Pawlenty used his wife to further his personal goals. Voters often rationalize when interviewed, but research proves the decisions are more often based on emotion than intellectual evaluation.

Campaigns get longer and more costly all the time because mainstream media producers see candidate spending as helping their own bottom lines. In other words, it’s also arguably a conflict of interest to base so much of the determination of a campaign’s viability on successful fund-raising. True, in many cases advertising is a crucial factor, and we all accept that one of the keys to advertising success is repetition across a wide range of media to generate the maximum number of impressions. Yet wouldn’t it be refreshing for a network or newspaper to cap the dollar amount on political ads they’d take at some reasonable level?

Voters report they’re actually annoyed by the saturation of TV as elections approach; in some cases the result seems to be tuning out altogether. Meanwhile where are the balancing stories about what the candidates have actually accomplished, how a candidate runs an efficient and fiscally restrained campaign focused on issues instead of fund-raising, or which ads are to distract from facts or obscure their votes while echoing slogans and talking points in much the same way Budweiser hammers away with their “King of Beer” message.

Pawlenty knows “earned” media coverage is less costly than buying ads, and he’s got the recent examples of Palin and Bachmann proving the press loves provocative statements more than substantive discussion. Any “news” outlet is reliant on ad revenues, which are in turn driven by ratings.

Look how quickly most mainstream media companies jumped on the Shirley Sherrod story – a hint of controversy and the race for viewers/readers was on without what we used to think of as journalistic integrity, all in pursuit of the mighty dollar. Pawlenty certainly doesn’t want the national press talking to disgruntled Minnesotans or economists about how his “no new taxes” mythology has driven down quality of life and scuttled the state budget.

Look for conflicts of interest in coverage, and follow the money if you want to understand Pawlenty — but don’t underestimate either his political savvy or the impact his “red-hot smoking wife” may have on voters and donors.

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

Interview DOs and DON'Ts explained by Nikky Raney

After viewing the video of Journalism 101: Interview DOs and DON'Ts there may be some who are looking for further explanation. This is the blog post where the dos and don'ts are better explained. Please understand these are all relating to interviews for a print or web story. Interviews for broadcast are similar, but there are more restrictions.

1) Do not ask yes or no questions.

Don't ask questions that will only result in one word answers. Granted there are some instances where there needs to be background information obtained that may only require a one word answer, but it is always preferable that the questions asked require a longer answer. The purpose of an interview is to obtain quotes for the article. In addition to quotes any facts or statements included within the article can be attributed to the source in instances where the source has given information.

2) Don't ask misleading questions.

Misleading questions are when the question is looking for a specific answer that could possibly make the source say something negative or something that could come off as negative. An example would be when interviewing someone who is pro-abortion and asking, "What is the joy of an abortion like for one who has one?" The person is coming off saying that an abortion is a joyous experience, or asking a presidential candidate, "What about his plan is most unnecessary?" The quotes given can be misconstrued and the person can come off looking bad.

3) Don't rely on a voice recorder.

Yes, it's good to have a voice recorder to play back and make sure the quotes were correct. It also saves time on fact checking so instead of needing to call up the person and go over the quotes - the voice recorder is proof. Taking notes is necessary to write down the key points and quickly jot down quotes. The recording can be fast forwarded to the specific part so that the quote can be accurate. Without taking notes one would need to sit and listen to the entire recording again and write things down - where as taking notes saves from that hassle. It also shows the person that they are actually being listened to and that specific details are being noted.

4) Don't ask irrelevant questions.

This may seem obvious, but many reporters do this. Interviewing a source for an article is just that - interviewing for the article. Taking the time out of the day to make time for an interview with a reporter is something that should be appreciated. Do not waste the person's time rambling or asking things that aren't of any relation to the article. Getting some background information on the person is one thing, but asking personal questions that have no relation to the article is just a waste of time.

5) Don't interrupt.

So sometimes there are questions that need to be asked and limited time to ask them, but even when the source goes off on a tangent talking about things that have no relevance to the article and could not be used as quotes for the article do not interrupt. Interrupting is rude and when someone is taking time out of the day to squeeze in an interview respect is necessary. Especially when a time comes in the future when the source will need to be contacted again. Of course keep some questions prepared, but make sure to have follow up questions in your mind while the person is speaking. Never interrupt, because the irrelevant rambling could sometimes lead to a better quote than could be acquired from any question asked. A subject that was not thought of before could be touched upon, and there's also a lot of information that could be obtained.

6) Ending the interview by asking for additional information.

Make sure the source is given the opportunity to add any additional information that he or she finds important. There may be some things that he or she wanted to discuss, but the questions asked were never directed toward the topic. Asking at the end of the interview shows caring and gives the source a chance to open up freely and talk about things that may not have been covered during the interview. This is where the best quotes will come from.

7) Ask questions that only that person can answer.

Broad questions that could be answered by anyone aren't worth it. Ask questions that are personal and specific to the source. Ask questions that could not be answered by anyone other than that source.

That's all for now - there are more things to touch on, but the most important are there. More explanation will be posted within future blog posts.

Lindsay Lohan out of jail, on to rehab thanks to

Actress Lindsay Lohan is, thanks to, out of jail at the Lynwood Correctional Facility after just 13 days. This space applauds the decision made by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel to have Lohan sent to UCLA Medical Center for treatment, which is reportedly what Lohan's doctors wanted.

This also should give those who believe Lindsay Lohan should get jail time just to show she's "just like everyone else" a belly ache!  Lohan has a special problem that call for the appropriate treatment and not jail time, as the spectators in the Roman Coliseum wanted.

The people who formed this "Lindsay Lohan Lynch Mob" are also the same ones to complain about the "hook em and book em" climate we have today. People must become more intelligent in how they evaluate the legal issues surrounding not just celebrities like Lohan, but everyone.

Earlier, this blogger asserted that Lindsay Lohan should not have gone to jail in the first place:

The Lindsay Lohan matter gave way to a shameful display of bloodlust from even people I personally know.

Judge's Lohan Treatment was In Error

What happened was that Judge Revel had assigned Lindsay Lohan to Morningside Recovery, and over the objections of two psychiatrists selected by the Judge. TMZ broke the story, which served as the catalyst for Lohan's appropriate redirection to UCLA.

Meg Whitman Oakland Office "surveillance" signs taken down

On Saturday, this space reported that the Oakland Lakeshore / Lake Park campaign office for Meg Whitman, the former eBay Chairman and CEO running for California Governor against Jerry Brown, had a warning sign "surveillance" sign in not one but three places on the front window, and that the word "surveillance" was misspelled.

It looked like Meg Whitman was expressing how afraid she was of Oakland.

Here's the Meg Whitman Oakland Office video:

Well, as of Sunday, the Meg Whitman campaign reps came in and took down the signs. However the action doesn't erase the fact that they did it.

The office has to go beyond just taking down the signs, they have to embrace the Oakland neighborhood they're in. That means being more open and not just hiding behind a card table.

Stay tuned.