Wednesday, September 15, 2010

America's Got Talent's surprising winner By: Nikky Raney

Out of all the acts on America's Got Talent the most unique was Fighting Gravity. The group of frat brothers who took a semester off from school to pursue this dream. They used black lights, neon, and amazing teamwork to make an amazing performance that no one could have topped - or so they thought.

Michael Grimm, USA Today
Michael Grimm was crowned the America's Got Talent winner receiving $1 million and the chance to headline a show in Vegas.

This choice was quite surprising. Besides Fighting Gravity the other candidates were Prince Poppycock and Jackie Evancho.

USA Today reports:

"Sharon Osbourne said she was sure they'd wind up with a show in Vegas and told them she wanted a front row seat on opening night."

It is agreed over many platforms (forums, Twitter, Facebook, blogs) that this was completely unexpected and an unpredictable turnout.

Grimm just didn't seem too out of the ordinary  or original. Prince Poppycock was a true character, Fighting Gravity was unique in so many ways and Jackie was a young girl with the voice of an old soul.

Congratulations to Grimm - I am sure the other candidates will receive opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Ines Sainz Pictures Of Sexual Harassment vs. Sex Scandalous Looks

The flap around sports reporter Ines Sainz and her ‘beef’ with the NY Jets has brought to light a number of troubling issues within sports that we’ve been discussing for the past 30 years including; sexism in a league that has no shortage of disturbing incidents, accessibility and professionalism.

We’ve seen this movie before. The story line goes, attractive reporter in a male dominated sport is ‘doing her job’, when high-priced players and in this case the Jets head coach Rex Ryan and defensive back coach Dennis Thurman decided to behave in a way that we would not tolerate off the sports field in other work environments.
In this incident, Ryan and Thurman reportedly threw balls in Sainz direction during a Saturday afternoon practice causing players to run near her while she waited for an interview with quarterback Mark Sanchez.

She said the ball throwing wasn’t really the issue and didn’t take it too seriously. She said she didn’t really take the cats calls she got in the locker room seriously. Sainz claims it was the reaction she got from other reporters that eventually caused her to communicate to the world via twitter that she was ‘feeling uncomfortable’.
The fall out was predictable. NY Jets owner Woody Johnson apologized and promised to look into the matter and hold the feet of those responsible to the fire. The NFL is investigating. Women sport writers and reporters of every type have been brought to the fore front, interviewed and asked how things have changed over the years. Most of their reactions have been cautionary like Teri Thompson who pretty much said; ‘Yes things have improved, but we still have a long ways to go’, seems to be the mantra.

Ines Sainz defends her salacious outfits
Next we have the age-old discussion about attire. One one hand we have some saying a reporter like Ines Sainz sends the wrong message with her provocative style of dress. Saturday she wore tight jeans and a halter top. On Monday night she wore a mini dress with a revealing neckline and stilettos. Sainz has coyly defended her head turning outfits. She claims its how she dresses and while she hears the cat calls ‘noise’ she ignores themand goes about doing her job.
Many have supported her laying claim that it doesn’t matter what she wears. In no way shape or form, should any woman be harassed. 

Some have even pointed out that her attire of dress is cultural and that in many places throughout Mexico and Latin America where Sainz is from, her outfits wouldn’t cause such a stir. Obviously they have here in the US.
On the other hand, many aren’t buying it. One long time sports fan named Cynthia —– dedicated a Dave Chappelle video to Ines Sainz stating that while she agrees women shouldn’t be harassed for what they wear, one needs to take into account their motivation.. She asserted ‘Some females PRETEND not to like the attention.

Hadji Williams author of 'Don't Knock the Hustle' feels Sainz was unprofessional in her attire.
As of late last night this debate on attire was raging on the airwaves, in blogs and on twitter. Long time activist and author Hadji Williams (Can’t Knock the Hustle )who goes by the twitter handle Black Canseco was knee-deep in this conversation as he wound up relating his long tenure in corporate America where he claimed Sainz attire of jeans and halter top would’ve been deemed unprofessional.
“I’ve worked 15 yrs in corporate gigs. I’ve seen women rip each other apart over attire. Inez would get torn down at places I’ve been at” he noted.
When challenged about why should women have to dress a certain way in order to not get harassed, Williams asserted that he was not defending the players. He felt those responsible should indeed be held accountable.
He added; “One wrong doesn’t negate another wrong. What the players did were wrong and should be dealt with. Inez Sainz outfit was still unprofessional.”
Sadly Ines Sainz and discussions on her outfits take away from the more serious issues of sexism and harassment within NFL with players like Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger who had his suspension for reckless and harassing behavior reduced from six to four games and now former player turned reporter Shannon Sharpe who is accused of domestic violence, rape and issuing death threats against Michele Bundythe mother of his kids. Sharpe has decided to take a leave of absence from his post at CBS until the issues at hand are resolved.
The issues around attire can easily be dealt with. The NFL can simply implement a dress code. Any reporter on the field or in the locker room needs to have on appropriate business attire. Since many of the harassment problems seem to occur in the locker rooms, how about the NFL simply keep that space for the players and conduct all interviews on the field after the game? 
Why not make it a condition that all players must stick around for 15-30 minutes after the game to talk with reporters who seem to feel its important to get the raw emotions of players after a win or loss?.
Will any of this stop all the cat calls? Not totally, but maybe it will lessen the types of remarks and attitude we heard espoused by players like Washington Redskin running back Clinton Portis who yesterday suggested that women reporters in the locker room have ’53 packages’ to look at and may want one.

Former NFL tight end & CBS reporter Shannon Sharpe
In the meantime, not just the NFL but society in general needs to find more efficient ways to work on the problem of sexism, violence against women and other related issues. 
Sure we can punish Rex Ryan and whatever Jets player made cat calls, but shouldn’t we be concerned about the hundreds of thousands of folks who woke up the other day and made Ines Sainz top ten in searches as folks sought to get a glimpse of her outfits. 
Not a whole lot of folks were interested in stopping sexism in the NFL when they went googling her name. If you don’t believe me check out how many folks are looking up Shannon Sharpe this morning. Check around and see how many discussions are being had about a man who is accused of raping and issuing death threats against a woman. That’s what we should be concerned about.
As reporters what role do we have in all this? Are we beholden to a corporate agenda that would say go out and cover the game as if nothing happened because too much money and important relationships are on the line, hence one can’t afford to be rocking too many boats? Or do reporters who feel that a strong message needs to be sent step up and take some bold steps like doing some serious investigative reporting or not giving an offending team and its players any coverage at all..

Big Ben Roethlisberger
How pervasive is domestic violence in the NFL? How many owners are covering up behavior that we saw with players like Big Ben Roethlisberger? If this is really about changing a damaging sexist culture then maybe reporters will have to go beyond the quotes in a locker room and deliver the type of hard-edged journalism that unearthed the rape cover ups in the military where it was discovered that almost 1/3 of the women enlisted were violated and that oftentimes its covered up or ignored
Wouldn’t it be great if Ines Sainz was one of those reporters peeling back those painful layers and kicking up dust around this issue? Imagine her interviewing Big Ben as opposed to Mark Sanchez?
Where it stands now Ines Sainz is the hot topic who will likely parlay this incident into bigger and better things. People will point to the fact that the Jets apologized and how coach Rex Ryan won’t cross that line of harassment again, but sadly none of that won’t prick the surface of what’s really at hand. 
It’ll require all of us who are concerned to push the NFL to come down harder on those who cross the line. 
It’ll require us to push sports reporters to come down harder and make things uncomfortable for the players the way Sainz said she was made to feel uncomfortable. 
It will require all of us to start moving young people in a different direction so they won’t some off like Clinton Portis. It will also require all of us to draw lines in the sand.
Written by Davey D

3D Summit: Sports Panel On Live Sports Broadcasts In 3D

Universal City, CA - In the last 12 months 25 sports games have been recorded in 3D. That's a record number and just one of many reasons for the 3D Summit Sports Panel, Wednesday evening.

(If you're keeping score, yes, it's been a full day of fun, informative, 3D talk and networking which started at 8:30 AM.)

FOX Sports Derek Manning says that the technology available to do 3D makes it possible. Vince Pace, the Stereographer and CEO of Pace, explains that, again, the success of Avatar helped spur the use of 3D in sports broadcasting.

His view's supported by Alec Shapiro, the Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Professional Solutions of America, another panelist.  All say that people working in their firms are fans of 3D.

"Most people are working for a common goal," Pace says. "They all want to see this work." Mannikng agrees, saying that

HD Sports v. 3D Sports

The panel says the first between HD and 3D is "slowing down."  In 3D, every time you cut it takes time for eyes to adjust. Then there's an added layer of dealing with video and stereography. Camera positions: every stadium is set up for 2D, not 3D. Specifically, in a 2D situation, a person might walk past the camera. That screws up a 3D camera shoot. Having the camera up higher and away from spectators prevents that. Plus, it's not cheap to do versus 2D, even if it's HD.

An Exciting Time

Pace says it's an exciting time because "who doesn't want to see a baseball flying by them at 120 miles per hour. Everyone wants to see that."

Other Sports HD Thoughts From The Panel

Pace says in the sense of scale, that bigger is always better. In other words, the bigger the screen the better for the broadcast. Manning says that FOX is working to expand and it's "just going to get better."

Pace says that in three to five years, "every big sporting event will be in 3D on TV." Overall, the panel says if the public is excited about 3D now, just wait until the future. Manning says that "It's going to get bigger over the next few years."

3D Summit: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sony Chris Cookson Speech, Lunch With Producers

The 3D Entertainment Summit is a great place to be in on the ground-level conversation about an industry in its infancy. The overall concern, paced by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, is one of quality. No one of the movie players in this room at the Hilton Universal City wants to be known as the one who makes the next Clash Of The Titans.

Clash Of The Titans is the now infamous 2010 remake of the 1981 movie about a conflict between a god and a man-god, Originally created in a 2D format, Warner Bros execs rushed to do it in 3D after seeing the box-office revenue from Avatar.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
Scott Hedrick moderates panel
 on 2d to 3d monetization

The result was a 3D version that was so bad it spawned complaints from, of all people, Avatar producer and director James Cameron. It was Cameron who specifically called out the movie as an example of bad 3D.

That episode in the short history of 3D has driven the conversation here at the 3D Summit. The issue, even right now, is getting a good quality 2D to 3D conversion.

One bit of information for theater operators: execs like Katzenberg are calling for brighter lighting lamp levels than what is common for screen projection at theaters.

Oh, and this blogger's video of Katzenberg will be up by Thursday. On that note, Katzenberg responded to my question about the Comic Con 2010 response over the news that Cowboys and Aliens would be made as a 2D movie. Jeff said the he was at Comic Con, but didn't hear any displeasure with their 3D products or the use of 3D.

Really? Well, yes, Comic Con goers loved the movie trailers, but there was an occasion when they took time to express their preference for 2D over 3D.

Let's play that video again from Comic Con:

A Speech Too Long

The only glitch in the 3D Summit is that the producers feel the segments run too long. That's borne of the fact that the whole show started about 10 minutes behind schedule. Ignoring that, Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies Sony Pictures Entertainment, gave a long, really droning on and on speech, that he admitted he knew cut through our lunch. Did he have a lot to say? Well, yes.

He says that Sony's working with "the playstation people" on a kind of 3D application, though he did not give a specific release date.

More later!

3D Summit Day 1 - before panel

This is the view from my seat this morning at the 3d Entertainment Summit.   It starts in 6 minutes with an opening speech.  Then Jeff Katzenberg is at 9:15.

It is mostly older men; not much of the young demographic one might expect to see.  

The media accomodations are OK if you are in print media.   New Media?  Bring batteries.   

More soon

3D Summit: Bob Dowling On Change in The 3D Business

8:40 AM PDT, Universal City, CA - Bob Dowling is a kind of grandfatherly seer, and a legend in the Hollywood media business. Long associated with the growth of The Hollywood Reporter, he saw the possibilities with 3D and jumped in early.

Now, he says that the only way for the industry to grow is to convince the consumer. Which is an interesting point, because at Comic Con 2010 there was a kind of backlash against 3D.

Dowling says the summit will identify the drivers in the industry - that's a systems thinking term.

He now introduces Charlotte Jones, Senior Analyst, Film and Cinema.    Some notes:

- In 2010 - 60 cinema releases and $5.5 bil in revenues.

- 3d cinema screen base increased 40 percent from 15,000 to 22,000 in one year, from 2009 to 2010.

- 20 percent of all screens are now converted to 3D.  North America screen developments are rising, but internationally, it's leveling off.
- Avatar caused a three-fold increase in 3D screens, and now it's five-fold in growth over the last two years.

Dinner Recipes: Broccoli Cheese Soup by Tina

This soup is delicious for lunch, served with saltine crackers. It can also be a great, quick meal to have on a fall night, with the wind howling outside. Keeps you warm from the inside out!

2 tbsp margarine
1 c diced carrots
1/2 c onion, diced
2 tbsp flour
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
14 oz chicken broth
9 oz chopped broccoli
1 c milk

Sauté onion and carrots in margarine until tender in saucepan. Add flour and remaining ingredients and continue to cook on medium heat. Do not boil. Works well in a double boiler. Serve immediately with crackers or fresh bread.

Fall Baking: Pumpkin Pie Crunch Recipe by Tina

This is a sweet treat to have for dessert after a nice family meal!

1 yellow cake mix
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 16 oz can solid pumpkin pack
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 /2 c sugar
4 t salt
1 c chopped pecans
1 c butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, spice and salt. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle dry cake mix over top, and then sprinkle with pecans. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and serve with cool whip. Store in

Morning Tailgate Recipe: Overnight Blueberry Coffeecake by Tina

No matter if you have a third grader playing football on Saturday morning, if you are heading out to tailgate before the noon kickoff of the college game or if you have a brunch tailgate before the NFL game, this coffeecake recipe will get you off to a great start. Make it the night before, throw it in the fridge and bake it the next morning while you are in the shower. Goes fast at tailgate parties, you might want to make two!

1 egg
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c milk
3 tbsp butter
1 c blueberries

Beat the egg and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add with milk to sugar mixture and beat well, then stir in butter. Fold in blueberries. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Heidi Montag's Boob Comes Out Of Bikini In Costa Rica

Also: Inez Sainz pictures and scandal.

Heidi Montag's Boob Comes Out (Pacific Coast News) 
Heidi Montag, who earlier was devastated to learn of the passing of the man who gave her new boobs in a now famous 10 surgery procedure, Dr. Frank Ryan, had one of those creations pop out of her bikini while she was in the water in Costa Rica.

And on top of that, the former Hills star had it happen in full view of photographers.

According to The Daily Mail, Heidi Montag complained that her breasts were too big and she was thinking of getting a reduction. Montag observed that life was difficult with them, and that was before the Costa Rica slip.

The money shot reveals a quite beautiful figure for the 25-year old who's going through an equally weird set of issues with her former husband Spencer Pratt.

But back to the boob issue: Heidi should take up women's bodybuilding to at least firm up her chest.

I seriously doubt she gets a reduction considering the attention she's getting. And in entertainment, attention equals money.

Inez Sainz, Christine O'Donnell and Sexual Hypocrisy in America

YouTube, Yahoo, DailyMotion, and Viddler

Inez Sainz and Christine O'Donnell may not have anything to do with each other at first glance, but both are at the epicenter of sexual hypocrisy in America.

Christine O'Donnell
Tea Party Member Christine O'Donnell, a marketing consultant, beat Delaware GOP Senator Mike Castle for the right to represent the Republican Party in that state's Senate Race. Now, according to Rachel Maddow, Christine O'Donnell has some weird issue with sex. In 1996, she campaigned against masterbation.

That's right. She had an anti-masterbation campaign.

Now, Christine O'Donnell is a marketing consultant? Marketers specialize in using sex to sell, right?

Well, let's correct ourselves here. I just ran across Christine O'Donnell's Linkedin profile.

She lists herself as a media consultant, not a marketing consultant.

But guess what? Everyone's calling her a marketing consultant! So, she's not using sex to sell anything. But her anti-masterbation campaign is accurate and still calls into this into question: if she was against masterbation, why even talk about it?

In other words, was it so on her mind and she was so cloistered that she was sexually frustrated, and so went on this crusade? See?

So, she's still a hypocrite! Heck, an even bigger one after all that. One has to think about sex all the time to have the major issues O'Donnell exhibits. Yowza!

Inez Sainz 
Yowza is what Inez Sainz is. As this blogger wrote before, she's the focus of a sexual harassment investigation against the New York Jets, that the hot TV reporter didn't start, but is milking for all of the attention she can get.

But explain these photos where she's measuring the muscles of these NFL players.

 You know, if a guy was measuring a woman's biceps someone would claim he was objectifying the women.

Well, isn't that what Inez is doing with the players?

Inez at Super Bowl Media Day 2009
So Inez can have her sexual fun, but no player can say that she's hot? Ok. Catcalls are not a good thing (that's what Jets players are accused of doing), but Inez brings a sexually-charged approach to her work. Take a look at what she said recently - a quote that's getting around the Internet:

I guess I never really give it any thought when I’m working in a locker room, the radio TV studio or anywhere in which my path crosses with an attractive female colleague…but I do have an opinion on it though and it is not PC. My feeling is that if you are a sexy, attractive female that can use you looks, figure, attire or sexy attitude to do your job better, do what you need to do.

I think the NFL needs to take that into account in its investigation.

I close with this question: why can't male reporters go into women's locker rooms?

More on this later.