By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham
Los Angeles Times
Hulu soared to popularity by offering free online viewing of popular TV shows. Now that free ride may soon end.
The Internet-video site is weighing plans to charge users to watch episodes of “30 Rock,” “Modern Family” and “House.” The move would mark a sharp change of course for the venture, which was launched nearly two years ago by a consortium of studios to distribute without charge TV shows and movies over the Internet.
Hey Michael Moore!
Quit stirring up the masses!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
GOP leader’s office rips unions with profane video parody
Eric Cantor is the GOP’s House whip and revered by GOPers as an up-and-comer. But an aide in his office pulled a Boehner Wednesday by sending Greg Sargent at talkingpointsmemo.com a profane video response to a union ad campaign pushing the stimulus package. Cantor aide Brad Dayspring stressed to Sargent that the video was meant as a joke. You know, parody. Ha-ha. Ho-ho … millions of people losing their jobs … hee-hee …
This thing is so profane that if we’d post the f-bomb laden clip here, we’d get a tap on the shoulder from somebody in a glass office and a call from Mom. Use the Internets to find it somewhere in the tubes. The delicious irony here is that Cantor wanted to up the fines for naughty language when he was supporting the Broadcast Deceny Enforcement Act. Said Yes E. Cant(or): “The use of obscenity … should not and cannot be tolerated.”
Two lessons here, kids: Don’t try satire at home. And f-bombs don’t usually work in transmitting political messages to the masses
Let’s back up. On Wednesday, the public workers’ union AFSCME launched a major ad campaign, targeting Republicans — like Cantor — who oppose the stimulus.
So an aide in Cantor’s office thought they’d have a few laughs by passing along a video that mashes-up an old 1970s era ad with a new voiceover featuring a voice that sounds like — and we say this as a proud Italian-American — one of Tony Soprano’s top aides, Paulie Walnuts.
“On your way to work tomorrow, instead of sittin’ around with your finger up your a-, look around,” the voice-over says. “There’s a union out there called AFSCME and they’re bustin’ their balls doing a lot of s- work you take for granted. For example, we pick up your f- garbage.”
“We don’t take s- from nobody,” the video’s narrator says. “You got that, a-? AFSCME — the f- union that works for you.”
Dayspring initially told TPM that it was intended as a “lighthearted” response to the ads directed at his boss. Soon, after getting a blogosphere/union beat-down, Dayspring realized what he had done and apologized.
“I would like to apologize for a joke that was in no way an official response from Congressman Cantor, but instead an inappropriate email. I apologize to AFSCME for my inappropriate email containing an old video. Let me be clear, we know people are hurting in these trying times and House Republicans completely agree that we must pass an economic recovery bill that preserves, protects and create jobs for Americans facing these economic challenges.”
Needless to say, the unions are f- pissed. (Sorry, we’ve been watching too many “lighthearted” videos from Cantor’s office.) AFSCME chief Gerald McEntee’s minions told Sargent:
“Eric Cantor may think the greatest economic crisis in seventy years is a joke, but we don’t. He should talk to the people in Virginia who are losing their jobs, health care and homes.”
Sigh. Remember the days when Republicans touted themselves as the party of family values? And who said conservatives didn’t know how to use online tools?
One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex
In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.
The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.
Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.
Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.
Thus, within days of hiring General McCaffrey, the Defense Solutions sales pitch was in the hands of the American commander with the greatest influence over Iraq’s expanding military.
“That’s what I pay him for,” Timothy D. Ringgold, chief executive of Defense Solutions, said in an interview.