Monday, July 9, 2007

Stalin's Ghost Hits Town

Trying To Put Feathers Back On The Peacock - New co-chair Ben Silverman (middle) is trying to get NBC Entertainment back on track. Silverman led an independent company that produced The Office and Ugly Betty. Silverman is clearly a disastrous choice as co-chair. Just look at his shows. Ugly Betty features a publisher led by a soap opera management team that will sacrifice anything, including their own magazine, for personal gain. The Office is a symphony of dysfunction. NBC Universal (VaVaVivendi again) should have gone with Aaron Sorkin as co-chair - West Wing and Studio 60 might also feature soap opera managers, but at least they are functional - put the country, or the show, before personal gain. Why not go with a guy who creates the management dream instead of the nightmare? ----------------------------------------
Police Plan Web of Surveillance For Downtown - A network of surveillance cameras comparable to London's Ring of Steel is underway in lower Manhattan. If fully financed this system could eventually encompass 3,000 cameras. What should we call it? Will Pittsburgh Steelers license "Steel Curtain"? Speaking of curtain, have NYC officials considered the weak spot in the system. Lower Manhattan heavily populated by waitstaff, dog walkers, cab drivers etc. who are actually actors and performance artists working a day job. Chance to play to the security cam may prove irresistible to many, could the surveillance system be overwhelmed by an uncontrollable surge of artistic expression? Civil libertarians, including As Good As News, somewhat concerned, but cameras will be outdoors and in buildings which admit the public, not in your bedroom. As Good As News says security no joke, prepared to accept the cameras as a plus if the security benefits are real and use of tapes is limited to legitimate law enforcement.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dig Up The Garrote And The Moscow Rule Book: Guess Who's Back In Town - Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith gets a rave review. No surprise here. Cruz Smith an As Good As News favorite, Arkady Renko one of the all time great fictional detectives and Stalin a timely theme. See yesterday's post on Vladmania.--------------------------------------------------------------
Dateline Mauritania - Feature on Mauritania locals who hitch a ride on the iron ore train as the best way to cross the Sahara seems to miss the boat. Did we not learn last week that morbid obesity, resulting from a diet that includes force feeding of goat cheese, is the ideal of feminine beauty in Mauritania? These lovelies are riding the iron ore train because the bus just can't handle the load. To be fair, an As Good As News first which may never happen again, this is a very interesting descriptive piece from a truly exotic location which notes that the train ride is too tough to handle for most of the hefty Mauritanian beauties. Why Mauritanian and not Mauritian - Chevalier clan already has short version locked up?--------------------------------------
As Good As News says thanks for comments leading to format changes, thanks to Columbus hosts for allowing remote posts the past few days and thanks for stopping here immediately after you finish the NY Times, definitely the best route to As Good As News.

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