Friday, November 21, 2008

The TR: Pining for Presidential Picks, Panicked Private Plane Passengers and Palin's Persecution of Poultry

Hey, we had snow flurries this week! Less than ten minutes, but here in DC, it almost set off a round of school closings. Stay bundled up and read on for temperature-raising snark. Better than a fireplace and hot cocoa, we promise.


In the main event, Hillary's never-ending vetting process should reach its big dramatic finish with either the big gig or new power in the Senate. The secretary of state chair is an equal-opportunity gabfest for talking heads on both the left and right, especially with Bill's "he'll do whatever it takes" pledge to smooth Hil's way. Including revealing every dollar received and every sexual indiscretion, maybe? Will next week herald a "Monday surprise" of particularly damning Uncle Bubba behavior? If so, don't look for Rahmbo's fingerprints. Whoever gives up the big guy will sleep with the fishes.

The auto industry has leapfrogged the The Man and rolled out a strategy to rally public support for federal loans. Detroit's finest flacks have gone online with a GM sponsored YouTube video and the website However, after a thoroughly degrading dressing down on Capitol Hill, the big three may have made only a little progress. What's worse for the unions? Bail-out conditions or Chapter 11 reorganization? This story will continue to unravel into next week, as will the still-plunging Dow and the lack of detail (and/or planning) regarding that famous 700B of our children's future tax dollars.

In coming weeks, the entire GOP will descend upon the runoff Senate race in Georgia to field-test messaging for 2010 and 2012. They got messages already? With the drubbing they received a couple of weeks ago, one would think they'd put a little more thought into it. This will mean a lot of old faces from the 2008 race and some new ones as well. TR Central (sigh) will keep you posted on the latest election news. Yeah, we know, we thought this was behind us too.

The tech guys over at MSNBC have designed a helpful Presidential appointment Keno ticket to help you keep track in the middle of spine-tingling suspense. Smell that bureaucracy in the air? But the new appointments so far have received mixed reviews from all sides. The Blogometer broke it down for us; check out the online reactions and then hit up our comments section to add your voice to the mix. We're not the only ones with strong opinions, are we?

And, of course .... Thanksgiving! Pick up the new Sarah Vowell Book and grab a flight/bus/train/hot air balloon to your embarrassing dinner table of choice. Gelatinous cranberry sauce anyone? No? Then how about pre-canned media: the Macy's T-giving Day parade, sports analysis, weekend news anchors, cooking segments, "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio and a hiatus from hard-hitting news. Try to enjoy the Spam feast and maybe even take a cue from Mrs. Palin, who talked to the media while a turkey was... what's the adverb we're looking for here... horrifically slaughtered in the background. There's that giving spirit!

The Week That Was

Motrin has a headache from online mommy attacks. Does Mom really use baby as a fashion accessory, and does it really give her a Motrin-craving back ache? Online protestors think not. Under the Twitter tag "MotrinMoms," they spread their hellfire into the blogosphere and mainstream media. It was an exercise in textbook crisis management using Internet activism and social media savvy. Call it "Cautionary Tale 2.0."

If anyone ever doubted the influence of women online, now they've got proof of their cluelessness. They could learn a thing or two at the newly announced Feminism 2.0 conference, online now and in the flesh on Feb 2, like how much louder women can roar online. Be there or be square!

Henry Waxman this week narrowly defeated old man Dingell for the Energy and Commerce chairmanship. The implications for this are twofold: First, Detroit's Rep is no longer in charge of the nation's energy agenda, which may be a huge opening for climate change. Second, the committee's jurisdiction over broadcast media means that new advertising regulation could be around the corner. Adjust your strategies accordingly.

This week also, Ted Stevens' reign in Congress came to an end, and thank goodness this wasn't Palin's "open door." No one knew how to play the appropriations game as well as Stevens. Could the last prize he reaps from Washington be a pardon from the outgoing president?

Seems like everyone is in the mood for change lately, including PepsiCo. The Giant Liquid Sugar Pusher will no longer be working with longtime advertising agency BBDO Worldwide. BBDO may have made Pepsi "The Choice of a New Generation," but the switch to TBWA should inject new blood into the soda's image. The TR's marketing intern would like to suggest, "Have a Yes-We-Can of Pepsi today!" for starters.

We've known this forever, but now that it's on the front page of the NYT, everyone else should too. Newspapers nationwide may be wasting away, but don't worry, folks, journalism itself is still kicking. We've seen the future, and it doesn't suck! Small web-based news operations -- often staffed by laid-off newspaper reporters -- have sprung up to uncover stories overlooked by the varsity teams. These little websites won't be taking over the media just yet, but they are and will be a good source for getting the stories you won't find anywhere else.

Finally, if your teenage daughter has been especially agitated this week, allow Dr. TR to make the diagnosis: Twilight fever. The white-hot but chaste love story of girl and vampire hits the big screen this weekend, and we suspect there'll be older elbows shoving the young'uns to the side to get a fix of escapist romance in these decidely unromantic times.


Did we tell you the auto industry's bailout request would get major attitude? Even we were surprised by the impressive pile on by media and government. Remind us to never hit up Barney Frank for money. No TR next week! Happy Thanksgiving!


SnarkQueen said...

Well, we suck. The second we put out the TR news broke that Hil accepted State, Richardson was picked for Commerce, and Tim Geithner (pres Fed Reserve Bank NY) was tapped for Treasury. Whew!! Now we know what you reporters feel like when we forget to give you good news!

DeanLand said...

That comment suckitude is due, of course, to there being no TR next week. Missing news due to a deadline is the way of the world. But NO TR NEXT FRIDAY?

That really sucks.

SnarkQueen said...

Well, beloved Deanland, the talented young folks who are the real brains behind the TR must cast off their leg irons and go home and eat turkey. ;o) Thanks for the continued support!

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