3) We're in for a huge culture-war battle this summer over whether to regulate Logo (and other gay networks), with cultural conservatives making it a Schiavo-like cause. ...
Frank Rich can write the columns now and take July and August off. ... [Why a big fight this summer when we already have gay characters on network TV and entire gay shows--The L-Word--on cable? Cultural conservatives have already lost that battle-ed Gay characters and gay Showtime dramas are one thing. An entire network celebrating and validating homosexuality pumped into every home with basic cable service might be too much for many people to tolerate. Maybe they don't accept that they've lost the battle! Maybe journalists telling them they've lost the battle makes them madder.] 2:11 A.M. link
Monday, April 18, 2005
The May issue of Motor Trend--on your newsstands now!--features an article ("rear drive rules") describing all the fabulous cars General Motors is going to derive from its "new rear-drive Zeta platform." Except that GM sh**canned its planned American Zeta cars in late March, apparently because they couldn't compete--not with the Japanese, but with Chrysler. ... P.S.: The WSJ's Holman Jenkins argues that GM's strategy [$] is basically to tread water until its burdensome legacy work force dies! I don't quite get the logic of Jenkins' theory. GM has the burden of the health and retirement costs whatever happens. Why wouldn't it try to produce some hit cars and make some money to help pay those costs? Jenkins claims the need to care for aging workers makes GM more risk averse than if CEO Rick Wagoner just had to worry about shareholders "none of whom will go hungry if you swing for the fences and miss." But attempting to coast through the decade with SUVs and rental cars (like the Buick LaCrosse)--and no immediate prospect of national health insurance that shifts medical costs to the government--seems like the riskier course. ... Caveat: It's always possible that the Zeta is a lousy platform and GM will find a better one for American rear-drive cars. If so, GM should blog about it. Of course, that might annoy its overseas divisions, which still plan to produce Zeta cars. ... P.P.S.: GM's blog does link approvingly ("tough but fair") to a Forbes column, which defends GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz against the LAT's Dan Neil in the following passage:
You don't like the designs of some of the new cars. Well, Bob Lutz doesn't, either, but it's the best he's been able to get, given the time constraints, designs locked in before he came to GM, the company's policy of reusing ancient platforms and GM's bureaucracy. [Emph. added]
There you have the best defense GM is able to muster: We don't like our cars either! It's both mildly astonishing and heartening that the company is willing to publicize this admission, even if only through a blog link.. ... 1:02 P.M. link
Here's everything you need to know about the ... er ... unappealing Senor Posada, seeker of asylum. Good testy Bill Clinton Newsweek quote near the end. ... P.S.: Bizarrely, the NYT seems to have completely whiffed on this potentially juicy anti-Bush story, according to both NEXIS and the NYT's own search function. 12:32 P.M. link
Friday, April 15, 2005