Chooch On the Horizon? What happens to Chrysler if FIAT, its putative savior, fails to acquire Opel from GM this week ? Was FIAT counting on Opel to fill some of the obvious gaps--mid-sized cars and larger--in Chrysler's weak lineup? The best U.S. car GM makes--the Camry-fightin' Chevy Malibu--started as an Opel design, remember. ... 2:07 A.M.
Product placement is everywhere these days. ... 12:18 A.M.
Is there a campaign to tarnish poor Anderson Cooper? First this negativity in the LAT . ("Cooper's ratings have been in sharp decline ...") Today, a suspiciously similar item in the New York Post' s Page 6 ("ratings have plunged") that cherrypicks Cooper's worst days. TV Newser has a less excited take , noting
Year-to-date, Cooper is flat in the ratings. In 2008, AC360 averaged 1,194,000 Total Viewers. Year-to-date 2009, he's averaging 1,199,000 (through May 3). ...
It is true that AC360 is shedding viewers from its Larry King Live lead-in ...
Still, flat is not so good! If Cooper falls further, how does Visionary CNN Chief Jonathan Klein not fall with him? ... P.S.: If Klein has done anything at the network, aside from promoting Cooper, keeping his own name in the papers, and sneeringly spinning CNN's declining numbers, I forget what it was. Oh right: He's skillfully positioned CNN as the boring, nonpartisan network in an exciting, partisan time. ... 12:12 A.M.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Buried Lede of the Day: From the tenth graf of a May 7 WSJ article on furniture retailer Design Within Reach :
Just getting people into stores can be difficult at a time when self-indulgent shopping has lost its allure, says Jim Taylor, vice-chairman of Harrison Group, a market research firm. Dr. Taylor has just completed a consumer study for American Express Publishing that suggests the wealthy no longer really enjoy shopping. What's more, their new, less-materialistic lifestyles are "a lot of fun," he says. "Our happiness scales are up this year for the first time in years." [E.A.]
Is that really true? If so, a big deal, no? ... And why? Perspective? Lower status anxiety? Lower Iraq anxiety? Obama? The power of schadenfreude? ... It's a thumbsuckers' playpen. ... 2:07 A.M.
Ben Sheffner illustrates Nick Denton's possibly-tragic misunderstanding of American libel law. ... But is linking to Gawker 's libel itself libelous, even if the purpose of the link is to show how libelous it is? [ What about linking to Sheffner's linking?--ed That's OK under the Two Degrees of Libel rule, which I just made up] ... 2:05 A.M.
Ezra Klein warns that if nothing is done to control the cost of health care , in 20 years we'll be spending 26.7% of our GDP on it. Is that all ? I was thinking the figure would be much higher. ... P.S.: I suppose it depends on what we get for 26.7% of GDP. But if expensive medical advances added a year or two to my life, I'd be happy to fork over a quarter of my income. Wouldn't you? ... P.P.S.: The Obamist Party Line on universal health care--that we have to scare everyone into thinking we need it to control costs--has always seemed ill-advised , given that we've never been able to control health care costs before. And it plays into conservative arguments that liberals really want to meddle in medical decisions and ultimately deny treatment . Now it turns out the O.P.L. health cost scare stats aren't really even that scary. ... Why don't Democrats instead push to provide everyone with health care using the argument that ... everyone needs health care? ... Just a thought. ... 2:03 A.M.