Is MSNBC Starting to Edge out Joy Reid? Her Sunday Schedule Pushed Back for a Soccer Game? UPDATE: 10/23/2017 …Happily, Joy is busier than ever!!!

Update:  Joy is subbing for practically everyone and in an interview she stated that she really enjoys seeing how all the shows work. She is appearing on Meet the Press occasionally, and recently went to the Virgin Islands to report on the hurricane disaster there. She continues to report on the Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
GO JOY!!!

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

OK, maybe I’m just being hypersensitive about how MSNBC is shoving out a lot of people who are deemed as being “too far left” for the taste of Andrew Lack.  (very interesting Lack bio at Comcast.com corporate:  Andrew Lack.) We are in the dark about the fate of Lawrence O’Donnell but the purge started a long while back when Melissa Harris Perry blew the whistle on the network. God forbid that a show is devoted to a serious round table dealing with current issues involving the issue of Black America. Rev. Al’s Politics Nation has been reduced to early A.M. on Sunday.  And the list goes on

Joy Reid had her own show during the afternoons that was axed around the time that Alex Wagner’s NOW , the Cycle, Ronan Farrow Daily and The Ed Show were cancelled in February 2015. The Reid Report was struggling with low ratings as was the whole lineup.

Reid stayed on with the network, filling in and covering the 2016 campaign and became more visible and a real stalwart.  She was rewarded with her weekend AM Joy program which is a top destination for thinking people.  (Of course, she COULD have been given the slot have Greta Van Susteren was given but…) Her show is delivering great ratings and Joy has been writing books and as well as essays at sites like the Daily Beast…so, she’s blossoming as a media star.  See her outdated MSNBC bio here: Joy Reid outdated biography MSNBC.

So, why is MSNBC shoving Joy’s show around as the Trump scandals heat up?  Joy has been a leader in questioning the whole lot of GOP lackeys, and has been ahead of the pack in questioning the role of VP Mike Pence and his knowledge of Gen. Mike Flynn’s lies.  She has been steadily calling out the entire bunch over at the Daily Beast,  Her latest scathing salvo dated May 20, 2017 is entitled Donald Trump Knows Just How Bad the Russia Investigation Can Get

My favorite quotation from this piece is classic Joy:

“(We are asked to believe Mike Pence, the head of the transition team, heard this confession and the warnings about Flynn from the then-acting attorney general with his index fingers stuck firmly in his little lamb ears.)”

BUT…as Joy Reid’s audience grows, could this be a bit too much for MSNBC?

Today, Joy’s show is being pushed back 2 hours because there is a Premier League soccer match that MUST be shown in her regular Sunday time slot. ?????

Now, checking the NBCSN schedule, I can see that, yes, other games are being dropped onto other NBC outlets. CNBC, Esquire, USA, Bravo, SyFy, E!, Oxygen,  Telemundo and NBC Universo are ALL showing games at the same time, 10 AM ET.  NBCSport.com/tv-lisings

Now, I’m a huge soccer fan…was one before it became more popular. I had season tickets for the Cosmos at the midfield line just behind the players’ family section at the old Giants Stadium, where I saw all the greats.  Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s I was writing letters and calling Don Imus to lobby for coverage because the media was blacking out most coverage. For example, while 34,000 of us were watching a game in the rain, the only news was that baseball had been rained out.  I can say that my letter to the New York Times was published and Imus reported the score of that game! So, my sports activism worked!

So, now, as someone more devoted to political activism, I have to call into question what’s going on at MSNBC…and today, specifically, the decision to push Joy Reid back 2 hours so a Hull-Tottenham match is aired instead of the best discussion of current politics.

Really, MSNBC????

*****

I’ll be revisiting the Lack influence at some point since his bio discusses his former life at Bloomberg…..

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China Solar Panel Maker (Who Already Has Installed a Solar Farm On a U.S. Military Base), Now Sets Up 1st U.S. Plant

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I just watched a BBC America show about the reticent Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and over the last couple of days on NPR radio, the Stardate segments have been devoted to the anniversary of  the Apollo 12 mission when Pete Conrad (the third man to make that walk) and Alan Bean made a pinpoint landing of the lunar module to test  “precise landing techniques” that would be used in future missions.

"The Surveyor 3 spacecraft sits silently in a small lunar crater, with the Apollo 12 lunar module on the crater's rim in the background. Astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed just a few hundred feet from Surveyor 3 in November 1969 to test the precise landing techniques that would be needed for future missions."--Stardate.org

We can’t do solar panels here?

***

Early last week I posted this comment by Zachary Karabell, who appeared on CNBC (See: Larry Kudlow Has a Fit as Obama the “Declinist” Opens His Mouth in Japan; Says Obama is “Not His President”):

And he said that if we want China to continue to “hitch” themselves to us more, we’re not supposed to freak out if China wants to buy businesses HERE and not have a “knee-jerk xenophobic response.”

Well, here’s a story that will not make people happy, even though it may help us ultimately less dependent on foreign oil. Of course, we may become dependent on NEW environmental technology from foreign sources, but…

From Business Week (my bolding):

China Solar Panel Maker Sets First U.S. Plant

Suntech Power aims to boost its share of the U.S. market with a solar-panel manufacturing plant to be built in Arizona

China’s Suntech Power Holdings (STP) is no newcomer to the U.S. Last May, President Barack Obama toured the U.S.’s largest solar panel installation at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. There, row upon row of shiny black Suntech panels account for about a third of the 14-megawatt solar farm.

Suntech landed that project the same way it has raced to the top of the fast-growing global solar market: by focusing on price and scale. Now the world’s largest supplier of solar panels is boosting its stake in the U.S. market.

On Nov. 16 in Beijing, the company announced its first American manufacturing plant. The facility, to be located in the Phoenix area, will begin production by next October. “The U.S. market is on the cusp of greatness,” says Steven Chan, Americas president and chief strategy officer for Suntech. With the announcement, Suntech becomes the first major Chinese cleantech player to bring factory j obs to the U.S.

MMMM...wonder how many MORE major Chinese players will be arriving? And on U.S. military bases? (Of course, wasn’t there a flap over Bill Clinton selling military technology to China way back when?)

Now, there are some in Congress that are afraid our home-grown “green manufacturing jobs” won’t get a chance to get off the ground if this sort of thing happens on a regular basis. Sure, the Chinese are manufacturing here, but the factory jobs are THEIR creation, not jobs created by  a  home-grown company.

Obama’s visit to China focusing on collaboration in green technologies. Suntech’s move may soften criticism from U.S. lawmakers worried that low-cost factories in China will snare new green manufacturing jobs before they even have a chance to take root in the U.S. “[Suntech’s] decision to bring manufacturing here to the U.S. is a great sign of the increasingly important collaboration between Chinese and American leaders in the renewable-energy industry,” said Dan Kammen, a professor in the energy and resources group at the University of California at Berkeley, in a statement provided by Suntech.

Gee…that Berkley prof can’t write his own statement??

According to the article, most of the grants the U.S. issues for “cleantech” is winding up overseas:

Suntech’s investment comes as anxieties are rising in Washington over foreign domination of the U.S. cleantech space. In late October the announcement of a Chinese-U.S. consortium planning to build a wind park in Texas using imported Chinese turbines led to calls that federal subsidies should be pulled from the project.The same month, a report from the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that in the wind sector, where foreign manufacturers dominate the market, overseas companies have received 84% of more than $1 billion in federal clean-energy grants released since Sept. 1. The study did not focus on solar energy, but the majority of solar panels are also produced by European and Asian companies.

Texas?  Well, naturally…I’d bet that the George Bushes I & II are involved somehow, what with their long-time ties to China…Between them and their heir Barack Obama, things are proceeding very nicely…

In light of my previous post about growing U.S. unemployment, pardon me if I query: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??

(Well, we’re going to build electric cars with the Chinese, for one thing…)

***

Editor’s Note: I loved the space program and now live where Pete Conrad lived…and remember when this irrepressible spirit, who shouted “Whoopee” as he hopped around the moon’s surface, died in a motorcycle crash in California 10 years ago this past July (pictures on this memoria page). (He also rode 2 Gemini missions and Skylab I.)

Larry Kudlow Has a Fit as Obama the “Declinist” Opens His Mouth in Japan; Says Obama is “Not His President”

~~By  InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, Larry Kudlow over at CNBC is already having fits about Obama’s first statement since his arrival in Asia. You can see Kudlow flip out in this video.

On the Friday night  Kudlow Report (11/13/2009),  Larry bellowed that Obama was “not his President.”

I had to laugh.  I’ve never called Obama “President” either, in real life or on this blog.  Which just continues my tradition, since I never attached the word “President” to George W. Bush, either.  However, arch-conservative Kudlow apparently thought Bush was peachy keen at the time having no problem refrerring to Bush as President.

Kudlow ranted about how Obama does not do “optimism” and, in fact, preaches “declinism.”  And he cheerleaded about U.S. exceptionalism and our huge economy then railed about how Obama doesn’t understand how oversimplified it is to say that “the American consumer won’t bail out” the world economy.

Here’s the article from the Wall Street Journal that flipped out Kudlow:

Obama Carries a Message to Asia

Trade-Talk Revival a Goal, but World Economy Can’t Rely Solely on U.S. Consumers

(snip)

Mr. Obama’s emphasis on pursuing new pacts comes as he makes his way through an export-dependent region that has grown nervous about his trade policy, and skeptical about his willingness to use political capital at home to support free trade. He has yet to achieve tangible advances on the trade front, nor did he offer specific proposals Saturday beyond a promise to complete the next global round of free talks — dubbed Doha — “in a timely fashion.” So far, his most dramatic moves on trade have involved slapping tariffs on Chinese tire imports and, just last week, steel pipes. In his speech, he said his administration will “pursue pragmatic cooperation with China on issues of mutual concern.”

The speech in the vast Suntory Hall here Saturday morning had a somewhat different tone than many of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy addresses. He has spent much of his first year in office working toward burnishing what he has called his nation’s diminished stature in the globe. While he also talked of multilateral cooperation and human rights, he came to Asia to deliver the message that the rapidly growing export-driven economies can no longer count on the U.S. consumer to keep them afloat.

Doesn’t this sound sort of arrogant?  I have to wonder what “consumer” Obama’s talking about.  They seem to be half-dead here. I’m sure the Chinese know that, too. They are not dumb, Barack.

Panel member Zachary Karabell of  Rivertwice Research, who has written a book on something related to all this, played both sides of the fence…he sort of believes that we’re not the biggie we used to be (which is the sort of thing that pushes Kudlow’s buttons) but he says there’s a moment at hand now where we have to continue to make sure that we remain a hub of innovation.  He made sure he agreed with Kudlow that a “dual hub” situation is occurring–U.S. & China–which is OK with both of the because they see this as being “very beneficial.”  But Kudlow is totally pissed about how we’re wrecking other economies because of the weak dollar, which is creating an inflationary bubble in Asia region. Basically,  he says Obama is ignoring all this because he’s too preoccupied with “bashing” the American consumer.

Andrew Busch of BMO Capital Markets said he thinks the Administration’s strategy, which he doesn’t like, is to go “hat in hand” to China to try convince China to help us by letting the yuan appreciate…That is where the INSISTING part I discussed in my previous post is supposed to come in, I guess.

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal editorial board sees this weak dollar situation is what set up the Bush Administration to go down as a failure in terms of economic policy and that’s what we’ve got now.  How encouraging!

Ah, but Kudlow and Karabell think that American companies like Nike and Walmart making stuff in China and selling it here is great (but I’m asking, what about American jobs HERE, Larry!).

Kudlow made some dreamy comments about “stabilization” and “currency cooperation” and “coordination” with Asia. And then, Karabell dropped the bomb about an Asian ‘unified currency bloc to facilitate strength.”   And he said that if we want China to continue to “hitch” themselves to us more, we’re not supposed to freak out if China wants to buy businesses HERE and not have a “knee-jerk xenophobic response.”  Kudlow even decided there should be FUSION.  Later, he also espoused an Asian currency zone a la the Euro.  Kudlow also opined that Karabell should get a Nobel Prize for his book.

Karabell and Busch both think that China WILL  revalue the yuan by 5% with other countries in the region to follow.  Busch pointed out that China could face World Trade Organization actions for protectionism if they don’t.   As for Obama, during the presidential campaign Obama promised to “crack down on China” but during the primaries there was chatter: “But his commitment to that point of view was thrown into doubt during the primaries when a Canadian official said an Obama adviser had privately characterized his tough stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement as political posturing.” (As an example, see: U.S. to Impose Tariff on Tires From China, Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2009.  Detractors figure that “the tariff won’t result in more jobs. Tires will simply come in from other low-cost countries, they say, and U.S. manufacturers, keep making their cheaper tires in China.”) Of course, this is classic Obama…all that “get-tough” talk and “insisting” while we have to go “hat in hand” to China…more blowing smoke.

I have no idea what a 5% revaluation really means in the long run but I doubt it will miraculously revive our exports and restore many American jobs that have left the country.

All I know is that Kudlow finished the segment by again repeating that he likes his Presidents to be “optimists” and not “declinists” and that he was furious about Obama’s first utterances in Asia.  It’s worth checking out the video because I can’t due full justice to everthing that was discussed.

But what’s all this about “FUSION”? Well, it’s that “free-trade” stuff again. Kudlow seems to talk about U.S. economic leadership but embraces all this business leading to globalization.

Kudlow and  Obama both can give you whiplash…

But at least I hear Michelle and the girls are having a good time…

The Past Week: July 26-August 1, 2009 (Inflation vs. Deflation; CNBC Ratings Plunging; Wind Turbines; Perpetuum Jazzile and Simulated Rain)

~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Like nearly everyone else, I’m obsessing over the economy, so this discussion on inflation vs. deflation really caught my attention this week.

Check it out at the Two Beers with Steve site:

Episode 14 – Chris Martenson Talks Inflation Vs. Deflation

In Episode 14 we have our first ever interview with Dr. Chris Martenson, the author of the Crash Crash video series and the namesake for the www.ChrisMartenson.com website. We spend an hour discussing the most hotly debated topic in the economic blogosphere, Inflation Vs. Deflation.

This was one of the more fascinating podcasts we have done and is worth a second listen. But we have plenty of more interesting interviews coming up in the near future so I ask that you please subscribe to the Two Beers With Steve podcast through Itunes. The direct link to Itunes is provided below.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=315666764

***

You’ve just listened to a brilliant discussion (above), which is exactly what you DON’T get on CNBC, parent company GE.  And guess what? The ratings are plummeting. I tune in every day to see what the markets are doing, but am fully aware of the “acts” that are being presented to us every day on the subject of the economy. So, I turn it off. And so are a lot of other people. Now, there may be some “dropoffs” from cancelled cable subscriptions, but I figure the reason for the drastic decline in the numbers is that people are sick of being sold propaganda. But FOX is no better and not everyone (including me) can tune into Bloomberg, although they have an excellent website broadcast.

More here from The Pragmatic Capitalist:

WHY IS CNBC VIEWERSHIP PLUNGING?

(snip)

What’s even more baffling is that none of the other financial news networks have been able to capitalize on this.  Bloomberg continues to simply report the news – which is great, but makes for very boring TV.  Fox has essentially copied the CNBC model, but has done so without the talent and respected (or disrespected) personalities.  There is a huge market for financial TV and all viewers really want is a station that doesn’t feed them bullshit all day and does so through an informative two sided debate model.   Can anyone dethrone the king of financial news as they flounder or will the total lack of creativity at the other networks continue to give CNBC the title of “best of the worst”.

Late evening reruns of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money and Donny Deutsch’s  Big Idea are the only things still standing.  Deutsch isn’t bad, but Cramer…well, it’s a shame he’s still getting eyeballs!

The piece includes a chart of what’s going on at http://pragcap.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/nielsen.jpg.

***

Just a note: there’s a new post up at our sister site, Open Range Ramblings. If you want to see what creates windpower, check out the up-close pictures of a turbine blade that I encountered on my trip to Albuquerque!

***

Finally, Kenosha Marge forwarded this amazing video.  It’s incredible!  It’s even more wonderful as we wait for our monsoon rains to start falling here in Southern NM.  The clouds are there, but where is the rain?

Chicago Correspondent Leslie also created a direct link, just in case the video doesn’t play at  http://tinyurl.com/n5k6wb

The fabulous simulation is at the start of the choir’s performance of Toto’s “Africa.”  WONDERFUL STUFF! You’ll feel refreshed!

Title: Amazing choir (Perpetuum Jazzile) uses their hands to simulate storm

THE PAST WEEK

*By Grail Guardian

*A Stolen Victory During the Beer Summit–OR, How to Rewrite Congressional Votes While No One is Really Looking (It’s About Our Food)

As China (And Other Countries, Too) Makes Non-dollar Trade Deals Around the World, Maybe Americans Should Seek Safety in the Reincarnation Bank

A.P. Clamping Down on Bloggers; New Stance Will Stifle “Even Minimal Use” of News Articles Online

The Past Week: July 19-25, 2009 (The Journalism School Named after Walter Cronkite; Poor Economy, Cash-Strapped Families = Unclaimed Bodies of Loved Ones)

The Past Week: July 12-18, 2009 (Energy-Saving Porch Project; “Full Plates Full Lives” Food Campaign; JFK, Jr.)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve been busy for the last week or so having our back porch enclosed. It’s costing some bucks, but we figure we get an extra room out of it and eliminate the dust and dealing with the wind, which has made the area virtually unusable, except to pile up a lot of junk!  It’s unheated, but we bought E-366 doors and windows and have insulted the walls with above spec insulation. Here in southern New Mexico this means that we will have a delightful place to hang out during the winter and also in the cool mornings and evenings during most of the warmer months. Even all closed up now the temperatures are no more than what’s going on outside, which means our choice of the E-366 glass and the insulation is really paying off already!  Our AC isn’t working any harder, so we’re very pleased!

Here’s what the room looks like before caulking and final finishing. By next week I’ll be able to show you the entire room painted and in all its glory!

Porch Enclosure in Progress...

Porch Enclosure in Progress...

Unfortunately, the dogs aren’t getting out into the backyard very much because of all the mayhem.  But Slick, in particular is enjoying the gated area at the front of the house:

Slilck hangs out...

Slilck hangs out...

As we prepare to write a large check for this project (which is being done by neighbor who teaches but has a contractor’s license, too), it seems we’ve been musing a lot about money and the economy this past week. Here’s something in particular that is something to consider supporting:

Full Plates Full Lives

U.S. Foodservice, a 150 year old company that supplies food and related products to “restaurants, hospitals, hotels, schools and governmental operations” is running a “STEMulous Drive” now through October 15, 2009.  They’re organizing neighborhood drives, selling a cookbook, etc. all with the aim of feeding families who need help during these tough economic times. “Operation STEMulous” is specifically aimed at getting fresh fruits and vegetables to needy families.

***

Speaking of vegetables…this porch project has really cut into my gardening time…I’m barely able to water everyday, but as of last night the patio outside the new room is finally cleared of lumber!

***

And finally, this:

Jul 16, 2009 10:25 am US/Eastern

10th Anniversary Of JFK Jr.’s Death Passes Quietly

NEW YORK (CBS) ― The tenth anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., in a small plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard passed with relatively little notice Thursday, overshadowed by attention paid to the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission.

I remember that night clearly…It was a sultry evening in New Jersey and after hearing the initial reports I stood outside on our back patio and gazed up at the sky for a long time and prayed it wasn’t true…but it was.

***

THE PAST WEEK

CNBC (Among Others) Caught in the Act “Reporting” Nouriel Roubini’s Comments on the Economy…He Responds

HEADS UP! It’s HERE! The New World Currency Design, Presented to the G-8 Delegations (With Pics)

The Past Week: July 4-11, 2009 (Where We Are Now re: The Economy-Robert Reich, Nouriel Roubini, Robert Shiller, Chris Martenson)

CNBC (Among Others) Caught in the Act “Reporting” Nouriel Roubini’s Comments on the Economy…He Responds

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yesterday morning (Thursday, July 16), I tuned into CNBC with my usual jaded eyes and ears and was amply rewarded by the total misrepresentation of Nouriel Roubini’s comments on the economy.

The talking heads were almost giddy as the “news” flashed across the bottom of the screen almost non-stop:

“Roubini says the worst is if over for the financial (sector) and the economy.”(sic)

The  talking heads opined that the gains in the market were because of this comment.

Something didn’t sound right, not right at all. I had just seen a video of a Bloomberg panel featuring Roubin and Robert Shiller (who forecasts the housing market, among other things).  The panel discussion was on July 9. Here’s the story with the video which is up at Roubini’s RGE Monitor site,under the title “Roubini Says U.S. Recession Will Last Six More Months.”  Roubini also said that whatever recovery occurs will be “shallow.”  And, he added more grim analysis of the economy and our present state of affairs as the discussion progressed.

So, now it seems that Roubini has issued a statement to counter the reporting of his views:

Roubini: Views on Economy Unchanged Despite Reports

Published: Thursday, 16 Jul 2009 | 5:51 PM ET

By: CNBC.com

Nouriel Roubini, the economist whose dire forecasts earned him the nickname “Doctor Doom,” said after markets closed Thursday that earlier reports claiming he sees an end to the recession this year were “taken out of context.”

Nouriel Roubini

cnbc.com


“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook,” Roubini said in a prepared statement. “Despite those reports … my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.”

Several business news outlets, picking up on a report initially from Reuters, earlier Thursday cited Roubini as saying that the worst of the economic financial crisis may be over.

(MORE)

Yeah, “several business news outlets” means YOU, CNBC!

Roubini’s unfiltered statement is up now at his site.

Roubini Statement on the U.S. Economic Outlook

Nouriel Roubini | Jul 16, 2009

“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook. Despite those reports – however – my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.

“I have said on numerous occasions that the recession would last roughly 24 months. Therefore, we are 19months into that recession. If, as I predicted, the recession is over by year end, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010.  Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year’s end.

“Indeed, last year I argued that this will be a long and deep and protracted U-shaped recession that would last 24 months. Meanwhile, the consensus argued that this would be a short and shallow V-shaped 8 months long recession (like those in 1990-91 and 2001). That debate is over today as we are in the 19th month of a severe recession; so the V is out the window and we are in a deep U-shaped recession. If that recession were to be over by year end – as I have consistently predicted – it would have lasted 24 months and thus been three times longer than the previous two and five times deeper – in terms of cumulative GDP contraction – than the previous two. So, there is nothing new in my remarks today about the recession being over at the end of this year.

And then he gets to the real core issue:

“Also, as I fleshed out in detail in recent remarks the labor market is still very weak. I predict a peak unemployment rate of close to 11% in 2010. Such a large unemployment rate will have negative effects on labor income and consumption growth; will postpone the bottoming out of the housing sector; will lead to larger defaults and losses on bank loans (residential and commercial mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, leveraged loans); will increase the size of the budget deficit (even before any additional stimulus is implemented); and will increase protectionist pressures.

“So, yes there is light at the end of the tunnel for the US and the global economy. But as I have consistently argued, the recession will continue through the end of the year, and the recovery will be weak and at risk of a double-dip, as the challenge of getting right the timing and size of the exit strategy for monetary and fiscal policy easing will be daunting.

That sounds a whole lot less open and shut than the message being broadcast by CNBC, doesn’t it?

HULU — “An evil plot to destroy the world”: A Mainstream Media Creation (FOX, NBC et al) to Squeeze Out Independent Media Content

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

If you any doubts about how the mainstream media is playing us, then here’s the proof that they indeed are.  It’s easy to see when you take a look at Hulu. Most of the uniformed world think FOX (News Corp.) and NBC/GE are “enemies”  but we see that they’re working together to suck the air out of independent media content available on the web.

Hulu–“An evil plot to destroy the world.”  I didn’t originate this description; Hulu did. It’s in their ad which features the obnoxious Denis Leary jabbering away about TV content turning your mind to mush and snarking at a “brain dead” (those are the ad’s words) geek who’s getting a stream of green stuff passed into his ear.  Before he’s through, Leary says that the folks at Hulu are  “aliens” and then winds up with the tag line, “Hulu…an evil plot to destroy the world…Enjoy.”

The ad is up at the company blog under the title “The Evil Plot Continues.”  Go see for yourself…(and be sure to “click” to see the full ad after the initial clip is over or click here for the video without the blog post.).  This week, Hulu has released a “Video Panel widget”:

To continue to deliver on our mission to connect audiences with their favorite content wherever they are — or, as Denis Leary would say, on their “bliggety blogs, facey spaces and tweety pages” — we are releasing a new embeddable product this week: the Video Panel widget.

The ad is supposed to be a cool joke aimed at the younger crowd, but in reality, it may not just a joke!  A couple of weeks ago I happened to be watching CNBC and caught an interview with the young CEO who was talking about how successful Hulu had become and how it would be even more successful as it closes in on YouTube, which is currently the top video site.

And who’s behind Hulu?  According to Hoovers (with my bolding):

Hulu Company Description

When the rich and famous name their offspring, anything is possible. NBC and FOX had a digital baby. And they called it Hulu. Initially formed as a joint venture between NBC Universal (a unit of GE) and News Corp. (the parent of FOX), Hulu.com is a video site that features video from more than 100 content providers. Offerings include TV shows from FOX and NBC, as well as from subsidiary cable channels such as Bravo and the SCI FI Channel. Hulu also shows films from studios including Sony and MGM. Content — all total, some 900 TV series and full-length movies– is streamed on demand, free of charge the day after its broadcast debut. After a nearly five-month long beta version, Hulu.com was launched in 2008.

And, there’s another player now: Disney/ABC.

Disney Buys Into Hulu. YouTube Should Be Worried.  (4/30)

As the initial exclusivity for NBC and Fox content expires, Hulu will be adding Disney/ABC videos and TV shows to its distribution mix as well. Hulu is becoming the preferred distribution channel for the big media companies. And it is succeeding in attracting the fickle Web audience. This should worry YouTube, which is still casting about for a business model that will pay for its enormous storage and bandwidth costs. The media companies cannot ignore YouTube just yet, but by strengthening Hulu they can give it their best content first.

A couple of days earlier, this article provided some extra background:

Hulu Now The Number Three U.S. Web Video Site. Soon To Be Number Two.  (4/28)

Just last month, we wrote that Hulu had gained some 10 million viewers to become the fourth largest video portal on the web. Now, it’s slain another rival to the list: Yahoo, to move into #3 — at least in terms of videos viewed.

To be clear, the new March U.S. numbers released by comScore show that Hulu is still slightly behind Yahoo’s video properties when it comes to unique viewers. But the NBC and Fox-backed Hulu should pass it any day now in that category as well. Meanwhile, the number two player, Fox Interactive Media (which runs MySpace), is slipping just as quickly as Hulu is rising in videos viewed. It could well be as soon as this month when Hulu moves into the number two web video position.

Needless to say,  I wondered about the name. Silly me for thinking it was a take-off on “hula” or something Hawaiian. NOOOOOOOOOO, it’s actually a Chinese name! From Wikipedia:

The name Hulu comes from two Mandarin Chinese words, hulu (simplified Chinese: 葫芦; traditional Chinese: 葫蘆; pinyin: húlú; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “calabash, bottle gourd” and hulu (simplified Chinese: 互录; traditional Chinese: 互錄; pinyin: hùlù; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “interactive recording.”

The company blog explains:

In Mandarin, Hulu has two interesting meanings, each highly relevant to our mission. The primary meaning interested us because it is used in an ancient Chinese proverb that describes the hulu as the holder of precious things. It literally translates to “gourd,” and in ancient times, the hulu was hollowed out and used to hold precious things. The secondary meaning is “interactive recording.” We saw both definitions as appropriate bookends and highly relevant to the mission of Hulu. [4][5]

(Here’s the link to the above-mentioned blog post at Hulu with a picture of the young group (mostly of Chinese background?) who worked on choosing the name: http://blog.hulu.com/2008/05/13/meaning-of-hulu/.) (Note: For all their care, it seems that “Hulu” has some unusual meanings in other languages anyway. For a sampling, see:  Hulu Translates To “Cease” and “Desist” in Swahili. Oops.)

My next stop was a visit to the Hulu site at http://www.hulu.com/.  The “News” channel has a few sub-sections, but I just looked at the Politics section closely. Of course, it varies day to day, but it certainly is NOT a comprehensive news site…an awful lot of clips featuring unchallenged spin from the Administration and cable talk shows on the day I looked.  Hulu is entirely commercial content, so you won’t see any original “ads” or political discourse from the peons here, like you see at YouTube.

Who’s running Hulu for NBC, FOX, and Disney?

The CEO is one Jason Kilar. From Business Week:

Jason Kilar serves as Chief Executive Officer of Hulu, LLC. Mr. Kilar has been Chief Executive of online video joint venture of NBC Universal, Inc. and News Corp., since July 9, 2007. He serves as Special Advisor of KBL Acquisition Corp. IV*. He served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Application Software at Amazon.com Inc. since May 2003 and was responsible for Amazon’s Marketplace business. From February 2002 to May 2003, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Worldwide Application Software of Amazon.com Inc., where he joined in May, 1997 as a Product Manager. From October 2001 to February 2002, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Marketplace of Amazon.com Inc. and served as its Vice President of Books, Music, and Video & DVD from February 2001 to October 2001 and serves as its Vice President. He began his career with The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for Disney Design & Development. He serves on the board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow. He has been Director of AdReady, Inc. since November 28, 2007. Mr. Kilar received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School…

The company is providing  investment capital for Hulu is Providence Equity. Of course, there’s a “global presence”:

Working collaboratively from offices in Providence, New York, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi, our 74 investment professionals pursue opportunities as a unified team across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our sector focus and international mandate enable us to dedicate our full resources to building global leaders in the media, entertainment, communications and information industries, regardless of location.

The large “team” running this firm has some interesting names on the roster.

Michael K. Powell, now a Sr. Advisor for PE, formerly FCC chairman during the Bush Administration

In addition to Kilar, there are a lot of people with Harvard ties, work history with some of the large investment banks (with a number of them with a history at Morgan Stanley), and other interesting backgrounds. Here’s a sampling of some of the names I peeked at…there are many others with similiar ties on the long list of “the team”:

  • Chief Compliance Officer Fred Franklin (who “served for ten years as Assistant Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement”)… from Bear Stearns

So, it looks like the total capture of the minds of the younger generation by the mass media will be complete if most of them gravitate to Hulu.  If YouTube can’t survive, will the creative video we see there dry up or become fragmented across many smaller sites?

Hulu is just another piece of the puzzle as the media “clamps down” to control what media content users see.  Scary, very scary indeed.

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*KBL Acquisition Corp. IV is involved in “miscellaneous”  investment services but is a big player in the healthcare industry (also KBL I, II, III)

Hulu Company Profile.

GE media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

News Corp. media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

Disney media holdings (corporate site)