Dick Summer Connection – 3-11-07

I am grimly determined to remain optimistic in the face of the stupendous stupidity dazzlingly displayed by pathetic practitioners of the broadcasting industry. But it’s not easy. Last week I told you about a New York City Councilman’s insane proposal to ban the use of the word Nigger in New York. Not to be outdone, a lame brain talk show guy on some penny whistle station in New Jersey is asking his listeners to “demand that the FCC put the ‘N’ word on the list of words forbidden on the airwaves.” This guy is on the air…every day…and he doesn’t know THERE IS NO SUCH LIST. What don’t we ever seem to fully understand about the following from the Bill of Rights:
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Before anybody accuses me of being a racist, read last week’s blog. And if there’s anything you don’t understand in it, contact me for an explanation at dick@dicksummer.com.

More stupidity – the CBS “Jack” format prides itself on having no air personalities… which is the only element radio has to offer that ipods can’t. “Jack” also promises to “play whatever we want.” Which they do as long as it’s part of their playlist. And while we’re at it, if there are no air personalities, who’s the “we” in “we play whatever you want”…the computer ? DOWN, HAL…turn off…why are you not responding ? Dazzling.

More dazzling ? The format is bombing in New York and doing well in Los Angeles. A friend in the business says, “it must be a cultural difference.” As in maybe there’s some culture in New York, because culture is spelled with a c and we haven’t gotten around to banning the c-s yet. Besides in LA the closest to culture they get is yogurt.

I’ve got to find something out. Several thousand people read this Connection. Do ANY of you listen to “Jack” on the radio ? Do any of your friends/enemies listen ? Seriously, please let me know. My E-mail is dick@dicksummer.com
On the tv side, NBC-TV’s Cambell Brown could do what Katie Couric can’t. Her work as a substitute anchor on the Brian Williams newscast is clear and authoritative, but she also brings a feminine dimension of sensitivity to her reporting. In other words, she’s not just reading a tele-prompter, she’s telling me the news, and letting me know she understands what she’s saying, and having an actual human reaction to the stories. And her interviews are such a joy. I love watching politicians’ faces when she throws nuclear bomb questions, and then just sits back and gives them her very pretty smile…and waits for a real answer. And any of them who thinks pretty equals weak and tries to duck out of a reasonable answer gets pinned to the studio wall and left to dry…all with a lovely smile. Plus, I really like looking at her.

I wonder if she’s related to Aaron Brown, another brilliant tv journalist who, much to my dismay, seems to have dropped off the tube. He’s the first guy since Arsenio Hall who made me actually go out of my way to watch a tv show. He’s kind of a grown up Tucker Carlson.

And while I’m in TV mode, Glenn Beck is going to be a giant. I disagree with almost everything he says, but he says it so well. And Keith Olberman has a size 44DD brain. He’s a verbal surgeon with his commentaries. Wolf Blitzer is helpless. Hannity is a single minded jerk. He’s Rush Limbaugh without the talent. Alan Colmes is smart. I like his work a lot. Chris Matthews is shrill but would be magnetic if he ever learnd when to shut up. Brian Williams is a brilliant and gutsy pro, but he has to learn to put his hands in his pocket. Richard Engel is the most valuable field reporter in television right now. He speaks the local languages(s) fluently and seems to genuinely have the confidence of the people he’s interviewing. Charles Gibson is everybody’s smart uncle. So was Walter Cronkite. Give Charlie a little time, and watch out.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to put Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Aaron Brown, Ted Koppel, and a few other under employed heavy weights on some radio network…every day. Or at least get all of them together and put them on all at once for an hour or so. The technology exists for them to work from their living rooms these days. I bet they’d love it. So would I. And we would all have a much better idea of what’s really going on around us.

The next great radio format – God Talk. No preaching. Just a Catholic, an Atheist, a Protestant, a Muslim, a Jew, an Agnostic, a Buddhist, a Hedonist, and a Jessie Jackson type. Maybe Jessie his own-bad self. Turn ‘em loose. Let ‘em tear each other’s throats out every day…in the name of the Lord and tax deductible contributions, of course. I think it would be fun, and a meteor from outer space is going to hit us some day anyway.

This just in: Since that sick puppy Coulter’s rant the other day, we now have another word we “can’t say.” The “F” word. No, not fuck. Fag. Pretty soon the only words we’ll have left will be “Mary Poppins.” I will have to stop telling people my name is “Dick” and start calling myself Richard. One of my main client’s secretaries already does that. She just can’t call me “Dick” because she CAN’T BRING HERSELF TO USE THE “D” WORD. I am not making this up.

I’m also not a gay basher, by the way, although I must admit that I think “gay” is kind of a silly name to call a grown up guy. I have a couple of gay friends and a lot of gay business associates, one of whom is a world class body builder. He’s roughly the size of the Empire State building. “Gay” just doesn’t seem to fit a guy like Scott.

The idea of his skipping gay-ly down Fifth Avenue is not a picture that comes readily to mind.

Thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I feel more…grimly optimistic now.

Dick’s Details Quiz – All answers are available on the current PodProgram: Laughs, Tears & Years

1- What kind of underwear does Brad Pitt never wear ?

2- How could you legitimately live to be 200 years old ?

3- Who got a shot at making the perfect woman, and almost succeeded?

Scoring- 3 right – Unlimited use of any word you like, and some you don’t like.

2 right – Unlimited use of any word in the bible.

1 right – Unlimited use of any word in the Dick & Jane reader.

0 right – Oh shut up.

What have we learned ? Probably nothing. But thanks for letting me blow off some steam. Grim optimism is making a comeback. If you’d like to do some steam blowing, jump in on the comment section just below, or send me an e-mail – . You’ll get an answer. But you’ll have to use the D word to send the E-mail – dick@dicksummer.com

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