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China Gets a New Media Network

For some reason, China has always been more interesting to me than Russia -- maybe because I've been there twice. In any event, while almost everyone is writing about Russia, a new media network has launched in China -- in English -- that I think is really good. It's called the China Global Television Network, or CGTN, and it launched New Years Day, replacing what was called CCTV.

CGTN will be a multi-language and multi-platform media grouping. It will consist of six TV channels, a video content provider and a digital media division.

China's President wishes them well:

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations during the opening ceremony held at the CGTN headquarters in Beijing on Saturday. Xi said that the relationship between China and the world is changing, adding that China needs to better understand the world, and the world needs to better understand China.

Here's more about who they are and their goals. I've been reading their news articles at their global site CGTN and at CGTN America and following two of their Twitter feeds (CGTN_America and CGTN )since New Year's. Their articles are well-written (and news and commentary are very distinct), their photos are terrific, and best of all, even though it's a a video network, there's no auto-play video. So far, the photos seem to link to text articles, not the video versions. It's easy to follow, well-organized, and the site is very uncluttered. It also loads quickly. [More...]

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New Years Musical Hits and Fumbles

I didn't see any of last night's TV performances live, but judging from the videos and news reports, Gloria Estefan and the cast of On Your Feet (a Broadway musical about her and her husband Emilio Estefan) put on a terrific show, while Mariah Carey just imploded.

I especially liked Ektor Rivera's booming voice (see at 3'45" in) and Ana Villafañe, and the child dancers. Gloria still has her powerful voice, and they were obviously not lip-syncing.

So what happened to Mariah Carey? Here's the video. [More...]

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R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds

Very sad. One day after Carrie Fisher died, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, had a stroke and died this afternoon at the hospital. She was 84.

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Wednesday Night TV Thread

The third most watched cable channel in the U.S. is HGTV. Only ESPN and Fox News have more viewers. It even beats CNN.

Why? Apparently, the HGTV shows are happy shows, that allow people to escape the real world. And that's what viewers (including me) want.

The escapist appeal of looking at other people’s beautiful homes turned Home & Garden Television into the third most-watched cable network in 2016, ahead of CNN and behind only Fox News and ESPN. Riding HGTV’s reality shows, parent company Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. has seen its shares rise more than 30 percent this year, outperforming bigger rivals like Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Viacom Inc.


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SNL: Walter White Will Head the DEA

The cold open for Saturday Night Live mocked Trump's cabinet picks. Skip past the beginning with Trump's campaign manager and go right to Bryan Cranston (1 min. 30 sec) playing Walter White, Donald Trump's pick to lead the DEA.

It's time to Make America Cook Again.

We want to fill this nation with red, white and a whole lot of blue....

Live From NY....

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Oakland: It Justs Keeps Getting Sadder

The death toll in the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire has now reached at least 36.

The Daily Mail has photos and stories about some of those who lost their lives.

A criminal investigation is underway. All of SFist's coverage is here.

Here's a profile of the master tenant and his wife. Here's some information about how heavily the event was promoted. An interesting interview with the master tenants' "nanny" about how they lived is here.

Ghost Ship's Tumblr feed has some really large and detailed photos of the interior and posters for prior parties.

The fire is believed to have begun on the first floor in the back of the structure, where residents lived, underneath where the party was being held. While the cause is not known, there is a lot of speculation it is electrical-related. According to one tenant who was sleeping and made it out alive, the fire started in a room where the occupants had just hooked up a refrigerator. Electricity frequently went on and off in the building.

More bodies are expected to be recovered.

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Kellogs Pulls Advertising from Breitbart News

Thank you Kelloggs!

Kelloggs Cereal has pulled its advertising from Breitbart News. The company says the website does not comport with its values.

“We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that are not aligned with our values as a company,” said Kris Charles, a spokeswoman for Kellogg’s. “We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove our ads from that site.”

Here is Kellogg's statement about diversity on its website. Here are the employee groups it created to foster diversity. Here are the the diversity numbers. Check out the awards it has won, just for 2016 and 2015. There's a lot, but they include the NAACP, Civil Rights Champion of Justice Award (2015), National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), "Top Company for Executive Women" (2015) and Human Rights Campaign, "2015 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" (2015.)

I already eat Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, Crispix, and Corn Pops but I'm going to buy some more. Frosted Flakes is my favorite, but if that's too much sugar for you, Kelloggs also owns Special K and All Bran. And if it's not enough sugar, there's Famous Amos Cookies.

Breitbart is calling for a boycott of Kelloggs. To the contrary, #buyKelloggs. Here are some money saving coupons. Make yourself some rice krispie treats (only 3 ingredients, what could be easier?) [More...]

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Thanksgiving Ritual: Alice's Restaurant Open Thread

It's Thanksgiving! Progressive radio stations around the country will be playing Arlo Guthrie's 18 minute version of Alice's Restaurant, about his trip down to White Hall St. in lower Manhattan to sit on the Group W bench and wait until he was told if he was fit for induction into the Army to go fight in Vietnam.

KBCO in Boulder is commercial free all day, and will play Alice's Restaurant at noon and again at 6 p.m.

Does anyone besides me still have a hardcover edition of her 1969 Alice's Restaurant cookbook in their kitchen? It's filled with tasty recipes and very easy instructions. [More...]

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R.I.P. Leonard Cohen

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Tecate Beer Wall Ad Debuts on Debate Night

It's gonna be huuuuge.

Great timing for the Tecate beer wall ad mocking Donald Trump's border wall.

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Narcos' Season 3 to Focus on Cali Cartel

Pablo Escobar's son lists 28 inaccuracies in Narcos Season 2. Not to be outdone, with Narcos planning of butchering the story of the Cali Cartel next, William Abadia-Rodriguez, son of Cali leader Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela, has an op-ed in La Semana blasting narcodramas in general, and especially the one about his family in particular, En La Boca Del Lobo, calling the informant-protagonist a nobody telling fantasy tales.

The Harvard educated lawyer, now living in Miami (thanks to his plea deal with the U.S, which saw his 21 year sentence reduced to 5 years, after he agreed to testify against his father and uncle, with their blessings, and allowed him, his wife and children and mother-in-law to stay in the U.S) still insists he was only involved in the money laundering and bribery of politician business, not drugs. [More...]

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Yahoo Addresses Hack of 500 Million User Accounts

Here's Yahoo's statement on the hack of 500 million user accounts by what it suspects is "a state sponsored actor."

What they got: users' names, emails, phone numbers, and dates of birth.

What they didn't get: bank account and payment information which are stored in a different system.

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Emmys 2016

Update: I think Jimmy Kimmel is doing a terrific job.

I loved the part with his mother making PB&J sandwiches for everyone. Great delivery on line about how people who are allergic to peanuts are out of luck, they could only afford one epi-pen.

I also liked his asking Marcia Clark if she was rooting for OJ tonight. And the Trump bashing -- by everyone. Kimmel's best Trump line: "If it wasn't for television, would Donald Trump be running for president? He would be at home right now rubbing up against his wife Malaria."[More...]

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Facebook Reverses Censhorship of Iconic Kim Phúc Photo

Photo courtesy of Aftenposten

Facebook censored the iconic "Napalm Girl" photo of 9 year old Phan Thi Kim Phúc. If you are not familiar with the photo or the story behind it:

In June 1972, when she was just 9 years old, Phuk suffered burns on over 65 percent of her body when American forces mistakenly dropped napalm bombs on the South Vietnamese temple where she and her family had taken refuge.

Associated Press photographer Nick Ut's photograph of her running naked and screaming from the flames became an iconic image of the Vietnam War – and earned him a Pulitzer.

The Pulitzer prize winning photo has been reprinted everywhere, including family friendly People Magazine. The photo is largely credited with turning public opinion against the Vietnam War.

About two weeks ago, a Norwegian writer named Tom Egeland posted the photo on Facebook in an article about 7 photos that changed the face of war. Facebook censored and removed it, causing a media uproar in Norway. [More..]

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Arianna Leaves HuffPo for Wellness Venture

Arianna Huffington is leaving HuffPo to start a new wellness venture called Thrive Global. She announced the new venture in June, but thought at the time she'd be able to do both. Today she said that's simply not possible, so she's leaving Huffpo.

I think this is a great move for Arianna. So many people approaching her age (and mine) are focused on health and well-being. [More...]

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