DirecTV iPhone app

directv-appI got out of the fitness center a little late tonight and realized I wouldn’t make it home in time to watch or record The Daily Show re-feed. Comedy Central used to re-run TDS and The Colbert Report one day later at 7:00 p.m. For some reason they moved the shows up an hour. I could watch the first run at 10 p.m. but I’m deep in REM sleep by then. And I think Barb Tivo’s the shows, so this was hardly an emergency.

But I remembered the DirecTV app on my iPhone. I got it mostly for the schedule but seemed to recall that I could set a show to record from the phone.

It was easier to make this happen on the iPhone app than it is with the remote from home. Seriously, the app UI is much easier than the on-board software that comes with the service.

Why @anamariecox wears pants to the White House

When you have almost 50,000 folks following your Twitter feed, a little guide book comes in handy. Here’s a snippet from Ana Marie Cox’s:

Amc150“I cover Washington and am somewhat obsessive about politics in general so you’ll be getting what is a basically a live feed from inside my head regarding whatever I’m doing that day: Attending a White House briefing, going up to the Senate, watching C-SPAN, trying to figure out why that small man from Alabama is so angry… (Here I am referring to Sen. Jeff Sessions, aka, “the littlest Senator,” aka “the Southern leprechaun.”) Because I also have a “blue” streak (not talking politics here) you will also get hopefully funny interpolations of wonkspeak into what I like to call “sexytalk.” See here, for examples, for what happens when congressmen start talking about how a “stimulus” requires a “big package.”

If you like your politix serious, you can skip AMC. Has she been on the Daily Show yet and why not?

Is Ana Marie Cox wearing pants?

Suppose you had a friend that was really smart and funny, and that friend got to cover and live-blog White House press briefings that you could watch “with” her (on  C-SPAN) and chat back and forth. Does that sound like something you might be interested in?


Okay, Ana Marie Cox isn’t a friend of mine but she feels like one. I’m one of her legion of fans that go back to the Wonkette days. She now works for Air America.

I don’t know if this is journalism or not and I don’t care. In the same way I don’t care what you call The Daily Show. I call it fun and interesting.

I think of this as the MST3K effect. Even a boring press conference is fun if you’re watching it “with” fun people.

“All the news stories — first … before it’s even true.”

This New York Times story wonders if Jon Stewart is the most trusted man in America?

“When Americans were asked in a 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press to name the journalist they most admired, Mr. Stewart, the fake news anchor, came in at No. 4, tied with the real news anchors Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw of NBC, Dan Rather of CBS and Anderson Cooper of CNN.

Offices for “The Daily Show” occupy a sprawling loftlike space that combines the energy of a newsroom with the laid-back vibe of an Internet start-up: many staff members wear jeans and flip-flops, and two amiable dogs wander the hallways. The day begins with a morning meeting where material harvested from 15 TiVos and even more newspapers, magazines and Web sites is reviewed. That meeting, Mr. Stewart said, “would be very unpleasant for most people to watch: it’s really a gathering of curmudgeons expressing frustration and upset, and the rest of the day is spent trying to mask or repress that through whatever creative devices we can find.”

After reading the full story I took a moment to try to come up with some public figure I trust more… and coud not.

Daily Show “documentary” about Fox News

The Daily Show’s John Oliver put together a stunning smackdown of Fox News on last night’s show [Part 1, Part 2]. Fox News is a problem for me. I have some friends who genuinely believe Fox is really "fair and balanced."

I can understand their blind allegiance to Bush… in the same way I understood the mass suicide at Jonestown or members of the Heaven’s Gate cult cutting off their testicles and offing themselves in order to leave their bodily "containers" and enter an alien spacecraft hidden behind Comet Hale-Bopp.

But really buying the shit Fox News broadcasts requires a scary kind of intellectual hysterical blindness. So, I find myself talking to them in carefully measured phrases, designed to keep us on safe ground. Because if we stray into current events and they source Fox to support some idiot neocon idea, I can keep my tongue, but they’re liable to see the pity in my eyes. And I need every friend I can find… even the misinformed.

The Daily Show, Colbert Report return sans writers

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, will return to their television shows on January 7 but will have to improvise their monologues and interviews without the help of their writing staffs.

In a statement, the two hosts said they would prefer to return to work with their writers. “If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence,” they stated.

“How did the mainstream press get it so wrong?”

Bill Moyers'That’s the question Bill Moyers attempts to answer in “Buying the War” (Bill Moyer’s Journal on PBS). A damning indictment of the coverage of the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Tim Russert looked silly and Dan Rather was pathetic. I kept flashing on the old pre-WWII Nazi propaganda footage.

I always thought a good, strong, free press would be our last line of defense against the crooks and thieves we keep electing. (“Gooks in the wire!”)

After watching Buying the War on Tivo, we watched Moyer’s Conversation with Jon Stewart. An insightful look at The Daily Show. What it is and what it is not.

Following that, Moyers did a great segment with Josh Marshall, the political blogger from Blogging for Truth looked at Marshall’s perspective on the role of politics in the recent firings of federal prosecutors.

Watching these back-to-back was interesting. And somewhat reassuring (if you watch them in the right order). You’ll find video and transcripts on the PBS website. Good stuff.

Jon Stewart as value-added news aggregator

I still try to watch one of the network newscasts each evening. But, increasingly, I rely on The Daily Show for the latest news.

Jon Stewart devoted over a third of one broadcast last week to Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Dick Cheney on CNN. Not only did Stewart go through numerous highlights from the interview, but the Daily Show staff gathered supporting video clips to provide context for the interview, using previous statements of position and policy to hold the veep accountable for the stuff he was saying now. You can watch the segment here if you missed it. [Eat the Press]

Fortunately, I have less than 500 readers

“In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, but isn’t, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress.

Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.”

More on a very scary idea »