America

MSNBC embraces capitalism by looping socialism

MSNBC has decided to do a non stop loop of Obama’s 16 minute 2004 DNC speech until President Trump’s wall address to the nation is over. It is indeed a choice as an independent network to embrace the free market to cater to its audience.

Although MSNBC should not be surprised if Trump or Huckabee Sanders skip the network’s reporters during question time at White House briefings. Easy argument to make that their viewers don’t care much for what their leader has to say in any event. Best pick networks that have audiences interested in the machinations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

MSNBC spokesman, Harland Dorrinson, claimed the cable news station’s own research showed next to zero people wanted to watch the national event and the rerun was a better bet. Would love to see the polling figures of who was asked. Staff cafeteria perhaps?

CM has argued for a long time that reduction in Trump’s airtime by the mainstream media is their strongest asset in taking the wind out of his sails. However to date, even though 99% of the coverage is negative (sometimes deserved), Trump is on a non-stop loop with hysteric items of news with next to no relevance dominating coverage. After all Melania wore Timberlands in Iraq – a source of national importance to Americans.

Despite this, Trump’s popularity ratings remain ahead of the majority of the very world leader’s that MSNBC fawn over. These are facts as distasteful as they are to many.

It should be known that there has been a long standing unwritten rule when a sitting president addresses the nation that the media complies for the sake of getting that message out to all citizens. By all means MSNBC could run a panel of experts to vilify the bigoted man behind the wall construction after the address with rigorous debate. Instead they chose to snub. On the other hand it is fair to say in today’s world, anyone wanting to watch will be able to do via C-SPAN or social media.

Ultimately markets will judge whether MSNBC got the viewer stats to back the strategy but surely there was a better opportunity to draw audiences than a 15 yo loop which only cements its reputation for overwhelming partisan bias. Perhaps Reagan’s 1987 speech in Berlin calling for Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” would have been a more apt address to throw two fingers up at Trump? Perhaps even he might get the subtlety of the barb? Use your imagination MSNBC!

2019 Golden Globe ratings down again

It is no surprise to learn that the initial ratings for the Golden Globes In 2019 were down on 2018 which were down on 2017…which were down on…Get the picture? It was the worst showing in a decade.

It seems the formula is so bust that even deliberately leaving Trump mocking out of the corny gag lines saw another 5% drop this year. Despite little competition in the time slot and following on straight after the Chicago Bears vs Philadelphia Eagles (38mn viewers), 20mn switched channels to something other than the Golden Globes.

Who actually took the time to watch The Oscars last year? Viewers voted with their eyes sending ratings down 16% on 2017 and 40% on 5 years ago. Perhaps The Oscars could take a lessson from 90 years ago and stick to silent movies!

From Nielsen:

The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC’s telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That’s down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.

Same with the Emmys.

Neilsen noted the 2018 Emmy awards show pulled in 10.172 million viewers (-4%) and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, it’s lowest ever. The 2000 Emmy’s drew in 21.8mn by comparison.

Some may talk to modern day luxuries of streaming which might flatline these dreadful numbers but the reality is Hollywood’s obsession with shaming its intended viewers is the more likely culprit.

Perhaps ABC & NBC need to host these events at a local Hollywood pensioners club from here on in. Save the millions lavished on sets and award movies based on a Bingo wheel. Celebrities can go in smart casual (Cate Blanchett insists on recycling clothes) and dine on a sumptuous smorgasbord with complimentary soft drinks at the beverage bar. Now that would be worth watching.

Golden Globes stay in the gutter

The Golden Globes, after years of ratings plunges, thought working smut into the gig was a way to bring the audiences back. Where on earth were the words, “Break out the tissues because you’re going to want to masturbate to all of them” funny? CM is not trying to be a modern day Mary Whitehouse, but were Sarah Oh’s introductory remarks those that resonate with all of the “pet” causes of the champagne socialists? What happened to #METOO? Let’s talk about group self pleasure. How hilarious?! Sadder the attendees were in raptures.

We shouldn’t be surprised. Hollywood and hypocrisy are mutually inclusive terms. Why would anyone rally behind these out of touch juveniles? When they’re not in rehab they’re telling average Main Streeters to listen to their prophetic words of wisdom. They’re the very reason so many films are failing at the box office. Sure video on demand, streaming and cable has changed things somewhat but the truth is the woeful content is behind the demise.

The audience figures should tell them they are indeed the out of touch ones.

Cinema attendance in the domestic US market is back at 1993 levels. In the 1990s Hollywood made 400-500 films annually. It now pumps out more than 700. The average revenue per film in all formats continues to head south.

It is interesting that $100m box offices were a cert for an Oscar Best Picture award til 2004 after which it has been hit and miss since. 9 films in the last 13 Best Pictures have failed to breach $75mn. The 4 that didn’t miss were all about real life stories – Titanic, The King’s Speech, Argo and A Beautiful Mind. Funny that.

Instead of realizing that their interpretation of identity driven art isn’t sinking in with the public, Hollywood is now prepared to blot the history books – such as deleting the flag planting on the moon scene in ‘First Man’ – to destroy the very formula that seems to resonate with audiences.

Such is the level of extremism in Hollywood these days that people of colour and women have been summarily overlooked to suggest putting in a transgender star for James Bond 007. They’re so obsessed with identity. Why not just appreciate “talent”? Maybe Idris Elba would make a good Bond because he fits the suave, tough guy image of the films. Not because of his skin tone. People watch the Bond franchise for the formula, not to wait with baited breath to see Caitlyn Jenner in the lead role to show Ian Fleming was always a progressive LGBT activist at heart.

Maybe we should let Hollywood stick to its “we know best” attitude. Let it follow its heart and let the free market decide its fate as it is already doing. Celebrities think doubling down is the answer. No wonder they’re screaming for equal pay for equal work as the industry stumbles.

Let them preach about the dangers of climate change as they board their private jets, protest border walls from their gated mansions and stand up for gun control with their armed security guards nearby.

Maybe Sarah Oh was on the money for once about the attendees? After all the Golden Globes like many other award ceremonies are all about stroking egos inside their own tight knit club.

Write Ocasio-Cortez off at your peril

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be the New Democrat piñata for a band of Republican supporters but beware. While it is true she is weak on facts, how economics works and a whole other range of political topics, she has 1.9mn followers on Twitter, more than Nany Pelosi. If she gets the right sort of campaign team behind her she could become a serious threat to the GOP and incumbent Democrats alike.

She didn’t really have any dollars to fight her nomination on the NY Dem ticket but she booted the 14 year incumbent Joe Crowley and won the 2018 mid term with 80% of the vote. Hardly something achieved by a complete fool, wouldn’t you say?

Think about it. She’s a millennial. She’s deeply socialist, pro climate change and all the pet causes of her generation. The latest shrill surrounding her dancing while at college is frankly pathetic. Who cares?

CM was critical of those who bashed Republicans over a lack of intelligence. It was a key part of why people refrained from openly supporting Trump in the lead up to the 2016 election. The polls and mainstream media all pointed to a Clinton coronation and were rudely shocked when the opposite happened. The ballot box is all that matters. The irony of Paddy Power paying out those who bet on a Clinton win. That’s how badly so many got it wrong. They completely missed the mood.

Pelosi and Feinstein are 78 and 85 years old respectively. Ocasio-Cortez is not even 30. We can already see the incumbent Democrats become uncomfortable as the younger generation wants to take the party hard left. Ocasio-Cortez’s pulling power is evident. Media attention is never far away.

Don’t forget she turned on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand after her resounding  nomination win saying, “Unsurprising, but disappointing that @SenGillibrand didn’t even bother to talk to nor consider me before endorsing…You‘d think a progressive leader would at least be interested in how a no-corporate money Bronx Latina triggered the 1st NY-14 primary in 14 years on prog issues. 

Republican supporters who troll her Twitter feeds only enhance her bidding. They lift her profile and if anything only cause more millennials to rush to her defence. Her retweets are up there with Trump who has 30x more followers. Don’t dismiss it. Trump’s rise to POTUS came from Democrats and mainstream media coverage that reported on pointless trivialities so far removed from what voters were screaming for.

If AO-C gets a good team behind her she will be a force to be reckoned with. As is so often the case with people so easily dismissed is that she becomes a sleeper. She can only improve how to come across more intelligently. She ticks plenty of identity boxes in a world that seems to place greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

She maybe new to the game but it will be interesting how the incumbent Democrats deal with her. Will they try to suppress her or mold her into a dynamo? Her storming of Pelosi’s office alongside environmental activists suggests that maybe the old guard Democrats try to keep a lid on her but sadly they lack time and adaption to new age technology on their side which Ocasio-Cortez has in spades.

Write her off at your peril.

A worm has turned on Apple

Apple guided Q1 revenue around $84bn vs earlier guidance of $89-93bn. Consensus unsurprisingly pegged itself to the middle of the initial estimate. How original and staying ahead of the curve? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that pulling disclosure of handset sales was the precursor. It wasn’t so long ago that the US Federal Reserve ended disclosure of its balance sheet movements. Ahead of the GFC, Ben Bernanke pulled reporting of M3 money supply right before the GFC.

Apple has lost the entire GDP of Singapore in market cap terms since last September. How many funds are up to the eyeballs in this stock that they believed had endless growth. How soon before it loses another Singapore?

No doubt the iPhone 14S XR limited edition run of 100 million units won’t turn this around.

It is usually around this time in a decayed product cycle that companies launch into random areas they have no expertise in. Watch for M&A deals at silly prices to buy bolt on businesses that bring hopes of growth in a global economy that has maxed out! Cue the goodwill write downs in year 1.

Elizabeth Warren’s New Year’s message


Elizabeth Warren may have announced she is running for President of the United States in 2020 but this New Year’s video is utterly cringeworthy. Apart from the fact she cracks open a beer to pretend to be down to earth she only managed to garner 15 live viewers with her stream. Way to go for the election campaign. Where were her in house media managers? This video is such cannon fodder for her opponents, both Democrat and Republican alike. Embarrassing. At the very least she should have channeled former Australian PM RJL Hawke on how to consume beer for an audience.

What an accolade!!?

For the first time in 17 years, someone other than Hillary Clinton was named the most admired woman in America. The Gallup poll asked 1025 people across America who were the most admired people in the US. For Clinton to win for the last 16 years makes one wonder who Gallup was asking? Heavy concentrations in inner city zones in NY and CA perhaps?

We shouldn’t be surprised. How often have vloggers entered US campuses and filmed students who can identify Kim Kardashian at 100 yards in a picture but can’t identify any US politician outside of the President.

Was Kylie Jenner, the 21-yo cosmetics queen, who has become a self made billionaire not in with a shot of aspiration and admiration?

What about Simone Biles, the rubbery gymnast who blew the competition away at the 2016 Rio Olympics?

Even Serena Williams, despite her tantrums, surely was in to take this award once in the last 16 years for her tennis prowess.

What about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez? The young 28-yo blitzed the incumbent to steal the primary in NY and then win the mid term with 80% of the vote. She may have absolutely no idea about economics or reality but goes to show that even a “Latina from the Bronx” (as she calls herself) can pull off miracles. A note to Republicans – slagging her off for stupidity is not a winning strategy.

Nikki Haley? Without doubt a hugely impressive UN Ambassador and likely a future POTUS.

It is probably a reflection of the terrible polling of Gallup to have a 16 year consecutive winner. Then again the Obamas are no stranger to receiving awards for things undeserved like the Nobel Peace Prize 9 months into Barack Obama’s first term after achieving nothing remotely notable of mention to world peace. Even afterwards red lines were drawn in invisible ink. I’m

Who could forget Michelle Obama’s hashtag #bringbackourgirls after 300 school girls were enslaved by Boko Haram? America’s foreign policy impotence revealed in one twitter handle.

Melania Trump was never in the running especially after the mainstream media took umbrage at her wearing Timberland boots to Iraq on Christmas.

Congratulations Michelle. Now you can tell all those women you said voted the way their husbands forced them to that you know best and have an award to prove it!