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May 16, 2006

Lock Up the Hatch

Hatch Malbug_17The first "Sole Survivor" has been sentenced to more than four years in the pokey.

For being so "cunning," Richard Hatch sure was stupid.

His contention that he thought CBS was supposed to pay the taxes on his $1 million prize might have been even remotely believable – might – if he hadn't also evaded the taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars of other income.

Or did he think CBS was responsible for that too?

We'll see how long his sphincter can Outwit, Outplay and Outlast his fellow inmates.

On a related note, a crew member from "Survivor" told "The Howard Stern Show" that they were doing Hatch a big favor by pixelating the naked gay dude's genitals on TV.

April 05, 2006


Malbug_13Katie Couric makes the least surprising announcement of the week:


[Watch video – 5:05, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:05, WMV ormat, low bandwidth]

March 13, 2006

15 Gay Minutes




The Logo channel's homo influence over their CBS News buddies is finally starting to pay some dividends.

Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes last night explored the current state of thinking over what makes someone gay or straight.

Though no single factor was entirely predictive, there is a statistically greater chance that a man will be gay based on how many older brothers he has, and whether he is right-handed.  (Seriously!)

60minutes2It is also clear that "gender nonconformity," an early indicator of homosexuality, emerges at the earliest of ages.  Stahl interviewed a family that includes two 9-year-old twins, one of whom wears pink nail polish and is certain that he was meant to be a girl.  According to the mother, stark gender differences between the two boys emerged as early as 18 months old.

Stahl's piece relied heavily on the research of Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, whose work in the past has come under withering criticism.  But I found her report fascinating nonetheless, showing that we are probably both closer to and farther away than ever before from knowing the ingredients that ultimately go into one's sexual orientation.

[Watch video – 14:52, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 14:52, WMV format, low bandwidth]

February 10, 2006

The Perpetual Candidate

MccainMalbug_13Sen. John McCain (R-The Media) dropped by the Letterman show last night.  He looked only slightly rumpled from having had to fend off the manicured claws of Heidi Klum, who was relegated to the second-guest slot.

The first topic was yesterday's evacuation of a Senate office building after a sensor falsely detected nerve gas:

"I'm happy to tell you that with a good part of the staff incarcerated in the Russell (Senate Building) parking garage, the efficiency of the Senate has gone up dramatically," McCain said.

The audience had a good laugh, but based on the John McCain I saw during my time working in the Senate, it was no joke and quite typical of him.  The John McCain I saw was a consummate foul-tempered bully who never hesitated to rudely and publicly dress down staff, and even his colleagues, for the tiniest perceived slight.

It is little wonder that few of his fellow senators can even feign affection for him.  It is also why he is usually a caucus of one, and his constituency is the nearest camera or microphone.

[Watch video – 8:33, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:33, WMV format, low bandwidth]

January 24, 2006

Less Than Zero


What do you think of when you see the letters "CW"?  Conventional wisdom?  Country and Western?  Chemical warfare?  Well, now it stands for CWality!

That's because CBS is shuttering the WB and UPN netlets, and will reopen them as the "CW" Television Network.

I think I can honestly say I've never stopped on the WB network for longer than the time it takes my finger to frantically click to the next channel over, and UPN is close behind it in the battle for my viewing affection.  Thankfully, CW is now my one-stop shopping destination, making it even easier for me to ignore their programming.

December 02, 2005

Color Dave Obsequious

Oprah cherishes Dave

Oprah "Cherishes" Dave


After a 16-year absence, the grand dame of daytime television returned last night to David Letterman's show.

After making a Valerie Cherish-esque entrance (I will always associate that pose with her, even in cancellation) to a standing ovation, Oprah stuck around through four segments, at the end of which Letterman escorted her out of his theater and to the home of the new musical "Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple."  (If the Broadway run is a success, I hear she will be "presenting" the rest of the colors of the spectrum.)

Despite a rumored feud – denied by both – the mutual up-sucking couldn't have been more deafening.

Favorite personal revelation: Oprah and I have the same favorite children's book, "Love You Forever."  I think it is safe to safe to say that merely contemplating the title of that book is enough to send both my mother and me into a blubbering fit.

[Watch video – 9:11, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 9:11, WMV format, low bandwidth]

See also: Jossip and Rod 2.0.

November 18, 2005

The Malco-Whore (Update)


Warningsign UPDATE: The video is below.

Heads up: Once again, I will be appearing on "CBS News on Logo" discussing the ins and outs (I like them both) of the Gay Blogosphere with Itay Hod, and also pimping for The Malcontent.  (Logo airs on Time-Warner channel 155 in New York City.  Click here to see if it is available in your area.)

The topics we covered (but which might not necessarily make air) include:

  • The latest legal saga of Spokane's anti-gay gay mayor

  • The Oscar hype surrounding Brokeback Mountain

  • "Tom Cruise" in the closet on South Park

  • The "outing" of a Northwestern University sports fan-blog

  • And, of course, the Cooper-Seacrest exclusive video, first seen here on The Malcontent.

The broadcast schedule for the segment should be similar to last time.

[Watch video – 3:36, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 3:36, WMV format, low bandwidth]

November 08, 2005

Mary Mapes Gets SWOTted!


Today Mary Mapes's hotly anticipated book "Truth and Duty," a behind-the-scenes look at her role in the "Rathergate" scandal that brought down the CBS anchorman and dealt a near-fatal blow to 60 Minutes, is released.  And The Malcontent couldn't let the moment go by without peeing all over her parade, so we are dusting off an old feature in her honor:  the SWOT Analysis.

Now, several readers in the past have asked what a "SWOT" is.  It is basically a "PR 101" technique whereby a public relations expert analyzes a client's strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats in the external world, in order to help them better communicate.

So congratulations, Mary!  You've been SWOTted!  (Click to enlarge.)


UPDATE: Mapes makes her case (lamely) on ABC.

November 04, 2005

Andy Rooney: Curmudgeon, Racist?

Malbug_13The network of Jimmy the Greek is circling its race-conscious wagons again, this time over something 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney said on the Don Imus radio show.

There is more context for the remark here than Drudge shared, but to me it still comes across as at least a bit insensitive, despite Vaughan Ververs' spinning.

UPDATE: iFilm has it here ...

October 31, 2005

Reporter's True Calling: Porn


Not since White House reporter Cyrus Merganthaler asked if William Howard Taft was able to wash his scrotum on his own has there been such insolence among the White House press corps.

John Roberts (the CBS anchor helmet, not the CJOTUS) today asked WH Press Secretary Scott McClellan if the Samuel Alito nomination, in the wake of the failed Miers bid, amounted to a term that is synonymous with ... ummm ... having sex with someone who was just sex-had-with:

John Roberts: “So, Scott, you said that -- or the President said, repeatedly, that Harriet Miers was the best person for the job. So does that mean that Alito is sloppy seconds, or what?”

McClellan's response mysteriously didn't involve a Ninja throwing star.

UPDATE: Roberts culps mea, tone was "too casual."

October 27, 2005

Pope Doffs Beanie, Bears Stop Shitting in Woods


Lyle And Brian from "Survivor" says he's not gay.

Uhh, okay.  So I apologize for spotting his gayness before the show even premiered.  It was even more apparent to me than Rafe, who admits to being gay.

Amy was the chief one saying, "You don't know it yet, but you're gay."

And if Brian goes and gets married to a woman, maybe she'll know it soon enough too.  [HT: Towleroad]

October 21, 2005

PriMa-donna: Her Madgesty on a High Horse


Let me start this post by saying I love Madonna.  I love her music, I love her new single and I am enthusiastically looking forward to her new CD, which I have already pre-ordered (dropping Nov. 15).  And Evita is still one of my all-time favorite movie musicals.  (Someday I'll tell you the story of when my ex and I got wasted, put on the Evita DVD and sang the entire soundtrack at the top of our lungs before going to the Pride festival.  OK, that was the whole story, really.)

Madonna_on_horse3But if you'll pardon me, the lady has gone more than just a little batshit, and I'm tired of all the queens on the ass-kissing fansites who don't even want to countenance the very idea.

The current publicity blitz for Confessions on a Dancefloor and her new documentary, airing tonight at 10 p.m. EDT on MTV, have brought out more of an inner cuckoo than all the clocks in Switzerland.

It's not just the cult she belongs to.  Or her oddball, highly restrictive parenting (which is working out so well).  But it is the flagrant disregard for the public's desire, the people who buy her albums, to have a celebrity – even a superstar of Madonna's stature – who possesses just an ounce of humility, or at least feigns a "regular gal" persona.

I don't think her interview last night on Letterman will do much to dispel those negatives.  Now, the devotees will argue that she is just being genuine and she is not trying to be phony to market herself.  Well, if that is true, then she is ... well, sort of a nasty person, relatively speaking.

Sure, she threw a little flirtation Dave's way.  But most of the time, she was either a) complaining or b) intimating how much better she is than everyone else.

Madonna maintained that she was an equestrian expert after only a few months of trotting around on her horses in England, even while Dave focused on the injury she suffered in August after being thrown.  When Dave finally got her on horseback at the end of the segment, she complained multiple times about being in the wrong shoes, and oddly shared her opinion at least twice, without elaboration, that she hates female horses.

Watch for yourself, and then tell me if she were anyone other than Madonna, the whole "attitude thing" would have consigned her to a life as a second-rate dancer in Rochester Hills.  But hey, she's got me writing about her.

[Watch video – WMV format, high bandwidth – low bandwidth not currently available]

October 17, 2005

Everyone's a Little Bit Capitalist


For those of you who are Avenue Q fans (like me) but not in New York (unlike me), it might either gratify you or piss you off that the Tony-winning puppets have sold out to cross-promote a new anchorman at WCBS-TV.

[Watch video – 1.3mb, 0:15, WMV format, high bandwidth]

October 14, 2005

A Rare "Bleg"


I just did Logo TV, and it was a blast!  I hope they have me back again soon.

Cutiepie Jason was out today (and I can confirm that it was definitely not the "bottle flu"), so equally cute Itay took the anchor chair.  Thanks to him and to Court for making me feel at home.  (Wearing a pink striped shirt in Logo headquarters didn't hurt, either.)

I rarely ask anything of readers except to keep reading and to tell us when we're jackasses, but I do need to ask if someone could see it in their heart to record and digitize the segment for me.  (Time Warner Cable is on my shitlist for this in a big way.)  And if doing it out of the goodness of your heart isn't enough, I can make it up to you some other way.

Here is the schedule for my segment (all times EDT):


Saturday, 10/15/05:
2:00a           10/14/05
12:56p          10/14/05

Sunday, 10/16/05:
5:52a           10/14/05
7:15a           10/14/05
9:26p           10/14/05

Bright Lights, Big Ego



Andy has done it.  Perez has done it.  And now it's The Malcontent's turn to do the regular "gay blogosphere" segment on "CBS News on Logo."

I will be catching a crosstown ark for a chat with Jason Bellini that begins airing tonight.  If experience is a guide, it will first air a few minutes before 9 p.m. EDT, then again before 1 a.m. EDT and probably throughout the weekend.

Of course, my video-capture capabilities would choose now to go on hiatus.

October 11, 2005

Backpedaling Rather Quickly


Rather_1 Remember how Dan Rather doggedly defended the veracity of "The Memos" long after every sentient human being this side of Mary Mapes knew they were phonies?  Remember how he implied that it was a story CBS had nailed like a 2x4 at a carpenters' convention, as Dan himself might say?

Well, now ... not so much.

New York magazine reports that Dan the company-man had his doubts from the very beginning:

"I knew when I did the [document consultant Marcel] Matley interview that something wasn’t right with all this."

Rather must be doing proactive spin to distance himself from Mapes' upcoming book that blames everybody except her biased little self for the massive, self-inflicted wound at the black-eye network.  From the book jacket:

"Bush didn't keep his promise to his country. He swore he would fly military jets until May 1974 in return for being removed from the danger of being drafted. He didn't even come close....He walked away from his duty. ...
"Reality didn't matter. Right and wrong didn't matter. Winning was the only thing that mattered to any of the people masterminding the slash-and-burn campaigns that benefited George W. Bush."

Biased?  Vendetta?  No wonder Mary had Joe Lockhart on speed dial!

September 26, 2005

"Martha" Stiffs Gay Base

Malbug_13 We enjoyed Martha Behind Bars last night on CBS, one of those too-compressed TV movies that shoves Martha's shady ImClone stock deal, her indictment and conviction, her prison sentence and her triumphant return to her MSO empire into a brisk 90 minutes.

I wonder if it's more surreal for Martha or for Cybill Shepherd that the latter has now taken to mirroring the former's life a few months after the fact on CBS.

GaleharoldStill, with Peter Bacanovic and Douglas Faneuil as central figures, I was hoping for at least some sort of randy gay subplot.  I thought something might erupt during Bacanovic's mid-crisis massage, but I was wrong.  I would have settled even for a little hot Camp Cupcake love involving Martha.

The putatively straight Gale Harold, fresh off the Queer As Folk swansong on CBS sibling Showtime, was the openly gay Bacanovic, while David Alpay (of Atom Egoyan's little-seen flick Ararat) played his homo lackey-cum-turncoat, Faneuil.

Galeharold2_1 Galeharold3Davidalpay

September 15, 2005

Outwit, Outplay, Just Plain "Out"


Mark Burnett and his happy wanderers have gotten around to defiling the sacred grounds of almost every ancient people, and now he has finally added the Mayans to the list with Survivor Guatemala, the 11th edition of the groundbreaking reality show that premieres tonight on CBS.

Herewith, a pre-premiere blow-by-blow on the men of Survivor.

Brian_1Most Likely To Be Gay: Brian.  Totally has the "gayface" thing going on.  Knows far too well which color is the new black.

Plus, most straight guys think that "teal" is the guy who just got married to Heidi Klum.

RafeRunner-Up: Rafe. I mean, c'mon – Rafe.  Is coming down with a touch of gayface himself.  Also knows teal and likes it, but calls it by its straighter moniker: blue-green, which is just a little too specific for a het anyway.  And you know the producers had probably just seen Latter Days and were hoping for a little Mormon-on-waiter action.  Points added for cologne use, subtracted for choosing Acqua Di Gio.

GaryLeast Likely To Be Gay: Gary Hogeboom.  This sumbitch was a goddamn quarterback in the NFL.

Has wife and four kids.  Has worked with "Youth for Christ."  Reads Louis L'Amour.  In spare time, kills bison armed with only a grapefruit spoon.  (OK, I made that last part up.)

JuddMost Likely To Be Felled By Grueling 11-Mile Hike: Judd.  Lists Frankenberry, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Crunchberry, Funyuns, BBQ chips, popcorn, pudding, chocolate chip cookies, Snickers, and Reese's peanut butter cups among his favorite foods.  Washes them all down with Crystal Light.

Most Likely To Be Eaten By Other Castaways After Hike: Judd.

Therest"And the Rest": Blake, Brandon, Jamie and Jim.  I had thought about including the first three in a "best looking" category, but frankly, none of the castaways really do much for me this year.  Except for ...

Bobbyjon Least Likely To Win: Bobby Jon Drinkard.  The Survivor Palau alum is reportedly coming back again this year, but it isn't clear whether he will actually be competing.  (His picture and that of fellow returnee Stephenie LaGrossa are not included among the 16 castaways on the CBS website.)

If he does compete, you can bet his teammates will decide he has already had his 15 minutes and toss him from the ziggurat, or wherever the torch-snuffings will take place.

However, he will add some welcome eye-candy to a visage-challenged group of castaways.

September 07, 2005

Gay Cops, Gay Cops, Whatcha Gonna Do ...


Thirdmanout1 Given that someone I know very well once had a – shall I say – "close encounter" with Chad Allen, the star of HereTV's "Third Man Out," I laughed extra hard at David Letterman's Top Ten List from last night: Top Ten Rejected Titles For The Gay Detective Show.

Dave and Paul were clearly completely unfamiliar with both Here TV and "Third Man Out."  Coincidentally, I just started watching HereTV a couple of nights ago (part of On Demand channel 1000 on Time Warner Cable in Manhattan), but I am a tightwad, so I'm focusing first on the free content, which unfortunately does not include "Third Man Out."

[Watch video – 2.8mb, 1:42, WMV format]

[Or follow this link to a text version of the Top Ten list]

By the way, here is a link to Dave's other gay-themed Top Ten Lists.

August 18, 2005

Network News Death-Throes Watch


Cbseye_1 CBS News offers the NYT a glimpse at life after Dan Rather, a network newscast that apparently moves toward a more collaborative approach, but still anchored a single person: Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.  (Just kidding -- same name, but not so well-coiffed.)

To which the only reasonable reaction should be: Who cares? So one media dinosaur is giving the other an insider's look at the "future" of news, with all the hush-hush lack of attribution that normally attends something of actual importance.  How rich!

The death of Peter Jennings, while sad, is a metaphor for the current state of play in network newsrooms.  TV ratings for the Big Three nightly newscasts are down by more than a third in the past decade, and off nearly 60 percent since 1969.  The departure of Jennings, Rather and Tom Brokaw will undoubtedly only hasten the hemorrhaging.

The word "anchor" itself is almost completely descriptive of the drawbacks of traditional network newscasts: An anchor is meant to be something of weight, of gravitas, but in reality the anchor-based newscast has acted as a drag on the forces competition, innovation and alternative voices.  Technology has obliterated the J-schools' haughty view of what constitutes "news," and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Les Moonves and Andy Heyward are doing the best they can with the medium they have inherited, and I don't envy their task.  But you can't polish a turd.

You want the future of news?  You're looking at it.  Or, more to the point, here's a hypothetical preview.