When the Moonves Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie

This Week, Media Guy Is, Well, Happy

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Sometimes, believe it or not, Media Guy is happy. A little happy. Fleetingly happy. But still -- happy. Herewith, his latest roundup of select recent Simple Media Pleasures (SMPs).
Tucker 'dancing' was a Media Guy Simple Media Pleasure.
Tucker 'dancing' was a Media Guy Simple Media Pleasure. Credit: ABC

Tucker Carlson on (and off) 'Dancing with the Stars'
That he actually did this to himself just makes me so happy. Now I want to see George Will on "Fear Factor."

The best incarnation yet of the magazine industry's inexhaustible Lazarus. The just-relaunched website is supposed to be a precursor to Radar's third attempt at a print edition -- but I'd be happy if Editor in Chief Maer Roshan just continued to throw his budget at building Radar solely as a web brand. He's got a talented staff of editors and writers who are already producing a smart, compelling, briskly paced site. I hate to think how the costs of ink and glossy paper might sap their strength.

The unlikely, slo-mo unmasking of LonelyGirl
It's rather astonishing, when you think about it, that it took months and months for YouTube phenomenon LonelyGirl15 to be unmasked (last week) as an actress. Did she somehow get everyone she knew -- her friends, her family, the barista at the Starbucks down the street -- to sign nondisclosure agreements? How did someone who knows her not spill the beans until now? And can J.T. LeRoy and LonelyGirl please collaborate on something? A rap album, maybe, or even just some haiku?

The return of Hugh Laurie's Dr. Gregory House
The Fox medical drama "House" is, of course, rather ridiculously overwrought. But whenever I tune in, I'm always so charmed by British actor Hugh Laurie's cranktastic portrayal of Dr. Gregory House; it's such a delight to see someone who's even more of a grump than me. And get this: "House," which does very well in the U.S., is a megahit in Canada. In fact, it beats out "Canadian Idol" (oxymoron, that). So, basically, Canadians love a Brit playing an American a**hole more than they love their own homegrown Kelly Clarksons and Clay Aikens. That makes me love Canadians even more than I already do, though I'm not sure quite why.

Economist envy
First Time copies the out-on-Friday publication schedule The Economist has had for ages. Then Time starts making noise about how it might intentionally cut its circulation to strive for a smarter, more engaged readership -- just like The Economist has. Now, hopefully, Time will mimic The Economist's unrelenting excellence.

For some reason, The Economist is newly hot (though it's always been hot to me): It keeps getting mentioned as the newsweekly gold standard to which identity-crisis-stricken Time and Newsweek, with their recent management shakeups, should aspire. And, bizarrely, Lindsay Lohan was recently photographed carrying a copy of The Economist as she exited a nail salon. Thinking about that once again, my brain just skipped a beat.

The Tolerability Index
The Tolerability Index in satirical newspaper The Onion isn't available online. But it's totally worth picking up the physical paper for because it's the best new contemporary culture index since New York's consistently awesome Approval Matrix, from which The Onion obviously drew inspiration. (The Tolerability Index, though, simplifies things by having just one axis, on which pop-cultural phenomena range from Unbearable to Tolerable.)

Moony Moonves
Last week, in a gushing profile, The New York Times wrote that CBS chief Les Moonves' "position seems unassailable." Better yet, it quoted him as saying, "I am like: 'OK, bring it on, and let the games begin.' ... We are extremely pleased about Katie. Don't declare victory. Wait a couple of weeks."

A couple of weeks? How about a couple of heartbeats?

Moonves, of course, reports to that crazy old bastard Sumner Redstone. Who, presumably, not only reads the Times, but has lately been noting that $15-mil-a-year Katie, after her initial ratings triumph, has now returned "CBS Evening News" to ... third place. While Moonves was crowing and preening in the Times.

Yeah, baby, sure -- let the games begin.

~ ~ ~
Send me your own SMPs and I may quote you in an upcoming column -- and reward you with some official MGS (Media Guy Swag).

E-mail: dumenco@gmail.com
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