Wait, What? The FCC Let Colbert Off the Hook and the Parents Television Council Is OK With It?

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, May 24:

Yes, Virginia, there are still magazine launches (see No. 5, below). Does the Trump administration understand basic math? No (No. 1). Yes, iris authentication sounds cool. Is it foolproof? No (No. 2). Yes, President Trump is still doing that weirdly aggressive shake-and-pull handshake -- but finally someone was prepared for it (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Something something 101. The top story on New York Magazine's website this morning is titled "Trump Budget Director: We Didn't Make a Childish Math Error! (They Did.)" Jonathan Chait's post begins,

Yesterday, the Trump administration published a federal budget plan that hinged upon an embarrassing math error. It assumed that $2 trillion of revenue, which it had already committed to pay for the cost of its tax-cut plan, would appear again, to help balance the budget. Trump's budget officials have tried to explain that this was not an error at all but a cunning plan. Their explanation is complete nonsense.

2. Once again, a reminder that the photos you post on social media can and will come back to bite you in the ass: "Hackers Defeat Samsung Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner," via SecurityWeek. Eduard Kovacs writes that the S8's iris authentication,

... which allows users to unlock their device and authorize payments, is advertised by Samsung as "one of the safest ways to keep your phone locked." While an individual's iris is unique, researchers from CCC [Germany's Chaos Computer Club] showed that Samsung's iris scanner can be defeated by showing it a picture of the victim's eye. ... Experts say there are several ways to obtain iris data, including from high-resolution pictures posted by users themselves on the Internet.

3. "FCC: Colbert won't face action over Trump-Putin joke," per Politico -- or maybe you prefer Deadline.com's self-censored headline?: "No FCC Fine For Stephen Colbert's Late-Night Donald Trump C*** Holster Crack." At any rate, check out this rather surprising statement from Parents Television Council President Tim Winter:

It was crude. It was indecent. But it was protected speech. The FCC's decision not to sanction CBS for Stephen Colbert's May 1st monologue on the Late Show was the proper outcome. The audio of the profane broadcast was muted and Colbert's mouth was pixilated. And even more importantly, the broadcast aired after 10:00 pm in all time zones, which is outside the reach of the FCC's longstanding broadcast indecency enforcement oversight. We applaud the FCC's decision on this matter, and we call on CBS and all broadcast networks to uniformly adopt a mute button and pixilation for live broadcasts during primetime hours as well. If we learned anything new from this incident, it's that the networks can take protective measures if they so choose."

4. Speaking of parenting: "How to Talk to Kids About the Ariana Grande Concert Attack," via Billboard. "Because of the number of young fans at the show, Billboard reached out to mental health experts for advice on how to talk to children about terror attacks and violence and help them feel safe in the wake of such unthinkable violence," Gil Kaufman writes.

5. "Despite its bumpy ride with Dr. Oz The Good Life," Keith Kelly reports in his "Media Ink" column in this morning's New York Post, "Hearst is plunging ahead with two new test launches. The latest on tap is Ree Drummond's new magazine, Pioneer Woman, debuting June 6. It will be sold only in Walmart stores. ..." Click through to Kelly's column for a brief mention of the other Hearst test magazine launch, which you may have noticed advertised in Ad Age.

6. In media-about-media news, GQ's David Letterman interview from its June issue carries the headline "Gods Of Comedy: David Letterman" in print and "David Letterman Talks Cosby, the Beard, and Why Amy Schumer Is the New Richard Pryor" online, but last night The Hill decided to direct our attention to one particular passage in the Q&A with a short post titled "David Letterman: 'Makes me sick' that Trump represents us." GQ's Brett Martin asked, "Donald Trump was a frequent guest on your show. Have you had reason to regret that?" Letterman's response:

No, no reason to regret it. I'm disappointed that this man is representing me and my country. It makes me sick. But we always looked forward to having him on. He was a great guest. He was just a big, wealthy dope who'd come on and we would make fun of his hair. I would refer to him as a slumlord. But now, this goon ... I don't know. He's demonstrated himself to be a man without a core, a man without a soul. Is there a guy in there?

7. And finally, in viral media news, this gif, titled "Tajik President didn't let Trump win at the 'aggressive handshake' game," has racked up nearly a million views on gfycat in less than 24 hours:

Thank you to Ann-Christine Diaz and Laurel Wentz for their roundup suggestions.

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

Most Popular