Tag Archives: Television

Abercrombie in another ‘Situation’ over elitist image control

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and Karina Smi...

Image by trhnlhi via Flickr

Abercrombie & Fitch is losing its grip on image control as every Tom, Dick, Harry and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino,  parade around in their over-priced duds on TV, in Italy and other places not sanctioned by Abercrombie & Fitch.  Abercrombie is “concerned” enough about its image that it has offered a “substantial sum” of money to “The Situation” and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast to cease wearing their clothes.   While it is an obvious publicity ploy,  Abercrombie is no stranger to bad publicity and lawsuits stemming from its insistence that employees project a certain image and look.  I call it the Stepford  look, they call it preppy-sexy-beachy-wholesome-college-frat-sorority look.

While I don’t watch the reality show Jersey Shore, millions do and I have seen an episode or two as the cast tans, goes to the gym, does laundry and of course parties and fights. Not necessarily a wholesome image any product or retail outlet would want to project but Abercrombie had already  jumped on the Jersey Shore bandwagon when they came out with their “Fituation” and “GTL” (gym, tan, laundry) tee shirts a while back. Who are they kidding?  According to an Abercrombie press release; “We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image.”  This is pretty funny since their image is one of elitist discrimination.

Abercrombie has long been the bastion of the preppy-sexy look, often approaching their own customers they think have the “look” and asking them if they would like a job while applications pile up from other Abercrombie job seekers that are not considered part of the super-elite-gene-pool-brand that the company covets (they got sued and lost also for telling applicants they weren’t hiring and were caught hiring only people with the “look.”)  I suppose using the pick-of-the-litter method of hiring is okay if we are talking skill set, knowledge, experience, retail personality etc. but choosing someone because they look like a surfer dude or dud and wear flip-flops for a living seems like the bottom of the shallow barrel.

But, Abercrombie will be taking all this free publicity to the bank. People are talking about this PR stunt and advertising geniuses are scratching their heads and wishing they would have thought of the idea first.  Plus, otherwise sane people, instead of boycotting a company that has an ugly policy of hiring only the “attractive” will go buy an A&F something -or-other because they don’t fit their image either, because nobody is going to tell them what they can’t wear–ka-ching!

(I would sure say this picture I used of the “Situation” looks pretty similar to the Abercrombie ads of half naked bodies on their website and in their catalogs so what do they mean he is bad for their image?) P.S. I’m open to not wearing anyone’s clothing–I really have no image so I could readily offend anyone equally. for the right price–of course.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under current news

Punditry is the New Black

Punditry is the new black (photo;Lightfoot)

We are becoming a nation of pundits.  Pundits have turned much of our news into a “style ” like the eternal little black dress and the idea that black is chic to wear everywhere and anytime. The problem is pundits should not be everywhere and anytime– it’s annoying.

The term pundit originated in the 17th century from the Hindu word Pandita, meaning “learned.”  A more recent American dictionary meaning of pundit is; usually an elderly person noted for wisdom, knowledge and good  judgement–an authority. Does this sound to you like anyone we see or hear, day in and day out on any of our 24/7 media outlets on TV, radio, print or web?  I can think of only a few pundits that fit this description because true pundits aren’t in-your-face constantly, they are too busy honing their expert skills.  People like Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, Ann Coulter, Elliot Spitzer and Bill O’Reilly are considered pundits of politics, pop culture or law. So, obviously the meaning has evolved.

Do I value the judgement of pundits? Mostly, no. I do however, value my own judgement, so if you want to just hand me the unfiltered news I think I might be able to make heads or tails of it myself. On the other hand, I would be open to a well-researched, knowledgeable opinion from someone totally in-the-loop, an expert in the field, as it were. Any takers?

The pundit label has a much more casual meaning today in a sort of casual-Friday type way. It seems you can sort-of  have knowledge and kind-of  have wisdom and flip-flop that good judgement around like well–flip-flops. Even some of the pundits that I sometimes agree with like Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow of MSNBC , get on their TV and radio soap boxes and talk til’ I drop.  I like opinion, I even have one but I don’t necessarily need it dissected and spoon fed to me, with a dose of  bias lacking in any facts, which some pundits are prone to do.

Some radio pundits show their knowledge to listeners by cutting off their callers with differing views and TV pundits have been known to cry and yell on the air, in order to get across their infinite wisdom. These people are doing nothing to elevate the stature of pundit. There really should be levels. We have A list and B list movie stars, why not common ratings for pundits?

A “real” pundit should have the knowledge and credentials to back up an informed opinion.  It wouldn’t even hurt for some topics, to expect pundits to have serious academic or scholarly experience in a subject.  A kind of,  know-before-you-go type of thing rather than a shoot-from-the-hip style. I’ve actually heard people say that many years ago in media land, experts or pundits used to at least attempt to be unbiased and didn’t affiliate themselves with a specific movement or even align themselves with media outlets–imagine that!

4 Comments

Filed under humor, opinion, politics, satire

The Bachelor: Finding Real Love on “Reality TV” in 11 Weeks

The Bachelor (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

If “reality” TV is supposed to be real, then why did I get the distinct impression that the final episode of The Bachelor was a bad made for TV fictionalized movie? I admit I’m not a big fan of the show but I have seen enough episodes (including last nights final ) to cast aspersions on the whole finding-true-love-in-a-few-weeks-on-TV thing. I mean, come on–get REAL.

Evidently 13.5 million of us were glued to our sets last night waiting with bated breath to see if the two-time bachelor participant and (his first time around he picked nobody) bar owner from Texas , Brad Womack would pick Chantal or Emily. With many of us knowing that it didn’t really matter who he picked because most likely he and his pick-of-the-litter are not going to be riding off into the sunset anyway.  Smart people usually don’t get on the bandwagon of finding true love in eleven weeks with a production crew in tow.  No matter how many exotic locales no matter how many hot tubs.

Such is life in this reality pick-me, pick-me saga as a bunch of women vie for one guy (who didn’t seem like any prize to me) and then wallow in grief and/or self-pity as they are cast aside for a newer or shinier or more glib model. Kind of like picking out a new car only with less thought.  I am amazed that the producers of the show still find attractive, professional and seemingly smart women to sign up for this gig.  Most of the women I have viewed on the show seem to show all visible signs of finding themselves a mate in the traditional way but they of course, wouldn’t have a shot at reality TV stardom if they just met someone at the grocery store, health club or bowling alley.

Womack said on the agonizingly long three-hour show that he knew early on that Emily was “the one.” Well, if that was the case what was the point of stringing Chantal and a few others along?  It was for TV ratings of course. Seems cruel to me but men have been stringing women along for centuries and vice-versa without the aid of TV cameras. Now that Emily and Brad are in the real world sans cameras, she has said that she is not ready to marry him and she and her daughter are not ready to move to Texas (where his business is). I guess even though the show promotes shallowness, at least some of the participants are smart enough to realize that the 11 weeks of filming and airing might not quite be enough time to build a solid foundation leading to real love in the real world.  Me, I’m a total skeptic. I give them a few months tops and he will be the ex-two-time Bachelor player that will still be playing.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment news

Difference between news analyst, commentator and pundit? None

Danse Macabre: The Pundits.

Image by quirkybird via Flickr

I decided just yesterday for no reason in particular, to throw my hat into the pundit ring. I’ve heard through other reliable pundits (pretty funny huh, using reliable and pundit in same sentence) that all you need is an opinion and a forum. I figure I have both.  My forum might be small by Fox or CNN standards but never-the-less a blog is a blog and you just never know who drops by.

I was in the newspaper business for many years, and the only words we ever used to describe who we were and what we did were typically reporter, correspondent, columnist and of course editor.  The editorial was the newspaper version of opinion along with columns, which were the express opinion of the writer who wrote them. As reporters or correspondents (which were our part-time reporters) we wrote news backed up with plenty of facts and sources or it didn’t fly. Pretty cut and dried.  But,  people even then,  expressed confusion about what exactly an editorial  was,  no matter that I once wrote an editorial explaining to readers exactly what an editorial was.  So evidently, opinion and fact and how they are packaged  has always been confusing for some. Myself included.

Today of course, we have been enlightened with so much opinion in our news, especially TV news, that the lines seem especially  blurred between pundit, commentator and news analyst. I have been researching these three terms for quite a while and have come to the conclusion that pundits, commentators and news analysts are completely interchangeable.  For a while, I thought a news analyst was not supposed to have a personal opinion. That he/she was supposed to gather the facts, have some extra deep knowledge to add to those facts that us dummies don’t know and present same to us in an unbiased manner.

But, my new pundit opinion thinking cap got in the way. If you are analyzing a situation how do you do that without bringing your own bias into the mix? How is an analyst going to analyze without coming to some conclusion? And you can’t come to a conclusion and be unbiased. If you just throw out the facts and don’t analyze then you aren’t an analyst anymore just a reporter or a correspondent or someone who just reads the news on TV with no comments whats-so-ever (an unheard of phenomenon). Even interpreting the news, which is something news analysts do often, is still interpreting the news by the standards of the analysts themselves or who ever they work for. So they still have a point of view.  A point of view cannot be void of opinion.

This is certainly not think-tank stuff but since a commentator is an opinion person, and a pundit is most definitely an opinion person (think Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck) and since I have personally dropped the status of news analyst to mere opinion person I think a new word to describe all three interchangeable words is in order.  Maybe something like anal-puntator or…I’m sure you come can up with plenty of your own.

(If you are a news junkie like I am you might want to pick up a copy of this; http://amzn.to/1rIhuzD “The News: A Users Manual.” It definitely shows how the 24hr. news cycle affects our lives. Now, the author does analyze in this book but maybe I like it because I agree with most of it.)  I bought it in hardcover rather than digital just because I find it easier to skim.  I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a small commission If you purchase through my link.

4 Comments

Filed under buzz, politics, satire