Thursday, January 31, 2013

(Part IV of IV)

Note: I am tardy in completing this four-part series, and I've got other things I want to speak out about. So I'm posting this final part with a few things left to include. I reserve the right to update it further.


  • 2012 Democratic Convention delegates' voice vote rejects re-inserting "God" and support for Jerusalem as Israel's capital in its platform, and even MSM can't pretend it didn't happen.  On the first day of the convention, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made mention of the specific deletions of the words "God-given potential" and a declaration that the disputed city of Jerusalem is recognized by both Dems and the GOP as Israel's capital city.  Both were in the Dem platform in 2008.

In this opening-day interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-MI) tripped all over himself insisting that the exclusion was not deliberate, and fumbled through strawman talking points alleging that Fox News was casting aspersions on the party:

Ironically, as this contentious interview was conducted, Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker was shouting on stage extolling the virtues of the Dems' platform. 
To put an end to the issue, the first order of business the second day of the convention was to formally insert "God" and "Jerusalem" back into the platform.  Here is the scene as captured by C-SPAN, featuring Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the scourge of the John & Ken Show::

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

(Part III of IV)

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This the third of a four-part year-end post about 2012.  What didn't suck about The Earth, Commercials, and Business/Brands can be found here. What didn't suck about Radio and Television can be found here.


  • On January 18th, 2012, I assisted Andrew Breitbart on Twitter as he cyber-pummeled a progressive bloggerette who denied that 1) Multiple sexual assaults occurred at Occupy camps around the world, and that 2) Victims were discouraged from calling law enforcement. It was a great moment in my online life when I refreshed and saw the notice "@AndrewBreitbart is now following you."  

So it felt like a punch in the gut when I saw the news the morning of March 1st saying he had suddenly died.  I was hoping it was either a disgusting prank by A(nonymous)-holes, or perhaps that Breitbart conspired with intrepid investigative journalist James O'Keefe to fake his death in the hope it would expose the cruelty of his detractors.  Sadly, his death was real, and even sadder, it did expose that cruelty. 
Here's Breitbart in his shining moment, conducting an impromptu press conference after Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace.  It was a righteous victory lap around the MSM figures who questioned the veracity of Weinergate solely because the story was broken on Breitbart's web.

When the shock of his death had passed, I said that Breitbart had from of exhaustion after kicking so much butt.
The Breitbart sites were in the process of being re-designed when his heart failed, and the new -- connecting all of the "Big" sites seamlessly -- turned out great.  I'm not going to lie and say that the website is as good as it would have been with him, and I'm kinda creeped out when it seems fellow fans want to make him a Che Guevara-esque figure, but I'm delighted his movement didn't die with the man himself.
  • My YouTube video of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis at Dodger Stadium (watching the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants defeat the home team) was linked by the New York Daily News and to date has over 94,000 views, much more than all my previously posted videos combined.
  • Patterico's Pontifications, the blog presided over by Los Angeles County Assistant D.A. Patrick "Patterico" Frey.  For over a decade, when he hasn't been working on putting Southland gangsters behind bars, Frey has kept tabs on how facts are often mangled into an unrecognizable mess by the Los Angeles Times. In recent months, however, he's been the target of vindictive far-left partisans who are guarding the reputations of two indefensible characters. The first: Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.  The second: Convicted perjurer, convicted domestic terrorist, false accuser of former Vice President Quayle, and all-around scum-of-the-earth Brett Kimberlin. Kimberlin is a sociopathic serial litigant going back to his days behind bars for setting bombs in the Indianapolis area, and cannot abide his past coming back to haunt him.  Even though he doesn't have a law degree, he is one of the most odious practitioners of "lawfare," using the courts to terrorize people who do no more than retell prima facie fact about his past.  Kimberlin has even more personally targeted for destruction the operator of ... 
  • Allergic To Bull, the blog by Manassas, VA attorney Aaron Walker, aka "Aaron Worthing." Walker explained in excruciating detail (because it's absolutely necessary to tell the whole story) how Kimberlin and his minions harassed Walker's bosses until he was fired, tried to make him a target of bloodthirsty jihadists by filing a legal brief for the express purpose of putting his home address into public record, and sought to ensure his disbarment by framing him for assault by lying about a hostile encounter in a courthouse (Kimberlin failed to notice video surveillance cameras that would eventually disprove his allegation that Walker punched him). All of this persecution of Walker was retribution for giving some free legal advice to another blogger that Kimberlin eventually harassed into silence. Unfortunately, some judges have no patience for what they mistakenly believe are frivolous squabbles on the Internet. At least two didn't even bother doing their due diligence in reading the briefs, which on Kimberlin's side are purposefully voluminous and arcane to the point of incomprehension.  As long as left-wing haters with disposable income (such as Barbra Streisand) continue to feed Kimberlin's non-profit activist organizations millions in cash, he'll keep this crap act going.
  • DC Trawler with Jim Treacher, aka snarkmeister extraordinaire Sean Medlock of  He's the man who coined the phrase "Clown nose off, clown nose on"   referring to the way Daily Show host Jon Stewart shields himself from criticism of his own partisanship. Every day, Jim's at the DC pricking the overinflated...well, I'd better not say that.  Treacher made the MSM notice him when he answered David Axelrod's petulant tweet referencing the Romney dog-on-the-roof story by pointing out that in Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama recounted that in his youth in Indonesia, he dined on canines. Full disclosure: Treacher also will have my never-ending gratitude for being the first person (that other people have heard of) to write the words, "...I am now an L.N. Smithee fan." 
  • Iowahawk, aka David Burge. The "Oh, yeah?" answer for people who say that conservatives can't be funny. He's a one-man Onion, minus the meanness. Watching his success is very cool for a fellow former full-time Freeper.
  • Legal Insurrection, Cornell law professor William Jacobson's increasingly important blog.  It keeps close eye on Washington D.C., on state capitals, and now college campuses, where the indoctrinated get propagandized by Academia Nuts (TM) who lie through their teeth about their dedication to "freedom of speech."  As a black conservative, Jacobson's "Saturday Night Card Game" highlighting leftists' specious allegations of GOP/Tea Party racism is a must-read and redistribute.
  • @ChrisLoesch. Husband of Dana Loesch (see RADIO), Chris is one of the first Twitter users to be held in "Twitter Gulag" via a devious organized lefty effort to report his @ChrisLoesch account as "spam."  Conservative tweeps banded together with him to badger Twitter into restoring his presence. Shortly after the second Presidential Debate, I also got tossed in "Twitmo" for seven days for reasons that Twitter refused to explain despite my repeated requests.  Now in addition to his usual activism, Loesch is involved in helping out other outspoken conservatives who follow Twitter's TOS but still get treated like a POS.
  • MacIver News Service. The webcasting arm of the Madison, WI-based John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy was invaluable during the massive (and sometimes violent) protests in and around the state Capitol in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker led a drive to limit collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. MNS continued to dig beneath the smooth surface of some of the most committed progressives in America. Below is an example from March 2012, just before the recall election against Walker failed. To train its members in activism techniques, an education union was enlisting a chapter of the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organization founded in 1940 by Marxist icon (and Obama favorite) Saul Alinsky.  Most of the videos are much more in-depth than this, but this one is pretty entertaining.

I wish Fox News always had the cojones MacIver News does.

  •, Michelle Malkin's new site watching for left-wing hate in social media.  Why is it necessary? Because right-wingers are accused of "hate" on social media even when they aren't being hateful. For example, when African-American Republican Congressman Tim Scott was selected by Indian-American Republican Governor Nikki Haley to replace white South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the mainstream media scrambled for ways to continue to imply Republicans are racists nonetheless.  MSNBC's Luke Russert, the most disgraceful son of a respected journalist since Matt Taibbi, did so this way:

  •, now defunct. I don't know what has become of Yogchick, a liberal lady whom I befriended while I was defending Sarah Palin on the Oprah website in 2009. Hundreds if not thousands of Oprah fans -- most of them being Obama maniacs -- besieged in an effort to bully Winfrey into canceling Palin's October 17 (?) appearance on her show to promote her runaway bestseller Going Rogue, which turned out to be the highest-rated single Oprah episode in over two years.  I argued with her constantly on the site, but she later sent me an email thanking me for rationally defending my position.  She was the one from whom I always expected a comment when nobody else seemed interested enough, and she was very sweet when I revealed my personal losses last New Year's Eve.  Her blog disappeared without a trace early in the year.  I hope she's OK. If you're reading this, Yogchick, email me.

4. MUSIC: 

  • Soundhound. This smart phone app allows the listener to simply boot it up, hold it near a speaker, and voila! You discover the information about a song that the radio DJ won't tell you about before you have to get out of your car. Even better is when you hear a song from years before that they stopped playing on the radio that suddenly comes over the PA at Walgreens.  I've learned to endure the fifteen seconds of awkwardness as I hold my phone aloft near the speaker in the ceiling, hoping that the song won't be interrupted by "*Ding dong ding!* Customer service needed in the deodorant department."
  • "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen, The infectious old-fashioned pop song by the Canadian Idol finalist rocketed to Billboard #1, giving elderly whoopie cushions like moi hope that people still want to make and hear music, and not synthetic bass beats strung together to resemble music  (More on "Gangnam Style" below). 
  •  "We Come Running," by Youngblood Hawke.  This song is designed to be a radio hit. I don't get the Shark Week video for the song.  The band members are all look at least six years older than they sound, so I suspect their voices have been pitched up in the studio.  Whatever, dude. I'm a sucker for smooth youth choir harmonies ("Ooo-whoa-oh! Ooo-whoa-uh-oh!"). And when you get right down to it, pop music is all about "the sound, the sound, the sound"! 
  • "Home" by Phillip Phillips.  American Idol winner Phillip Phillips proved me wrong -- his sweet "Home" is a legitimate smash, and re-entered Billboard's Top 10 after dropping off the Hot 100 (the first to do that within a calendar year).  Unlike most Idol releases by artists besides Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, "Home" ought to have a long half-life; it's got that irresistible train rhythm, its lyrics can apply to any person who loves any other person or group of people ("Just know you're not alone / 'cause I'm gonna make this place your home"), and that's followed by a flowing, hummable break that's recognizable in the shortest snippets. People who didn't watch him perform the song after winning American Idol heard it as it was played in NBC's London Olympics coverage, which revved up interest from an entirely new audience.
  •  "I'm Henery the Eighth, I am," Harry Champion. While doing research on a totally unrelated topic, I came across the first recorded version of this song, which was a #1 hit in the USA in 1965 for British invasion band Herman's Hermits. Recorded in 1911 on cylinder by British Music Hall star Harry Champion, it's superior to the later version despite the former's ultra-low fidelity sound quality. 
  • Korean rapper Psy's execrable "Gangnam Style" stalls at #2, denying the annoying two-faced goof (birth name Park Jae-Sang) the elite distinction of being a chart-topper on the Billboard 100. By now you likely know that eight years ago -- in our blissful ignorance of his existence -- Psy wished death on American soldiers and their family members after an unfortunate tank incident near the De-Militarized Zone resulted in the death of a 10-year-old Korean girl.  My responses included this tweet:
Note that I didn't link his video, because you've probably seen it enough to last the rest of your life already.  Instead, here's American Idol reject William Hung, who cashed in mightily on his lovably lame audition. 
According to recent reports, Hung's living now is crunching numbers in Los Angeles government.  That's not a bad job if it's as hard to get fired from a civic duty in L.A. as it is working for the city of San Francisco.  His ersatz musical career certainly must have paid off his Cal-Berkeley tuition.  But after witnessing Psy's suck-cess, I have to wonder if Hung sometimes considers he was just a high school dance class away from international superstardom.

Coming up in the conclusion: What Didn't Suck About Politics, Sports, and My Personal Life in 2012!

Friday, January 18, 2013

(Part II of IV)

This the second of a four-part year-end post about 2012.  What didn't suck about The Earth, Commercials, and Business/Brands can be found here.


  • KFI-AM, Los Angeles. I am a lifelong San Francisco resident, and as such, I have been raised by Herb Caen, the USF Dons, and the San Francisco Giants to dislike all things Los Angeles.  But I've never had a bad time when I have been in the Southland, the traffic is not egregiously worse than it is in S.F., and it's the home of my new favorite radio station, Clear Channel's KFI, accessible through the iHeartRadio app. Thank goodness I'm living in the internet age, and can download podcasts of the goofy Tim Conway Jr., the brash Bill Handel, the newshawk Bill Carroll, the sweet, hilarious, and talented Lisa Ann Walter, and the two and only John & Ken (more on them below).  KFI calls itself "More Stimulating Talk Radio," and it's not kidding. 
  •  John & Ken,  KFI Los Angeles John Kobylt ("KO-bilt") and Ken Chiampou ("sham-POE") continued their unrelenting, ongoing audio record of the rapid decline of the once-great state of California.  If you've heard of John & Ken, likely it's from their part in recalling former Governor Gray Davis, who was replaced by hacktor Arnold Schwarzenegger (to be fair, nobody foresaw that happening).  
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, KFI Los Angeles
I first encountered John & Ken in the late 1990s, when they had a syndicated show that was carried on KSFO (San Francisco) in the early evening.  In the midst of multiple Clinton scandals were decidedly more forgiving of than the rest of the lineup (Lee Rodgers, Geoff Metcalf, Jim Eason), and I found other things to do when Michael Savage's show (which hadn't yet been syndicated) ended and their show began.  Eventually, KSFO dropped John & Ken, and I didn't hear from them again until 2004. That's when George W. Bush Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson, in response to complaints from Chicano activist group National Council of La Raza ("The Race"), took action to end a phenomenally successful roundup of illegal immigrants by the Border Patrol in Southern California.  Hutchinson agreed to an interview with Kobylt (Ken was off that day), and he perhaps figured that all he had to do was say "Don't worry, we're on the case" and that would end the controversy.  John was having none of it, and several times stunned Hutchinson into dead silence when he refused to accept answers that fell short of promising enforcement.  Michelle Malkin linked audio of the interview (which I unfortunately cannot locate), and I fell into strictly non-romantic love with John & Ken.
When introducing people to John & Ken, it's almost as important to say what they aren't as to say what they are, because they confound many stereotypes about talk radio hosts.  They are often dismissed as "shock jocks." They are often mischaracterized as typical radio "right-wingers" because they take Democrats on with a vengeance.  Some say they're bigots because they're in favor of border enforcement, against illegal immigration, and delight in skewering L.A.'s incompetent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (more on him in 2.Politics).  Others call them "RINOs" because they don't delve into discussions of Obama's birthplace or religious beliefs, and laugh out loud at conspiracy theory talk of chemtrails, FEMA camps, and black helicopters.  As they say whenever they're written about, hardly anybody gets it right about them because they are impossible to pigeonhole.
Here are the facts: Kobylt (the louder, longer-winded, and more opinionated of the two) and Chiampou (who at times plays devil's advocate, and is a moderating influence on John) have been professional partners since they were paired as afternoon disc jockeys in New Jersey 25 years ago.  They trust no politicians (save Chris Christie -- more on him under Mark Levin), have no political affiliation, and bash whichever ideological side needs it at the time. Most of the time, who needs it are Democrats because there are only a few important elected officials in California that are Republican (as I type this, only San Diego's Rep. Darrell Issa comes to mind).  After decades of the state Assembly being close to split down the middle between Republicans and Democrats, the left has steadily built a veto-proof majority in both houses. Whatever happens in California government -- good or bad -- is stamped with a "D." Still, the remaining Republican politicians know they will get the Hutchinson treatment if they pettifog on John & Ken's air, so most of them -- and all GOP state officials -- are scared spitless of going on the show (yeah, I'm looking at you, Tom Del Beccaro).
Much attention is given to their style, which is oftentimes loud, snarky, cynical, rude, and occasionally lewd.  Sometimes, they are too frank for their own good and they regularly run afoul of the political correctness industry.  For example, in 2012 they came under fire for this exchange, in which Kobylt referred to the recently-deceased Whitney Houston as a "crack ho." No doubt it was a harsh thing to say, but it was part of a larger discussion of how Whitney's been addicted and out-of-control for two decades, something that cannot be denied.  Indeed, on the day Houston died in that luxury suite bathtub on the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the National Enquirer's cover story on the supermarket racks was that she was "strung out and broke, it's worse than anyone thought." The article inside specifically mentioned Houston's hard partying with William "Ray J" Norwood (the nominal recording artist whose sex video made Kim Kardashian infamous), who was in her suite when she was pronounced dead. Nevertheless, the remark outraged enough people that KFI's owner Clear Channel Communications met with "community leaders" to do the shakedown shuffle.  It was baselessly alleged that Kobylt wouldn't have said it if more black people worked at the station.  It all resulted in a week-long suspension for John & Ken from KFI's air, and the permanent cancellation of their daily live remote segment on an L.A. afternoon TV newscast.
In a sense, John & Ken are like Bill O'Reilly in that they portray themselves as being in the reasonable middle between extreme poles.  But unlike self-described "culture warrior" O'Reilly, they have no tolerance for social conservatism.  That annoys me.  Kobylt especially summarily dismisses religious conservatives, and embraces stereotypes and dubious anecdotes that leftists spread about George W. Bush (of whom I'm not a fan) and Sarah Palin (of whom I am).  In the case of Palin, he ignores her steady and successful stewardship of the state of Alaska (all supposed "scandals" surrounding Palin are false and farcical), choosing to just call her "crazy" using as backup sources like Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast (online home of Palinphobes Tina Brown, Andrew Sullivan, John Avlon, Mark McKinnon, John Batchelor, and Meghan McCain), and even political consultant (and former McCain '08 honcho) Steve Schmidt. John was disgusted with Schmidt when he followed up McCain's loss by being the force behind Republican Meg Whitman's failed campaign for California Governor. Whitman was whipped by Jerry Brown, who spent a fraction of the record $162 million spent by Whitman under Schmidt's leadership. Just a year or so after laughing long and loud at how Schmidt conducted a devious, duplicitous, and extravagant campaign that cost Whitman a small fortune, John suddenly took him seriously when he blamed Palin for McCain's loss. 
On national political issues, where talkhosts like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and others are strong, Kobylt and Chiampou are weak (which is why I think the expansion of their show to the New York market is a bad idea). Outside of their home turf, they over-rely on MSM sources, whose biases are obvious. So, you may ask, why do I rarely miss a podcast? Because I know I'm going to learn something by listening to John & Ken I will NOT learn anyplace else. 
The John & Ken Show is the absolute best at lifting the rocks hiding the vermin infesting state and local government.  On a daily basis, they  expose how politicians are corrupted by influence peddling and leeches of every possible stripe: public employee union bosses, big corporation lobbyists (especially the ones who literally seduce lawmakers), environmental groups, ethnic pressure groups, NGOs, lawyers' groups, anarchists, friends and family of public officials, even churches and charitable organizations.  In the end, those are the entities that touch our lives more directly than the ones in Washington, D.C.  And John & Ken are blessed with the excellent reporting staff of KFI (Eric Leonard, Steve Gregory, Jo Kwon, Shannon Farren, et al), all of whom are sharper than a samurai sword.
Here's an example of what I mean. The YouTube video below is a portion from a show about "The Browndoggle," John & Ken's nickname for Governor Brown's so-called high-speed rail project, for which California voters foolishly approved a bond. Starting in the distant future (and perhaps never ending), the project will begin construction in the Central Valley of California, not the Northern or Southern cities that where tourists want to go. Why?  Because in 2010, Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) withheld his vital "yes" vote on ObamaCare until he was assured by the Obamastration his district would get the first infusion of megamillions for the project. The language of the proposition contained specific guidelines about how fast the trains are supposed to travel to prevent the project from becoming just a massive years-on-end project to renew standard railroad tracks. The trains, as they are planned currently, fall far short of those speeds. Add to that the open admission by administrators drawing up the plans that they plan to use some of the borrowed billion$ to illegally fund non-HSR transportation projects by state legislators whose votes were needed to approve the train's existence.
Just by listening to this ten-minute segment of the John & Ken Show, you've learned more about the California so-called High Speed Rail project than you would have in many weeks' worth of thirty-second mentions on your local TV newscast.  That's just partial exposure of the shovels full of graft and wa$te that must constantly be fed into the government engine to create a concept that may never come to fruition. And that's why I listen even if John & Ken say something that makes me mad; I know something is coming later in the same broadcast that everyone should hear if they want to be even minimally informed.
Bottom line: If you don't listen to John & Ken, you don't really have a comprehensive understanding of the depth of the trouble California is in, and how it is a bellwether for the rest of the country. 
  • KFOG Ten@Ten Podcasts. Over 20 years ago, KFOG DJ Dave Morey -- the last link in Bay Area Radio to the days of free-form AOR (radio talk, scuse me) -- created Ten@Ten, a 10:00 am program in which he played ten songs from one year, or ten songs that fit a certain theme, or one song from ten consecutive years ... you get the picture.  It was so popular they played it again at 10:00 pm.  On Saturday mornings, KFOG used to play the five Monday-Friday shows consecutively.  Then Morey retired from radio, and the suits from Cumulus Media did what they do: Mess with success. But they did partially redeem themselves; 10@10 can't be heard on Saturday anymore, but the week's podcasts are now posted on Soundcloud.
  • Mark Davis. The Dallas-based frequent fill-in for Rush wasn't unemployed for long after being dumped by tight-fisted Cumulus Media's WBAPHe made a quick switch to Salem Communication's KSKY ("The Answer").  Davis is one of the rare widely-heard talkhosts who isn't afraid of being called a Christian conservative; most stay safely in the "I'm libertarian when it comes to that"category.  Unlike John & Ken, who rarely take calls and are short-tempered when they meet resistance, Mark truly is interested in what the audience thinks, and kindly engages opposing callers.  He is skilled in breaking down bluster and getting people to the point, but still allows them their say.  
Davis has now added a video blog.  This is the first of 2013.
I know it's none of my business, but I'm glad he's gotten rid of his goatee -- it made him look like Colonel Sanders.
  • Mark Levin, after wasting many hours over the past two years griping about Glenn Beck's stardom (and how many of Beck's ideas seem derivative of his), stayed focused on the Constitution in 2012.  He sounded an unheeded warning against Ameritopia, concentrating on first principles and calling out those who practice moderation in the defense of liberty and the pursuit of justice.   His Landmark Legal Foundation challenged ObamaCare in the Supreme Court, and LLF would have been successful in striking it down but for Chief Justice John Roberts' determination to retrieve politics from the jaws of the Constitution.  Mark was one of the few who dared call out Chris Christie, who is almost worshiped by others in talk radio, as a Republican governor who didn't join in the suit. 
Newbies may find him tough to listen to, but if you stick with him through some of his temper tantrums, the show's like a college course given by a wise professor.  The best part of his show from last year was his point-by-point explanation of Griswold vs. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that gave us the so-called "right to privacy."

George Stephanopoulos made this conversation necessary after out of the clear blue sky, he asked Mitt Romney this ridiculous question:
Romney acquitted himself well in this exchange, but this moment was nevertheless the genesis of what became the "Republicans' War on Women" meme against Romney; the bizarre assertion that because he refused to accept the premise of this question, that he in his heart wants to "turn back the clock" to "Nick at Nite" years when women had fewer rights.
  • Rush Limbaugh survived yet another national bash-and-boycott fest, this time over his unwise, crude remarks about the ridiculous twit Sandra Fluke.  As some were preparing his broadcast epitaph as he became the poster child for the "Republicans' War on Women," his already dominant ratings went up, and advertisers who abandoned him (especially Carbonite, which issued a incredibly terse statement) suffered a backlash.
  • Dana Loesch, KFTK St. Louis. Although she's had a falling-out with the people now guiding the Breitbart brand, talkhost/CNN contributor/pistol-packing mama Dana Loesch ("lash") is a proud Tea Party ruckus-raiser, fearless defender of the First and Second Amendments, a stalwart fighter against media bias, creeping governmental overreach, and a caller-out of bovine compost whipped up and plopped on your plate disguised as chocolate mousse. An authentic part-Cherokee, Loesch took it personally when Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren couldn't support her long-accepted (and false) assertion that she also had Native American roots.  Loesch's show was ground zero for coverage of  the Todd Akin (R-Missouri) gaffe, and she did her best to help him crawl out the hole he dug for himself; unfortunately, Akin decided he liked living like a gopher. She and her husband Chris are two of the biggest targets of the progressive lefties online.  (More on Chris in Part 5. Internet).
  • Red Eye Radio. Cumulus, which cut its KSFO programming costs by dumping Rush in favor of Mike Huckabee, also cast off Coast-to-Coast AM, the Twilight Zone-ish show that Art Bell made infamous.  In its place, it added Red Eye Radio (not affiliated with Fox News' Red Eye program), Gary McNamara & Eric Harley's syndicated show. For the first time since KNEW dispatched Lars Larson, there's Bay Area talk after midnight worth listening to.

6. TELEVISION (in alphabetical order):  

  • Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News reporter who, in the greatest tradition of investigative reporting,  continued her aggressive, tenacious coverage of the Fast and Furious scandal. The rest of the mainstream media pretended the entire story was either meaningless or unimportant because acknowledgment of it would have been hazardous to the reputation (and re-election hopes) of President Obama.  No, she won't say that, even if she agrees (I have no idea if she does).
Attkisson often uses her Twitter feed to provide context that was missing from the final cut on video. Following her is a good idea. Tell her @LNSmithee sent you.
  • The Big Bang Theory, CBS. I would love to have had a hidden microphone in the CBS boardroom when this show was pitched. 
"Good Morning, Mr. Moonves. This show's about four socially-retarded genius scientists who dress horribly, are obsessed with comic books, and can't maintain a relationship with the opposite sex. One is a short, bespectacled asthmatic nerd with a crush on a beautiful blonde waitress/aspiring actress across the hall, one is a tall, skinny, obsessive-compulsive guy who is like C-3PO with human flesh, one is a horny nebbish who still lives with his domineering mom, and one is an Indian immigrant who is incapable of speaking to women he's attracted to unless he's inebriated.  Throughout each episode, there are cultural references about Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, Doctor Who, video games, and various superheroes (including Aquaman).  Every so often, real-life genius scientists will guest star so the characters can fawn over them as if they were rock stars.  Trust us, Mr. Moonves, given time, not only will this show be a huge hit, it will defeat American Idol head-to-head, become the nation's most watched program, and absolutely clean up in syndication. So ...whaddaya think?"  
  • Jedediah Bila, Fox News Channel & Fox Business Network.  When someone you respect for her substance comes into your life in a form with electromagnetic allure, how do you acknowledge her smarts or the sexiness (or both) without seeming patronizing?  If you don't know what I mean, meet Jedediah Bila ("jed-eh-DYE-a BEE-la"), the Audrey Hepburn of television punditry.  She's the author of Outnumbered (her book about being a Reagan conservative in progressive New York City), and the reason why some East Coast guys set their alarms for 3:00 am when they've got to get up at 7:00 am (on the West Coast, Red Eye comes on at midnight. Nyaah.)  
Nobody can put a sound byte together on the fly like the Jedi Princess can. A graduate with honors of Columbia University, she's an articulate advocate of her convincing positions. Concise and to the point, clear as a bell, and eminently quotable. 

Jedediah's secret seems to be that she knows what her principles are and can explain the reasons why she holds them.  What a concept, huh?  There's a long list right-of-center people that ought to learn from her.
As I alluded to earlier: She's unapologetically gorgeous; a doe-eyed, long-legged enchantress (who was at one time a high school teacher inspiring countless pleasant dreams). Jedediah Bila is a seriously intelligent woman.  But from what I've been able to gather, like Nancy Kwan's "Linda Low" in Rogers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, Jedediah Bila enjoys being a girl. 

  • Breaking Bad, AMC. The promised transformation of Walter White from underachieving chemist/high school teacher to desperate meth-cooking terminal cancer patient to healthy cold-blooded drug kingpin is complete, and now, in the final season, comes the downfall.
Every episode is an acting clinic given by three-time Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston, two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, and supporting cast members like Emmy nominee Giancarlo Esposito, Jonathan Banks, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, and others. Creator Vince Gilligan has thus far fulfilled his original vision in thrilling, nerve-shattering fashion. I just hope it ends satisfactorily and doesn't limp to the finish line, as did other great shows like Lost, Seinfeld and (some say) The Sopranos
  • Broke, ESPN. A 30 for 30 documentary directed by Billy Corben. Corben interviewed over a dozen former professional athletes about how they either squandered or were cheated out of their multi-million dollar salaries.  While fascinating to watch for many reasons, one thing I took away from it is that public education fails miserably to teach students about the realities of economics. 
  • Neil Cavuto, Fox News Channel/Fox Business Network. The tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating financial expert takes no prisoners in his interviews; he insists on answers to relevant questions, and when they aren't forthcoming, he'll ever-so-gently reach into your throat to pull them out. 
Also, Cavuto's "Common Sense" monologues at the end of Your World with Neil Cavuto are always worth watching. 
  • Fox & Friends First, Fox News Channel, for the first ten minutes. (WARNING: Politically correct women, skip this one, your blood pressure will thank you). It's like being a schoolboy allowed in a faculty lounge where every bug-eye beautiful, endless-legged teacher you've ever had in your life meets before the first class of the day. "Good Morning, Ms. Nauert. (sigh...) Good Morning, Ms. Earhardt. (sigh...) Good Morning, Ms. Childers. (sigh...) Good Morning, Ms. Simonetti. (sigh...) Good Morning, Ms. Kooiman. (sigh...) Good morning, Ms. M-m-m-molina ..." It softens the blow suffered by leg men since the cancellation of Deal or No Deal. 

  • Fox News. Contrary to its famous slogan, Fox News Channel is NOT "fair and balanced," it IS balance.   
The Obamastration and the mainstream media (MSM) have a symbiotic working arrangement: The White House keeps them at arm's length and treats them like mushrooms, and the press corps grins and bears it because the alternative is giving the Republicans traction. The goal in the Obama era is not informing the public, it's damaging the GOP -- otherwise, there would be something resembling balance in the MSM, and there would be fewer reasons for Fox News to exist.  So after the deadly terror attacks occurred in Benghazi killing an American ambassador and three others on September 11, 2012, reporters for other "news" organizations (other than Jake Tapper, and maybe a few others) just swallowed and regurgitated Jay Carney and Victoria Nuland's nuggets of It Was The Muslim-Bashing YouTube Video And We're Sticking To That.  To challenge the official story might cause people to question the Obama campaign slogan "Bin Laden is Dead and GM is alive!"
When Mitt Romney criticized Obama for blaming the guaranteed free speech of an U.S. resident for the deaths of four Americans abroad, the MSM ganged up on him for speaking out "before ... all the facts were known" at the same time the White House was providing nothing but outright lies. But the pavement-pounding journalists of FNC showed the MSMers who's boss -- Jennifer Griffin and Catherine Herridge uncovered inconvenient accounts about the Benghazi fiasco from their own sources.  Faced with either following up or disproving Fox News exclusives while the polls showed Obama might be vulnerable, they predictably hunkered down, kept their traps shut, and let Obama run out the clock on the campaign until it was too late to raise the issue again. As FNC's Bret Baier uncovered in his blog, only then, less than 48 hours before the polls opened November 6th, did CBS News release the portion of Obama's September 12, 2012 interview with Steve Kroft proving that in the second debate against Romney, he lied about having called the Benghazi incident an "act of terror." Obama was confident that Kroft would cover his inferior posterior, and he did.
I have my problems with Fox News Channel, though; When important stories happen in the wee hours of the morning across the world, the network is useless. Not even the Peruvian mine rescue or the Japan earthquake/tsunami broke the spell of FNC's self-imposed siesta from 3:00 am - 6:00 am EST, after On The Record with Greta Van Susteren replay and before Fox & Friends -- in both cases, one had to go to the other news nets for live coverage because Fox just replayed its earlier live reporting, all without signifying that what viewers were watching happened three hours before.  I also think Rupert Murdoch royally screwed Glenn Beck, whose 5:00 pm show was the most unique hour on television.  Beck's suspicions about the putatively benevolent "Arab Spring" turned out to be prescient, and his prediction that President Obama would use Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals" as a playbook was spot-on. That being said....
  • Greg Gutfeld, whose The Five round table discussion show replaced Beck, has risen from the depths of Red Eye, a bawdy experimental 3:00 am gabfest (that amazingly outdraws CNN primetime shows in viewership), to early prime on FNC, to guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor!  That on top of writing a New York Times bestseller (The Joy of Hate).  If you're a conservative, his monologues on The Five (formerly known as the "Greg-alogue" on Red Eye) might be one of the highlights of your day (at least, it's often mine).  
Of all the surviving friends of Andrew Breitbart taking up the slack in his early demise, Gutfeld seems to be the most forceful and thus true to the cause of breaking the grip liberalism has on American culture.  He's getting in the face of the useless old guard (hello, Karl Rove) and the hypocritical elites, and having a hearty laugh while doing it. 
  • The Good Wife, CBS. A star-studded law firm show that has no illusion of do-gooder idealism and that includes warts missing from previous series of the genre.  In my humble opinion, Wife is the only broadcast drama that comes close to those offered on cable.  True, it does have a habit of head-nods to leftist and occasionally radical political stances, as well as an overabundance of same-sex makeout scenes (come on, folks, even if you buy into the debunked 10% figure, there's still way too much).  That being said, the writers of the show wisely resist setting up conservative or "too" religious straw men to be pummeled into submission, as was a common practice on programs like Cold Case, Boston Legal, L.A. Law, Picket Fences, The Practice, Harry's Law, The West Wing, and various Law & Order shows.  For the most part, Wife portrays lawyers as they are -- y'know, lawyers -- and not guardian or avenging angels.
  • Impractical Jokers, TruTV. After 2011, I needed something to laugh about, and this show delivers like no other. Jokers stars the four-man troupe The Tenderloins, childhood friends turned childish adults.  They each compete to see which of them can be embarrassed in public on hidden camera the most, via directions that the others give through an in-ear transmitter.  If you are prone to slapping your knee when you laugh really hard, you may have trouble walking after watching.  
  • Judge Judy. To paraphrase praise that the late, legendary concert promoter Bill Graham gave the Grateful Dead: She's not the best as what she does, she's the only one who does what she does.
  • Killer Karaoke, TruTV. A guilty pleasure. High concept: American Idol meets Fear Factor. I can't stand Jackass, the show that made Killer host Steve-O infamous. I figured I'd be safe checking the show out for a few minutes, thinking I am too mature to laugh. I'm not. 
  • Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable, ESPN2. Le Batard is a syndicated sports talkhost and sportswriter for the Miami Herald. On DLHQ, he sits on a studio set designed to resemble a modest kitchen.  From there, he interviews sports figures via satellite and answers questions about the sports events of the day (thus the title) read by his father Gonzalo (or "Papi"), a Cuban immigrant with a heavy accent and infectious laugh.  It sounds silly, and sometimes it is (as when Papi reads rap lyrics off a teleprompter), but you have no idea how enjoyable it is until you watch.  It's especially fun for those of us who can't talk with our dads about sports anymore. Here's Papi in what was originally supposed to be a web-only discussion about his early childhood in Cuba, his path to the United States, and his thoughts about Fidel Castro. It was played on ESPN 2 due to popular demand.
  • Mad Men, AMC. Season Five had a hard act to follow in Season Four, which featured "The Suitcase" (ep. 407), one of the best-spent hours in front of the tube since its invention. Don Draper's third marriage -- which he fought his carnal tendencies to maintain, to the point where it appeared (at first) he fatally strangled a former fling who refused to take "no" for an answer -- is now teetering on the edge.  His saucy new ex-secretary bride, who showed glimpses of budding brilliance in the advertising field, followed her disapproving socialist father's advice, and will instead pursue a career in acting that distances her from Don physically and emotionally. 

It disappoints me that many Mad fans missed the philandering Don, as if they were living vicariously through him, and didn't want him to stay faithful to a smart, young, smoking hot French Canadian chick that his children like.  One more thing: I'm still mad that "The Suitcase" didn't win every Emmy for which it was nominated (including Supporting Actress nominee Elisabeth Moss). That one episode was better than anything from Friday Night Lights in its history. 
  • Gavin McInnes on Fox News Channel's Red Eye. Whether the Scottish-Canadian author/comic was speaking as his soft-spoken (but outspoken) self, in the character of his proudly commie brother "Miles McInnes" or his tartan-clad firebrand father "Jimmy McInnes" from Glasgow, he never failed to break me up (and everyone else on the panel). In a just world, if Louis C.K. is funny enough to deserve three Emmys, McInnes ought to have more than he can carry in his arms.
  • MLB Network. Porn for fans of the greatest sport of all. Wall-to-wall baseball. Analysis almost completely by former players who know of what they speak. Great moments revisited. Highlights. History. Movies. Everything you want, nothing you don't. 
Uhh, check that -- the one thing that made me switch the channel in disgust is when Keith Olbermann guest-hosted Hot Stove on Thanksgiving. 
  • The Pitch, AMC. Part of what hooked me on Mad Men was the fictional glimpse into the creative processes of an advertising agency.  The Pitch eavesdrops on two real ad agencies competing for the same big-ticket account. Like all reality TV, it's tough to know how much is authentic and how much is contrived, but The Pitch showed what goes into the sieve before it comes out as the ads you either love or hate.  It's something that comes to mind when I look at ads like Little Caesars' mind-numbing "Fishing" spot and wonder how strong the drugs dealt around Chicago's Tris3ct agency must be.
  • Shark Tank, ABC. The only truly educational reality show on the air.  Real people, real products, real money, real drama.  They DID build their businesses.
  • The World's Dumbest, TruTV.  Another brain-on-hold laugh-fest from the network that used to be CourtTV, this show features collections of video footage of dumb criminals, dumb inventions, dumb daredevils, etc., with two-cents punch lines from troubled former child actors (Danny Bonaduce, Todd Bridges, Leif Garrett), C-, D, and Z-list celebs (Daniel Baldwin, Frank Stallone, Karrine Stephans[!]) unknown comedians (Judy Gold, Chuck Nice, Loni Love, among others), and disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding.  Hey, it keeps her from kneecapping her rivals.

In the next post: What didn't suck in 2012 in Music, The Internet, and Politics!