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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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JANUARY 30,  2023

DOWN, DOWN, DOWN.  CNN apparently can do no right.  It keeps on sinking.  Attempts to straighten out its problems appear ineffective.  From Townhall:   

It's not news, necessarily, that CNN is not keeping up with the post-Trump administration times we live in — despite a change in course directed by new boss Chris Licht following a merger between CNN's parent company and Discovery. But when tanking ratings continue to sink to levels not seen in nearly a decade, there's bound to be some talk of whether the network is salvageable at all. 

Enter a new dispatch from TheWrap noting CNN "notched its lowest ratings in nine years across all its day parts for the week of Jan. 16 through Jan. 22, 2023," per ratings data from Nielsen: "just 444,000 viewers in primetime, 93,000 in the all-important age 25-54 news demographic and 417,000 in viewers and 80,000 in the demo for total day."

As TheWrap noted, last week was "the first time since May 2014" that saw CNN stay below 450,000 viewers. And it's not like there was a industry-wide dip in viewers last week. It turns out Fox News Channel, the leader in cable news for almost too many consecutive weeks to track at this point, had 1.4 million total viewers and 176,000 in the 25-54 demographic during the same timeframe. Their primetime shows brought in two million viewers and 256,000 in the 25-54 range.

Apparently not caring to hold back in evaluating Licht's programming success or lack thereof, TheWrap outlined the ratings woes on the fresh "CNN This Morning" with hosts he hand-picked to try competing with Morning Joe on MSNBC and Fox and Friends:

Some especially troublesome news out of this week’s Nielsen numbers is that Licht’s primary programming move, “CNN This Morning,” also suffered the lowest week since its launch just three months ago. It averaged just 331,000 viewers while “Fox & Friends” had nearly 1 million and “Morning Joe” drew 760,000.

COMMENT:  Will someone please say what needs to be said – that the culture of CNN is left-wing, and has been since its inception.  It became much worse during the Trump era when CNN almost became the official anti-Trump network.  Without Trump to destroy, what is CNN's mission?  There are lots of conservatives in this country, and CNN loses them before it goes on the air.

I've watched the "new" CNN recently.   There are some good things.  Its Ukraine coverage is superior, and professionally reported.  But, overall, the leftist tilt remains.  The journalism is lacking in detail and background, and history is rarely mentioned.  The depth that a 24-hour news network can bring is rare.  A viewer sometimes gets the feeling that the hosts have little interest in the news, little curiosity, and little vitality.  And some of them seem to feel that liberalism is the one true faith.

CNN should be revamped into a serious news network with the tightest standards, and a high regard for what is actually happening on American streets and in America's schools.  Its morning show should be a model of what a viewer would need and want to get through the day.  

I don't know if CNN can do it. 

January 30, 2023       Permalink 

 

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

I KNEW SHAKESPEARE WAS A BAD GUY:  FROM LEGAL INSURRECTION:   British universities have reportedly begun putting trigger warnings on great Greek and Shakespearean tragedies for students who may be sensitive to their dark content.  U.K. outlet The Telegraph reported Wednesday that the University of Derby and several other British universities have deemed celebrated tragedies like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as “potentially upsetting” for students.  As such, university staff have attached “trigger warnings” to a school literature module that covers classic tragedies, cautioning students that the works are “obsessed” with suffering.  The Telegraph added, “Athenian dramas concerning the deaths of mythical kings, and Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman, are also on the reading list for the module, which has been given a blanket advisory on how the tragic could be troubling.”  The outlet provided the text of the warning provided by professors for their students, which stated, “Tragedy is a genre obsessed with violence and suffering, often of a sexual or graphic kind, and so some of the content might be triggering for some students.”  Great Britain was once the country that stood alone against the Nazis.  Can you imagine if their new generation of students had to face a similar challenge?  But you may be sure that some American universities will embrace this same madness as well.

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL:  FROM FOX:   Champion of justice "The Lone Ranger" and trusty steed Silver rode across the Wild West and into American lore for the first time on this day in history, Jan. 30, 1933.  Lone Ranger was soon joined by Native American sidekick Tonto to become the original crime-fighting dynamic duo of multimedia fame.  The program debuted on WXYZ in Detroit — the first of more than 3,000 radio episodes over the next two decades.  "'The Lone Ranger' was an instant success, and the character became known for his black domino mask, code of honor, signature silver bullets, and horse Silver," the Smithsonian Institution notes. 
"According to his moral code, the Lone Ranger attempts to avoid violence, shooting only to disarm, not kill, and using silver bullets as a reminder of the value of human life."  The radio show soon found a nationwide audience of millions of listeners. Meant for children, it enjoyed equal appeal among adults.  "During the next 80 years, ‘The Lone Ranger’ would appear in comic strips, television shows and movies, not to mention a vast array of merchandise including action figures, costumes, books and toy guns," writes Indian Country Times, a news site of indigenous American culture.   One of my childhood favorites.  The opening, featuring music from "The William Tell Overture," became famous.  As far as I was concerned, any American boy who couldn't recite the entire opening from memory was unfit for citizenship. 

January 30, 2023       Permalink

 


 

JANUARY 29,  2023

THOSE INGENIOUS AMERICANS:  Give 'em a problem, they'll solve it.  From Fox Business: 

Lowe's Companies, Inc. has innovated – and successfully tested – a new system geared towards tackling organized retail crime in a frictionless and almost invisible manner. 

It's called Project Unlock, and it's a proof-of-concept system that underscores how there are methods to solving this industry-wide problem without having to lock up every product on the shelf, Lowe's Chief Digital and Information Officer Seemantini Godbole told FOX Business in an exclusive interview. 

On average, there was a 26.5% increase in organized retail crime in 2021, costing the industry almost $100 billion, according to the latest data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). 

So far, the solution has been to lock up products, which Godbole says is "disrupting an enjoyable experience that customers rightfully should have." 

"As you can see, all the retailers are locking down stuff and putting physical locks on the product," Godbole said. "We said you know, we wish we had digital locks…we could enable and disable with technology. 

Project Unlock was created, and demonstrated at the NRF's 2023 expo in New York City last week, to prove that technology can be leveraged to solve organized retail crime without hindering the shopping experience for law-abiding citizens.  

Over the last 12 to 18 months, Lowe's Innovation Labs has been testing out the system which utilizes RFID [Radio Frequency Identity] chips, scanners and blockchain. 

If implemented, it would render a stolen tool inoperable which would discourage bad actors and in turn, keep employees safe, according to Godbole. 

To work, manufactures would first have to embed a wireless RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) chip into a power tool product. The chip is already pre-loaded with the item's serial number. It is also embedded in the box’s barcode. 

The product is set to inoperable up until the moment the customer pays for it. An RFID scanner at the register would then read the chip and activate the tool for use.  

"Only products that are legitimately purchased are activated," according to Lowe's Innovation Labs. "If a power tool is stolen, it won’t work, which makes it less valuable to steal." 

If implemented, the idea is that word will spread "pretty quickly that stealing these tools this way is not worth it because it'll never work," Godbole said. 

COMMENT:  Now that's innovation.  I hope it succeeds.  Frustrate the criminals!  Maintain law and order!  Free the shelves!

January 29, 2023       Permalink

 

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE

THIS JUST IN:  I wanted to be sure you saw this first.  Be alert.  Don't be embarrassed.   From FOX:    The Twitter account for the Associated Press apologized for a recent tweet suggesting that "the French" was a "dehumanizing" term, acknowledging that it "caused unintended offense."  The AP official account tweeted Friday morning, "The use of ‘the French’ in this tweet by @AP was inappropriate and has caused unintended offense. An updated tweet is upcoming."
The original tweet that put the AP in hot water with social media users came from the @APStylebook account on Thursday. It suggested doing away with "dehumanizing ‘the’ labels," including "the poor" and, inexplicably, "the French."  It read, "We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses. And use these descriptions only when clearly relevant."  This latest bit of language policing backfired on social media. Many users trashed the AP, with some of them noting that the stylebook’s post had insulted French people despite its intention to respect them.  Video game designer Jordan Mechner commented, "I wonder what people with French nationality, I mean, people who are from France and live there, or who live somewhere else but still identify with France, will make of this?"  I'm just relieved the AP ran this apology.  I had visions of a crisis between the United States and France.  As I understand it, Paris had already asked that the Statue of Liberty be returned.  Once again, as in yesteryear, the term "French fries" was threatened.  I hope this is now all behind us.

OH DEAR, OH DEAR.  AS FACTS COME IN, THE STORY CHANGES I'D BEEN WONDERING WHY NO ONE WAS QUESTIONING THE POLICE CHIEF:  From the New York Post:   The chief of police in Memphis in charge of the five officers who fatally beat and tasered motorist Tyre Nichols was fired from a previous law enforcement job after a botched probe.  Cerelyn “CJ” Davis became the first female police chief in Memphis’s history in 2021 and is currently in the international spotlight after five cops brutally beat Tyre Nichols.  She was fired from the Atlanta police department in 2008 for her alleged involvement in a sex crimes investigation into the husband of an Atlanta police sergeant, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Two detectives accused Davis of telling them not to investigate Terrill Marion Crane, who was married to sergeant Tonya Crane after the police department obtained photos of him with underage girls.  A federal grand jury later indicted Terrill Crane on child pornography. He pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography in 2009, the newspaper reported.  This doesn't mean that Chief Davis is guilty of anything now, but it's important to know the backgrounds of those who play a major role in news stories.  As Memphis chief of police, she is directly responsible for the policies and training of the department.

January 29, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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