Category Archives: Media – television

Kid Nation

US television network CBS is under fire for its latest reality TV show, Kid Nation:

The show places 40 children, aged 8 to 15, in a “ghost town” in New Mexico to see if they can build a working society without the help of adults.

Have these people learned nothing from Lord of the Flies? Though it would appear nobody’s dead; filming finished in May. As if the idea of televising child labour wasn’t controversial enough, producers have been taking flak since one child’s mother complained about her little one being injured as well as the working conditions.

From the CBS website:

Episodes end with a town meeting in which the kids award one child a gold star worth $20,000, all leading to the grand finale, an unimaginable task test, the biggest awards and a special surprise for every child.

There’s a small trailer for the show, featuring one girl announcing “I’m a beauty queen, I don’t do dishes”. Little brat.

The network is screening the first show for advertising executives to get their approval. According to IHT, plans are already in place for a second series. The article, linked to at the top of this post, points out that the network may not be able to locate the next series — if it goes ahead — in the US due to states’ opposition. Mexico is a contender, but “nothing is off the table”, according to one unnamed executive.


Yahoo reporter Kevin Sites spends his time chronicling the people of the web, with his latest article looking at lifecasters.

These folks broadcast every moment of every day via webcam — whether they be walking, talking, working or just vegging out. Justin Kan, for instance, has his camera mounted on a hat. He livestreams everything via a WiFi link to the laptop in his backpack (just don’t confuse him with someone who makes plaster casts of the body).

He has collected a group of lifecasters at his site, One of the stars is Justine Ezarik, who, according to Sites:

has model good looks and easy cyber savvyness that attracts both technophiles and casual users alike… [she] pulls off the tech-heavy setup with style, wearing a green sundress and camera mounted to a floppy Greek fisherman’s cap which, despite the dangling cables, still allows her to appear more woman than Borg.

Calm down, man. I guess it’s easy to illustrate an article with a pretty lady; even though Justin set the site in motion the Yahoo blurb and pics focus on Justine.

I can’t imagine why one would want to sacrifice their privacy for the sake of a website. I don’t like giving out personal information on this blog in written form; I could never allow the world to watch as I wandered about.
Sure, there’s the revenue and career potential. It could be great for advertising, and this in turn could create employment opportunities for the lifecaster. But is it worth it? Are they giving away too much of themselves for the off-chance of (even modest) fame or fortune? That is something only the lifecasters can answer.

Although I despise reality television, I found myself actively watching some people on Sarah, for example, was at a meeting of podcasters while at the same time chatting with her viewers. Now, I can’t say I’d still be watching if she was just walking around the place, but nonetheless she had me watching her feed. Was it the novelty? Was it the subject matter? I know not for sure.

Madness of King George

Robert Silvery over on Scholars and Rogues has used July 4 to advocate Americans declare their independence from King George — George Bush. This is because he has placed his friends above the law by commuting Scooter Libby’s prison sentence.

Read his post here.

And while you’re there, check out Keith Olbermann’s special comment on how Bush’s actions mean he has ceased to be the president of the United States and is now the leader of a small part of one party.

In just a few minutes he sums up everything that is wrong with the Bush administration. One of the most powerful sequences I have seen in a long time. J’accuse for a modern era.


Scripted or not, Mika Brzezinski is the girl for me.


Paris Hilton’s release from prison was such a non-story. The way she sauntered out for the cameras, smiling coquettishly and milking every second of the attention was quite frankly nauseating.

Such a lovely show

A Mickey Mouse-type character who preached Islamic domination on a children’s television program was beaten to death in the show’s final episode yesterday, according to Associated Press.

The giant black-and-white rodent, Farfour, was “martyred”, the show’s teenage presenter said. Farfour was killed by an actor playing the role of an Israel trying to take the mouse’s land. Farfour called his slayer a “terrorist” during the sequence.

Farfour had regularly urged Palestinian children to fight Israel.

The show, Tomorrow’s Pioneers, was broadcast on Hamas-linked al-Aqsa TV. It has been take off the air to make room for new programs, apparently.

God only knows what insane shit will be taking its place.

I haven’t been able to find the footage, but here’s a still of the Farfour miming how to hold an AK47:


Eggs in exile

Has the world gone mad?

From AP:

An attempt to revive famous TV adverts from the 1950s that encouraged people to “Go To Work On An Egg” have been blocked by regulators on health grounds.

The British Egg Information Service (BEIS) had wanted to bring back the adverts featuring comedian Tony Hancock to mark the 50th anniversary of the British Lion mark.

But the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) said the famous commercials could not be repeated because eating eggs every day went against the policy of encouraging people to eat a varied diet.

“The concept of eating eggs every day for breakfast goes against what is now the generally accepted advice of a varied diet and we therefore could not approve the ads for broadcast,” a BACC spokesman told the BBC.

The BEIS had said it would put in an additional line saying eggs should be eaten as part of a balanced diet but this suggestion was rejected.

Author Fay Weldon, who headed the team of eggheads that came up with the slogan in 1957, criticised the decision.

“When you think of what can be run and what is run, like low cost airlines and cars … cars kill and eggs aren’t actually likely to do so, it is absurd,” she told BBC radio.

Anyone who wants to see the adverts can go to the BEIS Web site:

Officialdom will be the death of us, not eating eggs.