It took CNN a second year of her foul-mouth, but reports from entertainment circles today are that the cable news organization has banned so-called comedienne Kathy Griffin from its network after a series of lewd comments (see Rob Shuter of AOL's PopEater), including the dropping of the "f-bomb" while co-hosting the network's live New Year's Eve program (AC360 blog). According to reports, even the hip news reader Anderson Cooper, the program's host, has had enough of her. Of course, CNN didn't seem to mind Griffin's potty mouth last year. But better late than never, CNN proves even it has standards, however low they may be. On the other hand, not that too many people seemed to mind heard Griffin since the show got lousy ratings. Griffin's approach to "comedy" is pretty well established — shock and appall. She's had a history of blasphemous remarks, for example. Which, of course, begs the real question of CNN's motivation. Has it banned her because of her behavior or failure to deliver ratings? In this age, even a low, pragmatic standard from a major mainstream media cog is a positive sign.
There isn't much government does well. It wants to take over the entire health care industry and it can't even deliver Swine Flu vaccine. The one thing government does well, because it is constitutionally charged with doing so, is protecting us with a well-armed military. But even the military has its shortcomings when venturing out of its core function. Take the example of investigator Gary Zaetz and Arizona adventurer, Clayton Kuhles. Mr. Kuhles spends months of his own time and thousands of his own dollars each year searching for the remains of missing American service men. He hires Zaetz to do much of the detail work. Recently, Zaetz found the plane and remains of a World War II plane and crew missing for 66 years, despite the U.S. Army's inability to do so through that entire period (see Steve Friess of AOL's The Sphere).
This is not a slap at the military's recovery operations. It does the best it can with thousands of missing over decades of time spanning the entire world. (This plane was found in India.) But, it cannot be ignored that a single (and very patriotic and caring) man, who carries out his own searches, has had great successes. If someone like this can replicate what government is good at, why, then, shouldn't private entities be allowed to do yet more where government monopolies continue to fail its citizens?
He hasn't been in office for a week, yet the misfit Al Franken has reverted to form, making jokes at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor (per AOL news wire, here). Perry Mason jokes, of all things. Probably because he's so out of his depth he has no clue what to ask. He is a product of TV, after all, so, most likely, that's the basis for his frame of legal and political references. What's next, a quote from President Jed Bartlett (West Wing)? Webster. Clay. Taft. Dirksen. Franken. Embarrassing! The dumbing down of the U.S. Senate (and the country), a monumental achievement not worthy of celebration. (If you haven't done so, our Al Franken poll remains open. Click here to vote and comment.)