Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Blogs are attracting more publicity from the mainstream media on a daily basis.

Ted Griffin had an idea for a screenplay that took him 3 years to write. He got fired as director after only 12 days of shooting. Rob Reiner has swooped in, fired the actors and is now the movie's director.

The issue of how blogs are increasing in visilibity does not garner much discussion in this space. However, the last couple of weeks have been a banner fortnight for blogs attracting attention. Recently, Captain's Quarters Blog was mentioned in both the Washington Times and the New York Post (and maybe by more newspapers that we're not aware of). Hugh Hewitt was on MSNBC'S "Scarborough Country" and not only mentioned his blog but mentioned other blogs like Power Line.

Now, the New York Times has credited a blog for a story involving a burgeoning Hollywood scandal involving egos, power plays and a young director who got fired by a studio.

On Aug. 6 Warner Brothers booted Ted Griffin as director of his original story inspired by the 1967 classic "The Graduate" and replaced him with Rob Reiner 12 days into shooting. The script, about a young woman from Pasadena who discovers that her grandmother was the inspiration for the Mrs. Robinson character in "The Graduate," was strong enough to lure a cast of top-notch actors, led by Jennifer Aniston.

Anne Thompson wrote this New York Times article for the paper's "Movies" section. She recounted the rare movies that had their directors getting fired. She listed the names of well known actors like Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine that are involved with Griffin's project. She goes into some detail about the gossip-driven facts of how Mr. Griffin was fired and Rob Reiner took over control of the film. Ms. Thompson does in fact credit a blog for the possibility that a major star was the catalyst for Griffin's firing from his own pet project.

One Internet blog called "A fly on the wall" detailed crew reports that Mr. Costner was leading a cast mutiny against the young director. But Steve Rabineau, Mr. Griffin's agent, said Mr. Costner had not yet started filming his scenes and was the first cast member who called to console Mr. Griffin. Mr. Costner also gave him the use of his Santa Barbara house, Mr. Rabineau said. "Ted's writing got this great cast," he added. "It's a shame he can't see it out. It was a traumatic thing for everyone."

While blogs have a long way to go to gain major acceptance (even respectability) among some quarters of the press, it is noteworthy to find them increasingly referenced in well known, internationally disseminated media sources.

Check out A Fly on the Wall's story, Screaming Kevin Costner Caused Director Firing on Jennifer Aniston Flick & NY Times and A Film Studio Fires a Director, Raising Eyebrows in Hollywood


CBS News CBS Poll Kerry And Bush ThisClose  

Bush leads among veterans, 55% - 37% and Kerry has lost post-convention bounce

Last week's CBS News Poll has Senator John Kerry with the slightest of leads over President Bush. With a 46%-45% outcome, the poll is a virtual tie.

The poll does reveal that Senator Kerry lost his post-convention bounce within a matter of weeks. Just after the Democratic convention Kerry had a five-point lead over Bush, 48 percent to 43 percent, with Nader receiving 3 percent.

45% BUSH

43% BUSH

Both candidates are receiving strong support from members of their own party. Bush has ardent supporters who are very much in favor of him. While Kerry supporters are less enthusiastic about their man, they dislike Bush enough to counter the Bush support.

Therefore, the independent vote is very important and Bush has made strides with independents according to the CBS poll.

39% BUSH

33% BUSH

The most fascinating of the poll's "internal" aspects was the erosion of support for Kerry among veterans. The Democratic convention in Boston was tailor made to make Kerry the veterans candidate. By singlemindedly focusing on Kerry's Vietnam experience (and excluding his political achievements) the Democrats thought they could shake President Bush's lead in the polls on terror related issues. However, Kerry's campaign turned into a one trick pony and started to suffer as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth turned on him with their August advertisements.

55% BUSH

46% BUSH

Here are more interesting facts from the CBS Poll
15% of Democrats and 25% of independents are undecided when it comes to having a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Kerry. (6% of GOP's and 19% respectively, for Bush).

59% of Bush voters are enthusiastically supporting him, 44% of Kerry supporters are entusiastically supporting him.

39% believe that the country is on the right track (Bush should have taken my advice and followed the 1996 Clinton model in which he spent that summer convincing voters that the country was on the right track).

34% of independents approve and 52% disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy. Bush must do a better job of highlighting how the economic numbers are comparable to 1996's and are very good in light of an inherited recession made worse by 9/11 and followed by the War on Terror.

Here are the full CBS News poll results

Article: CBS News: CBS Poll, Kerry And Bush Are ThisClose

Update: More opinions here... Crooow Blog, King of Fools, Nap Room, Sandwich Shop, and Petrified Truth.


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