Monthly Archives: March 2007

That Tierney Piece

The profile of Inquirer/Daily News owner Brian Tierney that’s in the current Philadelphia magazine had been sitting in my to-read pile for almost a week, but I finally got to it last night and… my lord.
Tierney, as you may or may not know, was briefly my boss, as he purchased the papers along with Broad Street Community Newspapers while I was working for the BSCN-owned Trend Leader. I’m not bitter about being laid off, as I’m in a much better situation now, and I know Tierney himself didn’t choose me, personally, for the layoff list. But reading the piece, uh, hmm…
Bruce Toll, another co-owner of the paper, has this anecdote told about him:

Bruce Toll, vice chairman of Toll Brothers, has embarked on a second career as a peripatetic investor, buying into a biotech start-up, a bagel chain, a chain of for-profit methadone clinics, a for-profit kidney dialysis company and a huge auto mall. When I asked him if the newspaper business was like any other hed been in, he said, No. This is the hardest business Ive invested in. And theres so much unknown. In methadone clinics, everyone who signs up keeps going for the rest of their life. Once youre there, youre there. Same with dialysis. … But with newspapers, youve got to resell the newspaper every day, with advertising and such. Toll is the chairman of Philadelphia Media Holdings. In Tolls office, theres a drawing, given to him by his kids, of Scrooge McDuck, the money-worshiping villain from the old DuckTales cartoons. (Toll is a notorious cost-cutter he says his tactic is to look for costs that can be cut but dont affect anyone, like health care.”)

So, let’s review: Methodone: good (and, for profit.) Health care: bad. The fact that someone would actually consider Scrooge McDuck a figure of admiration, I suppose, validates that old adage about the rich being different from you and me. When Toll watches “It’s a Wonderful Life,” does he root for Mr. Potter?
Here’s the eeriest part, though. A couple of weeks before I was laid off, my office held a blind auction, in which my prize was… an Easy Button. Others won bottles of liquor or sushi kits, but I got the Easy Button. The day I was laid off, in a bit of gallows humor, I made some joke along the lines of… “They laid off 70 people? That was easy.”
From the piece:

But in other ways, Tierney has made the publishers suite his own. On the wall, a new sign reads YOU GET THE CULTURE YOURE WILLING TO ACCEPT. Theres a red EASY button from Staples next to his iMac; when you press the button, a voice says, That was easy.

I guess they really work, just like in the commercials!
Philebrity, meanwhile, has gone through the profile… and illustrated it with YouTubes from Monster movies!

The Brady Bunch

When I watched the clips of Peyton Manning on SNL this weekend, I realized there was a really, really obvious monologue joke that he had an opening to make, but didn’t. But, it turns out, he did, says the Boston Herald’s Inside Track column:

“What do Tom Brady and the circus have in common? Peyton said Joe asked him. They both have two more rings than you. Well, according to former ESPN.com writer Dan Shanoff, that was not how the joke originally went. In the dress rehearsal, Burlington homegal Amy Poehler was dressed in a Pats jersey and she is the one who delivered the two more rings than you line.
To which, Peyton replied Thats not the ONLY thing hell have two more of . . .

In My Minor-League Basketball League There is Problem

Michael Ray Richardson, the former NBA star who was suspended from the league multiple times for drugs, is back in the news, and it’s because he has been suspended again. But not from the NBA, and not for drugs.
Richardson, now coaching the Albany Patroons of the CBA, was banished for the rest of the season yesterday after making several controversial comments about Jews. When asked by reporters about his contract situation, Richardson replied that he needn’t worry, because he had retained “big-time Jew lawyers.” then he said…

“Are you kidding me? They are. They’ve got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They’re real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they’ve got to be crafty.”
And he continued, “They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?” he said. “Which I think is great. I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they’re run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they’re run by Jewish. It’s not a knock, but they are some crafty people.”

Yes, it was a dumb, dumb thing to say, and yes, he should be more media-savvy than to mouth off about that sort of thing to reporters. And no, he probably shouldn’t have used the word “crafty.”
But come on- this is nowhere near Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, or Tim “I hate gay people” Hardaway. After all, Richardson was praising Jewish people, both for their resourcefulness and military acumen. Clumsily and sort of offensively, yes, but praise is praise.
The biggest surprise of this whole story- the CBA still exists! I thought Isiah Thomas ran it into the ground. Though in that case, unlike with the Knicks, he wasn’t given a promotion, an extension, and a raise for destroying the formerly valuable basketball property with which he was entrusted.

Are They Trying to Have a Slow Start?

News Item: Twins Keep Silva, Send Garza Down
Yes, last year was awesome, when they looked dead in April but crawled back until winning the division the last day of the season. But come on- baseball doesn’t give points for degree of difficulty. Still, you just know Garza, Glen Perkins and Kevin Slowey will all be in the rotation by my birthday (July 28) if not by Memorial Day.

Snow Job

The Onion’s website yesterday had an audio parody that purported to feature White House press secretary Tony Snow “evading questions” about his own mental health. The bit, called “Tony Snow Deftly Sidesteps Question of Own Sanity,” was a mock press conference in which Snow sidesteps questions from reporters, only instead of about Bush, they’re about him.
You’d think it sort of odd that they’d go with this sort of item, only a couple of days after Snow announced that his cancer had returned. But even odder, is that while this sort of thing- left-leaning humor web site mocks Republican with cancer!- seems tailor-made for the Fox News/blog Outrage Machine, but I haven’t even seen it mentioned by anyone. Maybe conservatives don’t read The Onion, but the paper has gotten lots of attention the last few days, what with its launch of a new 24-hour news project.