Monday, February 28, 2005


Well, it looks like I was incorrect in many of my Oscar predictions. I got 50% of my predictions correct in the major categories. I correctly guessed that Jamie Foxx, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman would win. However, I was incorrect regarding Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood and the Aviator. Million Dollar Baby did better than I had expected it to.

I was also wrong in my prediction that Oscar ratings would be down this year. I thought that with no big blockbuster films nominated and a first-time host, that the audience would be smaller. I was wrong. According to overnight ratings, the numbers for the Oscar telecast are the best since the year 2000. That's too bad, because that means more people heard Chris Rock's anti-Bush tirade early in the program. His President-bashing was uncalled for and just plain ignorant.

I was also disappointed in that no one thanked God last night. None of the winners acknowledged the Almighty, not even in an flippant manner. Bummer.



Sunday, February 27, 2005


The big media story today is, of course, tonight's broadcast of the Academy Awards. I predict that ratings will be significantly down for the telecast this year. I for one am not looking as forward to it as I usually do. The problem this year to me seems two-fold:

1) There are no big blockbuster films nominated this year. No Titanic or Pirates of the Caribbean:The Curse of the Black Pearl for film fans to root for. Most of the honored films are smaller, independent films that most Americans haven't seen and don't really care to see. So there's no built in anticipation for tonight's ceremonies.

2) Chris Rock as host. I do not find him to be charismatic and am not excited to see him as host. His promotional spots have been lame. And he isn't even a big movie star. Most of his success, thus far, has been on cable TV and I bet much of America finds him too edgy or controversial for their tastes. I don't think he's generated much buzz for the broadcast. Sure, a small percentage may tune in to see if he says something outrageous or slips up and drops the F-bomb, as he is known to do in his comedy routines. But, thankfully, most of the TV audience could care less. And as a result I think fewer will watch.

What do you think?



Saturday, February 26, 2005


I really do feel like an Oscar Outcast this year. I haven't seen any of the major films nominated for Academy Awards for 2004. Honestly, I really don't want to see many of them. Likewise, I am not excited about having Chris Rock host the Oscar telecast. I've never really developed an appreciation for his sense of humor. Nevertheless I have been following the coverage of the Academy Awards and I will make some predictions about who I think will win the major categories. They are listed below.

BEST PICTURE - "Aviator"
BEST ACTOR - Jamie Foxx, "Ray"
BEST ACTRESS - Hillary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"
BEST DIRECTOR - Martin Scorcese, "Aviator"

Now that those predictions are out of the way, here are some of my film favorites from the year 2004!

"Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"
"Ladder 49"
"The Village"

I love to follow Hollywood, celebrities and the mass media. But as you can see I seldom agree with their definitions of "award-winning entertainment."

Rich Seiber


Monday, February 21, 2005


You can ask Mrs. Media Matters and she will vouch for me. I am a HUGE fan of Fox News Sunday. I watch it faithfully every Sunday morning. Even more faithfully now that church is on Saturday nights. And I always enjoy the closing segment of the show when Chris Wallace interviews his "Power Player of the Week." I find the segments interesting, though rarely significant. Usually the "Power Player" is a puff piece on someone connected to the nation's capitol, but without much influence or power. Past interviewees have included the White House Pastry Chef and the individual in charge of DCs July 4th Fireworks event. These are fun and interesting stories. But these individuals are not power players or policy makers. This week, though, the interviewee was indeed significant. Wallace featured Marji Ross, President and Publisher of Regnery Books, one of the nation's largest publishers of conservative books. She's published numerous bestsellers, including last year's "Unfit for Command" about John Kerry's Swift Boat days. This was an important book. Other authors Regnery has published include William F. Buckley and Newt Gingrich. I am currently reading one of Regnery's books -- "Shut Up and Sing" by radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. So far I am loving the book. And I admire the work that Ross and Regnery are doing. It is important to advance conservative ideas and make them as mainstream as possible. And Ross is helping to do that effectively. For once, Wallace featured a true power player and one I was pleased to know. Let's hope more significant "Power Players" are in our future.

Rich Seiber


Tuesday, February 15, 2005


May I suggest that if you are a parent with (young) children still living at home, you encourage your family to make watching ABC's reality series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition a weekly assignment. Mrs. Media Matters and I enjoy this show each week. Every episode depicts an American family down on their luck, through circumstances of illness, injury, poverty or the like. The program, and it's charismatic carpentry staff, comes on the scene and renovates the family's home. Through this gesture, the family is encouraged and enlivened and given a second chance. Home Makeover, I as I like to call it, is always fun, silly and moving. Mrs. Media Matters and I cry almost every episode as the individuals and families are touched by the generosity that has been bestowed upon them. It is dramatic and heartwarming TV at it's best. But even more than that, it can serve as an object lesson to American children and families who have never known poverty or severe trauma. Watch it with your kids and discuss the program and the family afterwards. Remind your children of all that they have to be grateful for and encourage them to take risks in helping those less fortunate, as Ty, Connie, Preston, Paul, Tracy and Michael do every week. Mrs. Media Matters and I don't currently have children living at home. But when we do someday, I hope Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is still under construction so that I can share it with my children.

Rich Seiber


Monday, February 14, 2005


1. Happy Valentine's Day to Mrs. Media Matters. Love, Hu'band

2. The Mrs. and I sure are enjoying our new subscription to Netflix. We've already seen at least 5 good movies thanks to this service. We highly recommend it. It is so convenient, and it's always fun to have something to look forward to via the US Mail.

3. So far, I am not impressed with the promotional spots Chris Rock has made for this year's Oscars telecast. None of them are memorable or make you want to watch. At best they have been mildly amusing. I fear this may be a year where I don't enjoy the host.

4. Speaking of the Academy Awards, when I was younger, as people won a major award they would usually thank God. Sometimes it was out of obligation, sometimes it was flippant, and sometimes it was a genuine expression of gratitude to the Almighty. Nevertheless, someone always said it. God was at least acknowledged. In the last few years, to the best of my memory, God has been absent from most awards shows. As we have become a more secular society, our creative/artistic communities no longer feel compelled or obligated or moved to mention their Creator. My hope and prayer this year is that someone, even if it is an unknown sound editor or costume designer, will humbly and thankfully acknowledge God. That will make the night successful in the eyes of this faithful viewer.



Sunday, February 13, 2005


FOX has announced a full season order of 22 episodes for its hit mid-season medical drama House. Mrs. Media Matters and I are thrilled. We love this show. Hugh Laurie plays a cantankerous doctor with the bedside manner of a cross between Omarosa and Simon Cowell. He is crotchety and the kind of guy you love for his unlovableness. While the acting is strong, the plots are not the best reason to watch this show. The same things happen in every episode. Dr. House and his group of young physicians misdiagnose the patient several times in each episode, including the requisite seizure scene, before finally saving the day and the patient prior to the closing credits. Yet, while the storyline is predictable, you still feel compelled to watch each week to hear what outrageous comments will come out of the doctor's mouth. It's a television prescription that requires a weekly refill.



Saturday, February 12, 2005

BLOGS - 2, MSM - 0

Woohoo! Let the cries of excitement and admiration from the pajamahadeen ring out. Yet another MSM bigwig has fallen at the hands of the blogosphere. First it was Dan Rather who was humiliated and four of his CBS compatriots who were fired for their false story and fake documents about President Bush's National Guard days. And now, the blogosphere, thanks in large part to people like Hugh Hewitt, and Captain Ed, has caused CNN's mighty Eason Jordan to resign for his slanderous attack on the US Military. OK, bloggers, fresh from our successes, here are a few more liberal media targets to go after.

1. Peter Jennings

2. Katie Couric

3. Keith Olbermann

4. Aaron Brown

5. Larry Flint

Now go to it!



Friday, February 11, 2005


I know I'm late in writing about this, but nevertheless, I do have some thoughts on this year's crop of Super Bowl ads. Overall, I think it was a mediocre year. I watch the big game every year, not for the sports action, but for the commercials. And this year there were only a few that were memorable. I was disappointed that there weren't more standouts. That said, here are some of the winners:

1) The two ads featuring MC Hammer were hilarious. Both of them made fun of his short-lived career. MC was a trooper to poke fun of himself in two funny commercials, one for Lay's potato chips and one for a mortgage broker (I believe). And as many have said before, I do believe he was wearing the same outfit in both spots.

2) I was very moved by the Budweiser ad saluting the soldiers. As a group of US service men and women walk through a crowded airport in their camouflage fatigues, spontaneous applause breaks out. And pride and smiles show on the faces of the military personnel who are getting the respect they deserve for the sacrifices they make on our behalf. I am not a beer drinker, but if I were, this ad would make me want to support Budweiser. The ad didn't even flaunt beer, instead it gave props to the US Military. Bravo.

3) My favorite ad of the game was the first one. The Miller Lite ad where the man wouldn't parachute because of fear was hysterical. The group of friends I was watching the game with -- we all busted up laughing at this one. Another guy on the plane threw out a six pack of Miller Lite as if to entice the scaredy-cat to jump. It didn't work on him. But it did make the pilot jump out after it, even without a parachute. Very funny. Too bad I'm not a beer drinker so I won't be buying their product. But it did make me laugh.



Thursday, February 03, 2005


Anyone who still likes to make fun of President Bush's speech doesn't know the man. His speech last night was brilliant. As was his inaugural address. While he infrequently stumbles over words in off-the-cuff speaking, his prepared addresses are some of the finest oratory I have consistently heard. And I should know, I used to teach public speaking. This President is a godly man with moral clarity and courage to do the right thing. One of the most powerful moments I have ever seen in a speech was last night when the fallen Marine's mom hugged the new Iraqi voter. I started bawling. It was a powerful moment, a picture of freedom to inspire us all. And President Bush helped make that freedom happen. God Bless our President.