From the archives, this week's contestant is Dan Larkin, from Windsor, California. The hidden song should be very easy to guess, I think, and probably pretty early on. There were three composers I thought it might be in the style of. I had one in mind, but changed -- and it was the contestant's guess, as well, but it wasn't that. It also wasn't one of the other two. So, I was wrong. But I should have gotten it. And I think others have a good chance of getting it.
On this week’s Al Franken podcast, the guest is Michael Lewis (author of Moneyball, The Big Short, The Blind Side, and Liar’s Poker). In his most-recent book, The Fifth Risk, Franken notes that that “Lewis portrayed Donald Trump as a man totally ignorant of and disinterested in the actually functioning of the federal government. The book’s title refers to the potential catastrophe that an administration fails to plan for and prevent. Today, he talks about how Trump’s handling of COVID-19 “has proven his book tragically prophetic. This is a follow-up, of sorts to his earlier interview with Franken when the book was released, and the two had a fascinating conversation.
This will probably be too late for most people, but I only just came across it myself and don't want it to slip through the cracks in case anyone sees this in time and is interested.
To fans of Bob Gibson, Steve Goodman, John Prine and Bonnie Koloc -- four folk music legends in Chicago -- radio station WFMT is having a tribute to them NOW (Saturday night) on their The Midnight Special program. It's on until midnight in Chicago at 98.7 FM -- or 10 PM in Los Angeles. To anyone not in Chicago, the station and show streams online at here.
They're using regular recordings, but also material they have in their own archive. It's wonderful.
This week’s edition of the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! may not be perhaps the quintessential “social distancing” episode of a game show – or pretty much anything – you are likely to hear, but the guest contestant for the “Not My Job” segment can talk about that – and how to survive in the same place for a long time -- better than almost anyone. It’s Astronaut Christina Koch who holds the record for the longest time a woman has been in orbit (328 days) and took part in the first three all-women space. Her timing may not be great, though, since she most-recently returned to earth this past February. Her conversation with host Peter Sagal about her experiences away from her husband for two years (including training) and now then being sequestered with him 24/7. But her stories about (without giving anything away) “looking for things” whether in space or on earth are a total hoot.
My kind of town...
From yesterday's press conference, here is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commenting on Trump's tweet that morning threatening violence by the government toward looters.
We haven't had an episode in a while of 3rd and Fairfax, the official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, so let's rectify that with a good one that's timely. The guest is Greg Daniels, who co-created with Steve Carell the new Netflix series Space Force that premiered just yesterday. He also developed The Office for American television, and created Parks and Recreation, King of the Kill, and the new Amazon Prime series, Upload. He talks here about his writing, TV, his career and his two new shows.
It turns out that Billie Eilish is a major geek fan of The Office TV series. Like at a serious geek level. So, last year, Billboard magazine set up a surprise quiz for the singer at home when Rainn Wilson showed up with the questions about his old show. As the expression goes, fun ensues...
By the way, even though earlier this week we had a video interview with two of my New Trier High School pals Jack Moline and Nell Minow, had another interview today from Rabbi Moline, and as it happens Rainn Wilson is an alum of New Trier, as well, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that this is New Trier Week at Elisberg Industries. Every week is New Trier Week at Elisberg Industries. Some weeks just have more video evidence.
(Due to travel issues and stay-at-home restricttions, we have had to temporarily scrap the New Trier Film Festival with movies starring Charlton Heston, Ann-Margaret, Rock Hudson and Bruce Dern, along with a special screening of Sunrise at Campabello starring Ralph Bellamy, and a tribute to director Ed Zwick with About Last Night and Glory, all ending with a gala, black-tie finale concert featuring Liz Phair, to be hosted by Jake Johnson, two-time Tony-winner Christine Ebersol and Virginia Madsen.)
But now, let it Rainn.
Okay, for those who missed the live stream yesterday, but are interested in seeing the interview with Pete Buttigieg that my friend Rabbi Jack Moline did as part of his "Stay Home, Stay Focused" webseries for the Interfaith Alliance, of which he's president -- it's now available online. And to save you wandering over there, we have it here below. It runs about 20 minutes.
We threw a Trump Dart (tm) last night, and it landed on "Trying to issue an Executive Order about Twitter." In fairness, because that's oozing all over the place it was hard to miss. But still, I'm going to keep this reasonably short just because it's so insane, even by Trump standards, which are so low as to be almost non-existent,
To start with, it isn't real, but just an attempt to distract for 103,330 dead Americans (that we know about) with no clue what to do, other than recommend bleach and hope for a "miracle."
But as for the rest, it's hard to know where to start for which is the most insane thing about it. So, in a sort of stream-of-conscious way I'll just toss down reasons as they come to mind.
It's obviously and blatantly illegal.
The fact-check note they left on Trump's tweet that was full of lies is not "censorship," since nothing was censored, and his words weren't even edited.
A private business can censor anything that comes out of it.
A government trying to tell an information platform what it should allow and not allow is actually closer to a First Amendment violation than what Twitter did, which was just to leave a little asterisk for a fact check.
If you force Twitter to be so concerned about being sued that they have to be overly protective about the tweets posted on their platform, Trump risks getting himself censored, blocked or even banned for the platform that is most-essential to his staying connected with his base.
If you even ever somehow magically got this Executive Order passed, then it would put all far-right information sources including "Fox News" at risk of the same draconian requirements that Trump is trying to push through.
This won't get passed. It's illegal. Sorry, I mean blatantly illegal.
Trying to bully a major source of public information and discredit it is yet another deeply fascist action.
This only serves to make Trump look like a whiny little snowflake, crying because the big, bad Twitter left a note that said if you want to learn more on the subject and see what the truth was, click here -- and he can't take it.
And if he can't take an asterisk that fact-checks him, how on earth can he handle a pandemic???!
He can't handle a pandemic. So far, 103,330 Americans have died that we know of.
There. Good. We got back on topic. That is what this is all about..
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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