I've been trying to figure out what to write about the CBS-Time Warner hissy fit. It all seems so understandable and even more stupid. While it's certainly likely that CBS is being greedy and asking for too much money, it's hard to build up great sympathy for a monopoly (which, let's face it, is what any cable company is in your area) -- especially one that is blocking a free, over-the-air television network.
But then I lucked out. I don't have to write more than that, because Mark Evanier -- who is more insightful about All Things TV than almost anyone I know (and I say "almost" because I also know Wally Podrazik, who's the curator of the Museum of Broadcast Communication) -- wrote a wonderful article about the battle, "When Titans Clash" on his even more wonderful website.
Among the smart things Mark says it that if Time-Warner is going to temporarily replace CBS, they shouldn't put on STARZ Kids in its place, but rather something people would love, like a pay-for channel, which would create goodwill. And CBS, rather than blocking access on its website to Time-Warner customers, should open it up, so that those customers could discover that they can watch CBS online and don't need to watch Time-Warner.
Mark's article is here.
Related to this, at least tangentially -- it's also worth noting that, while I've often praised Mark's blog here in the past for being quite amazing, I'm not alone and so you can trust my word on it. It turns out that Time magazine has just named Mark's News from ME site one of the top 25 blogs in the country! Now, that's high cotton. They have it here as #17.
The thing is, that's my only quibble with the article.
You see, almost five years ago, I wrote an article about News from Me, which I called "The Fourth Best Blog on the Internet." It's not just that I have to ask why is Time so far behind the times (c'mon, what took them five years to catch up) -- but only 17th?! Tosh, it's better than that.
Indeed, for those of you with sharp eyes and memories, who have roamed the other pages on this website, you'll recall that if you go to the Good Things to Know page on the top of the page, the very first thing I write about and link to is that very same "The Fourth Best Blog on the Internet" article. So, while I applaud Time magazine's fine taste, I have to add -- c'mon guys, get with the program. You're almost five years too late...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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