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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

GOP may win by a landslide, or maybe not...

Polls are surveys, no matter how they are couched. Political polls are estimates based on samples, just as with any survey. They are usable as an example or tool. They are not evidence or fact. Yet in our media we act as if they are.

An example this morning, which could be true or even an underestimate. Polls now show that Republicans will take the majority of the house and come up with a landslide this fall.

But remember the famous Chicago Tribune headline "Dewey beats Truman."

What, you don't remember studying about President Dewey. That's because there never was one. The polls showed a landslide victory for Dewey, yet Truman did win reelection.

So Democrats woke up wanting to go back to bed this morning and Republicans celebrating based on polling showing a double didget lead for many "close" races and a solid majority saying they would vote for the generic Republican candidate over a generic Democratic candidate this fall.

Interesting that more incumbent Republicans have lost in their primaries than Democrats.

The same polls this morning show that 70% of Americans blame Republicans and Bush for the recession, but those same people seem to blame the Democrats for both running up too much debt and not stimulating jobs and getting us out of the recession (how can the government create jobs or even influence the job market without spending money and running up debt?).

So we run into a  year where Pathos, or emotion, seems to be ruling in the elections, or at least the polls.

Muppet-mania building in marketing comeback

"You Tube" and "Disney" bring back the Muppets, with a deliberate grass roots web driven momentum building into television specials and a feature film writen by "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" star Jason Segel. The comback has many arms, but the one reaching the highest is a reworking of the Queen classic "Bohemian Rhapsody".  

If you have not seen the Muppet's "Rhapsody" , "The Wrap" has a link, or we can share it on Facebook, like so many people already have. Worth a viewing if you are either a Baby Boomer or Muppets Fan. I was first exposed to it through a Facebook posting by my friend Michael Toole. Also showing up are behind the scenes shots from various Muppet programs including raw footage and "character" reactions from "Emette Otter's Jugband Christmas" (1977). Fresh videos popululate the Muppet's own You Tube channel. A thank you for another friend, Mary Mac, for sending me the Jugband B-roll (best appreciated by fellow actors).

Expect the Muppets to "pop" into other Disney-ABC-ESPN programming, guest on films and continue to populate the internet, building to their grand return to stardom. 

Also set are appearances with more "adult" artists, such as Alice Cooper, Howard Stern and others who appeal to Baby Boomers and their "children."

Of course the Muppets are set to become a more prominent part feature of  Disney Theme Parks now that they are owned by Disney, soon to be joined by the superhero's of Marvel and Disney acquisitions.

All this is being done as part of Disney's greater strategic plan. Disney is moving s to broaden its appeal to pre-teenage boys, teenagers, older fans who may not have children of their own, sports fans (preparing for challenges to ESPN from Fox, Time Warner and COMCAST-NBC-Universal), older women. Disney's new marketing plan is broad, but at the same time highly segmented and well planned to position the corporation to stand up to greater world wide competion and to expand its world reach (starting with China).

Also: from the Wrap:

Where We've Seen The Muppets Recently:

_ September, 2009: Performing on "America's Got Talent" finale

_ September & November, 2009: Interviewing contestants on "Dancing with the Stars"

_ November, 2009: Muppets Studio launched on YouTube

_ December, 2009: Appear on "The Jimmy Fallon Show"

_ January, 2009: Guest starring on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

What's on the Horizon

_ October, 2010: Muppets Halloween Special airs on ABC

_ 2011: Muppets Feature Film, written by Jason Segel debuts


The Mouse could care less about truth

The president of ABC News is out...officially after 13 years to move on to new ventures, but unofficially terminated by Disney "for lack of growth in revenue." If you ever saw the film "Network" you may understand that when television news did report the news (Cronkite and company) news was a service division not intended to earn profits. America had news as a way of continuing the health of our Democracy and the prestige of the news depended on how accurate not how many eyes were watching or how much revenue it generated. It was a part of the "public trust" of the air waves (which we own as citizens of the United States). Today it is just another revenue generating division, not just of the network but of the corporations that own and control them and the political parties that buy advertising and provide "favored" guests and talking heads.

A sad day in journalism/American Democracy.

I recall that when Disney purchased ABC, which was a freestanding network with award winning news, sports ("Wide World of Sports") and entertainment programming, a fax was distributed around the country showing Mickey Mouse giving ABC employees the "finger".