Devin Nunes is a threat to American democracy. I suppose he’s so busy polishing Trump’s turds, that Nunes hasn’t had a chance to read the 1st Amendment yet.
One of the nation’s exercises in democracy can be found on late-night TV. Hosts crack sharply critical jokes about the country’s politicians without fear of retribution from said politicians.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sees that exercise very differently. He told Fox News Channel that a skit Stephen Colbert did mocking Nunes’s memo alleging FBI bias in the Russia investigation is a danger to the country.
“Devin Nunes is a REDACTED,” says a memo Colbert circulated on Capitol Hill, asking Democratic and Republican members of Congress to fill in the blank.
“I think this is the danger we have in this country,” Nunes told host Neil Cavuto on Saturday in response. “This is an example of it.”
To defend his point that Colbert’s jokes are dangerous, Nunes spun off a conspiracy theory filled with factual inaccuracies that Hollywood and Democrats are working together to make fun of him because they have failed in the public sphere to debunk him.
“The left controls the universities in this country, Hollywood and the mainstream media,” Nunes told Cavuto, “so conservatives in this country are under attack, and I think this is great example of it.”
Nunes falsely told Cavuto that his memo provides “clear proof” that the Democratic Party colluded with Russians. (Fact check: There is an independent investigation looking into potential Trump-Russia collusion, not into Democrats and Russia.)
Nunes also claimed that the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump campaign specifically to spy on it. (Fact check: The FBI got a warrant from a secret court to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page after Page had left the campaign, and there’s no evidence that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign itself. )
Perhaps we should send Nunes some postcards with the following statement written on it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
President Obama’s health care reform law is wreaking havoc in the most unexpected places. This week, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter predicted that the cost of providing health care to his employees will result in a 14-cent hike on pizza prices. It’s a wake-up call Americans will finally pay attention to, Stephen Colbert said Wednesday.
“That’s three times the value of a Papa John’s pizza,” Colbert said. And he doesn’t believe customers will swallow the price hike.
“Because when you order a Papa John’s pizza, it’s only after you’ve reached a state of such desperate, gnawing hunger that you would eat the ass off a raccoon that drowned in your bird bath. And even then, only after making absolutely sure that you’re all out of drowned raccoon ass. And now Obama expects you to shell out almost three extra nickels for this hot turd pie? Fuck that, eat the nickels, you have your dignity.”
VIACOM WANTS YOU TO PAY OVER 30% MORE to get back the same channels you were already receiving.
That’s over $1B on top of what you were already paying for not only MTV and Nickelodeon, but also all of their other channels that you might never watch. You should be able to decide which Viacom channels you want and which you don’t.
To thank you for your patience until Viacom channels are returned, all 8 Encore Channels (including Encore Family) will be made available to all of our Residential customers thru July 31st.
Luckily for me, both The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report are on vacation for another week. If this negotiation drags on as long as the AMC vs. Dish Networks dispute – which still isn’t settled – I’ll be annoyed. Stewart and Colbert are nearly the entire source of my televised news information – despite neither show being really a newsshow.
Sam Thielman of Adweek:
Viacom and DirecTV have split over carriage fee negotiations, with 17 million DirecTV customers now without Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1. The faceoff got very public yesterday, and today is looking to hit in a much more extreme way, with both companies poised to roll out advertisements across multiple platforms taking their respective cases to the public.
“We proposed a fair deal that amounted to an increase of only a couple pennies per day per subscriber, and we remained willing to negotiate that deal right up to this evening’s deadline,” said Viacom in an unbylined statement on the company blog earlier today. If that sounds suspiciously like “you can feed a starving mega corporation for only pennies a day,” it probably should.
Per subscriber, most cable companies pay an average of $1.21 per month for a high-rated cable network like TNT; if “a couple” literally means “two,” that means Viacom is asking for about a 60-cent bump—basically half a TNT—from DirecTV.
DirecTV called it a 30 percent rate hike, estimating its total cost to the company (and eventually the subscribers) at $1 billion. Its ad to consumers, however, scolds Viacom for taking “an all-or-nothing” approach to carriage, requiring the MSO to keep all the Viacom networks rather than just the popular ones. That’s not exactly dirty pool, by carriage negotiation standards; no network conglomerate would ever see growth if it were.
The latest spat between a pay TV provider and a content company has gotten ugly, with both DirecTV and Viacom taking to the web, pointing fingers and calling each other names. That’s to be expected, in this day and age, as cable and satellite subscribers become innocent bystanders in the big fight over how much money these corporate behemoths make.
Usually, though, these fights only matter to the subscribers who pay a certain cable or satellite provider, and only really when their favorite channels go dark. In the case of DirecTV and Viacom, however, the carriage dispute has a lot more collateral damage, as it affects pretty much anyone who enjoys watching select MTV and Comedy Central shows online.
Like some other pay TV providers before it, DirecTV has taken the unusual approach of telling subscribers that they can easily access a lot of the shows that have gone dark on the web. And in a counter-move, Viacom has begun playing hardball, by taking down that very same online programming. There’s only one problem: It’s not just DirecTV subscribers who can’t watch those shows online — the takedown applies to everyone else, as well.
As spotted by BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield earlier today (free registration required), Viacom has begun blocking access to certain key shows online, including The Daily Show and Jersey Shore. (Interestingly enough, the takedown doesn’t appear to affect Viacom programming that appears on other sites — like, for instance, The Daily Show episodes on Hulu. A Hulu spokesperson declined to comment on whether its licensed programming would also be affected.)
The WSJ reports on some of the root cause of the dispute:
The disappearance of Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central from the TV sets of 20 million American homes on Wednesday marked a line in the sand drawn by one of the biggest pay-TV distributors in a dispute over programming fees with a major entertainment company.
What might once have been a run-of-the-mill spat has taken on heightened importance because it occurs at a pivotal time in the TV industry. Low-price or free online video outlets like Netflix, Amazon.com and Google Inc.’s YouTube are emerging as serious competitors to traditional cable-TV services, putting the spotlight on the relatively pricey nature of cable TV.
Viacoms channels-including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central-went off the air for DirectTV subscribers overnight after the two sides failed to come to an agreement on programming fees. William Launder has details on Markets Hub. (Photo: Nickelodeon/AP)
That issue is particularly acute in this dispute, where Viacom is seeking an increase in the fees it is paid by DirecTV to carry its channels. Viacom licenses many of its shows to outlets like Netflix and Amazon, prompting industry executives to worry about cannibalizing traditional TV. Several top Viacom channels, particularly Nickelodeon, have recently seen ratings declines.
DirecTV has said Viacom is asking for a 30% increase in fees; Viacom says it is asking for a fair deal. The entertainment company says it has been paid below-market rates for its programming under a contract negotiated seven years ago with the satellite provider.
DirecTV said the lack of an agreement forced it to stop carrying Viacom channels late Tuesday, just before midnight. As of Wednesday evening, with social-media outlets like Twitter and Facebook ablaze with complaints about the dispute, Viacom and DirecTV executives had restarted negotiations.
Some Wall Street analysts say DirecTV might have more leverage than usual in this case because Viacom’s best-known channels have seen ratings declines and the media company doesn’t have the advantage of a sports or broadcast network to bolster its negotiations. Viacom points out Nickelodeon remains one of the most-watched channels on the dial. Many other Viacom channels, though, are much less-watched, according to Nielsen.
On Wednesday, Viacom TV personalities were tweeting their hopes for a quick resolution of the dispute. “Let’s all pray this Viacom/DirecTV beef gets squashed by next week,” tweeted Daniel Tosh of “Tosh.O,” a show on Comedy Central.Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, a reality-TV personality on “Jersey Shore,” tweeted a sad face emoticon and “Wah” as she quoted a fan’s tweet lamenting the loss of MTV on DirecTV.