29 February 2008

Leap day

Extra nuggets for the extra day on the calender.

In light of the recent passing of conservative icon William F. Buckley, several blogs have posted this 1968 debate between him and Noam Chomsky from Buckley's television show.

What's the likelihood of seeing anything like this on network television today?

Surprising no one, serial hypocrite Bob Knight has accepted a job as a television analyst. King Kaufman wins the pool by predicting Knight's destination as ESPN. Knight can finally prove whether he really is better than the cliche-spinners in the media he loathed all those years. Though, to be fair, he always had a soft spot for the ex-jocks who fill up the job he now holds and American eardrums with vapid babble. Because they kissed his ass, not because they were dishing more enlightening analysis. What, you were expecting consistency?

A well-earned congratulations for Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary on Sunday. It surprised me for two reasons, first, it broke the tradition of deferring this category to the film with the highest box office receipts, and secondly I had assumed it's unflinching revelations of the torture archipelago would be too racy for the gun-shy academy. I thought the more reserved No End in Sight would be a safer choice. The rest of the night reflected a similar pattern, though naturally the academy's sudden discovery of taste caused the ratings to sink like a stone (says I, the unrepentant middlebrow).

Gibney was also nominated for Enron: The Smartest Guys of the Room, which also introduced me to my favorite Tom Waits song.