So there's this service called Aereo that streams broadcast television (you know, the stuff that you can get for free on your TV) on the web for a monthly fee. The "Fab Four" networks (Fox, CBS, UPN, and the DuMont Network) aren't too happy about it, since none of that monthly fee is going to them. It also undermines the princely retransmission fees they get from cable & satellite providers, because then a cable company could say to them "hey, that internet service gets your content for free, why can't we?" and they don't really have a good answer to that. Naturally, they tried to sue Aereo out of existence, except it didn't work out because the courts say Aereo is a-okay-o.
Well, Fox isn't having any of that. A guy from their parent company News Corp. is straight up threatening to take the Fox network off the air and have it become a cable company if Aereo is allowed to continue operating:
"We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content," Carey said. "This is not an ideal path we look to pursue, but we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that's our only recourse."
...he said, twirling his whimsical mustache evilly. Does News Corp. train its executives to sound like supervillians or does it come naturally to them?
This move would leave millions of viewers who watch via antenna (many of them economically disadvantaged) deprived of their favorite Fox shows like The Cleveland Show and The Following. If the other networks follow Fox's lead, this could mean The End of Television As We Know It.
In a weird twist, Aereo is backed by Barry Diller, the founder of the Fox network who the evil corporate plutocrat Mr. Burns is partially based on. Is he a bad enough dude to bring down the very network he created??? Only time will tell.... [Bloomberg]
"Spinoff!" Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? Well, today billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, CEO of FOX's parent company News Corp., confirmed he's splitting his baby in half and spinning off his cherished print assets (including the publishing company HarperCollins, which has published almost all Simpsons books) into a separate company within the next 12 months. Although Murdoch denies it has anything to do with the phone hacking scandal, this move will help insulate FOX News from the British tabloids that done did the hacking, allowing the cable news channel to maintain its high standards and journalistic integrithahahaha
Bad news for The Simpsons's corporate parent's corporate parent: it turns out people get mad when tabloids hack into their phones! Over the past decade, some News Corp.-owned UK tabloids have hacked, or at least have tried to hack, into the phones of former prime minister Gordon Brown, 9/11 & 7/7 victims, and the families of dead soldiers. Journalism! Once it was revealed that News of the World had hacked into a dead girl's voicemail - and even deleted some her messages to make room for more - the newspaper was shut down this week after 168 years of publication, nearly half the lifespan of The Simpsons.
News Corp. finally unloaded money-losing social network MySpace on Justin Timberlake (?!?) for $35 million (that's about $1.50 per user!), $445 million less than what they paid for it in 2005. $445 million is only more than half of what News Corp. makes off of Simpsons merchandise per year. [Los Angeles Times]
Everybody's favorite Taiwanese animation studio, Next Media Animation, has made another one of their trademark CGI news reports about the Simpsons/Fox News pseudo-rivalry, exposing the Simpsons writers' secret creative process and Rupert Murdoch's shark fetish:
The Simpsons now joins Jersey Shore and Conan in an exclusive club of TV shows that have been NMAted, which is a verb I just made up and will be charging royalties for. [Next Media Animation via Cartoon Brew]
Last week's Simpsons episode featured a Fox News helicopter adorned with the slogan "Not racist, but #1 with racists." Everybody liked this joke so dang much, especially smug schmucks who proudly buy coffee mugs that say "FAUX NEWS" on them, so The Simpsons just had to do it again this week. If you haven't seen the show after they went high-def, they now have a "cloud gag" where something WACKY flies by show's title, destroying Matt Groening's original intention of it being a transition from the real world to the Simpsons' world. This time, another Fox News helicopter flew by, with the slogan "Unsuitable for Viewers Under 75."
But if you're too cool to watch TV shows on TV at their correct bat-time, and opted instead to watch it Monday morning on Hulu (which is directly helping keep the show on the air, so knock it off), you didn't get to see this ever-so-precious sight gag; instead you got Homer as King Kong (one of those depressing "hey guys, remember this thing from back when we were funny?" callback gags for the "old school" fans).
Blogs like Mediaite and Think Progress were immediately suspicious: did Fox News, which according to the liberal hivemind is responsible for Everything Bad In The World, exert their vast influence within News Corporation to force their corporate cousins The Simpsons and Hulu censor a mildly critical jape at their expense??? Is Fox News leading an assault on comedy??? Is Bill O'Reilly going to tear out Doonesbury from everybody's newspaper???
No, says The New York Times' ArtsBeat blog, which actually bothers to ask the show's producers about these things:
The "Simpsons" producers could not let that remark stand, so they rushed their second Fox News joke into Sunday's episode -- so late in the production process that the gag could only be inserted into the version shown in North America, but not into versions shown in foreign markets or on the Internet.
I remember feeling super-special when I watched "Trilogy of Error" for the first time and noticed that the closed captioning was occasionally different from the spoken dialogue, because they had changed jokes at the last minute, after the episode had already been sent to closed-captioning factory (or whatever, I don't know it works). I was getting bonus jokes! This silly non-conspiracy is just the same thing, just on a larger scale. So while it's tempting to believe Fox News, the Koch brothers, and Satan are all cruising around in a Halliburton blimp, snatching up people in their tractor beams and throwing them down the memory hole because they criticized Sarah Palin's choice of eyewear on their Tumblr, it's important to remember The Simpsons hasn't been controversial in about a decade. [ArtsBeat]
Shocking news from AOL's DailyFinance... terrorists are infiltrating beloved national conglomerates and using them to fund terrorists... even News Corp., parent company of Fox News and The Simpsons has fallen prey to their wily schemes... it's too late to stop it... they're already here...
For example, News Corp.'s second-largest shareholder, after the Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (pictured at left, and above right), the nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, and one of the world's richest men.
Through his Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed owns about 7% of News Corp., or about $3 billion of the media giant.
Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by Alwaleed's uncle King Abdullah, is, of course, an authoritarian petro-monarchy that actually is governed by Sharia law and is known as one of the top global sponsors of terrorism. A spokesperson for the Saudi embassy in Washington says that while Alwaleed is part of the royal family, he isn't a member of the government, but rather a private citizen.
Could this so-called media mogul be lining his coffers with the profits from Simpsons merchandise, and then giving that money to his terrorist pals??? It's not unpossible and we can't take any chances.
It's time to strike back. Nielsen families, stop watching The Simpsons. Internet video-watchers, stop watching The Simpsons on Hulu. Stop purchasing products advertised during The Simpsons. Next time you're at the store, walk right past the aisle filled with Krusty alarm clocks and Maggie plush dolls, don't even look at the Simpsons fruit snacks: they're not worth the risk. No more Homer t-shirts, no more Simpsons DVDs, no more Milhouse asthma inhalers. Do your patriotic duty: buy bootleg Black Bart Simpson t-shirts at swap meets. We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! [DailyFinance via AlterNet]
Movie and TV studio revenue fell 25 percent to $1.49 billion, and operating profit sank 72 percent to $112 million. Key film releases such as "Marley & Me" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" drove up marketing costs, while last year's holiday quarter had a better home-video release slate, including "The Simpsons Movie" and "Live Free or Die Hard," the company said.
Could Spiderpig be keeping Fox's parent company afloat??? [AP/Yahoo!]
Simpsons creator Matt Groening has always enjoyed a favorable relationship with the press. Serving as a sort-of go-to cultural commentator, the head of Fox's billion-dollar cartoon franchise is often quoted on everything from animation to music to high school to Olympic mascots. These days, however, he is often asked to comment on Fox's other billion-dollar cartoon franchise, Family Guy. In a Wall Street Journal article about Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, MacFarlane's contemporary is relegated to a handful of sentences, including a paragraph which curiously reads like a line from a Fox press release:
Cartoonist Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons," says, "He's laid the groundwork with this smash hit show and now, with new media opening up and Seth's specific kind of rapid-fire visual humor, how to exploit it just depends on how ambitious he wants to be."
Given that Fox and the Journal
are corporate siblings, could this be another sign of The Simpsons
's diminishing stature in the eyes of Fox executives? [Wall Street Journal]
The newly News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal had Mark I. Pinksy, author of The Gospel According to The Simpsons, review the new Flanders' Book of Faith in a move that's totally synergystic! [Wall Street Journal]
Rupert Murdoch purchased the Dow Jones today, and with it the Wall Street Journal. Among the changes made to the internationally renown financial paper includes scrapping the well-known hedcut style of portraiture accompanying articles in favor of Simpsonized portraits. [MySpace Finance]
I realize I'm guilty of making a bunch of lame OJ Simpson jokes on this site. But come on:
O.J. Simpson in "The Simpsons"? An internet parody of The Simpsons featuring O.J. Simpson has infuriated bosses at 20th Century Fox.
The studio has asked online video site Broadcaster.com to take down three animated clips, titled The OJ Simpsons that re-imagine the series with the ex-American footballer.
The clips also parody the opening scene of The Simpsons, with Simpson being chased by several police cars - just like he was chased live TV in the US, after the pair were found dead in Los Angeles in June 1994.
Hey uh that joke's about thirteen years too late guys [The Post Chronicle]