CSotD: Ups and Downs and Over and Out

We’ll start with a gamble that didn’t pay off, as seen in Nick Anderson (Counterpoint)’s cartoon. As you may have heard, CNN launched a streaming service, CNN+, which was then cancelled before it was a month old.

But the gamble wasn’t that they thought it would catch on and it didn’t. I had some quibbles with it, mostly because they didn’t date their offerings, so you couldn’t tell if their report from Ukraine was an hour old or four days old, which makes a major difference.

However, they’d have ironed out the quibbles and few launches are perfect.

No, the gamble appears to have been that CNN, along with Warner Brothers and HBO, was about to be acquired in a major merger by Discovery, and word on the street is that the soon-to-be-head of the conglomerate didn’t like the idea of CNN+.

The gamble was to launch before the merger was finalized, on the theory that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness that for permission.

Well, it might have worked.

It’s been noted that a lot of people lost their jobs in this fiasco, and we should feel sorry for them, or at least for those far enough down the ladder that they didn’t realize the gamble they were taking.

It’s also fair to observe that I’m not the most sympathetic shoulder to cry on, given that, as a newspaper man, I spent the second half of my career waiting for various axes to fall, ducking and dodging from one imperiled paper to another in hopes of delaying the inevitable.

The list of employers or major clients I’ve worked for that no longer exist is about the same length as the list of those that have been acquired by venture capitalists and are dismal, gutted shells and might as well not exist.

In any case, I doubt that the collapse of CNN+ has anything to do with the overall status of streaming services, which differentiates it from the fall of Netflix.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Tim Campbell – WPWG)


(Michael Ramirez – Creators)

Both cartoonists view the tumble, in stock price and in membership, as the result of overreach, with Campbell suggesting that the need for streaming has diminished — I would assume with the fall in covid rates, though he doesn’t label things — and Ramirez simply saying that people have burned out and seen all they wanted to see.

Unplugging and going outside has, indeed, become a greater option for a lot of people, and they may also have become tired of binge-watching everything they’re told they want to binge watch.

There’s also the possibility that so many Hulus and Netflixes and Amazon Primes and so forth and so on have entered the game that the audience has been diluted beyond profitability. If you drop a fast-food place on every corner of even a busy intersection, they can put each other out of business.

But Netflix is also the victim of letting people steal their service by sharing passwords in prodigious numbers. Even if you are the only fast food place on that busy corner, you probably shouldn’t just lay the food out on the counter and hope people will pay for what they take.

It’s nice they had such faith in people’s honesty, mind you. Out here in the country, we have folks who put eggs or corn out by the road with a box in which you can drop your money, and they mostly do all right, but, of course, there is the occasional thief.

I suppose the percentages are the same, but the numbers sure are bigger for Netflix.

Perhaps someone should have told them about this thing called an “IP address,” and how you can tell if someone who lives in Maryland is genuinely logging in from their phone or laptop while on a trip to Seattle.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Pat Bagley)


(Steve Kelley – Creators)

Two takes on the recent decision that masks are not a means of preventing the spread of disease.

Bagley has facts on his side, because the virus has not disappeared and a new variant is already in play. Our county had done away with the mandate for masks inside public places, but has recently noted an upsurge that will likely bring the mandate back.

No biggie. I’ve still got a pack of N-95s in my car and will only have to remember to grab one. I think I’m bright enough to do that eventually, and, as others have noted, seeing the sign on the store door and walking back to the car is good exercise.

But, then, people like me see it as a public health issue, not a matter of FREEDOM.

Kelley invokes the Q-Anon calls for the execution of Fauci, while crediting, as in the movie, a youngster who did the deed in complete ignorance, which sparks the horror of Big Government, depicted in the form of a wicked witch who curses the land by determining what they can teach in their schools, who they can fall in love with and what control they are allowed to have over their reproductive systems, and who launches her flying monkeys against anyone in the magical kingdom who dares criticize her edicts.

Or something.

As noted here before, the issue in our current disunion is not about science, logic or fairness, but simply a matter of team loyalty, such that, when my team wins, it’s because they’re better, and, when they lose, it’s because the referee was prejudiced.

Granted, the referee here appears to be prejudiced as well as inexperienced and unqualified, but the outcome of her ruling is that people will pridefully refuse to wear masks, even if the coronavirus returns in unmistakable, undeniable concentrations and moreso if some immunocompromised libtard dares ask them to.


Finally — and I hate to use the word — we’re losing an important and talented voice on the editorial pages. If you came here through the Daily Cartoonist site, you saw DD Degg’s coverage of the retirement of Steve Sack. If not, go have a look.

And if you want to see how much he and his work mattered, check out the flood of responses from his associates and fans.

Good night, and joy be with you, Steve.


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