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Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014
Recent trends in black and white viewership are changing TV's big picture, making it not so black and white.

A few months ago, I took on the topic of daytime TV convinced that, in 2013, after decades of population expansion and demographic shifts, there was no way that the daytime audience was still primarily stay-at-home moms….  But, in the process of researching and writing the article, I learned that despite a few evolving trends, the primary audience for daytime TV was, yes, stay-at-home moms. 


Recently, when I decided to look at the concept of what I call primetime TV’s “self-segregation”—that what whites are watching and what blacks are watching are two distinctly separate lists—I assumed that I would, once again, find a deep and troubling divide. I had more than just a hunch to go on for this assumption. Back in 1996 I had read a stunning list, the top 10 shows among African-American viewers for a random week as determined by the A.C. Nielsen Company. It contained such shows as Living Single, Martin, New York Undercover, and Family Matters.


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Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013
By speaking more freely about rape, do we help destigmatize it? Or do we run the risk of trivializing it and cheapening its devastation?

As 2013 nears end, I’m starting to think that this year has been the year of the oxymoron. If the phrase “internet privacy” isn’t enough to prove the point, then surely the concept of the “rape joke” is.


Yet, for all the trouble that various male comics (like Daniel Tosh) have gotten into this past year with their attempts to wring humor from the topic of rape, it’s interesting to note that various female comics have been making remarks about rape (and getting away with it) for many years. Sarah Silverman once joked that as a Jewish girl, getting raped by a doctor was a mixed blessing. And both Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer (on their respective cable TV shows) have made jokes about their own supposed childhood molestation.


Tagged as: rape jokes
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Monday, Nov 25, 2013
No show in recent memory has showcased such powerful and alluring women, and the performances of Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts, and Angela Bassett are pitch-perfect.

Near the end of 2013, two seminal television dramas are winding down: The Breaking Bad finalé aired at the end of September, while the once great Mad Men limps towards its final season. So what’s the best show on television now? Even though we’re only halfway through the current season of American Horror Story: Coven, let’s crown it now.


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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013
More than just "Baby Daddy's" are revealed every day on Maury Povich's long-running talkshow.

As I work for the Library of Congress, the recent government shutdown brought with it several days of imposed “vacation”. Along with a five-pound weight gain, the furlough (as we now like to call it) also allotted me time to reacquaint myself with daytime television. 


By and large, it was not a pleasant experience.


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Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013
Is there such a thing as being "too informed"?

Self-anointed or not, TV “news junkies” are a unique breed. It’s the one way to watch endless hours of television and not be viewed as a total slacker. In fact, news junkies are usually celebrated for being the exact opposite of a couch potato: they are devoted and well-informed, relevant and unsuperficial. It’s a commendable, even encouraged, vice to have. 


I come from a family of news junkies. Growing up, it was not unusual for my Midwestern family to tune into the “early news” on at either 4:30 or 5:00, then, right after that, watch the network evening news (which my dad always called Walter, as in Cronkite, something he continued to do long after Cronkite retired) on at 5:30. Then we would watch another local news broadcast on immediately after that.


Tagged as: television news
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