Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dr Pepper sues Dublin Dr Pepper

By far the dumbest business decision I've heard this week was made by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, one of whose namesake products I generally enjoy quite a bit.  I'm not too happy with them at the moment, though, for going after the bottlers of Dublin Dr Pepper, which is far and away the best version of Dr Pepper in the known universe.  (This is not my opinion; this is fact.)

Rather than vent about it, though, I'll just let the big corporation explain why they're going after the small fry, as per their press release:

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) today announced a lawsuit against Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas, in an effort to end numerous practices by the bottler that violate its license agreement.

The suit, filed today by DPS subsidiary Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, charges that the Dublin bottling company is selling Dr Pepper beyond the six-county territory designated in its license agreement. The suit also seeks to end the bottler’s unauthorized use of the term “Dublin Dr Pepper” on product packaging and on other merchandise.

“Dr Pepper is one of the most iconic trademarks in the U.S. because of its one-of-a-kind taste and the many Dr Pepper bottlers across the country who’ve helped us build the brand and its passionate consumer following over a span of 126 years,” said Jim Johnston, president of beverage concentrates for DPS. “In the simplest terms, the bottler in Dublin is using a logo that is no longer authorized and is taking business from fellow Dr Pepper bottlers who play by the rules and sell within their defined territories. We owe it to our other bottlers to stop these unauthorized practices.”

DPS owns the Dr Pepper brand and through its subsidiaries licenses it to more than 170 bottlers across the U.S. and Canada. Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin’s license territory includes Comanche County, Texas, and parts of five nearby counties in Central Texas. However, the bottler is violating its agreement by selling Dr Pepper beyond its territory via its website, a toll-free telephone number and to retailers and restaurants in areas licensed to other Dr Pepper bottlers.

The Dublin bottler is one of several Dr Pepper bottlers in the U.S. to use cane sugar as the sweetener in its product, but it is the only one to use the Dr Pepper trademark in an unauthorized manner. According to the lawsuit, marketing the product as “Dublin Dr Pepper” undermines the integrity of the Dr Pepper trademark, creates a misconception among consumers that the product is different from other Dr Pepper made with cane sugar and is unfair to bottlers who have the exclusive rights to sell Dr Pepper in bottles and cans to consumers in their territories.

The company has tried in good faith to resolve these issues directly with the Dublin bottler, providing new packaging graphics that are consistent with Dr Pepper brand standards and guidelines. But the bottler’s continued refusal to sell only within its territory and its unwillingness to end the unauthorized use of the term “Dublin Dr Pepper” unless it is compensated have left DPS no other option but to pursue legal remedies.

“We highly value all of our bottlers, including Dublin, and taking them to court is a difficult decision that we have tried to avoid,” said Johnston.

DPS is not currently seeking financial damages with the lawsuit. It is simply asking the court to require Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin to honor the terms of its license agreement or forfeit its license.

The Dublin bottler could continue to produce Dr Pepper with cane sugar, but only in approved packaging and only in its assigned territory. Dr Pepper made with cane sugar is also available through other bottlers in many Texas markets, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Waco and Temple, as well as in parts of North Carolina.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 9 of our 12 leading brands are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott's, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, PeƱafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose's and Mr & Mrs T mixers. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit

Anyone who has enjoyed Dublin Dr Pepper knows that forcing them to conform to DPSG's packaging standards--and especially to its demands that Dublin Dr Pepper only be sold in its tiny area--would destroy it.  I suppose DPSG is probably within its rights to request a bottler to comply with these requests, but is the Dr Pepper brand really being damaged by Dublin Dr Pepper?

If you, like me, prefer the taste of Dublin Dr Pepper, why not order a 24-pack right now?*

*I get paid a small commission for orders made through this link.

Update 1/12/2012:  Yeah, this pretty much ended as I expected.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why the left can't destroy Sarah Palin

In a guest submission posted this morning over at Conservatives 4 Palin, someone named D. Carson takes on a topic that has been discussed many a time over the past three years, "Why the Left Hates Sarah Palin".  Obviously, this topic still needs to be addressed, given the number of people on the other side ideologically from me* who are bent on convincing others, and possibly themselves, that Sarah Palin does not have the brains to tie her own shoes, let alone govern a nation.

D. Carson is a former liberal Democrat (who has become a Tea Party Republican) and therefore has a fairly good understanding of why so many on the left are trying to destroy Gov. Palin.  As most people know, Sarah Palin has not gone along with the wishes of these people that she simply go away.  As D. Carson says:

In my opinion, the Left has been unsuccessful to date in destroying Sarah Palin for two reasons: her charisma and authenticity. Charisma in politics is a sort of armor against attacks. No matter what the press or her enemies say about her, Sarah Palin’s base will never forsake her and millions of people will follow news of her comings and goings with endless interest whether they agree with or like her or not. There’s nothing that anyone can do about that – it’s just a part of who she is. Ronald Reagan’s charisma led him to be called the “Teflon” President. Bill Clinton’s charisma enabled him to survive the worst kind of personal scandal with his popularity largely intact. Sarah Palin’s charisma has enabled her to endure the most vicious attempt at a political character assassination that this nation has ever seen, and come out of it stronger and more popular than ever.

But even more important than charisma is authenticity. The Left depends on their ability to paint conservatives as “phony hypocrites” who don’t personally or even politically live up to their professed beliefs. Their recent mad scramble to find something (anything!) incriminating or embarrassing in the 24,000 pages of emails from Palin’s gubernatorial administration a few weeks ago shows just how desperate they are to find evidence that she is not who she says she is. But the fact is that Palin is not a “flip-flopper”, a “panderer”, or a “RINO”. She says what she believes, and believes in what she says. Her personal life and her political beliefs are in sync with each other in every way. This drives the Left crazy.

D. Carson (wow, I so wish I could use a personal pronoun here, but D. Carson has made that somewhat difficult) believes that in the next year or so, America will see the truth about Sarah Palin, that she is not "a political joke who would fade into obscurity and/or a self-interested, “media-whore” who would never sacrifice her cushy, lucrative perch for the hard work of the campaign trial."

D. Carson also goes into detail to discuss how Sarah Palin threatens the long-held paradigms of what the left stands for (which, of course, helps to the answer the why-do-they-hate-her question).  The whole post--and it is a fairly long read--is worth a look.

* We won't get into the topic of why so many on the right hate her in this entry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Whose energy policy platform is this?

Think fast:  can you tell whose energy policy platform this is?

Find more energy here in America and use less of it.  Finding more doesn't just mean oil and gas.  We have to make better use of coal.  We have to build and operate more nuclear plants.  We have to produce more energy from oil shale.  We have to find more ways to use solar energy and more ways to make synthetic fuels, too.

But just finding more energy won't do the job unless we also use a lot less.

Self-sufficiency was once a longstanding American virtue.  And one that conservation can again help establish.  Driving less and putting insulation in the attic are powerful moves in the right direction.

Using less also means rethinking how we build and use our homes, schools, factories, office buildings, appliances and automobiles.  We have to keep in mind that conservation means consuming less energy and using the energy we consume more efficiently.

Conservation must become our new standard of quality.

Did you guess yet?

Well, you're wrong.

Perhaps you guessed (correctly) that this statement did not come from a politician.  It certainly wouldn't come from pretty much any Democrat or other environmentalist, given its mentions of oil, gas, coal, oil shale, etc.  And while I, a Republican with a few libertarian leanings, do like the idea of conservation, I doubt it would make for a good political Republican platform.  ("The government's trying to reduce our standard of living!")  No, conservation would have to be an individual effort and choice, not a one-size-fits-all political platform.

What you may not have guessed is that the paragraphs above were written three decades ago.  They appeared in a booklet that, I would guess, a great number of people saw, but very few read.  And what book was that?  Why, Shell Answer Book #25, The Energy Independence Book.

(The Energy Independence Book, ©1981 Shell Oil Company, used under Fair Use)

You remember these books, right?  They were inserted into a lot of pretty popular magazines every so often between 1976 and 1982, and they were given away at Shell stations at the time as well.

This particular book was written by a Dr. Sheldon Lambert, who, at the time of writing, was Shell's Manager of Energy Planning and Economics.  In plain English, that means he thought about the future of energy use a heck of a lot more than pretty much anyone in politics does now.  And that, to me, means that one can look to develop traditional energy sources while at the same time looking toward nuclear energy, as well as conservation.  All can be good.

But Snowed, nuclear will never work...look at Fukushima!  Okay, first of all, Fukushima was 40 years old.  One would hope there have been some advances in technology since then.  Fukushima was also plagued by falsified safety records, according to our friends at Wikipedia.*  But, mostly, think about the timing of this book.  It was released in 1981.  What had happened not long before?  Why, the incident at Three Mile Island*, of course.  That led to a lot of people souring on nuclear as a potential source of energy.  But obviously Dr. Lambert still thought that it was a good idea fairly soon after the incident, or he wouldn't have mentioned it.

With all that said, I will take exception to his calling for more solar power.  What is needed before much more solar panel construction occurs is some sort of storage system for solar energy.  Otherwise, as I understand it, there has to be a backup power generation plant, usually natural gas fired, in place as well.  That seems a little silly.

But all in all, this appears to be the comprehensive energy policy that this country needs.  Whether we will actually ever achieve it is just as questionable today as it was thirty years ago.

Like this blog?  Well, now you can like me on Facebook, too!

*Information obtained from Wikipedia is always subject to change and should therefore be taken with the customary grain of salt.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale? Really?

The discussion at the Republic of Austin Facebook page over the link to my last post went in a direction quite different from where I thought it might go.  It went something like this:

So, in the interests of making things clear:  Yes, I like Sarah Palin.  Yes, I've read A Handmaid's Tale.  I didn't care for it.  And the Republic of Gilead, as portrayed by Margaret Atwood, in no way represents either my Christianity or, from what I have seen, the views of Governor Palin.

What, did you expect me to sit back and tacitly accept your ideas of what it must be like to be a conservative in deep blue Austin?  Try asking me next time instead of stereotyping.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is round two of Time Warner vs. KXAN on the horizon?

Three years ago, Time Warner Cable and LIN TV (owners of KXAN) had, you might recall, a little tiff which resulted in KXAN, Austin's NBC affiliate, disappearing from channel 4 on Time Warner Cable for almost a month, as documented here, here, and here.  (Also note that I correctly predicted, to the day, the date on which KXAN would make its return to the Time Warner lineup.)

You would think this article would not have to be written, but:  here we go again.

Time Warner Cable, at least, is preparing for yet another disappearance of KXAN from its lineup (apparently the previous agreement was for three years or so).  Its current document of future and/or potential channel changes mentions several channels, broadcast and cable, whose agreements with Time Warner are due to expire "soon".  (Soon is relative, judging by how long some of these channels appear in these lists.)  And appearing prominently in this list is KXAN, which is now joined by its sister station, KBVO (which is also owned by LIN TV).  KBVO, for the uninitiated, is the MyNetwork TV affiliate for Austin; however, it inexplicably can only be found on channel 1525 (which, you might guess, is not in the basic tier, which is what we get at the Snowed household).  But regardless of in which tier these channels are, they are listed as possibly disappearing in the (somewhat) near future.

Now, most channels seen on this list get an agreement in place well before the deadline; it's only those companies and channels that want to get a better deal that end up causing standoffs like the one KXAN and Time Warner had.  (Or, more recently, KVUE and Time Warner, which you perhaps may not remember because it was worked out at the eleventh hour.)

No, what makes me think that the KXAN/KBVO situation is more dire than most of these expiring agreements is that Time Warner already has a message ready to throw up on the missing channels once the signals are removed.  Currently, since KXAN and KBVO aren't going anywhere anytime soon, Time Warner is showing this agreement on channels that don't actually exist.  See, channels 11 and 16 are two of the three community access channels; they went digital-only almost a year ago.  So I, with my basic cable, shouldn't be getting anything on these channels, one would think.  However, for a while Time Warner helpfully had a static image with a message saying that the channels had moved to digital-only and should I wish to upgrade...

Well, now on these two channels, this message, which can apparently only be seen by those without a digital converter, appears:

The message reads, "KXAN and KVBO (sic) have required that we stop carrying them.  While we work to bring their channels back, please refer to to find alternate sources for the shows you're missing."

Is Time Warner tipping its hand with this message?  It certainly appears that way to me.  I guess we'll find out in a few months.

But if this has a chance of happening, ask yourself:  is this battle worth fighting a second time?

Update:  Thanks for the Facebook link love, Republic of Austin!

Update 2:  Apparently Time Warner reads my blog...the "KXAN and KVBO..." message that I saw has suddenly disappeared from channels 11 and 16.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CNN and the no good, very bad day

How bad has CNN's last 24 hours been?

Well, last night CNN presented a Republican presidential debate that featured some of the most inane questions I've ever seen in such a forum (and I'm not just talking about the "this or that" questions, which, in a truly just world, would get CNN sued by Jellyvision).  Really, CNN, with the economy in the toilet and the U6 number somewhere around 17%, you think one of the most pressing issues of the day is the degree to which each candidate is pro-life?  It's as if CNN tried its hardest not to mention any issue that might present the Obama administration in a bad light, while at the same time keying in on issues designed to trip the candidates up.

And let's not forget that anchor John King, in the absence of a bell or light to signal the candidates that their absurdly short 30-second time limit had been reached, took it upon himself to grunt "uh, uh, uh" in a way that, from what I seem to recall seeing, has already been made into a backbeat for some Youtube video.  (Finding that is an exercise for the reader, 'cos I heard more than enough of it last night.  Seriously, imagine some guy grunting for two hours.  Yikes.)

So, after a debate that may as well have been presented by your local community access channel for all the preparation CNN didn't do, what did it do for an encore?

Why, CNN took its journalistic integrity and impartiality and flushed them.  How else would you explain this headline?

(screenshot of an actual CNN headline; courtesy The Daily Caller; used under Fair Use)

Yes, CNN said "wingnut", a term of scorn frequently found in lefty blogs and tweets, none of which I feel the need to link.

CNN has since changed the offending term (without comment, of course) to "goofy", as can be seen in its article.  Is this really any better?

Maybe a more important question is:  why is CNN still relevant, and especially, why do Republicans treat it as such, given its ever-more-apparent MSNBC-like slant?  It's amazing how much it has done in just 24 hours to destroy its reputation.

(H/T:  Moonbattery, The Daily Caller)

Monday, June 13, 2011

How Free is Texas?

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released what appears to be a periodic study of how each state's policies affect freedom (overall, economic, and personal).  The states are then ranked as to how free each state is.  The top three in these rankings are New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Indiana; the bottom three (no surprises here) are California, New Jersey, and New York.

Since I'm in Texas, I'll focus on Texas's ranking, #14.  This reflects a drop in ranking since what I guess is the last study, conducted in 2007.  As the Center explains:

Texas prides itself on being a freedom-loving state, and our rankings bear out that it is freer than most other states. However, its policies are sometimes not as consistent with individual liberty as the rhetoric of its officials and citizens would suggest. Indeed, Texas has slipped in the rankings and has much room for improvement.

And what issues keep Texas out of the top ten of this list?  Well, the authors cite the lack of open-carry legislation, harsh marijuana laws and a general eagerness to make drug arrests, lack of school choice, "mandated coverages on health insurance that add significantly to the cost of insurance premiums", lack of eminent domain reform, and a "worse than average" asset forfeiture system and liability system, and "higher than average" cigarette taxes.

For each state, the Center offers three policy recommendations.  For Texas, their top three ideas are as follows, with my thoughts:

1. Legalize casino gambling, slot machines, and sports betting. These changes would be especially useful as mechanisms for reducing the state’s budget shortfall.

I have no problem with this legally, but I have concerns that there will be people who tend toward addiction in these areas.  Of course, those people are currently probably already going to casinos in Oklahoma and Louisiana now, so perhaps all the states need to be on an equal footing here.

2. Repeal the prevailing-wage law.

As I understand it (from reading this publication from the Ohio Legislative Service Commission), prevailing wage laws "require that workers on certain public construction projects be paid a specified minimum wage", which may be taken from collective bargaining agreements or calculations to determine what the "prevailing" wage might be.  To a point, I can see the reason for laws like this; in my mind, it's the you-get-what-you-pay-for principle.  But I have also seen a fair amount of wasted resources in public construction projects, so anything that might increase the efficiency in such projects would be a welcome improvement, in my mind.  Whether that would be gained in repealing any prevailing-wage laws, I don't know.

3. Liberalize drug laws. First steps would include legalizing medical marijuana, decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession, and reducing the extremely harsh maximum prison sentences for single marijuana offenses.

By all means, yes.  In my mind, a lot of the drug wars have been a retread of Prohibition.  And I know that there are differences in how people are treated based on what drug they might possess, to the point that there are fairly large discrepancies in how drug offenders are sentenced. 

Now, does this mean that people should be allowed to do whatever they want with regard to drugs?  Well, are people allowed to get away with driving drunk?  Of course they aren't, since their actions at that point can adversely affect others, but where such drug use is victimless (for example, no one is driving a motor vehicle while using it or under the influence), I don't see why it should be prohibited.  (Just because I generally wouldn't use drugs doesn't mean that my opinions have to apply to everyone.)  There is some amount of common sense needed.

Will these three ideas solve everything?  Or are they a solution at all?  I think each of the ideas presented here should at least receive some consideration, but then, so should many others.

(Hat tip:  Hot Air)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Movie Preview: I'm marking July 15 on my calendar

Considering that I generally see about two or three movies in an actual theater in a year, the fact that two movies that I want to see in a theater are coming out on the same day is quite surprising.  And what are those two movies?  Why, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Undefeated (the documentary about one Sarah Palin), of course.

I expect both to be quite good movies that will keep the viewers engaged throughout.

One movie, as I understand it, is about an Everyman-type protagonist who continues to withstand the endless assaults of an overlord and his cronies, who are bent on destroying the protagonist using any means necessary.

The other is about Harry Potter.

(H/T:  Conservatives 4 Palin, Hot Air)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Why I don't trust government at pretty much any level: Part 2

I've pointed out the wont of state governmental agencies to be inefficient.  The federal government, for those who may have been living under a rock for the last 80 years, is about the same.*  Today, let's take a look at a city government that, in a PR debacle, as good as spit in the face of a good Samaritan.

I did not see much coverage of this anywhere except in the Dallas area, where it happened.  The story started when a teenager, Ashley Donaldson found a large amount of money and did the right thing.  As WFAA reported:

The 15-year-old Shepton High School student spotted the money on the ground and took it to a nearby Chase Bank.

That's what she was supposed to do, right?  Of course it was.  But the City of Dallas, after searching for the original owner of the found cash, decided to do just the wrong thing:

On Tuesday, police said under a new city policy, the unclaimed money will go into Dallas' general fund — not back to the person who found it, as in years past.

"We appreciate your honesty," said Dallas police spokesman Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse. "We're going to put the money to good use. It's not going to be wasted, but put to good use for the City of Dallas."

Yeah, thanks for your contribution to bloated city government, Ashley!

Thankfully, public outcry caused the city to reconsider, as WFAA reported:

Dallas police Chief David Brown issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the department will follow a provision in state law [emphasis mine] in determining what happens to the funds.
  • It requires public notice be given 30 days after someone finds money and turns it into the police.
  • There will then be a 90-day waiting period.
  • If a claimant comes forward, the police department will hold a hearing.
If no rightful owner comes forward during this four-month period, the money will be returned to Ashley...

Oops, we got caught, so I guess we'll follow state law on this. 

Makes you want to turn in lost money within the Dallas city limits, doesn't it?  Meanwhile, Ashley is still waiting for the money.  Does anyone else think Ashley will never see it?

But not everything is lousy for Ashley; WFAA also reports that an anonymous donor is helping out Ashley and her family.  That's good, since the City of Dallas seems to be interested only in helping themselves.

Aside:  Researching this story yielded probably the silliest picture caption I've seen in quite a while:  "We don't have photos of Ashley Donaldson's discovery, so we have simulated what she saw at a North Dallas shopping center in February."

(Photo courtesy WFAA, used under Fair Use)

* As you know, people who have been living under a rock for 80 years will immediately find a computer and pull up this blog.  Find someone who has lived under a rock and prove I'm wrong.

This is why the Alamo Drafthouse is awesome

Courtesy KTBC/Fox 7:

The Alamo Drafthouse, arguably Austin's most well-known theater chain, has come up with what I believe is the best don't-text-in-theaters PSA.  Having seen the telltale sign of a lit phone screen in a theater before, I can appreciate why texting during movies is prohibited by the Alamo Drafthouse; all cinemas ought to prohibit it, if you ask me.  It's almost as distracting as the screening Mrs. Snowed and I attended once in which an employee opened the exterior door midway through the feature, letting in loads of totally unwanted sunlight and rather messing up our enjoyment of that portion of the movie.  (The cinema at which this happened, the Regal Gateway, did give us free passes as a result of that.)

Here is the more PG-rated version of the PSA.  (There is an uncensored version that will air before R-rated features.)  Enjoy, and don't be like the person whose voice you hear here.

(Disclaimer:  My employer has done work for the Alamo Drafthouse.  I'd say they were awesome even if that weren't true.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Why I don't trust government at pretty much any level: Part 1 of infinity

An online friend, Stacy Petty, has run into a case of government trying to address a problem it caused itself by, what else, taking more money from the people it is supposed to help.  In this case, a state government agency is going after business owners to help pay for unemployment benefits because they (the agency) overextended themselves (sound familiar?).

Because, you know, government agencies can't be bothered to:  1) improve efficiency; or 2) enforce their own regulations when they might actually help people.  No, government agencies, for the most part, seem to be mostly focused on squeezing more money out of people to pay for their own broken bureaucracies.  They're looking out for themselves, not for you.

(H/T:  Colorado Blonde, which is Stacy's blog)

Friday, June 03, 2011

The media's love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin, Part 2

Building on what I wrote the other day, I saw the perfect summation of how the media has acted during Sarah Palin's bus tour:

(Picture courtesy Barracuda Brigade, used

Simply put:  Sarah Palin is not going to let the old-school, dying mainstream media set the narrative of what she does.  Her handlers in 2008 during her vice-presidential campaign convinced her to let the media do just that back then, with disastrous results.  (How many people in this country still think she was the one to say she could see Russia from her house?  Put your hand down, Meghan McCain.) 

No, Governor Palin is setting her own narrative this time.  And that's what has the talking heads so bent out of shape.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The media's love/hate relationship with Sarah Palin

This isn't exactly breaking news, but maybe you, like me, have noticed the tendency of many commentators in the (old-school) news media to cover every little thing Sarah Palin does with the same intensity as the paparazzi did Paris Hilton's trip to jail, while at the same time decrying the influence and popularity Sarah Palin presently holds.  For example, a few months ago some guy named Dana Milbank, who works at some old dinosaur called the Washington Post, decided that the best way to get himself some attention attempt to take away from the influence wielded by Mrs. Palin was to declare that February would be a Palin-free month in the (so-called) mainstream media.  The fact that most of my readers probably are not aware that this even happened speaks volumes both to Sarah Palin's influence and to Dana Milbank's lack thereof.

Anyway, the current even that has those types frothing is a bus tour by the Palin family to historic sites around our nation.  This may be followed at the SarahPAC webpage. You can view the introductory video to this tour right here:

Now, most rational people would not think that there is anything wrong with a bus tour.  Heck, John Madden did it every week when he did NFL color commentary.  But when Sarah Palin does it, it's a real problem!  She can't do this!  But it must be reported to death anyway!

Or at least so sayeth the talking heads.

For example, I don't need to go into the details of how some of these people are annoyed at not being told where the Palin family is going...Matt Lewis already summed up most of the grumblings:

Some journalists believe Palin is behaving like a celebrity, and that covering her may be beneath them. For example, The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta Tweeted: “reality TV star Palin treating pol reporters like paparazzi — needing & hating, inviting & making chase.” Politico’s Ben Smith Re-Tweeted her — and Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post agreed, responding: “seriously, why dont media outlets have entertainment reporters cover her instead of polit. press?”

The whining got even better, or more shrill, or something, with one CBS News producer blaming potential future car crashes on Mrs. Palin.  As Geoffrey Dickens of NewsBusters writes:

The press is pouting because potential GOP presidential contender Sarah Palin is apparently having a bit of fun with them, by refusing to let them know in advance where she is headed on her bus tour. One of them, CBS News producer Ryan Corsaro, even suggested the former Alaska governor is a "dangerous" traffic hazard because she is forcing reporters to chase her around like they were paparazzi.


In a May 31 CBS article headlined "Sarah Palin's bus tour treats reporters like paparazzi" Corsaro complained:

I just hope to God that one of these young producers with a camera whose bosses are making them follow Sarah Palin as a potential Republican candidate don't get in a car crash, because this is dangerous.

But the prize for the lamest take on the Palin bus tour has to go to MSNBC's Martin Bashir, as quoted by Alex Fitzsimmons, also of NewsBusters:

Anchoring his eponymous program, Bashir scolded, "In fact, the whole thing could be in breach of a federal law because the United States Flag Code establishes important rules for the use and display of the stars and stripes, the flag of the United States."

The entire video of the rant can be found at the previous link; I don't care to post it here.  
Hey, perhaps Mr. Bashir would prefer people who use and display American flags like this:

(Picture courtesy the Denver Post via; used under Fair Use)

(That, in case anyone has forgotten, is how used flags were "used" and "displayed" following the conclusion of the coronation nomination acceptance speech of Barack Obama in 2008.  But hey, at least he didn't put them on a bus!)

But regardless, with regard to Sarah Palin, if it isn't one thing, it's another for the dying breed of media talking heads so desperately hanging on to their waning prestige and their nonexistent influence.  They can't live with her, but in these present days with their many choices for information gathers, they sure can't live without her.

(Oh, and I am on record as hoping that the Palins will make it to the Austin area, despite its deep-blue condition, and check out The Salt Lick.  I can dream.)

(Hat tip: Texas for Sarah Palin)