US Television Fall schedules advertising price list

by Daniel on September 18, 2003

Everyone should take a look at this; it shows what 30-second advertising slots in the Fall schedules went for this this year. Most expensive show is Friends (obviously), followed by “Will and Grace” (surprising?). I don’t really have a handle on US media, but I can’t believe that a lame one-joke effort like W&G is pulling in the ratings, so it must have really good demographics (the pink economy, I guess). I’m also surprised that Monday Night Football is only in the middle of the table and cheaper than “The Simpsons”. Anyway, enjoy.

Update: Closer perusal shows that the priciness of Will & Grace is unlikely to have anything to do with the pinkness or otherwise of its viewers. It’s just that CBS seems to totally own Thursday night, and W&G is in a slot between “Friends” and “ER”. The mystery is actually why “Scrubs” and “Coupling” are comparatively weaker; they’re both pretty bad, but I wouldn’t have said that they were between 10% and 30% worse than Will & Grace.

War on France! Huzza!

by Daniel on September 18, 2003

Maria’s post on the Adam Smith Institute blog1 reminded me of an old joke from the ASI’s halcyon days of the 1980s when Sir Keith Joseph was at the heart of Margaret Thatcher’s government pushing a serious Hayekian agenda. In those days, the role of the ASI was described as “taking ideas from the edge of lunacy to the edge of policy”. I only thought of this joke after reading Thomas Friedman‘s latest effort in the New York Times (I actually read it by mistake; I thought that Krugman had shaved off the bottom half of his beard and if you look at the two photos side by side it’s an understandable error).

Time was when a man who seriously talked about the likelihood of imminent uprising by the French Muslim population and called articles things like “War With France” could safely be laughed at, or at least confined to the WSJ’s increasing eccentric online editorial supplement. Time no longer, apparently. Oh dear. Friedman is possibly wrong, by the way, in claiming that “France, with its large Muslim minority”, would necessarily see its “social fabric” hugely affected by Islamic militancy; as a French acquaintance pointed out to me recently, the Islamic population of France is heavily concentrated in metropolitan Paris and Lyon, and France is actually a country of small towns. But mistaking Paris for France is a common enough error (particularly by Parisians) so I’ll let that pass.

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There are no stupid questions

by Kieran Healy on September 18, 2003

Well, as a matter of fact, there are.

New adventures in WiFi

by Maria on September 18, 2003

Hotspots are multiplying all over the place, not just in Stateside Starbucks’, but even along the Paris metro. The only time I’ve used wifi so far was at CFP 2003 where it came in extremely handy for blogging the event. But think of it; free internet, wherever you go – how great is that going to be?

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Irregular Verbs

by Kieran Healy on September 18, 2003

Commenting on the whole Erik Rasmusen thing at Indiana, Dan Drezner and the voice in his head write:

… the cure for promulgated ideas that are believed to be offensive or wrong is more speech, not less. … What need there is for a review beyond that is truly beyond me. … [Wait, wait, you forgot the ritual denunciation of Rasmusen’s views on homosexuality.–ed. That’s completely irrelevant to this question. … however, it’s worth highlighting a fact that Louis Menand pointed out in The Metaphysical Club:

One of the triggering events for the emergence of academic freedom was when a Stanford University professor was fired for making a speech that contradicted co-founder Jane Stanford’s views on the matter. The professor made a eugenicist argument against Asian immigration.

Looks like one of those irregular verbs that used to come up so often on Yes, Minister. In this case we get:

bq. I make provocative analogies.
You draw inappropriate comparisons.
He is an idiotarian fixated on moral equivalence.

Rubber Duckies

by Kieran Healy on September 18, 2003

Jacob Levy revives the debate about the tax system and the poor — or, as the Wall Street Journal called them when it kicked off the argument, those lucky duckies who make up the “non-taxpaying class”. Jacob wants to argue that the underlying form of the WSJ’s argument is very common — indeed, almost inescapable — in political philosophy. He says it goes as follows:

bq. If we subject everyone to the same rules, institutions, or conditions, then there will be political demand to make them fair or otherwise tolerable. If we only subject some people to them, then some may be unfairly singled out or burdened; there will be opportunities to divide the citizenry, play the interests of some against those of others, and to undermine the overall desirable outcome. … The final thing to notice about this kind of reasoning is that some form of it is common to virtually all political philosophies. Stated at a sufficiently general level, it is the standard classical liberal argument for the rule of law, for not being ruled by an aristocracy exempt from the legislation it writes, and for hoping that justice will be blind.

Over at Volokh, Jacob describes this column as his “most contrarian to date“. I worry that he’s putting his talents to waste looking for a neat angle on things. If you end up making the case that the bottom 20% of income earners (that’s people who make $15,000 a year or less) are logically equivalent to “an aristocracy exempt from … legislation” then you have a choice. You can conclude you have a solid new argument for calling someone a welfare queen, or you can wonder whether something’s gone wrong somewhere.

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Correcting the record

by Henry on September 18, 2003

Egregious disinformation abounds on the Internet, but I was a little disappointed to see Josh Chafetz “talking smack”: about smoked salmon. He advances the self-evidently preposterous thesis that

bq. smoked salmon must be eaten with a bagel, cream cheese, and red onion.

Wrong. As any fule kno, smoked salmon ought to be eaten on lightly buttered brown bread, with a couple of drops of lemon juice squeezed over it. The butter should be Irish, and mildly salted (Kerrygold butter is widely available in the UK, continental Europe, US and Canada, and will do quite nicely). Ideally, the brown bread should be made by my mother. Since very few of you have had the privilege of eating my mother’s brown bread (Chris and, obviously, Maria are the lucky exceptions), I’ll share the recipe.

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