Commentary

What You Missed While You Were At CES (Besides Freezing Your Butt Off)

Nothing is more annoying than reading tweets about CES, the place where you go if you don't care about the new season opening of “Downton Abbey” or the NCAA Football Championship (spoiler alerts: Lady Mary Crawley's expression doesn't change while she is in mourning, and Jameis Winston denied the Heisman Trophy Trust just as they were about to ask for it back).

For the past week, everyone in the business has been absorbed by Really Important CES Things, like if they should buy a curved-screen TV, a car that parallel-parks itself, or whether Marissa Mayer can turn Yahoo around as a content company (something that hasn't worked all that well for AOL). With all that shuffling on and off the exhibition floor, there were probably a few things happening elsewhere that might have slipped their collective notice.

An old Ojibway First Nationer named Polar Vortex left the back door open, and since everyone was standing around airports fuming about flight cancellations, nobody noticed until freezing arctic air blanketed the Eastern two-thirds of our nation. When you get home, if you are looking for your dog, he is still stuck to the hydrant down the street, where he stood just a little too close on Monday. The car you decided to leave in the driveway instead of popping into the garage before you left is still there, and will be until you call AAA.

Your teenaged son -- with wet hair and a sweaty jersey -- who said it was "just a dash" from basketball practice to the car, is on the third floor of the hospital with hypothermia, but is expected to recover. Not so sure about the dog.

al-Qaeda-linked fighters took Fallujah away from the Iraqi "security forces," but you don't have to worry about the U.S. getting involved, since a new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that Obama's policy on Afghanistan and Iraq is "all about getting out." And that is supposed to be criticism.

Speaking of new books, a soon-to-be-released bio of Fox's Roger Ailes alleges sexism and anti-Semitism and tells of a television producer who says that while negotiating her salary at NBC in the 1980s, Ailes offered her an additional $100 each week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.” Reports also say the book describes Ailes as something of a megalomaniac bent on using Fox News to change the outcome of presidential elections. Still waiting....

Everyone and his brother launched or redesigned Web sites, including The New York Times (prettier and much easier to cut and paste stories); MediaPost (so elegant now, I put on sweats without holes in the crotch before I go there); and of course, Walt and Kara's new Recode.net (which is a little heavy on the jungle red). In yet another sign that there is no longer any separation between church and state, the NYT is taking "native advertising" and Time Inc. is laying the groundwork for it by overexplaining and apologizing in advance.

Finally, before you open the door and start bitching about what a slog CES was, remember that while you were gone, the kids and the pets got fed, the house got cleaned, we didn't let the pipes freeze, nor the house burn down. You're welcome.

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