Bytes And Bits: Three Stooges, 'Real' News, Six Ticks, Fake AI

Watching the White House trying to get its communications operation in order is like rewatching episodes of “The Three Stooges,” but with X-rated language. Not that the best PR people in the world can make a silk purse out of that pig's ear in the Oval Office.

How Sarah Huckabee Sanders keeps a straight face is really worthy of a Harvard B-School case study. And what can you say about Anthony Scaramucci -- other than you get what you pay for? Oh, and good riddance off the national stage, you slime bucket.

In a highly amusing effort to counter the relentless "bad" news from Washington, Lara Trump (married to middle son Eric — and up until now, someone who had not been tainted by The Donald's frighteningly amateurish behavior and poor administration performance) has launched a Facebook video broadcast. In it, she promises to deliver the "real" news that focuses on what the White House thinks are its "accomplishments."

In her first posting, she gave The Donald credit for the stock market, the unemployment rate and for giving his salary to "education." She failed to add "and continued to embarrass the country in every region of the world and push us that much closer to nuclear annihilation." But, hey, she will find out next week that after the market and the unemployment rate, the well is remarkably dry.



Meanwhile, at another branch of the administration, Fox says it will run six-second commercials in the coming broadcast of “Teen Choice 2017,” with the company claiming the event’s younger audience is "generally receptive to shorter ad formats."

You know, like on YouTube? Get it? Young people, YouTube? Gosh, how au courant! If only it hadn't been tried by Fox 12 years ago, when the network was sadly hoping to catch the attention of DVR owners whose fast-forward mechanics fell a second or two short of skipping exactly.

After these ads don't work, maybe Fox will try subliminal commands that can be inserted at the rate of roughly one video frame per second, flashing across the screen so quickly that they’re not consciously perceived. Those commands will supposedly appeal to the subconscious mind of the viewer, and thus have some measurable effect in terms of behavior.

None of which has ever proved to be true. (The “buy more popcorn and Coke” message allegedly flashed on a movie screen proved to be, well, fake news). But, hey, it’s Fox, where they never let facts get in their way.

Perhaps Variety's Brian Steinberg said it best, noting that such short commercials will not be enough time for viewers "to use the bathroom or grab a snack." If so, there will soon be a segment on Fox News taking credit for "national weight loss." Or urinary tract infections -- pick one.

Meanwhile, I have just read the 1,000th opinion column claiming that AI and/or machine learning is now a major factor in this ad technology or that one. None of that tech is really AI, which is perhaps this year's most overused noun. Lots of ad-tech companies better hope they never give birth to true artificial intelligence, because it might take a quick look around and decide to shut down the business -- since it delivers no discernible value except to itself.

1 comment about "Bytes And Bits: Three Stooges, 'Real' News, Six Ticks, Fake AI".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, August 4, 2017 at 12:15 p.m.

    Thank you Mr. Simpson and thank you MediaPost.  I was beginning to worry that all the really scary and exciting rides in this playground had been closed forever. 

Next story loading loading..