Monday, November 30, 2009

Documentaries, Tiger and Paterson

*Two documentaries currently on cable are worth your time. In Showtime's Poliwood, veteran filmmaker Barry Levinson uses last year's political conventions as a backdrop for a study of celebrity and politics, as well as the polarization of America and television's influence in making it so. HBO's By the People: The Election of Barack Obama likely will make the blood boil of those who didn't and still don't support the candidate and now the president. But political junkies will appreciate the behind-the-scenes access to the Obama campaign, from prior to his announcement of a White House run, all the way to the night of his election.

*Tiger Woods hasn't made many mistakes on the golf course or in the marketing of his brand name. But he sure is creating a mess in the wake of the one-car accident in front of his home the other night. So far, what little we've heard from Tiger doesn't pass the smell test. His best bet would have been to get ahead of the story by coming clean immediately. Now it looks like a coverup and wild speculation abounds. This may be a private matter, as Tiger contends, but only for the average guy. Not in this celebrity culture for the world's most famous athlete. And not when billions of dollars are at stake for the sport and business.

*Gov. David Paterson's image-building TV commercials are well-done. And he's found his sea legs to play Mr. Tough Guy against an increasingly (if that's possible) unimpressive Legislature. But it says here it's probably too late. Had Paterson hit the ground running when he became accidental governor in the wake of the Spitzer scandal, he'd been dealing from a position of strength today. Too many early missteps, however, have left him largely ineffective and too far behind to salvage his changes of winning his party's nomination.
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