Friday, July 15, 2011

Special Reissue: Terry Lanni in 2008

I'm racing out to an important lunch and interview, but we just re-posted our April 2008 conversation with the late Terry Lanni, the former MGM Mirage CEO. He has died at age 68. Listen here or right-click here to download it.

I don't have time to offer much in the way of thoughts, but check out the Review-Journal, the Sun, David McKee and Dave Schwartz's stuff.

The Strip's 2008 interview is fascinating to listen back to, a time when MGM was narrowing down their pick for architects for Atlantis 3000, the project planned for Sahara and the Strip, and was having trouble picking a name for what would become Aria. We discussed succession plans, Atlantic City and much more.

Here's one poignant bit, though. I was asking about the young new executives taking over Vegas and I asked, "Do these guys make you feel old or past tense in any way?" His reply:

Past tense. I’ve never thought of myself as past tense. I look in the mirror in the morning and I don’t see a 65-year-old. Maybe I should, but I don’t. Maybe I should have my eyes adjusted. No, I think it’s great. That’s what happens in life. You go through and next generation comes along and they’re going to have to learn some things from people such as me or people my age and then it’s their turn to take over and I’m gonna be the biggest cheerleader in the world for them.

Very, very good and classy man. Complicated legacy. More later.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Strip Is Live Tonight At 8p PT!

Thirty years is a blink of the eye in most places, but it’s an eternity for the ever-changing Las Vegas Strip. This summer, the venerable, historic Donn Arden's Jubilee! celebrates the start of its fourth decade at Bally’s, so we chatted with the 88-year-old firecracker who has ruled the land of massive headdresses and sequined skivvies with an iron fist for all this time. Fluff LaCoque talks to Steve about bruised thighs, chubby guys, fake boobs and so much more this hour. Then we’ll hear from Jubilee’s most successful alumna, Tina Walsh, who was a singer and dancer for the show in the 1980s before starring in EFX, Mamma Mia! and presently Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular. Also, we just love her.

As usual, we'll play the interview starting at about 8 p.m. PT and you can hear that and chat with other listeners -- pluss watch Black, Jack and Aces do silly puppy things! -- on this UStream site. When Miles gets home from work, we'll do the regular parts of the show.

C'mon down! But if not, I'll try getting the podcast out probably Friday, so you can subscribe to The Strip (it's free!) in iTunes or Zune to get the latest show and various specials.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Strip is Live -- TOMORROW!

Hey folks! I've gotta go play in the World Series of Poker Media Tournament and write about it, and it starts at 4 pm. While odds are fairly high I'll be done in time to catch Brian Williams, I can't assume that and I'll need to see what else happens. So Miles and I will be recording our show on Thursday night at 8 pm PT. Another notice will be posted here tomorrow explaining what the game plan is.

That said, there is already a new trivia question, so have at it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Media Muddle: Sad Shermy Righthaven Edition!

For reasons nobody can explain, the disgraced former publisher of Nevada's largest newspaper continues to write columns and to blog for the R-J, the newspaper whose circulation and reputation he trashed and that faces years of litigation ahead on account of how he and his minions botched their efforts to protect their copyrights.

Still, that he continues to have a voice is worthwhile for delicious moments like this. Today, he wrote about some cheating scandal eight states away that he believes indicts public school education.

This is fun stuff. Sad Shermy, he of the creative but self-sabotaged copyright-enforcing jihad, reprinted three long paragraphs of his Sunday column's source material, an article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in providing the background of the cheating scandal. Didn't Righthaven, aka the R-J, sue others for that? Why yes, they did!

Sad Shermy may argue Fair Use, except that he's not commenting on the quality of the piece or the writing as, say, I just do down below. He could have just as easily, were he not lazy as hell, paraphrased the facts of the case himself. He found it more convenient to rip off another writer's reporting and work. What's more, check this out:

That's a screenshot from his column online. What's missing above? Oh! That's right! A link to the original report. You know, something almost every Righthaven defendant did provide.

But wait, there's more! On the R-J's site right now under this very piece, a commenter has left this:

See that? Righthaven, aka the Review-Journal, has also sued websites for allowing commenters to post lengthy passages of R-J stories. Here the R-J allowed "Jack Webb" to post 228 words of a 539-word blog item by Alex Pareene of Salon.Com with no commentary, nothing to reflect fair use. And remember, there are editors at the who approve or reject comments. They have made a legal case that website purveyors are responsible for everything, including the copyright violations committed by their readers.

Where, oh where, is Steve Gibson of Righthaven when he's needed? Oh, that's right. Preparing for depositions about whether he and Sad Shermy misled the courts about who owns the rights to the material Righthaven sued over. Natch.

* * *

On a vaguely related but terrifically entertaining note, that same column was Shermy's chance to cackle over the education system today. And yet, try to spot the not-so-tiny mistake:

Remember, folks, this is a piece about education. Someone -- probably not Sad Shermy! -- corrected that rather egregious misspelling online, which is why the dead-tree version still has its merits. Web readers must have left comments mocking the error, but editors chose not to approve them on account of that it makes Sherm Frederick look foolish and undercuts his moral authority as an expert on the results of that old-school education system he graduated from back in the '50s or whenever. If this hadn't been in print, I'm quite sure Sad Shermy would deny he had made such a fundamental spelling error in the first place.

But here's the best part. Look way up at the first screenshot there. Oh, OK, look at it here:

I doublechecked and, yes, in print Sad Shermy also spelled "principal" correctly in the portion where he cut-and-pasted passages to save himself the bother of paraphrasing the very premise of his column. In other words, he didn't even re-read what he put in his own piece or he at least would have noticed his own spelling error or, worse, ignorantly changed it in the AJC version. He just hit CTL-V and then went on from there, bloviating and doing what his good friend, ex-RJ editor Thomas Mitchell, once called "chew[ing] up the intellectual property of others and spit[ting] out their cuds."