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With Michael Malone, Alex Weprin and Marisa Guthrie

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Cuban: Sen. McCain, You're No Maverick

Regardless of whom you like for president—or vice president—we're pretty sure most everyone would vote for a moratorium on the word "maverick." Unless, of course, that's the name of your beloved NBA team.

Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet chairman Mark Cuban has had enough of the McCain-Palin campaign co-opting the "maverick" brand—and he'd like it back.

On his blog, "Blog Maverick" (of course), Cuban blasted the press last month for its part in perpetrating Sen. John McCain's maverick mythology. And just last week, he used the start of the NBA pre-season to celebrate his team as "the only Mavericks that matter."

"It's time to return the Maverick name where it truly belongs," Cuban writes. "On our jerseys."

Always looking for the angle, Cuban wonders if anyone knows of "any decent players named McCain and Obama" he can sign before asking: "Should I just put McCain on the back of a Mavericks jersey and have someone selling them at Republican rallies and on their Website?? Now that's an idea!"

In an e-mail to B&C, Cuban explained his impatience with all the election-year maverick-talk: "No one believes a politician in this day and age can be a Maverick. They don't have the jump shot for it."

Whale Watch

As this looong election season finally comes to an end, Animal Planet is hoping the electorate will happily trade donkeys and elephants for whales.

In an effort to promote its new series Whale Wars, about environmentalists who battle illegal whaling, the cable outlet is targeting politically engaged viewers with Election Day ad buys on a number of news and political sites. In addition to running ads on CNN and MSNBC, the network will have displays on CNNPolitics.com and pre-rolls on CNN's video player, as well as on MSNBC.com.

Whale Wars ads will also run on the homepage and political pages of The Huffington Post on Election Day, and take over Yahoo! News the day after—when the country will presumably know who the new president is.

The campaign will also try to entice those political junkies to join the whale wars via a Space Invaders-type game in which you try to put your boat between the whales and the harpoons.

Forget "Country First" and "Yes We Can." Get ready for the return of "Save the Whales!"

B&C on ICE

If you saw the news last week that NBC is developing a new drama about the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, you may have wondered just what this branch of the federal government actually does, let alone what makes it ready for primetime. Us, too.

That is, until B&C's Marisa Guthrie got a call from an ICE agent inquiring about her recent story on CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan's office at 60 Minutes (B&C, Sept. 22).

The story, which included a video tour of the office, concerned the mementos of Logan's tenure as a correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan that decorated her office—including two propagandistic portraits of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

While we'd like to imagine that the folks at ICE are faithful readers of B&C, we suspect the story came to their attention when a muckraking Website with what appears to be an obsession with Logan began clamoring that the newswoman was guilty of looting the Iraqi people.

We suppose it's for Iraqis to decide whether the portraits, which Logan told us she found in bombed-out ruins, qualify as plundered cultural artifacts on the order of the Mesopotamian urns and other antiquities looted from the Baghdad Museum in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion.

Whether they would make for stirring primetime drama, we'll see. As for the idea of ICE investigating Logan over them, that sounds tailor-made for an Andy Rooney commentary.

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