Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
June 28, 2007
Mats Musings on Media
Generally, something pops out at me and becomes the focus
of my weekly writing. This week, nothing has stood out and
grabbed me around the throat and demanded my attention.
I have been enormously relieved that my friends, Jon Alpert
and Matt ONeill, are not going to Iraq to do a follow
up on their marvelous BAGHDAD ER. HBO put its foot down and
said: NO, were not into that firestorm. Instead of an
in-depth look at an American military hospital they were going
to embed in an everyday Iraqi hospital. The story will still
be done; a fixer friend of Jons who is Iraqi
is back in Baghdad to film and they will direct via the wonders
of the internet.
Speaking of the internet, one thing I noticed in the news
this week is that the U.S. is fifth in the world in terms
of the speed of its internet connections. South Korea is first,
Japan second. That troubled me. Our digital infrastructure
is critical if we are going to compete in the digital age.
The New York Times did an extensive profile of Rupert Murdoch.
The eyes of the journalistic world are upon him as he makes
two steps forward, one step backwards in his efforts in resting
Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal from the hands of the
family that has controlled it for a century. The Wall Street
Journal is often described as the crown jewel
in American journalism. I have never been that much of a fan
and by far prefer the Financial Times of London. Some of my
apathy toward this particular publication came from the days
when they were running an advertising campaign that had as
its tag line something like: The Wall Street Journal, the
journal of the American Dream. When I cancelled my subscription
I was asked why and I told them that they were successful
only 40% of the time in getting it delivered to me. As far
as I was concerned it was the journal of the American nightmare.
Regardless of its status in my mind, Mr. Murdoch is in hot
pursuit and his fabulous life, career and actions are being
scrutinized. Im not sure he notices and if he does,
cares much. He has his own drummer and he marches to its beat.
Christy Whitman, who was Administrator of the EPA and who
declared the air safe in lower Manhattan after 9/11 found
herself enduring a grilling recently as Congress pressed her
for answers as to why so many of the first responders are
falling ill. She was booed by many in the room. Well
be seeing more of this kind of grilling in the years to come.
The Bush Administration which, in its early days, marched
in such lockstep unity that youd think they were being
organized by a Prussian officer seems, from my outsiders
amateur point of view, in a bit of disarray. A confrontation
is brewing between the now Democratic Congress and the Republican
White House over papers refused to Congress by the White House.
Its not pretty; therell be lots of name calling
on both sides.
Tony Blair has stepped down as Prime Minister and taken over
a role as a Middle East negotiator/envoy which is something
Id be more excited about at a time earlier in his career.
He is, I suspect, Clinton brilliant and his effectiveness
may be challenged by his stance on Iraq while Prime Minister.
I have saved the best for last. The world can breathe easily.
Paris Hilton has been released from jail and she has managed
to keep her sanity. Her release caused her neighborhood to
scream for mercy from the onslaught of press who were clogging
their street to cover this major story.
As I watched the Hilton huzzarah, I thought of something Cindy
Sheehan said as she was surrendering her role as peace activist.
She said her son had died for a country that was more concerned
about who won American Idol than they were about the men and
women fighting in Iraq.