Media Mashup: September 25, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.46.33 AMMSNBC and Bri Wi: Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me

Bri the Liar returned to the anchor chair, with slightly more than 500,000 people reportedly watching his program between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. Although the spin doctors tried to point out that that was a 76 percent increase over last year, 76 percent of very little is still very little. Maybe Pope Francis rather than Bri Wi was the driving factor for the increase? MSNBC still finished third in the ratings.

The Book: Been Down So Long…

In my misspent youth, I enjoyed Richard Farina’s novel, a slapdash montage of his college experiences in the late 1950s in Ithaca, New York, where I once taught. The novel traces the travels of Gnossos Pappadopoulis, a modern Odysseus in the budding days of counterculture as he tromps through the American West and Cuba during the revolution. Farina, who got some star billing when the book came out in 1966, died two days after the launch in a motorcycle accident. Another classic in the day was “Sometimes A Great Notion” by Ken Kesey. The book used the Oregon logging industry as a backdrop for Kesey’s mad dash. I read the book when I was working in a Montana sawmill.

The First Family and the Pope: A $2,290 Dress for the First Lady reports: “Most Wanted: The Neapolitan ice cream-inspired Kate Spade skirt worn by Sasha Obama to greet Pope Francis at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday. The younger Obama daughter’s pleated polyester, color-blocked skirt quickly developed a fan base on social media. Get it while you can, folks — at $328 it’s already sold out in several sizes. If Michelle Obama’s turquoise, cowl-neck dress was more your taste (and if you don’t mind spending seven times as much), a version of her Carolina Herrera short-sleeve dress can be yours for $2,290. It also comes in green.

Meanwhile, as Pope Francis addresses poverty; Americans wait for their new iPhones. Philadelphians don’t have a chance to get one until after the pope leaves on Sunday. Happy capitalist weekend!

Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to


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