This week on the podcast, we got the full contingent back on the bus to break down all the news in a busy week. We parse that Buzzfeed article claiming the President instructed his attorney to lie to Congress, we get granular on the all the shut down machinations, including the “If I can have my SOTU, you can’t go to Europe on a government plane” brouhaha. Then, our friend Chris Scalia joins to discuss his newest passion: TV theme songs. Think Rob Long and James Lileks have a few opinions on this topic? Nahh.

Music from this week’s episode: As Long As We Got Each Other by B.J. Thomas

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There are 63 comments.

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  1. Member

    I’m sorry for the loss of your family Rob. I hope your faith and family are a comfort to you in this time.

    • #1
    • January 18, 2019 at 10:45 pm
    • 2 likes
  2. Coolidge

    Condolences on the loss of your father. I am glad your family managed to stay together and be close. Its in the tough times we realize how important they are.

    I think when there are Star Trekkie Matter Transport devices, there are still going to be those folks who just can’t make it to family gatherings.

    Also did you guys have a bet, on how often you could use the word “Shibboleth” in one conversation?

    • #2
    • January 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm
    • 2 likes
  3. Podcaster

    Rob mentioned how theme songs dated back to the days of radio. Original themes were quite rare though, mostly it was a popular song that someone plucked out of thin air (The Love Nest from the 1920 Broadway show Mary became associated with George Burns and Gracie Allen) or it was associated with a singer featured in the show (Where the Blue of the Night was a 1931 hit for Bing Crosby and stayed with him for his career.)

    Jack Benny was less than thrilled with Love in Bloom. Reading the lyrics, “Can it be the trees that fill the breeze with rare and magic perfume,” he exclaimed, “What the hell does that have to do with me?”

    In late 1940 ASCAP, the music licensing agency, demanded hefty increases from the networks. On January 1, 1941 the nets started a 10-month boycott of ASCAP properties and started up the rival BMI. All of the theme songs disappeared overnight until ASCAP lowered their demands.

    During the boycott singers like Crosby and Sinatra ended up singing a lot of old songs in the public domain. Stephen Foster enjoyed a mini-revival.

    • #3
    • January 19, 2019 at 8:24 am
    • 5 likes
  4. Thatcher

    Condolences for the loss of your father, Rob. You have mentioned him several times and I know you and your family miss him even as you celebrate his life.

    Having lived on the Delmarva Peninsula for decades now, I visit Baltimore frequently and love many of its neighborhoods–some are gradually returning to their former glory as others continue to decay. One particular favorite is Patterson Park–now a thriving neighborhood of rowhouse architecture surrounding a crown jewel of a park (derelicts and syringes notwithstanding).

    • #4
    • January 19, 2019 at 9:53 am
    • 1 like
  5. Thatcher

    First off, my condolences to Rob and his family. 

    This brought back memories. When I as a kid, I really liked TV themes songs, and somewhere in my folks’ house is a cassette tape where I recorded the themes I liked, including A-TeamKnight RiderCheers. I recorded them directly from the TV, headphone out, aux-in :) I think it was John Williams’ score of Star Wars that got me interested in movie soundtracks, but other than agree with James in his opinion about Williams, that is another discussion.

    They mentioned Mark Mothersbaugh; I was never a Devo fan growing up, but I’m amazed by his credit list as a composer. Given my attitudes toward pop music at the time, I never would have predicted that route for him.

    Isn’t the TV theme song also victim to the greater advertising time that is being required? I just looked in Netflix and saw that for Cheers, episodes were 24 min at the start and 23 at the end. For That 70’s Show, episodes in the first season ran 22 min, and the last ran 21. So between 1982 and 2006, the half-hour show shrunk by 10%. One way they can get back story time is to eliminate the theme song. 

    Finally, was the noise that was coming through from Rob’s end simply his beard rubbing up against whatever mic he was using? (If he still has his beard)

    • #5
    • January 19, 2019 at 10:02 am
    • Like
  6. Thatcher

    OK, so now we are in the next day and apparently the Buzzfeed report is not correct…does that make sense to Rob?

    • #6
    • January 19, 2019 at 10:20 am
    • 3 likes
  7. Coolidge

    First , condolences to Rob and family.

    Rob seems to be blaming Trump for having enemies as if the Demo/Media complex would have treated Romney, who also had a business career, any differently . Their short game is to exhaust the public with blockbuster ‘news’ stories usually on Friday with a bonus on holiday weekends to be chewed over all weekend before petering out around Tuesday , last week Russian agent, this week suborning perjury, next week maybe income taxes or campaign finance or his wife’s shoes, any tool to hand.

    Their long game is to see to it that no outsider tries this again and if he does he will find that no one will work for him for fear of prosecution, perhaps part of Trump’s staffing difficulties. Only tame Republicans who have never been outside of the government bubble will be allowed near the levers of power, just near them mind you, never to actually wield them.

    The left gave us the plan in the 60s when they said ‘the issue is not the issue, the issue is never the issue, the issue is the Revolution’.

    Also, we need an LQBT-like acronym as shorthand for the usual accusations hurled our way, racist, sexist, homophone etc, RSM….I can’t remember them all .

    • #7
    • January 19, 2019 at 10:39 am
    • 8 likes
  8. Thatcher

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    OK, so now we are in the next day and apparently the Buzzfeed report is not correct…does that make sense to Rob?

    The plausibility of the claims will not change. The probability of them being accurate has plummeted, but Rob’s point was that given what is known, at least by him, about real estate developers in New York and the individuals involved, a claim like Buzzfeed’s is not outside the realm of that plausability. 

    On the flip side, it is also reasonable to believe that Buzzfeed does not have a serious journalistic ethos/ethic, and that they would take any opportunity to run with something damaging to Trump, before verifying the validity. Therefore, yes, it would make sense that the report is not correct.

     “IF” is getting a lot of use these days…..

    • #8
    • January 19, 2019 at 11:18 am
    • 1 like
  9. Coolidge

    My condolences to Rob, and his family.

    • #9
    • January 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm
    • Like
  10. Inactive

    As the BuzzFeed episode proves, Rob, Peter and James are all perfect conservatives for the Democrats — easy to stampede.

    They are the kind of Republicans that much of the rest of the Right has grown very tired of listening to: diffident and passive in the face of liberal aggression, willing to believe the worst of their own side and alternating between chin-pulling and forelock-tugging.

    The first 20 minutes of this podcast amounted to a witty whine about how awful it is to have Donald Trump as President. That is what passes for entertaining banter with this trio. It’s somewhat like a civilized version of a dialogue between Rick Wilson and Mike Murphy — fine, if that’s what you want to support with your money.

    Many of us would prefer a little diversity of viewpoint, perhaps by adding someone who, when he decided to offer a defense of Trump, didn’t have to preface his words with a phrase like, “Let me be the devil’s advocate here.”

    Ricochet is Rob and Peter’s candy store. They ain’t going anywhere. But James Lileks is a hired hand.

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump enthusiastically.

    • #10
    • January 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Admin

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump.

    Fact check: Peter Robinson voted for Trump.

    • #11
    • January 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Inactive

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump.

    Fact check: Peter Robinson voted for Trump.

    Fixed it.

    • #12
    • January 19, 2019 at 2:52 pm
    • Like
  13. Member

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jswHsTJQL_c

    Great theme song, still listen to Jan Hammer regularly.

    • #13
    • January 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm
    • Like
  14. Admin

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump.

    Fact check: Peter Robinson voted for Trump.

    Fixed it.

    So it’s not enough that he voted for the President, now there is a litmus test for his attitude about it at the time? Good to know.

    As has been stated and practiced many, many times, we have pro-Trump guests on this show ALL THE TIME. As this was the first show we have done with all three guys in almost a month, we thought we’d give them one segment to catch up and talk amongst themselves. If that plan offended your sensibilities, well, jeez, with all due respect — maybe just use your fast forward button?

    • #14
    • January 19, 2019 at 3:12 pm
    • 5 likes
  15. Inactive

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump.

    Fact check: Peter Robinson voted for Trump.

    Fixed it.

    So it’s not enough that he voted for the President, now there is a litmus test for his attitude about it at the time ? Good to know.

    As has been stated and practiced many, many times, we have pro-Trump guests on this show ALL THE TIME. As this was the first show we have done with all three guys in almost a month, we thought we’d give them one segment to catch up and talk amongst themselves. If that plan offended your sensibilities, well, jeez, with all due respect — maybe just use your fast forward button?

    Don’t be obtuse. The first 20 minutes was predominantly a reaction by Rob, Peter and James to the BuzzFeed report on subornation of perjury, not some “Hi, how are you? What have you been doing to stay busy?” chatter. 

    They approached a story that was too good to be true and, because of their prejudices, took it seriously. They were victimized, once again, by Fake News that the media put out to defame Trump and end his presidency. Worse, they proceeded to elaborate on what a bum that guy Trump must be — with no contradiction.

    Sober observers of the current scene, such as Ricochet’s former star Mollie Hemingway, advised a wait-and-see attitude from the moment this “story” broke. She wasn’t stampeded like so much of our gullible media — the word “impeachment” was used over 200 times that day on MSNBC — but our trio immediately was ready to believe the worst. (By nightfall, they all must have been doing their best “Emily Litella” impressions.)

    I can accept such herd-like behavior on CNN or MSNBC. Their hosts are uniformly Democratic party men. But I’d really like some restraint applied to the Flagship podcast, the kind of restraint that having a Trump-supporter onboard would provide.

    You can give Lileks another one of his own podcasts as compensation for replacing him.

    I promise to fast-forward right through it.

     

    • #15
    • January 19, 2019 at 3:42 pm
    • 1 like
  16. Member

    This one was excellent – got better and better as it went along! May I suggest that you stick to one guest when each host is present? I suspect I’m not alone in listening for the trio and taking the guest as lagniappe.

    Which brings me to the comment above. Were you here during the Presidential election? I thought Mr. Robinson has swung very hard for Trump since he won the primary. Not that there are many class acts to pick from these days, but, of that rare lot, I can’t think of anyone in the public sphere who did so before Peter.

    But beyond that: Drop Lileks?

    Thats just silly.

    • #16
    • January 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm
    • 6 likes
  17. Admin

    On a more pleasant note (pun intended), this is one of my favorite TV themes:

    • #17
    • January 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Reagan

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    Replace him — with someone who voted for Trump.

    Fact check: Peter Robinson voted for Trump.

    Fixed it.

    So it’s not enough that he voted for the President, now there is a litmus test for his attitude about it at the time? Good to know.

    As has been stated and practiced many, many times, we have pro-Trump guests on this show ALL THE TIME. As this was the first show we have done with all three guys in almost a month, we thought we’d give them one segment to catch up and talk amongst themselves. If that plan offended your sensibilities, well, jeez, with all due respect — maybe just use your fast forward button?

    One thing I like about the Flagship Podcast is that it is Pro-Trump without beating me over the head.

    Peter Robinson is such a sweet man, I can’t be angry at him for being Pro-Trump.

    James Lileks is the glue that holds the show together. When Rob is gone, he keeps the conversation going.

    And Rob Long? He’s a co-founder. Thank you so much!

    • #18
    • January 19, 2019 at 6:39 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Moderator

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but Ricochet needs more @jameslileks, not less.

    • #19
    • January 19, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    • 5 likes
  20. Contributor

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    But James Lileks is a hired hand.

    Thanks; appreciate it.

    You think I do this because I’m paid? 

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    Sober observers of the current scene, such as Ricochet’s former star Mollie Hemingway, advised a wait-and-see attitude from the moment this “story” broke.

    Yes, that’s why my initial reaction was “Distrust but verify.” Fell for it completely.

    • #20
    • January 19, 2019 at 8:06 pm
    • 7 likes
  21. Member

    I happened to be talking about an old show with a friend, one of the first shows to appear on the new Fox broadcast network (not Fox News): “The New Adventures of Beans Baxter.” Turns out, the opening/intro/theme was a minute and a half!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDWT70OKDyI

    And, it was another creation of Savage Steve Holland.

    • #21
    • January 19, 2019 at 11:07 pm
    • Like
  22. Member

    And James, you can use transporters if you like, but I won’t.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQZzSrAIp-E

    • #22
    • January 19, 2019 at 11:23 pm
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    Also, James, I knew the name Frank De Vol instantly. In addition to his many writing credits under his full name or just DeVol, Frank De Vol actually appeared in the fake-talk-show TV series-es “Fernwood 2Night” and “America 2Night,” starring Martin Mull. He was bandleader Happy Kyne, of Happy Kyne And The Mirth-makers. Martin Mull was talk-show host Barth Gimble, “identical twin” brother of his character Garth Gimble, from “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” who died on that show by drowning in a bowl of soup. Fred Willard was his sidekick.

    • #23
    • January 19, 2019 at 11:34 pm
    • 1 like
  24. Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And James, you can use transporters if you like, but I won’t.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQZzSrAIp-E

    I always thought they could use it to cure diseases like cancer, or broken limbs or even aging. 

    • #24
    • January 20, 2019 at 5:02 am
    • Like
  25. Member

    The videogame Soma discusses the nature of individuality and consciousness.

    • #25
    • January 20, 2019 at 7:13 am
    • Like
  26. Member

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    And James, you can use transporters if you like, but I won’t.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQZzSrAIp-E

    I always thought they could use it to cure diseases like cancer, or broken limbs or even aging.

    Well they got a lot more off the deep end into what I call “transporter magic” in TNG, and especially the Animated Series. But considering how it “must” work (at least based on what they showed – I’m open to the possibility of discovering some OTHER means that doesn’t destroy the original, but that’s not what they gave us in Star Trek) the transporter would create a COPY without cancer etc, but it still wouldn’t be YOU.

    • #26
    • January 20, 2019 at 9:48 am
    • Like
  27. Member

    I was appalled to hear a Buzzfeed story discussed so seriously. Buzzfeed for God’s sake. 

    A loved one of mine was recently falsely accused – fortunately the victim recanted, but it still nearly ruined his life. 

    Cops told him the next time, even if it was the same lying accuser, it would be taken much more seriously and his life would in Fact be ruined. 

    That’s what this constant drumbeat of “breaking news” reminds me of, and I’m disappointed to hear Serious people take it serious. Every false accusation is taken more seriously because of the string of false accusations that preceded it 

    color me seriously disappointed. 

    • #27
    • January 20, 2019 at 10:22 am
    • 1 like
  28. Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    I was appalled to hear a Buzzfeed story discussed so seriously. Buzzfeed for God’s sake.

    A loved one of mine was recently falsely accused – fortunately the victim recanted, but it still nearly ruined his life.

    Cops told him the next time, even if it was the same lying accuser, it would be taken much more seriously and his life would in Fact be ruined.

    That’s what this constant drumbeat of “breaking news” reminds me of, and I’m disappointed to hear Serious people take it serious. Every false accusation is taken more seriously because of the string of false accusations that preceded it

    color me seriously disappointed.

    I put the blame for a lot of this at the feet of people like Jonah Goldberg who can’t seem to let an opportunity pass to Dump On Trump. And once there, something like “loathsome” is bound to be part of it. They seem oblivious to how their supposed “just saying what I think” ends up coloring the whole issue, not just for themselves but for others too. When you can’t hear “Trump” without hearing “loathsome” or “sleazy” or whatever too, why be surprised when even otherwise-sensible people are far too willing to believe the worst, right off the bat and without any corroboration, even if it comes from known-unreliable sources? I don’t know if Buzzfeed has credibility even approaching that of The National Enquirer.

    • #28
    • January 20, 2019 at 10:42 am
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    agreed @kedavis. 

    Jonah Goldberg and David French behaved particularly loathsome on Twitter re: this non story. And JGs response/excuse when called out by Mollie Hemingway made it even worse. 

    • #29
    • January 20, 2019 at 10:52 am
    • 1 like
  30. Thatcher

    Rob, I’m praying for you and your family.

    • #30
    • January 20, 2019 at 11:00 am
    • 1 like
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