Does Mel want out of Sunrise? Seven’s Sunrise has seen its ratings slide to where rival Today can now see itself overtaking later this year. Word from Nine is that Today is a protected species as David Gyngell wants one win over Seven in the news and current affairs area. So it must be concerning to Seven that there are rumours drifting around Sunrise that the program’s anchor, Mel Doyle, wants out. I’ve heard that she has been talking to senior management about her future.

But there’s also the question of Seven shares, or so I have heard. I don’t quite know what that means, but could it be that Seven has been topping up its stars’ contracts, like Ms Doyle’s, with Seven shares. Like Sunrise’s ratings, Seven shares looked good last year with the price well above $14, but now they are around half that at $7.51 yesterday. Other Networks have done that in the past, most notably the old Bond Media which loaded all the employees up with shares and options which turned out to be worthless. And some at Nine received PBL shares (and Ecorp shares as well) in days gone by, or so the network scuttlebutt said at the time. But Seven needs Mel Doyle on Sunrise now more than ever while it gets to grips with trying to repel Today. — Glenn Dyer

The Law’s a winner. Over at Nine there’s a gobsmacked employee or three after rumours spread of just how much PBL Media Chief Exec Ian Law is reputed to be paid by the company. The figure mentioned is $8 million. I don’t know whether that’s all cash, but the talk is of that figure. If true, that’s an astounding figure. It would make him more highly paid than any executive in a listed media company, all of which earn profits, unlike PBL Media, which is burdened with $4 billion plus in debt, thanks to the generosity of CVC to James Packer. If Ian Law is receiving that sort of money, David Gyngell must be on at least half that. Law’s salary makes the $5 million still being paid to Eddie McGuire look cheap. No wonder CVC is after cost cuts. — Glenn Dyer

Compare and contrast: Why Dubya is Batman by Andrew Klavan and Andrew Bolt. On 25 July, The Wall Street Journal‘s Andrew Klavan deemed The Dark Knight a thinly disguised portrayal of George W Bush as… Batman :

A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds…

Oh, wait a minute. That’s not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like … a “W.”

There seems to me no question that the Batman film The Dark Knight, currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past. 

In fact, the argument has been going on for a little while. Foreign Policy even put together this handy compare and contrast chart.

On 30 July, the Herald Sun‘s Andrew Bolt was having similar thoughts:

Finally Hollywood makes a film that says President George W Bush was right.

But director Christopher Nolan had to disguise it a little, so journalists wouldn’t freak and the film’s more fashionable stars wouldn’t walk.

So he hides Bush in a cape. He even sticks a mask on him, with pointy ears for some reason.

Sure, when the terrified citizens of Gotham City scream for Bush to come save them, Nolan has them shine a great W in the night sky, but he blurs it so it looks more like a bird.

Or a bat, perhaps…

And they hate him also as many Europeans hate Bush, for showing that what protects their world are not ultimately the laws they pass, but a violence that intimidates them, because they cannot match it.

They hate him as many once hated Ronald Reagan for defying a Soviet Union they feared would fight back.

They hate him as Melbourne University’s hand-washing Professor Tony Coady, for one, can now afford to hate the men who dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, deploring this war-ending attack as “an act of terrorism far greater than any single act of terrorism since by non-state actors”…

Daily Telegraph photo madness #1. Today those cheeky subs at the Daily Tele are spruiking their man in Beijing, Garry Linnell. We hope that he’s being well paid for his efforts (lord knows what they say about their enemies). Still, we’re sure he’s used to it from his time as news & current affairs director at Channel Nine.

Daily Telegraph photo madness #2. A pregnant woman is a pregnant woman. That’s the Daily Tele policy. So why shouldn’t the pictures of pregnant prost-tutes caught in a recent sting…

be used again to illustrate another story about a pregnant woman? This time it was the story of an unidentified woman who’d fainted and sustained head injuries. Still, there are similarities… 

Chinese not happy Jun at sneak peek of opening ceremony.  Beijing South Korean television station Seoul Broadcasting Station (SBS) on Wednesday broadcast secretly filmed portions of a recent dress rehearsal for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. That is a huge upset for the organizers of the Beijing Games, who have turned the opening ceremony into a state secret, requiring all employees to sign confidentiality agreements and deploying massive security during rehearsals at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing … it appears that Bocog, as the Games organizer is known, is acting swiftly to get the clip taken down from other sites, including… —  Wall Street Journal China blog

The clip is below. Hard to know how long it will last on YouTube. Huffington Post is hosting too if that goes down.

Lessons from S-x and the City. CBS anchor Katie Couric appeared on The View Wednesday morning and reiterated her position that she has “no plans” to leave CBS News after the election — and she revealed an interesting strategy for coping with bad press: turning to S-x and the City … [Couric] explained how she has dealt with the negative press surrounding her possible departure and her broadcast’s sluggish ratings — specifically how she handles that with her daughters (Carrie, 12, and Ellie, 17): “Carrie once said, when I was kind of bummed out about something somebody had written that was really nasty and had nothing do do with my abilities or my journalistic abilities… she said, “Mom, remember what Samantha said in S-x and the City : If I listened to what every bitch in New York City said about me, I’d never leave the house.” — The Huffington Post