Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson is causing quite a stir. (TLC )
After the coffee. Before deciding if I'm supposed to feel guilty watching "Honey Boo Boo."
The Skinny: We are definitely in the dog days of August. Not a lot going on right now. Thursday's headlines include a look at big media's political contributions, Disney's environmental issues and what watching TLC's "Honey Boo Boo" says about us.
Daily Dose: Netflix is getting more movies. The streaming service has signed a deal with RADiUS-TWC, the distribution arm the Weinstein Company. Among the titles Netflix is getting are the comedy "Bachelorette," "Butter," "Only God Forgives" and "The Details."
Something in the water? Walt Disney Co. is being probed by federal and state regulators who fear the air-conditioning system at the media giant's Burbank headquarters had a part in contaminating groundwater in the San Fernando Valley with chromium 6, a heavy metal that can cause cancer. This is a little too complicated of a story for me to digest at this hour, so let's make it simple: Disney is being investigated to see if its air-conditioning system is doing bad things to the environment. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Follow the money. News Corp., Comcast, Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. are betting on President Obama in the upcoming election. The New York Times, citing the nonprofit research group Center for Responsive Politics, noted that the big media companies have contributed far more to Obama than to Mitt Romney. Given that the heads of many media companies lean left, this is not too surprising. While News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch may spend his own money backing republicans, the corporate money is mostly aimed at democrats.
Is it Honey Boo Boo or is it us? TLC's latest hit "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" about a precocious 6-year-old girl and her quirky self-proclaimed redneck family has stirred up the age-old debate about reality TV: Are we laughing at or with them? Notes USA Today: "'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' is either the end of civilization as we know it, or a loving picture of joyous redneck family values." Hollywood Reporter critic Tim Goodman was harsher calling the show "exploitation squared."
James Bond takes on Wall Street. Fabled movie studio MGM is toying with going public and now the Financial Times reports that it may make the move this fall coinciding with the release of "Skyfall," the 23rd James Bond movie. There are very few publicly traded independent studios since most are part of larger media conglomerates.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn looks at the rough ride "Premium Rush" may face at the box office.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter and see the world. @JBFlint.