Apple | Bill O'Reilly | John McCain | Madonna | News | Pet Shop Boys | Robbie Williams | Stephen Colbert | Steve Ballmer

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #73

ROBBIE WILLIAMS: Pet Shop Boys-produced new single "She's Madonna".

COLBERT on the O'REILLY FACTOR: With a bit of truthiness.


ESCALATION: John McCain gets the treatment from MoveOn.

O'REILLY on COLBERT (below): Even more truthiness.

Make sure to check out all our guides to the Tube here!

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  1. Loved the Ballmer clip, with his unrehearsed laugh.... Microsoft basically comes back with "hey, we're cheap!! Look how expensive they are, haha... who needs that innovative stuff when we are cheaper?? A $500 phone, who's gonna buy that when they can buy our $99 pile of crap???"

    Reminds me of Detroit auto execs laughing their asses off when Lexus came out... "who's gonna buy one of those $50000 cars??? hahaha who are they kidding, with a car that expensive when people can buy one of our piles of crap for $18K???????"

    Posted by: Pete | Jan 19, 2007 10:19:53 AM

  2. People keep focusing on the price of the iPhone, too, even though after you've bought your PDA or Blackberry, your MP3 player, and your camera cell phone you've spent more than the list price for a new iPhone--it's actually a bit lower in cost for comparable set of features. Add on the wow/cool/style factor, and Ballmer should be laughing that sad laugh. He runs a company that took umpteen years to come out with the underwhelming Vista and was umpteen years behind with the Zune, and he's still playing catch-up.

    Posted by: temeridine | Jan 19, 2007 10:40:51 AM

  3. MSFT - note to Mr. Ballmer,disparaging your competition is not a long-term business plan.

    O'Reilly/Colbert - BORING.

    Posted by: hoya86 | Jan 19, 2007 10:50:00 AM

  4. Whilst Robbie Williams could sing the phone book and have me enamoured, this latest song -- with the hallmark plushy lushness of the PSB's production -- is another major jewel in the crown.

    And thanks, Robbie, for stripping down again in a video LOL

    Posted by: Becks07 | Jan 19, 2007 10:56:35 AM

  5. M$: The CEO is laughing at the iPhone? This, after the [embarrassing] launch of their "killer mp3" player Zune and Windoze Vista. If Windoze didn't operate on open architecture, cheap hardware the world wouldn't be using it, the world would be Mac OS X based. Windows needs to learn some R E S P E C T.

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 19, 2007 11:00:14 AM

  6. I have to say, my heart was warmed by all the Apple/Mac supporters on the youtube comments for the Steve Ballmer video. Gives me hope that people are so dumb afterall lol...

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 19, 2007 11:08:10 AM

  7. I used to have very cautious but very real respect for McCain. But after every decent un-Modern Republican-like thing he does or says, such as speaking movingly at the memorial for Mark Bingham, the out gay man who had campaigned for him when he was alive only to die as one of the heroes who took down the fourth terrorist-hijacked plane on 9/11, he always returns to his most-telling place—with his tongue deep in the ass of the homophobic, undemocratic, unAmerican Right Wing.

    As for the iPhone, as any potential discretionary purchase, inexpensive or expensive, as a man who takes seriously his own sociopolitical responsibility and that of others, my decision is never based solely on "wow/cool/style factor." All other things being equal—intense profit-motivation, ego, nerdiness—I look at Bill Gates and I see a man who is giving hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to fight AIDS, here as well as in Africa, and other life-threatening illnesses, and I look at Steve Jobs and I see a man who has not only not done anything close to that to the best of my knowledge but also, of all the companies participating in the "Red" campaign, greedily, shamelessly, inexcusably sharing the least amount of profits to fight AIDS, in this case the red iPod. Fuck Jobs, and not in the good way, and every product from which he draws a cent, however high its wow/cool/style factor. This is not a man or company we should be celebrating.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 19, 2007 11:10:38 AM

  8. tho the robbie madonna number was a very good watch, it's another example of a strong video totally carrying a lame song.

    Posted by: A.J. | Jan 19, 2007 11:12:44 AM

  9. Leland: While the thought did cross my mind and while I do agree with you to some extent, keep in mind Gates and M$ make millions if not billions more than Jobs and Apple, Inc. As for The Nano Product (RED), it is mandatory that the profit of every Product (RED) item be used in the fight against AIDS in Africa, so I do not agree 100% that the companies are shamelessly being greedy with that campaign. As U2's Bono has relentlessly and steadfastily campaigned for this cause and donated much of his personal time and money into this issue, I must applaud him and all the companies that have made efforts in this tireless battle. If it were not for Product (RED) we would not be having this exchange and the world may not be as aware of the unnecessary pain and suffering of millions of women and children in Africa. While I do not know Steve Jobs' personal charity donations, I will commend Apple for the commitment in environmental recycling and awareness (even though Green Peace claims their efforts to be false, as a "true" environmentalist I work doggedly to ensure the companies I support make efforts in respecting our environment and working to make products that can be more readily recycled). Honestly, it is easy for someone such as Bill Gates who makes $250 every SECOND ($20 million a DAy and$7.8 billion a year) to donate money. Steve Jobs' annual salary is $1 and a net worth Hell, Gates is the worlds richest man with a net worth well over $50 billion, so comparing him to Jobs is (A)pples to oranges (sorry, couldn't resist that pun).

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 19, 2007 12:07:34 PM

  10. Unfortunately, Cory, you misinterpreted what I wrote. :-) "greedily, shamelessly, inexcusably sharing the least amount of profits to fight AIDS" was referring ONLY to Jobs—in contrast to the other "Red" campaign participants.

    I think the Red campaign is BRILLIANT, salute Bono et al., for the idea, and those companies whose donation percentages dwarf Jobs' red iPod donations. I don't know what you meant by Jobs being in "net worth Hell," nor the current state of Argentina, but no one should be crying for Jobs, who, as of a year ago, had a personal worth of $4.4 billion and rising with a bullet as they say. Apple could tank tomorrow and as the single largest Disney Corp. [another paragron of greed] stock holder, he'd be well-stocked in mirrors and fawning employees and consumers for quelle some time.

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 19, 2007 1:14:42 PM

  11. Laugh you fat piece of zune. MS never made an honest buck "innovating" anything, and it's about time they're exposed for the cheap corporate pirates they actually are.

    Bring on iPhone!

    Posted by: nuflux | Jan 19, 2007 2:02:36 PM

  12. steve ballmer is a tool.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 19, 2007 2:40:35 PM

  13. Is it just me or is that Ballmer guy the epitome of the "PC" in those clever Mac ads?? LOL! I guess there is truth in stereotypes...

    Posted by: Chad | Jan 19, 2007 3:11:23 PM

  14. I love how Steve Ballmer makes the (erroneous) assumption that anyone buying a multi-tasking phone (smart phone?) is a business person or bean counter who needs a keyboard. Note to Steve: We aren't all business people, nor do we want to be. Some of us want electronic products that are elegant, intuitive and stylish. My prediction is that due to their innovation and the ease of use of their products, Apple, Inc will overtake Micro$oft within the next ten years.

    And Leland, I agree with you that Bill and Melinda Gates are to be commended for donating hundreds of millions of dollars (or is it billions of dollars?) to fight diseases, including HIV/AIDS, both here and abroad. Their humanitarian work cannot, in my opinion, be faulted. I have deep respect and admiration for them both. Unfortunately, I've never liked Microsoft's products. I find their software to be less than intuitive and, for someone like me who is not a gearhead, that is a huge drawback and an obstacle in getting me to purchase their products.

    As for Apple donating less of the profits from their (Red) product line to AIDS, that is not a criticism I've heard previously. Do you know for a fact that Apple is donating a smaller percentage of profits from those products than other companies are doing?

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 19, 2007 3:30:29 PM

  15. Peter, it's difficult to compare companies' contribution exactly because the terminology/formula varies from product to product, and, in some instances, the cost of the product itself. There are other product tie-ins, but focusing on the ones likely to involve the most consumers, and per the official Red campaign site:

    The GAP appears to have the most generous formula. From their wide assortment of Red products, "50% of the profits" will go to the AIDS fund. An additional appeal is that some of the articles are actually made in Africa, thus bringing money to the local economy directly.

    "40% of gross profit margin from sales of all Emporio Armani Red products," but, of course, what does "gross profit margin" mean exactly.

    Converse falls far behind The Gap and Armani, as they will be donating only 15% of the "net retail sales"—whatever that means.

    "In the US, a $17 contribution is made on the sale of the red MOTORAZRT V3m phone." Assuming that the Red phone will be offered in the ways other cell phones are, i.e., less or more expensive depending on whether one buys it outright or with a plan, the percentage of profit that $17 represents will vary greatly, and we have no way of knowing what the phone costs to make to start with. That $17 measured against the percentage of likely profit on the phone at list price [$249.99] might not be much, but you can also get it, with a Sprint plan and rebate, for as little as $14.99. As phone price/calling plans profit sharing is all voodoo to me, I can't say anything more than
    that under that more likely scenario, on its face, Motorala is giving more to AIDS than the consumer pays for their phone.

    My argument about Apple derived from the fact that no remotely similar opportunity exists for a huge bump in the percentage of profit their donation represents. Apple only give a flat $10 for each iPod nano (PRODUCT) REDTM Special Edition purchased. While I have seen regular nanos slightly discounted at Costco and on Amazon, the "special Red" only seems to be available from Apple. $10 is just over 5% of the $199 purchase price. Their donation actually goes down to just over 4% if you buy the 8 GB nano at $249. Percentage of profit, again, is hard to measure, because we don't know the cost to make, but given that they are typically made in China and by the millions of units, I doubt if they cost much to make. I doubt $10 represents "50% of the profits" as with GAP or even 40% of the "gross profit margin" of Armani. Apple does donate "10 percent of your $25 purchase price," but what percentage of iTunies buy that way?

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 19, 2007 6:03:08 PM

  16. That is, "Apple does donate "10 percent of your purchase price" of a $25 iTunes card, but what percentage of iTunies buy that way?

    Posted by: Leland | Jan 19, 2007 6:07:36 PM

  17. I'm surprised that someone (Ballmer) so high up in the tech world is so ignorant of phone prices. There are several phones much, much more expensive than the iPhone... like that g-e-o-r-g-i-o-u-s Bang & Olufsen number... the 'Serene.' It's twice the price... and for me more practical.

    Posted by: Dustin | Jan 19, 2007 11:42:27 PM

  18. 4. Your information was so-so. Still I agree with you that doing Charity is very good. It helps people who are really in distress. And it’s my personal opinion that every person who is living a wealthy life, must Donate money of a little amount of their wealth to help others. Donate money, Help a cause

    Posted by: Donate money | Mar 2, 2011 5:23:56 AM

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