All right, raise your hand if you thought for a second that the "rapture" was coming at 6 p.m. Saturday?
OK, now, how many of hadn't heard anything about the coming rapture?
Of course you heard about it. It was all over conventional media, and was a major topic on Twitter and Facebook. It was the subject of both smarty-pants tweets (really, most folks on Twitter aren't as funny as they think they are); and you saw it as the focus of more serious news stories about apocalyptic cults of the past.
This silly story came from an obscure old radio preacher named Harold Camping who runs something called Family Radio International.
Of course it was a harmless story – except maybe for the small group of faithful who took it seriously. But it was ridiculous.
And it's the latest of a string of ridiculous news stories that have a far larger impact than the serious stuff, like the continuing nuclear crisis in Japan (when was the last time you heard about that?) and an unsettled Muslim world dealing with a series of continuing revolts against the old order along with the fallout from the U.S. raid that took out Osama Bin Laden.
For a few weeks, we kept hearing more "birther" nonsense from Donald Trump during his fake presidential campaign. It sounds to me like he was lying when he claimed his "investigators" were finding all sorts of interesting stuff on Barak Obama's birth. Nobody with any information has reported talking to any such investigators.
Early polls showed Trump heading the pack of Republican presidential candidates. Of course, he was just the best known among a pack of little known candidates. Any political analyst who pretended Trump was really a contender was filling air time (or news hole, as they say in the print news biz).
His private and business life present enough questions to ruin any candidate, and, of course, he announced last week that he wasn't running for president, but was really, really excited about next season's "Celebrity Apprentice." He did that even though he was convinced he could win.
Over the weekend, Seth Meyers on "Saturday Night Live," which airs on the same network, NBC, as Trump's show, jabbed back that his confidence was "pretty bold when you consider that he's not even winning his time slot."
With the rapture passed and Trump's presidential campaign officially over, we still have the coverage of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his personal problems to fill the news hole.
Hey, Ah-nold is far more entertaining than that never-ending story of flooding in Louisiana.
On TV: First, he ripped the U.S. version of "The Office" on his blog after its Thursday night season finale, then "The Office" creator Ricky Gervais backed off a bit. "People must understand that being exec producer on a network juggernaut with tons of politics and billion dollar committee decisions, is going to instil different types of pride and loyalty than a tiny show created from scratch which you then write, direct and star in and talk about for 10 years."
- In case you've been asleep for the past few months, Oprah Winfrey's final three episodes start airing today at 4 p.m. on Channel 12.
- "Community" creator and ComedySportz veteran Dan Harmon is the subject of "Harmontown," at Los Angeles' Meltdown Comics, tonight at 8 p.m., if you happen to be in the neighborhood. It's billed as "an unflinching glimpse into the deep, dark, vodka-filled craters of his moon-sized mind. Evening may include ineffectual rants, embarrassing stories and a more or less failed attempt to come off like Spalding Gray."
- Adweek reports that Guy Fieri isn't being shown the door on Food Network, where he's been omnipresent, even though the production company for his "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" has been dumped.
Milwaukee on film: Here's a glimpse of the Milwaukee Art Museum in a clip from the upcoming "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," thanks to Yahoo Movies.
With scenes filmed in Milwaukee, Michael Bay's movie – starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro –
is scheduled to open around the country on June 29:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.