It was certainly no surprise that NBC's "Saturday Night Live," in its most recent installment, lampooned Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
However, despite doing a nice job of mocking Biden and host Gwen Ifill -- masterfully played by guest Queen Latifah -- the butt of most of the jokes was cleary Palin who was once again portrayed by Tina Fey (video embedded below the fold, photo courtesy Huffington Post):
If that isn't quite egg we spot on Kathleen Parker's face, perhaps it's the product seen at the right . . .
Last week, Parker became, overnight, liberals' favorite non-liberal pundit for her column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket. She described Palin's interview performances as painful, cringe-inducing, and filled with "BS." Concluding that Palin is "clearly out of her league," Parker suggested Palin announce she was quitting to spend more time with her newborn.
Parker is back with her post-debate column in today's Washington Post. The very headline, "Sarah Palin's Bridge to Somewhere," is a tacit admission that Palin has a political future. "What did they do with the other Sarah Palin?" is Parker's opening line. It sounds almost like a complaint, as if Parker is dismayed to have the Palin that made the author famous pulled out from under her.
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has put out three new ads in the last few days attacking Sen. John McCain's health care plan, two of which focus on the proposal of a tax credit.
The Obama campaign is telling viewers McCain will tax their health benefits. Sen. Joe Biden, Obama's running mate, told viewers of the October 2 debate the same thing. The mainstream media aren't correcting them.
The accusations are wrong. McCain is replacing one tax break with another - one that is much more generous and will be especially helpful to people who are uninsured.
Here's how McCain's plan works:
If you're insured through your employer: You already are getting a tax break - worth about $4,200 to the average American family. You don't see it because your health insurance - which is part of your compensation package - is tax-free.
McCain's tax credit of $5,000 for a family would replace this $4,200 break you're currently getting - and then some.
Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift was diplomatic, but her message was clear: because Sarah Palin remains doubtful of getting a fair shake from the MSM, she wants to take her message directly to the American people. Swift, speaking on behalf of the McCain-Palin campaign, made the remark in response to a question from this NewsBuster during the course of a conference call this afternoon.
Swift took the question after making opening remarks in which she said that Governor Palin won last night's debate in part because she was able to connect with Americans as "a person from the middle class who [expressed] the real anxieties that families have about our economy right now." After suggesting that Senator Biden didn't connect as well, Swift added that Biden made a significant number of incorrect statements "that kept the fact-checkers busy."
It was then that NewsBusters had the opportunity to pose its question. Listen to audio here.
Despite "Today’s" earlier praise of Sarah Palin’s debate performance, Amy Robach managed to assemble seven "undecided voters" (and reported that five voted for Bush) who did not express high opinions of the Alaska governor. On the October 3 edition, Robach found women voters she identified as undecided and from key battleground states. Although the discussion began with two of the women offering positive remarks about Governor Palin, the positive feedback ended there.
Polling these seven women, Robach found "nearly every one" held a less favorable view of Sarah Palin after viewing the debate. One voter claimed Palin "has sealed the deal for me" and she "is in no way ready...to be vice president." Another "made up [her] mind" because "Palin didn’t do it for me." Curiously, one "undecided" voter wanted a candidate that would "end the war" and because of Biden’s promise she was swayed to the Obama/Biden ticket.
All week leading up to Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, NBC’s Today show suggested that the Republican vice presidential nominee could be a disaster on stage, pointing out how “conservatives question her qualifications;” “the McCain campaign is worried;” “Palin stumbled again;” and “not ready for prime time.”
But on Friday morning, after Palin proved the hand-wringers wrong, co-host Matt Lauer suggested that the “melt down” expectations were never the right yardstick for pundits. Lauer asked Tom Brokaw: “Everything you read and hear about the debate this morning is going to say that Governor Palin exceeded expectations, but in your opinion did she exceed expectations simply because she didn't melt down on the stage or did she show the kind of grasp of the issues and the subjects required to hold the second highest job in the land?”
Remember the furor and the comedic punch lines as a result of Sarah Palin’s statement, implying that she needed someone to clarify the role of the Vice President?
Well, brace yourselves for a similarly overwhelming media reaction to Joe Biden’s solution on where one can locate the definition of the Vice President’s role – Article I of the Constitution.
Problem being, it’s actually Article II.
To most, this will simply constitute another famous Biden gaffe. However, Biden was so forceful and patronizing in his argument during last night’s debate that Dick Cheney should realize ‘Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president,’ that it bears pointing out.
The full excerpt from the debate follows (h/t to Michelle Malkin):
Poor Joe. Ann Curry is concerned that the senator from Delaware was the victim of a double-standard during last night's debate that caused him to hide his light under a barrel. The Today show co-anchor [subbing for Meredith Vieira] expressed her misgivings this morning to Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
ANN CURRY: But he restrained himself to some degree. I mean, she called him "Joe," he called her "Governor." She attacked him, he didn't attack her. Do you think there was a double-standard at play here? Did Joe pull down his full game, and did that hurt him last night--and his ticket?
This morning, Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, appeared on Fox News's Fox & Friends to answer a few questions about tonight's vice presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden.
Grabbing the headlines the past few days has been the news that Gwen Ifill, debate moderator, has written a book subtitled "The Age of Obama" which is set to be released on the day of the inauguration of the next president in January. A win by Barack Obama could positively impact book sales and have caused some to question the impartiality of Ifill.
Surprise! Joy Behar thinks Gwen Ifill, with her conflict of interest, should step aside from moderating the vice presidential debate. Could it be Joy attempting to establish herself as an independent thinker? Not likely. Joy explained, on the October 2 edition of "The View," that Ifill should not give "Palin’s side any excuse to not step up to the plate."
Earlier in the broadcast, when each panelist posed their hypothetical questions to Senator Biden and Governor Palin, Joy Behar claimed "according to what I [Behar] read" Palin allegedly supported forcing rape victims to pay for their kit due to opposition to the "morning after" pill. Surprisingly, Whoopi Goldberg countered Joy with "it’s not true" and thoroughly explained that Sarah Palin had no say in the rape kit matter.
While the networks scrutinize Republican Sarah Palin’s every comment for evidence that she’s a dimwit unqualified for the vice presidency, there’s been barely any discussion of how alleged foreign policy expert Joe Biden was dreadfully wrong in 2006-2007 in his fierce objection to the troop surge strategy in Iraq, which has led to a massive reduction in U.S. and Iraqi casualties and prevented a complete collapse and civil war.
When Biden was picked in late August, the networks touted Biden’s “wealth of experience” and “long record of accomplishment” on foreign policy (CBS); his “deep foreign policy experience” (NBC); and “foreign policy expertise” (ABC). But only NBC’s Tom Brokaw, interviewing Biden on the September 7 Meet the Press, actually confronted the Democratic vice presidential nominee with his strident opposition to the surge, telling Biden: “All the indications are the surge has worked up to a point.”
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor reported on the upcoming vice presidential debate by declaring: "35-year Senate veteran Joe Biden versus the upstart from Alaska, Sarah Palin, the surprise VP pick, whose credentials have been questioned after a series of attention-grabbing interviews." Despite referring to Palin as an "upstart," Glor also pointed out Biden’s failings: "If Palin has been accused of saying too little since joining the ticket, Biden, in his past, has said too much...Notable foot-in-mouth comments and old plagiarism accusations put pressure on him, too." Glor also played a clip of one of Biden’s well-known gaffes: "You cannot go to a Seven Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
In a later segment, co-host Harry Smith interviewed Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and asked about some of her recent comments regarding Biden’s verbal missteps: "Speaking of Joe Biden putting his foot in his mouth, you said sometime in the last 24 hours or so, I'm getting this off the Kansas City Star website: ‘My friend, Joe Biden, has a tendency to talk forever and sometimes say stuff that's kind of stupid’...how worried are you about him tonight?" McCaskill admited: "Yeah. That was my Joe Biden --that was my Joe Biden moment yesterday." Mentioning Biden’s gaffes helped to balance out co-host Maggie Rodriguez’s hostile interview with Fred Thompson, in which she asked: "The McCain campaign has been spending a lot of time lately having to defend her and a growing number of Republicans are criticizing her for her perceived lack of knowledge, or at least inability to discuss important issues."
Friday’s Washington Post carried an ad from PBS touting their two TV debate moderators: "Objective. Impartial. Independent. The NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer and Washington Week’s Gwen Ifill bring PBS’s tradition of integrity to the most important conversations in America – so you can make up your own mind."
Sadly, that ad is not accurate. Even before addressing whether "independence" is demonstrated by Ifill writing a new book celebrating Barack Obama’s bold "Breakthrough," Ifill’s questions in the vice presidential debate in 2004 displayed an undeniable bias against Vice President Cheney.
There's one good reason Gwen Ifill, the host of the PBS show Washington Week, is moderating the vice-presidential debate: she has a forthcoming book about Barack Obama (and other black Democrats) called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Ifill talks about the book project on YouTube here.
In addition to her portrait of Obama, Ifill will also investigate Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a close friend of Obama's; Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who Ifill describes as "very charismatic" in the video; and Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama. "They all chose to get into politics for the most upstanding of reasons, and they all have achieved much more than their parents could have hoped." It doesn't hurt that it's made Obama a mega-best-selling multi-millionaire author.
The wording may be a tad nuanced, the referenced two-bit dictator from a different country, but the idea behind the following jokes involving Barack Obama and the race card seems too similar for mere happenstance.
Judge for yourself.
On September 19, conservative blogger Jim Treacher wrote the following fictious exchange between "President" Obama and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that seems eerily similar to the one presented on the most recent installment of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (video embedded right, relevant section at 3:30):
MSNBC may have dropped Chris Matthews as “news anchor” of major political news events, but he was a major presence during coverage of Friday’s debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Immediately following the debate and in a special Hardball that aired at midnight EDT, Matthews insulted John McCain as “troll-like” and insisted the Republican nominee showed “contempt” for Obama by looking at moderator Jim Lehrer instead.
But Obama was sensational, correspondent Andrea Mitchell gushed: “He seemed to be a lot more genial than you might have expected. But, boy, he did show a command of foreign policy in terms of the nuts and bolts of it.”
"The View" co-hosts, who seemingly have difficulty understanding the Constitution, have demonstrated their lack of understanding in economics. Recapping Friday’s presidential debate on the September 29 edition of "The View," co-host Sherri Shepherd wondered how we can raise taxes. Whoopi Goldberg replied "it’s not going to happen. We are in too much financial trouble. We can’t."
A very brief lesson in economics will explain to the co-hosts that financial crisis may be the time to reduce taxes. It certainly is not the time to raise taxes as Herbert Hoover demonstrated possibly aggravating and prolonging the Great Depression. According to economist Art Laffer, in his theory "The Laffer Curve," sometimes reducing taxes can in fact generate more revenue. While the other "View" co-hosts fretted about taxes, Elisabeth Hasselbeck cited Barack Obama in possibly scaling back on extravagant spending promises.
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen declared: "Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket." In the segment that followed, co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly proclaimed: "...the question a lot of Americans are asking this morning, including some prominent Republicans, is whether Sarah Palin is ready." Correspondent Jeff Glor then explained: "Sarah Palin has mostly been kept away from reporters but the interviews she has done are raising eyebrows."
Glor went on to cite one conservative columnist calling for Palin to step down: "But even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker who said 'Palin is clearly out of her league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race." Based on that, Alex Burns from politico.com concluded: " I think there are a small number of people who will publically say that they're worried about her abilities as a candidate. I think there's a larger number of people who privately express kind of muted criticism and concern."
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III appeared this morning on the Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends to discuss the media's nearly unanimous acclamation of Illinois Senator Barack Obama as the winner of last Friday's Presidential debate.
Mr. Bozell noted one of the few press exceptions, Newsweek, who gave the nod to Arizona Senator John McCain, but pointed out that they then said of the win, "Who cares?"
Mr. Bozell also discussed Sen. Obama's continuing to wear and discuss the bracelet of fallen soldier Sgt. Ryan David Jopek, and how his family has been asking since at least March that he stop doing so. Mr. Bozell pointed out that if the tables were turned, and it was Sen. McCain refusing the repeated requests of the family of KIA Cpl. Matthew Stanley, whose bracelet he wears with their continued blessing, the media would be apoplectic.
Barack Obama's desultory debate performance has left Maureen Dowd in the dumps. Her weekend column is a laundry list of Sunday-morning quarterbacking. Dowd's biggest beef is Obama's failure to have goaded McCain into a damaging display of ill-temper. Just for fun, let's meander through Maureen's musings.
The president . . . is so insecure that he could only choose a vice president he knew would never hold his title.
The MSM portrayed Bush 41 as lacking in self-confidence by taking, in Dan Quayle, a VP who wouldn't overshadow him. Now Dowd depicts Bush 43 as insecure for taking a strong Veep. Damned if you do, etc.
When the latest installment of Saturday Night Live parodied Friday’s presidential debate, the NBC comedy program gave attention to Barack Obama’s connections to convicted criminal Tony Rezko, corrupt Chicago politics, and Obama’s recent attempts at "playing the race card," which notably are all matters that the mainstream news media have given little attention to. While the show also took a number of shots at John McCain, several times having him propose a bizarre gimmick like challenging Obama to a pie-eating contest for example, the Illinois Senator also received several noteworthy jabs. One line involved McCain’s character, played by Darrell Hammond, referring to Obama, played by Fred Armisen, as making an earmark request titled "Tony Rezko Hush Money." Obama’s character also bragged that his tax cut plan would benefit Chicago politicians and city employees "because my plan would not tax income from bribes, kickbacks, shakedowns, embezzlement of government funds, or extortion."
The Obama character later promised that he would "play the race card" against dictators like North Korean President Kim Jong Il if necessary to guilt-trip them into dismantling their nuclear programs, as he would accuse Kim of refusing to cooperate with him because "I’m not like the other guys on the $5 and $10 bills."
Watching Saturday’s network morning shows, the talking heads seemed to agree that Friday night’s debate did not produce “a clear winner” or any “knockout punch,” and that it was unlikely that any “needle was moved” among undecided voters. Yet those same networks tried to also argue that Obama had really won the debate, superficially suggesting that McCain’s “disdainful” body language poorly contrasted with the “warm” and “deferential” Obama.
On style, “Barack Obama did a much better job,” ABC contributor Matthew Dowd asserted. NBC’s Chuck Todd insisted that “McCain barely could look at Obama, was disdainful at times, almost annoyed that he was having to share the same stage....Here was Obama being deferential, and here is McCain being disdainful.”
Andrea Mitchell gave it the old Hollywood try for Obama this morning. Summarizing the debate on Today, Mitchell managed to cobble together a video clip that showed McCain's only stumble, while snipping out what many including her colleague Chris Matthews saw as the debate's most salient feature: the multiple times Obama expressed agreement with McCain.
And so it was that Andrea treated us to McCain's difficulties in pronouncing "Ahmadinejad." But the eight times Obama abjectly agreed with McCain? Not a one made it into the Mitchell editor's cut. Then there was Andrea's parting shot:
The only question is whether in some of the reaction shots [McCain] looked too angry and dismissive of an opponent who seemed determined to remain cool.
Awarding Barack Obama two grades of A-minus and one B-minus while presenting John McCain with two grades of B-plus and one B-minus, at the end of his “Nightline Report Card” segment on Friday night, ABC's George Stephanopoulos declared Obama the “winner” -- with a big illustrative check mark on screen:
Bottom line, the winner is Barack Obama. He comes into this race where the country wants change. His number one goal was to show that he belonged on that stage. He was a credible commander-in-chief, that he could hold his own on national security. He did that tonight. He gets the win.
The grades from the ex-Democratic operative: On “Strategy,” Obama an A-minus, John McCain a B-plus; for “Style,” Obama another A-minus, McCain another B-plus; and on “Accuracy,” Obama got his lowest grade, a B-minus, McCain a B.
In recent memory, every presidential debate eventually distills down into a few catchphrases. Al Gore became known for his sighs and love of lockboxes. John Kerry actually served in Vietnam. Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.
Barack Obama has a bracelet, too.
That inartful comeback will likely filter out through the political ether in the days ahead. What might not filter through our partisan press is that shortly after pointing out that, like John McCain, he sports a bracelet given to him by a military family, Barack Obama had to stop and look down find out the name of the soldier he's honoring.