But it was just a matter of time before the usual culprits on the left would attempt to make an issue of it, in what seems to be an effort to gin up some reason for the talk show host not to have an ownership stake in an NFL team. And, MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't waiting for pointers from the left-wing blogosphere to set the "Stop Rush's Bid for the Rams" agenda. He took it to Limbaugh on his Oct. 6 program immediately.
"There's also some comical football news out there," Schultz said. "The drugster's talking about buying the St. Louis Rams. That's right, the leader of the Republican Party is bidding for ownership of a team that's been giving more money to Democrats than any other team has over the last 10 years, at least that's what the survey says. He'll have to do something about that I'm sure."
Democratic strategist Paul Begala can be relied upon to use the “drug card” against Rush Limbaugh whenever the talk radio host is brought up, and he was true to form on Tuesday’s Situation Room. When anchor Wolf Blitzer asked what it would mean if Limbaugh bought the St. Louis Rams, Begala snarked, “Just don’t put him in charge of the team’s drug policy....Don’t give him access to that medicine cabinet” [ audio clip from the segment is available here].
Blitzer brought up Limbaugh just after the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour during in a panel discussion with Begala, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and CNN personalities Gloria Borger, Joe Johns, and Jessica Yellin. The anchor asked Johns, “Rush Limbaugh- he’s thinking about buying, or at least, participating in a group that’s buys the St. Louis Rams in the NFL....What, if anything, would that mean for the St. Louis Rams?” Johns replied, “Probably very little....you know, [if] you’ve got a good football team in a place...like St. Louis, people are going to watch. And so what if Rush Limbaugh is the owner” [see video from the segment below the jump].
In a display of the ever lowering standards by which the media judge Barack Obama’s presidency, on Sunday’s CBS Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer downplayed the President’s failed Olympic bid: “this is going to come as a surprise to some but the world did not end Friday....a lot of people thought it might if the President flew to Copenhagen and failed to bring home the Olympics.”
Schieffer went on to chastize those who speculated that Obama would take a political hit for such a failure: “Washington spent most of the week gnashing its teeth about whether he should have gone. Republicans accused him of dereliction of duty. Some in his own party shuddered at the possible humiliation of it all. Frankly, it didn’t seem all that big a deal to me.” He added: “I said at one point that if a trip to Copenhagen took his presidency over the side then it wasn’t much of a presidency.” Schieffer was referring to his defense of Obama’s trip on last week’s Early Show.
Wrapping up his end-of-the-show commentary, Schieffer argued: “If he wanted to give his hometown a boost, why not? Chicago is part of America the last time I looked.” He then sarcastically declared: “Anyway he’s back. Nothing happened. When I drove in this morning, the Washington Monument was still standing.” So as long as the nation’s capital isn’t crumbling to the ground, Obama is doing a fine job.
World News host Charlie Gibson appeared bewildered on Friday as ABC broke into regular coverage to report the "stunning," crushing" news that Barack Obama had lost his bid to secure the 2016 Olympics for Chicago. The anchor reported live from the disappointed city and fretted over how this failure was a "kick in the pants for the President." Clearly, the network bought into the hype that the President would certainly convince the International Olympic Committee.
An ad on Thursday’s World News hyperbolically announced: "Tomorrow, a big day in Chicago. After a star-studded push, it’s Olympic decision day. And Charlie Gibson is there in the heart of it all. And the winner of the 2016 games is?" On Friday, a dejected Gibson announced " A crushing defeat for the city of Chicago..." As he introduced George Stephanopoulos, the anchor mourned, "A stunning result as far as the city of Chicago is concerned." Stephanopoulos, also shocked by the President’s failure agreed, "This is just stunning, Charlie."
The glum host of This Week opined, "But, for Chicago to be the lowest ranking city in this means somebody wasn't counting the votes well at all. And this will open the President up to some criticism of those who say what happened to his powers of persuasion?"
On Friday’s Newsroom, CNN anchor Tony Harris apparently couldn’t believe the news as the International Olympic Committee eliminated Chicago, as well as Tokyo, from consideration as the deciding body made its final votes on which city would get the Olympic Games in 2016.
Within the course of just over a minute at 25 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour, Harris uttered the phrase “Chicago is out” four times as IOC President Jacques Rogge read the results of the second-to-last round of voting. He first whispered the statement, and then repeated it much louder, this time with clear amazement and/or disbelief in his voice. The anchor stated it the third time in the same manner.
As CNN tried to get confirmation from their correspondent in Copenhagen, Harris used the same shocked tone of voice to list the cities that were still in: “Madrid is still in!? Tokyo is still in!? (The Japanese capital had actually been eliminated with Chicago.)” The anchor didn’t mention the actual other city that was still in, Rio de Janeiro, before exclaiming again, “Wait a minute! Chicago is out!?”
Our friends at Townhall.com captured Harris’s moment of utter disbelief for posterity (see below the jump):
Good Morning America correspondent Yunji de Nies on Thursday touted White House talking points when she highlighted Michelle Obama’s pitch for the 2016 Olympics to be in Chicago. De Nies parroted, "We're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done." She was "told" this?
Was she also told that the First Lady would "bring down the house" or that "Michelle will hit a home run?" De Nies was in Copenhagen, covering the lobbying by Mr. and Mrs. Obama and Oprah Winfrey to the International Olympic Committee. De Nies also enthused, "And the President and First Lady will share the stage at that final presentation. We're told that he will focus on the big picture, while she will get very personal. She'll speak from the heart."
Who would have thought Karl Marx would rear his ugly head at the US Open. But some liberals just could not help attributing Serena Williams's match-ending outburst in her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters to class warfare.
Here's what happened. Williams supposedly foot-faulted on her second serve to put Clijsters one point away from the match. Rather than challenging the call or sucking it up and moving on--as any respectable tennis player would--she threw a tantrum, and told the line judge she was going to "shove this ball down your f***ing throat." There are also reports of her uttering some 'motherf***ers' afterward.
She lost the point, and was penalized another, giving Clijsters the match. This was her second outburst of the match. After losing the first set, Williams smashed the frame of her racquet on the court. These outbursts would be unacceptable at any level of play, let alone in Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open.
In the world according to U.S. News & World Report contributing editor Bonnie Erbe, voyeuristic video of a female sportscaster primping naked in a hotel mirror is ultimately, in part, the blame of female sportscasters and sports fans.
In Erbe's July 27 blog post, the PBS "To the Contrary" host notes that she wishes "women would stop propping up men's sports" and that this type of a perverted incident would not happen "if women didn't attend NFL games or NBA games, or even watch them on TV to help drive up ratings."
Erbe adds that if they do this, "they would be doing more to stop men from behaving badly than they could ever do otherwise." By that logic, women should just stay out of anything that is predominantly male, in order to keep men from fantasizing and becoming perverts. Erbe went on to explain the popularity of the story on the Internet by explaining, without any awareness of the irony that:
Perhaps it was her attack on his NBC "Football Night In America" colleague Keith Olbermann that spurred this reaction. But, for whatever reason, Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King dedicated a paragraph to conservative heroine Ann Coulter in the unlikeliest of places.
King, without citing the specific instance, aimed his attack at Coulter in his March 16 "Monday Morning QB" Sports Illustrated.com column. It made No. 10, Section b in the article headline "Ten Things I Think I Think."
In his column "Exposing the Truth About Exposing the Truth," New York Times sportswriter Harvey Araton defended his "good friend" Selena Roberts -- a former Times sports columnist now reporting for Sports Illustrated -- from "misogynist ravings" launched after her recent reporting on steroid use by Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez.
Roberts has Rodriguez dead to rights on his steroid use and even made him cough up a public apology for previously lying about it. But Araton failed to reveal his former colleague's own sexist attacks and unfair persecution of Duke lacrosse players when they were falsely accused of raping a stripper in 2006. The case fell apart, and the Times, which pushed hard for the prosecution on its front page, came off looking both vengeful and pathetic.
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased a segment on Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps caught smoking marijuana: "Also, so far there seems to be little fallout for Michael Phelps following publication of that photo showing him inhaling -- what looks like to be inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Should there be outrage?" When he later introduced the segment, Smith argued: "So far there hasn't been much negative reaction to the photo showing Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps smoking what appeared to be marijuana. A few years ago, it might have ruined his career. Maybe it's a sign of changing attitudes."
Correspondent Randall Pinkston reported on Americans’ "changing attitudes": "The seeming lack of outrage may reflect America's changing attitudes towards marijuana...While a majority of Americans still oppose legalization, a new CBS News poll shows a big swing in opinion in recent years. 27 percent supported legalization in 1979. 41 percent support it today." Pinkston even touted the drug use of Democratic presidents as proof: "Even attitudes from the nation's leaders have changed. While Bill Clinton famously said he tried it but never inhaled, President Obama has acknowledged he did try marijuana while in high school."
Many big ads in the big game were salacious or juvenile – or both.
Super Bowl XLIII was difficult to watch with children. Instead of being an opportunity to teach about discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, the subject all-to-often was sex. At least nine of the big game’s bigger commercials used sex to help sell products. Barely covered breasts were heaving, racecar driver Danika Patrick was showering while by being leered at by young men and women either took their clothes off or had them blasted off.
Family viewing this wasn’t.
The Super Bowl advertising spectacle is arguably almost as important a tradition as the game itself. The idea, of course, is that because the firms are paying a fortune for air time, advertisers will pull out the stops to produce memorable (and hopefully funny) commercials. This year, the first half of the formula worked well. NBC reportedly sold out, at a record $3 million per 30 seconds. Some advertisers did manage to field clever, funny, innovative and otherwise effective spots. But many fumbled their opportunity. Whether it was far too suggestive sexual content or just juvenile slapstick, the finest minds in advertising went right for the lowest common denominator.
Banned from the Broadcast
Before we get to the ads that America saw on Super Bowl Sunday, a word about two it didn’t. NBC refused to accept two commercials for the broadcast. In the first instance, it deserves kudos for the refusal.
Had it run, “Veggie Love” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would unquestionably have been the least appropriate Super Bowl ad of the year – perhaps ever. The hyper-sexual spot from PETA features women in negligees who apparently find vegetables quite a turn-on. NBC said the ad didn’t meet its standards.
The Super Bowl is - or should be - typically a family-friendly event: an annual occasion in which dad, mom, and the kids gather around their television set to see the top two NFL teams battle it out, enjoy an entertaining half-time show, and laugh at the ridiculous commercials. But as of late, the Super Bowl entertainment has been controversial, and this year is no exception.
Two naked women in a shower or a woman exposing her "enhanced" chest in front of the Congress? You choose!
That's right. This year, godaddy.com has asked people to vote on their website for which revealing ad of Indy racer Danica Patrick they would like aired on Super Bowl Sunday.
After the 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" controversy affectionately now known as "Nipplegate," many wonder why NBC would air such a commercial. But NBC apparently has some standards, as it has recently rejected the animal rights group PETA's sexy vegetable ad. An NBC spokesperson told the Washington Post that "the ad was rejected because it did not conform with our standards."
Chinese divers won a record seven gold medals during the 2008 Olympics. But even they didn't leap as headlong into the Beijing tank as did NBC. That's how you might describe the collective verdict of the Fox News Watch panel this evening on NBC's regime-friendly coverage. The subject arose as part of the show's Year in Review, and began with a clip of Matt Lauer unctuously questioning a ChiCom official:
MATT LAUER: There's a recent poll that said some very high percentage of the people in China are happy with their lot in life. Something around 80%. You compare that with the polls in the United States that say only about 25% of Americans are. What's the root of their happiness here?
View video here. The panel lit into the network's coverage, with even the liberal-leaning Jane Hall and Kirsten Powers joining the NBC-scorching consensus.
As some of you may have heard, New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress carried an unlicensed handgun into a New York nightclub (is there any other kind of handgun for a private citizen in New York?), and put himself on the disabled list by shooting himself in the leg.
This is the latest in a series of gun-related, ah, fumbles by NFL players in recent months, and Feinstein uses it as an excuse to call for repeal of the 2nd Amendment, and to launch a broadside at those who might disagree.
Peripatetic New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was in China for the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and his Wednesday column "A Biblical Seven Years" praised the host country for the Games' "magnificent $43 billion infrastructure," built over the past seven years while the U.S. has been stuck fighting Al Qaeda. Friedman also praised the Communist nation's "planning, concentrated state power" and "national mobilization." Don't those words have more than a little echo of Stalinism?
After attending the spectacular closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics and feeling the vibrations from hundreds of Chinese drummers pulsating in my own chest, I was tempted to conclude two things: “Holy mackerel, the energy coming out of this country is unrivaled.” And, two: “We are so cooked. Start teaching your kids Mandarin.”
Jay Mariotti, a firebrand sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, announced he is quitting the print biz loudly proclaiming that newspapers are "dying" and that he didn't want to go down with the ship of the struggling industry. Naturally, the management of the Sun-Times is not amused.
Mariotti told Chicago's CBS 2 news that newspapers are in serious trouble and he wanted out before he was forced out. "It's been a tremendous experience, but I'm going to be honest with you, the profession is dying,'' Mariotti told CBS 2, "I don't think either paper [Sun-Times or Chicago Tribune] is going to survive.
Keith Olbermann has forgotten the figure-skating judge's cardinal rule: be sparing in the marks you award early contestants, to leave room for the favorites who perform at the end. After his gushing appraisals of Michelle Obama's and Hillary's convention speeches, how can Olbermann possibly top it in his praise of Biden's and Obama's to come?
Mixing metaphors here, let's compare the baseball scoring the Morning Joe crew gave Hillary's speech at show-opening today with Olbermann's assessment of last night. As you'll see, they range from solid single to Keith's grand slam. As for utility infielder Mark Warner's "keynote": has he considered giving up baseball and taking up knitting?
Orlando Magazine (FL) published the amazing life's story of Florida artist Mark Pulliam in their August issue. It was an amazing story of a man who seemingly did everything. Played Major League Baseball, hobnobbed with the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna, and Tiger Woods as well as finding great success as a local artist. Oh, it seemed a whirlwind life. One little problem. Little of it was true and Orlando editor Mike Boslet want you to know he's sorry.
Unfortunately for Orlando Magazine, they simply took Mark Pulliam's word for it all, ran with the story, and were informed by readers that many of the details didn't seem to pan out. So, on second look, the editors of Orlando sent an investigator to track down the various factoids that Pulliam told them about his personal history. It turned out little of what Pulliam claimed was true.
In a recent interview with USA Olympics basketball team member Kobe Bryant, NBC Sports reporter Chris Collinsworth seemed to question Kobe's patriotism when the player said that he was proud to wear the team USA uniform. Wondering if it was "cool" to be proud of being on Team USA, Collinsworth seemed to surprise even Bryant with the temerity of the question. Why Collinsworth wouldn't think it would be "cool" to be proud of being on the American Olympic basketball team is anyone's guess.
In a portion of the interview, Kobe began to say how thrilled he was to get his Team USA uniform and that he "just stared at it" for a while in awe. Collinsworth followed that heartwarming display of patriotism with a jaw dropping series of questions. Worse, he asked these questions with an absurd smirk stealing across his face, seeming to think that he was about to join Kobe in cynicism over the evil America with his doubting Thomas questions.
While the Washington Post's Beijing-based Ariana Eunjung Cha should be commended for her reporting on Beijing's restrictions on the exercise of religion by Olympic team chaplains, the paper's headline editors clearly dropped the ball in titling her August 14 headline: "Some Olympians Dissatisfied With Religious Center."
The casual reader might say, "so what," and breeze past the article. After all, any Olympic Games is bound to garner a host of logistics and aesthetics complaints from athletes, coaches, media, and tourists on a whole host of things. But the substance of the story is not so much on the subjective and sometimes picayune complaints of athletes and coaches but rather in the tightly-restricted manner in which the Communist Chinese government is providing for the spirital welfare of the Olympians.
Could the NBC honchos be a tad touchy about criticism of the Beijing Olympics—especially when it comes from its own talent pool? Was there a kernel of truth in Mika Brzezinski's light-hearted warning that MSNBC's Morning Joe crew would "get a call" if it persisted in its mocking of the games for whose broadcast rights the Peacock Network has over the years paid billions?
When the subject of the Olympics arose during the opening segment of today's show, the panel went into an extended coughing fit, coupled with cracks about tanks in Tiananmen Square. Mika joined in the joshing for a while, before finally putting her foot down . . .
The Cornell golf club championship is next weekend, and I had been planning [brag alert] to defend the senior men's title I won last year. But now, I just might have to think about entering the women's division instead. The field is much smaller, not nearly as tough, and playing from the red tees should give me quite an advantage. But what if tournament organizers balk at my entry, you ask? No problem. I'd just toss down a copy of Jennifer Finney Boylan's New York Times op-ed column of today. The thesis of The XY Games is that "gender is malleable and elusive," and that since "most efforts to rigidly quantify the sexes are bound to fail," the Olympic authorities [and surely the Cornell golf club] shouldn't really bother to try.
Finney Boylan goes so far as to assert that the Olympic medals Stella Walsh won in women's sprint events shouldn't be stripped posthumously despite an autopsy revealing that Walsh had male sex organs [and an ambiguous set of chromosomes.]
Writes Finney Boylan of Walsh [emphasis added throughout]:
She should be celebrated for her accomplishments as an athlete, not turned into an asterisk because of a condition beyond her control.
The triumphant fact of a life lived as a woman made Walsh female, and the inexact measurements performed by strangers cannot render her life untrue.
There's no political bias here, but given the interest many of our loyal readers have for college football, the relatively slow news week we're having, and the fact that's it's fun to beat up on Newsweek, here goes.
In a recent "CW Look at Summer Fashion Trends" Newsweek's Conventional Wisdom feature promised a look at "what's hot for this year's hot weather." Among the nods of approval, an up arrow to jean shorts:
They're back like Indiana Jones. Tuck a T shirt into a high-waisted pair.
While it sounds facetious, could this be a subtle ploy to boost readership by University of Florida alumni? [click here, watch intro] If so, isn't that a poor move that could alienate other readers in the SEC?
For more background into the "Gators Wear Jean Shorts" taunt, check here.
Hey, did you know that Barack Obama is young and energetic? Also, he's a real go-getter with a drive to win. Did I mention that he's young? That's the underlying message of lowered expectations and hipness from the June/July Men's Fitness article, "25 Fittest Guys In America." MF lumped Obama in with elite athletes, such as an Olympic boxer, an Ironman triathlete, three mixed martial artists and several professional sports stars in its annual list of “25 Fittest Men in America.”
MF revealed that Obama was “a bit of a baller” in his youth and stays in tip-top shape with hotel weight machines or a “brisk” 45-minute run as well as “mostly” avoiding fatty foods. Wow. That sounds like a brutal regimen of moderate daily exercise and a reasonable diet. How does he do it? What, no kudos for eating his vegetables or walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator? Obama was even credited for giving up smoking, which he didn't exactly do.
MF's article may be stealth campaigning, but it still managed to raise the hopes of schlubs everywhere by including Obama on a “fit" list with top-ranked athletes (bold mine):
In the wake of the infamous (and illegal) antics of the New England Patriots, having admitted they repeatedly and blatantly broke the rules and cheated during their Super Bowl run of the early 21st century, a story appeared in the Boston Herald newspaper that the Patriots had taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough prior to beating the heavily favored Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl. Since the Patriots are admitted cheaters, this was not a stretch of the imagination, especially since a member of the Patriots' video staff- one who illegally taped other team- was setting up while the Rams were walking through their game plan. However, the story has not been corroborated by anyone, and the member of the Patriots' staff who did most of the illegal taping told the NFL commissioner that he had no knowledge of anyone doing said taping, and that he certainly did not. Following this, the Herald and its reporter, one John Tomase, have apologized- and on the front page, no less. Tomase wrote on the HErald's website today
"First and foremost, this is about a writer breaking one of the cardinal rules of journalism. I failed to keep challenging what I had been told," wrote John Tomase in Friday's editions of the newspaper. Tomase explained what led up to the publication of the Feb. 2 story, which appeared one day before the Patriots' 17-14 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. The Herald on Wednesday apologized for the story, after former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he did not tape the walkthrough and did not know of anyone who had.
Aren't southern gentlemen supposedly chivalrous? Yet Joe Scarborough, son of the Florida Panhandle, today exploited Mika Brzezinski's less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of sports to lure his Morning Joe colleague into agreeing that the famous former coach of the Indiana University basketball team was none other than . . . Bear Bryant.
The jumping-off point was Joe's wearing of a red sweater today, which as a running gag he claimed was in solidarity with the workers of the world on this, May Day. But when Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a Hillary supporter, came on toward the end of the show, Scarborough pressed the sweater into double duty.
Cindy Brunson's report on Lorena Ochoa's winning streak wasn't a mere double-bogey. Think of it as a shank into the lake, or better yet, that most inept stroke of all: a total whiff. Apparently desperate for a feminist angle on Ochoa's success, the ESPN News anchor decided to drag Title IX and the ERA into her account.
Ochoa's victory at the Ginn Open was her fourth LPGA win in a row. Here's how Brunson reported it during the 5 AM ET edition of ESPN News:
CINDY BRUNSON: It's been 45 years since we've seen someone on the LPGA Tour win four straight tournaments in as many weeks. Back when Mickey Wright pulled off the winning quartet in 1963, both Title IX and the Equal Rights Amendment were still ideas, not laws. And to world's #1 Lorena Ochoa, admittedly feeling fatigued after winning in her native Mexico last week, but poised to rewrite the record books in Tigeresque fashion Sunday.
New York Times reporter Katie Thomas embraced radical chic near the end of her front-page story Tuesday on the prospect for political protests at the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China.
Perhaps the best-known examples are the American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who at the 1968 Games in Mexico City raised their clenched fists on the medal podium during the playing of the national anthem in a salute to black power. The action enraged the Olympic organizers, and Mr. Carlos and Mr. Smith were soon ushered out of the country. Now, 40 years later, their action is celebrated as heroic.
Raising a "Black Power" fist in defiance of the national anthem qualifies as heroic in the mind of the Times?
Radical Pan-African activist Stokely Carmichael, who coined the phrase, said of his movement:
When you talk of black power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created.