Monday evening, Tonight Show host Jay Leno joked about Wall Street reform. As reported on The New York Times's Web site, he said:
Last week, President Obama gave a speech in New York City about his plan to reform these rules on Wall Street, you know? And one embarrassing moment. When the head of Goldman Sachs was going through security, he was asked to empty his pockets and five Republican senators fell out.
The truth, of course, is that Goldman Sachs has consistently given much more money to Democrats than to Republicans. For the 2008 election cycle, as detailed at OpenSecrets.org, 75 percent of the almost $6 million in political contributions made by the investment bank's political action committee and employees went to Democrats. Goldman Sachs's donations made it the second-biggest contributor to Obama’s presidential election campaign.
Leno's gag would have been funnier, I think, if it weren't so misleading.
Bringing his belittling commentary toward conservatives -- disguised as comedy -- to a wider audience, on Wednesday’s Tonight Show on NBC Bill Maher repeated some of the lines he’s spewed in recent weeks on his HBO show. Maher used the sexually-derogatory “tea baggers” term as he credited Tea Party activists for getting the health care bill passed:
I'm sure they're saying, “What are you talking about, Bill? I was so against the health care bill, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging from my hat, dressed up in my founding fathers costume with a picture of Hitler, you know, and Obama's face on him and, you know, screaming about his birth certificate.” And America saw that and said: “What loons. We're going with the calm black man.”
On Palin: “Sarah Palin screaming about death panels? You know what, Sarah, if we were killing off useless people, you'd be the first to know.”
"The View" co-host Joy Behar isn't known for being the most graceful person, but for whatever reason she has managed to land her own cable news show and is now a sought after personality for shows like NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
"Oh yeah, Glenn Beck - I can't take a man who cries," Behar said. "I mean, it's enough on my wedding night I had to watch that. You know what I mean? I can't, but -- he does. He talks about me. I'm on his list of ‘I Hate Glenn Beck.' It's like being on Nixon's enemies list. I loved it. But I don't hate him. I don't hate him."
On Wednesday’s The View on ABC, during a discussion of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s standup comedy routine from Tuesday night’s Tonight Show on NBC, The View co-host Joy Behar downgraded Palin’s performance asserting that her confidence on stage came across as unusually "delusional" for a woman trying to do standup, and suggested that Palin is "almost delusional" to believe she could be President: "The thing that fascinates me about her is her confidence as a standup. It took me so long to get that confidence. It’s the same confidence that she has that she thinks she could be President. It’s almost delusional."
After co-host Sherri Shepherd theorized that having confidence would help Palin run for President, Behar went on to suggest that Palin does not really plan on such a run because choosing to work at FNC would make her seem too conservative to appeal to moderates and, though she may have been referring to Democrats with presidential ambitions as she seemed to ignore MSNBC figures like Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chuck Todd and Howard Dean who all have histories of involvement with the Democratic party, Behar went on to assert that "you don’t see the Democrats hosting shows on MSNBC."
Behar: "Don’t you think that the fact that she’s a commentator at Fox positions her to be too far to the right to be attractive to middle Americans, to people who are moderate? ... but if you’re too far, you don’t see the Democrats hosting shows on MSNBC."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, March 3, The View on ABC:
Sarah Palin said Tuesday the mainstream media is quite broken.
Speaking with "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, the former Alaska governor said she joined Fox News "to build some trust back in our media."
"Those years ago that I studied journalism, it was all about the who, what, when, where and why," she continued. "It was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories...Americans deserve to have more of that factual fairness."
Of her own treatment by the media, she quipped, "It's like the old saying where a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth even has a chance to get its pants on in the morning" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, media discussion begins at 3:41, bonus coverage of Palin doing stand up routine at end of post):
NBC's Jay Leno on Thursday mocked his employers over rumors that his new program is about to be canceled.
During the opening monologue of "The Jay Leno Show," the comedian joked about having spoken to CBS "Evening News" host Katie Couric: "You know, she left NBC for another network. I gotta give her a call, see how that's working out."
The former "Tonight Show" host then suggested that if he does get canceled, he should do some traveling: "I understand that Fox is beautiful this time of year."
Finally, he told sidekick and bandleader Kevin Eubanks that NBC stands for "Never Believe Your Contract" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Remember Barack Obama's pipe dream put forward during the 2008 presidential election cycle - that he was going to usher in an era of "post-partisanship" and change from "the politics of usual" in Washington? How's that working out? Not so well according to NBC "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory.
Gregory appeared on NBC's Dec 21 "The Tonight Show" and was asked by host Conan O'Brien about the prospects of health care reform becoming a reality - which Gregory praised as some sort of monumental achievement.
For several years as uneducated sycophants in the media gushed and fawned over every utterance from former Vice President Al Gore, NewsBusters has informed readers of just how absurd the junk science he's peddling really is.
Last Thursday, NBC "Tonight Show" viewers got a perfect example of how the Nobel Laureate basically makes things up, and that his poor grades in college were quite an indicator of just how little he understands about science.
So egregious was his departure from reality that the following clip should be mandatory viewing for all his fans in the media who seem to be just as scientifically-challenged (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Hot Air):
It's not too often where both a prominent conservative and a prominent liberal would deviate from their ideological consensus on a particular issue.
However, the news of the day - Chicago being beaten out by Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is one such instance. MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, who identifies himself as a conservative, said he was glad President Barack Obama gave it shot in an Oct. 2 post on the Huffington Post.
Ironically, the editor of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, who is identified as a progressive, said on NBC's Oct. 2 "The Jay Leno Show" that Obama shouldn't have gone to Copenhagen - but not for the reason a lot of critics are suggesting.
Michael Moore, the man of many hats - documentary filmmaker, political scientist and now, singer.
Moore has been making the rounds to promote his new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story." On NBC's Sept. 15 "Jay Leno Show," Moore appeared and was asked what was wrong with capitalism.
"Capitalism is actually legalized greed," Moore said. "There's nothing wrong with people earning money, starting a business, selling shoes. That's not what I'm talking about. We're at a point now Jay, in this country, where the richest 1 percent, the very top 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined."
"I think right now for example, this health care debate looks like it's - we could lose it because I don't think [Obama] he has been tough enough," Maher said. "You know, he used to say in the campaign, ‘It's your time.' This is his time. He should get mad, stop [expletive] around."
One of the hurdles Obama is facing to get his brand of health care made law is some of the more moderate Democrats in the Senate aren't willing to agree to the far-reaching plan Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership want. Maher said it really didn't matter what they thought.
On Monday’s Tonight Show on NBC, Jay Leno incorrectly called New York’s former Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer a Republican during the show’s monologue as he joked about Republican sex scandals. Inspired by John McCain’s daughter Meghan’s recent declaration that she is a "pro-sex Republican," Leno used her comment to poke fun at Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, as well as Democrat Spitzer, who were both revealed to have hired prostitutes. But Leno’s joke assumed both disgraced politicians were Republicans: "Don’t confuse that with other Republicans like Senator Vitter and Eliot Spitzer. They like to get their sex from a pro."
If Leno was confused about Spitzer's party affiliation, it is hardly surprising, as the MRC’s Brent Baker previously documented the mainstream media’s reluctance to label Spitzer as a Democrat, and Rich Noyes documented the media’s greater willingness to label Republicans involved in sex scandals.
Below is the complete text of Leno’s joke from the Monday, May 25, Tonight Show on NBC:
Today's Los Angeles Times has a story about freelance comedy writers who get paid for their jokes submitted to late night comics that actually make the cut and air in a monologue. Times staffers Matea Gold and Richard Verrier report that "For some late-night hosts, the laughs come cheap."
But alas, it's actually a violation of labor contracts for late night shows to pay freelancers. What's more, with Conan O'Brien acceeding to Leno's throne in June, the practice is expected to stop altogether for NBC's "Tonight Show."
O'Brien is one of the few late-night hosts to refuse freelance jokes, and East Coast guild officials usedhis move to privately remind their California counterparts of the prohibition.
"Conan is one of the key players in this industry, and we knew he was pure on this issue," said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA, East. "This was just an opportunity to let the West know that this was a culture that was moving west. We just want to encourage that culture."
At the top of the Saturday Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge took a critical look at President Obama's recent media tour: "The Obama blitz, the President’s appearing everywhere but is his media tour taking attention away from his message?" In a later report, correspondent Kimberly Dozier highlighted Obama’s Tonight Show Special Olympics gaffe as evidence: "It can and did go a little bit wrong with what was supposed to be a self-deprecating joke about the President's inability to bowl...The White House has been apologizing ever since...Mr. Obama's critics were not so kind and this gave them another reason to attack in what was arguably one of his toughest weeks in his presidency so far."
Following Dozier’s report, Wragge spoke with Republican strategist Kevin Madden and Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis about the President’s media strategy: "The President likes UNC to win it all, out west on 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno, at home, People magazine. Is there a risk of some overexposure here?...when you keep an omnipresent schedule like this, you are bound to make a gaffe here or there. How significant a gaffe was this Special Olympics comment? Because it really got him off message...You know, we've always heard that he's 'the kind of guy I want to have a beer with,' I guess, notion out there. But is that the type of president the nation needs right now, with all of the things that people have, I guess, going against them right now? Is this a wise strategy?"
Neither the NBC’s Saturday Today nor ABC’s Saturday Good Morning America discussed the issue. However, Friday’s GMA did provide extensive coverage of the gaffe, along with Friday’s Early Show. Friday’s Today mentioned it, but only at the very end of a segment on Obama’s late night appearance.
All day Friday the newspapers, TV stations, radio, and the Internet were abuzz with Barack Obama's failed joke about the Special Olympics Thursday night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. In shades of John Kerry's failed joke about the unschooled being "stuck in Iraq," the president's apologists said he was merely joking and didn't mean to say anything disparaging about people with developmental challenges. Still, the incident stirred passionate discussion all day Friday. At least it did for everyone but The New York Times's Helene Cooper. Cooper seemed not to even realize it happened if her review of the show is any indication.
One has to wonder, with the entire country talking about Obama's Special Olympics quip, how did Cooper miss that part of the story? Why would she not even make a passing notation of the controversy the joke caused?
NBC's "Today" show on Friday minimized and neglected a gaffe by Barack Obama that his bowling skills are on the level of the "Special Olympics or something." In contrast, ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "Early Show" heavily covered the remark. GMA devoted the first two segments to the ill advised joke the President made on Thursday's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." And although "Today" opened the program with Obama's appearance, they didn't get to the Special Olympics crack to the very end of the piece. Co-host Meredith Vieira awkwardly explained that the President "said something that forced the White House to issue an explanation afterward."
Fellow co-host David Gregory vaguely added, "When you're on comedy shows, there's always a chance that a punch line doesn't work." What was the punch line? He didn't say. Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd then reported on the story and only got to the gaffe at the segment's end. In contrast, "Good Morning America" senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper asserted that Obama "proceeded to put his foot in his mouth" with his remark. GMA featured the offending line right at the beginning of the piece and also included a graphic that announced, "Late Night Gaffe: Obama's Special Olympics Joke." Co-host Robin Roberts even observed that "some have an issue with the venue" of the talk show.
Did you know that AIG, aka American International Group, is an American company?
Well, on NBC's "Tonight Show" Wednesday, Jay Leno didn't, and the supposedly brilliant Keith Olbermann wasn't sure.
A company that has been a hot topic in the news for at least the past six months, and these guys not only didn't know it was American, but also thought its initials stood for American "Insurance" Group (video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 3:50):
In a nice stroke of NBC corporate synergy, radical-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow appeared Tuesday night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and when the topic turned to Rush Limbaugh, Maddow insisted that it’s one thing for Rush to oppose Obama’s socialist agenda before it passes, but once it becomes law, he should salute and get behind it:
"It is one thing to say, ‘I hope that this guy's proposed policies don't pass. I hope those don't become the policies of our country.’ But once they become the policies of the country, and they are designed to save us from this economic collapse, you ought to hope they succeed, unless you are hoping for your country to suffer worse in an economic collapse. I mean, actually rooting for the failure of your own federal government is pretty creepy."
This was not Maddow's approach to the Iraq war. After discussing the Obama recovery plans and the ongoing outrage over Bernard Madoff, Leno turned to Limbaugh:
LENO: Okay. Now, Rush Limbaugh is in the news. This whole thing. And this, publicity, he's got to be loving this.
During this week, NBC’s Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a couple of noteworthy jabs at the anti-Bush mainstream media in America, on Monday joking that the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush was "offered his own show on MSNBC," and on Tuesday quipping that "he was so anti-Bush, at first people just assumed he was an American journalist."
By contrast, CBS’s Late Show host David Letterman used the episode to jab Fox News as he cracked on Tuesday that the "hot head" Iraqi journalist with "poor journalistic skills" was "offered his own show on Fox News." Below are transcripts of the relevant comments from this week’s Tonight Show on NBC and the Late Show on CBS:
Sure, the sitting Democratic governor of Illinois has been arrested and charged with attempting to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. But enough about that. Jay Leno is starting his show 90 minutes earlier!!
Yes, a bit after 1 PM today, MSNBC actually pre-empted its Blago coverage to go to a news conference at which NBC honchos, with Leno present, announced that the Tonight show host would be moving from 11:30 to 10 PM.
Andrea Mitchell was in the midst of a serious dialogue with Pete Williams, when someone apparently whispered in the NBC justice correspondent's ear . . .
MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who conceded the obvious to Jay Leno that “I'm partial” to the “remarkable political reality” of Barack Obama, on Tuesday's Tonight Show regretted Obama cannot be inaugurated sooner than on January 20. “The President looks like he's already in the locker room with a towel around his neck. It looks like he's taken off,” Matthews complained before insisting “we need a President pretty soon.” The host of Hardball fretted about the long wait to get Obama into office, warning:
I'm getting worried because it's about another couple of months before we get a President and I'm worried about this country falling between the cracks because we've got one President who's sort of already retired and we got another President who's politely tip-toeing around the job. Who's leading us right now? It scares me.
After a quip from fellow guest “Larry the Cable Guy,” Matthews reiterated his point: “I think we've got too much time between elections and taking over.”
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
Amidst all the focus on the poor treatment Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been receiving from mainstream media outlets, the pounding she's been taking from the "Tonight Show's" Jay Leno has up until now slipped below the radar.
An analysis of recent monologues by the late night comedian has identified a rather aggressive attack against the Alaska governor.
This coincides with an August Center for Media and Public Affairs study which showed television comics shying away from jokes about Barack Obama while they regularly pounded John McCain.
According to TV Barn, now that the Arizona Senator has chosen a running mate, she's fair game, too, beginning with most of the political jokes Leno made during Monday's monologue:
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.