I thought Sarah Palin did more than fine on Saturday Night Live [Noel's got the video here]. In particular, during her Weekend Update appearance Palin displayed a speaking poise and polish exceeding that of the other candidates on both tickets. But Republicans who agree to appear on such shows put themselves in the lap of the liberal media gods. And those lesser deities abused their power last night, running a nasty joke at Clarence Thomas's expense during Weekend Update shortly before Palin appeared.
The set-up was the fact that, in a dissenting opinion published this past week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts employed the style of a hard-bitten detective novel. That set up this . . .
With 18 days to go in the presidential race, Friday’s Today show lurched to the far left and actually devoted five minutes (and space on MSNBC.com) to leftist author Naomi Wolf and her theory that under President Bush, America is undergoing a "fascist shift."
Co-host Meredith Vieira treated Wolf with skepticism, questioning her assertions that we’re in danger of a "police state," or a standing army overlooking American citizens, suggesting she might be "fear-mongering" to get Barack Obama elected with theories of a McCain-Palin police state, just as the McCain campaign has been accused of exploiting fear. But if years ago, an author suggested President Clinton was leading us into dictatorship, would NBC offered them five minutes, or simply ignored it as undignified? Vieira offered Wolf a free pass to offer long passages of her argument, and the word "fascist" wasn’t used by either party, as Wolf presented herself as a nonpartisan and non-ideological defender of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.
Recapping Wednesday's presidential debate TV journalists were struck with how Barack Obama conveyed an “appeal to the center” while a “sarcastic” John McCain showed “disdain and contempt” and was hurt by being too much of a right-wing “ideologue” whose “worst moment” came when he raised the name of William Ayers.
Also noteworthy: On NBC, Ann Curry pressed six undecided voters to “raise your hand if you know of people, and be honest here, who may not vote for Barack Obama because of his race.” And NBC anchor Brian Williams asked Hillary Clinton to assess Sarah Palin: “Is Governor Palin qualified to be Vice President or President?”
On “Nightline,” George Stephanopoulos went three for three for the Democrat -- four for four if you add in Biden over Palin -- in declaring Obama the “winner.” Read on for our recap.
Three weeks out from Election Day, surely more Americans are tuning into the Big 3 networks' evening newscasts, right?
In the past two weeks, Big 3 evening newscast viewership has actually declined by 360,000, or 1.6%. What's more, in percentage terms, viewership among "The Demo" of ages 25-54 has declined even further (220,000, down 3.1%).
The "Today" show has yet to promote the conservative satire An American Carol, that spoofs Michael Moore but they did find time to invite on Josh Brolin to plug Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopicW. on Tuesday's show. Co-anchor Matt Lauer interviewed Brolin, who plays the title character, and noted critics were expecting "a political hatchet job" of the President, to which Brolin, defended Stone as he claimed the controversy surrounding the director of such factually murky films like JFK and Nixon, was "hogwash."
However Brolin admitted that one of the reasons Stone tabbed him to play Dubya was because there was something sort of "mean" about the actor. And in describing how he perfected his Bush impression Brolin observed there was an "apish quality," about the 43rd president.
The following is the full segment as it occurred on the October 14, "Today" show:
On Tuesday's "Today" show Andrea Mitchell highlighted John McCain's struggles, as he was forced to campaign in "red states Republicans don't usually have to defend," but when it came to Barack Obama, she promoted Obama's soft side as she aired a clip of the Democratic nominee hugging a tearful college student as she cooed: "During two days of campaigning in Ohio, the nation's economic crisis got personal when Obama met a 19-year-old nursing student named Hannah, already deep in debt with student loans."
Mitchell then followed that tease with the following back and forth between Obama and the student:
HANNAH: I'm paying for school myself, so-
BARACK OBAMA: How much, how much you in debt?
HANNAH: Right now about $24,000 and I'm only 19.
OBAMA: Alright well we're gonna try to see if we can provide you some relief, alright?
HANNAH: Yeah I need it because the grants aren't enough.
OBAMA HUGGING STUDENT: I know, I know! I appreciate it, c'mon. Nice to meet you.
On Monday, NewsBusters wondered how much coverage the sex scandal involving Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fl.) -- the Democrat Congressman who in 2006 won the seat previously held by the disgraced Mark Foley -- would get.
Early indications suggest that as far as the television news outlets are concerned, the answer is "not much."
In fact, though all three broadcast network evening news programs covered the Foley sex scandal when it was first revealed on September 29, 2006, not one of them felt that the man who replaced him admitting to having an affair with a former campaign staffer was at all newsworthy.
On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Tom Brokaw buried the McCain campaign and predicted doom for the GOP, as he declared: "It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power." The former anchor of NBC Nightly News and moderator of the last presidential debate was prompted by "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira to make the following prediction:
This all reminds me of 1968, when after having the Democrats in control since 1932, the Republicans then took over in 1968 and effectively, they have had a grip on this country politically since that time, for 40 years now. It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power, because the McCain campaign is dysfunctional, to put it bluntly, and that's, those are the words of Bill Kristol and a lot of other people. They can't quite decide who they are, whether the McCain mavericks or the Bush Republicans or the neo-cons.
The following is the complete transcript of the Brokaw segment on the October 13, edition of the "Today" show:
Interviewing Hillary Clinton on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Ron Allen repeatedly asked the New York Senator about Barack Obama's ability to defend himself against GOP attacks, as he questioned: "Do you think they've crossed the line?" and claimed, "there's concerns about actually inciting violence."
For her part Clinton said she thought McCain/Palin had gone negative but had calmed down, however that didn't satisfy Allen as he proceeded to worry "If this gets more personal and, and more aggressive can he withstand," the "Republican assault?"
Also, Allen, mindful of the fact that, Clinton supporters "can make a big difference in a close race," pressed the former First Lady if her husband was "fully on board?"
The following interview occurred on the October 13, edition of the "Today" show:
All three morning shows on Friday skipped an exclusive Washington Times report which asserted that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama attempted to delay an agreement by the Bush administration to maintain a military presence in Iraq.
Writing in the October 10 edition of the Times, Barbara Slavin explained, "Iraqi leaders purported to The Times that Mr. Obama urged Baghdad to delay an agreement with Mr. Bush until next year when a new president will be in office - a charge the Democratic campaign denies." ABC's "Good Morning America," NBC's "Today" and CBS's "Early Show" all skipped any mention of this story.
All three morning shows on Wednesday skipped a startling claim by Senator Barack Obama during the previous night's presidential debate. During a discussion on spending, he bizarrely asserted, "Actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut." However, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, that statement doesn't even close to being true.
Their numbers show an increase in spending of $425 billion over four years of an Obama administration and only a decrease of $144 billion. And this is factoring in Obama's tax increases as a way of "saving" money. And yet, ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "Early Show" and NBC's "Today" all failed to report on the discrepancy or the math oddity of including more taxes as a cut. GMA reporter John Berman even filed a "fact check" segment on the debate, but ignored the Obama claim, which was picked up the AP.
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows interviewed Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and offered no Republican counterpoint, punishing the McCain campaign for Sarah Palin declining to make similar appearances. On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer concluded her interview with Biden by declaring: "And we want you to know that we have asked Governor Palin to come on Good Morning America. And, of course, debate Senator Biden again here. And repeatedly, she has declined. Although, Senator Biden has said that he's willing to debate her again, if she wants."
On NBC’s Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "And we should also note that we invited Governor Sarah Palin to join us this morning, but she declined. The Governor has an open invitation to appear on Today, but so far she has not accepted our offers." On CBS’s Early Show co-host Harry Smith explained: "We also invited Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, but the McCain campaign declined." Apparently, the mainstream media deems itself as John McCain’s communications director.
As noted here earlier, Joe Biden agreed with Ann Curry this morning that mentioning Obama's connections with Rev. Wright and William Ayers constituted an "ugly" tactic. Biden raised the stakes during his Early Show appearance, telling Harry Smith that daring to breathe Ayers's last name, or using Obama's middle one, is "mildly dangerous" and an "incitement."
Biden also managed work in the boast that he would be the go-to guy in an Obama administration.
You're an MSM anchor. For the last couple days, Obama spokesmen have been out there denying their candidate knew of William Ayers's terrorist past when Obama launched his political career in the Ayers living room. You now have the opportunity to interview Obama's VP running-mate. So naturally, you ask him to confirm or deny the campaign's assertion of Obama's ignorance, right?
Trick question. I did say "you're an MSM anchor." No, when Ann Curry had Joe Biden on Today this morning, she couldn't even bring herself to mention Ayers by name. Far from challenging Biden as to the truth of the campaign's denial, she teed up the notion that Sarah Palin is using "ugly" tactics by daring to raise the Obama-Ayers and Obama-Wright connections.
Matching the Obama campaign spin, the network reporters and analysts were upset by John McCain, at one moment in the second presidential debate on Tuesday night, referring to Barack Obama as “that one.” CBS's Jeff Greenfield asserted “there is going to be clearly a major headline soundbite” and insisted “those two words are going to be what the water cooler conversation is tomorrow. Was it demeaning? Was it an insult?” Katie Couric turned to a group of “undecided voters” for their reaction to the phrase. One man “thought it was a little bit childish” and another “undecided” man declared: “I'm really tired of the last eight years of for us or against us and to me that showed that side of McCain coming out and the picky and childish and we've had eight years of that.”
On CNN a little past 11 PM EDT, reporter Suzanne Malveaux compared it to Bill Clinton's characterization of Monica Lewinsky: “It's like 'that woman,' you know, that we've heard 'that woman,' I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending.” A few minutes later, Democratic hack Paul Begala slimed Sarah Palin as a racist, citing the Associated Press and how “they said her attack on this whole Bill Ayers thing was 'racially-tinged.' That's not what a Democrat said, that's what the Associated Press said.” There's a difference? MSNBC viewers heard Chris Matthews pleased by Obama's “wonderful smile” before he charged McCain's smile “has a somewhat menacing quality.”
Audio: MP3 audio (1:25, 450 Kb) which matches the video above of CBS's "undecided" voters.
There's a theory floating around the right side of the blogosphere that NBC removed a "Saturday Night Live" skit from the Internet because the network had second thoughts about making fun of liberals or caught too much heat for doing so.
But a new theory has surfaced in the mainstream media. Advertising Age is reporting that the skit may have been pulled for apolitical reasons. "A good guess: The clip, a fake C-SPAN news report, identifies [former bank owners Herb and Marion Sandler] ... as 'people who should be shot' in a graphic."
A story on the San Franciso Chronicle Web site seems to buttress that view. It is headlined "Herb Sandler Takes On SNL After Snark Attack" and quotes Sandler as saying, "We are being unfairly tarred" for problems in the mortage industry.
UPDATE: YouTube link to deleted video at end of post.
As NewsBusters reported Sunday, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in its most recent installment did an extraordinary skit which amongst other things accurately blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis.
Early Sunday morning, as is customary for NBC, the video of this sketch was posted at its website. Some time Monday, it was taken down without any explanation.
One possibility is that two of the targets in the skit, the founders of Golden West Financial who were mocked by "SNL" as having made billions selling subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers, aren't happy with how they were portrayed. As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added):
In the latest news from the actions have consequences department, Brian Williams recently told David Letterman that the McCain camp is punishing him by not allowing him to interview Sarah Palin because the McCain camp is mad at MSNBC's extreme leftism as evinced by Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Is Brian crying? There's no crying in broadcasting!
During his visit on The Late Show with David Letterman, Brian Williams admitted that he is the only network anchor that has yet to be granted an interview with Governor Palin but that he "cannot wait" to interview her.
Update's Update: I have been assured by IT that we are FINALLY ready to go with this.
The American people in poll after poll and in greater and growing numbers are railing against the egregious liberal bias of the press. And nowhere are the media more horrendously slanted than in their coverage of the presidential campaign of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. They are (to say the least) very, very sweet on him.
The MRC has put together this college basketball tournament-style bracket event, the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament, so that you, the angered members of the media’s audience can vote for who gives Sen. Obama the most loving and fawning coverage of all.
Now that Sarah Palin has made Barack Obama's history with William Ayers front and center in the campaign the mainstream media is doing their best to ignore some of the more explosive aspects of Ayers' past. On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Andrea Mitchell merely identified Ayers as a "sixties radical" and cited the New York Times as dismissing the Obama connection as, "the two men do not appear to have been close."
As the following excerpt shows, Mitchell conveniently forgot to mention the reason Palin and others regard Ayers as a terrorist, the fact the he, as a part of the Weather Underground, actually bombed police stations and the Pentagon.
Palin was referring to William Ayers, a sixties radical, now a Chicago education professor. In 1995 Ayers hosted a coffee for Obama, then a state senate candidate. The New York Times reported this weekend that, "the two men do not appear to have been close." And the Obama campaign says they have not spoken since Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate.
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening amazingly blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis, and accurately informed viewers that the Bush administration warned about the looming calamity many years ago.
In addition, much like a report Matthew Sheffield and I did for the Capital Research Center last month, "SNL" exposed the money behind far-leftwing causes and entities in a stunningly accurate fashion, including chiding hyper-partisan billionaire George Soros as being the owner of the Democratic Party.
Here are some of the highlights (video embedded right):
Update: The techincal error is resolved. Please, enjoy. Thank you very much.
Tuesday's Presidential debate is now looming in our headlights. It will be moderated by the very liberal Tom Brokaw of the very liberal NBC.
The Media Research Center, Newsbusters.org's parent company, wanted to take this opportunity to remind one and all why Brokaw's colleague, the very liberal Chris Matthews, will not be moderating the debate. And why he was removed as co-anchor of the very liberal MSNBC's 2008 campaign coverage.
Why he was ever ensconsed in that lofty journalistic position remains light years beyond us.
So we now humbly present to you an MRC Cinematic Production entitled "Chris Matthews: Building the Thrill."
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):
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?”
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?
align="right"Two themes in post-VP debate coverage Thursday night: First, “surprise” that Sarah Palin wasn't a “car wreck” and “did not embarrass herself.” Second, distress that she failed to answer moderator Gwen Ifill's questions.
On NBC, Chuck Todd observed “those that were tuning in looking for some sort of car wreck, probably came away disappointed.” CBS's Katie Couric proposed, without saying in which camp journalists fall, “the headline is Governor Sarah Palin did not embarrass herself or her running mate as some Republicans might have feared and some Democrats might have hoped.” Colleague Bob Schieffer asserted that “I think a lot of people were expecting” Palin “to make some sort of blunder or mistake and she did not do that.” Jeff Greenfield, also on CBS, decided “Palin passed the Tina Fey test. Anyone looking for a deer in the headlights experience didn't get one tonight.” Over on ABC, Diane Sawyer found that Palin, “after a bruising time in the media, showed up not just with confidence, but cheerful confidence that might surprise a lot of people.”
On Palin avoiding questions, CBS's Schieffer “found it a little disconcerting” that “time and again Governor Palin would just choose not to answer the question and launch in to some dissertation, sometimes talking points, and not really address what Gwen Ifill had asked her.” On CNN, reporter/analyst Gloria Borger charged: “I think at the beginning of the debate actually, Sarah Palin's problem was that she wasn't answering questions directly.” NBC anchor Brian Williams scolded: “Looking at some of the e-mail traffic and some of the commentary online tonight, people found it bracing when she said quote, 'I may not answer the questions the way the moderator and you,' Senator Biden, 'want to hear.' Of course, it's the only set of rules in town.”
Video/Audio: Click on frame above for video, compiled by the MRC's Michelle Humphrey, of Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Diane Sawyer and Chuck Todd. Matching MP3 audio (55 seconds)