Released American journalists, Laura Ling, in green, and Euna Lee, in red, are greeted by former U.S. President Bill Clinton as they board a plane bound for the United States in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)
"Don't get me wrapped up in a menage-a-trois here."
That's how NBC "Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira cracked a tasteless joke to prevent viewers from mistakenly assuming she is married to former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw.
The comment came shortly before 9 a.m. on the August 3 program, following the close of an "American Character" piece narrated by Brokaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, some "642 miles down" and "2,431 to go" along historic U.S. Route 50.:
Overcompensation: (psychiatry) an attempt to overcome a real or imagined defect or unwanted trait by overly exaggerating its opposite.
Today brings a prime example of the phenomenon in the person of Brian Williams, overcompensating for his image as a pampered straight arrow by joking about having a vast staff of servants, looking forward to the prospect of watching some nude male swimming, and, yes, doing meth to get going in the morning.
The New York Times' Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and staunch champion of government medicine a la the Canadian model of our neighbors to the north.
Just this past Saturday in "Toyota, Moving Northward" he flogged the advantages of the single-payer system Canada offers. He postulated that one reason why the Japanese auto maker is locating it's new RAV4 plant in Ontario is their government medicine:
Canada's other big selling point is its national health insurance system, which saves auto manufacturers large sums in benefit payments compared with their costs in the United States.
Suddenly Krugman the Leftist is all for huge government subsidies for big business.
Krugman's Nobel-prize winning economic mind then offers up:
So what's the impact on taxpayers? In Canada, there's no impact at all: since all Canadians get government-provided health insurance in any case, the additional auto jobs won't increase government spending.
Really? Adding workers brought in from outside Canada to the government rolls won't increase government spending? A little of Krugman's new math: X plus 5,000 still somehow equals X.
The TVNewser blog alerted me to Katie Couric’s “Notebook” item yesterday, in which she mocks the New York Times for making “not one, not two, but seven errors” in their remembrance of the late Walter Cronkite last week. TVNewser suggested Couric may have trying to get “payback” for an anti-Couric piece that the Times’s Alessandra Stanley wrote four years ago when Couric worked at NBC:
Wow. This is good. In her 'Notebook' on CBSNews.com, Katie Couric takes down New York Times columnist Alessandra Stanley, and she does it in the cruelest of ways: without mentioning her by name....There is no love lost between the anchor and the columnist. The most memorable Stanley story on Couric may be this 2005 take-down of the then-Today show anchor: "At the first sound of her peremptory voice and clickety stiletto heels, people dart behind doors and douse the lights," Stanley wrote about Couric.
Well, this might be Couric's payback. And just look at the smile on her face during the segment...
Couric sounded pretty high and mighty in her take-down of the Times: “As we say goodbye to the dean of TV news, let's all remember as journalists when as we say, 'That's the way it is,' it really is.” But a few years ago, Couric utterly embarrassed herself in a Today interview with Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham, as she quoted extensively from an obvious parody of Graham’s habit of diary-keeping. Apparently clueless to the fact that she was quoting a made-up story, Couric confronted Graham: “What, what do you do this for?!” (Video above; audio available here.)
Gene Weingarten has established himself as a Dick Cheney-hater, since he has compared him to Cambodian communist mass murderer Pol Pot. The "investigative humorist" and former editor of the Post’s Style section is at it again Sunday, with a splenetic and allegedly humorous venting against Cheney an an unholy, murderous savage.
The setup is Cheney’s forthcoming memoirs. He called up the publisher, Simon and Schuster’s Threshhold Editions, and they asked if he was "pro-book," meaning pro-Cheney. When he wouldn’t answer, the publisher would only answer to questions submitted in writing. This gave him an excuse to joke that he wouldn’t be biased or unprofessional, and then laid out all his Cheney hatred. Here’s a piece of it:
3. May I presume that Mr. Cheney will be remunerated in his customary way: a gunnysack filled with unblemished human heads?
In yet another moment of Obama puffery the "Today" show highlighted a hotel dedicated to Barack Obama. During a segment headlined: "Hotel Obama, Small Country Goes Wild For President," NBC's Mara Schiavocampo, on Friday's "Today," showcased a new hotel in Ghana named after the President that is run by a former campaign worker and joined her as she took viewers on a room-by-room tour devoted to places and people important in Obama's life history [audio excerpt available here]:
MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO: It's run by Ghanaian-American Coretta Owusu, whose father owns the business. She worked for this Obama during the campaign and then moved to Ghana to work for this one. It's a budget conscious hotel featuring 18 themed rooms priced at $60 to $100.
CORETTA OWUSU, HOTEL MANAGER: And this room is the Obama suite. Most people stay here if they come for a special occasion or they're coming with their family. Well we have Michelle Obama right next to Barack Obama. Across from Obama it's Joe Biden's room.
In the run-up to the Inauguration, Newsweek held a competition (apparently canceled) to dress mean, robotic-looking paper dolls of Bush and Cheney and declare what they would do after high office in "Give These Men a Job." Now, its corporate cousin The Washington Post is declaring on Friday a new contest urging readers to imagine the first paragraph of Dick Cheney’s memoirs, as he’s just been signed by Mary Matalin’s Threshold brand at Simon & Schuster. The headline announcing the contest on the back page of the Style section was "It Was a Dark and Stormy Eight Years." The Post’s sample first paragraph is jokey, but really cheesy:
“David Letterman is making a full-throated apology for his controversial joke about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter,” TV Week reported a short while ago. “During a taping of tonight's [Monday 6/15] edition of his CBS Late Show, Letterman went much further than his last explanation of the joke, in which he quipped that a baseball player had 'knocked up' Palin's daughter,” Josef Adalian wrote.
Though Palin and conservatives were outraged and demanded an apology and retraction for a “joke” seemed aimed at the 14-year-old daughter though Letterman said he was referring to the 18-year-old daughter, it took the liberal columnist Mark Shields on PBS to convince Letterman he had a problem. Letterman will explain (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
I have had it with Letterman! I used to defend this guy to all of my friends who liked Leno better. I would say from a comic stand point that Jay was a great comic but Letterman was more original and had more style and class than Leno. Two recent events have changed my mind: Jay’s classy departure from the “Tonight Show” and Letterman’s classless left-wing attacks on the kids of politicians.
A comic needs to be an equal opportunity offender. We can’t pick sides in politics. We can have a point of view and a favorite but being a comic means when our guy drops the ball, you have to pick it up and smash it in his face. My friend and political opposite, Will Durst, said this a few years back about Mort Saul (I am paraphrasing here), “You can’t sit down to dinner with the Reagans and then pretend you’re still willing to sling mud at them.”
That is what is wrong with comedians like Letterman, Garofalo, and Stewart. They only see one side. Why do none of them at least give love taps to Obama? Why didn’t at least one of them make some comedic hay out of Obama gaffs like “57 states” and a reference to speaking “Austrian?”
The guy is the President and he can’t shake his mother-in-law and you can’t find a joke in that?
NBC host Matt Lauer interviewed Sarah Palin on June 12, and defended comedian David Letterman and his joke about the statutory rape of Palin’s daughter by baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
When Palin began to condemn the joke as wildly inappropriate and offensive, Lauer defended Letterman: “Since David Letterman’s not here, let me just say that he did not mention Willow by name, and he then went on to say he was not referring to your 14-year-old daughter,” as though to Lauer the excuse diminished the vile nature of Letterman’s joke.
At the end of the segment, Lauer did admit that, “a lot of people feel the joke was in extremely bad taste, no matter which daughter of yours he was referring to,” but not before Palin pointed out that, “regardless, it was a degrading comment about a young woman,” and no joke of that nature should be tolerated, no matter how old the victim of the joke is.
It takes a big man to admit when he’s been bested. I have to say however, that after this one I had to walk away with my head hanging in shame. You win this round, Mr Olbermann… You win this round. [video below page break]
In my defense however, I will say that Maddow came way out of left field with the double-teaming. I personally found it to be distasteful… But well played on Maddow’s part.
'The Goode Family,' a new half-hour animated comedy show which spoofs the politically-correct and environmental do-good thinking of a liberal family which considers its lifestyle superior to “abstinence people” who “wear flag pins,” debuted this past Wednesday night on ABC. The opening scene showed a “Support Our Troops...And Their Opponents” bumper sticker on the family's hybrid.
When the 16-year-old son who the parents adopted from Africa and presumed he'd be black, but to their surprise was a white South African, wants to start driving, the father cautions: “With greater emissions, comes greater responsibility.” In another scene, the mother declares “nothing brings a mother and daughter closer together than shopping at a high-end, organic grocery store.” And inside the store an intercom announcement alerts shoppers: “Check out the big board to see how you can limit the impact of your existence.”
I won't give away all that's in the accompanying video in which I cobbled together a little under three minutes of what I thought were the funnier and most-damning parodies of liberal thinking .
When wind blew over a Teleprompter while he was addressing the commencement crowd at the Air Force Academy on May 27, 2009, VP Joe Biden joked: "What I am going to tell the president when I tell him his TelePrompTer is broken? What will he do then?'' (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
With Saturday Night Live now in re-runs until September, my offering for a little Saturday night -- media bias-based -- humor.
Nearly five years ago, when compliant journalists were touting then-vice presidential candidate John Edwards and admiring his supposed idyllic marriage to Elizabeth Edwards, Katie Couric celebrated the happy couple's annual wedding anniversary “romantic ritual” of eating at Wendy's, wondering as all three laughed together:“What do you say, 'One Frosty, two straws?'” Pretty ridiculous in retrospect.
In the taped interview aired on the Thursday, July 15, 2004 Today show, Couric cued up the couple: “I know you'll be celebrating your 27th wedding anniversary. And I understand you go through a romantic ritual every year to commemorate that date. Share it with us will you?” John Edwards answered that “we go to Wendy's for our anniversary” before his wife provided her take, prompting a delighted Couric to marvel: “So every year for 26 years so far?” As John Edwards quipped “you could question our sanity,” Couric jumped in: “I was gonna say, what do you say, 'One Frosty, two straws?'”
Did the former womanizer-in-chief pat The Nanny on the fanny? Numerous blogs and newspapers are asking that question thanks to a photo of former President Bill Clinton with his hand over actress Fran Drescher's posterior.
Today's "The Reliable Source" column in the Washington Post notes Bill Clinton's global jetsetting and charity fundraising, mentioning the appearance with Drescher at the Life Ball benefit. The column includes a photo of Clinton with his right arm around Drescher, his hand well above the waist, grasping her right shoulder.
Yet gossip columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts failed to note another photo that has caused a stir. Belgian Web site 7sur7.be has the photo at its site (pictured at right). Here's a somewhat clunky English translation, courtesy of Google, from the original French:
The proudest moment in his career, Late Show writer Bill Scheft boasted at a Friday comedy writer panel held at Washington, DC's Newseum, was when he got David Letterman to try to undermine guest John McCain's Bill Ayers talking point by raising McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy -- as if a political dirty trickster were the equivalent of a terrorist involved with bombings which killed people, could have killed hundreds more if his attempts worked and remains unrepentant. At the event, organized by the Writers Guild of America, East, and shown Saturday night on C-SPAN, Scheft declared of his effort to discredit an anti-Obama point: “I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written.” That earned applause from the audience.
Later, to a chorus of “yeah” from other writers on the stage representing The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night, as well as another Late Show writer (Tom Ruprecht, who is in front of Scheft in the screen shot, the best I could get), Scheft insisted the only reason the comedy shows don't make fun of President Barack Obama is because he's “a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that.”
Earlier in the day, some of the participants delivered stand-up acts and DCRTV.com's “page 2" recounted this “joke” from Scheft: “Former Vice President Dick Cheney -- I actually don’t have a joke here, I just like to say former Vice President Dick Cheney.”
Barack Obama’s first White House Correspondents’ Dinner is tonight, and the comedian in the roasting job is Wanda Sykes. The burning question: will Sykes really make fun of the president, or go all gentle, since she is a big Obama fan?
I suspect she’ll do a few jokes in the usual accepted vein, some messiah jokes and some tax-evading nominee jokes, but nothing like Stephen Colbert’s 2006 Bush-trashing leftist routine, complete with Helen Thomas-like attacks on the media for being in Bush’s pocket. Here's some examples:
– To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.