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.
Chris Matthews just can't get it up. The Democratic Party label that is.
On the May 8 "Hardball", the MSNBC anchor noted in his Political Sideshow segment that Reps. Jim Moran (Va.) and Bob Brady (Pa.), are up in arms about erectile dysfunction drug ads running on television and are sponsoring legislation before the House to ban television stations from running ads for drugs like Viagra and Cialis from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Democratic congressmen argue the ads are indecent for children. [get audio for download here]
While the legislation's premise seems prudish at worst and laughably silly at best, Matthews insisted that the congressmen, who are "regular guys" and "both friends of mine" were simply "looking out for the kids." All the same, he failed to give the Democratic Party credit for threatening the cold shower of government regulation on the drug commercials.
Mother's Day was invented by Anna Jarvis, a West Virginian who, from 1907 to 1914 devoted considerable energy to establishing state and national holidays marking Mother's Day. Jarvis's inspiration, of course, was her deep devotion to her late mother.
"I feel like Mother's Day is a man's holiday. You know, because it was put together, a woman didn't put together Mother's Day. A woman put together several other holidays but Mother's Day was not one of them," the moderator of ABC's "The View" insisted on the May 8 program.
The faulty assertion came during a chat with Alyse Myers, author of "Who Do You Think You Are?", which chronicles her strained relationship with her mother.
For your TGIF viewing fun, NBC “Today” show co-host Meredith Vieira has lost control of her verbal filters again.
From Vieira’s Super Bowl week performance, in which she claimed that she and NBC weatherman Al Roker were “moist,” to the last unfortunate double-entendre involving speculation on the past tense of “Tweet,” the morning show hostess today wondered whether the Statue of Liberty was wearing undergarments beneath her robes.
Once again, colleague Matt Lauer played the long-suffering professional, keeping a straight face. Weatherman Al Roker, however, pounced. Video of the latest gaffe is embedded at right.
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."
With Saturday Night Live airing a re-run/compilation show, I thought I'd provide a flavor of the comedy stylings of former President George W. Bush -- made possible by a Vanity Fair article posted April 28 about Bush's post-presidential life. “George in Real Life: George W. Bush takes on his most daunting challenge yet: his own legacy,” by Nancy Jo Sales, is informative -- if you can overlook or get around the incessant and gratuitous belittling remarks from Sales who treated Bill Maher as an expert on Bush's legacy.
She did, however, helpfully relay three jokes Bush delivered during his first public appearance on March 17 in Calgary. So, conjure up a drum roll...
♦ The former President says that his first day home in Preston Hollow, the suburb of Dallas where he and his wife moved in January, he kicked back on the couch and hollered, “Baby, free at last!” To which Laura responded, “‘Yeah, you’re free to take out the trash. Consider it your new domestic policy agenda.’” Big laugh. A woman at my table mouths, “He’s so funny!”
No bias here, just some fun at White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's expense.
"White House Press Secretary began his daily briefing, even though Pres. Obama was speaking at the U.Conn event. Considered a no-no," CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller noted via his Twitter account just shortly after 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Education journalist Dakarai I. Aarons asked Knoller:
@markknoller any precedent for holding a briefing while the president is speaking elsewhere?
To which the veteran journalist answered:
@d_aarons In 30 years of covering the White House - it's just not done. the press secretary waits till the Pres is done, before starting...
With NBC running a Saturday Night Live re-run, I thought I'd catch up with something I meant to post a couple of weekends ago: How the new conservative comic strip, “The Gentleman from Lickskillet,” by Allen and Tuma, devoted a week of strips to liberal media bias.