On this morning's "Today," NBC's Pete Williams engaged in slip that would have made Sigmund proud, so let's bring in the father of modern psychotherapy to analyze it. After all, he's only been dead for 68 years, plenty fresh enough for purposes of punditry.
Williams had scored quite a journalistic coup, an exclusive sit-down with embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Later, Williams chatted live from DC with Matt Lauer back in the New York studio. Discussing the decision by a senior aide to Gonzales to invoke the Fifth Amendment should she be called to testify before congress regarding the firing of the U.S. attorneys, Williams said:
"Congress could try to force Monica Lewinsky -- uh, Monica Goodling, rather, to testify by giving her immunity. But it's more likely they'll simply use her reluctance to testify as another reason to wonder what really happened. Matt."
Matt managed to control his mirth, as did Williams in signing off, but you sensed a nervous chuckle was just below the surface on both ends of the conversation.
Hillary Clinton finally meets Cartman! South Park Studios and Comedy Central announced that the March 28 episode of the culturally satirical cartoon "South Park" is called "The Snuke" and involves a "24" parody where Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton visits the cartoon town of South Park, Colo., for a campaign rally. Ubiquitous entertainment reporter Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood describes the ep:
Mixing it up with those foul-mouthed brats this Wednesday, Hillary is in town for a big campaign rally. But Cartman suspects the new Muslim student is behind a terrorist threat. The clock is ticking as the citizens of South Park prepare for the Clinton rally. Every minute counts as Cartman uses his own methods to interrogate the suspect. But could the plan to target Clinton be just the tip of the iceberg? Comedy Central's website messsage board had this to say about upcoming episode: "Is there nowhere she won't campaign?"
What does it take to be a liberal in Eric Alterman's book? In his current column at The Nation, The Many Man-Crushes of Chris Matthews, Altermann labels Chris Matthews a "centrist" that MSNBC sandwiches between the "right-wing" Tucker Carlson and "taken-for-a-liberal Keith Olbermann."
"Taken-for-a-liberal Keith Olbermann"? Sounds like Keith hasn't quite earned his lefty wings in Eric's estimation. I mean, after all, Olbermann has only called for President Bush's impeachment, accused the Bush administration of representing a new form of fascism, and generally chewed the leftist curtains in his overwrought "Special Comments."
If Keith's liberal street cred is suspect, I wonder how Eric might view the credentials of others on the left? Let's imagine:
If soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore’s testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday wasn’t funny enough for you, Conan O’Brien’s satirical cast of a new NBC, made for television movie about problems facing the White House is sure to give you a chuckle.
The video is here courtesy of YouTube (h/t Allah at Hot Air), and a list of the cast follows after the break for those of you who prefer your comedy in writing.
However, please be forewarned that some degree of liberal bias is in this casting, as O’Brien clearly took stronger swings at Republicans. Yet, all in all, it’s pretty funny:
Original caption: Meredith Vieira, co-host of the NBC 'Today' television program, appears with her dog Jasper during a segment of the program, Friday morning March 16, 2007, about a dog's learning abilities and vocabulary recognition.
From a March 14 Washington Post live chat with Post associate editor Robert Kaiser (h/t Howard Mortman of extrememortman.com). Portions in bold are my emphasis:
Washington: How is the lobbying system not legalized bribery, and
wouldn't ending lobbying by the rich empower the rest of us and
revitalize our democracy?
Robert G. Kaiser: How would you end it? Isn't lobbying a form of speech? Isn't speech protected by the First Amendment?
keep in mind, though many lobbyists do represent rich corporations,
there are also many representing labor unions, teachers, non-profits,
environmental groups, civil liberties advocates and so on. Even
newspapers have lobbyists.
Over at TVNewser, Brian Stelter has posted an MP3 of a song that is apparently being played today on WPLJ in New York City, ridiculing the poor ratings performance of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, with lyrics offering several suggestions for Ms. Couric and her producers. Safe to say it's a bit on the cruel side, especially the line about "if you want big success....find Dan Rather's home address."
Here’s a link to the audio file, and what follows is my transcription of the song’s lyrics (although you need to hear the tune to get the full effect):
When she began taking antidepressants, O'Donnell, 44, said she began yoga and "inversion therapy," in which she hangs upside down by a swing for 15 to 30 minutes a day. She demonstrates it on "The View."
That doesn't explain Joy Behar, though.
UPDATE (3/8/2007| 10:06 EST): NewsBusters regular Jack Bauer has his take here. And while we're at it, I was hoping Fox News Channel "Red Eye" host Greg Gutfeld would have something snarky about this on his Daily Gut blog along the lines of what he said about Rosie on "The Big Story" yesterday. But alas, he hasn't. Even so, Daily Gut is a good read.
NBC Nightly News anchor, Brian Williams graces the cover of Men's Vogue this month and is profiled by Deputy Editor Ned Martel as being an anchor who, because of "today's debunking culture" (Wink Wink Newsbusters.org), is both "in the know and in on the joke."
Martel panders to Williams as an anchor who is "affable", "witty", and even "an unapologetic throwback to the era of Cronkite".
Martel says that viewers can relate to Williams because he, "has a vast interest in so many of their passions." He further says that Williams "embraces his regular-guy status" and "trumpets his middlebrow tastes".
Williams apparently considers his "instinctive understanding of Middle America" to be a payoff for Nightly News. That understanding must be a tall order for someone who wears a "black-faced Rolex and Supreme Court cufflinks" and splits his time between a "pied-a-terre in a new Upper East Side tower" and a "restored farmhouse in Connecticut".
I meant to post this yesterday but didn't have time to get to it at CPAC. A lot of people have noticed that profanity on conservative blogs is a lot scarcer than it is on the left-leaning ones. Believing this to be a correct hypothesis, I did a few Google searches and discovered that profanity is far more common on the left.
Lucky for my weekend, this information has already been distilled by Patrick Ishmael at the News Buckit blog. He went to Google looking up George Carlin's "seven dirty words" on many of the most-read right- and left-wing blogs. The results are unsurprising to anyone who's observed resident lefties here at NewsBusters.
His study isn't completely "scientific" since it is only a partial survey (leaving off NewsBusters and our count of 822 for instance), however, it is fairly comprehensive.
Anyway, the results are as follows: 1,537,788 instances in left-wing blogs compared to 38,107 (including NB) on right-wing blogs.
That's a pretty amazing disparity there. I'd say it's mainly due to the fact that 1) liberals are less "old-fashioned" when it comes to profanity than righties, 2) partisan anger seems higher when the opposite party is in power, 3) many of the non-deranged left work in the MSM, whereas the the non-deranged right is relegated to the blogosphere and 4) liberal bloggers' limited intelligence stops them from expressing themselves without profanity.
As Newsbusters noted, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson made an appearance on NBC’s 30 Rock Thursday night. The episode partially revolved around Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna Maroney, mistakenly insulting the troops while posing for Maxim. Because the photographer had the music cranked up, Jenna mistook a reporter asking about the “beleaguered troops” for “theater troupes” and hilarity ensued. She then began a diatribe against that scourge of humanity and junior college drama programs everywhere—theater troupes, but the interviewer applied everything she said to our “beleaguered” troops.
Jenna: Ugh, I hate the theater troupes. They think what they do is so important! It’s just a bunch of gay guys that like to get in silly costumes and prance around.
A few moments ago on the February 16 "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," NBC's Natalie Morales shared a story with the late night host of actor Alec Baldwin's attempt to score a lunch date with the "Today" show talent.
I'll update later in the morning with video, but basically, a few years ago, according to Morales, Baldwin called her on the phone and told her he was working on a movie about cable news. Was Morales available for say, lunch sometime to help Baldwin with his, well, research.
Morales wasn't born yesterday, so she kindly told the "30 Rock" star that she's married.
This Sunday at 10pm Eastern, Fox News Channel is going to show a pilot episode of a news satire show it's commissioned from "24" executive producer Joel Surnow.
Here at NB and MRC, we often rightly complain at the media's leftward slant. This slant exists largely because the news and entertainment media shun and blacklist people with known conservative and libertarian politics, however, it's also a question of the right's interest in media.
If you're sick of every comedy show being run by left-wingers like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and David Letterman, join me in watching the "Half-Hour News Hour" this Sunday and tell everyone you know who might like it to tune in as well.
For a sample of the show and its format, click on over to this YouTube excerpt. There's also another promo where the show's producers discuss who might be offended at it. Click past the fold to watch the first spot right from this entry.
Despite his natural aptitude for rapping, Velshi will probably keep his day job, in which he earns well above minimum wage to spoon-feed bad economic theory to breakfast hour viewers. For instance, did you know government could grow the economy by mandating a higher minimum wage?
If only Joe Biden had seized the moment with one brilliant burst of brevity . . .
This morning on GMA, Biden had the chance to turn his presidential candidacy announcement into a funny, feel-good moment that would have won him untold millions in free coverage. Sadly, the senator from Delaware couldn't resist his proclivity to pontificate.
Diane Sawyer had the scoop: Joe Biden appeared on this morning's Good Morning America to make it official -- he's running for president.
First came the obligatory questions about Iran and Iraq. Diane next tried lure Biden into expanding on his statement that Hillary's nostrums for Iraq would be a "disaster." Biden wouldn't bite: "I have great respect for Hillary Clinton . . . she is fully qualified to be president . . . She is a first-rate person."
Biden similarly declined to rise to Sawyer's bait about Obama's inexperience, responding: "This guy's incredible. He's fresh, he's new, he's got great ideas."
Talk then turned to Biden's Achilles heel: his famed motor mouth. Sawyer: "The Washington Post says your friends have told you that you have to learn to 'put a sock in it' and not talk so much, and that you're taking their recommendation to heart."
Biden launched into a 93-word response in which claimed he was taking his friends' advice to heart, but in the same breath added that "if it takes more than three minutes" to give an answer, he's going to do it.
Imagine if in response to Diane's question, Biden, after a pregnant pause, had let his entire answer be a big, smiling "yup!"
It would have been priceless, and splashed all over the media. But Joe just couldn't "hep" himself. Joe Biden: once again, victim of his own verbosity.
"Truth is stranger than fiction" is a phrase you often hear tossed around. I'd add a corollary to it: truth can be funnier than fiction, too.
Such was the case on tonight's "Hardball" where host Chris Matthews got so excited with his quest to blame the Bush admin for the Valerie Plame kerfuffle, he actually started drooling about it on the air, going past anything that "Saturday Night Live" actor Darrell Hammond has ever done in parody.
And no, that's not hyperbole. See the screenshot to the right and watch the video here in WMV or in RealPlayer.
NBC's Thursday night comedy "30 Rock" took some good-natured potshots at "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams in a scene that depicted his office as rife with liquor bottles, dirty underwear, pornography ("Junk in the Trunk") and wall graffiti declaring "Katie Couric Sucks." (h/t TVNewser.com)
Don't look for ABC's Cokie Roberts to turn up anytime soon on that comfy couch featured in Hillary's announcement video, enjoying one of those cozy "conversations" Clinton claims to want.
Appearing on This Week today, Roberts left little doubt that she views Hillary as a seriously flawed candidate - if not person. Roberts began by damning Hillary with faint praise:
"I think she's got a lot of great attributes: she's a very disciplined candidate, she's very smart, she can raise more money than God, she has a terrific staff, she's been through a presidential campaign or two and knows how rough it is, which is really important as everyone at this table knows. And I think that all works for her."
Roberts than inserted the shiv: "What works against her is that issue of anger. And not just anger, sort of coldness."
Is there any industry that elite liberals in the media don't want to regulate? Perhaps it's a little tongue-in-cheek, but The Washington Post's Robin Givhan opened her fashion column in the January 19 Style section thusly:
"If anyone ever needed evidence of why industries should not be allowed to police themselves, the Council of Fashion Designers of American just provided it."
You know we've progressed as a society when our modern-day Upton Sinclair is a clothing critic concerned about models strutting down the catwalk rather than the slaughterhouses that produce the hamburgers they won't touch with a 10-foot pole.
Jonathan Miles' biweekly column on specialty drinks unearths yet more proof of global warming -- his "hot toddy" arrived cold.
"By proposing to add polar bears to the list of 'threatened' species last month, the Bush administration seemed to finally acknowledge that global warming is taking a toll. With rising sea temperatures shrinking the polar ice cap, 'the polar bears’ habitat,' said Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, 'may literally be melting,'' he argues in the Sunday Styles section.
"Closer to home and heart, I’d been worrying about another sort of species that -- at least this season -- seems terribly vulnerable to climate change: the hot toddy. "
Someone at CNN needs to buy a dictionary, or at least visit dictionary.com once in a while. Just a couple of days ago, as MRC’s Scott Whitlock noted, 'American Morning' had a major graphic gaffe, showing a headline asking “Where’s Obama” as the anchors talked about the hunt for the most-wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden, not the Senator from Illinois.
Last night on 'Anderson Cooper 360,' as the anchor introduced a tabloid item on the ongoing spat between Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell, a giant graphic over Cooper’s shoulder carried the headline “SAME FUED, DIFFERENT YEAR.” If that misspelling of “FEUD” was meant as some kind of an inside joke, Cooper didn’t say a word about it. More likely than not, it was just another embarrassing example of the need for all of the 24-hour cable news networks to slow down just enough to double-check their work.
Time’s Cartoons of the Year for 2006 certainly have a liberal tilt. None of them mock American liberals. Two promote them. The list starts with a Kerry-defending serious cartoon, "I’d rather be insulted by a botched joke than die in a botched war." It ends with Nancy Pelosi arriving in the Capitol to "Clean the House."
Republicans and conservatives are mocked. A joke mocks that Dick Cheney should invite Valerie Plame on a hunting trip, that Dennis Hastert is getting his "just desserts" in Foleygate for pursuing the Clinton sex scandals, and the Verizon guy is on the line with an NSA wiretapper who’s thrown the Constitution in the garbage can. John Wayne seems to be in cardiac arrest in Heaven after learning the plot of "Brokeback Mountain."
Was it just good-natured joshing, or did some MSM elitism creep into Matt Lauer's interview-ending question to Tim Russert on this morning's "Today"?
"What's up for the New Year for you? Same thing as usual: keg of Old Milwaukee and a noise-maker?"
What's this? Condescension to Russert's blue-collar image leavened with a dab of drunken-Irishman humor? The camera crew burst into guffaws, but check the video - was Russert's laugh a bit more strained?
Regret the Error, a blog
corrections has released its annual
list of funniest mistakes, apologies, frauds, hoaxes, and
embarrassments perpetrated by and on the self-styled arbiters of the truth.
Some of my favorites:
Reuters, the news agency that brought you the fraudulent
Adnan Hajj, also makes real mistakes. In an Oct. 25 story about bees,
it mistakenly said that Queen Elizabeth has "10 times the life
expectancy of workers and lays 2,000 eggs a day."
In the dubious sources category: "Don Spille -- A man who
told the Tallahassee Democrat that he lost
everything in Katrina – including his father. Ed Spille Sr.,
father, later contacted the newspaper to disagree. 'I might be dead to
him,' he said. 'At 80 years old, I’m dead to a lot of
student newspaper at Purdue University had a real scoop about Supreme
Court justice Samuel Alito during his nomination process: "His motive
for shooting John Paul in the abdomen on May 13, 1981, remains
unclear," the paper asserted in a caption of Alito being sworn in at a hearing.
A night after the media were full of reports about how Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had “snubbed” President Bush by deciding to not join a meeting with Jordan's King, Maliki snubbed CBS anchor Katie Couric who, nonetheless, teased “my interview with Iraq's leader” -- a session which she conducted by hastily sitting on a coffee table and which consumed barely 30 seconds of her newscast. Viewers heard two answers from Maliki, but just one question from Couric, a question the CBS Evening News played both in the up top tease and later in Couric's brief re-cap of her time with Maliki in Amman: “How frustrating has it been for you, Mr. Prime Minister, to not have greater authority sooner?"
Despite the brevity of the exchange, and how it was conducted with Couric sitting on the corner of a coffee table to face Maliki who sat on a sofa, Couric touted how “he sat down for a rare interview just after his meeting with the President.” Without irony, she noted how Maliki had “a lightning-fast summit” with President Bush.
Video clip, which best conveys the hurried nature of the encounter and how Maliki jumped up at the end (1:09): Real (2 MB) or Windows Media (2.4 MB), plus MP3 audio (400 KB)