On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
Mother Nature must have a wicked sense of humor. She forced ABC's Sam Champion to report on anti-global warming initiative . . . . while standing in a field of snow in late April.
Champion was there as part of Good Morning America's "Planet Earth 2007" segment, in which reporters chimed in from around the globe on various environmental initiatives. Diane Sawyer [badly alarmed by a warm spell in January] introduced the segment with a little bit of enviro-alarmist cheerleading, declaring it was "good news" that as per a recent Stanford poll 94% are ready to make a change to help the planet and that 73% are already taking steps to reduce energy consumption.
Here's a little lighthearted item to punctuate the serious news of the past day.
"The View" co-host Joy Behar appeared on today's "Martha Stewart Show" to help the program's host make piñatas from scratch. The final product: a piñata emblazoned with Rosie O'Donnell's photographic image.
For what it's worth, Behar insisted in a Q&A session with the audience that the heated discussion on-set doesn't translate to off-camera animosity.
Tucked in the back of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine was the usual humor column by Gene Weingarten, devoted this week to allegedly feeling sorry for George W. Bush's low standing in public opinion, then relishing the idea of anti-Bush feeling in every single area of the newspaper, such as the horoscope:
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
Hold your head high. It is not your fault that you share an astrological sign with the president of the United States, who is, appropriately enough, a malignancy.
It's a satire, but there are days when it almost matches the bias of The Washington Post in weird sections like Food or Travel. Weingarten also borrowed from CBS's Charles Osgood in using Dr. Seuss as a model for conservative-bashing, as he imagined a Bush-bashing children's book:
On the April 10 "Tonight Show," host Jay Leno joked about Democrats boycotting the Fox News Channel/Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate. Wondered Leno, "How are you going to stand up to terrorists when you're afraid of Fox News?"
Maybe Jay should ask Time magazine's Joe Klein, who called the Fox News debate a "sordid event" that was a clever ploy to "pander" to a Democratic interest group.
Johnny Hart, the wildly successful comic-strip artist of "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id" has died at his drawing board at 76. (We should add the tiny footnote that Hart was a three-time judge of the MRC’s "Best of Notable Quotables" in the mid-1990s.) In his Monday obituary in the Washington Post, Adam Bernstein noted Hart’s success, but focused like a laser beam on how Hart’s religion-themed strips were sometimes censored by the Post and other newspapers with "insensitive and at times offensive themes."
The Post story did not note that often liberal editors perceived the mere expression of Hart's Christianity as offensive, that somehow religion didn't belong in cartoons, even as liberal newspapers used Christian themes against Christians. In 1996, we noted how Hart's strips were pulled for "religious overtones," and how that compared to other images of Christianity in those papers:
It appears that “Doonesbury” isn’t the only political comic strip in America. Now, cartoonist Brian Basset has begun spreading the word of man-made global warming to the funny pages via his "Adam@Home” series.
Below is his most recent installment as offered by Go Comics:
UPDATE/retraction (April 2 | 14:48 EDT): So re-reading and re-reading again Rogers' posts, I've realized he was cleverly playing with and playing up both April Fools pranks by Google. It is notable, of course, that Rogers does regularly blog about all things Google on a regular basis and that his posts, dated March 31 shortly before midnight, were not explicitly marked as satirical or as April Fools writeups. My apologies for not double checking.
ZDNet blogger Garrett Rogers appears to have fallen for not one but two April Fools gags by Google. Happens to the best of us, I suppose, but it's still amusing. One had to do with Google offering a broadband Internet access via the toilet, the other with Google offering to snail mail you any and all emails in your account that you want a hard copy of.
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
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.