Once gain, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann seems entertained by the thought of conservatives being shot. Less than five months after depicting the image of Rush Limbaugh as the target of gunfire during his Countdown show, on Wednesday's show Olbermann included a joke about shooting Dick Cheney during the regular "Top Three Sound Bites" segment of the show. One of the featured clips was from the Tuesday November 14 Daily Show with Jon Stewart in which Stewart asked his guest, former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, whom he would have "accidentally shot in the face" if he had been elected Vice President, to which Edwards responded "Dick Cheney." Notably, just one night earlier, Olbermann had spent an entire segment discussing whether conservative commentators had inspired a man to mail fake Anthrax letters to public figures, and to make other threats, a la King Henry's declaration "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest," referring to Archbishop Thomas Becket. (Transcript follows)
As the media crow about Democrats taking the reins of power on Capitol Hill, if you need a giggle, it's worth a rewind to the "Saturday Night Live" satire of MSNBC's "Hardball" on the October 28 show -- the same one with the fake Halloween GOP ads with Witchy Hillary and Count Obama. Chris Matthews (played as usual by Darrell Hammond) and Howard Dean (played by Jason Sudeikis) are expressing amazement at how pro-Democrat the polls are turning out:
Matthews: “Alright, I assume you've seen the latest poll, which has your party with an astonishing 55-point lead over the Republicans.”
Dean: “Life is good, Chris.”
Matthews: “But what amazes me is the internal numbers. I mean, the public now favors the Democrats in every issue. Even national defense.”
Dean: “I know, Chris. It's crazy. We can't be trusted on national defense.”
It seems we were misled by Dan Rather about playing it "straight" on The Daily Show on Election Night. He made a brief appearance to draw laughs by spouting a few canned "Ratherisms," in case anyone missed the biennial tradition of the disgraced CBS anchor’s homespun Texas phrases. (By the way, we coined the term "Ratherisms" in Notable Quotables back in 1992, and were recounting the election-night expressions back in NQ’s first year, 1988.) On Tuesday, Rather gave a bland analysis of the state of play, allowing Stewart to set up the gag:
Stewart: "We sort of brought you in here to, you know, give us a little bit more of that Dan Rather. You know what I am saying? A little bit more of that home-spun kind of... ?
Rather, faking confusion: "How so?"
Stewart: How about Hillary Clinton? We knew she would win in a landslide. How would you, Dan Rather, describe the largeness of her victory?
Rather: It was a healthy margin. [Stewart mugs and urges the Ratherism.] How about...She ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet potato pie?" [Wild applause, cheers.]
A new book has hit the stands that has been a "filler" topic for many talk radio programs this week. Called 101 most influential people who never lived, the book is penned by three authors who rate fictional characters of literature and film who they feel had the greatest influence on society.
The book is being treated as light, amusing reading, with USA Today quoting author Lazar as saying, "The point of the book is to entertain". Most radio interviews I have heard have treated it as a "fun" topic.
But, a recent interview of one of the authors, Dr. Alan Lazar, was aired on Nick Digilio's WLS, Chicago radio program that was quite revealing of the "real purpose" of this book, however.
Rahm Emanuel missed his calling in life. Rather than heading the Dem congressional campaign committee, he should have become a professional in the sport of freediving - holding your breath and diving without any breathing apparatus. Judging by his performance on today's Good Morning America, there's no doubt Rahm would have been a world champion.
In the closely-controlled world of the first half-hour [really 22 minutes] of the morning news shows, hosts keep a tight rein on their guests. Even notorious gabbers like Joe Biden are lucky to get in 15 seconds in before being cut short. Katie Couric, for all her liberal leanings, was a master of the technique.
When NBC military affairs correspondent Jim Miklaszewski posed an ill-founded question to Donald Rumsfeld at a Pentagon press briefing today, the Secretary of Defense responded in, shall we say, animated fashion, leaving very little doubt as to where he stood on the matter.
The Mik apparently asserted that every time a security benchmark has been laid down, the Iraqis have failed to meet it.
You can view the Defense Secretary's muscular response - cataloguing Miklaszewski's myriad mistakes - here.
To: On-Air Personalities From: NBC News Management Subject: Watch your language!
With less than two weeks left before the election, naturally we're all excited at the prospect, after 12 long years in the wilderness, that we will finally be winning back the majority in one or perhaps even both houses of Congress.
With victory this close at hand, it's important that none of us provide any fodder for Republicans - or those annoying right-wing media critics - to claim that we are, well, doing what we're doing - rooting for a Democratic win.
There's nothing the MSM loves more than a renegade Republican. The GOP maverick-of-the-MSM-week is David Kuo. He is the former #2 man in the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and has written a book, Tempting Faith, claiming that the operation was a cynical attempt to woo faith-based voters whom top aides including Karl Rove looked at contemptuously.
Chris Matthews predictably had Kuo on this afternoon's Hardball. At one point, Matthews asked whether President Bush has "used faith to get votes" and then "how about the issues like stem cell - do you think he's using them politically?"
"I think you're conflagrating a couple of different things here."
As a guest on Friday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC News White House correspondent David Gregory, to illustrate how he's observed that during press conferences President George W. Bush “particularly likes to kind of pop your bubble or tweak you a little bit,” impersonated Bush as he recalled the President's reaction to him -- “as if I'd committed a war crime” -- switching to French to pose a question to French President Chirac. At the Sunday, May 26, 2002 joint press conference in Paris, Gregory had asked Chirac to also respond to the question he had just posed to Bush about why “there are such strong sentiments in Europe against you” and why “there's a view that you and your administration are trying to impose America's will on the rest of the world?” Chuckling, Bush quipped: “That's very good. The guy memorizes four words and he plays like he's intercontinental!” On the Tonight Show, interspersing his best impression of Bush -- which was pretty good -- Gregory spent about two minutes describing the event and how Bush, to the bafflement of Chirac and others, kidded him about it long afterward. (Video link follows to the 2002 exchange)
I'd like to thank Keith Olbermann of MSNBC for putting himself on my radar last week by naming the NewsBusters staff, and me personally, "Worst Persons in the World", a signal honor, usually reserved for the likes of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh (and by the way, where's my trophy?).
Anyway, now that I'm aware of Mr. Olbermann and his little cable show, I found this quote of his in the Denver Post rather puzzling [emphasis added]:
"As a critic of the administration, I will be damned if you can get away with calling me the equivalent of a Nazi appeaser," Olbermann told The Associated Press. "No one has the right to say that about any free-speaking American in this country."
Have a look at this screen capture from the opening of this morning's 'Today': Barbra Streisand says "SEND IN THE #$&!! CLOWNS"
Since 'Today' only offered a tease at the top of the show, it was hard to know just what Babs had been up to. Was she cursing out a fan or, perhaps, calling for a takeover of power by her team of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Conyers, Henry Waxman et al.?
Turns out the correct answer was 'A' - cursing a fan. According to this New York Post article, VULGAR BABS RIPS BUSH - AND FAN - AT MSG:
In Tuesday's Washington Post, Peter Marks praises "Get Your War On," a left-wing comedy performance at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Unsurprisingly, the critic from the liberal paper finds invective is a lovely thing, if applied to conservatives:
Gary Trudeau, creator of the 'Doonesbury' comic strip, says cartoonists should draw the line when it comes to offending people. In an interview published in the Santa Barbara Independent:
Q. What did you make of the Danish cartoon mess? I understand that you said you would never play with the image of Allah. But did you feel you should have done so out of a sense of professional solidarity, or to make a statement about freedom of speech?
A. What exactly would that statement be? That we can say whatever we want in the West? Everyone already knows that. So then the question becomes, should we say whatever we want? That, to me, is the crux. Do you hurt people just because you can? Because you feel they shouldn’t be deeply hurt, does that mean they aren’t? Should the New York Times run vicious caricatures of blacks and Jews just to show the First Amendment in action? At some point, common sense and sensitivity have to be brought to bear.
On a relatively slow news Sunday, perusing Google News in search of some morsel of MSM bias with which whip up NewsBusters readers, I came across these two stories, the first from CTV.ca, the second from the Hindustan Times:
"Jadakiss arrested for alleged weapon possession"
"Chikungunya visits Kerala after 30 years"
Both headlines left me baffled. Who is Jadakiss? UN diplomat? Star striker for Manchester United? Second cousin to Gene Simmons? Congressional staffer angry he didn't get an IM from Mark Foley?
And who or what is Chikungaya, and why is he/it visiting Kerala? For that matter, is Kerala a person or a place?
In Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance by Capitol Hill’s Gay Republicans, the New York Times describes the plight of gay Republican staffers in DC. According to the Times, things are so tough for them that a group gets together every week to "commiserate." The longish article makes an interesting read, but I was particularly struck by these two items. First, the article's author, Mark Leibovich, writes:
"Even though the G.O.P. fashions itself as 'the party of Lincoln' and a promoter of tolerance, it is perceived as hostile by many gay men and lesbians."
Today we're unveiling a new occasional feature, a contest for readers of NewsBusters.
Since Rosie O'Donnell has joined the ABC-syndicated show "The View," tensions have risen pretty dramatically on the set between the co-hosts. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the lone right-of-center host has reportedly brought to tears repeatedly. The rest of the show's staff is also upset.
Your task: Predict who will be the first to leave the show and when. The person closest to the date will become the winner of your very own Rosie O'Donnell doll, voodoo pins not included, and any conservative book of your choosing. (Entries must be posted as comments on NewsBusters before the end of the day Wed., Oct.
Call him a shooting star. Like a meteor lighting a brilliant-but-too-brief trail across the night sky, Tucker Carlson is gone in a blaze of glory from Dancing With The Stars.
The end came shockingly fast, as viewers across the country voted by phone and decided Tucker was the celebrity they could most easily bear not to see again. And thus it was that on Wednesday, Carlson was the first to be voted off the dancing island. All of which is a shame, nay, a national tragedy when you consider that . . . we won't be seeing Tucker's lovely partner Elena Grinenko again any time soon.
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's comic creation Borat Sagdiyev has caused so much outrage in Kazakhstan with his new movie, President George W. Bush will address the issue when he meets the Kazakh leader.
Bush is set to hold talks with Nursultan Nazarbayev over oil supply--and disgusted Kazakhs have demanded action over Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Roman Vassilenko says, "We have made it clear that we are unhappy with the character's representation. He does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."
Cartoonist Henry Payne of the Detroit News welcomed Katie Couric to CBS with a couple of cartoons about her Photoshop diet: they're here and here. (There's also this one on Plamegate.) I thought the overeager people making Katie skinnier was a silly mistake. If you want to suggest that Katie's just as good as the men, the last thing you do is suggest she has to be supermodel-skinny to succeed.
As the Dancing With the Stars host said, Tucker Carlson - host of the MSNBC show of the same name - "has braved some of the most perilous situations in the world, but now [for] his most intimidating assignment - dancing the cha-cha-cha on national television."
It was Tucker's turn to shine on tonight's episode of Dancing With the Stars. Carlson's professional dance partner Elena Grinenko did her best to lower expectations. Said the sultry Russian "when it comes to Tucker's ability for dancing . . . " She let a grimace express her dubious assessment. But - thanks to MRC's Brent Baker - we have the video: so you be the judge!
On Monday's Late Show on CBS, David Letterman read a humorous list of suggested sign-offs Katie Couric could use at the end of the CBS Evening News. Among the proposals: “Three of tonight's stories were fake. Write in if you think you know which ones,” "I’m gonna go get my freak on," "Let’s turn this mother out again tomorrow," "Til tomorrow, morons,” “Return to your sad little lives,” “From me to you, suck it” and, my favorite, “Putting the 'BS' in CBS.” (Full list below)
UPDATE: Couric ended Tuesday's CBS Evening News by showing Letterman reading seven of his ideas, but none of the ones hinting at false stories: "Save us, Superman," "Well, I’m off to the dog track," "That’s the deal, Lucille," "Here, kitty kitty kitty," "Keep feelin’ the funk," "Oh, Lordy, I gots the news fever" and "I’m Katie Couric, I'm gonna go get me some ribs."
In Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, on the back page of an issue with a cover story devoted to solemn memorials of 9/11, Gene Weingarten's "Below the Beltway" humor column lived up to its cheeky title with a column comparing George W. Bush to Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Warren Harding. The headline was: "The Bush League: How low can he go?" Weingarten, a former editor of the Post's Sunday Style section, clearly had fun with this column, which began with a dash of whimsey mixed with venom:
We in the media are sometimes accused of letting liberal bias subtly slip into our writing and reporting. That accusation is calumny. We are dispassionate observers and seekers of truth. All we do is ask questions. Today's question: Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history?
You've satirized numerous presidents. How's this presidency different? Previously, whether I was dealing with a Republican or a Democratic president, I always felt that they were kind of up to the job, basically. And this president, to me, doesn't seem that way at all. It's very scary to me that he occupies the office.
That doesn't sound so impartial. Are you a Democrat? I am...
Some of your cartoons are kind of dark. We're in a dark time in history now. The country is needlessly divided.
Yes, needlessly divided. All we have to do to be undivided is convert to liberalism. Just like we're needlessly at war with militant Muslims and all we have to do to stop it is convert to Islam.
I am beginning a new, perhaps very temporary, column as a much-needed stress-reliever from my usually ponderous research papers. Lately, I began noticing that the Associated Press is posting many articles with broken or incomplete sentences and poor grammar. After noticing Time Magazine’s April cover entitled “Drop-Out Nation,” regarding the 30% national high school dropout rate, I wondered what happened to all those undereducated victims of our socialist education system. Did they all get hired by AP? So I decided to begin posting their bloopers a la Eats Shoots & Leaves. (Please feel free to join in with your own explanation of what AP meant to say.)
With Katie Couric poised to take over the CBS Evening News anchor chair on Tuesday following his departure from the network this summer, Dan Rather's era at CBS News has come to a definitive end. The coda certainly came Friday night with CBS's send-off re-airing of its Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers special first run in March of 2005 (NewsBusters item on it.) As a holiday weekend treat from the MRC's video archive, enjoy one of Rather's wackier moments -- from the June 22, 1994 Late Show with David Letterman -- when Rather sang his version of Johnny Cash's The Wreck of the Old 97.
The news photo of MSNBC's Queen of Sensationalist Journalism, Rita Cosby, stalking weirdo John Mark Karr as he is being transported to the Boulder County jail, has already achieved legendary status. All over the web and in the blogosphere, this photo, captured by AP photograper, Jack Dempsey, has become a source of universal mirth, whether from the right or the left. Looking at it one wonders who appears to be more obsessive, Rita or Karr? Proving that a picture is worth a thousand word, this photo is providing much commentary of a humorous nature on the web. One example of such commentary came in the form of a caption contest at the Free Republic. Here is a sampling of the Freeper captions for this photo:
Thursday's Late Show with David Letterman on CBS featured a “Top Ten” list announced by CNN anchor Kyra Phillips, who on Tuesday was caught with her microphone on in a CNN restroom talking over a speech by President Bush. See this NewsBusters item by Megan McCormack for a transcript and fun video. The #5 from Phillips on Letterman: “I was set up by those bastards at Fox News.” To watch video of her presentation from the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, go to the Late Show home page. Or, direct to the Late Show's “Big Show Highlights” page and click on the top video. Either way, the video is available only as a streaming (not downloadable) Real clip. (Text of full list follows)
For those who were not watching Fox News Channel at 6:30am EDT today, 'Fox and Friends First' had a little bit of fun with CNN anchor Kyra Phillips’ restroom conversation, inadvertently broadcast live Tuesday during President Bush’s speech in New Orleans.
Making light of Phillips’ gaffe, anchor Kiran Chetry, having returned from a commercial break, was interrupted by an off-air "personal" conversation taking place between fellow F&F anchors Steve Doocy and Mike Jerrick.
It appears that the Leftists have found themselves a new human rights cause to protest---the "torture" of imprisoned Saddam Hussein by forcing him to watch the 'South Park' movie portraying him as having a "special relationship" with Satan. Here is the report on this abuse of Saddam via Yahoo! News:
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is being made to watch his appearance in cult cartoon South Park while he is behind bars.
The deposed leader on trial in Iraq was featured in the movie spin-off as the lover of the devil. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut featured Hussein and Satan attempting to take over the world together.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone said US Marines guarding the former dictator during his trial for genocide were making him watch the movie "repeatedly".
"I have it on pretty good information from the Marines on detail in Iraq that they showed him the movie last year. That's really adding insult to injury. I bet that made him really happy," Stone said.
Looking for a "passionate, compassionate, great, great" man? Well, according to CNN’s Kyra Phillips, they do indeed exist.
During CNN’s live coverage of President Bush’s remarks from New Orleans, Phillips was unaware that her microphone was on and picked up portions of a conversation she was having with another woman, apparently in a CNN restroom. At 12:49pm EDT, those listening carefully could hear Phillips praise her husband:
Phillips: "Yeah, I’m very lucky in that regard with my husband. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving, you know, no ego–you know what I’m saying. Just a really passionate, compassionate great, great human being. And they exist. They do exist. They’re hard to find. Yup. But they are out there."
Phillips also inadvertently revealed how she feels about her sister-in-law:
Phillips: "..Brothers have to be, you know, protective. Except for mine. I’ve got to be protective of him...Yeah. He’s married, three kids, but his wife is just a control freak."