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."
Those poor 1940s kids were driven to smoke by the cartoon cat and mouse duo of "Tom and Jerry." This is a problem they want to prevent in Britain by cutting out scenes of feline tobacco use. Reports AFP:
Smoking scenes in "Tom and Jerry" cartoons are now banned in Britain, following a viewer's complaint to the government agency that polices the airwaves.
In one episode of the classic US cartoon series, Tom is seen smoking a roll-up cigarette in a bid to impress a female cat. In another, Tom's opponent in a tennis match was seen smoking a large cigar.
Also from Michelle Humphrey's bag of Tuesday night TV was HBO talk show host Bill Maher making his usual cracks about conservative haters and how the world is ruined by religion. MRC intern Chadd Clark did the transcribing, and took special notice to this crack on immigration:
Maher: Half of the Republicans are, you know, pro-business when immigration, illegal immigration is good for business, and half of them are for ethnic cleansing, so it's really tough...[laughter] Bush is in the pro-business side. That's what explains a lot of what he does. He's always for business. That's why he was for the Arabs taking over the ports. Remember that?"
From an article I posted a few moments ago at BusinessandMedia.org, an MRC Web site:
Has CNN’s reporting on food gone to the dogs?
The audience of the August 5 edition of “In the Money” might
suspect as much. On that program business contributor Andy Serwer narrated a
“Brainstorm” segment looking at the “latest trends and innovations the food
industry has in store for you” such as “foods you can eat along with your pet.”
Foods you can scarf down with Skippy while channel-surfing
past CNN on your way to Animal Planet? Tell me more.
“For a look at some hot new products appearing on a store
shelf near you, we recently headed to a food trade show in New York City,” the Fortune magazine editor
explained as he opened his segment.
“Careers that last as long and have been as distinguished as Mr. Bennett’s have something to tell us about collective cultural experience over decades. It has been said that Sinatra’s journey from skinny, starry-eyed ‘Frankie,’ strewing hearts and flowers, to the imperious, volatile Chairman of the Board roughly parallels an American loss of innocence. As Sinatra entered his noir period in the mid-1950’s, his romantic faith gave way to a soul-searching existentialism that yielded the most psychologically complex popular music ever recorded. Following a similar arc, the country grew from a nation of hungry dreamers fleeing the Depression and fighting ‘the good war’ into an arrogant empire drunk on power and angry at the failure of the American dream to bring utopia.”
The uniformed Cuban military officer pictured here barks commands at a smallish crowd in Havana that responds with pro-Fidel chants. Imagine you're an objective journalist. How would you report it? "The Castro regime orchestrates a public show of support," perhaps? Not Andrea Mitchell. Appearing on this morning's Today show, here's how NBC News' Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent characterized what you have to imagine was a less-than-spontaneous event:
"In Havana,Cubans turn out to show support for their long-time leader."
Andrea managed to get through her segment without mentioning Communism, repression or anything else that would cast aspersions on Los Hermanos Castro. She even obligingly passed along this bit of Castro propaganda: "He [Fidel] is calling on Cubans to remain calm, and they seem to be." Despite all the conjecture as to the state of his health Fidel hasn't made any public appearances. How can Mitchell know that it was indeed the great leader who was 'calling on' the Cuban people? And was it Fidel's reassuring words, or living in a police state, that had that calming effect on the Cuban people?
In a Tuesday USA Today article on the 90th birthday of NPR's left-wing commentator, Daniel Schorr, Peter Johnson revealed the ignorance of NPR producers about modern history. Johnson began his July 25 puff piece on the CBS News veteran, “60 years later, NPR's Schorr is still a 'precious resource,'” with some anecdotes about how NPR producers turn to him for basic facts:
Daniel Schorr is used to producers popping into his Washington, D.C., office at National Public Radio to ask, on deadline: Which war came first, Korea or Vietnam? (Answer: Korea.)
But when one asked, "You covered the Spanish-American War, didn't you?” Schorr couldn't help but respond, matter-of-factly: “That was 1898.”
“Oh, sorry, of course,” the younger man said, excusing himself.
During a July 18th segment on the science behind stem cell research with CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, American Morning substitute host Carol Costello displayed a shocking lack of knowledge of basic reproductive science. Costello was questioning Cohen on what federal funding for stem cell research would mean for those who had frozen embryos. Cohen explained that scientists with federal grants would seek out these embryos, and it would be up to individuals to decide whether or not to make a donation. Costello showed her confusion on the topic with this question:
Cohen: "These are four-day old embryos. We’re talking about very tiny, tiny embryos."
Costello: "And they’re not fertilized either, right?"
Cohen, forced to correct Costello, gave her a quick explanation of how an embryo is formed:
Was it Robert Novak who jolted aficionados of the vendetta-against-Joe-Wilson conspiracy theory, or was the message coming from . . . a Higher Authority? You be the judge, after having a look at the screen capture from this evening's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC. Yes, that's a lightning bolt. No, it wasn't photo-shopped - it's the real thing.
The bolt hit while the panel was discussing the electrifying implications of Brit Hume's just-aired interview of Bob Novak. Hume questioned Novak about his disclosure of Valerie Plame's employment by the CIA. Novak had revealed Plame's employment in the course of reporting that she had recommended that her husband - Ambassador Joe Wilson - be sent to Niger to look into reports that Saddam Hussein had been seeking to acquire uranium for purposes of constructing nuclear weapons.
A Republican senator who makes a remark with insensitive racial connotations? Toast. Ask Trent Lott. A Democrat? Hey, no problem! Then again, woe betide the Republican senator who offers an awkward description of the workings of the internet. It will 'haunt' him.
That's the world according to Wonkette-turned-Time columnist Ana Marie Cox, who appeared on last evening's Scarborough Country. For those who might have missed the Biden flap, on a recent campaign swing to New Hampshire, Biden told an Indian political activist: “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
Ouch! Norah O'Donnell knows how to get a guy where it hurts. And Kim Jong Il might be feeling 'ronrier' than ever.
On this evening's Hardball, Norah, guest-hosting for Chris Matthews, discussed the failed North Korean missile tests with three separate panels. In each case, she used the same Freudian-fraught metaphor for failure:
To her first panel, composed of congressmen Dan Burton [R-IN] and Bill Pascrell [D-NJ], Norah noted:
"We saw the Taepodong missile essentially exploded and went limp into the sea of Japan after 45 seconds."
Next, with guests Michael Scheuer and Tyler Drumheller - both former CIA officials - she mentioned:
If the mark of a person at ease with himself is the ability to have a chuckle at his own expense, then Rush Limbaugh is a supremely serene man. In the wake of the incident in which he was detained at the Palm Beach International Airport when it was discovered he had in his luggage a vial of Viagra with a prescription not in his name, you might have imagined that Rush would have begun today's show with an indignant denial of wrongdoing. He might have explained in tedious detail that in fact the prescription had, with personal privacy in mind, been written in his doctor's name.
But no. Rush opened by poking gentle fun at the situation, and even, in the process, at himself:
The primary goal of the Daily Show is, of course, to entertain, but it's safe to say that Jon Stewart and company also would like to push (or is it pull?) American politics to the left.
A new study, however, indicates that the program may in that sense be at odds with itself. Specifically, it suggests that the mocking, condescending tone of the Daily Show may result in diminished voter turnout among its viewers -- almost all of whom, as you probably assumed, are non-conservatives.
Richard Morin, in today's Washington Post, reports:
Two political scientists [have] found that young people who watch Stewart's faux news program...develop cynical views about politics and politicians that could lead them to just say no to voting.
Rachel Sklar, formerly of Mediabistro's FishbowlNY blog and now the "Eat the Press" specialist at the Huffington Post (no "Green Acres" accents required), reports on what she calls a "cheap but hilarious" shot at congressional Republicans on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." It's apparently funny to blame Republican softball players for the floods in New Orleans, as fake-reporter Dan Bakkedahl put it:
The Daily Show's Dan Bakkedahl reported last night on the crisis gripping Congressional-league softball in D.C. this season after the Republican players split off into their own league in response to more inclusive regulations proposed by Democrats. According to the Wall Street Journal (and The Daily Show), the Republicans "seceded" from the league after the Democratic commissioner, Gary Caruso, permitted below-average teams to compete in the playoffs. The WSJ and Daily Show cited several emails accusing the league of being "all about Softball Welfare" and accusing Caruso of "punishing success and rewarding failure - He's a Democrat. Waddya' expect?"
It's not especially newsworthy that Connie Chung and Maury Povich's Saturday program on MSNBC, which debuted in January, has been canceled. Perhaps no more newsworthy, but definitely more amusing, is that on the show's final episode this past weekend, Chung, as she danced on top of and around a piano, bade her audience farewell in song, to the tune of "Thanks for the Memories." (Hat tips: Drudge and NRO's The Corner.)
To be fair, Chung sings better than Elaine Benes danced. That said, watch this and you'll appreciate Bob Hope (not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys) more than you ever did before. (Monday's New York Post printed some of her lyrics.)