Reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's first-ever tweet yesterday, MSNBC producers showed viewers B-roll of a fake Pope Benedict Twitter account while anchor Chris Jansing read off her choice for the June 29 "tweet of the day."
The pontiff doesn't have an official Twitter account and has only tweeted once, on June 28, from the @news_va_en account (video posted after page break):
At the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards” last month I got a pretty good reaction to a compilation of those humorous clips Bret Baier plays at the end of his FNC show, usually drawn from funny takes and edited news video produced by the late night comedy shows. (For that “funny clips” compilation, scroll down on this page.)
So, I thought I’d bring the concept to NewsBusters with occasional weekend postings of the “best” of Baier’s choices. For this inaugural edition, I went back to Baier’s June 15 program for Jimmy Kimmel’s mash-up of a certain term used over and over during CNN’s June 13 Republican presidential debate, a mash-up which ends with a different phrase from Herman Cain. Watch below the jump. It’s short and funny.
A couple of weeks ago, actor/comedian Martin Short celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden by singing, on the Late Show with David Letterman, “Bastard in the Sand,” a parody set to the tune of Elton John's “Candle in the Wind.”
As he played the piano and sang, he was accompanied by five people dressed as Navy SEALs whom the Late Show blog, the Wahoo Gazette, called “the Singing Navy SEALs.” A couple of the humorous stanzas:
In the afterlife, six dozen virgins sure sounded swell
So it must've burned your ass, when you ended up in hell.
It seems to me you lived your life like a bastard in the sand
Never knowing when the U.S. Navy SEALs would land.
On Friday's NBC Today, as co-host Meredith Vieira spoke with correspondent Ben Fogle about Britain's Prince Harry being temporarily stuck at the North Pole, the headline on screen read: "Cooling His Heels; Prince Harry Stuck in the Artic." Halfway through the segment, the show's graphics department apparently noticed the spelling error, changing it to "Arctic."
The morning news program has done several stories on Prince Harry's travels in recent days, making the mistake all the more odd.
Jon Stewart's latest anti-conservative screed included a satirical defense of top income earners and a tongue-in-cheek plea for teachers to pay their fair share, in the wake of the Wisconsin protests. On Monday's "Daily Show," the Comedy Central host offered a shallow assessment of the entire Wisconsin situation with not a single critical look at the state's public sector unions.
Stewart's simplistic take on events is that teachers are being unduly bullied by Republicans and the wealthy to help solve the budget crisis in this country. What could help, he opined, would be boosting taxes on the "top two percent" of income earners.
"Hey you know, one thing we could do – not extend the Bush tax cuts to the top two percent of the country. That would earn us $700 billion over the next ten years," Stewart remarked to applause. "Oh, oh, and maybe also we could close some corporate tax loopholes."
"Let Me Finish" is the title for Chris Matthews's commentary segment that caps off each episode of "Hardball."
But it would have been an appropriate graphic earlier today when the "Hardball" host wouldn't shut up as colleague Chris Jansing tried to wrap up a segment on her "Jansing & Co." program that previewed the Matthews-hosted "Obama's America" special edition of "Hardball" that airs tonight at 5 and 7 p.m. EST.
No novice to cable television, Matthews knows when an anchor is trying to wrap up a segment before commercial break.
"You're like one of the presenters [at the Golden Globes] last night. You're getting rushed here. You're told to wrap," Matthews observed.
Jansing then joked that she was expecting someone to pull her off set with a hook. That's when Matthews sought to chat some about about the Golden Globes.
"Talk about uncivil behavior," Matthews griped about Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais before he got up to leave the set. Moments later as the camera panned out to a wide shot, Matthews could be seen in the background saluting Jansing, who returned his salute.
Earlier this afternoon, Time magazine's Massimo Calabresi posted a minute-long montage of the vice president repeating the same lame "don't date 'til you're 30" joke to various young female relatives of senators whom Biden was ceremonially swearing in.
Chris Matthews called it "the quote of the night," so let's see how our NewsBusters readers respond. Here was Barney Frank, reacting to the assertion by a young Marine that they are a macho bunch whereas gays are "girlie":
"I will confess that I left my purse at home."
Later, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, in a stunning non sequitur, was incapable of understanding how John McCain could oppose DADT repeal while having some years ago apologized for initially opposing the creation of Martin Luther King Day. Huh? For good measure, Bernard called McCain "the male Palin" and accused the entire state of Arizona of being "anti-immigrant."
In honor of Harry Smith leaving the CBS Early Show at the end of the month, along with weatherman Dave Price and already departed co-host Maggie Rodriguez, actor Mark Wahlberg concluded an interview with the morning show host by literally getting on the floor and kissing Smith's feet, declaring "You're the best, ever."
On November 30, it was announced that Smith, Rodriguez, and Price would be replaced by Chris Wragge, Erica Hill, Jeff Glor and Marysol Castro starting January 3. Walhberg's send-off included not only feet-kissing, but he embraced Smith twice as the show moved on to the next segment.
A New York Times commercial that has spawned multiple parodies brags that "the best journalists in the world work at the Times – and there's no debating that." The spot, which is in heavy rotation on the liberal MSNBC, presumably isn't referring to embarrassing reporters such as the disgraced Jayson Blair.
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith got into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach from the show 'Glee,' and on NBC's Today, correspondent Tamron Hall showed up as President Obama. For Smith, it was the second consecutive Halloween he chose a female persona, going as celebrity chef Julia Child in 2009.
Actor and former Obama White House staffer Kal Penn joined Alyssa Milano and a handful of other actors in a short video urging "Funny or Die" website visitors to take time to vote next Tuesday, comparing the time it would take to do so with "much worse ways to spend 10 minutes," like "talk[ing] to your parents about the first time they had sex." [h/t blogger Robert Stacy McCain]
"That is a long ten minutes," Eric McCormack deadpanned in response.
But far from being a simple "do your civic duty and vote" PSA, the video skews leftward, taking thinly-veiled swipes at social conservatives and Tea Party voters.
It takes about ten minuts to "listen to your stupid uncle talk about the dangers of gay marriage," actor Eriq LaSalle noted.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation isn't backing down when it comes to bullying its way into protected-class status. The gay advocacy group has rejected actor Vince Vaughn’s defense of using the term “gay” to describe electric cars in his yet-to-be released movie, “The Dilemma.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, a post on the official GLAAD website rebutted, “Vince is right. Comedy does bring us together, unless one of us is the punchline. Then it pushes us apart.”
Last week the Culture and Media Institute reported that Vaughn defended his character’s use of the term “gay” by saying, “Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together.”
The frequently-maudlin Ann Curry outdid herself on Wednesday's Today show. Narrating a short video item about Russia unveiling a new set of inflatable weapons designed to fool spy satellites, Curry chirped: "Wish all weapons were like that." (Video below the fold.)
Her flower-child moment brought to mind how another morning show anchor, ABC's Charles Gibson, confided to Larry King shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq how he and his wife had “a little framed sign hanging in our bedroom, my wife and I, that said, ‘War is not good for children and other living things,’ and I believe that. So I don’t like covering war and I hate to see them occur.”
Earlier this week an essay appeared on the Huffington Post which accused Heritage Action of plagiarism with regards to some Internet spots they are currently running starring Clint Howard. As the writer for the Heritage Action ads in question, let me address the charge of plagiarism directly. First of all, I can give you my word of honor as a gentleman* that until yesterday morning I had never seen or even heard of the SEIU ads I am accused of plagiarizing. I have heard of Lee Camp, as I peruse the Huffington Post regularly for joke premises, and I have even sampled a couple of Mr. Camp’s alleged comedy offerings. Not being a fan of his work, however, there would be no reason for me to seek out additional examples of it. I would be more than happy to undergo a polygraph examination to corroborate my claims of innocence on the condition that Mr. Camp undergo a polygraph test to corroborate his claims of being a comedy writer which I have been unable to document elsewhere.
Reporting that an elderly woman fainted at a West Virginia campaign appearance by former President Clinton, MSNBC ran the provocative headline "He's Still Got It," on its 10 a.m. EDT news hour. We'll leave it to the reader to guess what exactly MSNBC was getting at.
President Clinton was giving a stump speech Monday for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
"One audience member was just a little overwhelmed," MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing remarked, as a video clip then showed Clinton pausing his speech to recognize an elderly woman in the front who had fainted. "Maybe if you're a Democrat, you'll think this is awesome," Jansing commented.
The woman had received medical attention and was being escorted away by a doctor and two security guards. "And I'm going to save her reputation. It was the sun and not me that made her faint," Clinton joked as she was escorted from the premises.
Fired CNN anchor Rick Sanchez was granted an online Q&A Monday on The Washington Post website. Sanchez still finds it unfair that he would be knocked for noting knowing how many feet are in a meter. Hasn't someone pulled him aside and told him that audiences expect an anchor to at least fake that they've taken the time to figure out feet to meters? When he was asked about why Jon Stewart mocked him so often, Sanchez replied:
I have taken to heart some of Jon Stewart's criticisms and I asked Jon about that last week. He said, "Rick, I'm a comedian and the only reason I focused on you was because I like you."
Maybe I just never saw it that way. Maybe I was too thin-skinned. I blamed it on Jon's prejudice and that was wrong. But here is my point: Oftentimes the ridiculing was simply baseless. I was ridiculed for not knowing how many inches or feet in ten meters. I didn't think that was fair, because it happened during a breaking news story and frankly I'm not good with the metric system.
A young liberal group recently stripped down naked to show their, uh, support for ObamaCare. Well, now a young conservative group has produced a response video. Judge for yourself which one makes the better argument.
Monday brings the debut of CNN’s new “Parker Spitzer,” an 8pm ET political discussion program hosted by columnist Kathleen Parker and the ex-Democratic Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, who resigned two years ago in the midst of a prostitution scandal.
The new show was championed by then-CNN President Jonathan Klein, who was fired by the network on Friday. “Eliot Spitzer still has a lot of ideas to contribute and a lot of things to say. And I think our viewers are going to find him a very interesting person to tune into every night,” Klein enthused back on June 27 on CNN’s Reliable Sources.
As a reality check on CNN’s effort to rehabilitate this scandal-scarred liberal, MRC intern Alex Fitzsimmons and I pulled together quotes from CNN’s coverage of Spitzer’s scandal back in March 2008. MRC video editor Bob Parks turned the clips we found into a polished video presentation documenting how the infamous “Client #9” was mocked and derided by the anchors and correspondents who are now his colleagues. (Video after the jump)
Lauding Jon Stewart's biting humor and criticism of today's politicized media, NY Magazine columnist Chris Smith called him "Cronkite, the most trusted man in America" in his piece featured on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday. The show's panel largely agreed with him and emphasized that Stewart is bi-partisan in his comedy.
"The right provides better raw material, but Stewart's complaints are bi-partisan," Smith writes in his column "America is a Joke." On MSNBC, Smith described Stewart as a "comedy opportunist, you know, where people do mockable things – left, right, in-between."
The show's co-host Joe Scarborough joined Smith in diffusing the myth that Stewart is a raging liberal. "Over the past year, he's been every bit as tough on the Obama administration as Republicans on Capitol Hill," he asserted.
At a media summit in London on Wednesday, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger predicted the Times will eventually go out of print (and become a wholly online/digital publication). But Times Home section contributor Anne Raver has uncovered a possible alternative use for the dead tree version of the paper: Compost.
Under the hopeful headline "Read First, Then Use to Kill Weeds," Raver made the case for using the Times, with compost, to kill garden weeds, as demonstrated in the above photo by the Times's Rob Cardillo.
"I knew I was saving those newspapers for a reason," I said to Rock, as he rolled a cartful from the barn. (We have enough newspapers stacked in there to blanket the turf at the Augusta National Golf Club.)
I started laying down the newspaper, four sheets thick, as Rock went off to dig some compost -- rotted leaves from one pile, aged manure from another -- and mixed it together in a wheelbarrow.
I used the garden hose to wet the newspapers, to keep them from blowing away. But also because wet newspapers will decay faster, and roots from young plants will be able to grow right through to the soil below.