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.
Long-time Los Angeles Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad has died, but the most interesting paragraph of his obituary in The Washington Post is the little hint by Post writer Matt Schudel that great newspapers only gain that reputation once they become liberal:
He won his first Pulitzer in 1964, then left Denver for Los Angeles. Mr. Conrad's incisive cartoons, which he drew six days a week, helped raise the reputation of the once-moribund Times, which had parroted the Republican Party line for decades.
A similar version of this trope appeared in the Los Angeles Times itself in a story by James Rainey, but at least it suggested that there might be a difference between mediocre reporting and a Republican viewpoint. Conrad viciously attacked Nixon and Reagan with his pen, which was and is apparently the secret of media prestige:
Our friends at BulletPeople.com have come out with another awesome Jack Webb parody video. This time the famed "Dragnet" detective Sgt. Joe Friday is taking on President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder over his treatment of Arizona in their attempt to deal with illegal immigration:
In the midst of bashing Pres. Bush over Iraq this evening, Rachel Maddow's mic went suddenly dead, forcing her MSNBC show to go to commercial.
When she returned [and after paraphrasing a line from Macbeth], Maddow let it be known she was "such a conspiracy theorist" but didn't dare tell the audience what she was thinking because "it would discredit me forever."
Was Mark Halperin just mugging, or was he truly turned off by Donny Deutsch's antics on the set of Morning Joe today? Check the video and be the judge.
Here's the background: on the show's August 6th edition [a clip of which was played today and is seen in the video here], Deutsch turned up in a tight black T-shirt and proceeded to spend much of his appearance flexing for the cameras. He ended his self-promoting shtick by doing a set of push-ups as the closing comments rolled.
Deutsch, apparently doing sartorial penance, appeared in a three-piece suit this morning. But when Mika Brzezinski chided him for his macho act, going so far as to facetiously accuse him of "sexting" on the set, Deutsch couldn't resist recreating his previous performance, doing a set of dips on the desk.
Daily Show host Jon Stewart has again come to the defense of the Ground Zero mosque-builders, complete with a graphic suggesting the opponents are conducting a “Mosque-erade.” Stewart brought in “senior religion correspondent” John Oliver, and predictably, they launched back into Catholic pedophile humor, as if it were fresh and original and so, well, 2002:
STEWART: Why should religious groups have to bend to people’s worst suspicions about them?
JOHN OLIVER: Because, Jon, there’s a difference between what you can do and what you should do. For instance, you can build a Catholic church next to a playground. Should you? Should you do that, Jon? Should you do that? [Whoops, laughter and applause.]
Was MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski just joking or was she channeling some actual frustrations with her employers at MSNBC? As Brzezinski sat in as a guest co-host of Saturday’s Today show on NBC, she repeatedly joked about admiring Steven Slater, the flight attendant who quit his job at JetBlue by erratically bailing out of his plane down the emergency chute holding two beers. While co-host Amy Robach admitted that she was "getting sick of this story," Brzezinski had only just heard the story because she had been vacationing the past week. Reveling in her fascination with Slater, she made such declarations as, "I feel his pain," "I think I love him," and, "I have dreams about doing that actually."
Although at one point she referred to sometimes being annoyed at unruly airline passengers as a reason for sympathizing with him, she also twice joked about jumping out of the window of the NBC studio at 30 Rock. At the top of the show, she jokingly predicted, "I might jump out the window with a beer. You never know." During a plug later, she mused: "Two beers, I love him. It's my dream just to, like, right outside the window of 30 Rock. What do you think? On an escape hatch."
What is it with liberals and their violent fantasies? The Journolist has given us a public radio producer imagining herself laughing with glee as Rush dies a painful death, while other members want their political enemies thrown through plate-glass windows. This evening brings us "comedian" and liberal radio talk show host Stephanie Miller fantasizing about Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Geraldo Rivera being beaten with baseball bats by drunken Yankee fans. Miller was a guest on Ed Schultz's week-ending "Club Ed" segment.
Editor's Note: For the list of NewsBusters T-shirt contest winners, skip to the end of this post.
As we approach our 5th anniversary at NewsBusters, our celebration would not be complete without a recap of our best posts. It was a tough call, but we came up with the top 25, broken down evenly into five categories of five each.
We call it our Five-for-Five.
Each Friday through August 13 we'll publish a Five-for-Five list.We've saved the very best for last: On Monday, August 16, we'll publish the Top Five Outrageous Outbursts.
But we start today with a much lighter note. The first category for Five-for-Five is The Top Five Media Flubs Caught by NewsBusters.(Also check out a short video-cast with NewsBusters bloggers talking about how they caught the flubs.)