CNN Headline News' Showbiz Tonight host A.J. Hammer invited HGTV host Lauren Lake and Extra's Carlos Diaz on to the program yesterday to discuss Oprah Winfrey's refusal to book Governor Sarah Palin on her show.
Both Hammer and Lake teamed up on Diaz and bombarded him with why it was not a political decision for Oprah to refuse Palin on her show while endorsing Obama.
HAMMER: Carlos, it’s the Oprah Winfrey Show. She said what she was going to do. She sets the plate, and she’s sticking with it, so I don’t really get what the problem is.
DIAZ: No I agree. I agree, but my point is it’s tough to back one candidate and then completely ignore the Republican Party. I know she’s sticking to her guns, but still.
HAMMER: So because she’s Oprah Winfrey, it’s almost like a different set of rules apply?
Call this the meeting of the minds - should it ever happen, but the host of CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" has a message for MSNBC's "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann.
Lou Dobbs, a self-described ‘independent populist' that espouses his anti-free trade and protectionist viewpoints on CNN nightly, appeared at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit. It was there that Dobbs revealed his disdain for Olbermann.
"Did somebody mention Keith Olbermann?" Dobbs asked rhetorically. "By the way - I was delighted to hear that - well, let me say, let me put it this way just very clearly - I'm a petty and venal person. I and Tony [Perkins, president of the Family Research Council], I'm confessing in front of everyone here, but the man is hanging by a highly medicated string. And I am so, well, I have to admit it - I am a little angry with him."
On CNBC's "Squawk Box," reporter Charlie Gasparino told co-host Joe Kernen, "I will say this about the Bear Stearns thing when you compare that [Lehman] with this. I think our reporting was incredibly responsible. It was so responsible ... and you know we went out of our way with Bear Stearns ... We just report on how feckless management is and I can't help that Bear Stearns was feckless. [Lehman] was feckless too and that is the scary part."
"They're going to parse every ‘is' that a journalist said," said Kernen. "We don't hammer the stock. We watch the stock get hammered and then we talk about it."
The legalization of slavery is a big campaign issue. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg. Republican nominee John McCain appeared on the Septemeber 12 edition of "The View." Answering a question about his opposition to Roe v. Wade, McCain insisted that he would support judges who strictly interpret the Constitution. This must have set alarms for Whoopi Goldberg who asked "do I have to worry about becoming a slave again?" [audio available here]
If Goldberg -- who in the past has shown clear ignorance about the Constitution -- would actually read the Constitution, she would know a strict constructionist would not return America to slavery. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution states that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except for punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
Initially Senator McCain ignored Goldberg's question, but Whoopi expressed her enslavement anxiety again adding "there are certain things in the Constitution that you had to change." The "View" co-host should know that, unlike the legalization of abortion, slavery was abolished through a constitutional amendment, not a Supreme Court decision.
It now makes more sense why CNN's John Roberts didn't want to talk about liberal media bias with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention last week, for while discussing the state of the presidential campaign with former Clinton administration advisor Paul Begala Friday morning, Roberts referred to Democrats as "we." [audio here]
I kid you not.
At 6:57 AM, after showing a video of Barack Obama saying, "I don't care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift Boat politics. Enough is enough," Roberts said to his guest (video embedded right, downloadable video available here, file photo):
Hip Hop R&B artist Ne-Yo joined MTV VJ Lyndsey Rodrigues on TRL to co-host today. Prior to performing, Ne-Yo was interviewed about a song on his new album titled "When You're Mad." Rodrigues asked the singer/song-writer the last time he was mad himself.
RODRIGUES: When's the last time you got fired up?
NE-YO: Last time I got fired up?...you know what got me mad? When I watched McCain's speech. That got me mad.
RODRIGUES: I'm not going to get into it.
Rodrigues quickly steered away from politics and moved the show back to the music. Perhaps after Russell Brand made his views known to the MTV audience, another onslaught of complaints was the last thing MTV wanted.
However, Brand gained more notoriety than ever since the Video Music Awards and has apparently been asked to return next year. Up and coming entertainers are not necessarily looking for friends but the bottom line. It should be no surprise entertainers are looking to throw political bombs now.
Ne-Yo may be looking to season his new album release with some political controversy, but after Brand's reprehensible behavior at the VMA's, Ne-Yo was not going to top that. At least MTV was not going to let him.
Immediately following the interview, CNBC Media and Technology Editor Dennis Kneale observed the demeanor of Nelson and warned the scandal would be exploited by Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., for political purposes.
ABC's "Good Morning America" exposed many problems with Medicare's hotline number 1-800-MEDICARE September 11, including telephone operators "who couldn't answer the [questions],""gave out the wrong information" or were completely unreachable.
The onscreen caption for the ABC report read "Investigation Exposes Health Care Mess." The morning broadcast didn't disappoint, pointing to a Senate committee investigation that had staffers call the Medicare hotline more than 500 times.
Co-host Chris Cuomo teased to introduce Yunji de Nies' report:
Many seniors looking for answers to their questions often turn to help lines that can be anything but helpful.
Even though "Good Morning America" seems to have taken a recent interest in the glaring problems at the government-backed program, experts have been making the point for years.
It's an oldie, but a goodie for the broadcast media - attacking bottled water, a legitimate product that produces billions of dollars in sales annually.
The September 10 "CBS Evening News" went after the bottled water industry, suggesting that a lack of regulations for purification and testing meant bottled water is unsafe.
"The marketing campaigns say it all - bottled water is a pure healthy choice for consumers and millions of Americans are swallowing that message," CBS correspondent Thalia Assuras said. "Despite research showing that almost 40 percent actually comes out of taps, including Pepsi's Aquafina, Coke's Dasani and Nestle's Pure-Life, consumers spent $11 billion last year buying it off the shelves, convinced it's healthier. Food safety experts say there is no evidence of that."
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the September 11 "Fox & Friends" to talk about media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's lipstick-on-a-pig remark and on the continued fallout from MSNBC's biased convention coverage.
Bozell noted that the liberal media just "don't get it" about widespread anger over the lipstick remark, but cautioned the Fox News anchors from labeling Obama's remark as sexist:
BRENT BOZELL: There are women all over America who are outraged. Whether or not he meant to say it, he did say it. Period.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: And so, do you believe, though, that it was a sexist comment?
Make it a trio of mindreaders at NBC/MSNBC. As noted here, yesterday Howard Fineman and David Shuster went Carnac on us, emphatically declaring that Barack Obama didn't have Sarah Palin in mind with his lipstick line. On this morning's Today, Andrea Mitchell joined her network stablemates [no pun intended!] in delving into Barack's brain and assuring us he meant no harm.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Barack Obama has been a punching-bag [aww] for a barrage of criticism from the McCain campaign. Charges that he slurred Sarah Palin when he said this about McCain and his change argument [cut to clip of Obama's lipstick line]. He was clearly talking about McCain, not Palin.
Well, guess that wraps it up. But wait. Over at Morning Joe, the group wasn't so forgiving, opining that Obama either did know, or should have known, the implications of what he was saying. Mika Brzezinski herself took the first shot.
Two segments on Tuesday’s Election Center program, which were promoted by host Campbell Brown as having ‘no bias, no bull,’ actually tried to paint Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin as having a "very extreme" and "outside-the-mainstream" viewpoint on environmental issues, since on the issue of global warming, she’s "not one... who would attribute it to being man-made." Brown herself suggested during the second segment that the debate over the cause of global warming was already over [see video at right].
Correspondent Randi Kaye interviewed University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner during the first segment, a report on Palin’s environmental record. She asked, " In a word, if you can sum up Sarah Palin's record on the environment here, what would it be?" Steiner answered, "Abysmal." Anderson Cooper’s blog on CNN.com republished the professor’s September 7 editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in which he railed against Governor Palin: "In addition to her frightening lack of qualification to be vice president (much less president) of the United States, Palin is an evangelical, anti-choice, pro-gun, right-wing conservative who wants creationism taught in schools." When a shorter version of her report aired on Wednesday’s The Situation Room, Kaye added that Steiner "says he’s not a Republican or a Democrat." Despite this clarification, it is clear from his editorial that Steiner is a liberal.
CNN’s “best political team on television” is proving itself to be the best at closing its eyes, plugging its ears and repeating “la, la, la, we can’t hear you” when it comes to Republicans addressing economic concerns.
In its coverage of the Republican National Convention September 3 and 4, the cable network accused the GOP of ignoring the economy at least 27 times. The criticism originated from Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, and CNN picked it up and ran, according to analysis from the Business & Media Institute.
Nevermind that five of the Republican convention’s headline speakers –President George W. Bush, former Sen. Fred Thompson, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin and presidential nominee Sen. John McCain – all addressed some aspect of the economy. That’s not including other speeches that were not broadcast.
You could see this one coming. After Harry Smith called Sarah Palin "Geritol" for McCain, some MSM wag was sure to take things the next step. I'd say it just happened. NBC News DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker was chatting with Andrea Mitchell at 1:27 PM EDT today.
MARK WHITAKER: [People] want to see passion. They want to see that Obama, and the same thing is true of McCain, and we've seen him [show] a lot more passion since he picked Sarah Palin, it's definitely --
ANDREA MITCHELL: Someone described it as Geritol.
WHITAKER: Well, or something else. Put a little pep in his step!
Joy Behar, a comedian, made an unintentionally humorous line on the September 10 edition of "The View." Behar believes that "the press is in love" with Sarah Palin. Maybe the "View" panelist holds a warped view of reality because the mainstream media has been anything but in love with the Republican vice presidential nominee. [audio excerpt here]
The latest celebrity to join in the group slamming of Sarah Palin is none other than Matt Damon as you can see in this Associated Press video which reeks of condescension. Damon, who has yet to attain public office condescendingly mocks Palin's credentials (emphasis mine):
I think there is a really good chance that Sarah Palin could president. And I think that's a really scary thing because I don't know anything about her. I don't think in eight weeks I'm going to know anything about her. I know that she was a mayor of a really, really small town. And she's governor of Alaska for less than two years. I just don't understand... I think the pick was made for political purposes but in terms of governance it's a disaster.
Apparently Damon must suffer from a severe reading disability because information about Palin is all over the Web. But does Damon really care about Palin's background? No, because his liberal mind is already made up. Damon then goes on to raise the "specter" of a Palin presidency:
We now know the official Obama talking point on Lipstick-gate.
In the course of her Morning Joe appearance today, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass used the word "ridiculous" no fewer than six times to dismiss the controversy that has arisen since Obama said yesterday that you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
Click on the image at the right to view the edited video clip.
Douglass was an ostensibly objective reporter at the National Journal before jumping ship for Obama in the midst of this campaign season.
An Obama campaign spokeswoman opened today's Morning Joe with an aggressive defense of his lipstick line, arguing that Obama was being criticized "for saying something that John McCain has said before, that Barack Obama frequently says about 'you can dress something up.' He was talking about the Republican change argument."
A bit later, bolstering her argument, the spokeswoman described the conference call the McCain campaign arranged to respond to Obama's line. She pointed out that all the reporters asking questions on the call were women, and that all of them asked McCain representative Jane Swift "are you serious?" in alleging that Obama was alluding to Palin.
Concluding, the Obama spokeswoman argued that if read in context, "he's not talking about Sarah Palin." Oh, wait. That wasn't an Obama spokeswoman. It was Andrea Mitchell, sitting in for Mika Brzezinski.
Joy Behar, one of the hosts of ABC's daytime show "The View," took to CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday night and delivered a new line of attack on Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska: Palin's “very mean” in how she treats wildlife because she hunts them and is opposed to putting polar bears on the endangered list.
(Didn't John Kerry go hunting during the 2004 campaign?) Behar, apparently quite serious since she insisted her concern was “an important point,” began the live interview:
“You know, the one thing that I don't think anybody's said yet is that she's very mean to animals, this woman. Why does she have it in for these poor polar bear and the caribou and she aerial kills wolves? That's a very mean thing to do. I think that that's an important point we should all be looking at.”
Jacob Weisberg of Slate.com, and a contributor at Newsweek, told David Schuster of MSNBC yesterday that President Reagan would be “rolling over in his grave” if he knew that Sarah Palin brought her unwed pregnant daughter on to the stage with the family at the Republican National Convention.
I was shocked to see her unmarried pregnant teenage daughter on stage with the Republican nominee. It seemed to me that Ronald Reagan would be rolling over in his grave if he saw the Republicans embracing unwed motherhood this way. And I think, really, the issue there is about the pro-life absolutism that has come to dominate the party.
As everyone knows, conservatives are a distinctly disagreeable bunch. Mean-spirited knuckle-draggers, pretty much. It's therefore a shock to come across one who's actually likeable. At least if you're Chris Matthews.
Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, a guest on this evening's Hardball, observed that the Obama campaign hasn't quite decided how to go after Sarah Palin. The first line of attack was on the experience issue, but "now they're saying, OK, let's define her as a right-winger. You know, we'll talk about her views on creationism and some of these other extreme views." That elicited this from the Hardball host.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: She's got a lot of--they are pretty far over. For a person that seems very likeable and mellow, she doesn't look like a political zealot.
"The idea to make these guys [Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews] news anchors, I don't know who came up with this idea. It's sort of like people who believe if you add water you get sea monkeys. It just doesn't make any sense that you can add water and make an objective news anchor," NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham quipped on the September 9 "Fox & Friends" program. [audio version here]
Graham questioned in particular the notion that Olbermann once told President Bush "to shut the hell up" on his "Countdown" program.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked the MRC's Director of Media Analysis if MSNBC's decision to remove Olbermann and Matthews as co-anchors of election coverage was too little too late:
Tom Brokaw had his Pauline Kael moment on MSNBC this morning. Though the story might be apocryphal, the late New Yorker film critic is famously credited with saying she was shocked by Nixon's 1972 victory, since everybody she knew had voted for McGovern.
Here's Brokaw on today's "Morning Joe," discussing the importance of the upcoming debates.
TOM BROKAW: Debates should be judged on two big counts: tonal and substance. You know, are you comfortable with this person? Look, everybody believes that on debating points, John Kerry probably beat George Bush, the 43rd, the last time around. But people liked Bush.
The liberal campaign to seek to diminish Sarah Palin by sexualizing her continues. Yesterday, I described how Frank Rich used a number of sexualized terms in reference to Palin's relationship with McCain: "shotgun marriage," "speed-dating" and "embrace." Chris Matthews employed a similar tactic this evening, claiming that Palin is running "somewhere between a VP and a First Lady."
During the first segment of this evening's Hardball, Matthews tried out his theory, with no particular success, on pollster Stu Rothenberg and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd. For the record, Matthews did stop short of telling Palin to iron McCain's shirt:
Chris Matthews, on Monday night's "Hardball," speculated that Republicans were playing the race card, when they made fun of Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer, even going as far to say they're using the phrase like a "bullwhip." In a segment with NBC's Chuck Todd and pollster Stuart Rothenberg, Matthews suspiciously noted that Republicans like Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, at last week's GOP convention, were "giggling" over the "community organizer" title as he pondered: "Is this the new 'welfare queen?'"
Then a little later in the program, in a segment with the Financial Times' Chrystia Freeland and the Independent Women's Forum's Michelle Bernard, Matthews returned to the subject as he declared: "It seems to me that the use of the word, 'community organizer,' is almost like a bullwhip."
The following exchanges occurred on the September 8 edition of "Hardball" [audio excerpts available here]:
MRC President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on FNC's "Live Desk" at 2:55 p.m. EDT, reacting to MSNBC shelving Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann from covering the presidential election. [audio available here]
BRENT BOZELL: I'm not surprised, Martha.... Simply because what you heard was this giant sound of America turning off its TV sets with these two left-wing activists posing as news anchors. They got trounced in the ratings, they came in last in the cable ratings even covering the Democrats. They have no credibility.
You have a man like Keith Olbermann who one day is the anchor covering the Republican Convention, the next day calls John McCain the worst person in the world, says that he is delusional, just insults him as best he can. And as a result MSNBC has no credibility.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" September 8, Jim Cramer took a shot at owner of The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch, in the midst of talking about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeover:
I read The Wall Street Journal, sorry, The Fox Street Journal. When is Murdoch going to put his positive right wing implant on left wing journalists? ... When is Murdoch going to broom the Spartacus workers union?
As for Fannie and Freddie, Cramer told the hosts of the September 8 broadcast that "We had a laissez-faire attitude. Now we are going to have the greatest bureaucracy in history created by Republicans. I'm an agent of change," Cramer said sarcastically.
Later in the segment, Cramer joked that the Democratic Party were "Bolsheviks" quipping, "There. How's that for biased media?"
Thanks to Sarah Palin, the culture war has become a civil war—on the left. Mika Brzezinski bravely opened a new front in the conflict during today's "Morning Joe," repeatedly going after two female MSMers for suggesting Palin is taking the working-mom thing too far.
And, mirabile dictu, Mika even admitted to sensing MSM unfairness to Republicans.
"This is an argument Joe and I have about fairness and whether or not there are some sort of underlying unfairness when it comes to Republicans. And I just, you know, I feel it here," Brzezinski said referring to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Full text and commentary after the jump. View video here.
The MTV Video Music Awards show was as predictable as watching Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews do their broadcast. Other than celebrating its 25th anniversary and giving Britney Spears a possible opportunity for a comeback, the program was chock full of insults towards conservatives by the show’s emcee, U.K. comedian Russell Brand. As a former MTV staffer, I was surprised by the selection of such an obscure individual to emcee the program.
By the audience reaction, Brand knew he was considered a “nobody” here in the United States, so his immediate course of action was to go political to try and endear himself to the MTV audience:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One of our viewers wrote in—you talk about service—and asked, Brenda Godfrey Bryan, Marietta, Georgia: did you ever consider joining the armed services to protect and serve our country? If not, why?
BARACK OBAMA: You know, I actually did.
BARACK OBAMA: You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. And I was growing up in Hawaii, and I had friend whose parents were in the military, there were a lot of Army, military bases there. And I always actually thought of the military as some ennobling and honorable option. But keep in mind: I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. So it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue.