For your TGIF viewing fun, NBC “Today” show co-host Meredith Vieira has lost control of her verbal filters again.
From Vieira’s Super Bowl week performance, in which she claimed that she and NBC weatherman Al Roker were “moist,” to the last unfortunate double-entendre involving speculation on the past tense of “Tweet,” the morning show hostess today wondered whether the Statue of Liberty was wearing undergarments beneath her robes.
Once again, colleague Matt Lauer played the long-suffering professional, keeping a straight face. Weatherman Al Roker, however, pounced. Video of the latest gaffe is embedded at right.
On Tuesday's "Today" show NBC's Michael Okwu declared hugging is all the rage now that President Obama, AKA "The Hugger-in-Chief," has replaced handshakes with hugs. Al Roker introduced the Okwu story as he pondered: "With the uncertain economy and shrinking 401(k)s we could all use a little hug, even President Obama, "The Hugger-in-Chief." Early in the piece Okwu threw it to NBC News presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who analyzed: "I would rank him, way at the top, in the pantheon of presidential huggers."
The following are teasers and then the relevant portion of the Okwu story as it was aired on the April 7, "Today" show:
Over a chorus of gleeful Irish pub-goers literally singing Barack Obama's praises, NBC's Al Roker, broadcasting live from Ireland on Monday's "Today" show, explored the current president's Irish roots as he observed: "As St. Patrick's Day approaches in Moneygall the townsfolk join in the chorus, determined to keep hope alive." The "Today" show weatherman began the celebratory segment by exclaiming: "In a small pub in Ireland they're still celebrating Obama's victory. Dancing in honor of their adopted son."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 16, "Today" show:
AL ROKER: You know, they say there's a wee bit of Irish in everyone. That include President Barack Obama. That's right it was first revealed last year that part of Obama's roots traced back to a village here in Ireland called Moneygall. Well it's been Obama territory, ever since.
BARACK OBAMA: I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear.
ROKER: When Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States-
OBAMA: So help me God.
ROKER: -it was a historic day for the country for African-Americans, and as luck would have it, a great day for the Irish. In a small pub in Ireland they're still celebrating Obama's victory. Dancing in honor of their adopted son.
NBC's Meredith Vieira, appearing with weatherman Al Roker in a "Today" show live-shot from a rain-soaked set in Tampa, cracked herself and her camera crew up by saying "we're moist."
The unintended double entendre was uttered by the morning show host during the 7 a.m. weather segment. Vieira and Roker were in the Super Bowl XLIII host city to promote NBC's televised coverage of the February 1 game to "Today" viewers.
Click on the play button in the video embed at right to watch.
During Tuesday’s inauguration coverage on MSNBC, the Today show’s Al Roker poked fun at co-anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann as the NBC weather man, on location at the inaugural parade site, appeared with the MSNBC duo and joked that Matthews "got that tingle down his leg" because Obama looks good without a shirt. Discussing the admiration that so many young people feel for Obama, Roker declared: "It doesn’t hurt ... that he’s a good-looking guy! ... This is a guy, this is a President who can take his shirt off, you know. I mean, if I take my shirt off, people are running and screaming. You know, that’s, so I think it’s just an exciting, exciting time. And I know that’s why Chris got that tingle down his leg!"
After Matthews tried to go along with Roker’s jovial mood by quipping that "we tingle up the leg, okay? It is a big freakin’ difference. And don’t you forget about it, buddy," Olbermann set himself up to receive a jab as well, as he joked that "it’s left to me to be the referee." Roker, presumably referring to Olbermann’s penchant for delivering outlandish tirades on his Countdown show, shot back: "And what does that say, if Keith Olbermann is the referee, Keith Olbermann is the voice of reason?" Matthews added: "That is a strange role for Keith Olbermann. Very strange."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 20, inauguration coverage on MSNBC from about 2:08 p.m.:
The truly historic moment of the first African-American to be sworn-in as President cannot, nor should not, go without some comment but to the degree NBC News' anchors and reporters were willing to share their personal feelings, on air, about the moment was a bit remarkable for purported objective journalists.
During NBC News' live coverage on Tuesday of Barack Obama's Inauguration, Meredith Vieira observed: "I think the hardest thing is, is not getting emotional because it is such an emotional morning, you just want to, you want to laugh, you want to cry," and later claimed she was "blissful."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted, repeatedly, that their panel, which included Tom Brokaw and Lester Holt broke down: "Lester and I were remarking that 'No Drama Obama,' kept it together, none of the rest of us did."
The following exchanges occurred during NBC News' January 20, live coverage of the Obama Inauguration:
The full "Today" show cast went to "The Ends of the Earth," as a part of NBC Universal's "Green Week," all in an effort to, once again, do the bidding of the likes of Al Gore, to create hysteria about global warming. With live reports from Matt Lauer worrying about reefs off the coast of Belize, Meredith Vieira fearful about drought conditions in Australia, Ann Curry watching the snow caps melt on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Al Roker troubled by glacier extinction in Iceland, the cast pushed the green agenda throughout Monday's "Today" show. Co-anchor Vieira, near the top of the show, set the table for her cast mates this way:
And so, we venture to the most breathtaking sights, threatened by a changing, warming planet, chilling beauty on the verge of vanishing. The depths of a remote ocean paradise. Belize's great Blue Hole, a reef in peril. Down under, the Australian continent dangerously dry. The frigid north, Iceland's vast glaciers melting. And up Africa's highest summit, where the snows of Kilimanjaro are disappearing. The warnings are stark. A vortex of trash twice the size of Texas, toxins bleeding into the ocean, rivers that can not reach the sea, species lost forever. Clouds, rain, storm's fury borne of the ocean, slowly drown distant nations. Islands disappearing and in their wake, a new kind of refugee, so far away and so close to home. Throughout our planet and within our bodies, water flows. We cannot survive without it. Yet, 1 billion people don't have enough. Our new thirst may fuel wars. Is water the oil of tomorrow?
The following are just some of the scarier, introductory teasers from the "Today" cast as they occurred on the November 17, edition of the "Today" show:
Forget Al Gore's measly 20-foot sea level rise from "An Inconvenient Truth." That's small potatoes compared to the kind of catastrophe Meredith Vieira was talking about last night. Kicking off NBC's Global Alarmism Green Week during the halftime of Sunday Night Football, Vieira raised the spectre of the seas rising . . . 200 feet! Al imagined much of Manhattan under water, but if Meredith's scenario comes true, we're near to talking Manhattan, Kansas By The Sea![H/t reader Mick L.]
Just one little problem: Meredith's talk of 200 feet exaggerates the increase predicted by scientists by . . . literally hundreds of times.
With four hours of air time to fill NBC's "Today" show devoted a whopping 11 segments to the Eliot Spitzer scandal but not once did any of the show's anchors, reporters, guests, talking heads or even on-screen graphics mention the fact that Spitzer was a Democrat.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira set the tone when she ignored Spitzer's party affiliation as she opened the March 11, "Today" show: "Good morning, client number nine. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a hard-charging moral crusader caught in a federal sting involving a high-price call girl ring." NBC's Matt Lauer, also bypassing the "D" next to Spitzer's name, piped in: "Just when you thought you couldn't be shocked any more we go from Eliot Ness to Eliot Mess. Another high profile politician making a stunning admission."
The following is a breakdown of all the Spitzer-related segments:
Is NBC News allergic to the use of "pimp" during its serious news broadcasts? In the wake of the scandal over MSNBC's David Shuster suggesting Chelsea Clinton had been "pimped out" by her mother's campaign, a quick look at the Nexis database shows that NBC News hosts and anchors have not been immune to the rising use of "pimp" in our pop culture as not only a noun, but as a verb or adjective, meaning to promote (either selling a product or the attributes of a person) or to improve or renovate (like the MTV show Pimp My Ride).
This is especially true of the Today show, where Al Roker, Natalie Morales, and Meredith Vieira (in her case by reading a quote) have all used the newfangled word. CNBC reporter Jane Wells also filed a story on the "Pimped Out John," a deluxe toilet with all kinds of amenities. Snippets of transcript follow.
Maybe they should have added a few carbon credits to this Super Bowl bet.
NBC's "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira lost a bet to fellow co-anchor Matt Lauer for the New York Giants 17-14 win over the New England Patriots. But it wasn't exactly a carbon-neutral endeavor.
"[Y]ou know, let's check the traffic chopper, chopper four for Meredith - to see how traffic is over the West Side [of New York City] - and you can see, it's still clear," "Today" meteorologist Al Roker said on the February 4 show. "It's still clear, the traffic and in fact, it's perfect for planes flying overhead, ‘Giants Rule, Meredith drools.'"
Be careful where you shop for groceries, for behind every canned soup display may be lurking "Today" show host Matt Lauer, ready to corner you on camera and demand to know whether you're using plastic, paper, or "environmentally-friendly" canvas bags.
That's what Lauer did for a January 25 segment to wrap up the four-day "Today Goes Green" series, which showed the hosts carpooling to work (once), changing one light bulb in one of their homes, and canceling unwanted catalog subscriptions online.
But for the grand finale, Lauer got in the face of the American grocery shopper in a segment filmed in a New York City Food Emporium. He pestered shoppers with tidbits about the environmental destruction caused by plastic and paper grocery bags.
"I'm on the prowl for victims, converts in our growing movement," Lauer said shamelessly, as if bothering people while they're shopping is cute. "Do you have any idea how many plastic bags you accumulate in the average month?" he asked one unsuspecting female shopper.
Playing off the popularity of its "Ends of the Earth" jet-setting extravaganza in November, the "Today" show on January 22 kicked off a four-day series called "Today Goes Green" to encourage viewers to be more environmentally friendly.
In a segment supposedly meant to encourage carpooling, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Al Roker submitted to the degradation and humiliation that is a carpool - even if it is chauffeured. Vieira later admitted they carpooled only once, and Lauer never seemed too happy about it.
And unfortunately for environmental types (and Lauer), the crew would have to carpool every work day for more than eight years to offset the estimated carbon footprint left by November's "Ends of the Earth" series, when hosts jetted to the far reaches of the earth to show the alleged effects of global warming.
That series pumped an estimated 25 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. If the hosts lived an average of 10 miles from the office (Vieira reportedly lives 30 miles away in White Plains, N.Y., while the others live much closer) and it were perfectly efficient for them to carpool, they might save
As the movie studios gear up for a big Christmas movie season, one trailer that looks like a blockbuster is “The Golden Compass,” which must be trying to cash in on the “Narnia” movies. It has flashy special-effect polar bears in armor and a young heroic damsel in distress facing off against evil forces. The casting is top-notch, led by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the current star spy in the James Bond movies.
But buyer beware: Narnia it’s not. It’s the anti-Narnia. Instead of a Christian allegory, it’s an anti-Christian allegory. The author of “The Golden Compass,” Philip Pullman, is an atheist who despises C. S. Lewis and his much-beloved Narnia series. “I thought they were loathsome,” he said of those books, “full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself.”
NBC Universal’s “Green is Universal” initiative is sending staff across the planet to either cover or cause global warming. That effort “takes an unprecedented look at Planet Earth.” Three members of the ‘Today’ crew – Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Al Roker – will emit 24.9 tons of carbon to go to the ends of the earth to show viewers climate is affecting the planet. That number is more than three times what a typical American emits in a whole year. (See video here.)
“Well, the journey has begun,” “Today” co-host Matt Lauer said on the October 29 broadcast. “‘Today’ is going to the ends of the earth to report on the changing climate and examine the limits of human exploration in an unprecedented simultaneous broadcast from the top, the bottom and the middle of the world.”
If you've got an extra-billion dollars laying around and you happen to be a fan of "Today" co-host Ann Curry, just donate that extra cash at a Bill Clinton-fronted foundation conference and you may just get a kiss from her. On the Thursday, "Today" show Curry got so excited by a paper company exec's donation of $1 billion at a Clinton Global Initiative meeting that she actually planted a kiss on him.
After the chairman of Pratt Industries, Anthony Pratt, told NBC's Al Roker he was donating the money to help recycling efforts, the notoriously green Curry went into a tither as she exclaimed:
Curry: "$1 billion?! $1 billion?! You get a kiss!"
Environmental activist and An Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David received a very warm welcome, from the green-friendly anchors on the Wednesday "Today" show, when she came on to promote her children's book, A Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming. During David's interview NBC's Natalie Morales noted that the book's publisher, Scholastic, was trying to place the book into schools everywhere and proclaimed: "We hope to see it there." Morales even bragged that her own son was already being indoctrinated: "They're already talking and learning about this in school. I mean, my own son already knows, 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.' You know the three 'R's."
No slouch herself, when it comes to preaching about global warming, Morales' colleague Ann Curry also proudly showed off her own son's concern about climate change in the following tease for the segment:
NBC "Today" show co-host and weatherman Al Roker invited on Susan Sarandon to promote her latest movie, Mr. Woodcock, but couldn’t get through the full interview without praising her liberal activism, as he called her a "good role model," and celebrated her "great job" of combining acting and protesting. For her part, Sarandon actually took a dig at NBC News on its own airwaves, on the Monday edition of "Today", as she wistfully recalled the good old days when "news programs" showed "what was going on, not like now."
The following is the relevant out-take from the Sarandon interview as it took place on the September 10, "Today" show: