During a panel discussion on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked of the Occupy Wall Street protests: "What's the civics lesson in this for our kids as they're watching this on TV?" News anchor Natalie Morales argued: "...there's a huge civics lesson....the idea of having that civil discourse is important to teach our kids and it's something in history we've seen."
In contrast, moments later while discussing the latest Republican presidential debate, Lauer lectured Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on a heated exchange between them: "My parents, in teaching me manners, taught me, one, don't interrupt, bad on Rick Perry's point, keep your hands to yourself, bad on Mitt Romney's point." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "...we're seeing our kids are getting, again, this anti-teachable moment. Give somebody a chance to talk. They're just talking all over each other."
In an interview with First Lady Michelle Obama that aired on Wednesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker gushed over recent shopping trip to Target and wondered: "...do you sometimes miss the ability to do something like that on a regular basis?...Do you go to Costco? Do you buy a lot of toilet tissue at once?" [Audio available here]
Obama said of her shopping trips: "I do that more frequently than people realize....we try to sneak out as much as possible and it – and it helps to keep our kids' lives normal." To the challenging toilet paper question she replied: "You know, we pretty much have our supply stocked." Roker observed: "One of the perks." [View video after the jump]
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer introduced a panel discussion on whether media coverage of Hurricane Irene was overdone by proclaiming: "Was this storm over-hyped? In some ways, it's a one-sentence argument, this storm killed more than 20 people and 4 million people are without power, and clearly there's misery and destruction. How could it have been over-hyped?"
Weatherman Al Roker completely dismissed the notion: "You look at the predictions, you look at the track, which was right on the money. And it is a Category 3 storm. There is no – there's no argument here....The preparations – everything that was done, I would say we should do over again if we get the same scenario." Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore chimed in: "How many more times do we have to play pictures [of flooding] in Vermont?"
In an interview with President Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng on Tuesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker wondered: "When you look back on the President's campaign of hope do you see that – is it still that same message or has it had to change, do you think?" Soetoro-Ng replied: "I think that the message is absolutely the same. The President is still hopeful."
Soetoro-Ng was on the show to promote her children's book, 'Ladder to the Moon,' a story about the influence her and Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had on their lives. When Roker asked about that influence, Soetoro-Ng declared: "She [Dunham] emphasized the themes that are present in the book – namely that we are interconnected, that we therefore need to take care of one another, empathize with one another, find ways to serve and help one another. And I think that those themes are very much evidenced in this presidency and in all of my brother's efforts as well."
The Early Show on CBS and NBC’s Today show on Friday both gave attention to Lake Superior State University’s "list of words that should be banned in 2011 because of overuse or general uselessness," and both shows mentioned one or two words made famous by Sarah Palin as each show listed four or five out of the 14 words tallied. Both CBS’s Betty Nguyen and NBC’s Thomas Roberts noted the inclusion of "refudiate" on the list, but CBS also mentioned that the term "mama grizzlies" made the cut.
Two years ago, the Today show also noted the inclusion of the term "first dude" - made famous by Palin during the 2008 election - when the 2009 edition of the list came out. On the January 5, 2009, Today show, co-host Meredith Vieira labeled the term as "a little goofy." Notably, co-host Matt Lauer fretted about the inclusion of the word "green," as in "going green," on the 2009 list as he asserted, "I don’t think that should be banished. I mean, we should talk more about that one."
The Today show cast, on Tuesday, previewed a guest appearance by reality show star Kate Gosselin on Sarah Palin's TLC show, and after showing a clip of the former Alaska Governor frightening the celebrity mother of eight kids by firing off a gun, Vieira revealed she shared Gosselin's fears as she yelped: "You're with a woman with a gun. The whole thing makes me nervous, you know?"
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the December 7 Today show:
Barack Obama's performance at the Washington Correspondent's Dinner drew rave reviews from the Today show cast on Monday, as everyone agreed with Al Roker's assessment that the President was "on fire." While Today co-anchor was impressed by Obama's "fantastic timing" NBC's Norah O'Donnell, in her story filed for Today, praised Obama, even at the expense of fellow NBC employee Jay Leno: "After the President's comedic tour de force Tonight Show host Jay Leno had a hard act to follow."
In the 10:00am hour Kathie Lee Gifford called Obama "brilliant" and Hoda Kotb, also taking a shot at her NBC colleague noted: "Keep in mind Jay Leno was on the stage, as was Obama, and the funniest person in the room was definitely the President."
The following is the full O'Donnell story followed by the Today cast's reaction as they were aired on the May 3 Today show:
Thanks to James Cameron's "Avatar," environmentalists have a whole new way to preach to audiences about their over consumption. Invited on Wednesday's Today show to showcase endangered species, Sea World and Busch Garden's animal ambassador Julie Scardina played on the guilt of viewers as she asked the Today cast if they had seen Avatar and warned them: "You know our world is as amazing and incredible and unique as Pandora and yet a lot of people don't realize it's being destroyed in the same way." As Scardina played with a gibbon NBC's Ann Curry prompted Scardina: "Why is this gibbon's habitat so endangered?" which allowed Scardina to rail against logging, development and "consumption" in general.
The following exchange was aired on the April 7 Today show:
NBC's Today show invited on Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves to promote their Portrait of America road tour as a way to encourage people to fill out the Census forms or risk, as Locke warned, miss out on "$400 billion of federal funds," to which Matt Lauer underlined, "This is vitally important to communities."
The entire Today cast braved 20 degree weather outside to stand alongside one of the vans set to tour the country to publicize the Census that, as the former Democratic Governor of Washington state alerted viewers, "will determine the allocation of federal funds to their communities for the next 10 years and could actually give them more political power in the United States Congress."
The following segment was aired on the January 4 Today show:
Time's managing editor Richard Stengel joined Meredith, Matt, Ann and Al, on Monday's Today, to play a guessing game of who will become his magazine's Person of the Year and praised one of the finalists, Nancy Pelosi, as the "strongest Speaker of the House in decades," who has "piloted what is probably the most important legislation in decades."
Others making the final list included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, General Stanley McChrystal, the Chinese (not the American) worker and of course Barack Obama, as Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira pointed out, "was the choice last year," and pressed, "Have you ever had that, where somebody has won twice and consecutively?"
The following is the full transcript of the segment as it was aired on the December 14 Today show:
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Wednesday's Today, invited on radical leftist Howard Zinn to promote a new History Channel documentary, The People Speak (based on his revisionist book A People's History of the United States), in which the Today co-anchor pointed out Zinn makes "a very interesting point that the Declaration of Independence was a, was a statement of, you know, hope and, and positive democracy. And then the Constitution came along and sort of negated that." [audio available here]
Vieira offered Zinn and his co-producer Chris Moore a platform to toss our their left-wing version of history and even make anti-war proclamations, which was awkward considering that the Today show's Matt Lauer and Al Roker are visiting the troops in Afghanistan all this week, something that Vieira pointed out in the following exchange:
Are you tired of all the focus on what Michelle Obama wears?
Well, the good folks at the "Today" show certainly aren't, for they spent a lot of time this week discussing whether or not the First Lady was dressed appropriately when she got off Air Force One Sunday on her way to the Grand Canyon.
As the nation grapples with such important issues as the ongoing recession and healthcare reform, NBC's morning show actually spent TWO DAYS days talking about Michelle's shorts.
In case you missed it, here are some of the gushing highlights (videos embedded below the fold with full transcripts):
"Don't get me wrapped up in a menage-a-trois here."
That's how NBC "Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira cracked a tasteless joke to prevent viewers from mistakenly assuming she is married to former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw.
The comment came shortly before 9 a.m. on the August 3 program, following the close of an "American Character" piece narrated by Brokaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, some "642 miles down" and "2,431 to go" along historic U.S. Route 50.:
NBC's Matt Lauer and Al Roker, on Tuesday's "Today" show, revealed they enjoyed a "nice" evening at the theater last night, in the presence of Michelle Obama, as she "dazzled New York City for a second time," when she visited the Metropolitan Opera House. After an Amy Robach piece that celebrated Mrs. Obama's return to the Big Apple, Roker and Lauer bragged that they too were in attendance at the American Ballet Theater Spring Gala, along with the First Lady, as Roker gushed: "It was fantastic!"
For her part Robach joined in the Obama family myth-making as she cheered, "Everyone takes notice when the First Lady is out on the town here in the Big Apple and Monday was no exception." Robach, in her piece, even included several soundbites from a delighted New York Times' Jodi Kantor who enthused: "You look at the kind of parties that the Met hosts and if you look at the top ballet galas in New York they always have big celebrities there, but Mrs. Obama is a different order of magnitude."
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.”