A major staff shakeup has occurred on the CBS Early Show. Starting January 3, current co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez, along with weatherman Dave Price, will all be replaced. Saturday Early Show co-host Chris Wragge and the broadcast's current news reader Erica Hill will take over for Smith and Rodriguez, while former ABC weather person Marysol Castro will take the place of Price.
Associated Press television writer David Bauder reported the changes on Tuesday, noting: "CBS News is completely overhauling 'The Early Show' to give the broadcast team a fresh look." The network morning show has long trailed in the ratings, consistently coming in a distant third compared to NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America.
Diabetic or not, you might want to have a dose of insulin handy while watching this morning's video clip. The Early Show's review of the past year was one sicky-sweet adoration—in overtly religious terms—of Barack Obama.
Harry Smith set the tone with his opening comments:
"Politics, and patriotism and the presidency: it is the place where the secular and the religious merge. One of the sacraments of our national religion is the inauguration. So it was that as many as two million pilgrims made their way to Washington and the Mall to witness this most sacred event."
Back to the studio for the personal testimonies of the emotional Early Show crew . . .
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show co-host Russ Mitchell described President Obama’s lackluster first pitch at Tuesday night’s All-Star game in St. Louis: "And it appears President Obama has a wicked sinker." Mitchell referred to his colleagues in studio: "Somebody’s laughing over there, I’m not going to mention any names."
At the top of the show, even Obama fan co-host Harry Smith acknowledged the President’s poor performance: "Oh, golly. Talk about a pitch that’s going to be repeated over and over and over again." Smith did try to defend Obama, sounding a little like the father of an uncoordinated little league player: "He got it there. That's what counts."
The common, everyday act of swatting a bug is something that happens countless times a day at picnics and ball games across the country, especially during the summer, but when Barack Obama was caught on tape by CNBC's cameras doing it, the fawning liberal press couldn't contain their excitement. All three broadcast network morning shows, on Wednesday, praised the presidential kill as they were impressed by the "ninja" Obama's "precision," and "cat-like quickness."[audio available here]
On NBC's "Today" show substitute-host David Gregory opened the show declaring: "You just have to appreciate the, the concentration and the precision! Just a few things going on in the world but it's as if everything was stopped and at a standstill for the President to lower the boom." On CBS' "The Early Show," Chris Wragge marveled: "We've also just confirmed the President is a Ninja." And on ABC's "Good Morning America," they even brought out the Telestrator to break down the video as Chris Cuomo offered play-by-play: "You see? He stares at the fly. How many times have each of us tried to do this? Look at the hand coming up. The poise. The cupping. And the quick slap...Just knocked it away, very rare."
The following exchanges were aired on the June 17 editions of NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show":
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen mentioned President Obama taking the First Lady on a date night to New York City over the weekend: "The President and First Lady had a long-planned night out in New York City on Saturday, doing dinner and Greenwich Village and taking in the Broadway show, ‘Joe Turner's Come and Gone’" Co-host Maggie Rodriguez commented on the restaurant the first couple went to: "Blue Hill, down in Greenwich Village. It’s a wonderful restaurant." Co-host Harry Smith added: "Probably impossible to get a reservation now, right?"
Later, Rodriguez explained the "long-planned" excursion: "...this is something that he [Obama] promised her, apparently, when he was on the campaign, ‘I'm going to take you out on a date night in New York City.’" Guest co-host Amanda Holden, judge of the talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ remarked: "Oh, that’s so sweet." Rodriguez agreed: "I know, it is sweet." Holden went on: " They’re such a good looking couple, aren’t they? Fantastic." Rodriguez again agreed: "They’re beautiful."
CBS aired another light and fluffy pro-Obama segment in the second hour of Monday’s Early Show. It was about "The Great Schlep," an effort to get young Jews to visit their grandparents in Florida and urge them to vote Obama. (Video is here.)The effort is led by raunchy comedienne Sarah Silverman, but CBS never let one word slip about Silverman’s trashy Comedy Central show (like the episode where she has a one-night stand with God, and then blows him off in the morning), or the profanity all over the Great Schlep video she narrates. They only played clean parts. That would exclude Silverman saying "vote for McCain, to me you’re a s-t stain," Gore was "f—ed by Florida" in 2000, and Obama is "probably our last hope of ending our country’s reputation as the a--holes of the universe."
UPDATE: CBS Evening News also promoted Silverman's video and the Great Schlep project at the end of Monday night's broadcast -- and also skipped over the profanity and anti-conservative remarks.
On the Great Schlep website, the Silverman video starts with the warning "Viewer Discretion Advised, Contains Expletives." CBS showed Silverman saying, "If you knew that visiting your grandparents could change the world, would you do it? Of course, you would." Then they cut out the very next sentence: "You’d have to be a douche-nozzle not to."
The Dow dropped 5,585 points since its high a year ago, banks have been afraid to lend and the government bought billions in toxic mortgage-backed securities. So CBS's "The Early Show" went to some top finance experts to explain what was happening to viewers, right? Nope, they went to kids, Oct. 10.
Weatherman Dave Price talked to fifth graders in Arlington, Va., about the credit crisis, exclaiming, "You wouldn't believe how much they know, sometimes we ought to listen to them and their solutions."
"What one thing does your mom waste money on?" Price asked one student.
"Mmm, smokes, I guess," a fifth grade girl from Glebe Elementary School replied.
At the beginning of the 8:30AM half hour of the CBS "Early Show," weatherman Dave Price did a brief story highlighting a melting ice shelf in Antarctica as an example of climate change and co-host Harry Smith used the opportunity to show off his global warming knowledge: "And they also talk about because as this disappears, this reflects light, alright? That's another huge issue because that ice reflects the light. It turns to water, which absorbs the light. That could be another exacerbating factor in global warming." Smith followed up by pointing to himself and declaring: "Al Gore Jr." Both Price and co-host Maggie Rodriguez replied "you are."
Given Smith’s known obsession with Al Gore, including trying to pin a ‘Gore‘08' campaign button on the former vice president during a interview in May of last year, this self-description was quite interesting. Price went on to joke: "You know, you spent a lot of time with him...The 'Inconvenient Anchor,' Harry's new book coming out."