Did you hear Chelsea Clinton got married over the weekend? If it seems like that's all the media talked about, you're not alone.
The broadcast networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - aired 87 stories about Clinton's July 31 nuptials between July 25 and August 1. Four major newspapers - The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today - printed 21 stories during the same time period.
Coverage of Clinton's wedding was decidedly enthusiastic. The "CBS Evening News" July 31 reported it at the top of the broadcast, ahead of the oil spill. Anchor Jeff Glor announced the "wedding of the century" that "has clearly captured the nation's attention."
NBC's "Saturday Today" show brought in "celebrity wedding planner" Colin Cowie and US Weekly Editor Lindsay Powers to dish on all the gossip surrounding the event. The show mentioned Clinton's wedding in seven stories on July 31.
On Monday’s Joy Behar Show, when the topic of Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming wedding came up during a panel discussion, host Behar found it "ironic" and "over the top" that the Clinton family are spending $2 million on their daughter’s wedding, comparing it to the $100,000 spent by former President Bush on daughter Jenna’s wedding. After comedian Judy Gold noted the $2 million price tag, Behar responded: "I know, and, you know, George Bush spent only $100,000 on Jenna`s wedding."
Gold took a shot at Bush suggesting that he would have spent more if he could have made it taxpayer-funded: "Yeah, well, if he could have found a way for us to pay for Jenna`s wedding, he would have done that, okay, he likes to spend other people`s money."
Behar continued: "I mean, $2 million, doesn`t that sound like a little over the top, $2 million for one day," and soon added, "I mean, you know, it's ironic."
NBC's Today picked up Jenna (Bush) Hager to be an occasional correspondent on education for the morning show. If the Bushes instead of the Kennedys were the "royal family" of American politics, it would be like NBC's use of Princess Diana's brother years ago. Get a load of how Justin Moyer of the Washington Post cattily greeted the news in the Style section:
The bar-hopping and boozing are a distant memory: Jenna Hager, nee Bush, is headed to NBC's "Today" show, AP reports. The 27-year-old former first daughter will contribute education stories to the popular morning program about once a month while continuing to work in Baltimore as a schoolteacher.
UPDATE: Moyer actually performs as a musician under the name "Edie Sedgwick." A Post music critic explained: "Sedgwick is actually Antelope singer-guitarist (and Washington Post employee) Justin Moyer, recording under the name of the 1960s Andy Warhol 'superstar.' He's still singing about movie actors, but his latest songs include ones named for President Bush and 'March of the Penguins.'"
I noted a few weeks ago (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) that Mike Celizic at MSNBC couldn't get though his article about Jenna Bush's upcoming wedding without bringing up her misdemeanor arrests from seven years ago.
Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle also went there in a late Thursday report. She also threw in a number of shots at Jenna's father, his administration, and his hometown:
Saturday, in an Oscar de la Renta gown with twin sister Barbara at her side, Jenna Bush, 26, will marry 29-year-old business school student Henry Hager at her parents' Central Texas ranch.
It's probably as close as Oscar de la Renta will ever get to Crawford.
It seems to do a serviceable job of describing their upcoming nuptials, what the attendants will wear, where it will be (an informal affair at the Bush family Crawford, Texas ranch), where they met, where he proposed. All nice stuff.
It's only slightly annoying that a picture caption at the article reads, "Jenna Bush, 25, and her fiance Henry Hager are scheduled to be married on May 10 in Texas." Cold feet on the part of the bride or the groom is always a possibility, but "will be married" seems more appropriate. But really, not a big deal.
But towards the end, Celizic drops in this:
Jenna Bush, 26, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas, where she was twice charged with misdemeanors for alcohol-related offenses.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, MSNBC's reaction to David Shuster's "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton comment is an extraordinary example of the double standard that exists at this admittedly left-leaning cable network.
In fact, the goings-on since Shuster first made this remark last Thursday make it crystal clear that potentially insensitive comments directed at the Clinton family are thoroughly verboten by MSNBC, whereas derogatory statements concerning President George W. Bush are highly encouraged.
As another example of this hypocrisy, consider the following disgraceful report concerning Bush's twin daughters aired on MSNBC's "Countdown" November 28, 2006 (h/t NBer Grammy):
Time's "Ten Questions" interview feature is offered to presidential daughter Jenna Bush this week. The questions are now selected from reader questions, including (sigh) Bush-whacking liberals from San Francisco:
If the war in Iraq is so noble, why aren't you and your sister serving our country there? —Donald Pence, San Francisco
I understand that point, but there are many ways to serve our country, and I think my skills are better suited for teaching and representing the U.S. in Latin America through UNICEF. I respect the men and women of our country who are over there fighting. It is an unbelievably selfless thing to do. But if people really thought about it, they would know it's not even a practical question.
When we voted for Jenna Bush to lead the war in Iraq, we all thought she would always be ready and able to lead the discussion in the press about that important issue... Oh, wait. No one voted for Jenna Bush for anything, much less to make Iraq policy. This fact, then, makes it curious that the AP would give us a piece titled "Jenna Bush Ducks Iraq, Talks Engagement." Why, exactly, the AP would think Jenna Bush is the one to ask questions about Iraq during an interview about her marriage plans is anyone's guess. What kind of headline is that anyway? The subhead is even worse, "In Book-Promoting Interview, First Daughter Avoids Iraq Questions, Discusses Her Romantic Engagement Story." This is just another example of the APs Bush Derangement Syndrome where they cannot even have a nice, happy story about the daughter of the president announcing her engagement and talking about helping the poor without badgering her about policies she has nothing to do with.
NonPartyPolitics has picked up on how the liberal ThinkProgress blog smells something fishy in presidential daughter Jenna Bush's engagement to beau Henry Hager. Basically the lefty blog suggests that first lady Laura Bush lied to the press -- in 2005.
That's right, there's got to be something sinister and mendacious in Laura Bush's 2005 prediction that Jenna and Henry were "not serious." I mean, it's not like true love can blossom in a courtship in two years. Not for someone that close to President Bush!