While concluding a story on the Massachusetts Senate race on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez acknowledged the possibility that Republican Scott Brown could win the long held Democratic seat but wondered: “It’ll be interesting to see if Brown, the Republican, wins, if the Democrats can defer his swearing in and get health care passed. We will watch that.”
At the top of the show, Rodriguez teased the story: “In Massachusetts it’s more than just a Senate race, it’s a battle that could end President Obama’s fight for health care reform.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed up with a report that also focused on the impact the race would have on health care: “The President was here campaigning yesterday for the Democrat. And no wonder, if she loses, it will be a major blow to his ability to get his agenda passed.”
Cordes observed how affective Brown’s opposition to ObamaCare has been: “Coakley’s Republican challenger...has made stopping the health care reform bill a signature issue. A message that seems to be resonating with voters.” She then fretted: “If Coakley loses this race, Democrats will lose their supermajority in the Senate. Meaning they won’t be able to pass Democratic priorities like health care reform unless they can convince a few Republicans to vote with them.”
While speculating that Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien may move to Fox in the wake of NBC shaking up its late night schedule, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to Sarah Palin becoming a contributor for Fox News: “Sarah Palin his sidekick? Because she’s on Fox now, too.”
Co-host Harry Smith couldn’t resist getting in a shot of his own as he replied that Palin could “lead the band” for O’Brien’s Fox late night show. Of course if O’Brien made the move, he would be on the Fox broadcast channel, not Fox News.
Earlier, co-host Russ Mitchell reported Palin’s Fox News debut on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor: “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her debut on Fox News last night. She appeared as a news analyst with Bill O’Reilly, who asked her about the controversy she attracts.”
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
Friday’s CBS Early Show previewed an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt as co-host Harry Smith declared: “John McCain’s former top adviser comes out swinging and tells "60 minutes" Sarah Palin often struggled with straight talk.” A clip was played of Schmidt claiming “there were numerous instances” when Palin “said things that were not accurate.”
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez later teased the interview by describing how Schmidt “gets tough on Sarah Palin” and referred to it as “explosive.” While introducing a brief preview clip of the interview, set to air on Sunday’s "60 Minutes", Rodriguez proclaimed: “the blunt-talking political strategist who ran John McCain’s presidential campaign, is going rogue, speaking out for the first time since the election....And when it comes to Sarah Palin, he’s not holding back.”
In the featured clip, Schmidt attacked Palin’s credibility and lamented how “...the campaign had to deal with and that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate.” He added: “And I think that that is something that continues to this day.” A headline on-screen read: “Going Rogue; Fmr. McCain Adviser Slams Palin on '60 Minutes'”
CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton didn't appear quite so eager this morning to promote contraceptive for teens to parents in the second part of a two-part segment about teens and sex. In fact, to parents, she claimed, "We say medically the longer you wait [to have sex] the better, but again the job of a women's health specialist and adolescent gynecologist is to make sure that we protect the teenager's health and maintain it in the safest way possible for as long as possible."
Yet yesterday, CBS' "The Early Show" aired clips of Ashton promoting contraceptive over abstinence to teens, even though abstinence is one sure-fire way to protect and maintain a teen's health.
"Usually, if not always, I tell my patients that they should use two forms of contraception for birth control," Ashton told a group of teen girls, at least one of whom was only 13. "Something like the Pill, which is highly effective, and condoms all the time. And what about the birth control pill? What do you guys know about that?...Did you know the Pill could be one of the medications used to treat acne?"
Speaking to Virginia Governor Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pointed out a potential dire situation for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election: “Your party stands to lose a lot in the fall. Its 60 vote majority in the Senate, dozens of seats in the House, as well as Governor seats across the country.”
An on-screen headline posed the question: “Democrats in Trouble?” Rodriguez summed up the circumstances under which Democrats could do well in the fall: “...two things have to happen. One, the economy has to improve, and, two, health care has to not only pass, but show that it’s working.” She assumed that health care passing would be a good thing for Democrats and failed to ask Kaine about the lack of openness in the legislative process.
Rodriguez asked for Kaine’s assessment of the situation. Unsurprisingly, the DNC chair was optimistic about his party’s chances: “I think both are going to happen....I think the passage of historic health care and continued improvement of the economy is going to actually surprise some people in November in terms of how Democrats do.”
Teenagers don't need to ask their friends anymore about sex. Now they can just turn to CBS' medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
On Jan. 6, Dr. Ashton met with a group of teenage girls on CBS' "Early Show" to advertise her new book "The Body Scoop for Girls" - a book that anchor Maggie Rodriguez said "parents of daughters really appreciate." But most parents that watched this segment were probably more shocked than appreciative.
When Dr. Ashton met with the group of girls, she asked them, "Did any of your parents ever come to you guys and say, ‘We expect that you don't have sex until fill-in-the-blank age' .... 18, 19, 20, whatever?"
Not a single girl said yes, but 14-year-old Mercy Baez spoke up and said, "In this generation, ya know, almost every teenager already has sex by seventh to eighth grade ... and so, it's like, if you haven't had sex already, then you're the weird one and you stand out because you haven't."
If Ashton had any reaction to that statement, it was edited from the tape. Instead, she answered this question from 13-year-old Pam Segall: "What type of contraception do you think is the most effective?"
Speaking with Republican New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Congressman, here you are a Republican talking about everything that’s wrong and everything that went wrong....Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said quote,‘we should dismiss the partisan bickering over the security failures over this issue.”
Rodriguez went on to place the blame for partisanship on the Republican side of the aisle as she asked: “Do you agree and do you say to your colleagues let’s try to support the President here and get to the bottom of the real issue?” King replied: “I have never made one partisan statement on terrorism since that day....I will give the President credit when I think he’s right. But on the other hand, when mistakes are being made, I think it’s my obligation to speak out because this issue is so vital to all Americans.”
While interviewing former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean on Wedneday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez questioned his support for a plan by Senate Democrats to expand Medicare coverage: “...the criticism is that Medicare as it stands doesn’t work because the payments don’t cover the plan. Are we just not creating a bigger problem if we have to insure more people under Medicare?”
Dean praised the idea as a good alternative to the public option: “Medicare is a very, very effective program. It’s a government-run single payer program. Everybody over 65 is in it and it works very well....This isn’t perfect and the coverage is not broad enough, in my view, but I do think this is a positive step forward.”
Rodriguez began the interview by pointing out that Dean had previously been adamant about the public option being part of any health care legislation: “...back in August when we talked about this. You said ‘you can’t have reform without the public option.’ But as you know this plan, devised by these ten senators does not include it. So do you oppose it?” Dean replied: “Actually, not at all. Medicare is a public program, and it’s a single payer run by the government....I judge all these plans by whether they move things forward or move things backward. This move things forwards.”
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pressed Republican Senator Lamar Alexander on the GOP’s opposition to ObamaCare: “...there’s been a lot of criticism that Republicans have done nothing but oppose this bill, nothing to help pass it, just try to kill it....have you done more than say ‘no, no, no, no, no’?”
At the top of the show, Rodriguez described a weekend visit by President Obama to Capitol Hill: “A rare closed-door rally on Capitol Hill over the weekend as President Obama calls on Democrats to close ranks and pass health care reform.” Rodriguez later suggested that Republicans “were not invited to the meeting yesterday” based on their criticism of the legislation. Senator Alexander responded: “Well that’s really an amazing statement. I mean, the President was elected on the idea of open meetings.”
Rodriguez also spoke with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill but tried not to be too tough as she asked the Senator about the Presidential visit: “There were four holdouts yesterday before your meeting with the President. Did he succeed in changing any minds?” McCaskill declared: “Well, I think we’re getting there. Failure’s not an option.”
The first question in a poll conducted by CBS’s 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair magazine asked Americans to nominate a fifth face for Mt. Rushmore and included Barack Obama among the contenders. While President Kennedy took the lead with 29%, Obama came in fourth with 16%, just behind Franklin Roosevelt at 18% and Ronald Reagan at 20%.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez discussed the poll with CBSNews.com’s Cali Carlin and Vanity Fair’s Michael Hogan. Smith thought the Rushmore question was “terrific” and guessed that “it’s got to be between Kennedy and FDR.” Rodriguez made the same prediction: “if you know anything about history, you’d have to do FDR because he served four terms. But I think given our current population, most people probably said Kennedy.” Neither of them suggested Republican choices Reagan or Eisenhower would earn such a place of honor.
Carlin confirmed those guesses: “You’re right, it is JFK. People want to further that Camelot feeling and they would add him.” She then added: “But about 16% wanted our current president, Barack Obama, even though he hasn’t even served a full year in office. He got fourth place.” Rodriguez observed: “That’s unbelievable. Maybe just because of the historic significance of him being African American.” Carlin expressed skepticism: “Yeah, it could be a little premature though, maybe like that Nobel Prize.”
If there is an entertainment trend ripe for satire, it is the begging-for-attention smut routines at nationally televised music awards shows. How low can these "artists" go? Sadly, there is always another frontier. "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert was the latest offender at the November 22 American Music Awards on ABC, with a routine complete with S&M bondage slaves, deep male-on-male kissing, and simulated fellatio on stage.
All in front of millions upon millions of impressionable youngsters. It was another in-your-face Janet Jackson moment.
There’s only one thing that makes this funny. It’s the idea that somehow none of this was planned, that it was just a spontaneous eruption. ABC was embarrassed enough by Lambert to cancel a planned performance on "Good Morning America." If they expected cheers for that, they’re sadly mistaken. ABC clearly wanted to avoid making its news division question the entertainment division’s horrendous decision-making.
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an appearance by singer Adam Lambert on the show and addressed his raunchy performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday: “And is he the new Elvis? Or did he simply just go too far? American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert is here to set the record straight after his controversial performance at the AMA’s.”
As the show opened, co-host Harry Smith echoed Rodriguez, seeming to dismiss Lambert’s open mouth kiss with another man and simulated oral sex on stage at the awards show, as just breaking new barriers: “Those of us of a certain age, who were actually alive when Elvis first performed on Ed Sullivan so many years ago. There was so much controversy about him performing, they actually had to shoot him from the waist up....Because of the hips shaking and people didn’t want to – wanted to make sure that their children weren’t harmed by what was happening there. So maybe there’s some similarities to all of this.”
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on the Obamas hosting their first state dinner in the White House and declared: “Everyone wants one, but only a few hundred are lucky enough to get an invitation to the hottest ticket in town...”
Cordes concluded her brief report by mentioning: “Pop entertainer and Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson will entertain the guests, giving everyone, including the Obamas, ample opportunity to dance.” Footage was played of the first couple dancing as co-host Maggie Rodriguez added: “Which we know they love to do.”
Rodriguez spoke with former Clinton White House official Laura Schwartz, who remarked: “What an exciting day today.” Rodriguez agreed: “I know.” She then asked Schwartz: “...what do you think the Obamas want this dinner to say about them?” Schwartz described the event as the Obamas “inviting the world into their home” and noted the couple’s frequent global travel: “...the Obamas have been traveling quite a lot this first year, which is very exciting, it’s good for America. It’s good to be involved.”
Citing an interview the President gave to White House correspondent Chip Reid, at the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: “An outraged President Obama says heads may roll when he returns from Asia, telling CBS News he’s furious over leaks about Afghanistan.” The leaks in question have highlighted the administration’s inaction on the war.
Rather than press the President on why he has failed to make a decision on Afghanistan, in the taped interview, Reid explained: “I asked the President if he’s as angry as Defense Secretary Robert Gates about all of the leaks coming out of his administration about the Afghanistan deployment decision.” Obama replied: “I think I’m probably angrier than Bob Gates about it....For people to be releasing information during the course of deliberations, where we haven’t made final decisions yet, I think, is not appropriate.” Reid followed up: “Is it a firing offense?” Obama responded: “Absolutely.”
After the interview clip, co-host Maggie Rodriguez was glad to see the President putting his foot down: “Good to hear that he has a zero tolerance policy on the leaks. That is no joke.”
The latest CBS News poll shows that Obama only has a 38 percent approval rating on his handling of Afghanistan, perhaps that is why the network is running defense for him.
CBS’s eagerness to embrace Hillary Clinton has outpaced their embrace of facts. In the 8:30 half hour of The Early Show on Tuesday, co-host Harry Smith announced: "Also coming up this morning, you’re going to see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton like you have never seen her before, right? She’s in next month’s Vogue Magazine."
Two minutes later, co-host Maggie Rodriguez returned to the Vogue pictures: "When Hillary Clinton was running for president, her image was tightly controlled, but now that she’s secretary of state, she has started to reveal a whole new side that we’ve never seen before."
In reality, a Vogue photo shoot isn't new: Hillary Clinton was featured on the cover of Vogue in December 1998, smack-dab in the middle of impeachment proceedings. She was also on the cover in December 1993.
Vogue has been an obsequious promotional outlet for Hillary, and CBS spotlighted that again in its story:
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez previewed an exclusive interview with Levi Johnston on the CBS entertainment show, The Insider: “Levi Johnston says he is winning the war of words between Sarah Palin and him. We’ll hear from him.” Later, correspondent for The Insider, Chris Jacobs, declared: “Sarah Palin lashing out at Levi and now Levi fires back.”
Rodriguez has conducted three exclusive interviews with the estranged father of Palin’s grandson in the last six months, the latest on October 29. In The Insider interview, Johnston is given the opportunity to continue his vicious, personal, and unsubstantiated attacks against the former Alaska governor, claiming: “I think she’s going out and talking and she’s just digging a bigger hole for herself....I just look at her in disgust. It’s almost funny that she’s like 46 years old and she’s battling a 19-year-old and I’m winning and I’m telling the truth. She’s lying and losing.”
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “...former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, almost walks off Larry King Live, saying his questions were inappropriate.” The headline on screen read: “Prejean Pouts.”
Co-host Russ Mitchell later reported in a news brief: “Prejean nearly walked out on CNN interviewer Larry King last night. Prejean had answered questions about a sex tape she made as a teenager....She then refused several times to discuss a settlement she reached with the Miss USA Pageant, but King persisted.” Mitchell failed to provide the context that Prejean had already completed a 30-minute interview with King and was strangly brought back for the final few minutes of the show.
Later in his report, Mitchell explained: “King tried to go to a caller from Detroit, but Prejean removed her mic and prepared to leave. She then changed her mind and completed the interview. She never did answer Mr. King’s question.” Co-host Harry Smith later noted: “And the fact is – is the reason she was pulling her mic is because she said ahead of time she wasn’t going to take questions from callers.”
Thursday’s CBS Early Show looked back at 1954 as part of its ‘Time Machine’ series, with co-host Harry Smith praising former CBS anchor Edward R. Murrow for taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy: “McCarthy was on a kind of a witch hunt. Ed Murrow boldly recognized that and took him on....It was very gutsy and very risky on Murrow’s part....McCarthy was a bully. Ed Murrow said ‘I’m not going to stand for it.’”
Smith made the comments during a pre-taped video montage in which he and the other Early Show co-hosts reminisced about the time period. The montage concluded with co-host Maggie Rodriguez, who was off on Thursday, observing: “I think 1954 was an important year in American history because people stood up for what was right, whether it was desegregation or speaking out against a Senator who was targeting people as communists, it was a year of fighting for the truth.”
As the Media Research Center’s recently released special report Better Off Red demonstrates, Smith wasn’t exactly a staunch Cold Warrior. As the Soviet Union began to fall apart in 1990, Smith, then co-host of CBS’s This Morning, lamented: “Yes, somehow, Soviet citizens are freer these days — freer to kill one another, freer to hate Jews....Doing away with totalitarianism and adding a dash of democracy seems an unlikely cure for all that ails the Soviet system.”
For the third time in six months, the CBS Early Show provided a soap box for Levi Johnston to continue his vicious personal attacks against Sarah Palin, as co-host Maggie Rodriguez proclaimed: “He is back on the offensive in this he-said-she-said battle that began shortly after the presidential election....he says he’s trying to show the world the real Levi.”
During the first part of the exclusive interview, which aired on Wednesday, Rodriguez sympathetically asked: “Are you hurt by all of this?....you really sound like somebody who’s dead set on hurting these people the way they hurt you.” Johnston replied: “...if she’s going to go out there and say stuff to me – about me, I’m going to leak some things on her. I mean that’s just how it is.”
At the end of the second part of the interview, aired on Thursday, Rodriguez read a statement from Palin reacting to Johnston: “‘we have purposefully ignored the mean spirited, malicious and untrue attacks on our family. We, like many, are appalled at the inflammatory statements being made or implied.’” Palin went on to take the broadcast network to task for even having Johnston on: “CBS should be ashamed for continually providing a forum to propagate lies.” Rodriguez attempted to justify the repetitive interviews: “...we raised all those questions about credibility and his motivation for doing this with Levi...we should say that we’ve also offered more than a dozen times to interview Sarah Palin, but she has declined each of those requests.”
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Washington’s largest gay rights rally in a decade puts pressure on President Obama.” Co-host Harry Smith later introduced the story: “An issue that was on the back burner for President Obama suddenly got turned up to high over the weekend. Thanks to a group that is normally supportive of the President, gay rights activists.”
The Early Show coverage failed to label the protestors as being liberal or part of the left-wing base of the Democratic Party. Instead, they were simply referred to as “gay rights supporters.” White House correspondent Bill Plante explained: “The President has yet to deliver on the promises that he made to the gay community and members of that community are concerned. They’ve gathered here in Washington to remind him of those campaign pledges.”
Meanwhile, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America downplayed the march, only offering perfunctory news briefs. At the top of Today, co-host Ann Curry reported: “Tens of thousands of gay rights supporters took to the streets of Washington DC on Sunday and demanded that the President keep his promise to allow gays to serve openly in the military. They also want the President to work to end discrimination against gays.” She later repeated the exact same brief in the 9:00AM hour.
Hours before the Nobel committee awarded its “Peace Prize” to President Barack Obama, the CBS Evening News found another “achievement” to tout: A White House-released photo of Obama blocking a basketball shot. With the picture on screen, fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriquez explained how it shows Obama impressively “blocking a shot by his aide, Reggie Love, who is younger, taller, and by the way, a former ball player at Duke.” Rodriquez added: “It now hangs in the West Wing so the President can savor the moment every time he passes by.” From Thursday night:
The White House gave us a look today at a picture of the President during his down time. We hear he's pretty proud of this picture. It shows him playing basketball recently and blocking a shot by his aide, Reggie Love, who is younger, taller, and by the way, a former ball player at Duke. Now at the President's request, Love autographed it, writing, quote: “Nice block.” It now hangs in the West Wing so the President can savor the moment every time he passes by.
The Senate Finance Committee's ObamaCare bill will spend $829 billion over ten years, but fill-in CBS Evening News Maggie Rodriquez trumpeted how “according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the plan costs less than expected and would actually reduce the deficit. So why do Republicans still oppose it?”
Instead of explaining the skepticism toward how the massive additional spending could lead to less spending, reporter Nancy Cordes touted how “the new numbers give health care reform a much-needed boost” and credulously recounted the spending would be offset by fees, taxes “and trims to Medicare.” When Republicans proposed a reduction in the rate of increase of Medicare spending the media screamed about “cuts.” Now a $400 billion change is merely a “trim.” And who really believes that proposal will ever pass?
“The result,” Cordes maintained, “a net savings to government of $81 billion over 10 years” before she championed: “It's estimated the new bill would allow 29 million Americans who don't currently have coverage, Americans like Javier Salinas, to buy it.” Nonetheless, “Republicans still oppose the bill, despite the lower price tag.”
Following the talking points of the Democratic Party, at the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared a win for health care legislation being pushed by Montana Senator Max Baucus: “President Obama’s health care plan gets a green light from the Congressional Budget Office, as a key bill not only pays for itself, but actually saves billions.”
Rodriguez later introduced a report on the CBO estimates by declaring: “This morning Democratic leaders are cheering a report that shows that the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill actually saves money.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed: “The new bill would actually reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion according to the new estimates. The price tag, $829 billion over ten years, would be fully paid for, and then some, by an excise tax on top dollar insurance plans, by fees on drug makers and medical device manufacturers, and more.”
During the segment, an on-screen headline read: “One Step Closer? New Health Care Estimate Raises White House Hopes.” In her report, Cordes cited Jonathan Cohn, the senior editor of the liberal magazine, The New Republic, who praised the bill: “You’re average family will have security they don’t have, they won’t – they’ll know they won’t lose their insurance if they lose their job. If they need financial assistance paying for their health care, that will be available to them.”
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez speculated on the impact of President Obama’s personal appeal for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Chicago: “President Obama arrives in Copenhagen, carrying the torch for Chicago as the best candidate for the 2016 summer Olympics...Will he bring home the gold?” When the announcement came, Chicago was immediately eliminated from contention.
In the report that followed, correspondent Sheila MacVicar declared: “For this Olympic bid, it’s all about celebrity star power and supporters of Chicago’s bid hope President Obama will be the biggest star of all.” An on-screen headline read: “Chicago Hope; Obama Makes Case For 2016 Olympics. ” MacVicar fawned over the first couple’s emotional appeal: “ For Michelle Obama, a very personal story about her own father, who struggled with multiple sclerosis...And from the President, a heartfelt pitch for his adopted hometown.”
MacVicar concluded her report: “And that if Chicago does take it in a very tight race, analysts here say they’ll be calling it the ‘Obama effect.’” Apparently that effect was overrated.
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith painted a glowing portrait of the Clinton administration while previewing a new book on the former president: "During Bill Clinton’s presidency, the nation prospered, he worked to broker peace in the Middle East and in the Balkans, championed welfare reform, and signed the NAFTA free trade agreement."
The book, entitled The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With The President was written by Clinton friend and historian Taylor Branch, who recorded a series of 79 conversations with the president while in office.
After listing Clinton’s supposed accomplishments, Smith lamented: "But his presidency was marred by numerous investigations, a lawsuit brought by Paula Jones charging sexual harassment, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal." Smith later asked Branch about the scandals: "What was he [Clinton] like during that time?" Branch responded sympathetically: "He talked about it seldom and painfully....He said ‘I cracked’....A little later he said he felt sorry for himself, that he thought he had beaten down all the scandals and then they would keep reviving and coming back....he just said this ‘it’s never going to stop.’" Smith repeated: "Never going to stop."
Monday’s CBS Early Show touted a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll about American cultural attitudes, with CBSNews.com’s Cali Carlin asking co-host Maggie Rodriguez one of the survey questions: "Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie or Beyonce...Who would you want to swap lives with for a week?" Rodriguez immediately responded: "Hands down, Michelle Obama."
Carlin happily declared that Rodriguez, who had not yet seen the poll results, was "in step with mainstream America." Carlin further explained: "26% of women we surveyed said they’d want to switch with Michelle Obama. In fact overall, Washington beat out Hollywood, surprisingly. So both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton beat out Angelina Jolie and Beyonce."
The poll had a similar question for men, as Vanity Fair online editor Michael Hogan asked co-host Harry Smith: "Okay, so the choices are George Clooney, Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama, or Tom Brady. So what do you think?" Smith went the Hollywood route: "George Clooney... I mean that’s who I would switch places with. I mean, I know he wants to switch places with me, obviously." Rodriguez joked: "We could arrange that."
It was quite a "two-for" on CBS' "The Early Show" September 25. They got a chance to feature a young woman who'd recovered from a very rare disease, and they also got to advocate for ObamaCare.
"The Early Show's" Maggie Rodriguez talked with Krista Lesinski, who had been diagnosed with Wilson's Disease, a rare and potentially lethal condition that attacks the liver. With Lesinski was Dr. Lisa Sanders, a former producer of CBS News, covering health and medicine. Sanders is currently at the Yale University School of Medicine and a physician at the Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. Her monthly New York Times' column "Diagnosis" was an inspiration for the hit Fox TV series "House."
Rodriguez asked Lesinski, "You were ... highlighter yellow ... why did you wait to go to the hospital?"
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, White House correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama’s latest media blitz on health care reform and touted a new piece of the PR arsenal: "The President does have a new partner in his nonstop effort to sell health care, it’s the First Lady....Michelle Obama will be more like a stealth weapon in the battle for health care, giving it a softer touch."
Plante further explained the logic behind using the First Lady to promote ObamaCare: "With a favorable rating of around 70%, well above her husband’s, and the background of a hospital executive, Michelle Obama will counter balance her husband’s hard sell." A clip was played of Politico’s Nia-Malika Henderson exclaiming: "They feel like she can give a different voice, because as you can see, a lot of the folks out there are very partisan." Unlike Michelle Obama’s completely non-partisan approach.
Approaching the 11-year anniversary of the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez spoke with his mother Judy Shepard and asked about her efforts to pass hate crimes legislation: "Do you think this is finally the administration and the Congress that will get it done?"
Shepard, who was on to discuss her new book about her son, was hopeful that it would pass, especially after some legislative manipulation: "Well, I hope so. We know that this President will sign it if the bill comes to his desk, with his other requirements, because it’s attached to a Department of Defense bill, so that makes it a little trickier now. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed."
When Rodriguez initially asked about her activism, Shepard praised the role of the media in pushing the gay rights agenda: "What Matt’s story did was cause a lot of unintended education, if you will, through the press. People were made aware of what was going on in the gay community and it started a national dialogue...The gay community was part of every public discussion, where it used to be, you know, something you didn’t talk about, in the closet, if you will."