On Thursday's NBC "Today," co-host Savannah Guthrie asked a panel of guests about the possibility of New Jersey's governor entering the presidential race and observed: "There's kind of this conventional wisdom among the political chattering class that someone as heavy as Chris Christie-" Dr. Nancy Snyderman interjected: "As fat as he is." Guthrie continued: "...would not be elected." [Audio available here]
Fellow panelist, attorney Star Jones, chimed in: "You are so sweet the way you put that. You're really asking us will America elect a fat president?" Later in the discussion, advertising executive Donny Deutsch fretted: "If he's [Christie's] not disciplined enough to keep himself healthy, is he disciplined enough to make the tough decisions for our country?...if he's not in charge of himself, can he be in charge of country?"
During the weekly "Today's Professionals" panel discussion in the 9 a.m. ET hour of Thursday's NBC "Today," while on the subject of the execution of Troy Davis, attorney Star Jones used the opportunity to proclaim: "You're never going to see a rich, white man being put to death in the United States of America. That's not going to happen right now." [Audio available here]
The outburst was prompted when co-host and panel moderator Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Some people....think the system is rigged against the poor in our society, against African-Americans in particular, and I wonder what your view is of that?"
During a panel discussion about the Michele Bachmann Newsweek cover, left-wing advertising executive Donny Deutsch acknowledged that "It is politically biased," but didn't see any problem with that: "Who says the media's not biased?...Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture...It's not a flattering article....why can't you write an unflattering biased article?"
The discussion actually began with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, someone just as liberal as Deutsch, denouncing the Newsweek cover:"Sexist, ridiculous, not fair. The inside copy, the word 'rage' is never used....She is charismatic and engaging and this made her look cruel and mean." Snyderman even preemptively declared: "And Donny Deutsch can say whatever he wants, but he's wrong."
During a discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today of a nasty divorce custody case, psychologist Gail Saltz bizarrely shoe-horned in this observation: "This is reflective of a national problem....We have taken on this 'Do whatever feels good in the moment,' with no regard for a moral compass...calling the president a liar..." Co-host Matt Lauer declared: "The end of civility."
The husband involved in the case was accused of bashing his ex-wife on his personal blog, causing the judge to order him to shut down the web site. Lauer used that fact to smear all blogs: "[The judge] said of the blog, it included, quote, 'Inaccurate, denigrating and belittling comments...it amounts to outright cruelty'....My first reaction to that is, has this judge ever gone on other blogs? That's what they're all about."
Rosie O’Donnell can not seem to let go her bitterness over her brief and tumultuous tenure with "The View." According to "The Washington Post’s" November 20 "TV Column," Rosie, in promoting her upcoming variety show on NBC, diverted to "The View" stating "I’m not say we loathed each other, but there wasn’t a lot of off-camera camaraderie." Rosie also compared Barbara Walters to a grandmother trying to put a happy face on a severely dysfunctional family. Rosie also promised her show will be free of political discussion.
Later in the morning on "The View," Barbara Walters responded to her former subordinate’s comments, without mentioning her name. Perhaps in reference to Star Jones as well, Barbara demanded "ladies get on with your lives." As Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck claimed they do in fact get along off camera, Elisabeth, to some audience and panel chuckles, and in reference to her notorious fight with Rosie, claimed "we’ve had incredible years, maybe one more difficult in the past." Barbara Walters responded, to more audience laughter, "we will now move on."
Years before she admitted her own affairs with married men, ABC's Barbara Walters pressed Monica Lewinsky about her affair with a married Bill Clinton: "Did you ever think about what Hillary Clinton might be feeling?" [audio available here]
At the time, the public wasn’t yet aware of Walters’ own affairs. Now, more than nine years later, Barbara Walters has come forward with stories of her affair in her new book "Audition" something former "The View" co-star Star Jones has publicly denounced saying, "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters in the sunset of her life is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair […] It speaks to her true character."
This new information on Walters sheds some interesting light on her 1999 "20/20" interview with Monica Lewinsky regarding her affair with President Clinton. As MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham said, "It might have helped viewers process that interview with some on-screen graphics that said 'Barbara Walters has been a mistress just like her interviewee.'"
A funny friend e-mailed me this joke about the ABC special tonight selling the new Barbara Walters boudoir-opening memoir: "Just a few hours now until the most eagerly awaited program of the May sweeps, 'Barbara Walters: Skanky In the Seventies.' I can't wait."
From Us Magazine through TV Newser: Star Jones lets her old "View" boss Barbara Walters have it on how she's using her tale of adultery with black Republican Sen. Edward Brooke in the Seventies to sell books: "It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters in the sunset of her life is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character."
Aside from the never-ending controversy over how Star Jones dramatically lost weight, it's amazing to see how everyone from Oprah to Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post today see Barbara's tale of being a mistress as a fascinating life story, and not a tale of sleazy immorality. It also raises the obvious point of how Barbara's bed-hopping affected her coverage of the Clintons and the famous Monica Lewinsky interview in 1999. It might have helped viewers process that interview with some on-screen graphics that said "Barbara Walters has been a mistress just like her interviewee."
"The opening of a trapdoor and the sudden snap of a hangman's noose at dawn yesterday brought an extraordinary end to a political era in Iraq." -- Opening line from The Guardian's report of the execution of Saddam, Dec. 31, 2006
"Senator Clinton never gave a second thought to opening the trap door beneath her fellow Democrat." -- Bob Herbert of the NYT, Confronting the Kitchen Sink, March 8, 2008 [emphasis added in both citations].
When Bill O'Reilly, in an impromptu response to a phone caller's question, said that he didn't want to "lynch" Michelle Obama, critics on the left from Media Matters to Keith Olbermann were outraged. Star Jones condemned O'Reilly's statement as "racist, unacceptable and inappropriate on every level."
Laura Ingraham was in a groove on Monday's "The View," spurring protest from Barbara Walters by asking if the talk-show gang there really wanted America to win in Iraq. (Walters protested probably not only for her colleagues on the chat show, but her colleagues at flag-pins-are-verboten ABC News). Video of the exchange is available here. On what I'm guessing was Ingraham's last appearance on "The View," on January 22, 2003, our Jessica Anderson captured how the radio host handled a cast of putative feminists who defined feminism as offering women the choice to have a completely elastic and plastic marriage for political gain:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: I know that you wrote this book called The Hillary Trap, Laura, and in it you sort of blast Hillary – or not even sort of, you do – for the way she handled her husband's infidelities, and basically make the point that she is not a good role model.