CBS and NBC on Wednesday and Thursday ignored the revelation that a hacking attack has exposed liberal Hollywood executives making racial jokes about Barack Obama. Only ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday noticed that powerful producer Scott Rudin and Sony co-chairwoman Amy Pascal (a high-profile Democrat) mocked the first African American President.
Despite the fact that five out of the six evening and morning shows covered the continually unfolding hacking incident, there was only one mention of the nasty jokes aimed at Obama. ABC reporter Cecilia Vega explained, "The hacking scandal that has embarrassed movie giant Sony, now even messier after private E-mails about the A-list of the A-list were leaked." Vega briefly added, "Other E-mails even making racial remarks about President Obama." [MP3 audio here.]
In contrast, the networks went wild in November over comments by an obscure Republican staffer about Barack Obama's daughters, deriding the GOP "cyber bullying."
Buzzfeed explained what the hacked E-mails reveal:
Before Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal attended a breakfast of Hollywood bigwigs last November with Barack Obama, she emailed her friend Scott Rudin for suggestions on what she should ask the president.
In what has become the latest embarrassing email uncovered in a trove of messages leaked by hackers who attacked Sony, Pascal wrote Rudin: “What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?” She was referring to a breakfast hosted by DreamWorks Animation head and major Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Rudin, a top film producer responsible for films like No Country for Old Men and Moneyball, responded, “Would he like to finance some movies.” Pascal replied, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Rudin responded: “12 YEARS.” Pascal quickly continued down the path of guessing Obama preferred movies by or starring African Americans. “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]”
Rudin’s response: “Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”
To recap, Rudin and Pascal suggested that Obama would only be interested in slave films, a movie about an African American butler or black star Kevin Hart.
Rudin has produced the anti-Iraq war film Stop-Loss. Pascal has given over $35,000 to Barack Obama and Democrats. When CBS This Morning covered the story on Thursday, Norah O'Donnell observed, "Sony Pictures is reeling from the most recent dump of fiery and sometimes offensive E-mails involving the studio head and some of the biggest stars." Yet, the show totally avoided the racial angle involving Obama.
On NBC's Today, Tamron Hall gossiped, "E-mails from top executives revealing comments about major celebrities they probably didn't want these celebs to see." She, too, ignored the racial jokes.
Partial transcripts of the morning show coverage on the hack can be found below:
CBS This Morning
NORAH O'DONNELL: The drama in Hollywood this morning isn't on the big screen, it's playing out through embarrassing hacked e-mails. Sony Pictures is reeling from the most recent dump of fiery and sometimes offensive E-mails involving the studio head and some of the biggest stars. But Ben Tracy shows us how the poor publicity could lead to box office gold.
BEN TRACY: The most recent disclosure exposes an ugly, internal battle over Jobs, a hotly anticipated bio-pic on Apple creator Steve Jobs. Scott Rudin, the Oscar-winning producer and Sony's co-chair Amy Pascal viciously squabble in e-mails to each other over David Fincher, who was originally set to direct Jobs for Sony.
CECILIA VEGA: The hacking scandal that has embarrassed movie giant Sony, now even messier after private e-mails about the A-list of the A-list were leaked. Those exchanges reportedly showing a top producer criticizing Angelina Jolie's talent and ego. Other E-mails even making racial remarks about President Obama. Sony employees bashing Adam Sandler's movies and a talent manager gushing at Leonardo Dicaprio, trying to woo him to play Steve jobs.
TAMRON HALL: But the ante has been up, new material was leaked Wednesday, taking the damage to the next level. The material leak involves some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo Dicaprio. E-mails from top executives revealing comments about major celebrities they probably didn't want these celebs to see. So, in one e-mail said to be from producer Scott Rubin to Sony entertainment chief Amy Pascal, Jolie, Angelina Jolie, is referred to as a quote, "minimally talented spoiled brat with a rampaging ego."
HALL: So, Rudin has responded to the New York Times on Wednesday. He says in his statement, "This is not about salacious E-mails being batted around by Gawker and Defamer. It's about a criminal act, and the people behind it should be treated as nothing more nor less than criminals." So, the hackers have indicated, guys, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more E-mails, more personal information, including salaries. But, again, I mean, Angelina Jolie walks in to his office, soon. What happens?