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October 7, 2015


Why Was the Tiger Woods Speech Treated Like a Presidential Address?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 19th 2010 12:41PM
Tiger Woods speechIf you're looking for analysis of the Great Tiger Woods Apology of 2010, you've come to the wrong place. Our friends at TMZ, PopEater, and Fanhouse will have it all broken down from a personality, gossip, and sports perspective. No, what I'm here to talk about is the TV aspect of the coverage, and all I have to say about it is... it's troubling.

Why? Think about what happened this morning: all four networks interrupted their regular programming to show the speech. There was pre- and post-speech analysis from sports reporters as well as the news folks. There was a podium and a blue curtain. If you didn't know that Tiger Woods was about to speak, you might have thought that President Obama was about to step out and address the nation. Instead, we got Tiger talking over and over about how he's failed himself, his wife, his friends and his family.

I'm not sure what made me feel dirtier: the fact that the networks made it seem like a presidential address, or that I was actually watching it. Video and more after the jump.

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NBC News President Finally Bans Video of Luger's Death

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 15th 2010 1:30PM
NBC logoNews is a tricky thing. If you have footage of something, particularly something that is shocking or important or "breaking news," you're almost obligated to show it. If you don't show it, people would start to wonder why you're not showing it, especially if it has something to do with a major event that you as a network are covering. For example, the death of Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

But when does "news" turn into exploitation and "too much?" That's what NBC was facing with the footage of Kumaritashvili's death before the Olympics even started. Some (including me) thought that they showed it way too much. Over and over again, often in slow motion and with commentary. They even showed it at the start of the opening night ceremonies and viewers weren't happy about that at all.

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And So It Begins: 'Today's' Annoying Olympics Coverage

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 12th 2010 12:29PM
Roker and Lauer on the two-man luge at the 2006 Torino OlympicsAlthough I'm generally a 'Today' show loyalist, for the next two weeks, I'm going to be a 'Good Morning America' fan.

Why? Three words: The Winter Olympics.

Every two years, since NBC started carrying the Olympics, they turn their top-rated morning news show into essentially the Games' morning recap show. Sure, you still get that first half hour of pure news, but after that, the show becomes all-Olympics, all the time, from examining the personal stories of the athletes, to travelogues about whatever exotic locale the Games are in that year, to deep, 'SportsCenter'-like examination of the previous night's results.

But that's not the part that annoys me the most. When the hosts go out and try to do the Olympic sports themselves, the cringe factor goes up exponentially. Especially when Matt Lauer and Al Roker are involved.

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Anderson Cooper Heads Back to Haiti, Tries to Make People Care

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Feb 9th 2010 5:07PM
Anderson Cooper Back in Haiti
Late Sunday, Anderson Cooper and fellow part-time hero / full-time correspondent Sanjay Gupta tweeted that they were going back to Haiti. Almost a month after a major quake destroyed the capital, most news crews and their high profile reporters have long since packed up and left. Haiti is no longer front page news and that makes Cooper's return all the more interesting.

It's no secret that CNN sees a spike in viewing during disasters, so is the network just milking the tragedy for ratings? Is it a genuine plea for a people forgotten by the news cycle? Or is it just good journalism?

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Bob Schieffer's Take on Stewart and Colbert

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 9th 2010 12:42PM
Bob SchiefferIt has often been reported via numerous polls that people in their 20s get most of their news from 'The Daily Show.' I've always been suspicious of this statistic, because you have to know the news to get most of the jokes on Jon Stewart's show, but there's probably at least a little truth to it. Now Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' 'Face the Nation,' is weighing in on the topic of whether you can get your news from that show or 'The Colbert Report.'

In short, Schieffer calls both Stewart and Colbert "editorial page cartoonists," in an interview at Broadcasting & Cable. He doesn't mean it in a derogatory way, he just means that they serve a certain function when it comes to the news. They're not journalists, they're making commentary on the journalist (and politics and current events and pop culture). He thinks "if all you watched is Stewart and Colbert, I'm not sure you could call yourself well-informed."

I would agree with that, and I bet Stewart and Colbert would too.

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Keith Olbermann Denies that 'Countdown' is Going Down

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 5th 2010 8:35PM
Fox and MSNBC have been attacking each other with more frequency (but probably less violently) than the Black Spy and the White Spy, and one of their main forms of ammunition have been their respective ratings.

So naturally 'Countdown', hosted by the rather large (both in stature and physical size) talking head Keith Olbermann, had to respond to a report that appeared in the New York Post's "Page Six" column claiming that his show is one baboon hair away from cancellation hell.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Bill O'Reilly Tones Down the Funny in Final Part of His Jon Stewart Interview

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 5th 2010 5:29PM
Bill O'Reilly wrapped up the final portion of his interview with Jon Stewart on last night's 'O'Reilly Factor' and if you tuned in hoping for a night of hilariousness, well...you still got it. But this time, you got it from the right person.

Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show', kept his trademark charm and wit at high volume during the third and final portion of their edited interview, even though the tone and substance of their discussion got a lot more serious.

And thankfully, O'Reilly put down his red nose and took off his clown make-up for this portion of the interview. As Joel mentioned yesterday, O'Reilly is painful to watch when he tries to be funny. Screw waterboarding; the NSA should have hired him as the emcee for their interrogations.

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ABC News Content Now Available on Hulu

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 4th 2010 8:28PM
Do you live outside of the United States? Are you tired of not being able to access the never-ending pit of television goodies that is Hulu? If so, get ready to continue hating them just a little bit longer.

ABC News has announced they are streaming all of their news programs from 'Good Morning America' to 'World News with Diane Sawyer' on the popular free TV and movie site.

This means you can instantly access the latest news and views on everything around you and the world as long as you live in the US. Sorry rest of the world and known universe. Guess you can't enjoy this sit down with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen like the rest of us red blooded Americans!

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Why Does Bill O'Reilly Keep Trying to Out-Funny Jon Stewart?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 4th 2010 4:01PM
Bill O'Reilly has been on top of the cable news heap for fourteen years now, and for a good reason: whether you agree or not with his politics or his interview style, the man does a great job of putting his interview subjects on the spot and making them squirm. And, let's face it: squirmy interviews make for compelling TV.

One thing O'Reilly doesn't have is a sense of humor. At all. He's just too intense of a personality who takes himself too seriously to be funny. But, for some reason, whenever he gets in Jon Stewart's presence either on 'The Daily Show' or his own 'The O'Reilly Factor,' he spends half the interview belittling 'TDS' and its audience and trying to keep up with Stewart joke-for-joke instead of interviewing him on substance. And it never, ever works.

Here's the first half of the first part of his interview with Stewart, which aired on the 'Factor' last night. The second half is after the jump.

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Katie Couric, CBS Get in a Contract Catfight

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 3rd 2010 4:36PM
Katie Couric may smile 24 hours a day, but her latest contract negotiations with CBS have given her a reason to cut that back to around 23 hours and 50 minutes a day.

The network wants to cut back the 'CBS Evening News' anchor's tremendous $15 million salary, a move that makes a lot of sense since they recently laid off around 150 people and her broadcast has been placing a disappointing third since she took the job.

And while it seems unlikely that Couric will bolt, it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility since neither she nor the network have completely dismissed the idea.

[via Mediabistro]

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CBS Sports Expects 100 Million Super Bowl Viewers

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Feb 1st 2010 8:30PM
Peyton Manning will lead the Indianapolis Colts into Superbowl 44.CBS expects Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV to be the most watched television program in history. And the network is looking to make a mint on the big game after managing to sell every available ad slot for the broadcast.

The problem is a couple of those ads were sold to odd buyers when you consider that this is supposed to be a massive entertainment event. People are supposed to have fun watching the game they've waited all season to see. It's a reach to ask them to think about heavy socio-political issues.

The network estimates more than 100 million viewers will tune in this weekend when Peyton Manning (right) and the Indianapolis Colts take on Drew Brees and the upset-minded New Orleans Saints. The Saints look to be the sentimental favorite as the city struggles to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, the Colts are playing in their second Super Bowl in the last three years -- having beaten the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

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Meet Ernie Anastos, the "Keep @*$&ing That Chicken" Anchor

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 1st 2010 8:03PM
Way back when, a news anchor in New York said something rather unfortunate on the air. Well, unfortunate to him, but hilarious to anyone else with a working central nervous system.

Ernie Anastos, the Fox news anchor in New York, accidentally uttered the now-immortal phrase "keep $&%^ing that chicken" during a throwback on an evening news cast. Anastos told The New York Times in a recent profile that he didn't realize he had said anything bad until after that night's broadcast and insists he was trying to say "plucking."

Despite the reputation of the infamous moment, Anastos said he's done denying that the infamous word fell from his mouth because "If you keep saying, 'I didn't really say that,' it doesn't sound right. This is New York. That particular word is practically 'hello,' the way it is used."

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CNN consults programming advice from ... ESPN?!?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 29th 2010 11:00AM
Once again people, I'm forced to ask the question: what the hell is going on here? Is up now down? Has black become white? Did Keith Olbermann just spend an inordinate amount of time and energy in his last "Special Comment" to discussing why Glenn Beck is TV's most "huggable" pundit?

CNN has been looking for ways to prop up their sagging ratings in the never-ending cable news wars by becoming a network that actually just delivers news as opposed to "from-the-hip," unsubstantiated opinions, as long as you don't count their constant monitoring of their viewers' Twitter feeds. Apparently they are so desperate for a format change that they have consulted a former ESPN producer to suggest ways to revamp their style.

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Chris Matthews: still on MSNBC, still won't shut up

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 28th 2010 4:02PM
Last night during MSNBC's coverage of the State of the Union Address, Chris Matthews said about President Obama, "I forgot that he was black tonight, for an hour." Now, even if you give him the benefit of the doubt about this statement (a dumb statement for many reasons - what, he does remember that he's black all the other times of the day? What exactly does it mean?), it's still an odd statement to say out loud. He "clarified" the statement on Rachel Maddow's show.

Don't think what he said was odd? Imagine if someone on FOX News had said it.

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Here's a first: Nancy Grace doesn't want to be on television

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 26th 2010 8:00PM
Don't get excited. Nancy Grace still wants to be all over television, just not the parts that make her look like a mean, accusatory harpy with a God complex. That still applies to her talk show, but nevertheless...

Her attorneys are trying to get a federal judge to keep cameras from recording her deposition in a wrongful death suit filed against her, or at least keep the videotape from leaving the courthouse and ending up on television. She is being sued by the family of Melinda Duckett, a mother who appeared on her CNN Headline News show in 2006 and got grilled by the host following the disappearance of her 2-year-old son Trenton. Duckett killed herself on the day the interview was scheduled to air.

Attorneys said they want to protect Grace from any undue embarrassment. I'd say they're already too late.

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