The Situation room
"Following Larry is bit like following Frank Sinatra," Morgan said. "But I can do things my way, and by dangerous I kind of mean I like interviews to be theatrical. I like it to be a theater, where two protagonists come in and we have fun and it's probing and challenging, a little bit edgy perhaps, and occasional dangerous, where no one is quite sure what's going to happen next."
Morgan added that Larry King's long-running interview show was also occasionally dangerous:
"Some of Larry's most memorable moments encompassed extreme danger, for instance when Marlon Brando kissed him live on air."
Of course, what really made 'Larry King Live' dangerous -- particularly in its later years -- was the impression the audience got that the host could quite possibly fall asleep at any moment. Which is a dramatic tension that Morgan, 45, will struggle to recreate.
Bill Maher Doubles Down On His Comments That Too Many Babies Named Mohammad Are Being Born in England (VIDEO)
"I don't feel like I have to apologize for being a proud westerner," he told Blitzer. "When I say a westerner, I mean someone who believes in the values that Western people believe in, like a lot of the Muslim world does not."
"I would like to keep these values here, and if Muslim people in societies are having babies at rate at 6 or 8 times what the other people are having ... in 200 or 300 years, if Muhammad is the most popular name now, I don't want England to lose those values."
Maher is well-known critic of all religions, so perhaps that's why these Muslim-specific comments haven't kicked up more of a firestorm. Still, these days it's a getting difficult to keep track of what people of which ideologies are allowed to say what about which people on what television stations.
O'Donnell was asked by reporter Jim Acosta if she's been embarrassed by the video clips of her from the past -- which often have her saying wacky things -- that Bill Maher and others have been releasing.
"No, I haven't been embarrassed, and I'm not saying that I'm proud," O'Donnell answered. "Obviously what they are trying to do is paint of picture of who I was 20 years ago. I've matured in my faith, and I've matured in my policies. Today you have a 40-something woman running for office. Not a 20-year-old. So that's a big difference."
Throughout the interview O'Donnell was extremely poised and fairly articulate. This shouldn't be a huge surprise. She might be a newcomer to national politics, but she has obviously had quite a long history on national television.
"I think he's very bright. As a matter of fact, brilliant," Mondale said about Obama. "And he uses these idiot boards to read speeches on television and I think he loses the connection that he needs emotionally with American voters."
"If you're looking at the teleprompter, you're here, you're here, you're here -- and your audience is right there," Mondale continued.
It should be pointed out that Ronald Reagan, who was famous for his ability to connect with voters, relied on a teleprompter almost as much as Obama does. Reagan also famously beat Mondale forty-nine states to one in the 1984 presidential election, so that might be where some of Mondale's disdain for "idiot boards" is coming from.
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.
This actually makes sense. The Situation Room is very political and during the campaign and the election, the ratings were high. We're in a post-election period now and will be for a while.
The CNN idea is to fill the afternoon with more fluff and general interest news, the kind of stuff Rick Sanchez is better suited to handle. He can talk about lists for hours, taking calls, reading Tweets and vamping. The man enjoys the sound of his own voice.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer must be running on Energizer batteries. Between his duties on his weekly The Situation Room program and Sunday's two-hour Late Edition talkfest, Wolf is on the air 17 hours a week. While this makes him the leader in face time over any other television anchor it probably doesn't bode well for his social and family life. Not to mention that he's probably missing the new season of According to Jim. So, the cable news network is doing something to free his schedule up.Sometime in the new year, Wolf will step down from his Late Edition duties and will be replaced by chief political and magic map correspondent John King. The revamped Sunday schedule will begin at 9 a.m., with the first hour dedicated to politics and opinions on the new Obama administration. Later hours will touch on national and world affairs with commentary on current events. And, most likely, John will use the powers of the magic map to make some of the less likable pundits disappear.
One of my favorite moments of the hours and hours and hours of Anna Nicole Smith coverage on the cable networks was when CNN's Lou Dobbs told Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer what was coming up on his show at the top of the hour. After he told viewers what was coming up (Iraq news, Wall Street news), he promised that for the entire hour there would not be a single mention of the death of Anna Nicole Smith.
Now it's Jack Cafferty's turn. And he did it on Wolf's show too. Video after the jump!
Obama? It may be a slip of the keyboard, but putting a picture of al-Qaeda and the name of the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, together, seems like it would be sort of a Freudian slip, don't you think? For one thing, "B" and "S" aren't close to each other on a computer keyboard, and for another thing, the potential presidential candidate has been accused of being associated with radical Islamic militants. Anyway, Raw Story has the entire sequece of events, including Wolf Blitzer's on-air apology to Obama (the video of which is at Crooks and Liars). If I were Bob, I'd say something like this: "This would be something I'd expect from Fox News, not CNN," but I'm not, so I won't.
[via Lost Remote]
(S31E16) Not too shabby. For her third SNL hosting gig, Lindsay Lohan wasn't all that bad. I did find it odd that she's doing SNL again so soon though. Especially after that big hoopla about the Vanity Fair article a few months ago. But her arms did look much plumper this time around. Besides, she has a new movie coming out and I would assume that she and Tina Fey have a good relationship. So I guess it does makes sense that she would be doing SNL again so soon. See that? I answer my own questions.
The Situation Room - It seems like we've officially reached the point where every single cold open that SNL does is going to be a take-off of one of the many political pundit shows from across the cable universe. I'm fine with that. I'm just saying that I can't remember the last time a cold open that wasn't Hardball, or Anderson Cooper, or this. I suppose it makes sense though when the government is giving out plenty of material to spin into a sketch. Might as well use it. This was funny. Wolf (Chris Parnell) had numerous guests commenting about the recent news that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card had resigned (well, I guess it's not that recent). It seems everyone they interviewed, who now worked for the President, had come from a temp agency. I loved it when Kristen Wiig (she's the new Resident Iran Expert) asked to have her time card initialed.
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