"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.
Every section of your TV had been preempted and saturated with coverage of what sheriff's deputies believed to be a runaway balloon that was carrying the life of an innocent boy with it. It even preempted the so-called cable "news" networks that interrupted coverage of the pending health care reform bill. That move only would have made sense if insurance companies refused to cover victims of hot air balloon accidents because they considered "gravity" to be a pre-existing condition.
And the really funny part is now it starts getting weird. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said the family faked the whole thing just so they could get on TV.
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.
12:23: Wolf Blitzer just reminded us that this is, in fact, an historic occasion. He also assures us that the coverage will continue. I, however, will not. All in all, CNN's coverage was adequate, but pretty boring. The reason I choose CNN over the other news channels is because of the personalities. Campbell Brown, Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper usually find ways to engage and amuse me, but not tonight. Everyone was pretty straightforward and dry. What do they think this is, network news? If I wanted straightforward and dry, I'd watch Charlie Gibson.
But hey. At least this election is over. See you in four years!
12:19: Obama finished speaking a good five minutes ago, yet nobody has broken in with commentary. That's either an admirable show of restraint or a sign that the CNN anchors are all busy getting drunk.
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!
Senior Media Critic John Oliver stopped by to elaborate. I liked the list of fourteen things that Cheney's willing to talk about (well, what we heard of it, anyway). Political Activist Chrissy Gephardt (!) also chatted with Jon about the issue. Good sport.
Wolf Blitzer interviewed Vice President Cheney... Of course, Blitzer wanted answers and Cheney wanted to avoid giving answers, especially when it came to his pregnant daughter, Mary, who is in a gay relationship. I don't think Jon even needs to do Cheney jokes anymore... All he needs to do is show a clip and then quack for, like, five minutes.
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]
See? See? I do report on FOX News things!
The cable network not only has nine of the top ten news shows, it also celebrated it's 250th week as being #1. Yay! Balloons and candy for everyone! (Though the network is down 17% in the daytime numbers from last year, and down 25% in primetime).
Over on MSNBC, the news is good too. The network's ratings are up, which kind of depresses me because they're up since started that damn "doc block" and heading towards more taped feature programming. But Countdown with Keith Olbermann is up 67%, and that's a very telling number.
In other cable news news, remember when Anderson Cooper was brought in to co-host Aaron Brown's show, and then Brown was shown the door? Look who's co-hosting Paula Zahn's show over on CNN. Hmmm...
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