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October 8, 2015


Blame Jon Stewart's trustiness on the news media clusterf#*$

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2009 11:03AM
Jon StewartWalter Cronkite is a tougher act to follow than letting Metallica open for William Hung.

But now that the news legend and former most trusted man in America has passed on to that big newsroom in the great beyond, America needs someone else to trust. They need someone they can depend on to get the hard, cold facts about the important stories that truly affect their lives. They need someone to cut through the political haze of misdirection and mediocrity that cloud almost every major news story like a lingering beer fart.

That man is ... Jon Stewart. Don't like it? Blame the rest of the news media for not doing a better job.

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Brian Williams is funnier than you will ever be - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 4th 2009 10:07AM
If you asked the average TV watcher what celebrity makes the funniest late night interviews, news anchors would probably be the furthest answer from their minds. It would also just be after physicists, felons convicted of violent crimes and Joaquin Phoenix.

Lately, however, one dedicated newsman has become the most entertaining guest on the late night talk show circuit with the kind of timing, humor and comedic gravitas that even some so-called "professional" comedians have trouble displaying. It could with the greatest of ease turn his own news program into the most hilarious show on television, if the news he reported didn't make us want to jab a corkscrew in our eyes.

That man is NBC's Brian Williams.

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Brian Williams puts in his hour at Today - VIDEOS

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 20th 2009 2:00PM
Brian and Matt sitting in a tree...Seeing Brian Williams sitting next to Matt Lauer on Today was a bit disconcerting, wasn't it? I knew NBC was having some budget problems, but I didn't realize how thin of a bench they actually had. Williams subbed in for Meredith Vieira, but only stayed on the show for an hour, as I'd imagine he'd rather spend the 8:00 hour putting together tonight's Nightly News lineup than talk about ten ways to keep your car running or what Drew Peterson ate for breakfast.

Anyway, Williams was at times a bit too stuffy for the morning gig, but his famous sense of humor showed through a number of times, including the clips after the jump. The first one is a clip reel of some strangely homoerotic interplay between Williams and Lauer, which Al Roker called "a Whitman's Sampler of man candy." The second one is of Lauer, Williams, and Natalie Morales making their Oscar picks.

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Brian Williams' ties hit the blogosphere

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 29th 2008 10:30AM
Brian WilliamsNo one is safe from the snarky and sarcastic jabs of the blogger's literary Uzi. If they've got you in their laser-scope sights, nothing on God's green Earth is strong enough to stop them.

But not all publicity is bad publicity. In some cases, it's revived the careers of celebrities who flopped out of the spotlight like so much unsupervised fish. Rick Astley wouldn't have had the chance to perform during the last Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade if the Internet hadn't turned his ear-drum-grinding song into an ear-drum-grinding Internet prank. Chuck Norris wouldn't have become a born-again celebrity, columnist, and media pundit without a certain web site making him sound like he could kick God's ass unless God has Chuck Norris' fists.

Now another blogger has another target in their sights, giving an overlooked celebrity who is on TV just about every night the rare chance to swing the spotlight on them with a simple pull of the trigger. And it's not NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams. It's NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams' ties, thanks to high school English teacher Nancy Donnelly and her popular blog, the Brian Williams Tie Report.

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Election Night: NBC (final thoughts)

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 5th 2008 11:19AM
NBC electionIt's over. It's finally over. The talking points, the smears, the empty promises... it's been a fun two-year ride, but it was definitely time for it all to end (at least until December, 2010... heh...). And, just like the other networks, NBC didn't have much of anywhere to go after they called the election for Obama at 11 PM ET.

NBC decided to stick with the tried and true this year -- an anchor, the old sage analyst, and a few other people to help along the way. No real outrageous commentary, no poop-eating grins from any of the anchors (Keith Olbermann stayed on MSNBC) or anything that would be construed as "interesting" or "entertaining."

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Election Night: NBC (Part 2)

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 4th 2008 11:02PM
NBC election
They're dyin' to call this for Obama, aren't they? (In fact, they just did at 11 PM ET) In our last update, NBC called Pennsylvania for Obama before barely any votes were counted, then they were on top of Ohio like lions on a limping elk. According to their board, the big O has over 200 electoral votes already, whereas the New York Times website says Obama only has 159. Do the networks have better exit poll data than the Times or are they just too eager to wrte the conclusion to The Obama Story? It's anyone's guess. At least they're not falling all over themselves to call it based on Ohio, like other sites are doing.

More observations:
  • From the girlfriend: "Ann Curry looks foxy! Well, she does!" I agree. Curry's rockin' the boots on the virtual set tonight.
  • They showed the green room again at 9:30. BriWi's doing it for "full disclosure," but when the graphics turn off, Curry ends up looking so lonely in there.
  • Speaking of which, Curry told Brian Williams that "she felt like she was in a video game," then her Sincerity Chip kicked in and she added "Whatever it takes to get the information out to people, Brian." Sure, because phony columns, fake birds, and spinning graphics are the only way to do that.

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Election Night: NBC (Part 1)

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 4th 2008 9:20PM
NBC election headquarters
Thankfully, NBC has decided once again to do different election coverage than their kissing cousins at MSNBC. So instead of David Gregory trying to moderate slap fights between Keith Olbermann, Joe Scarborough, and Chris Matthews, we get the relatively dignified analysis of Brian Williams, Chuck Todd, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell and Ann Curry. Whew. Looks like I selected the right network.

Some observations from the first couple of hours of coverage:
  • Chuck Todd really has to shave his goatee. Yes, it was nice for awhile. But he might be the host of Meet the Press after this election is over; how can any one take him seriously with that "look, Ma, I can grow a beard!" look?
  • Ann Curry is doing exit polling in a green room. Not a green screen, mind you, but an entire green room. It's freaky. Williams wanted to assure us that Curry was safe from those flying graphics. Nice of him.
  • Does Williams have to remind us of his blue-collar, fire-fightin', hard-drinkin' past at every turn? "It's probably not a good thing that I know where Finnegans' Wake (a bar in Philly that's Obama's HQ there) is" he says to Mike Taibbi. Thanks for the insight into your past, Bri.

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The Daily Show: September 2, 2008 - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 3rd 2008 12:01PM
The Daily Show
The Daily Show
team must be exhausted. Last week was Tuesday through Friday on-location coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Colorado, and this week is the same from the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. I can't even imagine how new mommy-again Samantha Bee has been handling this, returning at the busiest time in months.

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Was Gustav a disappointment to the news networks?

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 2nd 2008 11:19AM
It was an interesting weekend, news-wise, wasn't it? The Tina Fey look-alike that's the Republican VP nominee announced that her teenage daughter was pregnant, and instead of covering the beginning of the Republican National Convention, all the broadcast and cable news operations sent their anchors to New Orleans, hoping to cover the "devastation" caused by Hurricane Gustav.

One problem: Nothing happened.

Well, that's not entirely true. The storm did hit rural areas west of New Orleans, and hit them pretty hard. But most of the Big Easy was spared. There was some minor flooding, some overflow of the leeves, and Geraldo Rivera bringing us "dramatic" footage of a "person!" in the water ... who was wearing a life jacket and tethered to what looks to be a Coast Guard boat. But that was about it. It makes a person wonder if the networks were disappointed there wasn't more destruction.

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Where do you get your news?

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 18th 2008 8:02AM
Katie CouricPew Research Center's biannual survey on how Americans get their news revealed significant shifts underway from print to new media, and even from television to the internet. But it looks like that idiot box remains our number one source for just what's going on in the world around us. The article shows the demographics to be pretty much where you'd expect them to be as far as who goes where for their news. The younger, more affluent and/or more educated you are the more likely you are to go online for your news. The older, poorer and less educated you are the more likely you are to rely on the TV.

I live in a pretty small town that's chock full of poor, uneducated people and I can assure you that most of those citizens still think of computers as that fancy technology they use in them colleges and whatnot. And the Internets, well that's where you go for sin! But the young people, who have grown up with computers and the web are more savvy than their parents and if they can afford a computer, then they're online. Most are playing World of Warcraft, but they're still on there.

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The Daily Show: July 31, 2008 - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 1st 2008 12:23PM
Daily Show"Dick Move of the Week": John McCain has been making more news with one of his new attack ads against Barack Obama, in which he calls Obama out for being an attention-seeking celebrity, just like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. That's not the bad part though. That honor goes to the fact that Paris' parents support McCain and have sent thousands of dollars for his campaign. Smooth move, my man. Smooth move.

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Sesame Street is going to be awesome - VIDEO

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 31st 2008 9:37AM
Will Arnett on Sesame StreetThe new season of Sesame Street is right around the corner and, while I normally wouldn't give it a second thought, I am unusually excited right now. No, this isn't a snarky rant about how I've been driven to children's TV because of the sorry state of grown-up programming. Sesame Street's 39th season, starting August 11th, looks like it has a lot of fun lined up not only for the pre-schoolers but parents as well. I already posted Feist's upcoming special take on "1 2 3 4", but I had no idea how many amazing guest appearances were coming. Just check out this star-filled highlight reel after the jump.

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It's Hillary, Live from New York, on SNL

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 3rd 2008 10:02AM
Hillary & AmyIt wasn't April 1st so it couldn't be April Fool's Day. It was March 1st. Still, there she was, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saying those famous words, "Live from New York, It's Saturday Night Live."

In an unannounced and potentially savvy political move, Senator Hillary Clinton, appeared on the NBC late night comedy and showed that she can laugh at herself. This surprise appearance, coupled with her agreeing to be on Monday's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, can only help her in Tuesday's primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. It's pretty much desperation time for the Clinton candidacy and if Hillary wants to make it to the Denver convention with a chance to beat Barack Obama, she must win Texas and Ohio -- the big states -- decisively.

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The Daily Show: February 28, 2008

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 29th 2008 7:03AM
Jon Stewart"Bushman of Africa": President Bush recently paid a visit to five countries throughout Africa. He shared his learnings and experiences through a slideshow, keeping it real old-school. Due to his initiatives on malaria, there will be a George W. Bush Day to raise awareness. Was that a joke, Mr. President? I'll pretend it was.

Correspondent John Oliver stopped by to talk about this strange, new caring Bush and expressed his pain in seeing that Bush had it in him to do good all along. Whenever people bash The Daily Show (or the Colbert Report) for being really unfair to Bush, I like to point them to segments like this. Sure, they have a bit of a liberal bias, but they're not afraid to point out the blunders of the Democrats, nor do they shy away from recognizing when Republicans or conservatives have done well. Seriously, these two shows are probably more fair that many mainstream news outlets. Bless their snarky little hearts.

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Saturday Night Live: Brian Williams/Feist

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 4th 2007 12:21PM
Brian Williams(S33E04) From Brian Williams' guest spots and cameos on The Daily Show, I already knew he was a surprisingly funny guy. He has an incredibly dry delivery and that level of newsman integrity paired with any remotely dirty joke is absolutely hilarious. That said, I still was not sure how he would deal with a live show. After all, even the funniest of comedians or most polished of actors can fall flat on their face when pressured with the threat of no edits, no do-overs.

I am very happy to report that Mr. Brian Williams did a spectacular job. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up joining the ranks of hosting gods Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin some day. His performance was crisp and professional, and I'm sure people that only know him from his news program were caught completely off guard. Too bad the writing this week was below average.

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