Apparently, some at NBC were miffed that this information was leaked last week, spoiling the big surprise today, but really, there wasn't much suspense. Joel wrote about it. The selection of David Gregory is a safe, solid and somewhat staid choice.
That was how I heard the "big" news that CBS anchor Katie Couric has a new look. Really, what does it matter? Why should it matter? She's presenting the news, not selling hair gel or mousse, right?
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.
But I might start watching ABC News because they're launching a series called "Spirit of America" that will air weekly during World News With Charles Gibson. Ok, so it's only two- to three-minute segments once a week, but hey, it's a start. I'll give 'em that.
"Even with the economic crisis and the problems that affect so many people, we're trying to show that people can make a difference, both big and small," said World News executive producer Jonathan Banner.
10:20: They've moved out to the lawn in Phoenix. The atmosphere there is quite a bit more, uh, subdued than in Chicago.
10:19: Yikes. Dana Bash looks more and more depressed each time they show her. She's reporting that McCain's camp has given up.
10:08: Wolf Blitzer: "Arkansas. Put that in John McCain's column right now." Is it wrong that that made me snicker? It doesn't even make sense!
9:59: Iowa was just called for Obama, and Anderson Cooper just asked what they're going to do when he gets to 270 electoral votes. "We leave!" was the reply. We'll see if that actually happens. Could we have an empty eleciton center soon? Check back for more coverage!
9:55: Roland Martin compared the Obama supporters in Grant Park to Lollapalooza. Meanwhile, back at the Biltmore, an unidentified old man is wandering around aimlessly on stage.
It was inevitable, and really, really necessary, for McCain to fix this problem with Dave. McCain was the butt of the joke for nearly three weeks and it hasn't helped his campaign. Appearing Thursday should do a lot to ameliorate his image and in every way it can only be a win-win for McCain and Letterman.
As you can probably tell, it's an unholy mix of various cable newsmen (but no women!), including Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Keith Olbermann, Geraldo Rivera, Steve Doocy, and Anderson Cooper. Just in time for Halloween, I think. Video of the segment is after the jump.
In some ways, The Rachel Maddow Show is a spinoff of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Maddow has been a regular sub for Olbermann, proving her prowess to MSNBC, and her show has a cushy spot between the first run of Countdown at 8 p.m. ET and the replay at 10 p.m. For the premiere episode, in fact, Keith appeared as Rachel's first guest -- a crossover from the end of Countdown where Rachel was interviewed in the last segment before the close. This was a smart move, sort of like a bridge from his show to hers, a bridge to somewhere if you will.
The new studio for Maddow has the quality MSNBC look, glass top desk, plasma screens, obnoxious -- but expected -- graphics on the bottom and bugs and flags reinforcing information as it's spoken.
Most interesting is the observations of Barrington Research analyst James Goss: "My sense is that the layoffs extended to some high-priced and highly visible local talent with an eye toward applying some of the same return on investment-focused expense disciplines that started at the network level."
Breitbart.tv has posted what might be one of the best on-air bust-ups of all time: a minivan crashing into the studio of Chicago's ABC affiliate, WLS, during a live broadcast. The video after the jump...
Smith-Malave, a lesbian, said the attackers repeatedly shouted gay slurs, spat on her and her friend, and hit them several times. Last week Smith-Malave filed a complaint with the Nassau County police because she thought they weren't vigorously pursuing arrests in the case. She had the names of some of the attackers, yet the police had not made any arrests at that time.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if American Idol's Katharine McPhee decided to give up her dreams of stardom and just settle into weather reporting?
Of course you haven't, but that's what happened at a St. Louis news station when McPhee, before her interview, decided to jump into the middle of the weather report to give the weatherman a hard time for being a Taylor Hicks fan, and to try her hand at reporting the weather. It turns out it's not that easy: you have to know where to point, and you have to ad lib.
Mental Floss has a clever little quiz in which you must determine whether various descriptions of bizarre crimes actually happened in real life, or are merely plots of various Scooby-Doo cartoons. I'd recommend taking the quiz before reading any further.
I surprised myself by actually scoring 9 out of 10. The only one I was fairly positive about was number four, as I'm fairly certain no Hanna Barbera cartoon would ever feature someone pointing a gun at someone else. At least, not lighter fare like Scooby Doo. I'm sure Batman has had various weapons aimed at him on more than one occasion.
Bill Moyers' Journal, a new version of his '70s news program of the same name, "debuts" tonight with an interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart. I put "debuts" in quotes because the series actually debuted with "Buying the War" on April 25, but tonight marks the first time the new series finally settles into its regular timeslot.
Below is a clip from tonight's show in which Stewart pithily describes The Daily Show as "very serious people doing a very unserious thing." I think that not only describes The Daily Show perfectly, but also describes what makes the best satire, whether it's television (The Daily Show), movies (Blazing Saddles), or Swift's A Modest Proposal. The best satire comes from either a real love of what's being satirized (Young Frankenstein), or the need to twist real anger and frustration into something comedic (Blazing Saddles, The Daily Show).
You can watch several episodes of the TV Land talk show Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg right at the TV Land web site (full episodes from the second season and highlights of the first). Steinberg has interviewed everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Bob Newhart, but the show that I'd like to talk about is the one where he interviews Daily Show host Jon Stewart. It's actually one of the best interviews with Stewart I've ever seen.
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