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It’s Jon Stewart’s Fault Sebelius Had to Resign?



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Via Mediaite:

While the White House has made it clear that it was Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius‘ decision to resign this week, NBC News reporter Kristen Welker revealed on Friday that the administration wanted move on to a new head of HHS who was not “battered and bruised.” She added that her sources tell her the White House was concerned with Sebelius’ “rocky” October, 2013 performance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Well here’s hoping the next head of HHS can stand up to the intense scrutiny of a late-night satirist.

Stephen Colbert and Diversity at CBS



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What surprises me the most about the news that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as the host of Late Night is the speed at which CBS and Les Moonves made the decision. And from the way the New York Times describes it, Colbert was always CBS’s first choice:

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, who was the primary mover in getting the deal done, said the negotiations moved at a breakneck pace beginning the day Mr. Letterman announced his plans. Mr. Moonves said a “barrage of calls” immediately came in from representatives of comics seeking the job. But when Mr. Colbert’s agent, James Dixon, called to express Mr. Colbert’s interest, the talks quickly became serious.

Not that I care who CBS picked, but I wonder if Moonves has violated any diversity policy in place at CBS with the hiring of the white, male, and heterosexual Colbert. Where any minorities, women, or LGBT hosts ever seriously considered? 

In the past, Moonves has made statements on the importance of diversity at CBS. For example, he reportedly told students at the University of Miami in a November 2013 visit that:

Diversity is an issue, especially during prime-time shows, while a better job has been done in news, sports and reality shows. 

And Moonves made this comment in January when announcing the promotion of Josie Thomas to that of “chief diversity officer”:

“CBS’ commitment to diversity is a key part of our growth strategy.”

Over to you, Josie. Did Moonves do something wrong or is he just a hypocrite? Let’s see what an investigation turns up.

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CNN Decides on Piers Morgan’s Replacement



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They’re going with a multiple-anchor format at 9 p.m. Via TV Newser:

Two weeks after Piers Morgan signed off from CNN’s primetime lineup, the network has announced plans for the 9pm ET timeslot. Beginning this summer, CNN will air original series — like Anthony Bourdain‘s “Parts Unknown” and Morgan Spurlock‘s “Inside Man,” as well as several new series that are in development — during the hour.

In addition to “Parts Unknown” and “Inside Man,” CNN has announced shows with Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs,” John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted” and Lisa Ling. The shows will rotate with CNN’s in-house documentaries, like the ten-part “The Sixties” and a new multi-part documentary from the producers of “Chicagoland,” in the 9pm ET timeslot.

Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman



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Details here.

PolitiFact on Equal Pay: ‘Mostly True’, ‘Mostly False’, and ‘Half True’



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So, let’s see what PolitFact has to say about all these equal pay claims, shall we?

First they fact-checked this statement from President Obama dated June 21, 2012. . .

“Women (are) paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

. . . and found it “Mostly False”:

The Obama campaign took a legitimate statistic and described it in a way that makes it sound much more dramatic than it actually is. The 77-cent figure is real, but it does not factor in occupations held, hours worked or length of tenure. Describing that statistic as referring to the pay for women “doing the same work as men” earns it a rating of Mostly False.

Then they fact-checked this statement from President Obama dated January 28, 2014. . .

Women “make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.”

. . .and found it “Mostly True”:

It’s worth noting that the entire 77-cent gap is not necessarily due to discrimination — a conclusion some listeners might have drawn when hearing Obama mention “equal pay for equal work” shortly after citing the 77-cent figure. And there are alternative calculations that show a smaller overall gap. Still, the 77-cent ratio is a credible figure from a credible agency. We rate the claim Mostly True.

Some of the other rulings on equal pay. . .

Terry McAuliffe: ”Women still earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for working the same job.” — “Mostly False

Wendy Davis: Women “are still paid 82 cents for every dollar a man earns in Texas.” — “Mostly True

Wendy Davis: ”Texas women make an average of $8,355 less per year than men doing the very same job.” — “Mostly False

Jimmy Carter: Women in the U.S. get 23 percent less pay than men for the same exact work. — “Mostly False

And this next one deserves a specil mention. . .

Gina Raimondo: ”Women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.” — “Half True

The problem is that in the “Mostly True” rulings, PolitFact goes on to explain why the 77-cent number is too simplistic. So, why rule that they statements are “Mostly True” when the intent of the speaker is to obfuscate? 

And look again: Raimondo said basically the same thing as Obama, but Obama gets it “Mostly True”  and the woman only gets it “Half True.” Maybe women are given only 77 percent as much credibility as men at PolitiFact . . .

 

 

 

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The Smoking Gun Calls Al Sharpton a Liar



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Over to you, Reverend:

Facts Derail Lying Sharpton’s Informant Tale

Former FBI Mafia snitch spins fabricated story of “CI-7″ work

APRIL 9–In a desperate effort to explain away his work as a paid government informant, the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday claimed that he first ran into the FBI’s arms after his life was threatened by gangsters, an incident that prompted him to then record 10 face-to-face encounters with one of those dangerous hoodlums.

That story is a lie.

In fact, Sharpton’s fabricated tale is belied by FBI records that provide a clear account of when and why he began working as a cooperating informant. After unveiling his fable at a morning press conference, Sharpton repeated his claims last night at the close of his “PoliticsNation” show on MSNBC, where fact checkers and bosses alike do not appear concerned with the truthfulness of the host’s off- and on-air pronouncements.

The rest here.

Hat tip: @JohnnyDollar01

Nick Searcy Talks Justified



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Here’s a clip of Searcy, who plays Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall Art Mullen on the hit show Justified, talking about the show with Greg Gutfeld and the Red Eye gang. Good stuff.

Rep. Vance McAllister Getting Advice from Willie Robertson?



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Did Rep. McAllister really get advice from the Duck Dynasty star or is he just name-dropping? Via the News Star:

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, whose candidacy was bolstered by the endorsements of the “Duck Dynasty” stars, said Willie Robertson told him to focus on his family following this week’s scandal in which the married congressman admitted to an affair with a staffer.

The Robertsons, who operate the Duck Commander company in West Monroe, filmed campaign spots for McAllister during last fall’s election in which the Republican candidate from Swartz pulled off an unlikely upset.

“Willie told me that he was a friend and that I needed to work things out privately,” said McAllister, who said he hasn’t spoken to patriarch Phil Robertson since the scandal broke Monday.

And Robertson’s response when asked:

When contacted by The News-Star, Willie Robertson said he has “no comment at this time” regarding McAllister.

Maybe Willie Robertson should run for Congress instead of McAllister?

 

NBC Can’t Decide on the Unemployment Rate



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Did it rise to 6.7 percent or did it remain flat at 6.7 percent?

ABC’s Rick Klein Pleads for Transparency on Obamacare Numbers



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Klein writes:

Here, on this deadline day that may not actually be all that much of a deadline, is a modest proposal: radical transparency starting now. No more selective releases of data, no more implausible claims that the numbers are still being tallied up and therefore can’t be released – until the president needs a fresh figure to liven up a speech. If the media are to judge, truly and honestly, how the new health care law is working, we need the numbers – all of them. That’s the number of enrollees at the federal and all state-level exchanges; the demographic breakdowns, to the extent they are knowable; details of what if any health coverage the new enrollees had before; and information, perhaps scooped up through the insurance companies, about how many new sign-ups are actually paying monthly premiums. Honest coverage demands honest answers to these questions. All involved know there will be plenty of room for politics regardless.

The president is scheduled to speak about Obamacare today around 4:30. Any bets if Klein will get what he wants from the administration?

The View, Now Topless



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Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd went topless in their segment on Lena Dunham and Girls today.

So stupid.

Golden Girls Rerun Beats Ronan Farrow in the Ratings



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If Blue Eyes 2.0 can’t make it at MSNBC. . .

Via the New York Daily News:

Ronan Farrow’s MSNBC talk show is facing cancellation amid poor ratings, sources exclusively tell Confidenti@l.

Farrow, 28 — the opinionated, blue-eyed son of actress Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra (even Farrow’s not sure which) — has been a disaster for MSNBC. The channel took the frequent cable-show guest and handed him his own program, “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which premiered in late February.

“He sort of stinks on TV,” an MSNBC source told Confidenti@l. “He hasn’t turned out to be the superstar they were hoping for.”

The theory was that Farrow, a Rhodes scholar who graduated college when he was 15 and went on to score degrees from Yale and Oxford, would bring his 245,000 Twitter followers with him to television. “But that hasn’t happened,” the source said. “Just because someone is a boy genius-turned-Twitter star doesn’t mean they deserve their own TV show.”

MSNBC hired him because he has 245,000 Twitter followers? Piers Morgan has 4 million followers and you see how that worked out. And then there’s this:

Even worse: Wednesday’s show was 708th among all programming ranked by Nielsen, in both total viewers and the 18-to-49 age group advertisers covet. The midnight airing of “Baggage” on the Game Show Network came in ahead of it, at No. 707, and the 8 a.m. “Golden Girls” on the Hallmark Channel (No. 700) crushed it.

That’s not quite fair, as Baggage and Golden Girls are really, really good shows.

The whole thing here.

Univision Goes All Out to Promote Obamacare



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It looks like conservatives are spending too much time monitoring the liberal bias of ratings-challenged MSNBC and not enough time on Univision. Via BuzzFeed:

The Obama administration has been working overtime in recent months to enroll uninsured Latinos — one of the groups most likely to be uninsured — but it’s not just the White House making a concerted effort.

For more than a year, the Spanish-language television network Univision has embarked on their own company-wide effort to get Latinos signed up on the exchanges, working through newscasts, special programming, advertising partnerships, and a dedicated health care website.

Univision has not only been providing information to their viewers as to how to sign up but openly encouraging them to do so.

The network’s “empowerment initiatives” team — which focuses primarily on health and educational programming — began looking for partners to help their audience find coverage last year. Univision ultimately went with the California Endowment and the Ford Foundation, launching in earnest last April.

The company makes no bones about what they were trying to do. Empowerment Initiatives Director Stephen Keppel told BuzzFeed that the company thinks “it’s better to have health insurance than not to have it” and because of the high number of uninsured Latinos, it was an important initiative for them to take on.

The approach has been wide and varied. Beyond information on a website, Univision has sponsored several town halls — including one with President Barack Obama. The network produced an hour-long documentary on a Texas family that practically went bankrupt from medical bills, and has aired a weekly program on preventive health care as it relates to the Affordable Care Act. That’s in addition to any events or news local Univision affiliates produce.

“Those are just some ways we went beyond just regular news stories to tell this story,” Keppel said.

The rest here.

Jon Stewart Interviews Nate Silver



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There’s some good stuff here on the Dem freak-out over Nate Silver’s prediction that there’s a 60 percent chance the GOP wins the Senate. Also of note, Silver says he’s commissioned a response to the Roger Pielke Jr. piece on climate change and the costs of natural disasters not because of liberal-pundit furor, but because of reader comments. I will hazard a guess that his reader comments and liberal-pundit furor go hand-in-hand, but that’s for the statisticians to decide. 

 

Nate Silver Hits Back at ‘Hypocritical’ DSCC



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A few days ago, Silver wrote that his analysis of polling data suggested the “GOP Is Slight Favorite in Race for Senate Control.”

And then the Left went bonkers and turned on Silver. 

Silver answered those critics today with this piece titled,”The DSCC Can’t Have It Both Ways.” An excerpt:

And here’s the least surprising news: Political campaigns are hypocritical. At the same time the DSCC is criticizing our forecasts publicly, it’s sending out email pitches that cite Nate Silver’s “shocking, scary” forecasts to compel Democrats into donating.

You’d do well to shut out the noise the next time the DSCC writes a polling memo.

Actually, Nate, the DSCC does think it can have it both ways. Enjoy the next few months as you’re turned into a Koch Brother tool or something equally inaccurate. 

Turkey’s War vs. Twitter



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Blocking Twitter makes Prime Minister Erdogan look desperate, no? Via the Washington Post:

“Twitter, mwitter!” Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cried on Thursday.

Rough translation: Twitter, schmitter!

This was the last thing Erdogan said Thursday before the lights went out on Twitter near midnight. “We now have a court order,” declared Erdogan, who’s ensnared in a scandal inflamed by social media over recordings that purportedly reveal corruption in his administration. “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”

There’s no arguing: it has been witnessed.

After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.

President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of Erdogan’s, was among those who circumvented the order, which he contested in a series of tweets. “I hope this implementation won’t last long,” he wrote. Many — although not all — users trying to access the network early on Friday instead saw a notice from Turkey’s telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.

From across the world last night, thousands of Twitter users dispatched outraged — and sometimes hilarious — updates and photos touching upon feelings of dismay, humor, resignation.

The rest here.

But not everybody is abiding by the ban. Like Turkey’s president. Via the BBC:

President Abdullah Gul has challenged a ban on Twitter in Turkey after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the micro-blogging service.

Twitter users across the country reported that the site had been blocked on Thursday.

But like many others, President Gul evaded the ban to tweet that the “shutdown was unacceptable.”

Mr Erdogan is angry that people used Twitter to spread allegations of corruption in his inner circle.

The rest here.

Obama Fundraiser Tonight at Home of Univision Host



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Via Marc Caputo at the Miami Herald:

Another sign of the close ties between Spanish-language Univision and Democrats: Tonight’s Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Miami home Liliana Estefan, the host of the popular “El Gordo y la Flaca” show.

Roughly translated, Fatso and the Skinny Chick . . .

Estefan is quite a political catch. She’s a star. She’s the niece of music stars Emilio and Gloria Estefan. And the Cuban-American, along with husband Lorenzo Luaces, is a registered Republican.

The president also has a DCCC fundraiser later at the home of Alonzo Mourning.

The Estefan fundraiser underscores the affinity between Univision and the Democratic Party these days. The network is partnering with Obama’s former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in an outreach effort. Univision owner Haim Saban is a major Democratic donor who said he’d back Clinton with “full might.”

From Saban to a network news honcho’s assistant, some at Univision have also made sure to train their fire on Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a likely 2016 White House candidate.

The rest here.

CNN’s Miles O’Brien Back on the Air



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Miles O’Brien, who lost an arm in a tragic accident last month, was on the air last night answering questions from Erin Burnett on MH370. His attitude about the accident and his recovery are amazing. Video here (ignore Burnett’s commentary, though).

Chuck Todd, Media Critic



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Chuck Todd seems unhappy with a certain, unnamed network (I’m guessing the network name rhymes with Sea-M-M). Via Todd’s Twitter feed:

Wait, so when did finding NOTHING get characterized as “breaking news”?

and

. . .fwiw, we at @dailyrundown are VERY judicious with the “breaking news” banner. Want it to actually MEAN something

And FWIW, @dailrundown is as guilty as CNN in pandering to its audience. For example, here’s Chuck Todd analyzing the president’s March Madness bracket. But, to give MSDNC a little credit, they didn’t call the bracket “breaking news.” 

 

CNN’s Don Lemon Asks if a Black Hole Was Involved in MH370’s Disappearance



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I don’t mind that CNN is pumping the story for ratings — but this is freaking idiotic. Via Mediaite:

CNN’s Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something “supernatural” happened, but on Wednesday night, he actually asked panelists about the possibility a black hole was involved.

Lemon brought this up along with other “conspiracy theories” people have been floating on Twitter, including people noting the eerie parallels to Lost and The Twilight Zone, and wondered, “is it preposterous” to consider a black hole as a possibility?

And not to be outdone by the stupidity of the question, here’s the physics-defying answer:

Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said, “A small black hole would suck in our entire universe, so we know it’s not that.”

Considering there is a ginormous black hole at the center of our galaxy that isn’t sucking in our entire universe, I’m pretty sure a tiny black hole over the Indian Ocean would pose no real threat. But, hey, I’m just a blogger. What does a scientist think would happen if a small black hole hit the Earth?

Shravan Hanasoge at Princeton University and colleagues wondered if there was a way to avoid future false alarms. They ran detailed simulations of what would happen if a billion-tonne black hole struck Earth.

It would probably hit at a good clip, moving at a relative speed of a few hundred kilometres per second. But it would be smaller than an atomic nucleus, so it would only make a small, needle-like tunnel through the Earth.

Despite its small size, we would still know it had hit. That’s because when the black hole first reaches and then exits the Earth’s outer core, the outer core would vibrate, creating spherically symmetric shock waves. These would trigger every seismic detector on Earth at the same time – unlike regular earthquakes, which are more localised. “This distinguishes the signals from anything we would typically see,” says Hanasoge.

Happily, the effect would be minor, like a global magnitude-4 quake. “There would be no widespread destruction,” Hanasoge says. “It would be almost unnoticeable.”

Oh, so nothing happens. Keep up the great work CNN!

And of note, Mary Schiavo is an expert who could have answered questions on the likelihood of terrorism and the plane’s disappearance, but CNN wasted her time on nonsense.

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