Forbes Profiles Bill Maher
And we find he almost worked for MSNBC:
I ask him with all the changes going on at CNN, which like HBO is owned by Time Warner, if he could take his brand of politically incorrect talk to the all news network. After all he’d often sit in for Larry King, when King was a CNN mainstay. “Never, going to happen,” says Maher. “A while back I had some extensive talks with MSNBC and ultimately we all looked around the room and we all just knew with advertisers to worry about, we’d never be able to make it work.”
If Maher toned down his HBO show for MSNBC, he’d be the highest-rated host at the network.
Comcast Agrees to Buy Time Warner
And creates the world’s largest company people can’t stand? Los Angeles Times:
Comcast Corp. has reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $45.2 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
The proposed blockbuster combination is expected to be announced Thursday and would create a video and Internet juggernaut with 30 million subscribers and operations in some of the country’s biggest markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Besides its cable and Internet operations, Comcast also is the parent of NBCUniversal, which owns the NBC broadcast network, Universal Studios and several popular cable channels, including CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network.
But this I don’t get:
The combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable does not run afoul of any current Federal Communications Commission rules.
However, the deal will probably face intense scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers, many of whom have expressed concern about media consolidation and its effect on consumers.
The FCC — which seems to have rules for everything — doesn’t have a rule against a merger such as this?
The rest here.
Media Pretty Impressed with America’s King and Queen
Here are some of the headlines and reactions on last night’s White House state dinner for France. . .
First up, who knew the collection of Hollywood stars, politicians, and other power players were “royalty”:
WashingtonPost.com, homepage: D.C. royalty turns out for state dinner
Oh, and the dress!
Washington Post, Style section: Michelle Obama lifts up U.S. designers, elegantly around her shoulders
And the White House producer for NBC News, Shawna Thomas, was quite smitten by Michelle Obama’s dress as well:
“#Bowdown”? It’s Michelle Obama, not Michelle Antoinette last time I checked.
The New York Times called it a “lavish event” but unfortunately “the evening still seemed one spouse short.”
And what did the royalty eat at the lavish event? 2500 calories worth, that’s what. I seem to recall the First Lady advocating for healthier eating choices, no?
As they say, it’s good to be king.
Adiós to CNN Latino
CNN Latino is done after only a year. Via the Daily Mail:
CNN axes Spanish language service only one year after launch
- CNN Latino was a service for local affiliates that combined news and entertainment programming
- The cancellation has no effect on CNN en Español, which remains on the air
CNN Latino has been shuttered only one year after its much-hyped launch.
The Spanish service tailored to the fast growing Spanish-speaking demographic and packaged for local affiliates has closed down after not meeting business targets, the network announced in a press release.
The venture failed to take advantage of a population that would be the fifteenth largest media market in the world if considered a separate country, according to the Miami Herald.
‘Despite the great efforts of many talented people, CNN Latino was not able to fulfill our business expectations and we are discontinuing the programming this month,’ a CNN spokesperson told Media Moves.
CNN Latino provided both news and entertainment programming made for a bilingual Hispanic audience, according to a Los Angeles Times story touting the launch. The service was meant to take on Hispanic heavyweights Telemundo and Univision, but it never panned out.
The rest here.
Sochi Media Hotels in Disarray
These stories are becoming quite common . . .
. . . Click on each link and what you’ll find are basically the same pictures and anecdotes, which has me questioning how bad the problem really is.
As this Business Insider piece on the media hotels points out, “The venues and Olympic Village all look perfectly fine, and we haven’t seen any complaints from athletes. But the hotels, specifically media hotels, aren’t finished yet and it’s a total mess.”
We’re also not hearing any complaints yet from spectators and their hotel accommodations, although it is early.
But if any of the media in attendance find their conditions are so unbearable that they want to leave, I’m sure there are about a million-or-so bloggers, journalism students, laid-off reporters, etc. who will eagerly take their place. My advice for these whiny reporters? Suck it up and have a little fun. Who really needs light bulbs anyway?
Chuck Todd to Interview Congressional Candidate Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken for Congress starts today!
Clay Aiken formally declared his bid for Congress, setting aside the singing career he launched on TV’s American Idol to run as a Democrat for a North Carolina seat now held by a Republican.
In a video posted Wednesday on You Tube, Aiken alluded to the “golden ticket” that got punched when he was the 2003 runner-up on the reality singing show. He stressed his upbringing by a single mom and his days as a special education teacher in explaining that he wants to serve in Congress for people who don’t have a voice.
“I’m not a politician. I don’t ever want to be one, but I do want to help bring back — at least to my corner of North Carolina — the idea someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not,” Aiken said.
This might be news to Aiken, but if he wins, he becomes a politician. And his I-am-not-a-politician rhetoric is no different than any other candidate who claims I-am-not-a-politician while running for Congress. Aiken says he want to represent ”all the people” but that is impossible. If you’re pro-choice, you won’t ever honestly represent the pro-abortion voters in your district; if you favor increased gun control, you won’t represent Second Amendment voters, etc., etc. etc.
Some areas are gray, but the issues that people are most passionate about are black and white.
Anyway, Chuck Todd will be interviewing candidate Aiken tomorrow and has asked that you send him your questions for Aiken. So, send away.
Nancy Pelosi vs. Jon Stewart
At what point will Democrats realize that Jon Stewart can be their toughest critic? Here’s Nancy Pelosi in the hot seat, unable to answer some pretty easy questions to Stewart’s satisfaction. Enjoy:
L’affaire Cheerios: MSNBC Fired the Wrong Person
Andrew Johnson posted over in the Corner that MSNBC has fired the staffer responsible for the offensive Cheerios tweet from last night. That tweet has since been deleted, but here’s a screenshot I took with my phone:
Yes, it’s offensive, but why’d they fire the staffer over it? I looked at the @MSNBC Twitter feed last night and there were no other offensive tweets that jumped out at me.
Richard Wolffe, the executive editor of MSNBC.com, tweeted last night, “The Cheerios tweet from @msnbc was dumb, offensive and we’ve taken it down. That’s not who we are at msnbc.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. That tweet is EXACTLY what MSNBC is all about.
Just look at MSNBC’s recent history. It’s impossible for Wolffe to claim “that’s not who we are at MSNBC” when you have Martin Bashir suggesting Sarah Palin be used as a toilet, Alec Baldwin throwing anti-gay temper-tantrums, and most recently, Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests mocking Mitt Romney for his adopted black grandchild. Yes, discipline was dished out in these examples and apologies were made, but at what point does MSNBC not get that their problem lies with its management and most certainly not with some low-level staffer who was told to send out edgy tweets. That staffer was just copying the stuff heard on MSNBC every single day.
I say let the staffer apologize and move on. And then fire everyone in management at MSNBC. They’re the real reason incidents like this keep happening.
Poll: Fox, Most Trusted Name in News (Again)
And Fox News is also the least trusted name in news (again). Via Public Policy Polling:
PPP’s 5th annual poll about trust in TV news continues to find what it does every year: Fox News is both the most trusted and least trusted name in news.
35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet, followed by 14% for PBS, 11% for ABC, 10% for CNN, 9% for CBS, 6% each for Comedy Central and MSNBC, and 3% for NBC. It leads the way because of its continuing near total support among Republicans as the place to go for news- 69% of Republicans say it’s their most trusted source with nothing else polling above 7%. Meanwhile Democrats are split between a lot of different outlets when it comes to who they have the most faith in- PBS at 21%, CNN and ABC at 18%, and CBS and MSNBC at 12% all poll in double digits. It’s interesting that while Fox News and MSNBC are often thought of as equivalent, Fox News is by far and away the most trusted source of GOP voters while MSNBC is only tied for 4th among Democrats.
Fox News also leads the ‘least trusted’ list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation to 19% for MSNBC, 14% for Comedy Central, 11% for CNN, 5% for ABC, 4% for CBS, and 2% each for NBC and PBS. That’s largely because 57% of Democrats give it their least trusted designation, with only Comedy Central at 18% also hitting double digits with them. MSNBC leads the way among Republicans at 38%, but CNN at 17% and Comedy Central at 13% both hit double digits as well. It’s interesting to note that Republicans seem to hate MSNBC more than Democrats like it.
If Democrats only have MSNBC at 12 percent, what’s the point of their liberal-bias programming? I’m no high-paid television executive, but these polling numbers suggest to me that hiring some true conservatives at CNN and MSNBC might translate into new viewers.
The rest from PPP here.
Analyzing the SOTU Drinking-Game Words
There were quite a few SOTU drinking games out there, but the group “Debate Drinking” looks to be the most organized. Their final tally.
In addition to the trigger-words provided by Debate Drinking, I was listening for the the president’s overused “let me be clear” and the ever-grating “folks.”
The president used “let me be clear” once; “folks” four times. Not too bad.
By comparison, the president used “folks” a staggering 15 times in his December 20 press conference before shouting “Aloha” to the mainland and jetting off to Hawaii.
GOP Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens Reporter
New York Post:
Rep. Michael Grimm went ballistic on a TV reporter on camera Tuesday night after the State of the Union address at the Capitol — and threatened to throw him over a balcony and “break you in half.”
The Staten Island Republican was in the rotunda of the Cannon Office Building discussing on camera the president’s speech with NY1′s Michael Scotto when the reporter tried to ask him about recent campaign-finance allegations.
Grimm stormed off, and Scotto explained that he wanted Grimm to address financial shenanigans surrounding the congressman’s 2010 campaign. Seconds later, Grimm charged back and got in Scotto’s face.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this f–king balcony,” Grimm said. “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Here’s the video of the incident. Grimm has since apologized to Scotto, and Scotto has accepted.
Stephen Glass Denied Law License in California
You can be an illegal immigrant and practice law in California, but not an undocumented writer? Reuters:
Stephen Glass, one of the most infamous fabricators in modern American journalism, has not demonstrated that he is fit to practice law and should not be admitted to the California bar, the state’s top court ruled.
In a unanimous opinion released on Monday, the California Supreme Court said Glass had not engaged in the kind of exemplary conduct over a long period of time that would make up for his earlier behavior as a journalist.
Glass was a magazine journalism phenomenon in the late 1990s, whose stories appeared in publications including Rolling Stone, Harper’s and The New Republic. Eventually, Glass acknowledged that 42 articles were partially or wholly fabricated, according to a filing prepared by Glass’s lawyers.
A lawyer for Glass, Jon Eisenberg, said Glass “appreciates the court’s consideration of his application and respects the court’s decision.”
The rest here.
Tom Perkins Stands By his ‘Kristallnacht’ Letter to the Editor
ICYMI, Tom Perkins — billionaire founder of the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins — is taking heat for this letter to the editor of the WSJ, which was published over the weekend:
Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?
Perkins, despite criticism, defended his letter to CNN and Bloomberg:
Perkins told CNN’s Dan Simon on Sunday he stood by his comments. “As for criticism of the letter, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion,” he said.
In an email to the news outlet Bloomberg, he dismissed the views of his former firm.
“[O]ur philosophies and strategies have drifted so far apart that now my name means little on the door,” the outlet said he wrote.
“In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization,” Perkins wrote.
Is Governor Cuomo Targeting James O’Keefe?
I’d like to know on what basis the NY Department of Labor is targeting Project Veritas as these actions seem a little heavy-handed for a company its size. Via Fox News:
Conservative activist James O’Keefe is accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration of targeting his group with document requests and a subpoena, claiming the Democratic governor’s recent comments critical of conservatives “aren’t simply words.”
O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas is behind a series of hidden-camera investigations against left-leaning groups and causes, made the claims on the heels of the controversy over a recent Cuomo interview. In it, Cuomo blasted “extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay” and said they “have no place” in New York. He later walked back his remarks, and said they were being taken out of context in the media.
But O’Keefe claimed that Cuomo’s government is acting on those words, revealing that the Department of Labor has hit his office in Westchester County, N.Y., with demands for financial documents for months. He compared it to IRS targeting of conservative groups nationwide.
“Governor Cuomo’s shocking words this past week aren’t simply words,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Labor are on a witch hunt, demanding all documents and financials since our founding. … His goal, of course, is to harass us and limit our effectiveness by tying us up in court. Just like President Obama used the IRS to target and suppress conservatives, Governor Cuomo is using his Department of Labor to do the same exact thing.”
A spokesman for the state labor office told The Daily Beast that it is legally required to ensure businesses pay their part of an unemployment insurance fund and provide information about outside contractors.
Requests for comment from FoxNews.com to the Department of Labor and governor’s office have not yet been returned.
The rest here.
Why the GOP Needs to Start Policing Its Own
GOP Rep. Steve Stockman, who is challenging Senator John Cornyn in Texas, was caught altering a picture of President Obama and Charlie Crist to make it look like the president was with Sen. Cornyn, which Team Stockman then added to a ”Cornyn Loves Obamacare” website.
And here’s the original:
To be honest, we’ve seen better doctored-photos from the goofball Iranians and their magic missiles.
This isn’t about how I feel one way or another about Stockman or Cornyn, it’s just a dumb move, especially since there are photos out there of Cornyn and Obama together. For example,
Another example is Chris Christie, who was forced to cancel his inauguration celebration today on Ellis Island because of the snow. His official swearing in, always planned to happen in Trenton, went forward as scheduled.
I’m no high-paid GOP consultant, but I’m pretty sure our side wants austerity from our politicians, not more regal pomp and private parties on Federal property. A Holiday Inn ballroom with an open-bar would’ve done the trick.
The only way the GOP will get better candidates if we hold our own candidates to the same standard we set for the Democrats. The time has come to end the excuse, “but the other side does it, too.” We should want better than that.
Ann Coulter vs. MSNBC
Via Newsbusters, Ann Coulter called MSNBC a bunch of “pu**ies” for not booking “non-retarded” conservatives on any of their shows. I eagerly await MSNBC’s response.
Get the Popcorn: Bill O’Reilly vs. Mary Katharine Ham on Pot Legalization
O’Reilly is against it, Ham is for it. This is actually round 2 of their “debate.” Ham has a write-up here, video here. Great stuff:
O’Reilly’s stance is all over the place. He ends by calling “alcohol a plague” with Ham asking in rebuttal if O’Reilly would like to become a “lady of temperance.” I’m going to laugh at that line for quite some time. But O’Reilly doesn’t want to ban alcohol, he just wants to keep marijuana use a crime so it doesn’t send a message to kids that using marijuana is socially acceptable.