1/6/09 12:37 PM

Weekend Links & Open Thread

Weekend cable news links: [updated through the weekend]:

The cult of tv news personality?

Video: Molly Henneberg's wedding. Janice Dean was there.

Rachel Sklar: "Aw, nuts", part deux.

Oh joy, a new Fox conspiracy!

Presidential doc block.

Morning Joe kudo.

Black in America preview.

MSNBC dissed Tony Snow? CNN dissed Snow? Fox dissed Snow?!

Huffpo hilarity: 24 22 ?? hours watching Fox.

Lampooning Lanny.

PBS throwing stones?

Today's firing demand.

Sunday talkers. FNS tribute. Roundup.

Use our valuable bandwidth to post your comments on any and all cable news topics in this weekend's open thread. Standard rules apply.

It's good to hear that Chris Wallace came back from his vacation to cover the Tony Snow tribute. It is critical for him to be there today. IMO.
I was gone most of yesterday and didn't see how MSNBC or CNN covered Tony Snow's death. Other than the guy cited by J$, did anyone else see if they had much on him? At one point, I did see CNN posting two addresses for e-mail tributes to be sent in, and I saw a couple miniutes of MSNBC showing a David Gregory interview of Snow. But those few minutes on each network were all I observed.  
O'Reilly and Greta both did a great job in their tribute programs yesterday, and each had quite a lineup of guests. While the kids are doing OK on F & F this a.m., I wish the "A" team would have been brought in. because I do think they interfaced with Tony quite often throughout the years. The kids barely knew him, from what I gather.
And what a parallel to Russert! Not only were both men hosts of programs with similar formats, but both were Catholics who deeply loved their families. Both were extremely competent in their work and kind beyond belief to everyone, friends and strangers alike! And I thought it was surreal that as Russert was apparently good friends with Bruce Springsteen, we now find out that Snow had a close friendship w/Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull!
July 13, 2008, 9:30:51 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Kirk G
I would not go as far as Cliff Kincaid but FOX is bending over backword for Obama, (covering Obama Speeches live and McCain speeches just sound bites, OReilley doing a total kiss up just to get him on his show) Don't get me wrong I still think FOX is the best out there I just hate to see them get caught up in the Obama love fest
July 13, 2008, 9:57:27 AM EDT – Like – Reply

OK, NOW I'm p*ssed at NBC.
I just heard Brokaw announce what was coming up on MTP, and he went through a laundry list of election people/topics. And they will cover Tony Snow in the MTP MINUTE!  
Yes, that's right, NBC will devote a full 60 SECONDS to the death of this wonderful man.  
July 13, 2008, 10:33:09 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Buchanan has moved from eclectic to erratic, but he is still a good addition. He still has a valuable perspective, and he provokes important discussions.
July 13, 2008, 11:20:57 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Haggis Farmer
"Remember that Sharpton is the “Reverend” who hyped black woman Tawana Brawley’s hoax about being raped by white men. Why is he even on the air?"
Good question...
July 13, 2008, 12:17:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

olby sucks
"As ombudsman, Michael Getler serves as an independent internal critic within PBS. He reviews commentary and criticism from viewers and seeks to ensure that PBS upholds its own standards of editorial integrity."
Standards? Integrity? LOL!
July 13, 2008, 12:27:27 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Looks like Jesse Jackson really stepped in it this week, attacking the "Messiah". Hopefully people will take a look at the loud mouth Al as well and wonder what he adds to the discourse.
July 13, 2008, 12:30:29 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Standards? Integrity? LOL!
Proof of lack thereof? None? Shocked!
Just because someone else has an opinion different than one's own is not a sign of error, a lack of standards or a lack of integrity. In fact, as the case in point shows, it is often just the opposite.
Even if it weren't. Even if the complainer or whiner happened to be correct on the substantive issue, the disagreement is still a sign of respect for freedom of thought and speech (thought ought always precede speech).
July 13, 2008, 12:34:47 PM EDT – Like – Reply

on MTP
I was tastefully done, Missy, as I am sure you will agree, even if the amount of coverage disappointed you.
July 13, 2008, 12:38:52 PM EDT – Like – Reply

olby sucks
Did you read the piece, 'mark?' The proof is there.
July 13, 2008, 12:40:28 PM EDT – Like – Reply

olby sucks
Just because someone else has an opinion different than one's own is not a sign of error,
by 'mark'
Couldn't agree more!
July 13, 2008, 12:51:05 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Could it be a more of a deep seeded hatred of FNC? Who knows? If it did go down on MTP as you said. It makes you wonder who's working there and what age they are.
FNC did a nice mention of Russert, if NBC can't return the favor, well.........
All I can say is I watch FNC and CNN, nuff said there.
Off Topic but!
Bobby Murcer passed away too over the weekend.
Best Quote: "Bobby never had a negative thought in his mind," Mariano Rivera recalled. " That's the way I will Always remember him."
Tony Snow
Bobby Murcer
We lost two A-LIST people folks.
Sun is shinning, but why do I feel like rain?
July 13, 2008, 12:56:27 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I have no problem with Geller's stepping down from his position as a government employee to exercise his freedom of speech. He has no right as an ombudsman for PBS to bring the weight of government authority against speech in the private sector. Condemnation of Geller's actions serves support the principle of freedom of speech; not diminish itl.  
Generally, the government and its employees should not interfere with the speech of cable news networks. That is in line with what the framers of the Constitution intended.
July 13, 2008, 1:30:16 PM EDT – Like – Reply

puck30 and Missy, might I suggest something else, related to but not directly associated with a general lack of respect for FNC? Everyone employed by the current Administration is viewed, by the public at large, as tainted. They leave, fairly or unfairly, with a mark, a stench, and those who desire personal or political success beyond the Adminsitration, have to remove that mark, wash away that strench. We have already seen a number of Administration people doing just that. Powell comes to mind. Fleischer has tried, but has not succeeded well. McClellan is perhaps the most recent and most timely. Even Laura Bush is in that process. Snow was deeply associated with some of the darker moments of the Administration. I think what you perceive as FNC bias, is really Administration bias. Because, again fairly or unfairly, FNC is also deeply associated with the Administration, FNC did not offer a chance at rehabilitation. Snow, who by all accounts was an intelligent, kind person of great integrity, sought to rehabilitate himself. The McClellan "tell all" would not be his style. His ritual cleansing was going to be in the field in which he was most comfortable and with a network which seems to enjoy widespread respect for journalistic integrity and fairness. We can argue whether that is true, but I think you will agree that CNN, fairly or unfairly, justifiably or not enjoys a better reputation among the general public that FNC. At the time of his death, Snow was doing what he always did, looking to work in a manner which reflected well upon himself, his family and his employer. Personally, I don't think any of this should have been necessary. The essential characters of Powell, McClellan, (Laura) Bush, Snow and the others should not be viewed as besmudged by their employment or association with the Administration, but they were obviously troubled by the same.
July 13, 2008, 1:43:41 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
I think Debbie Schlussel should have waited a week or two before implying that Fox treated Tony Snow like crap and that's why he signed with CNN earlier this year...or whatever it was she said. "The Tony Snow Show" was heard on Fox News Talk weekdays from 9AM to 12PM. It was immediately followed by "The Radio Factor." What's so bad about that? And when he took the WH Press Secretary job, "Brian and the Judge" began in his place. My point is Tony got plenty of respect everywhere he went.
July 13, 2008, 1:44:18 PM EDT – Like – Reply

And, Danny, that is why I respect you. You actually reason and articulate your positions. I don't always agree with you, although I think your point in this matter is essentially correct. I appreciate your taking the time to devlop and share a position.
July 13, 2008, 1:45:32 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
Oh, and regarding the "Fox conspiracy" nonsense, this is what happens when you're fair and balanced: you tee of the partisans. They think you're bending over backwards to be nice to either side. This is what BOR goes through. And yes, I saw Schlussel call him a "faux-conservative."
July 13, 2008, 1:46:02 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I shouldn't worry too much about Schlussel. Some people are simply nuts.
July 13, 2008, 1:46:19 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
...tee off the partisans.
July 13, 2008, 1:46:33 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Now, I moderate. I think Schlussel is right about O'Reilly. I don't believe he has any bond fide political positions. He is just an ego-maniac who decided to ride a conservative wave, which is now ebbing. In that regard, O'Reilly is much like Limbaugh.
July 13, 2008, 1:48:41 PM EDT – Like – Reply

olby sucks
Snow, who by all accounts was an intelligent, kind person of great integrity, [sought to rehabilitate himself.]  
by 'mark'
Total bs. The last part.
July 13, 2008, 1:59:04 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Vince P
I liike Schlussel's passion.
July 13, 2008, 2:03:33 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
"Rehabilitation"?!? Absurd! Tony Snow was loved at FNC the same way Russert was at NBC, and the feeling was mutual. He kept Fox informed of his health issues even as they were not made public. He appeared on Fox frequently before signing up with CNN (which was part of his intent to make his family as financially secure as possible, given his iffy prognosis). To call it 'rehabilitation' is ignorant, and insulting to Mr Snow.
Debbie's bit about Fox maltreating Tony is in my opinion off-base. Making him a Sunday morning host was a controversial move at the time, because of his political past. Now, people like Stephanopoulos can breeze into a Sunday show without hordes of eyebrows being raised, but it was not so at the time. Tony was replaced because they needed better ratings, and they wanted to reestablish the program with an entirely non-political, journalistic host.
In exchange for losing FNS, Tony got his radio show, which was 15 hours of air time every week. It wasn't exactly a downgrade, as Snow liked radio better than television. But the tv work was still there as well: fill-ins for O'Reilly, and he did Weekend Live from Washington every weekend. He had more television time after leaving FNS than when he was hosting it!
July 13, 2008, 2:10:14 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
I have no problem with Debbie. I guess I just didn't want to think Tony was getting maltreatment.
July 13, 2008, 2:21:47 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I sometimes write off some of Debbie Schlussel's comments, but she does bring up some valid arguments re: the relationship between Fox and Tony Snow (why did he leave FNS to go to radio, and why did he return to CNN instead of Fox?). But the rest of her column was a good tribute to him, and told us a lot about the earlier part of his life.
July 13, 2008, 2:45:50 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Tony Snow was loved at FNC the same way Russert was at NBC, and the feeling was mutual.  
And, I never implied otherwise, Johnny. My point, lost in your desire to do a bit of well-deserved showboating, was that Snow was trying to extend his reach, to achieve a media-wide respectability, to move beyond the perception that FNC was limiting. That, Johnny, is neither ignorant nor an insult. In fact, it is a balanced perspective and a tribute to someone who wanted to be even more than he was.
I don't by the Schlussel argument that Snow went to CNN because he was not welcome at FNC. That is silly.
July 13, 2008, 3:04:30 PM EDT – Like – Reply

olby sucks
Wasn't yesterdays little jab at Tony enough, 'mark?'
Returned to the States for a couple of days to the news of Snow's death. [I can't imagine this was a surprise to anyone.]
by mark  
Yes, it was surprise. At least, to me.
July 13, 2008, 3:21:25 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
Memo to Mark the moderate: Posting your opinions as though they are facts strikes me as you trying to be a mini KO. "riding a conservative wave that is now ebbing" I guess you were out of the country when Rush signed his 10 year multi, multi. million $ deal a couple of weeks ago. Guys like you have been burying Limbaugh for 20 years and he gleefully ignores you and keeps on keeping on. Same with FoxNews, ignore this opinion chatter and look at the numbers.
July 13, 2008, 4:17:30 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Really, David, some perspective. Take all the FNC viewers, add in the MSNBC and CNN, and you still get (next to) nothing. A very, very small segment of the population. That's why some conservatives are so dangerous. They hear their choir and they think it must be all angels, archangels and all the company of heaven. It's not even the Tuesday Afternoon Gleeclub in Mayberrry!
July 13, 2008, 6:19:09 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
"that's why some conservatives are so dangerous". More Mark "moderate" remarks. Keep posting Mark, the more you say, the more we know where you are coming from. The break out of cable news viewers is what it is, I don't need you to tell me what the numbers mean. Thanks for you fair and balanced analysis though.
July 13, 2008, 6:31:19 PM EDT – Like – Reply

T Ghost
You are dead on Mark.
July 13, 2008, 6:40:40 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
brave T Ghost posts his endorsement. Dead is right!
July 13, 2008, 6:45:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Take all the FNC viewers, add in the MSNBC and CNN, and you still get (next to) nothing. A very, very small segment of the population.
Here is the way the you and NVH think: on an individual night cable news shows may draw anywhere from nearly one million to nearly two and a half million on an individual showing. Then you think that the U.S. population is nearly 300 million. Then, you say to yourselves that a million to 2.5 million is a small fraction of 300 million.
First, It is a typical British understatement, I suppose, to view even one million people (not to mention 2.5 million people) as being next to nothing.
Then we need to consider that many of the most popular shows are shown multiple times, and they get maybe a million per showing.
Also there are people who access cable news shows through the internet. There are discussion groups on the internet focusing on some of the most popular cable news shows. That would also expand the reach of those shows.
Also you are assuming that exactly the same people watch an individual cable show night after night. That is not likely to be the case. I don't know how large the turnover is from show to show, but I do know that if almost any cable show had a completely different audience every night (which is also not likely) that show, given their average audience per show, could easily reach the entire population of the U.S. within a years time.
Then you must consider the fact that not all of the 300 million are likely to vote in any election. I am guessing that a turnout of even half of the 300 million would be an incredible . . . almost unheard of . . . turn out for any election.
Then you have to think that the people who watch cable news shows are more interested in politics then the average American. If they were not interested in news and politics, they would be watching The Office or Dr. Who (BBC channels are available in many Cable TV packages) or they would be playing golf or video games.
Since cable news watchers are more interested in politics than most, they are likely to be opinion leaders in their social groups. That dynamic would again increase the influence of cable shows.
Thus, I suspect that cable news shows have much more influence than you think.
July 13, 2008, 7:23:06 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
Considering Tony Snow just passed away yesterday, can we use a phrase that doesn't involve the d-word? How about "spot on" instead? Or "on the money"?
July 13, 2008, 8:25:15 PM EDT – Like – Reply

except . . . in context, your suggested words would not be true.
July 13, 2008, 8:46:09 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
Do I just need to change "on" to "off"?
July 13, 2008, 9:25:43 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Danny, those are some excellent points. Many people that I work with say that they watch H&C or BOR from time to time. 2.5M/night reaches quite a large varying number of people who are particularly interested in politics.
July 13, 2008, 9:52:51 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mark | 07.13.08 - 1:48 pm | #  
CNN? more balanced then FNC? What cable system you watch? I watch CNN. I watch FNC. And I don't watch either channel with trying to know what group they are tied into. I watch BOR. and I watch the ratings challanged Campbell Brown. CNN doesn't do set-up pieces? How can you say CNN has no agenda? AC 360 thursday night. They show clips from Obama speeches. Nice clear audio. Nice clear picture. McCain? some reporter throws him an off topic question, McCain is trying to answer it best he can. While a loud jet engine is going on behind him. And of course the lighting just happens to be not that good.
Ah no! No agenda here!
Mark, there's a reason why Lanny Davis and Howard Wolfson and others are going to FNC and not, CNN.
Mark, there's a reason why FNC is Number 5 or 6 in the ranking and CNN is around number 26, and they are about four ticks away from MSNBC.
Mark if it's breaking News I go to CNN's website. Other then that. They are getting real close to that area where the buses don't run.
July 13, 2008, 10:57:10 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan,
You summarized what I said in just a few sentences. Truly, if brevity is the soul of wit, you are a witty man. Thanks.
July 13, 2008, 10:59:41 PM EDT – Like – Reply

July 13, 2008, 11:03:59 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Here's a question to roll around.
Never watched 'American Idol' but. I'm sure it beats FNC with CNN and MSNBC thrown in.
But how many 'American Idol' viewers get up on that Tuesday morning in November to go vote?
And how many of those 'AI' folks that watch Cable news, watch it while thinking who's tied to who?
July 13, 2008, 11:08:02 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Here's one last thing and I gotta go.
From Mark:
"but I think you will agree that CNN, fairly or unfairly, justifiably or not enjoys a better reputation among the general public that FNC."
Then why is FNC ranked 5or 6 in the cable ranker. And CNN is down around 26, if they enjoy, as you say. A better reputation? Should it not be the other way around?
July 13, 2008, 11:11:38 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Vince P
My family and I watch both American Idol and the news.
Stop being an arrogant smug jerk.
July 14, 2008, 5:54:23 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Seems to me that johnny is a reality show fan (Exile Island?). Even so, I think puck's point is for the most part valid and Vince and johnny are the exceptions to the rule.
July 14, 2008, 7:11:32 AM EDT – Like – Reply

I don't think that "Vince and johnny are the exceptions to the rule."
My daughters-in-law are not wrapped up in politics as their husbands are and do watch Top Chef, American Idol etc. religiously just as my sons actively pursue Newspapers, Internet, TV and radio sources of news. Like many families, not all, they do have a fairly coherent philosophy and the only differential is in the time invested.
July 14, 2008, 2:18:27 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
I must confess that a few reality shows attract my attention. I gave up on Survivor some years ago, but I still follow Hell's Kitchen, and will drop everything to catch The Mole (which is probably having its last season ever, unfortunately).
Vince, friendly reminder: do not name call.
Now, back on topic!
July 14, 2008, 2:29:14 PM EDT – Like – Reply