3/21/09 11:50 PM

Monday Links & Open Thread

Latest cable news links [7:05 pm]:

Big Story "canceled"? Not so fast...

CNN plans "compassion forum".

Friday's numbers.

Andrea's cheerleaders?

New FNC blog: On the Scene.

Censorship: a good thing?

David Gregory at Nationals Park.

Video: Fox & Friends fireworks. Gretchen "sandbagged"?

FNC HD: imminent? Not so fast...

Video: Courtney gets pied.

CNBC's flush fans.

CNN's racist body language?!?

Greta v Howard K Stern.

Perry to Lebanon.

NYT: New campaign shows. Analysis.

Debate cosmetics.

Hot and not. Not hot enough?

Adam Housley reminisces.

Use our valuable bandwidth to post your cable news comments in today's open thread.

On The Mark
The Talking Head shows exhibited an interesting contrast yesterday.  
The Webb/Graham segment on Stephanophalus was informative, even if Graham seemed confused and flat, even listless at times. I found this surprising. Usually, even when I disagree with Graham (all the time of Iraq and some of the time on other issues), Graham can articulate a solid case. Not yesterday .... Webb's notion of the Administration treating Iraq as if it were an island, not impacting upon or impacted by broader Middle Eastern concerns, was a useful reference point. I'm not sure that Graham ever successfully countered that point, although he tried, and I don't think that Stephanophalus exploited it well. I suppose Stephanophalus failed to realize the value of the talking point offered to him in the heat of the moment.
Even those who agree with the substantive points of Vanden Heuvel have to find her presence frustrating. She seems to derive energy and pleasure from shock points, and absolutely refuses to allow anyone to join in the discussion, really a monologue. Roberts and Will are so accustomed to this, they tend to roll their eyes and shut down. If Stephanophalus can't control Vanden Heuvel, and I am not sure anyone can, ABC needs to pass up on her.
Having said that, Roberts and Will did hit upon an important trend: the Iraq debate shifting to funding rather than strategy. Polls have indicated rather clearly than the American people are drawing a correlation between our economic downturn and the extravagant sums we are squandering in Iraq. If Roberts and Will are correct, and they may be as the economic issue emerges as the key voter concern, we are finally going to start requiring the Iraqis to self-finance our efforts, as Cheney long ago promised, we may finally have an end strategy emerging. I don't think the Iraqis will be amenable to this, probably not even open to discussion.
The Rendell-Casey "discussion" on Russert was revealing, at least to me. I've never found Casey to be all that inspiring or intelligent, but Rendell makes Casey look like a Rhodes Scholar. The Clinton-Rendell flip on Florida/Michigan, that Rendell walked into and Russert immediately seized upon, to his credit, certainly unsettled Rendell. As an aside, Specter was on Maher over the weekend, and I have to conclude that Pennsylvania has some of the same leadership problems that many other states do. If this is the best a state as large as Pennsylvania can do, I'd have to say we do have profound leadership issues.
This episode does show the extent to which Russert prepares. He did not draw upon some stored knowledge, he pulled out documentation. While I don't often find Russert that enjoyable, I have to commend his preparation.
The Brokaw segment on King was tasteful and appropriate.
Wallace crossed the line yesterday with his interrogation of Kerry. At some point, her was hurling accusations in a manner that seemed far more characteristic of Mike than Chris. It
April 7, 2008, 8:58:45 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
"FNC HD: imminent?" Not on Cablevision. They never add anything. Don't get me started on the channels they don't have. Lucky Time Warner people. Maybe I should move to one of the five boroughs and get Time Warner.
Someone should tell Hot Air that the video link for Courtney Friel getting pied didn't work, at least not for me.
April 7, 2008, 1:29:15 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Maybe you need to look into DirecTV satellite service. I had it for years and still miss it a little for the vast number of channels they offer.
April 7, 2008, 1:42:49 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
I just tried the HotAir pie link and it worked OK for me, for whatever that's worth.
April 7, 2008, 1:44:11 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
Then something must be wrong with my flash player. Oh, well. It's not like I *have* to see her get pied. I'm not that big a fan anyway. If she was single and didn't have a kid, maybe I'd feel differently. My lonely single guy mindset strikes again.
I actually had my DVR recording of F&F paused a half hour after the Lanny Davis segment, which I skipped out of frustration 30 seconds in. I had to go back to watch it in full just to see what happened. I can't stand him. I call him a champion pettifogger; a spinner, too.
April 7, 2008, 1:49:42 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
The fox hater sites that were condemning Lanny Davis a few days ago for agreeing with Bill O'Reilly about something, all of a sudden are praising him now for using "facts" against Fox's "lies" about the Clinton hospital story.
April 7, 2008, 2:17:06 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
Anything to fit their spin. Go figure.
April 7, 2008, 2:47:16 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
I was just thinking: maybe one of those sites will be a blue blog source for WPITW tonight.
April 7, 2008, 2:52:19 PM EDT – Like – Reply

On The Mark
Now that FNC has officially cancelled Gibson's show, the question is raised: What happens to this entire genre of political shows when the election does finally end? Gregory? Hemmer? Crowley and the Ballot Bowl crew? Do they morph into something new, or do we have 24/365 political news from now on? Already, with the gap from Super Tuesday II to Pennsylvania, the cable news channels have developed a Headline News quality, i.e. the same news reheated, relooped, regurgitated, reconstituted? Are advertisers going to be willing to subsidize this?
April 7, 2008, 4:31:06 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Correction: FNC has not officially cancelled Gibson's show. Just the other day TVN quoted Fox to that effect.
April 7, 2008, 4:59:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

On The Mark
"Newbusters" indicates otherwise, today, although the language is a bit tricky.  
Sounds like a semantics game to me, but maybe not.
April 7, 2008, 5:53:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Newsbusters is just quoting the NY TImes. It was the NYT article that Fox responded to saying Gibson is on hiatus, and not cancelled.
April 7, 2008, 5:55:48 PM EDT – Like – Reply

On the Mark
I guess if he's not back after the election, we'll know this was a nice little semantics game. Thanks for the clarification. That probably explains the mushy language.
April 7, 2008, 6:16:55 PM EDT – Like – Reply

My guess is that John Gibson (and Heather Nauert) will never return to the 5pm ET timeslot. The stars of Hemmer and Kelly are obviously on the rise and they will likely stay in that early prime shift.
It also appears that Bret Baier is the solid No.2 in the Fox Washington Bureau and is being groomed as Brit Hume's eventual replacement. And an odd casualty of Baier's rise is Kimberly Guilfoyle, who similar to Gibson and especially Nauert, has all but disappeared from the FNC airwaves.
April 7, 2008, 7:59:33 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
FoxNews exec's are doing a masterful job of keeping the daily interest level regarding On Air Talent at a consistent all time high.  
Will He/She stay, or will they go? Who's on first, What's on second and I Don't Know is on third.
Election HQ, Weekend F&F - it doesn't matter as long a folks are tuning in. A remarkable juggling act that may not end anytime soon. Look at how much time is spent examining the various players, while giving them all face time.
More buzz on Fox folks than CNN & MSNBC & network news put together.
April 7, 2008, 8:10:57 PM EDT – Like – Reply

On The Mark
Good analysis ttc, and I like your intrigue scenario, david.
April 7, 2008, 9:15:23 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
At 3:33 Friday afternoon, as part of a multi-paragraph comment, I said the following:
"I'll just bet that 'Free Jane Hall, part deux' [a posting by Steve Young at HuffPo] will be Keith's blue blog source for WPITW on Monday."
Can I call them or what? Sure enough, according to J$ at OlbyWatch, that was indeed the source--albeit, through "The Smirking Chimp"--for the Worst honors tonight.
I'm about to venture into the abyss of the "Countdown" website to hear how it went down.
(sigh, shaking head, and yes I'm really doing that): Oh, that was awful. Total jerk.
Okay, now I'll go read Johnny's full summary.
April 7, 2008, 9:40:17 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
You nailed it, Mike. Consider yourself Commenter of the Day!
April 7, 2008, 10:18:06 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike Chimeri
Thank you.
April 7, 2008, 11:44:17 PM EDT – Like – Reply