Is there a better example of the stupidity of cable news than the “black Santa” episode? Frank Rich cites this example in his article about the decline of FOX News.
There ain’t no sanity clause,” Chico Marx told Groucho. There is also no Santa Claus. And there was no sanity in the Santa fracas that became an embarrassing liberal-media fixation just before Christmas. For those who missed it, what happened was this: A Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly, came upon a tongue-in-cheek blog post at Slate in which a black writer, Aisha Harris, proposed that Santa be recast as a penguin for the sake of racial inclusiveness. After tossing this scrap of red meat to her all-white panel of prime-time guests, Kelly reassured any “kids watching” (this was nearing 10 p.m.) that “Santa just is white.” (For good measure, she added, “Jesus was a white man, too.”) Soon and sure enough, Kelly’s sound bites were being masticated in op-ed pieces, online, and especially on cable, where a passing wisecrack best left to the satirical stylings of Stewart and Colbert became a call to arms. At CNN, one anchor brought on Santas of four races to debunk Kelly. BuzzFeed reported that MSNBC programs hopped on the story fourteen times in a single week.
Of course what Kelly said was dumb. But the reaction was even dumber. Every year, Fox News whips up some phantom “war on Christmas” plotted by what the network’s blowhard-in-chief Bill O’Reilly calls “secular progressives.” This seasonal stunt has long been old news, yet many in the liberal media still can’t resist the bait. You had to feel for the NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who was drafted into filing a Kelly-Santa story on the Today show for no discernible reason other than that she is not white.
When this supposed “national firestorm” (as Al Sharpton inflated it on his MSNBC show) finally died down, only two things had been accomplished beyond the waste of everyone’s time.
FOX is and always has been a propaganda machine. MSNBC saw a business opportunity in going hard left and thus has become a mess. CNN has sucked for years, and adding an entertainment executive like Jess Zucker can only lead to more mediocity. Where’s Will McAvoy when we need him . . .
Yesterday was a good day for those of us who want universal health care coverage. It was also a good day for those of us who think CNN and Fox both suck. The video below from Politico mashes up some of the funniest reactions to the Supreme Court decision and the massive fail by CNN and Fox News.
Basically, Newt Gingrich was having an affair during his second marriage with Callista, who later became his third wife. According to Marianne, Newt wanted an “open marriage” so that he could continue the affair.
I’m not a big fan of the private sexual life of a politician being an issue in campaigns. There are plenty of men who have had affairs who managed to be good presidents. The hysteria over Bill Clinton’s personal shortcomings was idiotic, as it led to impeachment hearings.
But we know that these things matters to some voters, particularly conservative and religious voters. Newt’s marital problems are well-known, but this salacious detail regarding his desire for an open marriage will certainly garner attention. Had Bill Clinton run again, his personal life and the Monica Lewinsky affair certainly would have been issues as well.
Also, there are few people as contemptuous as Newt Gingrich. He’s always willing to pass judgement on others, often in the harshest terms, so if anyone deserves this scrutiny it’s him. He doesn’t have a warm personality or a record of good will to fall back on.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how this plays out. Gingrich has a real shot at derailing Mitt Romney, but he needs to get past this story. If he can’t, then perhaps Rick Santorum can emerge as the last obstacle to a Mitt Romney nomination.
Rick Perry acknowledged that Newt isn’t perfect and he stressed the importance of forgiveness and redemption. Let’s see how the evangelical voters of South Carolina feel about it.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He’s at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.
Gingrich won’t even spend time in Iowa, so I can’t imagine how he’s going to hold on against candidates who are betting their campaigns on the caucuses.
If this trend continues, you’ll see Santorum, Perry or Bachmann possibly get into the top three, so this race is still very fluid. Romney benefits from having the anti-Romney vote split up. The Iowa vote often breaks late, so anything can happen here.
MSNBC just suspended Mark Halprin for saying President Obama was acting like a “dick” today on the air. He was dumb for saying it, but he was trying to make a point about Obama’s tone, and naturally everyone is treating this like it’s a HUGE news story. It’s not. It’s just the kind of “shiny object” that gives the talking heads and bloggers something to talk about for a day.
Of course this is news, but does the Huffington Post really need this blaring headline with the “breaking” flash images on both sides? Good grief . . .
The funny thing is that Halprin is a pretty good commentator who is very honest about his opinions, often taking shots at both sides, so he often comes across as a dick himself. I think the whole episode is kind of funny.
Erin Burnett is leaving CNBC and moving on to CNN. CNN has been a disaster for years, so maybe a talent like Burnett will start to turn things around.
Meanwhile, you have to question the “brain trust” at NBC. What were they thinking?
She is considered one of the top stars at CNBC, and has even been talked about as a potential host for the “Today” show. However, a source told the Hollywood Reporter that NBC executives were not convinced of her suitability for a broader general news show, which could be a motive for her departure.
They’re nuts . . . Burnett would have been a star on the “Today” show or any other show they picked for her. It’s a big loss for NBC.
I just watched one of the worst interviews I’ve ever seen. Piers Morgan interviewed Rudy Giuliani, who took his expected shots at President Obama’s Libya policy, and Morgan didn’t ask a single question challenging anything Giuliani had to say.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. First, few “journalists” ever challenge Giuliani. Like Michael Moore, Giuliani usually peddles his bullshit without any worry that he’ll be challenged by his interviewer.
I looked up Morgan on Wikipedia and discovered that he’s a former host of Britain’s Got Talent and a host of America’s Got Talent. He also won Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. What a surprise. Maybe he can invite Trump to his show and let him howl about Obama’s birth certificate without any tough questions.
Somehow, the geniuses at CNN gave this guy Larry King’s time slot. Besides being a tremendous bore, Morgan manages to make Larry King look like Bill O’Reilly. He didn’t even pretend to ask Giuliani a tough question. When Giuliani proclaimed that Obama and the United States should have insisted on regime change in Libya and led Britain, France and the United Nations to achieve that goal, it didn’t dawn on Morgan to ask Giuliani how that could happen given that the Chinese and Russians would have certainly vetoed any resolution that went as far as regime change.