What’s Hot/What’s Not: 2012 Not Edition…

What’s Not for 2012:

MSNBC shafts Pat Buchanan for the wrong reasons – The issue never was Pat’s incendiary positions. No, those were well known and tolerated at MSNBC and NBC for years. It was placating its Progressive viewing base that was the issue. A precedent had been set; if you’re Progressive and you’re peeved with MSNBC over something it did, you now had a network more willing to listen than before.

Quid Pro Quo? – MSNBC allowed Ed Schultz to participate in a Democrat retreat as a panel guest. Schultz also got an interview with Nancy Pelosi while at the retreat. There may have been no connection between the two but it’s a situation that on its face doesn’t look good.

Rah, Rah, Rah! – CNN getting caught twice showing a staffer whipping up the crowd at its Florida debate raises all kinds of questions about the authenticity of the crowd response to the debate.

CNN to Trademark “Magic Wall” – Four years after it debuted, and after its become a common term of reference in the industry? Good luck with that…

Roland Martin Suspended by CNN – Was it deserved? That question is still being debated…as is CNN’s standards policy vis a vis how it’s implemented (Martin) and not implemented (Dana Loesch)…

Nancy Grace being Nancy Grace – Way to go getting all conspiracy theory over Whitney Houston’s death…

Fuku-what? – The Fukushima catastrophe has significantly altered Japan’s focus on nuclear energy with all but a tiny handful of the country’s reactors being shut down for the moment. One would have expected that the US networks would have devoted significant coverage to this ongoing issue. Well, excluding PBS’s Frontline which this year set the bar incredibly high with a pair of Peabody worthy in depth reports on the disaster, coverage in the US has been woefully inadequate. Not even CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who in the past has shown strong inclination to revisit disaster areas over and over again, has made a journey there.

Dick Morris – Morris participated in a GOP Fundraiser auction where a tour of FNC was offered…until the story broke and FNC put a stop to it and gave Morris a slap on the wrist very stern talking to which I’m sure put the fear of God into him. Uh-huh…

Al Sharpton covering…Al Sharpton – MSNBC letting Al Sharpton get involved with the Trayvon Martin case while covering it for the network left a bad taste in some people’s mouths…

Thomas Roberts – Roberts’ behavior with the non-appearance by Maggie Gallagher was reprehensible, especially since her no show was MSNBC’s fault. The shot of the empty chair didn’t help either.

MSNBC’s response to Thomas Roberts’ actions – What response you say? Exactly. Despite ICN, TVNewser, and Mediaite all noting Thursday’s on air Charlie Foxtrot, MSNBC remained quiet. But we did a get an answer of sorts when on Friday Gallagher did appear and Roberts led off with a “When was the last time you beat your wife?” type question.

Heather Childers – Childers caught all kinds of flak for linking to some articles on Twitter that came from what would be charitably described as a conspiracy theory website. FNC had to put Michael Clemente out to address the issue.

MSNBC and Mika Brzezinski – MSNBC allowing Brzezinski to moderate a Presidential forum on Women’s issues at the White House raised all sorts of conflict of interest issues…

The Fox Mole – Moles are blind aren’t they? This one wasn’t just blind but dumb as well. He posted outtake FNC video on Gawker and that was it, he got hunted down and fired. He then went on Reliable Sources to whine about his job prospects.

Chris Hayes – Hayes tried to do nuance using a delivery platform (cable news) incapable of understanding nuance. He got roasted for it and apologized 24 hours later.

The Today Show Throws Hayes Under the Bus – Nobody was expecting another arm of NBC News to pile on top of Chris Hayes. It generally isn’t done on the air. If it’s done at all it’s done either via a pithy statement from the network saying “Blah, blah, blah…contrition, contrition, contrition” or some network exec does a quick interview where they say they talked to the person or something similar. So eyebrows were raised everywhere when on Monday Today had a Today’s Professionals segment where one of the topics was Hayes’ gaffe and Hayes got roasted.

Roger Ailes – In May Ailes had to, via anonymice proxy, backpedal from scorching the New York Times. The following week his explanation for his feelings about the New York Times were scrutinized and found wanting. Actually wanting is too tame a word. Fundamentally flawed? That’s better…

CNN shatters all time ratings lows at 7pm and 9pm in both Total Viewers and the Demo in May – Whatever positive press CNN could have gotten out of the Bourdain hire was stamped out cold by these earth shattering oxygen sucking headlines one day later.

MSNBC Allows Ed Schultz to Speak at Wisconsin State Democrat Convention – Do I really need to say why this is here?

Fox and Friends Airs In House Campaign Style Obama Retrospective – And catches all kinds of flak for it. FNC tries to spin it as a rogue producer type scenario where the senior FNC execs weren’t aware of it. Well, the anchors were. The production staff was.

Mediaite, TVNewser, Deadline.com – All three outlets reported that the FnF Obama video editor producer Chris White had an offer from CNN. Deadline went even further to say that White got an offer to double his salary from CNN after the video aired even though the timeline created from that scenario was all but impossible to believe. CNN subsequently yanked the offer. It seems pretty clear to me that rogue FNC elements decided to screw with both White and CNN by leaking the offer knowing full well that this fiasco would all but assure the offer got yanked. And Mediaite, TVNewser, and Deadline went along with this with their eyes wide shut. Suckers…

Oliver North – North wrote a Memorial Day article that included a quote that apparently didn’t come from who it came from, but came from someone else’s prior work.

Darren Rovell – Rovell got had by a prankster who clamed to run an escort agency that catered to NBA players.

MSNBC Rips off The Five – And the rip-off is called “The Cycle”.

Rachel Maddow – Maddow put her foot in it, perhaps without realizing it, on Bill Maher’s show Friday night. In reaction to persistent badgering by Maher and Nick Gillespie to get Maddow to say whether she liked Romneycare or not, Maddow blurted out that her job was “to cover these things, not to tell you how I like them or not.”

Oh, really? Maddow’s job isn’t to voice an opinion? Really?


On a scale of 1 to 10 in self-inflicted wounds, ICN scores this an 8. From this day forward, any time Maddow gives an opinion someone somewhere is going to throw this quote back at her. And rightfully so. This one is going to stick with her for a while.

Andrea Mitchell – First Mitchell let her show play a heavily edited out of context quote from Mitt Romney, after which she and Chris Cizilla both laughed. Then after it blew up on the internet, the next day Mitchell played the full quote in context but never acknowledged nor apologized for her error the previous day. Even the “home team” in the form of David Shuster called Mitchell out for it. When you have Shuster saying it’s wrong, you know you’re in trouble.

MSNBC – There’s no MS in any legal partnership anymore. Yet the name remains…

MSNBC not doing any special broadcasts from the Olympics – Considering who from the network is over there (Tamron Hall, Chris Jansing, Willie Geist, Martin Bashir) and that Team America has been doing very well, it’s surprising that this will be the first Olympics in a long long time where MSNBC is not doing any special Olympic shows. After 6pm ET it’s back to the network’s progressive talking head block. The idea that MSNBC’s new brand can’t be disturbed for a couple of weeks in August, when people are on vacation and those who are watching are watching the Olympics in droves, seems pretty weak to me.

Strrrrrretch – NewsBusters went ape over a Billy Joel song about death pre-marital sex being played coming out of commercial because of the shooting spree in Wisconsin.

Is that my shadow? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek! – CNN, proving once again that it has more in common these days with jellyfish than creatures with a spine, saw the NewsBusters rant and caved…apologizing for playing a song about death pre-marital sex being played coming out of commercial because of the shooting spree in Wisconsin.

Me too, Me too – Not wanting CNN to be the only network this week afraid to take a stand on something, FNC’s wishy-washy maybe, maybe not Friday night coverage of the Paul Ryan pick news was an amazing display of a network doing everything possible not to make a definitive statement on the matter, even after (MS)NBC and CNN had done so much earlier.

Spin control – As if that wasn’t bad enough, FNC on Saturday tried to spread the word that it was first on the Ryan news. Really? You spend three hours not confirming that it’s Ryan, even as your competition did confirm it was Ryan, and you still want credit for being first? For what? Guessing? At least two media blogs bit on that BS which says more about them than it does FNC’s chutzpah.

Fareed Zakaria – While he might gain some brief comfort in the fact that the Ryan news blew his story off everyone’s radar screen, make no mistake…Fareed Zakaria’s plagiarism admission is a big big deal. A firing deal. Supposedly. But this was CNN and CNN has its own internal mechanics which somehow make sense to them but not to anyone else. You can make a judgement mistake on Twitter and get fired. You can make a judgement mistake on the radio and get fired. If you commit a big journalistic no-no which damages your credibility as well as the credibility of anyone you work for you’ll get fired too.

No…wait…I’m sorry…you’ll just get a one week suspension

This was a Time-Warner asset protection move if I ever saw one…

Look before you speak – FNC issued a Michael Clemente statement eschewing gratuitous convention self promotion gimicks by the competition. And it stuck…right up until TVNewser revealed the fleet of FNC advertising plastered SUVs that were being used to give free rides to convention goers. All of which goes to show that message coordination can be a tricky thing sometimes…

Satellite Convention Coverage – MSNBC stayed the course it charted for the GOP convention and kept the bulk of its primetime convention coverage coming out of New York. It didn’t make any sense two weeks ago and it didn’t make any sense last week either. MSNBC spent all those resources setting up its digs at both conventions. I fail to see what was gained financially by keeping Maddow and Co. at 30 Rock.

Amanda Drury – Her former agency WME is suing her for its alleged share of the cut from her deal with CNBC that it helped negotiate…

Gretchen Carlson – Carlson’s long term future with FNC is apparently uncertain…

Thomas Roberts – Roberts hiding behind the “I’m a Journalist” shield when asked who he was voting for this election after coming out from behind said shield to offer an opinion on the subject of the GOP and voter suppression rang hollow…

Phil Griffin – Griffin took a shot at FNC when saying that MSNBC complimented “the other side” but FNC did not. Well as boomerangs tend to fly, this one came right back at him when TVNewser posted (what looked to me like) a leak from FNC detailing the recent compliments FNC talent did pay to “the other side”.

Oh…that was Satire? – Some folks thought Roger Simon’s Politico piece on Mitt Romney was real. That would include the folks at The Last Word who ended up apologizing for treating the story straight.

If an apology falls in a forest, does anyone hear it? – But The Last Word issued said apology on its blog and not on the air, where it should have been made.

Bloody Repeats – HLN is going to be airing old episodes of ABC’s “What would you do?”

Screwjob – FBN got screwed out of a seemingly innocuous interview with Simpson – Bowles. The screwer was Simpson – Bowles PR team but pressure had to have been applied by CNBC. And for what? So that the network could call its interview an “exclusive”?

Jeff Zucker to CNN Worldwide – Until he proves otherwise, I will continue to believe that the hiring of Jeff Zucker will mean the eventual death of nearly everything CNN has meant for the past 30 years.

Brrrrrrrr – It’s winter time. Why are female anchors dressing like it’s summer time?

Ben Sherwood – Whenever Sherwood steps down from ABC it should be noted in the write ups that he was the one who let Tapper slip through ABC’s fingers. He’ll never make as mistake as bad as that the rest of his career.


4 Responses to “What’s Hot/What’s Not: 2012 Not Edition…”

  1. >>>Brrrr

    I can’t imagine how the lady anchors can wear such outfits in a studio I have to imagine is somewhat drafty given the number of lights and monitors. I’d be all in favor of ladies dressed scantaly clad if men can wear button downed, tieless shirts and maybe jeans to go with that. That will raise the female 25-54 demo overnight. Maybe Jeff Zucker should the first to implement that if he wants CNN to be a girly news channel.

  2. ^ In case you were wondering, scantily clad female anchors do not appeal to the young, female demo. Seriously, is this really a news flash to men?

  3. ^ No I meant if men could dress down, could that demo shoot up.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding

  4. ^ With TJ Holmes coming back to cable news, I am all for men dressing down. 🙂

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