Latest from Randy Hall
There’s a significant difference between guarding someone and attacking someone else in the process, but you wouldn’t know it from an alleged incident in New Jersey, where a bodyguard for CNN pundit April Ryan attacked a local reporter by taking away his video camera and physically forcing him out of the building. That bizarre attack took place on August 3, when Ryan was slated to give a speech in New Brunswick until her bodyguard, Joel Morris, intervened and struck Charlie Kratovil, an editor who has now filed criminal charges including harassment, assault and theft.
Just when it seemed that the #MeToo movement had faded into the background, one of the many men taken down by the scandal has attempted to return to the spotlight, a move that has enraged several victims of sexual harassment charges. Mark Halperin, a former contributor to MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, has drawn fire for writing a new political book -- entitled How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take -- that is causing many women to ignore apologies for his previous behavior and call his book “a slap in the face to all women that he has victimized.”
After more than three years of constantly slamming President Trump and everyone around him, one of the mainstream media’s late-night comedies is finally getting some pushback. The network that airs Jimmy Kimmel Live! on weeknights, ABC was fined $395,000 on Thursday after a skit that aired in October mocked the Presidential Alert system, the Federal Communications Commission announced on Thursday.
Alert! The good news continues to roll in for the Fox News Channel, which was the most-watched basic cable television network across total day and primetime viewing during the week of August 5-11, a feat FNC has accomplished for 31 consecutive weeks. In addition, the Hannity program at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, delivered a 3.3 million total and 546,000 in the coveted demographic of viewers from 25 to 54 years of age. The milestone was an apparent result of the FNC host exclusively interviewing 2020 Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City.
After two mass shootings took place within hours of each other last week, the Sunday panelists on the Fox News Channel’s MediaBuzz discussed the concept that people in the media accused President Trump of being responsible for the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Our friend Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist went so far as to state that people in the media blamed Trump and his supporters for the deaths, which is “completely beyond journalists’ responsibility and a real turning point for the worst in American discourse.”
With so many movies being made at any time, some people have come to prefer films that are not part of a huge franchise, while others look for new and different ideas. While the second choice might seem like it's always a good thing, a new film these days could contain very disturbing images or unlikable characters that can turn off the average movie fan. That’s certainly the case with a film from Universal Studios entitled The Hunt, in which the heroes are “several so-called deplorables from red states who have to fight back after several rich liberals kidnap them and try to murder them for sport.”
According to the “mainstream media,” whatever President Trump does is wrong. If he wants to visit the two cities where mass shootings took place last weekend, he should not do that while the people there are in mourning. If he still goes and dares to refer to himself and his staff while praising the actions of the medical personnel treating the victims, that’s wrong as well. Not surprisingly, that was the case when Don Lemon, host of the weekday program CNN Tonight, criticized Trump on Wednesday evening by stating: “It’s not about you. It’s not about YOU. For once!”
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel once said that people should “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” That philosophy is apparently shared by Wajahat Ali, a contributor to CNN and a writer for the New York Times. Ali put that concept on display Monday evening, when he responded to the weekend shootings and expressed his delight that the term “#MassacreMoscowMitch” was trending on Twitter. He added that “I still have faith in America” before he had to delete the post after many conservatives condemned it.
One unfortunate result of the past few violent days is trying to decide who’s to blame for all the gun-related deaths and injuries that occurred in Texas, Ohio and Illinois. A particularly nasty clash involved Joe Scarborough, co-host of the Morning Joe weekday program on MSNBC, and Dana Loesch, a former spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.
The twisted tale of the students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky who encountered Native American activist Nathan Phillips back on January 19 took another turn on Thursday, when lawyers for the teenagers involved in the incident filed a defamation lawsuit in Kenton County Circuit Court against 12 of the “most egregious high-profile individuals.” The filing came just a few days after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit on behalf of student Nick Sandmann that could have resulted in the Kentucky teen being awarded $250 million for defamation of character by the Washington Post.
Sixteen months ago, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC surpassed the ratings of rival Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, and people wondered if the liberal network might actually replace the top-rated TV news source. That situation has changed dramatically, and on Tuesday, the Nielsen company released ratings for July, in which Hannity was declared the top-rated program in cable news for the fourth month in a row while Maddow slid to fifth place in the 9 p.m. time slot.
Even though CNN chose three of the network’s most well-known journalists to host the Democratic debates in Detroit, females from a number of liberal advocacy groups have criticized the selection for not including a woman of color as a moderator. To further their complaints, leaders of three organizations have started an online petition to insist that from now on, each presidential debate must have at least one black female moderator because “voters are more diverse than ever before, and this year’s primaries feature the most diverse group of candidates in modern history.”
After more than two fruitless years accusing President Trump of collusion with Russia, some liberals apparently still consider that tactic a winning strategy -- when used to attack anyone even remotely connected to the Republican occupant of the White House. One example of that is the claim from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Kevin Poulsen of the liberal Daily Beast website since both have suggested links between the One America News Network -- which Trump has called his new favorite news outlet -- and Russian propaganda.
It’s not easy being the most conservative pundit on a liberal program like The View, which airs weekdays on ABC. Just ask Meghan McCain -- daughter of late Arizona Senator John McCain -- who’s been on the show for nearly two years and has clashed regularly with her liberal co-hosts, especially Joy Behar. In an interview for Elle magazine, she claimed: "I feel like I'm controversial. It's a very liberal audience in the studio, and they're very vocal."
Wednesday evening was not a good time for MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman, who posted a tweet containing a picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attending a party hosted by longtime New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. However, the newsman soon had to remove his tweet since it embarrassingly showed both liberal leaders being forced to stand outside the building because the event drew a very large crowd, a development described as “genuinely hilarious” by the managing editor of a news website.
Liberals in the media go ballistic whenever a celebrity publicly supports President Trump. The latest target of this kind of assault is Major League Baseball star Mariano Rivera, who was unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday despite a hit piece slamming the former New York Yankees pitcher for having “far-right politics.” (Ever notice that conservatives are often described as being on the "far right" while liberals are rarely called the "far left?")
If you gave up watching late-night talk shows because you grew weary of the constant and harsh criticism those programs deliver about President Trump on a regular basis, here is some news that just might bring you back to cable TV. Comedian and sitcom actor David Spade is joining the battle for weeknight viewers with a new program entitled Lights Out beginning Monday night on Comedy Central in which he and his guests will “focus more on cultural events and some Hollywood stuff, weird stories in the news” and far less on the Republican occupant of the White House.
After hosting the first two-night debate of Democratic candidates at the end of June for the 2020 presidential election, CNN decided to add some drama to the process of selecting participants for the second round, which will take place on July 30 and 31. That choice drew fire from James Poniewozik, chief television critic for the New York Times, who slammed the selection as giving the Thursday night program “the appearance of a Powerball drawing and just as much depth.”
In furious reaction to the president's tweets on Sunday calling for "progressive" Democratic congresswomen who came from other countries to "go back" and change their countries first, many "mainstream" media outlets accused Trump of outright racism. Keith Woods, vice president for newsroom training and diversity with National Public Radio, has a different perspective, asserting that “it is the job of the public, not journalists, to make this type of characterization.”
If there’s one thing you can say with certainty about Sacha Baron Cohen, it’s that the liberal comedian and actor is consistent in his hatred for all things Republican. Even when he was nominated on Tuesday for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Variety Series, the driving force behind the defunct Who Is America? Showtime series just couldn’t resist taking shots at former Vice President Dick Cheney and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.