CBS’s The Talk led off their Monday show with a nearly 10-minute-long discussion on the ouster of CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves following another disturbing but thorough report from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker detailing new allegations of sexual misconduct. The four remaining hosts stated their support for the women and the need to hold Mooves accountable, but they also focused on Chen and the fear that they could lose their jobs.
MRC's Scott Whitlock found a newsy tidbit from an April article in Variety magazine. Former Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh reported from a Barbara Walters interview that "The View" lost both its edgier political personalities -- right-leaning Elisabeth Hasselbeck and leftist insult comedienne Joy Behar -- due to network pressure on her and the show's producer Bill Geddie.
“These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters says. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” It sounds like co-hosts from both sides may return in the fall:
While Noel Sheppard noted Miley Cyrus is suffering in her public image, it can be noted that the ladies on “The Talk” on CBS think the former Disney star’s twerking and sexualized videos are “fabulous.” Sharon Osbourne said parents should “lighten up” and “get a sense of humor.”
The show’s host, Julie Chen, the one-time co-anchor of “The Early Show” on CBS and wife of CBS CEO Les Moonves, asked with a straight face: “Since Miley can't stop putting out racy images of herself, and the public can't stop talking about her, is she really a troubled hot mess? Or? Or really a marketing genius?” Mrs. Osbourne spewed:
Is there anything that Sarah Palin says that doesn’t get twisted by the liberal media?
In response to a clip of an “Entertainment Tonight” interview with Sarah Palin, the ladies of ‘The Talk’ misconstrue Palin’s response in order to project her as ignorant.
The highlighted interview question was “How does it feel to be one of the most polarizing figures in America today?” Palin replied “I think that that is a bit perplexing, because I think what is polarizing about believing in the United States Constitution and our Declaration of Independence and all those things that it stands for and what our founding mothers and fathers in this country meant for America to keep building upon? Those are the things that I believe in. Wha’s extreme about that? How is that polarizing? So I'm still perplexed by that.”
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At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared that vicious gossip monger Perez Hilton "makes nice....with so much bullying going on he doesn't want to be a bully himself anymore." While the report that followed cheered Hilton's efforts to reform himself, the morning show has been happy to promote his bullying tactics in the past.
Correspondent Ben Tracy noted how Hilton "controversially outed gay performers like Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris." However, on the September 25, 2008 Early Show, correspondent Michelle Gillen seemed to have no problem with it as she reported on Hollywood's acceptance of gay celebrities: "Neal Patrick Harris...remains a high profile star since he was outed by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton." A clip was played of Hilton claiming such outing was "par for the course" and Gillen concluded: "Now that 'out' is apparently 'in.'"
During Monday's CBS Early Show, a promo ran for the network's new daytime show, The Talk, based on ABC's The View. The show features former Early Show co-host Julie Chen and five other well-known women chattering about topics of the day.
At one point in the ad, fellow host and actress Leah Remini declares of Chen: "Julie, very smart. Makes me feel stupid." On the May 22, 2008 Early Show, Chen mistakenly placed Hawaii in the Atlantic Ocean.
After depicting the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ car buying program as a "runaway success" on Friday, on Tuesday’s Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes argued: "The Department of Transportation says the program has been great for the environment. 80% of the clunkers have been pickups or SUVs, traded in for new cars with an average mileage nearly 10 miles per gallon higher."
Following that declaration Cordes cited car salesman Mario Sosnowski, who praised the program: "Starting from 8:00, 9:00 in the morning, we’re here till – till midnight every day because of the program, because of the excitement."
At the top of the show, co-host Julie Chen depicted Republican opposition to increased funding for ‘Cash for Clunkers’ as a desire to "put the popular program on the scrap heap." Following Cordes’ report, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint about his objections: "We now see this morning that this program is, in fact, getting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. It’s getting people to spend money. So do you still believe, as you have said in recent days, that this is quote ‘a great example of the stupidity coming out of Washington’?"
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith touted a White House-produced video: "And your letters to the President...A behind-the-scenes look at how President Obama keeps in touch with everyday Americans." After airing the administration spin, co-host Maggie Rodriguez argued it was "all part of Obama’s promise of transparency in the people’s White House."
Smith introduced the latest White House public relations push by declaring: "Beginning today, the Obama administration is giving Americans a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of the White House. This morning we have an exclusive look at how the letters of every day Americans make their way to the President’s desk."
The video that followed featured a montage of President Obama in the Oval Office dubbed with his narration: "These letters, I think, do more to keep me in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else....It gives you a sense of what’s best about America and inspires you and makes you want to work that much harder to make sure that spirit is reflected in our government."
While President Obama’s health care plan seemed to be floundering, Tuesday’s CBS Early Show spun it as an opportunity for him to fight back, as co-host Julie Chen declared: "President Obama pushes back hard against critics of his health care plan as hopes fade it could be passed by August."
Co-host Harry Smith kept up the theme of Obama fighting back in the later segment: "First, though, the fight over health care is becoming a very bitter pill. President Obama goes on the offensive today, not only against Republicans, but also some members of his own party."
Following Smith’s introduction, correspondent Bill Plante reported: "It's game on in the effort to find health care reform. The President has been six months on the job and he now faces his first major battle with Congress. And as you said, not just with Republicans, he's calling in some Democrats today on the House committee to do a little arm twisting, or persuading I think they'd call it."
On Monday’s Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming story on Sarah Palin’s political future: "Also ahead, the always controversial Sarah Palin remains in the headlines this morning. We're going to tell you what she's now saying about her future plans as well as what she's planning to do right after she leaves office later this month."
Chen teased the story later, again labeling the Alaska Governor as controversial: "We're going to tell you where the controversial Alaska governor is headed once she leaves office." In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes cited new poll numbers: "According to a new CBS poll out this morning, Sarah Palin faces doubts, even from Republicans, about her ability to be an effective president. Less than 1 in 4 Americans think she has the ability. Among Republicans, only one-third say Palin could be effective."
Cordes went on to describe Palin’s future plans, including an upcoming speech in California: "Her appearance is almost certain to raise speculation about her political ambitions. But some say Palin hasn't done enough to change how people feel about her." After mentioning that Palin was offering to stump for Republican candidates, Cordes observed: "But a couple of Republicans running for governor this year have already appeared cool to the idea of having her in to support them."
On Monday, CBS correspondent Wyatt Andrews reported on the beginning of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and declared: "To Democrats, Sotomayor is the perfect nominee. That a child of the projects would progress through Ivy League schools and later a 17-year career as a federal judge makes hers an all-American story."
The Early Show segment began with co-host Julie Chen citing poll numbers that showed the American people were not fully impressed with that "all-American story": "A new CBS poll finds that 23% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Judge Sotomayor [decrease from 33% in June], while 15% were unfavorable [up from 9% in June]. 6 in 10 are still undecided or have not heard enough yet [62%, up from 58%]. And 35% say it's very important to have another woman on the high court." An on-screen graphic of the numbers showed a shift from June, but Chen failed to note the change in people’s attitudes toward Sotomayor.
On Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, as host Keith Olbermann and NBC News correspondent Richard Engel discussed the apparent murder of 27-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan by Iranian government forces as part of the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, and the possibility that she will become the visual symbol for her country’s pro-democracy movement because her death was recorded, Engel brought up the infamous Mohammed al-Dura video clip from September 2000 and claimed that the Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli troops – as if this story were not in dispute – even though many who have examined the case closely over the years believe not only that the boy was not hit by Israeli bullets, but that the video purporting to document his shooting and death was likely a hoax.
The exchange from Monday's Countdown show, in which both Engel and Olbermann assumed the al-Dura story to be undisputed:
KEITH OLBERMANN: To the point of Neda Soltan, I don’t know that there’s ever been a revolution, or even a near revolution, that did not have an identifiable face, a martyr, you think of everything from Tiananmen Square to Lexington and Concord-
RICHARD ENGEL: I was thinking more, remember Mohammed al-Dura, the boy who was shot in Gaza-
OLBERMANN: Yes, yes.
ENGEL: -in his father’s arms-
ENGEL: -and who became a symbol of injustice? I think this is a similar moment.