Following correspondent Andrea Mitchell referring to Iowa as "Too white, too evangelical, too rural" on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, on Monday's Rock Center, correspondent Willie Geist spoke to University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom, who similarly fretted: "It's basically a white, very, very Christian state."
Geist explained how Bloom has been "in hiding" since writing a scathing article in The Atlantic attacking Iowa as, "An assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that the sun will come out tomorrow." Bloom also ranted: "Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die."
On Monday's NBC Rock Center, correspondent Harry Smith began a story on an American-Muslim comedy troupe touring the American south by asserting to comedian Dean Obeidallah that, "A lot of Americans hate you." Obeidallah was slightly taken aback and replied: "I'm not sure how many actually hate me, but I know what you're getting at." [Audio available here]
Smith went on to explain the goal of the comedy tour: "Doing their best to try to win friends and influence people. Pilgrims armed with punch lines, in hopes of shattering a few stereotypes. They call their tour 'The Muslims Are Coming.'" Smith again proclaimed American bigotry: "Nearly half of all Americans admit to feeling some prejudice towards Muslims. In a funny way, the comics are fighting for their civil rights." [View video after the jump]
Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik on Sunday called NBC hiring Chelsea Clinton a "journalistically-bankrupt decision."
Talking to CNN's Howard Kurtz about Clinton's debut, Zurawik said if she's been preparing for this all her life "it's been a largely wasted life" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Either we're spoiled by TV's unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era," observed Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever regarding Chelsea Clinton's television journalism debut on last night's Rock Center.
"It's no surprise whatsoever that Chelsea Clinton didn't electrify broadcast journalism with her debut" on last night's Rock Center, but, "what was surprising" was "how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma -- none at all."