On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer excitedly proclaimed: “Anticipation already running high for tomorrow’s season premiere of Saturday Night Live when the show announced that Alec Baldwin will be playing Donald Trump.” Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “That put the anticipation into the stratosphere.” She then wondered: “We think there will be laughs, but will it actually have an impact on the election?”
On Thursday's Good Morning America, ABC co-anchor Amy Robach excitedly previewed the season premiere of NBC's Saturday Night Live which is expected to have fun with the first presidential debate. But, as she recalled politicians from the past that the show has been famous for lambasting, she only cited Republicans as being among her favorites.
The British Broadcasting Corporation announced on Monday that former MSNBC host Martin Bashir has been hired to serve as the network's new religious affairs correspondent. The news release referred to Bashir as an “award-winning journalist” who has conducted “high-profile interviews" as well as “making ground-breaking, landmark documentaries.”
Of course, there was no mention of the incident during November of 2013, when he made a disgraceful rant regarding former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whom he called “America’s resident dunce” and claimed she has a “deceased mind.” He then went so far as to suggest that someone should defecate in her mouth and urinate in her eyes.
According to one left-of-center blogger and one right-of-center professor, a major takeaway from the 2016 presidential contest is that ideological conservatism is unpopular, even in the Republican party. Samuel Goldman, a political-science prof at the George Washington University and a frequent contributor to The American Conservative, stated that the “great message” of Donald Trump’s campaign “is that there really are not that many movement conservatives” in the sense of average Americans “who are vested in a conventional combination of limited government, a relatively hawkish foreign policy, and a sort of religiously inflected public morality.” From the left, The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman alleged that for most Republicans, policy ideas take a back seat to raw resentment: “‘Small government’ and ‘local control’ and ‘free enterprise’ and the rest of the GOP’s ideological playbook simply never had much appeal to their base except as signifiers for Trumpian impulses to smash outsiders and oddballs and anyone who discomforts them.”
The season finale of ABC’s Match Game was a good one, with a special guest and a surprise question I never expected. The show brought together uber lefty host Alec Baldwin with special guest former Governor Sarah Palin. Baldwin immediately addressed the elephant in the room, saying to Palin, “I'm simply gonna start by asking you what everyone is dying to know — what the hell are you doing here?”
At the Democratic convention, Bill Clinton accused Republicans of fabricating a “cartoon alternative” to the real Hillary Clinton. The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman claims that Democrats don’t need to create cartoon versions of conservatives since there’s already “something cartoonish about the right,” and in that regard Donald Trump “seems like a natural successor” to Sarah Palin and (wait for it) Ronald Reagan and (wait again) Dwight Eisenhower. Conservatism, concluded Longman, has “always been a charade. It’s also a cloak or a mask for selfishness and greed that they gussy up in Bill Buckley style and sell us as intellectualism."
Civility and political decorum demand that one should never pick on a president's family. Presidential children did not choose the career of their parents. Their privacy should not only be respected, it should be actively protected.
Pretty much the entire media observed this rule perfectly when Radar Online published blurry pictures of 18-year-old Malia Obama puffing some sort of cigarette at a Lollapalooza concert in Chicago on July 31. Radar’s 18-year-old eyewitness cried “weed.” Video also showed Malia dancing suggestively to a rap song.The press refused to touch the story. Praiseworthy? Yes – if you’re willing to applaud media hypocrisy.
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel ranted against climate change skeptics on his late-night program on Monday, and accused them of being lackeys for "companies that make pollution for a living." Kimmel singled out Sarah Palin for her promotion of the recent documentary, Climate Hustle, and bemoaned that the issue was even political: "Climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing. But the people who profit from ignoring it want you to believe it is....the idea that this is some kind of a left-wing conspiracy is nuts."
On Monday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo hinted NewsBusters was an Internet backwater during a panel discussion segment with contributor Jeffrey Lord. Cuomo wondered if Donald Trump's "use of the phrase, 'China is raping us'" would become "a cause for concern in building a bigger tent." Lord replied by citing his Sunday piece on NewsBusters "that points out...[how] liberals feel free to pillory [Sarah Palin] as an idiot...there is a strange silence about sexism on the left." The anchor retorted, "Where is your column? NewsBusters...is where it is? Boy, oh, boy! No one wanted that one, huh?"
On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, during a discussion of Donald Trump accusing Hillary Clinton of playing the "gender card," host Brooke Baldwin declared that the comment reminded her of Mitt Romney using the words "binders full of women" which she asserted "really hurt him" in the 2012 presidential campaign.
CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson went on to complain, "We often think of women as only having gender. Men have a gender, too," and, after accusing Trump of playing a "gender card" by acting like an "alpha male," she concluded that "men certainly benefit from the gender card, too, and in some ways benefit more because it's more subtle in some ways for men."
Talk about a slam dunk news story for our celebrity-saturated times. Unexpurgated rapper Azealia Banks launched one of the nastiest personal attacks against a politician in recent memory. How gross was it? Even Donald Trump wouldn’t stoop this low. Not on his worst day.
The target? Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The attack? Banks wished a group of large black men would gang rape Palin. Why? Banks got snookered by a fake news story saying Palin approved of slavery.
If you’re a conservative brainiac, contends New York magazine’s Chait, something’s been nagging at you, especially since Donald Trump started riding high in the polls: the realization that so many of your fellow right-wingers are dumb.
“The conservative movement’s tightening grip over the Republican Party has coincided with its elevation of leaders incapable of explaining their policies cogently,” argued Chait in a Sunday post. “Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin all drew the disdain of liberal elites for their reliance on simplistic aphorisms and poor grasp of detail, humiliating conservative intellectuals, who defended the keen minds of their heroes.” Chait added, “Whether or not Donald Trump the human being is intelligent, there’s no question that ‘Donald Trump,’ presidential candidate, is not. His entire campaign operates well below the level of rational thought.”