On Tuesday, the broadcast of the first presidential debate since “Big Bird” and PBS funding became an allegedly huge campaign issues, will be sandwiched (depending on what time zone you live in) by a PBS election special called “Race 2012.”
The hour-long documentary is being advertised as a “provocative conversation about race and politics,” from “both sides of the political aisle,” but it is being grossly mis-marketed. I know this because I was interviewed for and have already seen the film.

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter tried to dissect cable news's strange fascination with Sarah Palin. For Fox it's more apparent: Palin is a paid contributor, after all. But for MSNBC, whose primetime hosts have mentioned her more than any other cable news personalities, it seems to be a case of mutual dependency. MSNBC needs Palin.

In a response to the THR article, filmmaker John Ziegler delved deeper into the lefty cable network's strange obsession with all things Palin. Ziegler made plain what THR only touched on: Palin fits perfectly the "bogeyman" role that MSNBC needs to keep its lefty viewers tuned in.

As for MSNBC programmer BIll Wolff's insistence that the channel simply "holds up a mirror" - tells it like it is, in other words, with no partisan spin - Ziegler callled the claim "laughable."