Sarah Palin Memoir More Popular Than Other Fictional Conspiracy Theorist Dan Brown

Picture 3Will Sarah Palin be the Barack Obama of book publishing? Last fall Obama’s election and inauguration gave newspaper and magazines a much-needed boost. Looks like Palin is set to do the same for book publishng: Apparently the world is actually pretty eager to hear from Sarah Palin, about Sarah Palin.

Yesterday news broke that she had completed her memoir “Going Rouge” in just four months and that it would hit bookshelves November 17, far ahead of its original Spring pub date. Today the memoir has gone rogue on the Barnes and Nobles bestseller list, knocking over both Dan Brown and Mitch Albom on BN.com to grab the top spot.

Over at Amazon, ‘Rogue’ is currently clocking in at number three, behind Dan Brown (#1) and…Glenn Beck who holds the #2 spot. Which makes me wonder if there is some sort of Facebook vs. MySpace cultural survey to be done on the shopping habits of people who use BN.com over Amazon. Are BN.com city dwellers? They do offer same-day delivery in Manhattan.

Anyway! There is alas no “look inside” feature for Palin’s listing so as it stands your pre-order will have to be a sort of faith-based initiative.

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h/t Mike Allen.

Who’s To Blame For The “Kill Obama” Poll On Facebook?

tp-facebook-306-2560522What’s scarier: A Facebook poll asking people if President Barack Obama should be killed (with the response options: “yes”, “maybe”, “if he cuts my health care”, and “no”), or the fact that over 730 people voted?

The offensive poll, which was hosted by a third party “Facebook Poll Application”, was removed the day after it appeared on mini-feeds across the land, followed up by the creator of the application posting these facts about himself along with an open-ended Q&A in an effort to tame the beast, so to speak.

The facts, which include that he has been an “Obama supporter for a long time,” also reiterate the idea that Facebook should not have any blame in the ordeal, but rather that it was simply the medium through which he created the polling application.

An idea echoed throughout the political blogosphere in a time when even the death of an iconic American like Senator Ted Kennedy can trigger vicious commenter backlash like “Hells awaiting”, the concept of respect on the Internet is called into question.

And while some in the media like to believe that it’s the actual websites who are spewing the hate, is it really the backwards hateful (KKK-esque) agendas of these website/blogs? Or is it something far scarier than that: the actual users?

Like Jose Antonio Vargas posted on the Huffington Post yesterday, “All the Internet does is reflect–and amplify –human behavior.”

It’s a frightening thought but as Media Matters pointed out after the O’Reilly/ Daily Kos debacle over the death of White House press secretary, Tony Snow, it was the comments which were hate filled, not the content.

So as the “user problem” grows, will it just further the generational divide between those familiar with unfettered interactive communications and those who aren’t? Or is it possible to find a happy medium for these mediums?

Bill O’Reilly Expresses Serious Interest in Pres. Obama’s Stones

Picture 8Man, it takes a big set of stones to be President of the United States. But those stones are nothing compared to the stones you need to fight terror in the farthest reaches of the globe. Needless to say, Obama’s stones don’t hearten Laura Ingraham.

Bill O’Reilly: Do you believe that President Obama — if all else fails — has the stones to either launch military action against iran or let israel do it?

Laura Ingraham: I, I don’t think, I don’t think — from what i heard today from his speech at the end of the day at the G20 when he was asked about Iran … what he said to the reporter was ‘hey, this isn’t a football game, I’m not interested in victory,’ and he went on to talk about the process and how he wants results. What do you mean you’re not interested in victory?! you’re interested in victory over those who seek to use terror as means of influence around the world. And so when i heard him say that was I heartened? No, I was not heartened.


Ann Coulter: Liberals Behind Obama-as-Hitler Posters

coulterConservative provocateur Ann Coulter continues to spew rhetoric that gets her attention, regardless of how ridiculous the statement. During yesterday’s “Geraldo at Large” she commented on a clip of Barack Obama describing an exchange with an unnamed foreign leader at the UN to the Congressional Black Caucus dinner. According to the president, the foreign leader was confused about how the health care debate has lead to Hitler posters. Coulter then made clear her position on the hateful posters.

As we’ve reported earlier, it’s clear who is behind the “Obama as Hilter” posters that were revealed in the early days of Town Hall protests in August. Further, there is absolutely no proof that there is any Liberal faction behind this imagery, though Coulter is known as a political polemicist, not a reporter.

Iran’s Secret Nuclear Plant Story Reaffirms Newspapers’ Relevance

Picture 5Remember the days when newspapers were able to break big stories? Actually that day is today. Looked at the home page of the New York Times yet this morning? Wow. (Actually, the front page of the print edition is no picnic either, welcome back 2002!).

Sometime overnight, (around 4am, judging by the buzz on my TweetDeck), the TimesDavid E. Sanger broke the story that President Obama — along with the leaders of Britain and France — intend to “accuse” Iran of “building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country has hidden the covert operation from international.” From the article:

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years, according to senior administration officials….American officials said that they had been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project

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This is enormous news. Enormous. So much so, one imagines it will not only “overshadow the meeting of the Group of 20″ as the Times suggests, but will likely knock the health care debate off the front pages for the next few days at least. Between this and the “serious” terror plot case happening in New York City right now (see A-1 print edition) scary international news may have returned to rule the headlines after a summer domestic news topping the agenda. Also, when the President tells reporters not to give him to much grief over his “jackass” remark because he’s “got a lot of other stuff on my plate” he really means it! Alas, too bad Glenn Beck can’t also use his powers (such as they are) to get international politicians to resign.

This is the second time this week big Middle East news has been broken by the traditional media. On Monday the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward penned an exclusive account of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 66-page report to the President, which warns that more troops will be needed in Afghanistan if the U.S.’s policies there are to succeed. Following this news was the news that the Post had delayed publication of the story for one day a the request of the Pentagon.

Two lessons here: One, newspapers still have the clout, wherewithal, and trust to do the digging and get the really big, really important stories. Two, the fact I feel it’s worth noting that the traditional media has broken not one, but two really big stories this week probably says more about the state of newspapers than six months worth of bad advertising numbers.

Mediaite Presents: 35 Great SNL News Spoofs

ford brokaw wolvesLong before The Daily Show, long before The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live was making fun of the news in a way that no one had ever seen before. Suddenly, establishment journalists like Barbara Walters were fair game. Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd riffed on the seething hostility between co-anchors. Heck, they even took on the 70s trend of sign language interpreters popping up in newscasts.

Oprah, Dateline, Geraldo RiveraSNL’s had distinctive takes on almost every major media presence over the years. And SNL’s news spoofs aren’t just entertainment: it’s arguable that more Americans made up their minds about Sarah Palin based on SNL’s Katie Couric/Sarah Palin interview than on the original interview itself. Stephen Colbert and John Stewart have done a lot in the news satire biz, but they still have some catching up to do.

The 35th Season of SNL begins this Saturday, on September 26th. In honor of the occasion, we’ve pulled together 35 of SNL’s choicest news anchor spoofs and Weekend Updates, spanning all seasons. Shoot us a comment or a tip if you think we’ve missed a good one.

We’re seriously counting on a good Glenn Beck skit…


Baba Wawa
Turning Barbara Walters into Elmer Fudd may have been one of the most dastardly stunts that SNL ever pulled off, but it was a game-changer for the show and for Walters. At one point, Walters personally confronted Gilda Radner and made her do the impression to her face. Presumably, the meeting involved wevewations, wapport, and wepartee.



The Today Show With Hoda and Kathy Lee
When it comes to the zaniness of Kathy Lee Gifford, the jokes write themselves. Still, Kristen Wiig’s command of Lee’s facial tics and body language, paired with Michaela Watkins’ portrayal of Hoda Kotb’s Today straight woman, result in pure absurdist joy.


Creepy, Creepy Dateline
Bill Hader really knows how to bring the creepy when he wants to, which is perfect for a Dateline sendup. No disrespect to actual Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison, but it takes a certain kind of nervous system to converse with murderers and victims of tragedy like you’re talking about the weather.


Gerald Ford was Eaten by Wolves
Carvey’s Tom Brokaw wants to vacation in Barbados for the winter, so he’s got to prerecord every possible way Gerald Ford could die, including gunshot, wolf attack, convenience store mountain lions, and Zimbabwean invasion. It’s funny cause it’s true?


Joe Wilson and Kanye: Really?
SNL spinoff Weekend Update Thursday started its second season with a bang last week, coming up with a “how the Joe Wilson thing happened” conspiracy theory involving restrooms and Michelle Bachman.

But the “Really?” segment was even better; there are few things more satisfying than hearing Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers repeatedly shouting “Really?” at notable shouters Kanye West and Joe Wilson.



Next: “Jane, you ignorant slut,” Wolf Blitzer, and more