CNN Throws Hat In MSNBC ‘Lean Forward’ Ad War With ‘Moving Truth Forward’

It is now safe to say that MSNBC’s massive “Lean Forward” campaign has pushed the right buttons with its competitors. Fox News was the first to react with a subtle reworking of the slogan to “Move Forward,” and now, nearly two weeks after the launch of the original campaign, it is CNN that defines itself against both leaning and moving themselves forward– instead, providing that movement/leaning to The Truth.

The ad definitely defies MSNBC’s (and Fox’s) stylistically, and seeks to answer what exactly it is that is doing the leaning/moving. “Some lean left; some move right,” the text reads, “pushing their partisan agendas forward.” It then observes that “that’s a lot of leaning,” and offers instead to move “truth forward.” Unlike both the MSNBC and Fox News ads, there is no narrator, and only a classic rock track setting the mood in the background.

If the purpose of the “Lean Forward” campaign was to prod the competition into reacting, it could not have worked better. Both Fox News and CNN now have started to construct their identities around “Lean Forward,” violently trying to distance themselves from each other by playing a word magnet game with the slogan. We’ll have to wait and see what the other two networks do now that CNN has upped the ante with a direct object, but a prepositional phrase and some adverbs can’t be far behind (“Boldly Moving Truth Forward– For America”?)

The new CNN ad below:

Bill Maher Stands By Mohammed Remarks: ‘I Don’t Need To Apologize For Being A Proud Westerner’

Bill Maher showed up on CNN to talk about comments he made on Real Time regarding the ‘alarming’ number of ‘baby Mohammeds’ in England. Maher told Wolf Blitzer that he felt no need to “apologize for being a proud Westerner,” or for being worried that “Muslim people in these [Western] societies are having babies” at a faster clip than non-Muslims.

He clarified:

And when I say Westerner, I mean someone who believes in the values that Western people believe in that a lot of the Muslim world does not. Like separation of church and state. Like equality of the sexes. Like respect for minorities, free elections, free speech, freedom to gather. These things are not just different from cultures that don’t have them. … It’s better. … I would like to keep those values here.

Maher feared that “we can project ahead” to the possibility of England “losing those values.” While he and Blitzer didn’t discuss the Sharia law issue that arose Friday night, they did discuss another topic that had come up during the same conversation: whether Maher would’ve been fired from NPR, as Juan Williams had been, if he worked there. “Probably,” Maher said. Here, the two seemed to agree.

Watch the clip from CNN below:

Video Of His ‘Mohammed Remark’ From Friday’s Real Time With Bill Maher:
via HBO

One-Fifth of Stewart/Colbert Rally Viewers Streamed Online

The D.C.-based Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, spearheaded by Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert, attracted over 250,000 attendees to the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

Those who didn’t brave the crowds still tuned in; according to numbers released today by Comedy Central, Saturday’s live broadcast was watched by 2.0 million viewers on Comedy Central, with an additional 575,000 viewers watching the live stream of the event online. That means that more than one fifth of those who tuned into the event were watching online.

Comparing those numbers to, say, the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama — where different sites ranged from having 7 million streams to 18.2 million streams — they don’t seem that impressive. However, Obama’s inauguration took place on a Tuesday morning, limiting most office dwellers to online options. That wasn’t the case on Saturday. The fact that many viewers chose to watch the Saturday broadcast online instead of on cable is yet another indicator that streaming online video is replacing cable as a viewing option for many consumers.

In addition, there were 800,000 visitors recorded visiting Rally-related sites, including the Stewart-focused and accompanying Colbert site

If you missed the event, there are plenty of clips available on-demand — has a good round-up of the highlights. And there’s also the Gregory Brothers’s Auto-Tune the News take on Jon Stewart’s closing speech, which was posted this morning.

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Where to Watch Election Day 2010 Results Online

Updated: While the stakes for this year’s midterm elections might not be quite as high as they were in 2008, any political junkie knows that the 2010 election results could have a major impact on national, as well as local, politics. It’s an exciting year, and there are plenty of options for following the action online.

On a national level, CNN will begin its official live election coverage online Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT, when the polls begin closing, on as well as the CNN iPhone app. According to an emailed release, the live stream will include various acceptance/concession speeches, and will run to at least 1:00 a.m. ET/10:00 p.m. PT.

If you prefer your politics with a little Roger Ailes flair, Fox News will also begin its coverage at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT, and has already posted a video guide to this year’s election that breaks down some of the most contested races.

MSNBC is also in the game with live NBC News coverage, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT, that will be embeddable on Facebook as well as in a Twitter feed (when a tweet is viewed on the new The site will also host a multi-cam web chat for those with web cams, in partnership with Watchitoo.

Update: Those who want updates en Español can check out Univision’s live coverage, which will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT with a half-hour web-only Noche de Elecciones special.

Because this year is a midterm year, that means the contests most Americans will be interested in following will be on a local level. However, if you live in Texas or Illinois, you probably have a better idea than I do of what outlets will be focusing on the ballot measures or congressional races affecting your local area (also, finding local news options for all 50 states sounds exhausting).

However, I did find that a number of the websites for ABC-owned affiliates stream their local news coverage as well as national broadcasts. That means that in California, San Francisco residents can tune into KGO’s coverage starting at 5:00 p.m. PT while Angelenos can visit KABC-TV. There are also sister stations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, and North Carolina.

How are you following this year’s election? Any good solutions we missed here? Let us know in the comments!

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New Piers Morgan Exec Producer Jonathan Wald: “We Hope To Make It Mandatory TV”

Jonathan Wald is returning to the TV news business after nearly two years on the outside, remaining active in the media as a consultant, a journalism professor at Columbia University and on Twitter.

We talked to the new Executive Producer of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight about what viewers can expect, his former home CNBC – but not Parker Spitzer which he refused to comment on.

Mediaite: You’ve been teaching at Columbia and consulting for nearly two years. What was it about this specific opportunity that made you want to come back in?

Wald: Because it is such an exciting opportunity, to step into the fast lane of the American conversation, the main superhighway of American conversation. Larry King has made this timeslot appointment television, we hope to make it mandatory television.

Mediaite: In an interview with Nikki Finke, Piers said “It’s time to kick some ratings butt.” How important will ratings be as you begin your time there?

Wald: Obviously ratings are important. But I think making the best television show you can is the ultimate goal. I believe if you build it they will come, and I know Piers does too.

Mediaite: How familiar are you with Piers? People mostly know him in America as a judge on America’s Got Talent and winner of Celebrity Apprentice.

Wald: I know his history. I know he ran newspapers in England. I’ve seen Life Stories shows in England. And I’ve known him about a year. I think he’s a great talent, he’s going to be aggressive, spirited, opinionated without being partisan. He really wants to be a part of the conversation, and to win.

Mediaite: Your lead-in will be another new show, Parker Spitzer. Have you watched it? What do you think?

Wald: I have nothing to say about that at this time.

Mediaite: I heard an interview you did with Dylan Ratigan on his website, and you talked about how 60% of Apple sales are for products that didn’t exist three years ago. You said, “If you’re looking at the vast media landscape you have to ask, who is Steve Jobs for the media landscape? Who is going to figure out how to bring together an audience, leverage material we create on a daily basis and reach an entirely new group of people.” Can you be that for CNN and the show?

Wald: That’s a tall order for anybody. I think the point there is there’s a vast group of people who don’t watch any of these shows on cable in prime time. If Piers can tap into some of that that’ll be terrific.

Mediaite: Your exit from CNBC in February 2009 came as a surprise to a lot of the media world. At the time you told Rachel Sklar, “They wanted me to stay, I wanted to stay—we just couldn’t in the end work out a deal we could both be happy with.” Is there anything you want to say about leaving CNBC, and what do you think of the direction the network’s gone since you’ve left?

Wald: Let’s be clear – CNBC has only increased their dominance since I left. They’re the best at what they do, and I had an amazing five years there. They’re terrific. I enjoyed being there and enjoy watching them now.

Mediaite: Do you see them as competition now on any level?

Wald: I don’t see it as direct competition. Everybody is competing against everyone else in terms of an incredibly crowded media field, with cable, internet, broadcast TV. The challenge will be putting on the best program we can every night, and the rest will take of itself.

Mediaite: Last thing – there is already concern on Twitter about whether this means you will be less active. Can you help quell those fears?

Wald: I thought I answered that! (ed. note: Wald tweeted: “No chance” in regards to that possibility). My twitter speaks for itself.

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Political Ads Find Their Way Onto YouTube

Election Day is just a day away, and that means that if you happen to live in an area where there’s a contentious Senate race going on — as many of us do — you’re being overwhelmed by attack ads on TV. Even if you’re not watching TV, you might find yourself targeted online, as more and more political advertising is making its way to online video sites. That includes YouTube, which has seen the number of political ads it hosts explode over the last several months.

Since much of the available broadcast inventory has been sold out for weeks, campaigns have begun looking at other ways to reach likely voters, especially young voters. Enter YouTube. The site’s massive audience and lock on the youth demographic, coupled with targeting technology that allows candidates to reach only certain areas or to place ads against only certain types of videos, has made it an attractive place for political campaigns to run their ads.

YouTube has long been a popular place for candidates to host their political ads, but the site’s Video Targeting Tool now enables campaigns to specify a target location, demographic and audience interests for in-stream ad placement. By doing so, candidates can reach only the most relevant viewers for their campaigns.

According to a YouTube spokesperson, that has led to the number of in-stream political ads that run against its videos quadrupling since July and doubling in the last month alone. Campaigns in just about every battleground state are investing in YouTube in-stream ads, she said. In other words, the race for potential voters is finally becoming just as competitive online as it has been offline.

(For more information about what’s new at YouTube, come see YouTube director of product management Hunter Walk at NewTeeVee Live on Nov. 10 in San Francisco.)

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Do You Want To Watch The Election On TV Tomorrow? Here Are All Your Options

The biggest story of the year comes (mostly) to a conclusion tomorrow night, and every network you’d expect to be covering the midterm elections will be in grand fashion.

We at Mediaite will be taking the night off (ha, kidding), but here’s a list of all the places to tune your TV to Tuesday night – and what to expect.



• “Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will anchor live coverage of election results from across the country on Tuesday, November 2. ABC’s “Vote 2010” will originate from ABC News headquarters in New York beginning with a special edition of “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30pm ET and continuing with full election coverage from 8:00 p.m. ET until at least 4:00 a.m. ET.

The network will carry special reports at the top and bottom of each hour from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. followed by a live 90-minute special at 9:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 p.m. PT. ABC News will live-stream a special program, anchored by Sawyer and Stephanopoulos, from 8:00–9:30 p.m. ET on, Facebook®, and on the ABC News iPad application. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET Facebook,, and the iPad app will live-stream the network’s election coverage.”

• Others contributing: Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, This Week Christiane Amanpour reporting from Connecticut.

• “David Muir and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg moderating an On Campus town hall meeting at Arizona State University.” (Featuring, well, you know.)

• “Nightline will air a special hour-long broadcast beginning at 11:35pm ET and then will air another new one-hour broadcast for the West Coast at 11:35pm PT. will provide up to the minute results and ABC News projections for winners in the Senate, House, and gubernatorial races as the polls close. ABC’s interactive election map provides detailed information about all races for Senate, Congress and Governor. Earlier in the day, there will be special Election Day editions of ABC News/Washington Post’s “Top Line” and Jake Tapper’s “Political Punch” webcasts.”


• “Led by CBS EVENING NEWS Anchor and Managing Editor Katie Couric, CBS News election coverage will cross all media platforms, featuring reports and analysis from political reporting veterans Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer, Senior Political Correspondent Jeff Greenfield and CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes. The CBS News team will collaborate with Google to present unique information that will enhance its analysis of the nation’s attitudes toward the candidates and the issues.”

• “CBS News’ election special “Campaign 2010: Election Night” hosted by Katie Couric will kick off Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 10:00 PM, ET. Immediately following the broadcast, Couric will anchor a live webcast at 11:00 PM, ET that will feature extended analysis from the CBS News political team, interviews and special guests. Additionally, Couric will provide brief Campaign 2010 updates at the top of each hour throughout the night.

In addition, will provide live breaking news from across the country and unique analysis on what it all means in stories, blogs and video. From 9:00-10:00 PM, ET, the site will air a special one-hour live WASHINGTON UNPLUGGED webcast featuring breaking developments on the top Election Night races with analysis from CBS News correspondents, political analysts and more. At 10:00 PM, ET, will simulcast the CBS News Network Election Night special report, followed by a live webcast with Katie Couric and the CBS News political team continuing their coverage on and via the site’s live streaming partners.”


• “Network coverage will begin at 6:30 pm, ET, on the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.” All “Nightly News” feeds will be updated live, with election trends, analysis and results as polls close. The NBC Network’s “Decision 2010″ special coverage will begin with a two-hour “Decision 2010″ special report from 9:00 – 11:00 pm, ET. West Coast viewers will get an NBC News live “Decision 2010″ special report from 9:00 – 11:00 pm, PT. NBC News will also offer its affiliates time within the special report to cover local and state races.

For NBC News’ coverage, a veteran team of NBC News correspondents will report from across the country on key Senate, House and gubernatorial races and a team of analysts, lead by NBC News’ Elections Director Sheldon Gawiser, will analyze the statewide exit polls, election results and voter trends. It is NBC News’ policy to not project a winner in any state until all of that state’s polls are scheduled to close.”

• The coverage will continue from 11:35pmET-3:30amET.

• “NBC News will offer comprehensive coverage of the upcoming 2010 mid-term elections on Nov. 2 across all its platforms, including msnbc,, Telemundo, NBC News Radio and NBC News Mobile. Live from NBC News’ headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, Brian Williams will anchor “Decision 2010,” and will be joined by “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory and NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw. Correspondents Andrea Mitchell, Savannah Guthrie and NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker will also offer reports and analysis. In addition, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd will conduct live results analysis for both NBC News and MSNBC; and Lester Holt will report on exit polls for both NBC News and MSNBC as well.”


• “FOX News Channel’ s (FNC) Shepard Smith will anchor FOX Broadcasting Company’ s mid-term election night coverage on November 2nd. In addition to providing the network cut-ins throughout the night, Smith will anchor two straight live hours of election programming from 9:00-10:00 PM ET and 12:00-1:00 AM ET.

Joining Smith on a panel will be FOX News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace along with FNC contributors: Nina Easton of Fortune and Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard. Further commentary and analysis will be provided by FNC contributors, including: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; Democratic consultant Joe Trippi; former senior White House advisor to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove; and Democratic strategist Bob Beckel.”

NEXT PAGE: The Cable Options.