Jon Stewart Mocks MSNBC’s New “Lean Forward” Campaign

Jon Stewart is a smart and funny guy. As any regular visitor to Mediaite knows, we are big fans of his incisive and entertaining commentary on the often absurd intersection of media and politics. But that doesn’t mean we always agree with his point-of-view; take for example his take down of MSNBC’s new campaign to re-brand themselves with the phrase “Lean Forward.” In the following segment, Mr. Stewart makes a lot funny jokes, but perhaps its a little early to dismiss an entire ad campaign.

The Daily Show does much better when it speaks truth to power, exploiting hypocrisies and absurdities to great comedic effect. Making fun of an ad campaign is just shooting fish in a barrel. (But to be honest, who wouldn’t enjoy watching someone actually shooting fish in a barrel?)

Watch the clip then opine in the comments section in the tasteful, erudite and respectful method that Mediaite commenters are know for around the Internet.

Bernie Goldberg Assesses Media Relations With Obama Administration: ‘The Magic Is Gone’

O’Reilly Factor resident media critic Bernie Goldberg noticed something strange this weekend: traditionally “liberal” media outlets are beginning to lash out at other liberals. Take, for example, SNL’s skewering of liberal Gloria Allred, or CBS’ Bob Schieffer going after David Axelrod this Sunday. Are these incidents a sign of a trend?, asks Bill O’Reilly. No, Goldberg declares, it’s not the beginning of a trend, but the end of one: “The slobbering has ended because the magic is gone.”

That “magic,” he explains, is the charm of the Obama administration that constituted the core of his thesis in his latest book, A Slobbering Love Affair. It was the driving force behind the extreme positive coverage the president seemed to consistently receive in the media, for example:

“On Christmas morning, about a month after Barack Obama was elected president, page 1 of the Washington Post, they did a story about Obama’s exercise regimen, and they actually talked about how he had– the sun glistened off of his pectorals and he had a well-toned body because he played basketball. That kind of embarrassing garbage isn’t going to happen anymore because, as I said, the magic is gone and he isn’t as popular as he once was.”

O’Reilly agrees that something has happened to the relationship between the President and the media, but he disagrees that the relationship is definitively broken. “NBC continues to be very active in supporting the president,” he counters, “and their two big franchises are down, but not that down.” On the other hand, CBS, which “has a vested interest” in defending the president, has attacked him. O’Reilly seems to have trouble reconciling the two behaviors. Goldberg finds it predictable, as “it’s not just easier– it’s safer now to go after Barack Obama,” thus networks will go ahead and take some stabs.

Goldberg seemed ultimately optimistic about President Obama’s chances with the media in 2012, concluding that once Republican opposition solidified during a presidential race, the “slobbering” would begin again.

Watch the segment from last night’s Factor below:

Ann Coulter Takes A Stab At Defending Carl Paladino’s Anti-Gay Comments

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino may have lost the support of every single gay- and gay-friendly New Yorker this weekend by warning against the threat of gay “brainwashing,” but at least he can still claim the support of the self-proclaimed “right-wing Judy Garland” herself, Ann Coulter. Coulter took up the very heavy mantle of defending Paladino’s comments on The O’Reilly Factor tonight, because “someone on this network should.”

Coulter argued to a very skeptical Bill O’Reilly that Paladino had only attacked “gay left-wing activists,” not all gays, and had actually refused to read the part of his speech that stated homosexuality is a sin or, as Coulter called it, “the Leviticus part.” O’Reilly wasn’t buying it, telling her that it seemed pretty clear he was attacking all people that identify as LGBT, and that no matter how she spun it, it was hard to see the comments as positive. “I think everybody but you in the world agrees,” he tells her, “this isn’t going to help the guy.” She disagreed, citing the comments are good politics: “[the audience didn't] want to hear about the fiscal issues. They want to hear about the moral issues.”

Coulter doesn’t exactly have a clean record with gay slurs herself, and defending Paladino would make her quite the unique (read: attractive to the camera) commodity on cable news these days, so it isn’t completely shocking that she would take Paladino’s declaration that he wasn’t a homophobe at face value, if only to play devil’s advocate.

Her defense on tonight’s Factor via Fox News below:

Wolf Blitzer Beats MSNBC’s Matthews and Schultz On Thursday

Cable news ratings, October 7, 2010:

Wolf Blitzer had more total viewers and viewers in the A25-54 demographic on Thursday. Blitzer also beat CNN’s prime time programs in one, or both, categories. Parker Spitzer had its best night in the demo Thursday.

Rachel Maddow had the top show on MSNBC in prime time Thursday, in both categories. Lawrence O’Donnell was #2 in the demo, Keith Olbermann was #2 in total viewers.

Here’s the full scoreboard:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

596

Blitzer

156

Matthews

123

Showbiz

97

6 pm Baier

461

Blitzer

159

Ed Show

136

Prime

105

7 pm Shep

393

King, USA

164

Matthews

152

Issues

139

8 pm O’Reilly

702

ParkerSpitzer

146

Olbermann

227

Grace

208

9 pm Hannity

526

King

145

Maddow

277

Behar

147

10 pm Greta

437

Cooper

172

O’Donnell

244

Grace

147

11 pm O’Reilly

454

Cooper

107

Olbermann

130

Showbiz

159

TOTAL DAY 372 124 120 132
PRIME TIME 555 154 249 164
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

2127

Blitzer

504

Matthews

494

Showbiz

210

6 pm Baier

1927

Blitzer

560

Ed Show

529

Prime

228

7 pm Shep

1809

King, USA

483

Matthews

578

Issues

357

8 pm O’Reilly

3042

ParkerSpitzer

458

Olbermann

1057

Grace

685

9 pm Hannity

2455

King

611

Maddow

1181

Behar

424

10 pm Greta

2113

Cooper

515

O’Donnell

920

Grace

309

11 pm O’Reilly

1609

Cooper

285

Olbermann

455

Showbiz

285

TOTAL DAY 1468 404 471 269
PRIME TIME 2538 531 1053 462
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data

Fox News And Fox Business Team Up In New Promo To ‘Solve America’s Problems’

Back in June, a Fox Business Network promo featured only Fox News stars, touting the new financial channel.

Now there’s a new marketing strategy out, in ads playing on News Corp. cable news networks but also across the dial, that features Fox News talent tag-teaming with Fox Business hosts – including one with Glenn Beck and somtime-fill-in Andrew Napolitano.

The ad begins “Two networks, twice the power,” and features ominous music over Beck and Napolitano addressing the camera from their respective studios. “America is in trouble,” says Beck. “The government is slowly killing the constitution and forgetting what makes us great.” Says Napolitano: “Personal freedoms are on the line. over-regulations are strangling small business.”

It ends by the pair declaring: “Two networks, solving America’s problems,” and the tagline, “Fox News: The Power To Inform, Fox Business: The Power To Prosper.”

The idea that either network is in the business of “solving America’s problems” is a stretch. But the new promo of grouping similar personalities on each network could pay dividends for FBN, a young network still fighting to attract more and new viewers, and to compete with industry-leader CNBC. Napolitano is a well-known host, thanks to his past and current work on FNC, and he’s actually on the way up at FBN too – he says he’ll begin hosting Freedom Watch nightly in prime time during the week beginning next month.

Other ads feature the teams of Megyn Kelly and Liz Claman and Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling.

While NBCU may be looking to separate NBC News and MSNBC further, News Corp. is hoping to tie FNC more closely to FBN, to boost the brand. Here’s the Beck/Napolitano ad:

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Great Moments In Journalism: ‘Long Island Lolita’ Turned Porn Star Amy Fisher On Fox News

Yes: it’s true: Geraldo At Large has somehow, inexplicably managed to land the interview of the century, if by “century” you mean “1992″: “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher, the New York native that captured America’s heart and Joey Buttafuoco’s wallet before shooting down and attempting to kill his wife, Mary Joe. Here’s everything you need to know about her new porn movie, Deep Inside Amy Fisher.

Fisher sat down with Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle to catch America up on her life since we last saw her, when she was merely the minor that brought down random American body shop owner Joey Buttafuoco in the early ’90s (apparently they had silly news cycles back then, too). Buttafuoco, of course, has had a fruitful career as star of Celebrity Boxing and as plaintiff on the Judge Jeanine Pirro show. Fisher seems to have been only slightly more savvy with her unexpected fame, becoming the “victim” of a sex tape and, now, finally, accepting her true calling as a porn star. “At some point,” she explains, “it just seemed like a really good idea.”

Fisher also explains that she is a good mom of three kids, her “children have nothing to do with my career,” that she has “a lot of fans” (perhaps given her charity appearance at a Long Island strip club after the earthquake in Haiti?), and that while she has “moved on” from her past, “it’s the mainstream media that doesn’t move forward.” Ah, that darned Mainstream Media strikes again.

The whole thing is quite bizarre. Guilfoyle actually holds up a copy of Fisher’s porn DVD, Home Shopping Network-style. Fisher calls anyone who claims not to own it hypocrites. Geraldo Rivera seems to agree. Watch the whole thing (via Fox News) below:

Christine O’Donnell Gives Greta Van Susteren Her Foreign Policy Prescription: Strengthen Everything

Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell followed up her national media silence-breaking interview with CNN by going On the Record with Greta Van Susteren last night. Eschewing the hunt for a big sound-bite, Van Susteren wisely employed a non-confrontational style that let the subject, and subject matter, speak for themselves. This is especially effective with the media gun-shy O’Donnell, who’s more likely to clam up under even mild cross-examination. In part one of the interview, she quizzed O’Donnell on a variety of foreign policy issues, and the result was revealing in ways that other O’Donnell interviews have not been.

In the nearly 10-minute interview, Greta asked O’Donnell how she would handle a variety of foreign policy issues, and every one of the responses involved “strengthening” something, but O’Donnell never gets around to explaining how to achieve the enstrengthening. It’s obviously not through additional spending, and she’s already ruled out magic, which seems to leave us no choice but to extract the extra strength from bottles of Tylenol.

O’Donnell’s detractors will no doubt get a chuckle when O’Donnell admits to not having access to classified information, for a change, and perhaps shudder at the notion that she soon might.

On the positive side for O’Donnell, she not only avoids making any “I can see Russia from my house” gaffes, she even comes off as decently-versed. While her responses are simplistic, O’Donnell includes enough detail to show that she’s at least aware of what’s going on. She’s also a great deal less strident on foreign policy than many conservatives, particularly regarding the Obama administration and Israel. As usual, her likeable persona shines through it all.

The overall effect is probably a net positive for O’Donnell, empty but delicious calories for her audience. This makes her choice to grant the interview on a Friday most unfortunate, dropping it into the dead weekend news cycle.