Isn’t It Ironic: Stupak Campaign Steeped in Abortion Cash

stupakWith the House’s passage of a health care reform bill that includes the now-infamous Stupak Amendment, abortion has become a hot topic this week. As a result, the RNC was embarrassed to find out that it’s health insurance plan has covered elective abortions since 1991. Pro-life Democrats, then, might be interested to know that Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi) has received large campaign contributions for years from 2 group that make money selling insurance that covers elective abortions.

Stupak has received over $47,000 in campaign contributions from PAC’s representing  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, both of whom make their money from selling insurance that covers elective abortions. That $47,000 is more money than the combined total raised by Stupak’s opponents in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Stupak’s district hasn’t been competitive in years. In the last 4 elections, he has beaten the Republican by 30-40%, and has outraised them by orders of magnitude. He could easily live without the abortion money.

I contacted Bart Stupak’s office to see if the Congressman is aware of this issue, and to find out if he intends to return the funds and pledge not to accept them in the future. His office has not yet responded.

Mediaite posted video of Rachel Maddow’s excellent explanation of the Stupak Amendment earlier today. In case you missed it, here is the full video of the House debate on the Stupak Amendment.




Chyron of the Day: Is Carrie Prejean Really “Still Standing”?

MSNBC, 12:47pmET:

prejean_11-13

Is Carrie Prejean really, “Still Standing,” as her book title suggests? Because to MSNBC, she just may be in fact sitting down, or apparently being picked up in an embrace by a jilted ex. Or, of course, taping herself…

MSNBC’s entertainment correspondent Courtney Hazlett was a guest this afternoon, and Monica Novotny asked her about Prejean and her media blitz. And Hazlett didn’t hold back. “A sex tape could be the best thing that’s ever happened to this girl,” she said. “The reason we have Paris Hilton, the reason we have that Kardashian girl is because they got caught with sex tapes.”

Also: “Carrie Prejean is either the smartest thing in the world…or, she’s not.”

The TMZ pictures and phone call with Prejean’s ex came up as well. “I woudn’t be surprised if she called up that ex-boyfriend and said, ‘Hey this is TMZ’s phone number if you want to tell them your side of the story.’”

I’d be surprised – Prejean is a 22-year-old that wants to sell books, yes, but is proving to be in over her head when it comes to the media. Moments like this and others on MSNBC seem to be taking joy in kicking a person when she’s down.

She’s now a public figure, so she’s made herself a target for criticism, but this begins approaching the line of going overboard.

No video yet on msnbc.com…if you find we’ll post.

Do you have a pick for Chyron of the Day? Email me at Steve@mediaite.com. Check out all the past Chyrons of the Day here.

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Great Moments In Journalism: Sarah Palin Marginalization Starts Early At MSNBC

palin_11-13Beginning next week Sarah Palin and her book, “Going Rogue,” are going to be everywhere.

But we got a preview today of one way she’ll be welcomed – with marginalization, jokes and borderline sexist segments.

Today on MSNBC, Dylan Ratigan spent a few minutes during his Morning Meeting to address, “what is it about Palin that drives America wild?” He and his staff put together: “Top 10 Reasons America is Obsessed with Sarah Palin.” And you can imagine the direction this goes…

#9? “She’s hot!” #6? Ratigan calls her the “ultimate capitalist” because “she’ll sell anything to anybody for any reason.”

And the number one reason America is obsessed with Palin: “Family drama that makes you feel better about your own.”

This probably won’t surprise a lot of people, and she’s a public figure so it’s not entirely unfair for Ratigan and others to make jokes about her. Furthermore when she’s out on her media blitz – Oprah, a five-parter with Barbara Walters and much more – she’ll probably throw some serious jabs of her own. But look at the way the video was promoted on msnbc.com’s TV front page:
msnbc_11-13

Besides being a pretty degrading image of Sarah Palin, this shot was proven long ago to be photoshopped and fake. So why use it? Well, depending on your point of view, you probably have a guess.

Here’s the segment:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


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Rachel Maddow Explains Stupak’s ‘Draconian’ Amendment

Picture 3Yesterday on Office Hours we discussed with WaPo’s Howie Kurtz whether the Stupak amendment was getting as much coverage in the press as it deserved, and whether, because it didn’t have polarizing figures opposing it (a la Beck, Bachmann, Armey) the amendment hadn’t generated the kind of controversy cable news loves to cover. Howie’s take was, if this is actually the case the media is falling down on the job. Yes, well.

Rachel Maddow, however, is certainly not letting Stupak go unnoticed. Last night she took another pass at the last-minute amendment that bans government funded coverage of abortion except in instances of rape or incest (great explanation of possible fallout here), this time taking aim at Stupak himself: “the man who sneaked through the strongest anti-abortion legislation in a generation into the health reform bill is now walking around Wash like he owns the place.” Stupak is as St


On Lou Dobbs’ Last Night, CNN Finishes 5th In Prime Time Demo

Cable news ratings, November 11, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• On a night that Lou Dobbs said goodbye the hour before, CNN finished in 5th place – behind Fox News, MSNBC, HLN and CNBC – in the prime time A25-54 demographic. This was only the 2nd time in 2009 the network finished 5th, with the first time coming in March. Dobbs’ 7pmET hour finished 4th in the demo and 3rd in total viewers.

• The top show on cable news was, once again, Bill O’Reilly’s 8pmET in both total viewers and the demo. Glenn Beck’s return to the airwaves gave him 2nd place in both.

Larry King was not helped by an awkward interview with Carrie Prejean – his hour was the lowest for CNN in the prime time demo.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

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

 

742

Blitzer

 

103

Matthews

 

139

Prime

 

100

6 pm Baier

 

556

Blitzer

 

127

EdShow

 

178

Prime

 

108

7 pm Shep

 

572

Dobbs

 

153

Matthews

 

201

Issues

 

183

8 pm O’Reilly

 

1042

Brown

 

174

Olbermann

 

413

Grace

 

294

9 pm Hannity

 

714

King

 

156

Maddow

 

270

Behar

 

162

10 pm Greta

 

486

Cooper

 

174

Olbermann

 

298

Grace

 

215

11 pm O’Reilly

 

491

Cooper

 

169

Maddow

 

220

Showbiz

 

192

TOTAL DAY 436 144 141 162
PRIME TIME 749 168 327 220
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

 

2837

Blitzer

 

624

Matthews

 

558

Prime

 

193

6 pm Baier

 

2247

Blitzer

 

570

EdShow

 

516

Prime

 

236

7 pm Shep

 

2132

Dobbs

 

641

Matthews

 

661

Issues

 

520

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3647

Brown

 

692

Olbermann

 

1236

Grace

 

815

9 pm Hannity

 

2609

King

 

633

Maddow

 

1143

Behar

 

527

10 pm Greta

 

1942

Cooper

 

572

Olbermann

 

812

Grace

 

427

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1658

Cooper

 

616

Maddow

 

588

Showbiz

 

370

TOTAL DAY 1620 610 471 331
PRIME TIME 2735 632 1063 581
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Soundbite: CNN’s Prime Time Spin From The Top

cnn_11-11

“People hear what’s being said and it’s branded CNN and (they say), `OK, that’s news. That’s nonpartisan, that’s factual, it’s timely. That’s what we want to deliver around the world. We compete against a lot more than Fox and MSNBC.”


Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide, in an AP article about the network’s sagging prime time ratings and overall strategy.

Walton continued to hammer home a point made by other CNN executives as the prime time numbers drop – the lower ratings are not affecting the bottom line. “But the fact is, (CNN) is a vibrant, healthy company that’s growing in an industry where we’re pretty much one of one,” he says.

Still, ultimately, Walton asks the rhetorical question CNN must be wondering as an entire entity: “Will people sit down in the evening and find news reporting interesting?” As FNC, MSNBC and HLN cement their place in the prime time universe, the jury is still out.

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CNN Back In Fourth In Prime Time Demo

Cable news ratings, November 9, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News was #1 in prime time in the A25-54 demographic topping the competition combine, followed by MSNBC, HLN and CNN. It was the 90th time in 2009 CNN finished 4th. CNN was 3rd in total viewers in prime time, with HLN 4th. Bill O’Reilly had the top show in both categories.

• HLN’s 8pmET host Nancy Grace had the top non-FNC show in both total viewers and the demo.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

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

610

Blitzer

138

Matthews

163

Prime

75

6 pm Baier

612

Blitzer

114

EdShow

214

Prime

109

7 pm Shep

636

Dobbs

165

Matthews

197

Issues

206

8 pm O’Reilly

1023

Brown

177

Olbermann

285

Grace

328

9 pm Hannity

663

King

215

Maddow

259

Behar

173

10 pm Greta

487

Cooper

235

Olbermann

281

Grace

218

11 pm O’Reilly

396

Cooper

227

Maddow

156

Showbiz

180

TOTAL DAY 402 160 138 155
PRIME TIME 725 209 275 234
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

2585

Blitzer

673

Matthews

578

Prime

235

6 pm Baier

2535

Blitzer

621

EdShow

700

Prime

280

7 pm Shep

2455

Dobbs

707

Matthews

748

Issues

644

8 pm O’Reilly

3515

Brown

661

Olbermann

1105

Grace

1031

9 pm Hannity

2359

King

713

Maddow

928

Behar

531

10 pm Greta

1769

Cooper

745

Olbermann

684

Grace

458

11 pm O’Reilly

1347

Cooper

574

Maddow

456

Showbiz

403

TOTAL DAY 1564 572 451 367
PRIME TIME 2551 706 906 654
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.