While You Were Sleeping: Casey Anthony Is Out On The Loose!


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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The long national nightmare may be just beginning. The most hated woman in America, former Orlando mother acquitted of murder Casey Anthony, is officially a free woman, after Orlando officials released her into an unmarked car beside an angry crowd. She will not be returning to her native habitat, but to an undisclosed location to which she was flown with attorney Jose Baez by her side.

Anthony walked out of the prison and into a car early yesterday morning, greeted by a crowd of onlookers– mostly hostile, though sprinkled with some marriage proposals. It is not known where she was driven or flown to, though speculation has been rampant, though she does have some money– almost $500, thanks to the donations of several admirers. Reuters reported that some in the crowd had been waiting since 3 PM outside the jail for Anthony’s midnight release.

The footage of Anthony simply walking out of a jail will be chilling to those who consider the verdict in her trial a grave injustice, though, removed from context, is rather uneventful. Watch the raw video via Fox 29 Philadelphia below:

Bill Maher To Egyptian Guest: “This Isn’t Fox News, This Is Reality”


This post is by Matt Schneider from Mediaite


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On Bill Maher’s HBO show, besides going after Rush Limbaugh and encouraging guests to take shots at Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, what many might find surprising is that Maher often is not afraid to make arguments similar to those that might come from the mouths of the conservative power players he targets. In an interview with Egyptian-born journalist Mona Eltahawy, Maher confronted her with some unsettling facts regarding the beliefs of Egyptians.

Eltahawy exclaimed the nationwide protest in Egypt was the happiest moment of her life, arguing “President Mubarak is our Berlin Wall . . . if we can get our Berlin Wall to fall – and we will, I’m confident we will – you imagine the freedom fever that will spread across the region.” What Egyptians with “freedom fever” might do next was Maher’s concern, and the interview got a little testy when Maher brought up some facts. According to a Pew study Maher cited, a majority of Egyptians support stoning as punishment for adultery, the death penalty for Muslims leaving the religion, and were in favor of Sharia Law, and Maher wondered if this might pose a problem in the future.

When Eltahawy clearly did not want to discuss those issues and kept repeating that Egyptians just want freedom, Maher insisted she address the reality of his question, to which the following exchange took place:

Eltahawy: “I didn’t think we were going to get into Fox News kind of sparring matches that quick, but hey you want to go head-to-head, I will.”
Maher: “This is not Fox News, this is reality.”

If a tough question, followed by an expectation that the question be answered is a technique Eltahawy dimisses as something she expects only on Fox News, that actually sounds like a great endorsement from her for the channel. Regardless, viewers can always count on Maher for a unique perspective and as demonstrated here, an admirable boldness to ask questions that might make people uncomfortable.

Watch the clip from HBO below:

Latest Leaked Fox News Memo Looks Like Campaign ‘Fact Sheet’


This post is by Mediaite Staff from Mediaite


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Another in a series of potentially embarrassing internal memos authored by Fox News Managing Editor Bill Sammon has recently been leaked, and this one is a doozy. The memo, sent a week before Election Day 2008, reads like the oppo research “fact sheets” that the various presidential campaigns sent out to reporters during that election cycle, with a key difference. The source, in this case, was not a politician’s press office, but the Washington deputy managing editor of a major news network.

The memo comes from mortal enemy of Fox News and liberal media watchdog Media Matters, who has now released three in a series of these sorts of of internal emails from Sammon.

Previous memos from Sammon have instructed Fox News talent on how to frame discussion of health care reform and climate change, and while they were embarrassing, this one goes straight at the question of political bias, in at least the D.C. bureau of Fox News. Sent in the wake of a Barack Obama interview that surfaced in the closing days of the 2008 campaign, Sammon’s memo collects quotes from Obama’s autobiography, Dreams of My Father, that Sammon said claimed “references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists,” along with “a couple of his many self-described ‘racial obsessions’.”

Fox News has consistently rested its credibility on the premise that there is a dividing line between their “straight news” and “opinion” programming. But Sammon’s status as a “straight news” editor, and his use of this “research” on Fox’s Live Desk raise legitimate questions about that separation, or at least blurs a line that should be clear cut.

There are many fine journalists who work at Fox News. Sammon’s continued presence at the network threatens to diminish their work, and you have to wonder how long the talent at Fox News will put up with embarrassments like these before they head out the door, or before Sammon does.

Given the hyper-partisan landscape of current opinion media, there are many who will willfully dismiss this report only because it came from Media Matters. But the memo itself is pretty damning, regardless of one’s political opinions. You can see the full memo at Media Matters.

Buchanan On Santorum’s Racial Abortion Comments: “They Don’t Offend Me”


This post is by Matt Schneider from Mediaite


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Following in his own recent steps of defending a prominent conservative in turmoil when no one else was doing so publicly, MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan was at it again defending potential 2012 candidate for President, Rick Santorum and his racially charged comments about abortion. Buchanan appeared on Jansing & Co. and claimed Santorum’s “facts are correct.”

Buchanan elaborated:

Disproportionately, African-American women are the ones having abortions, and it’s African-American unborn babies who are being destroyed at a disproportionate rate. And this whole, if you will, birth control and abortion movement goes back to a fairly shameful period in American history, back before World War II – the eugenics movement – which had dreadful slogans as ‘more from the fit and less from the unfit.’

Furthermore, since African-Americans were not treated as persons under the Constitution for a long period of history, Buchanan essentially makes the argument that any black person today should oppose abortion and not be in favor of taking away the right of personhood from another class of individuals: the unborn. Buchanan, clearly unlike the commentator he is debating, is not offended by the comments, but still thinks Santorum should speak out and defend himself.

Discussing the always volatile mix of race and abortion requires careful verbal maneuvering, which Buchanan seems to demonstrate that he is a bit more experienced at than Santorum.

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Watch the clip below from MSNBC:

President Obama’s Weekly Address: “We Carry On Now”


This post is by Matt Schneider from Mediaite


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As a new week in Washington is about to begin with a return to focusing on healthcare, jobs and deficits, President Obama took one last opportunity to offer uplifting words and to make clear that now is the time to “carry on” from last week’s tragedy in Arizona, but hopefully to do so with a new tone.

In his weekly video address, Obama was reflective and inspirational suggesting “we are one American family – 300 million strong.” He went on to state that “as shrill and discordant as our politics can be at times,” he was happy to see all members of Congress this past week speaking on the floor to honor Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Obama concluded, “as business resumes, I look forward to working together . . . with members of Congress from both parties, because before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans.”

The contrast between this video and that provided by Sarah Palin is noticeable. By filling his video with only positive words, Obama, like after his Arizona memorial speech, leaves critics hard-pressed to find anything to dislike. Interesting to wonder if Palin did decide to keep her video short and sweet, whether her critics too would have been willing to offer begrudging praise?

Watch the clip below from CNN:

Sen. Dick Durbin: Past Rhetoric Of Sarah Palin And Tea Party “Beyond The Bounds”


This post is by Matt Schneider from Mediaite


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Senator Dick Durbin appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and told Candy Crowley that Sarah Palin’s gun imagery of targeting certain congressional districts was “beyond the bounds” and “not acceptable rhetoric.” Although when pressed by Crowley, Durbin did not want to suggest there was a direct connection between the rhetoric and yesterday’s shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, nor whether there was similarly unacceptable rhetoric amongst Democrats.

Durbin explained:

“We live in a world of violent images and violent words, but those of us in public life and the journalists who cover us, should be thoughtful in response to this and try to bring down the rhetoric, which I’m afraid has become pervasive in our discussion of political issues. The phrase ‘don’t retreat, reload’ – putting crosshairs on congressional districts as targets – these sorts of things I think invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response.”

Video Coming Soon

Fox News Abruptly Cuts Away From Giffords Vigil As Mourner Says ‘And I Say to You, Sarah Palin’


This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite


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During a Fox News segment today, anchor Shep Smith tossed to a live shot of a vigil for critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and several seconds into it, as one mourner said “…and I say to you, Sarah Palin…” abruptly cut to a commercial. Sarah Palin, a Fox News contributor, has come under fire in the early aftermath of this mass shooting, as some are connecting it with her “crosshairs” ad from earlier this year.

With so little known at this time, cooler heads are resisting making political hay out of this shooting, but the coincidence of Giffords’ shooting, her placement on Palin’s “crosshairs” map, and Giffords’ own comments about that map have combined to make Palin an early scapegoat, particularly on the left. At best, though, it’s an eery, unfortunate confluence.

Here’s the video, from Fox News:


Report: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Killed After Point-Blank Shooting In Tuscon (Update: NPR, Reuters Retracting Reports)


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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After being shot “point-blank” in the head by a gunman at a public constituent event, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has passed away, according to NPR. Giffords represented the 8th District of Arizona and was known as a moderate Democrat particularly involved in the border control issues.

Giffords was attending a “Congress on your corner” event and speaking to a couple of constituents, reports say, when a man walked up to her and shot her in point-blank range in the head. Eyewitnesses report they heard around 15-20 shots, and at least two bodies were reported in sight. According to NPR, Giffords has now passed:

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head and killed outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, Arizona Public Media reported Saturday.

[...]

“Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.

The suspect ran off and was tackled by a bystander. He was taken into custody. Witnesses described him as in his late teens or early 20s.”

UPDATE: NPR and Reuters have retracted their death confirmations, while MSNBC reports on air that she is currently undergoing surgery and has not died.

Fox News now reporting at least four others killed, including a small child. Report below:

Report: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Staffers, Others Shot In Head At Public Event In Arizona


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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NPR is reporting that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been shot in the head in front of a grocery store in Arizona. No word on her condition or that of the gunmen as of this time, but she has been transported to University Medical Center in Tuscon.

NPR broke the story, though not many details are currently known:

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot outside a grocery store in Tucson while holding a public event, an eyewitness reported Saturday.

Giffords, who was re-elected to her third term in November, was hosting her first “Congress on Your Corner” event at the Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting. At least five other people, including members of her staff, were hurt, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.

Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson. Her condition was not immediately known.

UPDATE: Fox News currently reporting that Giffords was shot “at point-blank range in the head” at a public event while speaking to a couple and engaging constituents. A man ran up to her “shooting indiscriminately” and shot her and three of the five staffers on hand at a grocery store in Tuscon. It is unclear at this point whether the shooter has been apprehended. The Fox News report below:

Ed Schultz And His Listeners Are Predictably Uneasy About Obama/O’Reilly Chat


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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MSNBC host Ed Schultz is certainly no stranger to calling out President Obama for not going on his program, and it seems every time the president interacts with Fox News, the progressive commentator begins the see red. The President’s upcoming chat with Bill O’Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday was no different, though, rather than taking the hard line against the President this time, Schultz merely expressed concern that there was no “upside” to the broadcast, because “you can’t trust ‘em.”

The shift from disappointment to concern meant Schultz didn’t touch the issue of loyalty to the base explicitly, though he did let his radio listeners speak for him, and they were not happy, using words like “stupid” and “degrading” to describe the interview, with one dejected listener accusing President Obama of “continually abandoning the left.” For Schultz, though, this was not the problem but, rather, the fact that, with a “partisan broadcaster,” the President was not going to be able to express himself appropriately. During the President’s last interview on Fox News, Schultz argued, “he was treated rudely and could hardly get a word in,” that courtesy of interviewer Bret Baier.

Then Schultz introduced a new element to his show that made the broadcast all the more colorful– someone who wholeheartedly disagreed. NY PIX commentator Lionel came up to bat for the President– and Bill O’Reilly– describing President Obama as Zeus and noting that he must give the interview to the network broadcasting the Super Bowl, as he did last time. He called the President’s move “brilliant,” and of O’Reilly noted that “of the Fox News folks, the guy you’re probably going to get the most fair and balanced… is Bill O’Reilly.” Schultz didn’t seemed convinced, though he pledged his presidential vote to Lionel after the latter promised that, if he were president, “I would’ve gone on The Ed Show, but that’s just me.”

The segment from last night’s Ed Show via MSNBC below:

Tucker Carlson: ‘Unlike Charles Barkley, I Am Not Pulling For Michael Vick’


This post is by Glenn Davis from Mediaite


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Tucker Carlson recently dominated a slow news week by saying he thought Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed for his past dog fighting crimes, but the remark also earned him plenty of criticism – none more pointed than from NBA analyst Charles Barkley, who called Carlson a “nobody” and “idiot” for his comments, although by that time Carlson admitted he “overspoke.”

Tonight, Carlson responded to Barkley’s rip on Hannity (where, of course, he originally macde the “executed” remark – while he didn’t appear on the show, he released a statement that appeared to be given to the show exclusively.It reads:

Unlike Charles Barkley, I am not pulling for Michael Vick. I’m an animal lover. I think torturing dogs is cruel and disgusting. Sorry that offends people, but I mean it.”

Host Sean Hannity’s Great American Panel then debated the debate, with former NFL running back/current analyst Tiki Barber saying one must examine Vick’s crimes in context (i.e. that he grew up in area where dog fighting was okay), though he still called his actions “reprehensible.” Hannity thought Barber was just making excuses for Vick, while Republican strategist Terry Holt said Barkley, in calling Carlson an idiot, got similarly overheated to Carlson when he said he thought Vick deserved the death penalty. (We’d argue that “saying you think someone deserved the death penalty” to calling someone an idiot isn’t quite a 1:1 comparison.)

Alicia Menendez of progressive think tank NDN, however, said the debate is simply great publicity for both Carlson and Barkley, as they both “said very hyperbolic things” that everyone is now talking about. Considering the massive amount of play this story has indeed gotten…hard to argue with that. Video of the segment, via Fox News, below.

Sarah Palin Has Harsh Words For McCain, Says Obama Is “Hell Bent On Weakening America”


This post is by Jon Bershad from Mediaite


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Sarah Palin made an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show today and, like every time she makes an appearance anywhere, she had some interesting and immensely quotable things to say. She knocked her old running mate John McCain and claimed President Obama’s goal was to “weaken America.” Wait, a second. Hostilities between Palin and McCain? Worries about Obama weakening America? With these comments and Rush Limbaugh’s, today’s clearly Act Like It’s Early 2009 Day and we missed the memo. Darn!

First up was McCain. Ingraham asked Palin what she thought about the Senator’s comments on Today about compromising on immigration reform, Palin responded that she didn’t “think the priority of the Republican Party should be capitulating or compromising when it comes to our principles and those time tested truths that help build our country.” She then said that Republicans need to “draw a line in the sand” and that it was the “last chance” for GOP members who’ve “blown it too many times” implementing the public’s core values and ideas. Ingraham made sure to remind Palin that McCain was the guy who “picked her for the ticket” that was now talking about compromise and Palin softened a (small) bit, saying she would give him the benefit of the doubt.

Next came Obama. Palin was not at all happy about Obama raising the debt as you can see in this transcription from the official YouTube Channel of The Laura Ingraham Show:

Palin: “We’ve got to be able to respect our politicians and trust what it is they are doing. Now, I don’t personally trust what comes out of the White House….[Obama] is hell bent on weakening America and he has told us back in March of 2006 that it weakens America domestically and internationally to raise the debt ceiling. And he said it is a sign of failed leadership to support raising the debt ceiling. And now he is doing exactly that. So, what Obama is doing–purposefully weakening America, because he understood that debt weakens America domestically and internationally–and yet now he supports increasing debt.”
Laura: “So his goal is to weaken America?”
Palin: “On this issue it has to be, otherwise, what did he mean back in March of 2006 when he said that he understood that increasing debt weakens America?”

It may be Act Like It’s Early 2009 Day, but, with “hell bent on weakening America” and “draw some lines in the sand,” we truly have some awesome Palin quotes worthy of 2011. You can check them both out in the video from The Laura Ingraham Show below:

(h/t Breitbart.tv)

Charles Barkley Calls Tucker Carlson A “Nobody “Idiot” For Vick Execution Remark


This post is by Alex Alvarez from Mediaite


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Former basketball star Charles Barkley was in rare form tonight during the Mavericks / Thunder game on TNT as he took time to address something that’s been weighing on his mind. Barkley vented about Tucker Carlson’s recent comment that Philadelphia Eagles football player Michael Vick should be executed for his role in dog fighting – a comment Carlson later clarified, telling Hannity viewers that he “overspoke.” According to Barkley, Carlson is merely “some idiot on another network.”

Barkley evidently doesn’t think too highly of the oft-bowtied pundit, calling him a “nobody” who “used to work for us for us over here. We fired him because he sucked, now he goes over there.” Fellow sportscaster Ernie Johnson gently reminded Barkley that Carlson later “backed off” from his original comment, although he agreed that Carlson shouldn’t have said the comment in the first place.

Barkley then emphasized, twice, that Vick has “already paid his debt to society.” And that he’s praying for him, doggone it.

Watch the video from TNT below:

On CNBC, Rick Santelli Rants About The New York Times, Reading The Constitution


This post is by Mark Joyella from Mediaite


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On CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday, Rick Santelli ranted about members of Congress–and members of the media–who’ve criticized the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives.

In an amazing display of sarcasm, Santelli went off on the critics–including The New York Times–who’ve objected to the reading of the Constitution as either too expensive or too self-indulgent:

Oh my God. We’re wasting so much money. You know this reading stuff is way overrated–whether it’s the Constitution–or reading scores in the U.S., or reading bills. A complete waste of time–come on. This is the digital age.

Pressed by Squawk Box co-host Joe Kernen about a New York Times editorial calling the Congressional reading of the Constitution “a presumptuous and self-righteous act,” Santelli knocked the “hypocrisy” of members of Congress who objected to the reading:

You know what then – here’s what I want to know – then why did they all swear to that when they took their jobs yesterday? What a bunch of hypocrites.

Watch it here, from CNBC:

(h/t The Daily Caller)

Report: President Obama Selects William Daley As New Chief Of Staff


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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AP is reporting that President Barack Obama has selected former Commerce Secretary William Daley as his Chief of Staff, replacing Interim Chief of Staff Pete Rouse. The spot had been vacated late last year when former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel left his position to run for Mayor of Chicago.

While no formal announcement has yet been made, Politico’s Mike Allen reported earlier this morning that an announcement was imminent, citing an anonymous source “This is just about done. Staff is being deferential to Pete, but he is totally on board with this plan and is looking forward to getting his old office back.”

Who is Bill Daley? He has recently been the Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase and current Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s brother. Nick Wing at Huffington Post claims that there has been some questions on the progressive side of the political spectrum on Mr. Daley, writing that Daley “raised some eyebrows this week when prior comments were uncovered suggesting he was an opponent of two landmark Obama administration initiatives — health care reform and consumer protection.”

Not only does Mr. Daley have deep roots in Obama’s home city of Chicago, but he’s thought to have a very strong pro-business point of view, evidenced by his previous role as Commerce Secretary under President Clinton.

Watch the announcement from Fox News below:

Michele Bachmann Keeps Rumors Of Presidential Bid Alive On Greta


This post is by Matt Schneider from Mediaite


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Last night on Fox News, Representative Michele Bachmann stopped by to talk with Greta van Susteren about the debt crisis and to share her charts demonstrating how much money President Obama spent in the past two years. However, Greta was eager to get Bachmann’s comments on the bubbling up rumors that the Congresswoman is seriously considering a run at the White House in 2012.

Bachmann played it coy, refusing to announce definitive intentions, yet still making it known she wants her name to continue to be mentioned:

I’m very committed to doing whatever I can to make sure that we don’t have a second term for President Obama. So I’m going to add my voice to that conversation in the next two years. . . . [I]t’s not about my personal ambition. But it is about making sure that people know what the issues are, what the principles are, because I think a year from now – I mean, can you imagine two years of speculating about who the nominee will be? . . . It is boring.

Boring? Speak for yourself! I think it would be much harder to imagine two years of not speculating about who the nominee will be. Some Republicans will have to announce their candidacy soon, although if you’re betting on who might be first out of the gate, the safe money is definitely not on Bachmann. Most likely her decision requires waiting first to see what fellow Tea Party “mama grizzly” Sarah Palin intends to do.

Watch the clip from Fox News below:

Jon Stewart Introduces Puppet John McCain To Mock The Senator’s Growing Crankiness


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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The relationship between Senator John McCain and Daily Show host Jon Stewart has evolved in the last decade. There was a time that the presidential hopeful of 2000 was eager to show his comedic chops by allowing a Daily Show crew on his campaign bus dubbed “The Straight Talk Express.” But times change: people get older, wiser, and by some measure, even crankier. Perhaps these are a few of the reasons why Mr. Stewart could only interview “Puppet John McCain” to mark the Senator’s increased anger.

Ted Nugent Calls CNN “Planet Of The Apes” For Hiring Eliot Spitzer– On CNN


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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In the dead zone of programming between the end of Larry King Live and the debut of Piers Morgan Tonight, Anderson Cooper has been charged with hosting the hour, and in periodic Larry King tradition of inexplicable political round tables united rocker Ted Nugent and comedienne Roseanne Barr with actual political strategist Cornell Belcher. It didn’t take long for Nugent to get inappropriate, comparing CNN to “planet of the apes” for hiring Eliot Spitzer.

The context: Spitzer’s program, Parker/Spitzer, has been showcasing an exclusive interview with actor Alec Baldwin, who has been hinting that running for office is something that is of intense interest to him, and that, while New York is a difficult place to start a political career, he would love to run there. Nugent could not contain his hearty laughter– nor could he distinguish what exactly he was laughing at– “Alec Baldwin running for office or Eliot Spitzer doing the interview.” “What is this, Planet of the Apes or CNN?” he mocked, to Belcher’s delight and a rather uncomfortable look from Barr.

The discussion survives the jeer, however, and Nugent explains why he hasn’t run for office himself after mocking Baldwin (“I’m old and I still love to tour”) and ultimately commends Baldwin for his desire to participate, after all– “let the people decide.” As for Barr, she’d vote for him just “because he’s so handsome,” which led Nugent to quip that she could sing the national anthem at his inauguration. “And you could shoot a little baby pig,” she shot back.

The lively, bizarre, sometimes awkward discussion via CNN below:

Jon Stewart Lampoons Absurdly Oversimplified RNC Chair Debate


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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On Monday of this week, C-Span broadcast a debate for RNC Chair candidates that featured much maligned current chair Michael Steele alongside four other contenders collectively fielding absurdly simplistic questions from moderators Tucker Carlson and Grover Norquist. Its a ridiculous tradition that felt at times like its chief function was to provide fodder for The Daily Show. Ladies and Gentlemen, Jon Stewart!

There are a number of funny highlights, but perhaps my personal favorite is the sudden makeover of former Missouri state chairwoman Ann Wagner, “who clearly didn’t get the memo on how a Republican woman is supposed to look in 2010.” Through the magic of TV graphics and digital imagery Wagner look suddenly changes: she gets bangs, a leather jacket, something called “zipples” and a bedazzled flag pin, after witch Stewart exclaims, “you’ve been Grizzlied!”

Stewart also touched briefly on the prospective candidate’s stances on supporting what some see ass an anti-gay position on marriage from the National Organization for Marriage; to which all five answered affirmatively, with varying degrees of lip service to the “individuality” and “dignity” of gay people, the classic “No offense, but you’re not equal.” For a more thorough column on that particular issue, I encourage you to read Tommy Christopher’s interesting and provocative piece on the topic.

Watch the segment from Comedy Central below:

Tucker Carlson: “Of Course I Don’t Want [Michael Vick] Executed”


This post is by Frances Martel from Mediaite


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Tucker Carlson made his first return to Hannity since calling for Michael Vick’s execution, and he had some explaining to do. While he kept strong on his point that he was “disgusted” by Vick’s actions and was shocked to hear President Obama support him, he admitted he may have gotten “too emotional” and “overspoke.”

“Tucker, I take one big vacation a year.” This is how Sean Hannity, retaking his spot at the show from holiday host Tucker Carlson greeted him today. “I take two weeks off, my big vacation, and what do I have to read on the blogs? that you’re destroying the show.” He was joking, of course, but pressured Carlson on his call for capital punishment enough to get somewhat of a retraction. “This is what happens when you get too emotional,” he admitted, though he also added that “anybody who takes the time to look into how he mistreated these dogs and personally tortured them to death gets upset.” That said, he continued, “I overspoke. I’m uncomfortable with the death penalty under any circumstances.”

Hannity, accepting the explanation and admitting to be a huge dog lover himself, questioned whether Carlson believed in redemption. “At some point,” he added, “we have to take our foot off his neck.” Carlson ceded to that, but not before noting that child molesters don’t often get the same chance and insisting that the President was wrong to praise him. “It’s a celebrity culture,” Hannity lamented on that point.

Carlson’s comments via Fox News below: