Mom Up? Oklahoma Candidate for Governor Plays ‘Mom Card’ on Childless Opponent

Maybe this is what happens when you say you’re looking for an OK governor.

While the gender-based political attack du jour deals with the sowing end of the seed spectrum, maternity has suddenly become fertile ground for at least one candidate. At an Oklahoma gubernatorial debate last week, Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK) touted her 6-0 childrearing advantage over opponent Lt. Governor Jari Askins (D-OK), causing cries of “Low blow!” to come sweeping down the plain. Asked what distinguished her from Askins as a candidate, Fallin replied “I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for governor. First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family.”

Askins appeared on MSNBC this morning to give her reaction. Continue reading "Mom Up? Oklahoma Candidate for Governor Plays ‘Mom Card’ on Childless Opponent"

Hoda Kotb Vs. Willie Geist: Book War! Who Sold More In Week One?

NBC’s Hoda Kotb and MSNBC’s Willie Geist both had books that came out last week, so obviously that means it’s war.

We have the results from the first week sales – and while both did well, one was the clear winner.

First of all, it had to be a good sign when this week’s New York Times Best Sellers List came out and both were on it. Kotb’s book came in at #23 last week while Geist’s was #33. It was a little strange that American Freak Show was on the nonfiction list, but I guess since Jon Stewart’s Earth is at the top of the list, nonfiction doesn’t necessarily mean ‘true.’

In the first week, Kotb’s book sold 4,908 copies and Geist’s had 2,145, in Bookscan numbers obtained by Mediaite. Both benefited from promotion on their respective networks, with Freak Show getting more than 80 mentions in the last three weeks (mostly on Morning Joe). Last time we did this, during Rick Sanchez‘ first week of book sales, the former CNN host got 802 (and 36 mentions on CNN in the prior three weeks).

Other comparisons from media figures as authors: Meghan McCain’s book sold 2,644 and Arianna Huffington’s sold 1,985 during their first weeks.

In other news, Glenn Beck’s Broke comes out tomorrow and will, um, probably sell more than all of these (it’s currently #11 on Amazon).

We talked to Geist and Kotb about their books during Mediaite Office Hours.
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Most Insane NMA Video Ever? Jon Stewart Gives Obama A Backrub While Arianna Whips Writers

Wow. Just wow. NMA has officially outdone themselves. In creating a video detailing the Rally to Restore Sanity, the Taiwanese darlings of the blogosphere have made something that looks like they just animated the inside of Glenn Beck’s head.

It features Jon Stewart as a cult-leader who is so infuriated by Beck’s rally (which he watches while applying some kind of facial cream like the Hollywood elitist he is) that he calls a meeting of his “secret liberal cabal” to destroy it. Soon we’re given such memorable moments as Larry King using the bathroom and one of the Huffington Post busses running over a guy in a Gawker shirt.

The whole thing is like every Conservative complaint about the Daily Show ever presented in cartoon form. They even took a swipe at the show’s audience by presenting them as stereotypical stoned hippies. It’s as if the team at NMA set a goal to be name checked on Fox News by the end of the week. It’s still hilarious and makes for funnier Conservative humor than most Conservative humorists actually make (*cough* Half Hour News Hour *cough*)

Iowa Church Introduces Voting During Services, Raising Church And State Concerns

Iowa churchIf you live near Ames, Iowa, you could have killed two birds with one stone yesterday. Nondenominational Cornerstone Church is the first of two houses of worship in the area to offer satellite voting at the same time that services are going on.

Though the voting and the praying took place in different parts of the church, some Iowans are worried that Cornerstone jeopardized the separation of church and state by allowing the two activities to occur simultaneously. As Ames resident Susie Petra says in the following local news clip (via, Cornerstone isn’t accessible by bike, bus, or foot, meaning that as a voting location, it’s ill-placed to serve anyone but its own congregation.

Iowa’s ACLU has also spoken out about the church: “Combining polling places with religious services is an invitation to the abuse of both religion and the civic act of voting,” says Executive Director Ben Stone in a statement. Church officials, for their part, say they didn’t discuss the voting during Sunday’s worship. Watch the clip below for more info.

Oprah Winfrey To Interview George W. Bush Next Month

Oprah Winfrey is going to interview former President George W. Bush to coincide with next month’s release of his memoir Decision Points. Bush last appeared on Oprah back in 2000 when he was running for president. According to the New York Times the interview is set to air on November 9.

Oprah Winfrey will conduct the second television interview with former President George W. Bush as he embarks on a book tour. The interview will be shown on Nov. 9, the day his book, “Decision Points,” is published by Crown. Mr. Bush’s first sit-down TV talk will be with Matt Lauer of the “Today” show, and will be shown on Nov. 8 in prime time on NBC. Ms. Winfrey was an avid supporter of President Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.

It will definitely make for an interesting interview. Or at least one hopes so. When news broke last year that Oprah was going to interview Sarah Palin most people presumed that was also going to be a must-see hour, instead it turned into a bit of a snooze fest. Hopefully her time with Bush will prove to be a bit more revealing.

Major Garrett Talks Juan Williams On Morning Joe: FNC Embraces “Polarization”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe welcomed National Journal Executive Editor Ron Brownstein and NJ correspondent Major Garrett this morning, the day the magazine and web site relaunched.

Of course, Garrett on Morning Joe is the headline – and he spent the first eight minutes talking about Fox News’ Juan Williams, offering a unique perspective.

The former Fox Newser Garrett was introduced by Joe Scarborough, who said “for a lot of leftists, you’re going to always be the guy that worked at Fox.”

Garrett described the ways he used to work to combat that, and also spoke about conversations he had with Williams. “NPR was increasingly unhappy with it because it was getting blowback with some of its listeners,” he said of Williams’ role on FNC.

Then, there was this insight, which will be a Nikki Finke “Toldja” moment for left-wing blogs:

For a certain amount of marketing points of view, Fox actually wants to keep that polarization. They can say look, we’re different. We’re dramatically different, you can see how we’re different. And if you like that difference you better come over here and you better stay here. That is an embedded part of the marketing that surrounds what happens in the news division at Fox.

It’s a surprising statement, but not necessarily as damning as it sounds. It’s no secret that Fox News sees itself as different – an alternative. Only they see it as being “fair and balanced.” Even Garrett’s argument was in the context of NPR being part of the very same polarization.

Mark Halperin asked Garrett how much FNC is going to use this to its advantage. “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the day it happened, he got a huge contract at Fox,” said Garrett. “Fox planted a flag in the ground saying, ‘he’s ours.’” Also: “That is an embedded part of Roger Ailes‘ DNA.”

Garrett teased his appearance on Twitter last night. Since his FNC exit a couple months ago, he has appeared on several networks, including Fox News and MSNBC. But this appearance feels like a departure from his original plan, which he told us was not “to be a reporter who goes on cable to talk about anything that I haven’t reported on specifically.”

Here’s Garrett’s segment, including the discussion about the new National Journal (and a joke about Bill O’Reilly):

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Time Critic On Jon Stewart Rally: He’s Risking Being Seen As A ‘Messiah Figure’

Presumably the Juan Williams mania will die down enough this week that everyone can return to obsessing over Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity this Saturday.

On Reliable Sources yesterday Time television critic (and friend of Mediaite Office Hours) James Poniewozik said that the risk Stewart is running with this rally is that it may make him appear as though “he’s taking himself too seriously or becoming some sort of messiah figure or a partisan telling people, you know, go forth, my mighty people, and vote XYZ and pursue such and such policies.” Indeed.

That said, it’s entirely possible the rally will merely be an extension of the show writ (very) large.

I mean, it’s been a show that’s tried to be really funny about, you know, fairly serious ideas. So, in a sense, I kind of see it as an extension of that project…I think it’s sort of a part of what has long been the message of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” which, in addition to all the comedy and crude jokes and stuff like that, has also been about really almost a kind of old-fashioned high-mindedness toward journalism.

Though one might argue if that sort of “old-fashioned high-mindedness toward journalism” existed Stewart et al. might be out of a job. Watch the segment below.