Dennis Miller To Bill O’Reilly: Over Last Two Years Obama “Built A Jenga Tower Out Of BS”

Dennis Miller’s visit to The O’Reilly Factor began with offering Bill O’reilly a preview of his upcoming radio interview with President George W. Bush.  During the interview, Bush imparted a few words of wisdom, “humor is important in life and if you can’t laugh, in other words if you take yourself so seriously . . . there’s a defect.”  Therefore, Miller clearly thinks there is something defective with former President Jimmy Carter:

Carter is out there every day yapping . . . I mean the guy never shuts up, we just have to hood him like a falcon so we can get some sleep.  Bush shuts up about the new President, I admire that about him, I think he’s an honorable man.

From there Miller, a frequent critic of President Barack Obama, surprisingly did not jump on the bandwagon of critics on the left and the right who labeled Obama as weak for compromising on the tax issue.  Instead, Miller was eager to give Obama credit for bending, although concluded he did not have much choice:

The fact is over the last two years Pelosi, Reid, [Obama], et al., all the Dems have built . . . they built a jenga tower out of BS.  When that 9.8% unemployment came in last week, that was the last piece that tipped the jenga tower.

Although Miller thinks this move to the center is what might end up getting Obama re-elected, many others still smell blood in the Democratic primary waters.  Overall, with O’Reilly agreeing that Obama’s compromise was the right decision for the folks, it almost seems, strangely enough, as if Miller and O’Reilly might be Obama’s two strongest cable news defenders.

Watch the clip from FOX News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor below:

Reed Hastings: Netflix Doesn’t Need New Starz Deal

Reed Hastings

Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) founder Reed Hastings told an investors conference Wednesday that he “can live without” renewing a deal for streaming rights from Starz, which deliver movies from Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Sony (NYSE: SNE). Talking up the growth of TV on his service, Hastings is essentially signaling Netflix is now just as much a TV service as it for movies—if not more so.

“It is not essential to our success,” Hastings said at the Barclay Global Technology conference in San Francisco (audio here).

As Netflix transitions its business from snail mail to streaming, the Starz deal has been seen as a crucial piece of the puzzle. BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield has written a few times about the “must have” Starz deal, which is scheduled to expire in October 2011, because it was responsible for “50% of its freshest movies.”

Given speculation that Netflix would have to pay nearly 10 times the $30 million it paid, taking the negotiations public may be Hastings way of getting the price down.

“The Starz deal turned out to be a great deal for us,” said Hastings. “We’ll try to renew it. But there’s no one piece of content that’s central for us.”

He drew a parallel to Showtime Networks moving on without its core movie supplier Paramount Pictures a few years ago—though Showtime has since built up a robust roster of original programming, a direction Netflix has indicated it has no interest of going.

Ironically, he noted that without a new deal with Netlix, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht could find himself without the funding that would help him invest in original programming for the brand.

But Hastings described TV as a “big expansion for us,” noting that in the broader media universe, TV consumption dwarfs that of movies. “We’re just catching up,” he quipped, suggesting that movies are just a base on which Netflix is building.

Netflix has also been aggressive about adding to its TV content library, signing a slew of new deals. Just today Netflix signed a broad deal with Disney-ABC Television Group, and already has a deal of similar scale with NBC (NYSE: GE) Universal’s broadcast and cable channels.

Netflix spent $1.2 billion on securing streaming rights this year, according to the company’s filings.


Rush Limbaugh Jokingly Calls Liberals Racist, Al Sharpton Laughing All The Way To The FCC

The gloves are coming off between two heavy hitters and the result could get ugly.  Al Sharpton launched the opening shot by announcing plans to meet with the FCC to get Rush Limbaugh and his allegedly racist comments regulated.  Sharpton returned to MSNBC’s Ed Show to talk about his next steps, which include circulating a petition amongst members of Congress and publicizing who is and who is not in favor of curbing racist comments on federally regulated airwaves.

A little over two years ago, the tone between the two larger-than-life personalities seemed somewhat respectful as Sharpton said in a New York Times Magazine profile of Limbaugh:

Rush is a lot smarter and craftier than Don Imus. Limbaugh puts things in a way that he can’t be blamed for easy bigotry. Some of the songs he does about me just make me laugh. But he’s the most dangerous guy we have to deal with on the right, including O’Reilly and Imus. They come at you with an ax. He uses a razor.

However, it seems that relationship has changed and now Sharpton is fighting back with his own random metaphorical weapon (blowdryer maybe?).  What probably motivated Sharpton was Rush’s consistent harsh criticism of President Obama, but what is likely lost on Sharpton (or purposefully ignored), is that Rush’s insults of Obama have nothing to do with the fact that he is black, and everything to do with the fact that he is a liberal, and in Rush’s view, fabulously unsuccessful President.  Rush himself hints at this in the clip Ed Schultz plays, where Rush humorously concludes all liberals must be racist because they are now criticizing Obama on the tax compromise, and since in the past any conservative criticism of Obama was always dismissed as racist.

Both Schultz and Sharpton apparently do not find Rush funny and Sharpton declares that although Rush has the right to be absurd, he does not have the right to be racist.  All of this is somewhat surprising coming from Sharpton who usually embraces debate as a frequent guest on conservative talk shows, but apparently is now eager to run to the principal’s office and have the FCC or Congress do the fighting on his behalf.  Sharpton concludes:

You’re going to tell me it’s alright to get up and by any way you want, explicit or implicit, just offend people based on their race or their gender or their sex?  I think that we’ve got to have a standard across the board in government how we use these airwaves and I’m determined to make sure we have that standard.

Watch the clip from MSNBC’s The Ed Show below:

Mediaite’s Colby Hall Discusses If Julian Assange Is A Hero Or Villain On Fox News

Mediaite Managing Editor  Colby Hall joined Shepard Smith on Studio B to discuss the ongoing intrigue surrounding Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks story.  What fascinated Shep was that this story did not break along traditional party lines, and Hall agreed, noting that since the extremes of both sides of the political spectrum were ultimately in favor of transparency, it is hard to determine whether Assange will ultimately be viewed as a hero or a villain.

Shep also wondered why the media has focused more on the messenger of the news, instead of the actual information being disclosed.  Hall explained the fascination with the story due to the “healthy amount of skepticism towards government right now” and since “people aren’t comfortable with the government holding secrets.”  What Shep fails to realize though is that if the media did not focus on the messenger, then he would be deprived of the opportunity to have fun elongating the pronunciation of “Assange” in his uniquely humorous way.

Watch the clip from FOX News Channel’s Studio B below:

Glenn Beck Demands Apology From Forbes Magazine For Soros Comments

Today on his show, Glenn Beck seemed particularly irked (and funny). One thing that was getting his dander up the most, was an article on entitled “Soros Warns U.S. Could Be On Verge Of Dictatorial Democracy, Slams Fox, Glenn Beck” and, most of all, its assertion that the host had been “falsely vilifying Soros publicly.” Beck was so angry that he demanded an apology from Forbes. Pretty interesting. What’s more interesting, is imagining whether or not this will be broached next Saturday at 11am during Forbes on Fox.

First, Beck went after the author of the post, Robert Lenzner, by pointing out that he’d written multiple pro-George Soros posts before, including one on the Huffington Post entitled “In Defense of George Soros.” He then continued:

“And the most egregious statement, from Forbes Magazine, is one that I would either like proof of or an apology from Forbes. In fact, I think I may demand one. Yes, I’m going to. That I ‘falsely vilified’ Soros. Forbes Magazine, show it or apologize. I’d like to know exactly what I lied about. ‘Falsely vilified?’ Really? What did I lie about here? Because I have no idea because there’s not one piece of evidence presented to back up your claim. Forbes, really? Are you down to this now? Times getting tough? I used to think you had credibility.”

Ouch. We’ll see if this causes any internal strife over at Fox. Will it be like The Simpsons vs. Fox News, where everyone just takes their shots and collects their money, or will this be Fox’s version of Keith Olbermann vs. Donny Deutsch? Only time will tell.

Check out the clip from Fox News below:

Report: Sarah Palin Under Cyber Attack From Hackers In Support Of WikiLeaks

ABC News’ Jake Tapper is reporting that Sarah Palin’s website and personal credit card information “were cyber-attacked today by Wikileaks supporters” according to an email received from the former Alaskan governor. Earlier today reports surfaced of hackers from the infamous “Anonymous” group connected to the 4chan message boards attacking major institutions such as Mastercard, ostensibly in retaliation for their treatment of Wikileaks.

Tapper reports in his Political Punch blog:

Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange’s antics,” Palin emailed. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

Palin has criticized Wikileaks founder Assange, writing on Facebook that his “past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?…Assange is not a ‘journalist’ any more than the ‘editor’ of al-Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a ‘journalist.’ He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.”

This is not the first time that Ms. Palin’s personal Internet accounts have been breached by a hackers as her email account was hacked into during the 2008 presidential election. Developing.

Moved To Tears: Oprah Tells ABC’s Barbara Walters: “I’m Not Lesbian”

Daytime TV Queen–and soon to be cable channel honcho–Oprah Winfrey can talk to anyone about anything, but rarely opens up about her own life. So it was all the more surprising when she broke down during an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters.

In an excerpt from her upcoming A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter, which airs Thursday night on ABC, Walters asked about the unusual bond between Oprah and best friend Gayle King. “She is … the mother I never had. She is … the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves. I don’t know a better person. I don’t know a better person,” said Oprah, who frustrated herself by crying when she apparently had decided ahead of the interview she would not.

Following up, Walters asked about “those…dumb rumors” that Winfrey and King are gay:

“I’m not a lesbian … I’m not even kind of a lesbian,” Winfrey said. “And the reason why it irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I’m lying. That’s number one. Number two … why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life.”

Oprah also revealed she had some doubts about her soon-to-launch network, OWN:

“At first, I thought, ‘Great, a network. Oh, gee, this is the dream I had.’ And … as that started to settle in with me, I thought, ‘Whoa! What is this I’ve gotten myself into? This is a lot more work than I ever imagined,’” Winfrey told Walters.

Winfrey said that taking on a whole new network is frightening.

“I was very scared … I would wake up in the middle of the night literally like clutching my chest, like, ‘What have I done? What have I done?’” she recalled.

Watch the interview here, from ABC: