Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not carrying water: Laura Ingraham defends President Obama and attacks the GOP

Much was made about President Obama's politically incorrect gaffe during his appearance on Jay Leno, the first appearance of its kind by a sitting President . It is telling of two things; 1) Obama's broad appeal as a "Celebrity President" which troubles critics like Rush Limbaugh who worry that "Celebrity" is the oeprative word rather than "President". 2) Obama is returning to his proven "campaign mode" to charm people turned off by the Administrations' governing.

Though the appearance was meant to be a charming distraction away from the political wrangling in Washington. It instead created headlines when the relaxed President Obama made a joke about the 'Special Olympics'.

Many conservatives used this moment to pounce on President Obama. Less so on the charge that the President was insenstive towards the handicapped but instead pointing to the double standard of condemnation had a conservative said the same thing.

One Conserative pundit that didn't join her colleagues' condemnation of President Obama was Laura Ingraham. This was due in large part to the outrage she herself was the center of, making politically incorrect statements made in jest. Discussing the matter she said:
The President on the Razzle Dazzle tour out in Los Angeles and this is gonna surprise maybe many of you - Big deal! OK? This is what we were talking about with the absurd reaction to our riff on Meghan McCain last week. People sending snippets and sending them around, "Oh this means that he doesn't like disabled people" (referring to President Obama), "This means that she doesn't like plus sized models" (referring to herself). What?! This finally shows that maybe he does have a sense of humour... but guess what the left would never jump on him for this. Maybe they'll get him into a little trouble.
Listen and download Laura Ingraham defending Obama on his politically incorrect comment on 'Leno'

It was a show of consistency for Laura Ingraham who had spent the week minimising the faux outrage created by her statements towards Meghan McCain. You might be forgiven for thinking that Laura Ingraham was only willing to defend President Obama because it served her interests. Interestingly she has been complimentary towards Obama in other ways, whilst still asserting her opposition.
You know I've decided you have to say something nice about somebody everyday. If you're gonna have criticism you're going to have to say something nice. He [Barack Obama] has beautiful posture, I like people who sit up straight. Square shoulders.
Whilst being soft on Obama Laura Ingraham voices her criticism towards the GOP political leadership. Citing conservative Talk Radio and a few Republicans on Capitol Hill as the lone opposition to the Obama Administration.
I'm done carrying the water for these Republicans! Not that I ever did because look at what we did with the Bush administration and got me on the persona non grata list. But these Republicans can't get out of their own way. Obama is vulnerable... I am beginning to think that they are constitutionally incapable of offering a meaningful opposition... Talk Radio has been the meaningful opposition.
Listen and download Laura Ingraham being critical of the GOP's response to the Obama budget

This is by no means telling of a shift in Laura Ingraham's allegiances. But shows that she is willing to stake a position that is not always predictably ideological but still serves to her advantage.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Will Glenn Beck dethrone Bill O'Reilly?

Glenn Beck's star has risen since moving to FoxNews. You could argue that Beck has even been outshining Bill O'Reilly with his own brand of outrage, theatrics, populism and good humour. It was this combination of traits coupled with his bullying presence that made me consider O'Reilly as a perfect template for the 'pro-wrestler' pundit. Glenn Beck has shown he is equally formidable, just cut from a different mold. Instead of the belligerent kind Bill O'Reilly or Mark Levin typify, Glenn Beck is of the shrewd, weaselly variety. His wrestling equivalents would be Ric Flair or Chris Jericho.

One of Bill O'Reilly's more interesting traits is his self deprecating and jocular side. He has played this up in recent years with his sparring with David Letterman and regular segments with now-conservative comedian Dennis Miller. I always found the "jovial" Bill O'Reilly a little awkward, his size, booming voice and quick temper whilst having the potential for good dead-pan instead comes off forced.

Glenn Beck on the other hand, with his constant voice inflections and facial contortions has a more natural comedic style about him. This also softens his potential for gravitas. Glenn is so natural with his theatrics (he "cries" on air frequently) that it's sometimes difficult to separate whether he is showing genuine emotion or just playing one towards a given topic. With Bill O'Reilly there is no question about his earnestness or conviction to what he says. To be fair, Glenn does play it straight with heartfelt monologues to his audience.

Glenn like Bill also has his own comedy segment. Partnering with humorist Brian Sack, Beck convincingly demonstrates his comedy chops.
- Find all of Brian Sack's appearances on Glenn Beck at his website.

In this exchange on 'The O'Reilly Factor' between Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, Bill plays the voice of reason. Happily conceding he's not the crazy one.

VIDEO: Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck on Revolution and Depression
GLENN BECK: Alright let's just lay all the cards out on the table, I'm full fledged crazy nuts. You know it and I know it so here it is. This is what's coming America - Depression and Revolution. That's what's coming
BILL O'REILLY: Alright -
GLENN BECK: They're gonna eat the rich and they're starting with you...
(Glenn cracks up laughing)
BILL O'REILLY: Why am I putting this man on the air, so are you selling muscats now?... It's not Glenn Beck anymore its Huey-Newton Beck
Watch an example of Glenn in his full glory, displaying a myriad of facial expressions and presenting Obama's "Socialist America" with his brand of theatre.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck on Obama's "Change" - Socialism

Ratings have already hinted that Glenn Beck might soon usurp Bill O'Reilly. I have talked previously about how Bill O'Reilly has pivoted more to the center, in anticipation of a popular Obama presidency. It seems, at least ratings wise doing the opposite is proving to be more rewarding.

Friday, March 27, 2009

White House correspondents and CNN's Ed Henry targetted by Rush Limbaugh and Barack Obama

CNN's senior White House correspondent Ed Henry has been in smackdowns in recent days with arguably the two most powerful men in America, President Barack Obama and RadioTalker Rush Limbaugh.

Watch a full clip from the Presidential Press Conference

VIDEO: Barack Obama smacks down CNN's Ed Henry

Ed Henry appeared on CNN's 'Anderson Cooper 360' to talk about the exchange. Commenting on Obama's temper and reinforcing the conservative meme of Obama's reliance on the teleprompter.

VIDEO: CNN's Ed Henry VS President Obama on AIG bonuses
Ed Henry in a seemingly self-indulgent op-ed also reiterated his take on his exchange with President Obama:
Behind the scenes: Ed Henry's take on exchange with Obama
Still early, so nobody had asked AIG yet. Plus my "sidebar" question now seemed off-point so early in a newser focused on the economic pain in the nation.

The pressure was on now because the president had called on me. Someone handed me a microphone, millions were watching, and it's scary to think about changing topic in a split second because you might get flustered and screw up.

But it's fun to gamble and like any good quarterback (though I was never athletic enough to actually play the position), I decided to call an audible...
Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson and Keith Olbermann touched on this Ed Henry/Obama stoush. Reliably it inflates things in favor of President Obama but Eugene uses a nice basketball analogy. It's interesting as the way Ed Henry wrote his op-ed was reminiscent of how a young boy would imagine their dream encounter with their basketball hero.

Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller has their say on Ed Henry, Dennis Miller bring up the "off-teleprompter" meme and suggest President Obama develop some Rhino skin. Bill O'Reilly manages to make it about himself again whilst making a valid point.

VIDEO: Miller & O'Reilly on the Ed Henry/Obama exchange

Though in no way as direct, Rush Limbaugh rhetorically called on Ed Henry and took White House Correspondents to task.

VIDEO: Rush Limbaugh to CNN's Ed Henry - "Ed, you're a butt-boy."
Ed Henry has made great headway in developing a profile amongst viewers and bloggers by being talked about by the punditocracy. But if Dennis Miller and Rush Limbaugh are to be believed, the real winner seems to be ABC's Jake Tapper. Commended unprompted by both talkers as the most diligent White House Correspondent (and Obama challenger) today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Villain politician Rod Blagojevich now a Radio Talker

Rod Blagojevich radio
Radio Talker Rod Blagojevich
When you're seeking work and you happen to be one of America's biggest heel (villain) politicians. There are two places that might accept you, where your otherwise repulsive reputation might actually become an asset. The first being 'pro-wrestling'. The second, Talk Radio.
Blagojevich hosts WLS morning radio show
Former governor Rod Blagojevich took to the airwaves Wednesday morning, lashing out at the politicians who booted him out of his job and admitting he wishes he still was the governor.

Filling in for Don Wade and Roma on WLS 890-AM, Blagojevich chatted with a few sympathetic callers as well as former Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti, comedian D.L. Hughley and two actors from Second City who star in the wildly popular "Rod Blagojevich Superstar."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maher, Olbermann, Levin, Maron, Shep Smith: Public Enemy Number one Glenn Beck

There is a truism that the bigger you get the larger a target you become. The fastest rising star in the APF, Glenn Beck has been taking fire from all sides.

Glenn's Fox stablemate, Shepard Smith playfully ribbed Glenn on his theatrical presentation. Fellow Fox news anchor Chris Wallace also adds in his two cents. This is indicative of the types of critique Glenn Beck has been receiving from his peers, a mix of respect, jealousy and dread for his meteoric rise.
SHEPARD SMITH: We are not sure what Glenn's "We Surround Them, You Are Not Alone" super-special episode is about, today, but it involves a giant satellite dish and a call from Glenn in "the fear chamber."
VIDEO: Shep Smith goofs on Glenn Beck - "Fear Chamber"

Conservative Pundit Mark Levin has alluded to his disdain (perhaps jealousy) towards Glenn. Liberal talker Marc Maron is fearful of Beck's craven ambition. Most recently Bill Maher with guest panelist Keith Olbermann expressed their concern for Beck's influence and messaging.

VIDEO: Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann on Glenn Beck + Beck's response
Maher: Glenn Beck Increasing Chance of 'Horrible Action' on Obama
BILL MAHER, HOST: Listening to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck these days, I cannot figure out whether these right-wingers are more dangerous when they're in power or when they're out of power. Because when they're out of power, their paranoia goes off the charts. This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn't even give him the time of day except he's a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe him, and he's talking about FEMA concentration camps. He says, "We are headed towards socialism, totalitarianism beyond your wildest imagination." But apparently not beyond his wildest imagination.
- Read an astute listeners' posting on Mark Levin's contempt for Glenn beck - Mark's "hate-on" for Glenn Beck
Listen to Levin taking a shot at Beck at the top of his monologue on the origins of Economic disaster - Economic Disaster: How did we get here?
MARK LEVIN: I remember I had said it a few weeks a go because some jerk on Cable TV repeats everything I say. The guy with tourettes
- Listen and download audio of Marc Maron ripping into Glenn Beck
MARC MARON:just underneath all that sappy bullsh*t is a populist demagogue willing to exploit and mine people's fear through fearmongering and bizarre insane leadership qualities that come from a broken man who has rebuilt himself in the form of a giant angry baby demanding that America parent it, if only it would do what it says

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rush Limbaugh on President Obama as Pop-Culture-Celebrity-in-Chief

Rush Limbaugh makes an interesting argument about one of the most dangerous things an Obama Presidency might wreak. Whilst most of the criticism for Obama's young Presidency can be chalked up to generic ideological complaints, Rush' critique of Obama's unprecedented popularity coupling with today's state of 'celebrity' is worth heeding.

president obama, magazines, rush limbaughThis blog is about the analogy that American Politics and Punditry is not unlike Pro-wrestling. Anyone familiar with pro-wrestling understands that wrestling ability is secondary to being a good wrestler. What's more valued is showmanship, charisma and one's ability to connect with the audience (love or hate). Similarly with Punditry, it is less about being prescient or precise and more about your ability to attract readers and provoke audiences. For politicians, less about policy than it is about mobilising and inspiring.

Rush Limbaugh on Barack Obama's celebrity
Vulgar Obama Acting Like a Pop Culture Celebrity, Not a President
What I really fear is that we have a culture in this country now that thinks this is what a president ought to do. I think we have a culture in this country that thinks that is cool, that finally the president is just like a real guy going on all these television shows like every other celebrity does, like every other pop culture icon does. So whereas you and I of a certain age and a certain generation have certain expectations and standards about what is presidential, it's changed with a lot of people. A lot of people think this is really neat and a lot of people think this is real cool. They don't care what Obama says. The fact that he went on the program shows that he's also a new president. He's in touch with us. He goes places that we watch...

Rush goes on to pinpoint why he believes it is effective to the masses
He's out circulating among the people. Because the people that voted for Obama wish they could go on these shows. They wish they could be on The Tonight Show. They wish they could get in the audience to see it. They don't care what he says. It's just he's there. They don't listen to what he says. All that matters is what they think he hears them say at a town hall...

All he's gotta do is listen. "Mr. President, I love you! I love you!" All he has to do is act like he heard what she said. He's a pop culture celebrity. He is a man of very little substance. He's a man of show, a man of the teleprompter.

Rush seems to overreach in his closing argument, but ends with a worthwhile question
But when it comes to real substance, he's lost without the teleprompter. He's a walking gaffe machine -- and the reason they keep that teleprompter tied to him at all times is 'cause when he's off that teleprompter, in addition to the stutters and the lack of focus, you find out what's really in his mind, and find out what's really in his heart. This is an angry man. His wife's mad, too. And he's not cool. He's cold. This is a cold, cold guy. It takes the prompter to create the aura of feeling and compassion. Think about that. It takes an electronic gizmo with a hard drive that works with nothing but ones and zeros, the binary code, to give humanity. I know a lot of people think, "Rush, how can you say this? This is one of the most warm and sensitive people ever." This man is participating in the destruction of the concept of the individual...

I really wonder how many real Democrats are scared out of their pants over what they see happening.

To be fair politicians have always had a "lazy constituency" of people who voted based on trivial self-identification or knee-jerk ideology. Barack Obama with his historic place as the first Black President, his natural charisma as well as his masterful use of technology and networking through his time as a community organizer has been able to activate a larger chunk of these disengaged voters.

If the right could mobilise a similar constituency they wouldn't be refuse it. RNC Chairman Michael Steele has said as much.
There is certainly envy at play here. Remember GOP Presidential nominee John McCain began as a formidably popular challenge to Barack Obama due to his own celebrity status.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stephen Colbert in a freestyle rap battle with Michael Steele - with lyrics

This may go down as one of the funniest clips of the Colbert Report ever. The rap battle finally took place between Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Stephen Colbert. But not the way you might have imagined it going down.
Read Stephen Colbert's email to Michael Steele challenging him to a rap battle

Like any good rap you'll need a varied knowledge base to get the references, in this case an understanding of current political memes and their players.

Video: Michael Steele's Rap Battle response
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Michael Steele's Rap Battle Response
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

Stephen Colbert's rap battle lyrics
Hey Mike Steele gonna steal the mic
with a flow so rich it'll get a tax hike,
Dropping rhymes' so fine it'll make you blush
and beats so phat you can call them 'Rush'
Oh say can you see by your mom's ugly face
We won't need Scalia to rule on this case
The Chairman is missing, call Nancy Grace
and crank up the Right wing Republican base

You better get a voucher cuz your rhymes are failin'
Your games' a dying moose and I'm Sarah Palin
You're gonna disappear like the Middle class
I'll take a penny out my loafer and put the rest up yo ass

In accordance with "Hip Hop's longstanding fairness doctorine", Stephen Colbert created Michael Steele's response by editing clips of the GOP Chairman:
Lyrics to Michael Steele' response to Stephen Colbert
1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2
Get ready to get knocked over
I have something to say, I'm not trying to play
Cut me a cheque for 25K, you want me to help the people of my state. Great.
Cuz I'm a Republican for goodness sake
The economy, the war, on issues that affect the poor
Go back to the streets, that's really the -- the heat of the meat
Bet on black, you get it done
You got the black Republican who grew up on Eight Street or DC, son
I've been a Republican since I was 17. I intend to run the RNC
Go back to my base, gettin' up in their face

Democrats tryin to mix us up and try to get us off track
OK whatever, that's whack
The democrats have got the swagger right now, swagger right now, swagger swagger right now
Whatever. The Democrats represent deflation, stagnation, obfuscation, taxation, triforcation
Reality check here, Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer
Oops my bad!
Hush hush, I like Rush you know
I'm focused on the cash flow, create the wealth. It's not a Stimulus bill, it's a bad, bad bill.
Drill baby Drill.

There was a Michael Steele before there was a Barack Obama
I was open to everything like yo mama
A ha, but seriously, trying to force a massive spending bill
I say to that "baloney", these numbnuts on Capitol Hill can blow me

Ha ha, you definitely got the beat down
How do yo like me now

Michael Steele's casual way of speaking definitely helped in creating a convincingly smooth Hip Hop edit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Howard Kurtz: Tucker Carlson, Stephanie Miller on Jon Stewart and "partisan hackery"

Recently Howard Kurtz hosted a panel that discussed the smackdown between CNBC's Jim Cramer and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. The panel also featured two APF pundits, conservative Tucker Carlson and liberal Stephanie Miller. It's notable because Tucker was on the receiving end of one Jon Stewart's most memorable smackdowns. Appearing on CNN's Crossfire co hosted by Tucker, Stewart condemned the show's format of combative "partisan hackery".

Understandably after Jim Cramer and CNBC's format was criticised by Stewart, Tucker used this opportunity to get back at Stewart labelling him a "partisan hack" and warning his "sanctimonious" tone will lead him to being considered "unfunny".

VIDEO: Stephanie Miller and Tucker Carlson scoring the basic cable
showdown between CNBC and Jon Stewart
Read a partial transcript of this panel discussion on CNN- State of the Union: Reliable Sources - Aired March 15, 2009

Watching Tucker Carlson speak of Jon Stewart, the common theme is Carlson's concern for Jon Stewart's "unfunniness"
TUCKER talking Jon Stewart with Howard Kurtz: He's [Jon Stewart] smart, he's talented but he's becoming so self-serious and sanctimonious that it's just a matter of time that he becomes unfunny
TUCKER defending himself on CNN's Crossfire: Wow I thought you were going to be funny. C'mon be funny.... Is this really Jon Stewart. What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating do you lecture people when you come over their house... I think that you're more fun on you show
VIDEO: Jon Stewart on Crossfire with Tucker Carlson

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meghan McCain and the Pundit women: Rachel Maddow, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham

Meghan McCain has been interacting with influential APF pundit women lately. After calling out Ann Coulter, she sat down with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to talk about it. This prompted Laura Ingraham to talk about Meghan, inserting snide comments regarding the young McCain's weight in her rebuke of her.
Listen and download Laura Ingraham's smackdown of Meghan McCain

This led to a counter by Meghan on the 'Daily Beast' on the "unecessary" dig on her weight
Quit Talking About My Weight, Laura Ingraham
Recently my not-size-0 body has come under fire again by the conservative pundit Laura Ingraham. On her radio show recently, she sarcastically commented that I was "too plus-sized to be a cast member on the television show The Real World" and needled me about my weight with a comment about Barbie's 50th anniversary. Instead of intellectually debating our ideological differences about the future of the Republican Party, Ingraham resorted to making fun of my age and weight, in the fashion of the mean girls in high school.
However it is this line by Meghan that I will be following up on
At this point, I have more respect for Ann Coulter than I do for Laura Ingraham because at least Coulter didn’t come back at me with heartless, substance-less attacks about my weight.
Ann Coulter, if she is anything like the wrestling heel (villain) I've claimed her to be will see this as a challenge. Unlike Rush Limbaugh who downplays his villainry ("I'm just your harmless, lovable little fuzzball", Ann has has built her reputation on her gleeful and gratuitous villainry. As Meghan said herself of Ann
My Beef With Ann Coulter
I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity. I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time.
Laura Ingraham has returned fire at Meghan, telling her to "toughen up" and inferring she was a "useful idiot".

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Daily Show: Jon Stewart's fight with CNBC's Jim Cramer

After Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer's rabble rousing speeches, enter Jon Stewart with his own impassioned commentary on the Global Financial Crisis. Jon Stewart targets financial/entertainment programming, singling out CNBC who he feels has been derelict in shining a light on Wall Street whilst the economic crisis was developing but were quick to place blame once it erupted.

Note the wrestling Style promotion for the feud between 'The Daily Show' and Jim Cramer
Cramer vs. Non-Cramer: Tale of the Tape
Intro - Brawl Street: Get Ready to Buy Low! And Sell Die (00:57)
The weeklong feud of the century finally comes to a head.
Intro - Brawl Street: Get Ready to Buy Low! And Sell Die

Jim Cramer Unedited Interview 1 of 3 (05:47)
Jim Cramer criticizes Rick Santelli's rant and admits he made his own mistakes, in this exclusive, uncensored video.

Jim Cramer Unedited Interview 2 of 3 (08:24)
Jon presents Jim Cramer with some old footage from his shady hedge fund days in this exclusive, uncensored video.

Jim Cramer Unedited Interview 3 of 3 (08:31)
Jim Cramer defends his role as a commentator on an entertainment show in this exclusive, uncensored video.

FoxNews covers Jon Stewart's dressing down of CNBC and Financial infotainment
Jon Stewart, Jim Cramer Face Off on 'Daily Show'
"I understand that you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a f*cking game," Stewart told Cramer, adding in an expletive during the show's Thursday taping. The episode was scheduled to air at 11 p.m. EDT on Comedy Central.

It was perhaps the hardest lashing Stewart has given to a TV commentator since 2004 when he called Tucker Carlson and his then co-host Paul Begala "partisan hacks" on CNN's "Crossfire," the since canceled political commentary program.

The program opened in mock hype of the confrontation, which caught headlines through the week as each snipped at the other over the air. The show announced it as "the weeklong feud of the century."

Rachel Maddow, Meghan McCain and Ann Coulter

Meghan McCain, daughter of estranged "independent" Republican and 2008 GOP Presidential nominee John McCain has picked a fight with the fearless Ann Coulter. Writing for the Daily Beast, Meghan writes:
My Beef With Ann Coulter by Meghan McCain
Coulter could be the poster woman for the most extreme side of the Republican Party. And in some ways I could be the poster woman for the opposite. I consider myself a progressive Republican, but here is what I don’t get about Coulter: Is she for real or not? Are some of her statements just gimmicks to gain publicity for her books or does she actually believe the things she says?...

More so than my ideological differences with Ann Coulter, I don’t like her demeanor. I have never been a person who was attracted to hate or negativity... But controversy sells and Coulter is nothing if not controversial. Everything about her is extreme: her voice, her interview tactics, and especially the public statements she makes about liberals. Maybe her popularity stems from the fact that watching her is sometimes like watching a train wreck...

Video: Rachel Maddow talks to Meghan McCain

Read Rachel's wrestling style setup
The Rachel Maddow Show - Wednesday, March 11
MADDOW: John McCain‘s daughter, Meghan McCain stepped into the political pundits Thunderdome this week when she took some shots at a person named Ann Coulter. Guess who inherited the maverick gene? Meghan McCain joins us next—my first ever McCain interview...

Meghan McCain talks about the chain of events she's set off with Ann Coulter
MADDOW: must have been and it must continue to be hard to see your dad criticized, especially with the sort of gloves off criticism that you get in a presidential campaign. But yet, in your career, you‘re picking a fight with Ann Coulter. I wonder if your reaction to seeing your dad in the arena, in the political arena in that way made you sort of want to be the one having those fights yourself—because you picked a fight with somebody who‘s definitely going to fight back.

MCCAIN: Yes. Well, if it was, you know, if it was too hot in the kitchen, I‘d get out. I know what I‘m doing. And I know that I‘m creating she probably will respond. She already has. But I‘m sure she‘ll respond harder...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pete Dominick in consideration for 10pm MSNBC slot

It has come to my attention that 'Sirius/XM' RadioTalker Pete Dominick has thrown his hat in the ring for the heavily contested 10pm MSNBC slot.

This has been a much talked about slot with liberals Sam Seder and Cenk Uygur (Young Turks) getting most of the attention for their grassroots support and campaigning.

Pete Dominick, considers himself an "independent" but more precisely an "indie-vidual". Pete would bring MSNBC a broader and less partisan perspective and fanbase. Of all the "wrestling pundits" on the APF roster, Pete is the least likely to adopt the sensational theatrical style for television that have made pundits like Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann popular

You can find Pete Dominick's newly revamped website here - Stand Up! with Pete Dominick

Listen to my interview with Pete Dominick here
Listen to my interview with Sam Seder here

More news to as it comes to hand.

Laura Ingraham with Congressman Mike Pence

Download the audio between Laura Ingraham and Congressman Mike Pence
LAURA INGRAHAM: What they're trying to do is the Ol' Razzle Dazzle. One the one side "The Republicans are fighting with Rush Limbaugh la la la" Steele, Cantor and all these people

MIKE PENCE: It's ridiculous!

LAURA INGRAHAM: Forget it! You know what's happening? This country is being destroyed from within and they want us to be distracted by what you're saying about Rush or what Rush is saying about Steele. Who cares. None of that matters. What matters is we're being destroyed from within. That's the passion gap. We need the passion of Rick Santelli, Congressman, within the Republican party. That's what we need.

MIKE PENCE: Let me tell you something else... we need passion about defending the right of every American. Whether it's Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or the guy down the street...

LAURA INGRAHAM: We need to question the Almighty!

MIKE PENCE: to criticise those in authority

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fox News' Red Eye on Ann Coulter and Keith Olbermann's "College Catfight"

Ann Coulter dedicated a recent article to taunting Keith Olbermann
These small-time opportunities to show off by correcting someone else's teeny-tiny mistakes are the lifeblood of Olbermann's MSNBC show, "Countdown."...

There is utterly no purpose to these lame "gotchas," except that Olbermann is so desperately insecure that he is willing to waste valuable airtime in order to convince other status-conscious idiots that he is, like, scary-smart.

Olbermann relentlessly attacked low-level Bush administration employee Monica Goodling for not going to a name-dropping college...

I would venture to say that the students at Goodling's law school at Regent University are far more impressive than those at the Cornell agriculture school -- the land-grant, non-Ivy League school Keith attended.
Fox News' 'Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld' covered the feud, commenting on Olbermann's counter to Coulter Greg quipped "he's so pleased with himself"

VIDEO: 'Red Eye' - Olbermann, Coulter battle over Cornell credentials
ANN COULTER: If you are the most pompous communications major from an Ag[ricultural] school maybe you shouldn't be making fun of other people's academic achievements

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rachel Maddow appears on 'The View' (March 5, 2009)

Liberal Television and Radio talker, Rachel Maddow made her first appearance on 'The View'

The ladies talked about Obama's handling of the economy, Republican messaging and her transition to television.

VIDEO: Rachel Maddow on Rush Limbaugh's challenge to President Obama
RACHEL MADDOW: I think Rush Limbaugh is very successful and very smart. The idea that the President would actually debate him is hilarious. The idea that I would ask somebody on the Republican Party to debate me and demand to debate me -- of course it would be great for me but it would be stupid for any politician
Find out more about Rush' challenge to Obama. As to Maddow's assertions that it would be stupid for a politician to take the bait, it's happened before.
- Hannity was unsuccessful in booking a debate, but was at least acknowledged by President Obama
- Mark Levin successfully goaded Democratic politicians, Congressman Maurice Hinchey and William Delahunt to appear on his show

Red Dawn: Sam Seder on Rush Limbaugh and GOP talking points

Break Room Live Video: GOP Rules from the Red Dawn Oracle
Never ever refer to El Rushbo as an entertainer. He can refer to himself as an entertainer but you must refer to him as "El Rushbo" or the "lovable fuzzball" or the "pilonidal cyst" or simply sir
Break Room Live Video: GOP's Red Dawn Talking Point (Stimulus Spending)
Now if any Lib lover bring up any stuff like the Post Office, Highway workers, federal agencies, policeman or fireman or military. Any of that stuff to prove that the jobs are created by the Government, you know the truth
Some comedy inspired by the "violent" 80's movie 'Red dawn', about the fictional invasion and guerrilla resistance of the US.

Rush extends invitation to debate President Obama

rush limbaugh, invitation, debate, president obama Sean Hannity did similar to then Senator Obama during the Presidential campaign, now Rush Limbaugh is challenging President Obama to a debate. Being anointed as the de facto leader of the Republican Party, Rush took the frame to its logical conclusion. Proposing a head-to-head with the Democratic President and most powerful man in the world.

Like Sean Hannity's ploy, it's first and foremost a marketing exercise. Entirely consistent with Rush Limbaugh's media strategy.
Scared Liberals Flood Phone Lines
CALLER: Yes or no: Are you willing to debate the future of this nation and defend your position, one-on-one -- in primetime, national television -- with a prominent Democrat, whether it's Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, whoever?...
RUSH: I establish the terms. The terms are the president of the United States. It's he who is attacking me...
CALLER: So it has to be on your terms that you will defend your position, and -- and you want to convince everybody in the nation that you're right, as long as it's on narrowly defined terms.
RUSH: Why would I want to give a television network, any television network -- which for the last number of years has done its best to trash me...
CALLER: Well, wait a minute! I thought it was about what's best for the nation.
RUSH: It is. It is.
CALLER: It kinda sounds like what's best for Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: It is...
CALLER: Convince people you're right. Are you willing to do it or not?
A basic rule in wrestling or any fighting sport is "never challenge an opponent that is your lesser". Whilst Rush has an awesome amount of influence and a constituency that rivals almost any politician, as a Radio personality he is no equal to the American President. Especially a popular one.

Rush will no doubt accuse President Obama of cowardice in the likely event that he ignores the challenge. Rush made a similar taunt to Obama with his alternate Stimulus plan proposal with only moderate fanfare. Ultimately these storylines vanish as soon as the challenged stops giving the challenger the oxygen and attention it craves.

But what would happen if the stronger opponent called the challengers bluff (or took the bait depending on how you look at it)? This is how it looks when wrestling does it:

VIDEO: Santino Marella calls out Stone Cold Steve Austin

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WWE Wrestler JBL on the Government Stimulus

I've been highlighting wrestling style promos recently from politicians and pundits. Notably this onslaught from Lansing Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero and this call-and-response rabble-rousing from CNBC Pundit Rick Santelli.

It doesn't stop there. As HotAir profiles, CNBC's Jim Cramer gives a deranged promo that would make WWE wrestler 'Edge' blush:
Video: Cramer goes nuclear on Obama, White House rips Cramer
I think he’s worked up here but I can’t tell for sure: Much like Glenn Beck, because his default state is one of unnerving intensity, it’s hard to tell when he feels passionately about something from when he’s behaving normally. But here he is on last night’s show, teetering between Hayekian wisdom and madness in laying blame for the Dow’s downturn at the feet of Zeus’s Olympian throne.
VIDEO: Jim Cramer blasts the Obama Administration

John Bradshaw Layfield, jbl, politics, conservativeIf you're after a wrestling style promo on matters of money from a real money man and industrialist. You can't beat John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL). He's the real deal - a wrestler AND money man!

Government Stimulus or Stealing?
Every senator and congressmen who backs this bill should be indicted for stealing from the American people. There is no excuse for this, we aren't allowed to steal from them-and we shouldn't be. They shouldn't be allowed to steal from us.

How does Barney Frank sit on TV and say he is proud of signing a bill that endorses theft? These guys are supposed to be so knowledgeable and can oversee this thing, why didn't they see AIG, why didn't they see Merril was a bad deal? Why were they investigating steroids in baseball when this whole thing was unfolding? And for those of you that think I am just picking on democrats, you are a partisan idiot-I am picking on the entire legislative branch of the past 3 administrations...
If you'd like to hear JBL talking politics, find him on his radio show on WebTalkRadio - The John Layfield Show

Monday, March 2, 2009

Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh: Feuding and "taking the bait"?

There has been an attempt by liberal pundits and Democratic strategists in recent months to marginalise the minority Republicans by associating them with popular but divisive figures like Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh.

There has been considerable success with this strategy. Some Republican congressmen have publicly denounced Rush, only to grovel for his forgiveness once they receive the backlash that comes with crossing him. Rush with his audience of 20 million listeners is a useful and necessary ally for Conservative Politicians. The brilliance of this Democratic strategy is that it paints Conservatives in a corner.

The latest to face the test was Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Michael Steele.

VIDEO: RNC's Michael Steele calls Limbaugh's Comments "Incendiary and Ugly"
Michael Steele appearing on DL Hughley's show on CNN's
HUGHLEY: Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party --
STEELE: No, he's not.

HUGHLEY: Well, I'll tell you what, I've never --
STEELE: I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

HUGHLEY: Then you know what? Then I can appreciate that, but no -- no one will -- will actually pry down some of the things he says, like when he comes out and says that he wants the president to fail, I understand he wants liberalism to fail.

STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency? Let's put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, the whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary, yes, it's ugly --
Rush explains that Michael Steel has taken the bait by accepting the media's false premise.

The irony is that Rush has taken the bait also. By calling attention to the trap Michael Steele stepped on, Rush activated a trap of his own by starting a feud that the media can report on as a "Conservative civil war".
A Few Words for Michael Steele
RUSH: Okay, so I am an entertainer, and I have 20 million listeners, 22 million listeners because of my great song-and-dance routines here. Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it...

My parents taught me when I was growing up that you always stood behind people who defended you, you never abandoned people who stood up for you and who defended you against assault...
One of them was Michael Steele, who thanked me very much for coming to his defense. Something's happened. Now I'm just an entertainer and now I am ugly and my program is incendiary.
Rush is astute enough to know that he is stepping on this trap. On his website, Rush sarcastically labeled his response to Michael Steele "Drive-Bys, click here for a response to the RNC chair" knowing the media would be trolling to find information on it.

Lest you think it is Rush's narcissism that leads him to "take the bait", but as he explained in a very early interview it's all part of his media strategy:
Rush Limbaugh explaining 'How Talk Radio Works'
I want people to call because they are reacting to what's happening on my program. Not what happened yesterday on somebody else's. Not what happened on the guy before me. If I'm not stirring them up and that doesn't mean being negative and pounding them. if I'm not making them compelled to call, I'm not doing my job that's the way I look at it.

I set myself up as the expert. I want to be the reason people listen in to my program. They way I react to the guests, the way things might happen on my program. The things I might say and the things I might do.
As quickly as it began, Michael Steele has already apologized to Rush. APF pundits Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter have already begun knocking Michael Steele.
HotAir (with Politico) has more:
Steele to Rush: I’m sorry; Update: Beck, Coulter knock Steele
"My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh," Steele said in a telephone interview. "I was maybe a little bit inarticulate.
There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership."...

"I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking," Steele said...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fox Anchor Gregg Jarrett VS Lansing Michigan Mayor Virgil Bernero

This promo cut by Lansing Michigan Mayor, Virg Bernero could be considered a cousin to this rabble-rousing rant by Rick Santelli.

Gregg Jarrett asked the Mayor a series questions regarding the failing economy and its implaications to the Automotive industry and the Unions

VIDEO: Mayor Virg Bernero of Lansing Michigan with Fox Anchor Greg Jarrett
The Mayor cuts a passionate (some would consider premeditated) promo. It was effectively executed, catching the Fox Anchor flatfooted and desperately managing the embarrassment.

Watch Fox Anchor Greg Jarret incredulously making faces and trying to contain the Mayor:
GREGG JARRETT: 1) Mr Mayor, let me stop you there because that wasn't my question. You know? But now that you bring it up...

2) OK Mr Mayor, that wasn't my question and I'm sorry you were offended by it. But now that you bring it up...

3) Mr Mayor, you and I... There must be a disconnect in our Skype webcam because I asked you about paycuts and you're talking about healthcare...

4) Can I get a question in here? I asked about a paycut for workers. Not healthcare. But now that you've brought up healthcare. Let me put it this way...

5) Alright Mr Mayor, it's a television show. Not a campaign speech. You're not the Eveready battery. Calm down, we're just having a discussion here. Mayor Bernero of Lansing Michigan. Thank You very much
Sam Seder played the video on his show 'Break Room Live', commenting unflatteringly on the Fox Anchor's ploy
Break Room Live - February 24, 2009
SAM SEDER: What's the name of the fat guy interviewing him?... what a tool. (projecting) "We didn't have you on here to state your position, Why are you getting all passionate about this?" It's fantastic to watch these guys, what happens with these Fox guys. They must have -- that must be the go to thing right? I've just been embarrassed and so now I'm going to try and make you look like you were just too excited to embarrass me. Or something to that effect, right?
Listen to audio of Sam Seder discussing the smackdown by Mayor Virg Bernero - Break Room Live excerpt (Feb 24, 2009)

"Rabble Rouser" Rick Santelli on CNBC

VIDEO: Rick Santelli - Rabble Rouser and Revolutionary Leader
RICK SANTELLI (on stock Market floor): ...give them to people [stimulus money] who might actually have the chance to prosper down the road and reward people that can carry the water instead of just drink the water

Unknown trader on the floor says facetiously "that's a novel idea. What?! Who thought of that?" Followed by wild applause from the guys on the floor

JOE in studio: Rick they're like putty in your hands
RICK: No they're not Joe. They're not like putty in our hands. This is America! (Yelling to the floor) "How many of you people want to pay your neighbour's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills. Raise your hand?"

The crowd boo loudly in response

JOE: It's like mob rule here, I'm getting scared...
WILBUR: Rick I congratulate you as your new incarnation of revolutionary leader...
It's an entertaining and fascinating piece of video, reminiscent of a wrestling promo with the call and response elements. The Rick Santelli rant getting quite a bit of play understandably for the critics of the Administration's stimulus plan.

It's worth noting that together with the "overreaching neighbours" and "misguided politicians" Santelli is demonising, the "aloof men" on Wall Street who were living lavishly in times of precarious prosperity figure highly as villain culprits also. These characters surround Santelli so it creates an awkward and unconvincing visual that might give pause for viewers on board with Rick's Santelli's sentiment.

As CrooksandLiars points out, Rick Santelli may have been misguided in his own judgment in the past - Rick Santelli said the economy was healthy right before it crashed

Read a previous post on the players of the economic meltdown, including perspectives from the rich and poor, the winners and losers.

Stephen Colbert: Republicans compare Barack Obama to robin Hood

I've previously discussed how President Obama is seen as a "face". A "face" in wrestling terms is a hero, someone the crowd wants to cheer for. Republicans have tried to demonise Obama by highlighting what they see as an unfair tax policy. A policy President Obama re-emphasised in his first Address to a joint session of Congress.
Transcript: Obama's Speech To Congress
In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. (Applause.) Now, let me be clear -- let me be absolutely clear, because I know you'll end up hearing some of the same claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: If your family earns less than $250,000 a year -- a quarter million dollars a year -- you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: Not one single dime. (Applause.) Not a dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut -- that's right, a tax cut -- for 95 percent of working families. And by the way, these checks are on the way. (Applause.)

As Stephen Colbert astutely points out, the Republicans' labelling of Obama as 'Robin Hood' might not have the desired affect of turning people against him.

Video: Stephen Colbert on President Obama's "Robin Hood tax policies"

STEPHEN COLBERT: Brilliant strategy Republicans, capture the hearts of the the people by comparing Obama to unpopular villain Robin Hood. Yeah, you see... Republicans understand that Americans love law and order. That's why we read those bedtime stories to our kids about that brave Sheriff of Nottingham and his tireless attempt to keep Robin Hood from legalising marriage between Merry men

Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh: Speeches at CPAC

#1 and #8 on the UK Telegraph's Top Ten list of Anti-Obama Conservatives, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter respectively spoke on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Video: Rush Limbaugh delivers CPAC speech(Part 1 of 10)

Read a full transcript of Rush Limbaugh's speech:
Rush's First Televised Address to the Nation: CPAC speech
RUSH: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you all. I can't tell you how wonderful that makes me feel. It happens everywhere I go, but it's still special here. [ Laughter ] If you all will indulge me, I learned something, I guess, it's early Friday morning that I didn't know. Friday morning is when I learned this. I learned that Fox, God love them, is televising this speech on the Fox News Channel, which means, ladies and gentleman, this is my first ever address to the nation. [Applause]

- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (1 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (2 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (3 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (4 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (5 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (6 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (7 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (8 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (9 of 10)
- Rush Limbaugh delivers speech at CPAC (10 of 10)

Video: Ann Coulter delivers CPAC speech (1 of 3)

ANN COULTER: It's interesting how Obama's adorers in the press keep comparing him to Lincoln and Reagan. Apparently they can't think of a Democrat president worthy of being compared to [wild applause]

One interesting point, like any good entertainer Ann Coulter used the exposure to cross promote her event with friend Bill Maher
Speaking of which I will be debating Bill Maher in New York Boston and Chicago. March 9, 10 and 11. Any of you can come.