Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Fox News (1-10 of 16)

All the 2012 Presidential debates: Were they worth it? What's their value?

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The debates are over. What changed as a result of them? Polls show Mitt Romney a lot closer to President Obama — it’s a tighter race ever since Romney’s first-debate victory. By the final debate, Romney had shape-shifted from conservative warrior to agreeable centrist — agreeable in the sense that he spent the night mostly agreeing with what Obama is doing abroad. The message that was sent by his side? Don’t worry, he’s not going to do anything extreme if you elect him. If Romney wins the Presidency, the debates will be seen as a crucial turning point in his campaign. If Obama wins, they’ll be largely forgotten. In this sense, debates every four years follow a similar pattern: Whoever the incumbent is, he is helped or hindered by further exposure of his image and his platform.

But that raises the every-four-years question: Should we be electing Presidents in part because of how well they perform on television, in a stilted, awkward debate format? READ FULL STORY

Fox News airs live shooting, anchor Shepard Smith apologizes: 'We really messed up'-VIDEO

Fox News aired the suicide of a man being chased by police in Arizona. Afterward, anchor Shepard Smith apologized to viewers for allowing that to be broadcast. “We really messed up,” said Smith.

Fox had spent a chunk of Friday afternoon showing live footage of a crime suspect fleeing in a car being followed by police. During the time Shepard’s show went on the air, the man got out of the car, began running in a haphazard manner, then pulled out a gun and seemed to shoot himself in the head. As this was broadcast, Smith could be heard shouting to the control room, “Get off it! Get off it!” That is, stop showing this. READ FULL STORY

'SNL Weekend Update Thursday' review: Mitt Romney in a 'Cash Cab'

It’s election season, so Saturday Night Live is back with its Thursday night half-hour somewhat-political-humor specials. As you could have predicted much — much too much — of the material was devoted to the 47% video, and unfortunately for SNL, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have already beaten NBC’s show to the satirical punch on that subject.  READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' week two review: Who knew Olivia Munn was shrewder than Ann Curry?

Airing at the close of a week with big news stories both heavy (the Supreme Court ruling on health care) and light (Ann Curry exiting The Today Show), The Newsroom’s second episode was both timely and windbaggy, to varying degrees of entertainment. The scene that might have echoed most ringingly in your ears was the one that introduced Olivia Munn’s character, financial news reporter Sloan Sabbith. She was interrogated and cajoled by Emily Mortimer’s MacKenzie about the former’s masterful command of complex issues and wonderment that she wasn’t making more money doing what attractive women on TV do, according to Mac: Go for a glossier TV show or into the private sector. Sloan replied that she was, indeed, “offered a morning show” but turned it down because “I’m not interested in cooking.” Ding, ding, ding!: There you had it — the Ann Curry imbroglio in neat reverse. READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' premiere review: Did Aaron Sorkin's new HBO series make you mad as hell, or happy as a clam?

The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s return to television, premiered on Sunday night, and let’s get ready to rumble. It’s a series that will serve as an escape-valve of relief, anger, and confirmation, articulating so many things that so many people feel about the frequently-pathetic state of the news media. (In a sense, it wants to be this TV generation’s equivalent to the 1976 movie Network, with the Paddy Chayevsky-written line, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”) It’s also a series that is going to drive some people crazy. For some, it will be because the show is frequently hectoring and repetitive, and it has storytelling problems with its office romances. But for others, it’s going to make them crazy because no matter how clearly Sorkin states the opposite (on-screen and in interviews), The Newsroom is going to strike them as one long liberal — or as Bill O’Reilly will doubtless label it, “far left” — screed. READ FULL STORY

Obama's same-sex marriage announcement, provoked, defined, and dissected by TV

President Obama’s Wednesday declaration that “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married” was uttered on television (to ABC News) and was provoked at least in part by Vice President’s Joe Biden’s TV remarks last Sunday, on NBC’s Meet The Press, that initially raised the subject to a Presidential level.

The New York Times reports today that, according to several sources, Biden’s words accelerated the President’s announcement, which he’d planned to make… also on television: On The View next Monday. (We’ll see what the View gals have to say about that, later this morning.) READ FULL STORY

'Politics is weird and creepy': MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Fox News' Shepard Smith agree on Gingrich, Romney

Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reached across the political-cable-news aisle to play a delightful clip of Fox News’ Shepard Smith and his reaction to Newt Gingrich’s I’m-outta-here, I-kinda-support-Mitt-Romney, grrr-grrr-I’m-furious press conference, and Romney’s statement on that endorsement. READ FULL STORY

NBC's 'Parenthood' attacked by Bill O'Reilly: Teen sex and dropped underwear got Bill's knickers in a twist

On Thursday night’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly got all het up over a scene from the season finale of Parenthood. It was the moment in which Sarah Braverman’s teen son Drew had sex for the first time with his girlfriend Amy. O’Reilly convened a summit with his so-called Culture Warriors, Gretchen Carlson and Margaret Hoover, to bemoan what the segment called “The Coarsening of Our Culture.”  READ FULL STORY

Politics on Tuesday TV: Rick Santorum 'Breaking In' as Mitt Romney goes up 'The River'

While the broadcast networks were airing new episodes of The River and the return of Breaking In (hoo boy, even Megan Mullally came off badly in that Christian Slater-led stinker; poor her), the real fascination was in the tight Ohio primary fight between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, and President Obama’s press conference earlier in the day.

Both Fox News Channel and MSNBC said in various ways that the narrowness of the Ohio race was an important indication of problems for Romney going forward. Both channels pointed out the disparity in what the candidates had spent in the state — roughly $12 million by Romney; roughly $1 million for Santorum. Michael Moore, popping up on (where else?) MSNBC, asked what does it mean about Romney’s chances “if he can’t beat the guy who forgets to file the papers [in Virginia]?”  READ FULL STORY

Bill O'Reilly: Whitney Houston 'killed herself,' Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are 'creeps'

Bill O’Reilly termed Whitney Houston’s death a suicide (he said she “killed herself” through “decades” of drug use) and said that entertainers such as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg are “creeps” who contribute to the profits of “Mexican cartels” every time they buy “a marijuana cigarette.” READ FULL STORY

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