Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: In the News (1-10 of 518)

State of the Union speech and Christopher Dorner: The attention of TV news was divided

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Coverage of a California cabin thought to hold former LA police officer Christopher Dorner ran right up to the cable new networks’ coverage of President Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. The dramatic image of a fire, and with it the possibility of a conclusion to Dorner’s tragic, death-dealing fugitive trek, was kept on-screen even when channels such as CNN and Fox News tried to introduce some pre-game analysis of the President’s address to the nation. READ FULL STORY

Presidential inauguration music: Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, and the 'Wow!' factor: VIDEOS

There were a lot of whoops and hollers of encouragement to be heard, picked up by the TV networks, as the President took his oath of office today. It was followed by Obama’s rich inaugural address — stump-speech content raised to a higher level of discourse — and then two musical performances: Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee)” and Beyonce’s interpretation of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” READ FULL STORY

NRA's new videos attack Obama's gun plan as hypocritical, citing the President's daughters: VIDEO

Today, TV news channels broadcast live President Obama’s new, extensive proposals to try and stop more gun violence. Among his many recommendations was that “Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. We don’t benefit from ignorance.” But most of the President’s plan was directed at guns. The push-back in the media was immediate. READ FULL STORY

'Meet The Press': Obama says Republicans 'can't say 'Yes' to good offers,' comments on 'Lincoln' movie, Benghazi 'was a huge problem,' and David Gregory left his bullets home this week: VIDEO

Interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, President Obama told host David Gregory that he thinks the “fiscal cliff” will be avoided in “the next 48 hours”; he also addressed questions about gun control and the attack in Benghazi. Perhaps because he was interviewing the President in the White House, David Gregory refrained from waving around a gun magazine to illustrate any point.

Obama referred to some of his policy opponents in Congress as “folks can’t say ‘yes’ to good offers.” Gregory responded, “What is it about you, Mr. President, that is so hard to say ‘yes’ to?”

Obama’s response was basically a verbal shrug: “The way [the Republicans] are behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.” READ FULL STORY

NRA president Wayne LaPierre on 'Meet The Press': 'Call me crazy'

He asked for it: On Sunday morning’s Meet the Press, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre said, “If it’s crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy.” Okay, Wayne. You’re crazy. And you kinda sound like a more militant Carly Rae Jepsen. READ FULL STORY

NRA's Wayne LaPierre attacks entertainment and news media for Newtown killings; makes bizarre claims; protests erupt: VIDEO

In one of the most bizarre press conferences held on live television, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre launched a hostile, self-pitying attack on the media, the entertainment industry, and schools themselves for the killings in Newtown, Conn. His solution: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Interrupted twice by protestors carrying signs with sentiments such as “NRA: Blood On Its Hands,” LaPierre called for “armed security” in “every single school in America.” LaPierre said “the national media machine rewards” mass killers with coverage. He condemned “vicious, violent videogames” such as Mortal Kombat and showed a clip from a videogame called “Kindergarten Killers.” He bad-mouthed “movies such as American Psycho and Natural Born Killers.” He scolded “violent music videos” and scorned anyone who “has the nerve to call it entertainment.” Overall, the entertainment industry promotes “the filthiest form of pornography,” said LaPierre. READ FULL STORY

How TV is covering the Newtown, CT, school massacre: For the most part, badly, inevitably

The horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, in which school children and adults were murdered and wounded, brought out the full force — the strengths and weaknesses — of TV news reporting. READ FULL STORY

Republican Convention review: Paul Ryan's playlist, and his problem with storytelling

To the strains of the Thin Lizzy hit “The Boys Are Back In Town,” Paul Ryan took the stage at Wednesday night’s Republican Convention. The music was, I suppose, in keeping with the musical taste he asserted during his speech. Ryan says he told his running mate Mitt Romney, “I hope it’s not a deal-breaker, Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.” But most of Ryan’s speech was more serious than that, of course. He started off by denouncing Democratic Party members — “fear and division is all they’ve got left” — and scoffed that President Obama’s campaign ads are useless: “The president is just throwing away money, and he’s pretty experienced at that.”  READ FULL STORY

Republican Convention review: Ann Romney and Chris Christie 'built it'

Ann Romney said, “Tonight, I want to talk to you about love.” Chris Christie, batting clean-up at the Republican Convention on Tuesday night, said, “Tonight, we choose respect over love.” It was a Beatles versus Rolling Stones kind of thing. You know: Love, love, love contrasted with I-can’t-get-no-satisfaction-with-Obama. READ FULL STORY

Shame on you, PBS, for firing Fred Willard: #FreeFred

Oh, PBS, things were going so well for you yesterday. All those Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and Sherlock; how well-deserved. Then you had to go and fire Fred Willard. READ FULL STORY

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