Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: In the News (11-20 of 518)

Mitt Romney gave an unprecedented five TV interviews on Friday night. News value? Next to zero.

Until now, Mitt Romney hasn’t granted interviews to many TV news outlets other than Fox News. But on Friday night, he was interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News. His purpose was to blitz-address recent questions about when he ceased any activity as a participant in Bain Capital. Romney says he left the company in 1999, but reporting in numerous places including The Boston Globe has uncovered documents noting that he was listed as the chairman and CEO through 2002. It’s an interesting question, since the answer goes to whether Romney was engaged in any of Bain’s activities in outsourcing jobs after 1999 that resulted in the unemployment of hundreds of Americans. But watching the interviews, I was struck once again at how close-to-useless the nightly new broadcasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS are: They devoted little time to the discrepancies cited above, but instead used most of their precious little time with Romney asking why President Obama’s campaign was asking questions about the discrepancies. In other words, instead of covering the news, what we used to call the “big three” networks covered the horse race, goading Romney into attacking the President and his campaign staff. READ FULL STORY

Ann Curry and where 'The Today Show' should go from here

The news that Ann Curry’s departure from The Today Show may be imminent is just the latest in the endless tinkering and recalibrating that morning news shows go through to maintain ratings leads. But the Today Show situation is particularly interesting right now. It occurs at a time when two things are happening for NBC: Its chief competition, ABC’s Good Morning America, is going through a ratings growth-spurt, and NBC will soon be deeply involved in covering the Olympics, for which The Today Show always plays a crucial role. Plus, the question of who might replace Curry revives an hoary old paradigm that ought to be exploded: The Myth of the Pretty Woman as Audience Alienator. So, some unsolicited advice about replacements and other Today Show matters: READ FULL STORY

Rodney King and television: A life in media events both tragic and sad

Rodney King has died; he was 47. King’s 1991 beating by Los Angeles police officers was a remarkable media moment, one of the first, most significant instances of amateur video going viral to expose a moment that might otherwise have passed unnoticed. 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

'Mad Men' season premiere review: Don Draper plays hunger games

Mad Men got off to a very slow start on Sunday night, as though daring you to become absorbed in it again, but as the two hours proceeded, the show launched at least four rather magnificent set-piece scenes that remind you not just how good the series can be, but also how different it is from anything else TV has seen. The themes of the evening could not have been more simple and direct: Everyone is insecure; everyone wants to find his or her place in the world. Have I written enough now to pause for a new paragraph and insert the obligatory SPOILER ALERT: DON’T READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE WATCHED THE SEASON PREMIERE OF MAD MEN? Ah, good… READ FULL STORY

David Letterman: Rick Santorum 'won't appear on our show' out of fear

Before he brought out Michelle Obama as his first guest last night, David Letterman spent his post-monologue desk time ruminating on the vagaries of booking guests during an election year. He said some presidential candidates refuse to appear on his show. Prodded by Paul Shaffer to name names, Letterman said, “Rick Santorum won’t appear on the show. They’re afraid, afraid I’m going to chase ‘em around the theater with a hammer.” READ FULL STORY

Two 'Game Change' reviews: The ballad of Sarah Palin, in prose and on video

Game Change is based on a small portion of the best-selling book of the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin: the portion that eviscerates the John McCain campaign’s selection of Sarah Palin to be his running-mate in the 2008 presidential campaign. Indeed, while Palin herself has said watching this HBO production (premiering on March 10) would be “a waste of time,” she need not fear for erosion to her reputation. She is impersonated here with mimicry of the high order by Julianne Moore; she is portrayed as a devoted mother, and a plucky, if stressed-out and carb-deprived, campaigner. 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

One Million Moms hate 'Archie' comics and gay marriage

The conservative organization One Million Moms wants Toys R Us to stop stocking an Archie comic book that features a gay wedding. In the story, the character Kevin Keller gets hitched to Clay, whom he met in a military hospital after being wounded in the armed services. The marriage occurs in Life With Archie #16, featuring a cover depicting the nuptials, and featuring a banner saying, “Just Married.” READ FULL STORY

'Game Change' review: It could change viewers' minds about Sarah Palin...somewhat

Game Change is based on a small portion of the best-selling book of the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin: the portion that eviscerates the John McCain campaign’s selection of Sarah Palin to be his running-mate in the 2008 presidential campaign. Indeed, while Palin herself has said watching this HBO production (premiering on March 10) would be “a waste of time,” she need not fear for erosion to her reputation. She is impersonated here with mimicry of the high order by Julianne Moore; she is portrayed as a devoted mother, and a plucky, if stressed-out and carb-deprived, campaigner. READ FULL STORY

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