Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Politics (51-60 of 205)

A new New Hampshire Republican debate: If it's Sunday, it must be 'baloney'!

The second Republican debate within 12 hours was held Sunday morning during an expanded version of Meet the Press. Having laid back last night and given Mitt Romney an opportunity to speak at greater length than he has during any previous debate, his five competitors came to muss Mitt’s rhetorical hair at this one. Newt Gingrich implored Romney to “drop the pious baloney” about his history as a conservative and his motives for running for president. READ FULL STORY

New Hampshire debate: A real Saturday night live!

Saturday night’s Republican debate on ABC found the six men on a New Hampshire stage railing against gay marriage, “the media’s war on religion,” and President Obama’s “social welfare state.” Mitt Romney also emphasized that we need to be reminded that we have “the right to pursue happiness.” And by invoking happiness, he wasn’t trying to act as a prime-time lead-in to Saturday Night Live. READ FULL STORY

The Iowa caucuses: Where Santortum surged, and Rachel Maddow and Sarah Palin found (a little) common ground

For most of the prime time hours Tuesday night, the Iowa caucuses were an endlessly varied repetitions of “it’s too close to call” and “it’s a three-way race between Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.” And that’s the way it went until Romney very narrowly defeated Santorum very late into the night. Nevertheless, the TV coverage yielded some interesting moments of contrast-and-compare, of stylistic tics, twists, and turns. READ FULL STORY

Fox News Republican debate review: Throwing red meat to the candidates, they bit, with a dash of zany

Two factors dovetailed to make Thursday night’s Republican debate lively, occasionally cut-throat television: It was the final set-to before the Iowa caucuses and thus the candidates’ last chance to reach a wide audience, and it was hosted and broadcast by the Fox News Channel, which knew how to dangle the red meat in front of the seven participants.  READ FULL STORY

Iowa Republican debate review: Behold a new creature, 'Newt Romney'!

ABC News hosted the latest Republican debate on Saturday night (the candidates seem to like trying to get on the air just before Saturday Night Live airs, thwarting SNL writers from making up-to-the-minute jabs). The two hours saw the front-runners-of-this-milisecond, Mitt Romney and Newt Gringrich, engage in a few head-to-head confrontations. Gingrich uttered the sound-bite of the night when he defended himself against the charge of being a career politician by sneering at Romney, “The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is because you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994.” Romney, as he does frequently when confronted with an ad lib, looked flustered in response. READ FULL STORY

Rick Perry ad connects 'gays in the military' to Obama's 'war on religion': UPDATE, VIDEOS

Clad in a warm-tan barn coat and exuding holiday cheer, Rick Perry unveiled a new ad in which he asserts “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” READ FULL STORY

Last night's Republican debate: The candidates settle in to the caricatures that the media have assigned them

If there was one overriding theme of last night’s Republican debate on CNN, it wasn’t so much the stated theme — national security — as it was the underlying one: These candidates are now, for the most part, conforming to the images the news media has imposed upon them.

Newt Gingrich? He’s officially on the rise… this week. His poll numbers are up, and last night, his command of rhetoric was assured. His takeaway line — that military budget cuts were reasonable because “If it takes 15 to 20 years to build a weapons system when Apple changes technology every nine months, there’s something profoundly wrong with the system” — went over well with the audience. His sniffy condescension act plays as superior intelligence in the right setting, and this was the right setting for him.  READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney's new campaign ad: Beware that hazy Obama!

Mitt Romney released a campaign ad today that begins with some intentionally grainy, hazy images of Barack Obama on the campaign trail, followed by crisp, clear images of Romney accusing him of failing to meet his pledges. As an alternative, Romney proposes a “smaller, simpler, smarter approach to government.”

It begins with “getting rid of Obamacare” because it’s “killing jobs”:

Romney contends we have a “moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” (This is political magic: attach the word “moral” to any theory or phrase and — voila! — you have God on your side.) With its ominous framing of Obama footage combined with its moralistic message, Romney is pushing buttons for a constituency that he’s having a tricky time appealing to thus far: The no-tax, no-spend wing of the Republican party, some of whose citizens actually believe that “Obamacare” is “killing jobs.” (That there’s no proof that the health care bill Obama oversaw is anywhere near to being so active in the life of economy yet that it’s somehow depriving people of jobs is just, you know, campaign rhetoric.) READ FULL STORY

'All-American Muslim' premiere review: A show that insists, 'Muslims, they're just like us!'

Where cable’s TLC is usually the Learning Channel that teaches us ordinary people, when placed in front of TV cameras for long periods of time, can become extremely freakish (Jon and Kate Plus 8; Toddlers and Tiaras), its new series, All-American Muslim, is determined to assure its audience that Muslims are ordinary, non-extremist Americans. That such a need even exists suggests a problem that the show is disinclined to address. READ FULL STORY

Saturday night Republican debate live: Cain and Bachmann are pro-waterboarding; Romney and Gingrich are pro-war with a 'nuclear Iran'

Looking fresh as eight little daisies, Republican candidates Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum engaged in a Saturday night debate in South Carolina, broadcast on CBS. READ FULL STORY

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