Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Pundits Right and Left (11-20 of 88)

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

Gore Vidal, TV star: From William Buckley to Ali G

Gore Vidal, who died on Tuesday at age 86, almost always stirred things up when he appeared on television. Coming on the scene around the same time Marshall McLuhan had dubbed TV the “cool medium,” Vidal heated up the screen with his forthright, usually liberal, often radical, opinions on politics and culture. READ FULL STORY

'The Newsroom' review: Jane Fonda, radical politics, and 'We are the media elite'

Early on in The Newsroom this week, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) delivered a manifesto detailing what his cable-news show News Night would stand for from now on. No more giving viewers what they think they want; the show will give them what Will McAvoy thinks they need. Why? Because, he concluded, “We’re the media elite.” 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 wants Mitt Romney to tell supporter Donald Trump: 'You're fired!'

In an ad premiering today, the Obama campaign criticizes Mitt Romney for not distancing himself from Donald Trump’s persistent questioning of President Obama’s citizenship. Clips contrast John McCain’s firm put-down of birther supporters versus Romney’s silence on the matter. 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

Jimmy Kimmel and President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: Jokes about Mitt, Hillary, and dogs, dogs, dogs

“What’s the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom?” asked President Obama during last night’s annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, doing a variation on Sarah Palin’s old campaign line. His answer? “The pitbull is delicious.”

Both Obama and the celebrity roaster, Jimmy Kimmel, returned repeatedly to the recent “news” that as a child, the President sampled dog meat. In the world of Washington politics and social humor, this was joined to Mitt Romney’s now-legendary gesture of traveling with his dog crated on the top of his car to create a lot of Saturday-night, post-dinner, bi-partisan canine joshing. The President went so far as to put together a fake ad that featured his own dog in a spot about the secret “dog socialism” he’s planning to institute should he get a second term in office. READ FULL STORY

New GOP ad slams Obama as 'celebrity President'; Dems slam Romney as 'Mad Men' fan: VIDEO

Just as I predicted, fans of Mitt Romney took one look at President Barack Obama’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon appearance and quickly cobbled together an ad that blasts Obama as “the biggest celebrity in the world” and asks, “After four years with a celebrity President, is your life any better?” 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

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