Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Sarah Palin (1-10 of 26)

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

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

'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

'When Mitt Romney Came to Town' review: TV news reacts, while Gingrich enjoys 'the suffering'

When Mitt Romney Came to Town, a half-hour video financed by Newt Gingrich’s super PAC Winning Our Future, is a pulverizing piece of propaganda designed to portray Romney as a rapacious, conscience-less businessman who’ll do “anything for a profit,” as one of the quotes from Romney himself phrases it. Heavy on accusation and poignant interviews with unemployed people, the anti-Romney film could have been made by an Occupy Wall Street film student, or by Keith Olbermann during all the time he’s had declining to appear on Current TV. But the fact that it comes from an opponent in Romney’s own party, and lays out a line of attack the Democrats can use in the November election, raises it to high curiosity status. 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

Keith Olbermann brought 'Countdown' to Current; Bill O'Reilly brought Lupe Fiasco to Fox: TV news reviews

Keith Olbermann and his Countdown returned to TV on Monday night on Current with an hour  loaded with obviousness and an unfortunate amount of fawning on the part of his guests.

Meanwhile, over on Fox and The O’Reilly Factor, the host and Lupe Fiasco engaged in a ludicrous debate over the musician’s characterization of President Obama as “a terrorist.” READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart went easy on his pal Anthony Weiner. He was the only one.

Jon Stewart may have been the only television news commentator in America on Monday who did not pounce on Rep. Anthony Weiner and beat him up verbally for admitting he lied about his Twitter gaffe. Stewart was in an awkward position, having acknowledged last week that Weiner is an old friend, but even so, his restraint was striking. Of course, in the context of a TV news day that preceded Weiner’s extraordinary, lengthy apology and interrogation by the (mostly) legit news media and the equally extraordinary hijacking of Weiner’s announcement by blogger Andrew Breitbart, Stewart’s giving a virtual pass to Weiner wasn’t nearly the most striking event of the news cycle. READ FULL STORY

Sarah Palin wins by behaving like a pop star, not a politician: Could a cross between Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga get nominated? Sure.

From Memorial Day weekend through today and beyond, Sarah Palin is dominating the TV news cycle. She’s doing it by providing garishly irresistible visuals — footage of her big bus, its sides decorated with images of the Constitution, the phrase “One Nation,” and a plug for her website sarahpac.com — and by providing no interviews with the “lamestream media”… except for Fox News. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' review: Tina Fey celebrated Mother's Day early

With Tina Fey hosting what she called “the Mother’s Day episode of Saturday Night Live,” there was a feminine-friendly vibe you don’t get most weeks on this show.  READ FULL STORY

'Kate Plus 8' season premiere review: It's off to a brilliant start... or is it?

Kate Gosselin began the new season of Kate Plus 8 episodes by showing a new side of herself. Charming, witty, and endearing, she managed to overturn a widespread image of herself as petty, mean, and selfish. The new episode took the family-minus-Jon to  READ FULL STORY

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