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Politics

‘Daily Show’ Heads to Austin for Election Day: ‘Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess’

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Comedy Central has announced its plans for Election Day, with Jon Stewart taking “The Daily Show” on the road to Texas. Next week, the show will cover the midterm elections with special coverage dubbed “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess.”

The week of shows, starting October 27, will tape at Austin’s ZACH Theatre and air nightly at 11 p.m.:

Guests will include Texas State Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis (D-TX) who will be promoting her book, “Forgetting to be Afraid” (October 27), Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX; October 28) and a performance by Austin natives Spoon from their new album, “They Want My Soul” (October 30). Read more

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CNN’s Jake Tapper Unites Democrats and Republicans in Praise of Tough, Fair Debate

AP GOVERNOR-FLORIDA-DEBATE A ELN USA FLMaybe we should just have CNN’s Jake Tapper moderate all the debates from now on. Tonight, Tapper showed how a strong moderator can peel political candidates away from their pre-planned quips and comfortably boring talking points. Viewers got to see, well, a real debate. “We asked questions that had not been asked, and tried to knock them off their talking points,” Tapper told TVNewser shortly after the debate ended. “We wanted this, as much as possible, to be a conversation.”

It was a real conversation between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist, and like conversations between two people who clearly do not like each other, it wasn’t always comfortable to watch. But it was fascinating, and it never felt scripted. Part of the credit for that goes directly to Tapper and his producers, who decided the format would be flexible–less about timing, and more about talking. At times, Tapper sat back, ignored the clock, and let the candidates dig in to each other’s answers. At other times, Tapper interrupted, cutting off talking points in mid-sentence with a friendly but firm “thank you.”

B0gSKMeIEAMDkXGA deftly moderated debate like CNN’s can be risky for candidates, but it was wonderful for viewers and voters. To make it happen, Tapper tells TVNewser he and the debate producers (pictured, left) worked for weeks on debate prep. “We went over and over the questions.” Tapper says it was essential that the candidates understood “you’re not going to get to filibuster, but then also, we’re going to try to get them to answer questions.” As in, you know, actually answering the questions.

To make that happen, Tapper consulted with Florida political reporters, asking for suggestions on issues that needed clarification late in the campaign–but also, asking the Florida press corp for some insight into exactly how the two candidates change the topic. “How has this candidate avoided this question in the past?”
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Fox News and MSNBC Have the Same Amount of ‘Mostly Liberal’ Viewers

Well here’s something surprising coming out of today’s new Pew survey looking into political polarization and media habits. Five percent of people who consider themselves “mostly liberal” watch MSNBC, equal the percentage who watch Fox News. CNN takes the majority of that audience with 20% saying CNN is their “main source of news about government and politics.”

No surprise here: the “mostly” and “consistently conservative” viewers overwhelming choose Fox News. In total, CNN edges Fox News (16% vs. 14%) as the main source of government and politics news. Today’s results are part of Pew’s year-long look at political polarization in America.

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ABC News Unveils Plans for Election Coverage

abc_george_stephanopoulos_2_dm_120124_wmainGeorge Stephanopoulos will lead ABC News’ coverage on Election Day, with uninterrupted coverage online from 7 p.m. through 2 a.m.

The network plans live updates on the broadcast network at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 11:00 PM and 12:00 AM ET as polls close in various states. In addition, the network plans two live one-hour “Your Voice, Your Vote” programs to air on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. PT.

Read full details of ABC’s political coverage, after the jump.
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Will This Ruin Jon Karl’s Cred?

EarnestKnown for butting heads with the last White House Press Secretary, ABC’s Jonathan Karl apparently now has an admirer at the press podium.

On Bloomberg TV’s new show “With All Due Respect,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked who is “the most consistently delightful reporter” in the press corps.

“Jon Karl is consistently the nicest, friendliest, most direct guy… down-to-earth, friendliest individual you’d ever want to meet,” said Earnest.

It might have been a backward compliment, as Earnest prefaced the glowing comments saying, “That would tarnish the reputation forever if I identified the person; I gotta choose someone I don’t like, so I don’t harm them.”

RELATED: ABC’s Jon Karl on Pushing Beyond Official White House Line

“Josh must be giddy because his KC Royals are winning,” Karl tells TVNewser. Earnest’s hometown Kansas City Royals upset the Los Angeles Angels Sunday night to advance in the ALCS.

WATCH: Read more

If It’s Tuesday, It’s Debate Night for Sunday Hosts

ToddVATwo U.S. Senate debates tonight will each be moderated by a Sunday public affairs show host.

“This Week” host George Stephanopoulos has just arrived in Raleigh, NC where he will moderate a debate tonight between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger, Republican State House Speaker Thom Tillis. The one-hour debate at 7pmET will air on TV and radio stations throughout the state and will also be streamed on ABCNews.com. Stephanopoulos will be back in New York for “Good Morning America” tomorrow.  He’s also moderating a Senate debate in New Hampshire later this month.

Meanwhile, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd will moderate a debate between U.S. Senate candidates from Virginia: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and Republican challenger Ed Gillespie. The Virginia debate, originating from the Capitol One Conference Center in Tyson’s Corner, will air live at 7pmET on WRC and stream on NBCWashington.com.

President Obama Calls Out Fox News in Two Speeches

With the ongoing ISIS and Ebola crisis, President Obama surely has a lot on his mind. And yesterday, apparently Fox News was too.

In two separate speeches, the president cited the network during stump speeches.

“There’s a reason, fewer Republicans, you hear them running around about Obamacare,” Obama said during a speech at Northwestern University. “Cause good, affordable health care might seem like a fanged threat to the freedom of the American people on Fox News, it turns out it’s working out pretty well in the real world” (watch Greta Van Susteren react after the jump).

To hammer home the point, the president leveraged social media.

Later in the day, Obama was at it again, this time invoking one of the network’s primetime hosts.

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As President Obama Goes, Here’s How Cable News Goes…

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With the midterm elections approaching and President Obama three quarters of the way through his presidency, we thought we’d see how the big three cable news networks’ ratings have fared in direct comparison to the president’s popularity.

We looked at President Obama’s monthly Gallup approval ratings dating back to January 2009: from his inauguration through September’s approval ratings, which was released yesterday. The president began his first term with a 64% approval rating. As of today, he is at 42%, a 22-point drop. For the networks, we looked at the Monday-Sunday total viewership for both total day and primetime (Live +Same Day). Our chart (after the jump) breaks down the networks’ quarterly averages.

Of the three networks, Fox News’ ratings have been the most stable in comparison to fluctuations in the president’s approval rating. FNC’s high point was around the 2012 presidential election, when Obama was at 51% approval. The network’s low point came earlier this year, when Obama was at 43% approval.

CNN’s peak came at the time of President Obama’s first inauguration, when Obama sat at 64% approval. Its basement was the second quarter of 2012 when Obama had dropped to 47%. At that time, all networks were in wall-to-wall presidential campaign coverage.

Like FNC, MSNBC’s high point came at the time of the 2012 election, when Obama was at 51%. MSNBC has had the biggest drop since the 2012 election, and is at its low point right now, just as President Obama is, who’s tied for his all-time low at 42%.

Network and presidential ratings, after the jump.

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Sharpton: ‘We Are Engaged in Immediate Conversations’ With WH Over Holder Successor

SharptonResponding to the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder today, MSNBC host and President of the National Action Network Al Sharpton suggested he’s in direct contact with the White House regarding Holder’s eventual successor.

In a statement, Sharpton lauded Holder while looking forward.

“The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder is met with both pride and disappointment by the Civil Rights community. We are proud that he has been the best Attorney General on civil rights in U.S. history and disappointed because he leaves at a critical time when we need his continued diligence most. We are engaged in immediate conversations with the White House on their deliberations over a successor whom we hope will continue in the general direction of Attorney General Holder.

Sharpton later spoke to Business Insider to clarify the NAN’s involvement: “We did not say we are in the decision making. We are in conversation to reach out to them to have meetings about what we want to see in a successor.”

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Journalists Under Close Watch at Clinton Global Initiative

Clinton GlobalThe New York Times’ Amy Chozick reports journalists haven’t been given much breathing room at this week’s Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City. Chozick, who is on the Hillary beat, was even escorted when nature called.

But, for me, perhaps the person who stands out is the friendly 20-something press aide who the Clinton Global Initiative tasked with escorting me to the restroom. She waited outside the stall in the ladies’ room at the Sheraton Hotel, where the conference is held each year.

An escort is required wherever we go, lest one of us with our yellow press badges wind up somewhere where attendants with an esteemed blue badge are milling around. When asked about the practice, Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the initiative, directed me to a press release about American Standard’s Flush for Good campaign to improve sanitation for three million people in the developing world. “Since you are so interested in bathrooms and C.G.I,” Mr. Minassian said.

Erin Burnett was among the tvnewsers to interview former Pres. Clinton at CGI this week. Last night, Burnett moderated a special CNN town hall with the 42nd president. Topics ranged from U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria, to the Ray Rice domestic violence suspension.

WATCH:

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