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Archives: September 2005

“Fox News Contributor” Bill Bennett

bennettsept30.jpgOn Thursday’s Hannity & Colmes, Bill Bennett defended his comments about aborting black babies. The chyrons touted the interview as an “H&C Exclusive,” and ID’ed Bennett as “‘Morning in America’ host.” Of course it was an exclusive — as ABC’s Jake Tapper supposes, “his contract with FOX prevents him from doing other TV interviews.” But the graphics did not identify Bennett as a Fox News contributor. (Past H&C appearances by Bennett have been described that way.)

> A tipster says the hosts also “failed to point out” Bennett’s connection to FNC.

> On Friday’s Factor, John Gibson said liberals are “jumping on Bill Bennett like a trampoline.”

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The Scoreboard: Thursday, Sept. 29

Total viewers:

Total day: FNC: 1,063,000 / CNN: 600,000 / MSNBC: 253,000 / HLN: 196,000 / CNBC: 151,000

Primetime: FNC: 2,083,000 / CNN: 1,054,000 / MSNBC: 399,000 / HLN: 373,000 / CNBC: 160,000

25-54 demographic:

Total day: FNC: 307,000 / CNN: 165,000 / MSNBC: 76,000 / HLN: 78,000 / CNBC: 48,000

Primetime: FNC: 540,000 / CNN: 275,000 / MSNBC: 108,000 / HLN: 108,000 / CNBC: 99,000

The hourlies:

6pm: Hume: 1,578,000 / Dobbs: 701,000 / Abrams: 265,000 / Mad Money: 238,000

7pm: Shep: 1,719,000 / Cooper: 801,000 / Hardball: 335,000 / Showbiz: 93,000 / CNBC: 106,000

8pm: O’Reilly: 2,895,000 / Zahn: 945,000 / Countdown: 378,000 / Grace: 503,000 / CNBC: 169,000

9pm: H&C: 1,899,000 / King: 1,260,000 / Rita: 472,000 / Prime News: 335,000 / Mad Money: 106,000

10pm: Greta: 1,454,000 / NewsNight: 959,000 / Scarborough: 346,000 / Grace repeat: 280,000 / Deutsch: 206,000

11pm: O’Reilly repeat: 1,247,000 / NewsNight: 785,000 / Situation: 185,000 / Showbiz repeat: 139,000 / CNBC repeat: 129,000

Blitzer Offends Bob Bennett; He Expected Heads-Up Before Being Q’ed About Bro

After talking to attorney Bob Bennett about his client Judith Miller, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “switch[ed] gears dramatically” and asked a question about his brother Bill’s comments about aborting black babies. After the audio clip played, Wolf asked: “Have you discussed this issue with him?” And then, with my emph. added:

 Well, no, and, Wolf, let me say, I am rather disappointed at you for not telling me you would ask me about that. This was about Judy Miller, and I think that’s a courtesy you could have extended to me.

After finishing the thought, Wolf explained: “Well, the reason I ask is because I know you and your brother love each other and you are good brothers. And it was only obvious to me, I assume, that you know I would ask a newsworthy question.” But Bennett played stupid:

 I didn’t know that at all, Wolf. In the past you’ve always been very straight with me. And I’m honest with you and I’m offended by that.

“It was awkward,” an e-mailer says, “particularly when Wolf ended by calling him a ‘good lawyer, a good brother and a good friend.’ Is he really a good lawyer after what seems like a Miller debacle?”

Deutsch Scratches: 123 of 168

Following up on this post about Donny Deutsch, here’s an Excel spreadsheet that demonstrates The Big Idea’s “lack of success” (and that’s putting it mildly) at 10pm. Here are all the scratches. Other Deutsch items:

> From an insider: “It’s not that hard booking the show. We have plenty of good guests, just like the other blab-fests. But it’s tough to compete on CNBC. People just don’t tune in to the channel during real primetime. Being in NJ isn’t an advantage but we seem to do well.”

> “Just because a program scratches doesn’t mean it isn’t a good show,” an e-mailer says. “I have watched the Big Idea before and actually found Deutsch’s interviews to be quite interesting. Maybe if it wasn’t on CNBC it would do better.”

Kerry Sanders Saves A Dolphin

While surveying the devastation of Cameron Parish, La. on Monday, NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders noticed a dolphin stuck in a pool of water alongside a road. Tuesday’s Today Show included a segment where Sanders and cameraman Bill Angelucci tried unsuccessfully to help the stranded animal.

The Marine Mammal Stranding Network from Texas and the Coast Guard came to help on Wednesday. “I don’t usually take part in the news stories I cover. This was different,” Sanders blogs. “I had tried to save him. I then helped haul him out of the water. His tail whacked my tail as I lifted him out of the water. I like to think he was saying, ‘thank you.’”

Former War Spokesperson Hosts “Saddam Hussein On Trial” On FNC Saturday Night

senorsept30.jpg > Correction: 7:45pm: The program premieres on SATURDAY night.

FNC is premiering a new special, “Saddam Hussein On Trial,” on Saturday night at 9pm. The program will be hosted by “Fox News Contributor” and “former Senior Advisor to the Coalition in Iraq” Dan Senor.

According to a press release, FNC’s “investigative team provides unprecedented access behind the scenes at the Iraqi Special Tribunal, prior to the upcoming Saddam Hussein’s war crimes trial on October 19.”

It includes a “first look inside the courtroom where the Saddam’s trial will be held, as well as rare interviews with the Iraqi jurists and stunning insight into the Hussein’s defense strategy as told by Abdel Haq Alani, leading member of the Hussein’s defense team…”

Compassion Competition: Great Television & Great Service, Too

On Thursday’s Showbiz Tonight, David Haffenreffer talked the morning shows’ compassion competition. “When is it OK for a journalist to get involved in a story that they’re covering?,” he asked. NBC News VP Mark Lukasiewicz explained his POV: “We don’t confuse our role as journalists, which we understand and we think we do well and are proud of, with this other responsibility we have to try to work in other ways, as well. We’re journalists, but we’re also human beings.”

> I said: “Both NBC and ABC staffers have said to me, ‘We realize this is great TV, a great promotional effort for us, but it’s also a great service. So it’s fulfilling both goals.”

GMA Live From Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle Next Week

Good Morning America will broadcast live from Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle next week, the BBC says. “The Queen has given her permission for the ABC show to film at her homes, and at Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh.”

UK officials are excited: “We’re delighted that ABC has agreed to broadcast their flagship breakfast programme in the UK, especially at such an important time for the tourist industry,” a Palace spokesman said.

EP Ben Sherwood says the event will be an “extraordinary, unprecedented live look inside the Royal Palaces.”

“Why Can’t I Have That Guest?,” Donny Deutsch Moans

deutschsept30.jpgIn Donny Deutsch‘s soon-to-be-released memoir, the CNBC host complains that Larry King “frequently lands the star subjects” he can’t get.

“Why did he get that guest? Why can’t I have that guest. That’s b***t! I listen to his line of questioning and think, I could do even better.

Now, God bless him, I hear that Larry King is actually a lovely man. But in my mind, for my purposes, he’s the enemy.”

Those highlights come from today’s Keith Kelly column in the Post. But it seems obvious why Deutsch can’t snag those guests: His 10pm Big Idea has scratched 123 out of the 168 times it has aired.

“One can only wonder the hardships of booking a show with no viewers,” an industry insider says…

MSNBC First With Judy-Out-Of-Jail News

MSNBC owned Judith Miller‘s release from jail on Thursday night. NBC’s Pete Williams broke the news on Hardball at 7:54pm. The AP didn’t confirm the news for half an hour, and CNN didn’t report it until the second half of Paula Zahn Now. NYTimes.com didn’t post the news until 8:45pm. An e-mailer calls it “a big, big win on MSNBC…”

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