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Archives: September 2008

Couric’s Questions Get Veep Treatment — But What Did Palin Say?

couric_9-30.jpgTonight, for the fourth time in five shows, the CBS Evening News will feature a Katie Couric interview with Gov. Sarah Palin. But TVNewser has learned Palin will be featured tomorrow and Thursday as well on the Evening News.

A series called Vice Presidential Questions (similar to the Presidential Questions and Primary Questions before it) begins tomorrow. Couric poses the same questions on an array of topics to both Gov. Palin and Sen. Joe Biden.

But the primary question about Vice Presidential Questions is whether it features a moment in which Palin appears “unable to discuss any major court cases,” other than Roe v. Wade. It’s an exchange hinted at in a Politico story. Jonathan Martin quotes a Palin aide saying “how ‘infuriating’ it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe.”

A CBS News spokesperson would not comment on whether the court case question is part of the series. Vice Presidential Questions runs Wednesday and Thursday.

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Obama Campaign Ignoring NBC Cease-and-Desist

obamaad_9-30.JPGDespite a cease-and-desist from NBC News, the VoteForChange.com ad on Sen. Barack Obama‘s YouTube channel featuring NBC and MSNBC remains available.

NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust tells TVNewser YouTube has agreed to pull down the video (it is still up at this time) and will continue to police it. But the Obama campaign, apparently, isn’t budging.

“We have engaged the Obama campaign on the legal front and demanded that they stop using the ad,” Gollust says. “To date they have not complied. Their response was to put a tagline at the end of the ad. However, that is not good enough, and we continue to demand they cease and desist using this outrageous ad.”

The tagline reads “NBC and MSNBC did not cooperate in the making of this video” and flashes for three seconds at the end of the ad.

The spot has been seen more than 566,000 times, and features the image of Tom Brokaw and voice of Keith Olbermann announcing a mock victory for Sen. John McCain.

Click continued to see the ad…

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The Ticker: CBS, CNN, ABC…

> Saturday’s 48 Hours Mystery premiere, featuring an exclusive interview with Shawn Hornbeck, won its time slot in Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo. It was the program’s best delivery in Total Viewers since November 27, 2007.

> HuffPost’s Rachel Sklar previews the upcoming CNN-related Jeopardy! category, which CNN has been promoting. Well, Candy Crowley — What is Super Tuesday?

> There is a new Good Morning America NOW special on ABC News NOW’s 24-hour broadband channel. The one-hour program, hosted by ABC News medical editor Dr. Timothy Johnson, focuses on autism.

Jim Cramer: “I Screwed Up. I Apologize”

CNBC’s Jim Cramer made an on-air apology last night for recommending Wachovia stock just two weeks ago. The recommendation followed an appearance by the bank’s CEO Robert Steel.

On Sept. 15, the day Steel appeared on the Mad Money, Wachovia stock closed at $10.71/share. Yesterday it closed at $1.84/share. Below is the clip from Sept. 15. And after the jump, Cramer’s apology: “I let you down, because I wasn’t skeptical enough.”

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Gwen Ifill Breaks Ankle, But Still Plans To Meet ‘Em In St. Louis

G Ifill.jpg First On TVNewser: PBS’ Gwen Ifill has broken her ankle after tripping and falling down stairs at her home last night, a NewsHour insider tells TVNewser. We’re told Ifill had been walking up a staircase, carrying research related to her moderating duties at Thursday’s Vice Presidential debate in St. Louis, when she took a wrong step.

We are also told the show will go on: Ifill is planning to travel to Missouri for the big event.

“Exciting and Upsetting” As BizNewsers Cover the Crisis

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

MBartiromo_9.30.jpgThis, too, shall pass. Stay the course. Cooler heads will prevail.

How now, brown Dow.

In covering the stock market collapse, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and CNN’s Ali Velshi have used every cliché in the book (including, probably, “every cliché in the book”) to project calm to frantic viewers.

Moreover, the business aces actually believe their banal bromides.

“I don’t get emotional,” says Bartiromo. “I say it straight. My M.O has always been to get to the bottom line. I don’t like to pontificate and put in a lot of adjectives.”

Velshi, too, focuses above the neck.

“I cut through the emotional response,” he says. “I’ve got statistics I can lean on to show that markets do go up over time; that the right kind of investment strategies do win. Panic is not your friend.”

For such telegenic purveyors of chill, however, Bartiromo and Velshi both possess a verbal drive that could power a Fortune 500 conglomerate. Scary.

Then again, maybe it has to do with the fact that they, like many of their colleagues, have been working 24/7 chronicling the country’s economic madness.

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ABC Tops All Networks for Debate Viewership

ABC averaged 11,040,000 Total Viewers for the first presidential debate, topping its next closest competitor by almost three million viewers. Fox News Channel finished second overall — CBS finished third, while NBC’s average was on par with CNN’s.

ABC and CBS likely benefited from strong lead-ins. CBS’ Mentalist averaged 7.9 million and ABC’s 20/20 special had 6.89 million viewers. NBC’s America’s Toughest Jobs brought in just 3.84 million viewers leading into the debate. For post-debate coverage ABC finished first, FNC second, NBC third, CNN fourth, CBS fifth, and MSNBC sixth.

52.4 million people watched the debate on Friday. But that’s not good not enough to even crack the top 10 presidential debates going back to 1976.

The Total Viewers for the debate from 9pmET-10:38pmET:

Network Total Viewers
ABC 11,040,000
FNC 8,211,000
CBS 7,560,000
CNN 7,140,000
NBC 7,100,000
MSNBC 3,922,000
FOX 3,900,000

Sorry Ratings Fans…

It will be a little longer before you’ll know how well Mike Huckabee‘s new FNC program performed.

TVNewser is hearing last weekend’s ratings are delayed, and Saturday’s data may not be available until after 5pmET today. Sunday’s could be released as late as tomorrow.

We’ll post as soon as we have.

Who’s Playing “Gotcha” Now?

cbsnews_9-30.jpgIn the first joint interview with Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, CBS’s Katie Couric asked the duo about Palin’s answer to a question by a voter in Philadelphia on Saturday, which seemed to echo a stance of Sen. Barack Obama.

McCain, then Palin, used the term “gotcha journalism” to describe the question. Couric defended her decision to bring up the topic. “It wasn’t a ‘gotcha,’ she was talking to a voter,” Couric said.

CBS News associate producer Scott Conroy writes on CBSNews.com about a potential “gotcha” double standard by the McCain campaign.

Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Storm writes that Couric is “on a roll,” not just for her Palin interviews but for her tough questioning of House leaders yesterday.

Click continued to see the clip from Couric’s McCain/Palin interview…

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Commenting Down…But Not Out

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> Update: As of 2:15pmET, TVNewser commenting is back.

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