Last night’s “Saturday Night Live” featured a farewell appearance for “Stefon,” played by Bill Hader, who is leaving the show after this season. Stefon, it seems, was leaving “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers for someone new… a prominent TV news anchor.
After the jump, the “SNL” skit about “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” Read more
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Not surprisingly, CNN’s reporting was the lead on “The Daily Show” last night. Jon Stewart: “Here’s the best part: John King exclusively reports that an arrest has been made and then caps it an hour later with the news that the FBI would prefer him to enjoy a hot cup of shut the fuck up.”
Talkers magazine, the magazine of the talk radio business, has released its annual “Heavy Hundred” list. As has become commonplace, the list is chock full of TV news personalities, particularly towards the top.
MSNBC president Phil Griffin talks to The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove about this week’s primetime shakeup at the channel. Ed Schultz will move to the weekends next month, while Chris Hayes will take over the 8 PM slot. Griffin says that the move was, in fact, Schultz’s idea.
“This began with Ed coming to me,” Griffin insisted. “And I will tell you that Ed has an incredible following in the network… Ed and I were talking about his contract, and Ed is a very sharp guy. He said he wanted to be here long-term … He wanted to spend more time in Minnesota. I said, ‘Well, Ed, I am extending the weekend. I need someone for 5 to 7. It’s critical. It’s going to be as important as 8 to 10 [on weeknights].’ And he came back to me and said, ‘I want to do that long-term.’ ”
He also weighs in on what Hayes’ new program will look like: Read more
MSNBC is facing criticism today about the editing of a portion of the legislative hearing on guns in Hartford, CT earlier this week. Neil Heslin, the father of a Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting victim, was speaking before a committee at which local citizens, including gun rights advocates, attended. MSNBC portrayed a portion of the clip — toward the end of Heslin’s 15 minutes of testimony — as though he was being heckled. The 33-second clip aired on Tamron Hall‘s show, Martin Bashir‘s show and later on Al Sharpton‘s show. Here it is:
But MSNBC edited out the fact that Heslin posed a question: “I wish … I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason…,” he began. Fox News produced a segment today taking MSNBC to task over the edit. An MSNBC spokesperson tells WaPo’s Eric Wemple, “We’re reviewing the video in question.”
But the storyline continued into primetime, on Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show. Meanwhile, rather than talk around the issue, CNN’s Piers Morgan actually talked with Heslin. “It didn’t really faze me and it was no more and no less than I would have expected,” he said. “It wasn’t the answer to my question. It was a response.” But was it heckling? MSNBC, for one, has decided it is.
> Update: MSNBC will address the edit on Bashir’s show Wednesday.
> More: Ari Melber, filling in for Bashir, played the entire clip including Heslin’s question. At the end of the clip, Melber said, “Martin and many other who is saw Mr. Heslin’s testimony have called that interruption heckling. Some disagree. He wanted you to hear it in full so you can draw your own conclusion.”
Inside Cable News which has been closely monitoring MSNBC’s programming shift from news to opinion, has this take:
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall is the subject of Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do? interview. Hall talks about her new role on the “Today” show, how she balances delivering news without inserting her opinions, and how her show is different from MSNBC’s primetime programming:
Rachel [Maddow], to me, is more than a “pundit.” She’s phenomenal, and I think she offers a reasonable perspective based on who she is and her political views. I think she does a fantastic job at it. I feel the same way about Chris [Matthews] and Lawrence [O'Donnell] and Ed [Schultz] and, of course, Rev. Al [Sharpton]. So, they offer something different that has resonated for reasons that I think are obvious. People want to hear those perspectives.
That’s not what we do on NewsNation. I don’t have the same role on MSNBC as Rachel. I discuss obvious questions. Right now, we have gun control debate. Why does someone need a gun clip with 20 rounds? That’s not right or left. That’s an obvious question. Now, upon me asking that question, you will have some people who will say, “Oh, she’s a lefty” or “That’s MSNBC’s left-leaning perspective.” No, it’s not. It’s a logical question. So, for me, our show is not an opinion show, but it’s not a show that’s afraid of opinions.