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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

‘Game Change’ Review: Cliché with Compassion

“Game Change” is not a flawless docudrama. Neither is it, in the words of a conservative blogger, “a heinous piece of propaganda” for Obama.

What “Game Change” is, at its essence, is a wildly-entertaining cautionary tale about presidential politics. Moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for.

“Game Change,” which debuts on HBO Saturday, follows Sen. John McCain‘s disastrous decision to name then-unknown Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his Republican running mate in 2008. It’s based on the best seller of the same title by reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, both of whom served as consultants.

McCain and Palin, among others in their respective camps, have made so much noise about the alleged inaccuracies of “Game Change” (sight unseen) that HBO included a letter in its media kit, defending Danny Strong’s script. For HBO, that is not an everyday occurrence.

This much is beyond dispute – Julianne Moore and Ed Harris give remarkable performances as Palin and McCain.

Moore, a four-time Oscar nominee, perfectly mimics Palin’s speech in its distinctive rhythm, pitch, and scrappin’ of consonants. She doesn’t go too far, however, allowing her to avoid the level of parody by Tina Fey on “Saturday Night Live.” (In a nice touch, Moore is shown watching the “SNL” clips.)

Harris is equally impressive in his McCain incarnation. The actors’ eyes alone speak volumes, particularly in the scene where his Alpha-dog chief strategist, Steve Schmidt (played to the

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CNN Preps for Arizona GOP Debate

John King, along with Arizona State University students playing the parts of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich, is doing a run-through today ahead of tonight’s GOP debate in Mesa, Arizona. This is the 20th, and likely final primary debate. The first face-off on Fox News last May, also featured four candidates — only one of whom, Ron Paul, is still in the race. The other attendees were Herman Cain, Gary Johnson and Tim Pawlenty.

Tonight’s debate will feature the candidates at a table instead of podiums. Playbook reports CNN last used this set-up for a GOP debate on Jan. 30, 2008, at the Reagan Library. Sitting at the table then were candidates John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Romney and Paul.

The Arizona debate airs on CNN at 8pmET.

Sen. John McCain on His Daughter Joining MSNBC: ‘She Went Over to the Dark Side’

Senator John McCain called in to “Imus in the Morning” on FBN today, and among the topics that came up was McCain’s daughter, Meghan, joining MSNBC. “She went over to the dark side, I guess,” McCain joked. “I’m sure she’ll do well. She’s feisty, and I think being over there she’s going to have to have quite a bit of that.” Watch:


Washington Turns Out to Honor Bob Schieffer

Quite a turnout last night at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC, as Bob Schieffer was honored on his 20th anniversary anchoring CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

More than 500 people turned out to honor Schieffer, including the man who’s guested more times than anyone else: “I gotta say one word about the person who has been on ‘Face the Nation’ more than any other person in the history of the broadcast,” said Schieffer. “He’s actually older than me, not by much: John McCain over here.”

CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes threw the party which was attended by elected officials, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), below, and current and former administration reps, including Donald Rumsfeld, below, as well as Schieffer’s CBS colleagues including Jan Crawford, Chip Reid, Lara Logan, Bill Plante, and Nancy Cordes and from other networks, FNC’s Ed Henry, CNN’s Gloria Borger, NBC’s David Gregory and Betsy Fischer and PBS’s Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, and Jim Lehrer. Also on hand Carin Pratt, who helmed the show for 18 years.

“We just love Carin,” said Schieffer. “I really appreciate your coming back and being with us tonight.”

Mary Hager … is now the [executive] producer. And Senator McCain remembers Mary Hager when the two of us were chasing up and down the halls of Congress. And Mary has actually worked with me, I guess, more than 20 years. And she started very, very young — she asked me to say that.”

(H/T Playbook / Photos for CBS News: Chris Usher)

What does Sen. John McCain think of Glenn Beck dumping on his daughter?

On his radio show yesterday, Glenn Beck pretended to vomit while watching a naked from-the-shoulders-up Meghan McCain who was part of a PSA for skin cancer. It didn’t take long for Cindy McCain to react to Beck’s antics, via Twitter. But during an interview today, CNN’s John King tried to get Sen. John McCain to comment on it. McCain took the high road instead: “I don’ think I should dignify that behavior with a comment.” Watch:

Bin Laden Killed: A News Coverage Record

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has been tracking mainstream media coverage with its News Coverage Index since January 2007, and a record was set during the week of May 2-8 when the death of Osama Bin Laden accounted for 69 percent of the newshole, edging the week of Aug. 25-31, 2008, when the Democratic Party nominated Barack Obama for president and Republican nominee John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate (slightly below 69 percent).

Bin Laden coverage dominated cable TV, accounting for 90 percent of airtime, and his death was the subject of 28 percent of stories for the week, the most since the week of Jan. 19-25, 2009, following the inauguration of Obama.

To illustrate how dominant Bin Laden coverage was, the second-ranked story for the week was the U.S. economy, which finished a whopping 64 percent behind the leader, accounting for just 5 percent of the newshole.

Breaking down the coverage, the actual mission to kill Bin Laden accounted for 36 percent, followed

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Pres. Obama Delivers News at Tucson Memorial: ‘Gabby opened her eyes’

During the “Together We Thrive” memorial service, all of which was carried on the cable news channels and some of which was carried on the big four broadcast networks, President Obama delivered his own news about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who he and Mrs. Obama visited in the hospital earlier today:

“A few minutes after we left her room and some of her colleagues from Congress were in the room, Gabby opened her eyes for the first time. Gabby opened her eyes,” repeated the President to a cheering crowd, “so I can tell you she knows we are here.”

President Obama’s remarks, which ran about 35 minutes with applause, were the culmination of the event at the University of Arizona. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer spoke, as did Arizona’s former Governor, now DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, who read from the book of Isaiah. Two Supreme Court justices, Justice Anthony Kennedy and retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sat in the front row along with Daniel Hernandez, hailed a hero for tending to Rep. Giffords in the moments after she was shot, and Rep. Giffords’ husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly. Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, sat just behind them in the second row of dignitaries.

About the political rhetoric, Obama said: “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized; at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do, it’s important to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

FOX broadcast coverage with Shepard Smith began at 8:30pmET, NBC’s Brian Williams, live in Tucson, began at 8:38. ABC’s coverage with Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos began at 8:40 and CBS with Katie Couric in Washington, began coverage at 8:41. The networks returned to regular programming when the president concluded around 9:20pmET.

Flashback: Cable Nets Cover McCain/Palin Campaign Event

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News took live Sarah Palin‘s speech in Tuscon, Arizona today. She was appearing at a John McCain re-election event and for a few minutes we were pretty sure that either our lunch was way too spicy or we had stepped back in time two years.

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An insider at another network pointed out to TVNewser — with disbelief — that FNC was the last of the three cable nets to take Palin’s remarks, a few minutes after MSNBC and CNN.

8.22 Million Watch USA-Canada Hockey on MSNBC

Hockey_2.22.jpgMSNBC averaged 8.22 million Total Viewers last night as Team USA hockey defeated Canada. That’s 2.3 million more than watched MSNBC on election night 2008. (You’ll see in NBC’s press release after the jump that the 8.22m number is just shy of MSNBC’s most-viewed event ever which was John McCain‘s concession speech from 11-11:30pm, also on election night.)

The game on MSNBC received a national household rating of 4.3, the third highest-rated program in MSNBC’s history behind the Democratic Presidential debate on Feb. 26, 2008 (4.9 rating) and the analysis following the debate (4.4 rating).

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Plans for Obama’s Afghanistan Address

Tonight, all of the news networks — broadcast and cable — will be carrying President Obama‘s 8pmET address to the nation from West Point. Here are the coverage plans we have so far. Check out FishbowlDC’s comprehensive list for more.

cnn120.jpg Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper will anchor CNN’s live coverage beginning at 8pmET. At 12amET, Larry King will be live and will have an exclusive interview with Michael Moore.
fnc3120.jpg Bret Baier will anchor FNC coverage at 8pmET.
msnbc120.jpg Coverage of the address will be followed by live editions of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
abc120.jpg Charlie Gibson will anchor ABC’s coverage and Terry Moran will anchor “Nightline” from West Point at 11:35pmET.
cbsnews120.jpg Katie Couric will anchor the live broadcast at 8pmET. Chip Reid will be at West Point.
nbc120.jpg NBC will broadcast the address and Brian Williams will anchor a special report with analysis afterward, including an interview with John McCain. West coast “Nightly News” feeds will be updated.
fox120.jpg After anchoring “Fox Report” on FNC at 7pmET, Shepard Smith will switch over to FOX broadcast network to anchor coverage of the address.
cspan120.jpg CSPAN will have live coverage at 8pmET, likely on C-SPAN2.

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