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Tag: MSNBC (1-10 of 15)

'Ronan Farrow Daily' premiere review: New news for the young youth

Won’t someone save cable news? It’s not just that ratings are down across the board for the Big Three 24-hour networks — although 2013 was unquestionably a bad year for everyone. Far more damaging, I think, is the fact that cable news as an aesthetic — as a compelling method for exploring the important topics of our modern era — has entered what feels like a late-decadent period. The typical news anchor on CNN or MSNBC or Fox News floats across a set built out of touchscreen walls and occasional chat-friendly desks: It’s like all of cable news takes place in a universe where everyone is Tom Cruise in Minority Report and everywhere is a college café. Information has been reduced to talking points, and talking points reduced to hashtags, and hashtags are announced with such reverence that you actually think the newscaster is in the room with you, right now, yelling a hashtag into your face.

Surely someone can break us out of this cycle of inanity! Surely there is still some blood left in the cable news stone! We tried a Baldwin, and that didn’t work. We tried a British person, same result. The huddled masses cry out for a hero, for someone smart enough to recognize the intrinsic power of the form, but also savvy enough to shake off the cobwebs. READ FULL STORY

Alec Baldwin vows to quit public life, adds Rachel Maddow to ever-growing enemies list

TMZ, the New York Post, and their ilk have had a lot of fun with Alec Baldwin over the years. A lot of fun. But the embattled former 30 Rock star has had enough, he says in a new New York Magazine cover story: he’s quitting public life. Just think how much the tabloids are going to be missing: They don’t have Alec Baldwin to kick around any more.

The last year has been rough on Baldwin professionally. Privately, it’s been a time of great joy, as he and his wife, Hilaria, welcomed a baby daughter. But even that blessing has been marred by several highly-publicized incidents with paparazzi whom Baldwin says have crossed the line and instigated confrontations. One of those confrontations resulted in accusations that Baldwin had uttered a gay pejorative, leading to his being branded a homophobe by several high-profile out media personalities. As a result, his newly-launched MSNBC talk show, in hindsight, was doomed to failure. Throw in his less momentous but even more fascinating Broadway pissing match with the formerly famous Shia LaBeouf, and Baldwin has had enough. In a 5,284-word confession that is half apology, half Nixonian diatribe, Baldwin settles old scores, makes new enemies, and announces that he’s probably done with New York. “There’s been a shift in my life,” he says. “And it’s caused me to step back and say, This is happening for a reason.”

On the way out the door, he slams a multitude of famous people for incompetence, phoniness, or outright stupidity. If Baldwin is sincere in his intention to retire from the spotlight — at least in the sense of participating in public discourse, both important and frivolous — his final blast was a corker. But I suspect his growing list of enemies will respond, denying him the final word.

1. Rachel Maddow
What Baldwin said: “Another [MSNBC employee] told me, regarding the ‘toxic little queen’ comment, that Rachel Maddow was the prime mover in my firing, as she was aghast that I had been hired and viewed me as equivalent to Mel Gibson. Another source told me, ‘You know who’s going to get you fired, don’t you? Rachel. Phil will do whatever Rachel tells him to do.’ I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does. I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.” READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney accepts apology from MSNBC host who joked about his black grandson -- VIDEO

January’s first few weeks are the perfect time to let go of past slights and look forward to a bright new beginning. See, for example, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said on the latest edition of Fox News Sunday that he had accepted an apology from Melissa Harris-Perry — the MSNBC host who poked fun at Romney’s adopted grandchild Kieran, who happens to be black.

Harris-Perry, who hosts an eponymous weekend news and opinion show on the liberal-leaning network, made the off-color joke last year — that is, a little over a week ago, on Dec. 29. During a segment titled “What’s So Funny About 2013,” Harris-Perry featured the Romney family’s Christmas card — which pictures the clan’s patriarch holding both Kieran and another grandchild.


'Gattaca' fan Rand Paul copies Wikipedia in abortion speech -- VIDEO

In a world… where copy/paste functionality has made plagiarism easier than ever… one woman… will discover that plagiarism… and gleefully point it out on national TV, making a senator from Kentucky look awfully silly.

Ladies and gentlemen, that world… is our world. The senator: Rand Paul, who recently delivered a speech about abortion rights and eugenics that uses the 1997 movie Gattaca as an example of the dark direction he believes our country could be headed. The woman: Rachel Maddow, who revealed Monday night that large swaths of the speech had been lifted directly from Gattaca‘s Wikipedia page.

“In the movie Gattaca — in the not too distant future — eugenics is common,” Paul said in his speech. “And DNA plays a primary role in determining your social class.”

It’s copied nearly word-for-word from the first sentence of Wikipedia’s Gattaca plot summary: “In the not-too-distant future, liberal eugenics is common and DNA plays the primary role in determining social class.”

Chris Matthews apologizes to black co-workers on behalf of 'all white people'


Like many in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, Chris Matthews is wondering what he can learn from the situation, particularly about others’ experiences with race.

On his MSNBC show Thursday, Matthews had NBC News executive Val Nicholas and former RNC chairman Michael Steele, both of whom are black, on to discuss their feelings on the verdict, and more broadly, race relations in America today. Nicholas, who had just penned an op-ed for MSNBC.com titled, “I Could Have Been Trayvon Martin,” shared his experiences as a black teenager. He explained that twice as a teen he wound up looking down the barrel of a police gun for no other reason than the color of his skin. Steele agreed with him, saying he too had similar experiences. “What Val and I have in common is black skin, and the perceptions that go along with that,” Steele elaborated.

“My father, not unlike Michael, taught me that if you end up in a situation with the police or security or whatever, never argue, just capitulate,” Nicholas concluded. “Because, he said, there’s only three results that could happen from that. One, you go to jail. Two, you go to the hospital. Three, you go to the morgue. And he told me that when I was 9 or 10 years old.”

A shocked Matthews ended the segment saying he wanted to apologize. “I’ll just tell you one thing and I’m speaking now for all white people but especially those who have tried to change in the last 50 or 60 years — and a lot of them have really tried to change — I’m sorry for this stuff. That’s all I’m saying.”

Watch the clip below: READ FULL STORY

Russell Brand vs. MSNBC, round two: Comedian takes 'Morning Joe' crew to task in column

Russell Brand is not my favorite person in Hollywood. I would personally brand (pun intended) his acting as “Even though my character is named Aldous/Arthur/Lonny, I’m still just Russell Brand.” You can love him, hate him, or even fear a text from him, but there comes a time when one discovers that the actor-comedian is by no means an idiot; in fact, he’s a pretty smart guy.

If you only know him from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (certainly his acting prime) or Rock of Ages, then you have every reason to be skeptical. But take a look at his instantly classic interview on MSNBC that took place last month. Some thought it was rude; others saw it as a refreshing take on the stale and boring interview model. (I agree with the latter.) Brand recently penned a column for The Guardian, astutely pointing out some problems in the age of the interview talk show.

Watch President Obama call Prop 8 plaintiffs

Prop 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier are having the best day ever… and that was before President Obama personally called them to congratulate the couple on their legal victory.

“We’re proud of you guys, and we’re so glad,” the president said on-air on MSNBC thanks to speaker phone. Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, the two other plaintiffs challenging Prop 8, gathered around Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin’s cell phone as well. In the brief remarks, the president highlighted the couples’ courage, and told them they were “helping out a whole lot of people.”

Earlier, President Obama released a statement, saying, “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  This was discrimination enshrined in law.  It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.  The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.  We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Watch the phone call below — and prepare to tear up when a thrilled Katami jokingly invites President Obama to his upcoming wedding:

Russell Brand outsmarts and out-funnys MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' crew -- VIDEO

Hey, cable news: Don’t mess with Russell Brand.

The funnyman was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, and the gaggle of talking heads was a full-on hot mess interviewing the comedian. He was there to promote his upcoming Messiah Complex tour (sounds like someone has been taking naming advice from Jay-Z!), but instead, the talk devolved into questioning why they couldn’t understand his accent and openly admitting they knew nothing about him.

Brand remained a jovial sport, despite the complete lack of trying on the part of the anchors. Watch a cringe-worthy clip below, and then join me for some discussion questions:

White House Correspondents' Dinner: President Obama on NBC, 'The Bible,' and Taylor Swift. Plus: Conan O'Brien's best jokes

C-Span insistently stamped the hashtag “NerdProm” on their coverage of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but the annual political roast looked more like Washington’s answer to the Golden Globes. By which I mean, there were several pointed jokes and untold gallons of booze. Conan O’Brien was the official comedy diplomat of the night — a return trip for the late-night host, who slung jokes in President Clinton’s direction back in 1995. But O’Brien was overshadowed by his opener: President Barack Obama, who took the opportunity to make several jabs at NBC, CNN, and even Taylor Swift. Read on for the best zingers by the former Tonight Show host and the Commander-in-Chief of these United States. READ FULL STORY

'Hannibal' after Boston: What happens when TV networks try to be 'sensitive' to tragic events

Tonight’s episode of Hannibal dramatizes a timely theme: Our response – and responsibility – to human suffering, natural or unnatural. Caution: SPOILERS ahead. “Coquilles” introduces us to two people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal cancer. They choose to cope with their illness in different ways, neither way healthy. One character keeps it a secret from her husband because she’s doesn’t want to burden him, creating more dissonance in an already strained marriage. Another character, made monstrous by his disease (and perhaps other manipulative influences), forces his burden onto others in a bizarre, brutal way, with a convoluted justification that perhaps only Dexter – or a terrorist — might find understandable. READ FULL STORY

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