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Super Bowl XLVIII: The Good, The Bad, The Ads

Super Bowl 2014Super Bowl XLVIII: total bust as a game, middling year for ads –  though outrage was tearing up Twitter by the time the game sputtered to a close over a Coke commercial in which “America the Beautiful” was sung in many languages over images of people of many ethnic and religious backgrounds spending quality time with family and friends.  Rants ranged from :

Nice to see that Coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go Coke. You can leave America

to

Glad to see the that #boycottcoke thing. That way we can clearly spot every bigot, racist and moron in the country & keep them from our kids.

The ad, ironically, called “It’s Beautiful,” also marked the first time a gay couple had been included in a Super Bowl ad, according to GLAAD, but that kind of got drowned out in all the mud-slinging under the banners #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke.

The game started strong with Joe Namath, in a fly 70′s fur coat, botching the coin toss, which we didn’t think could be done. Namath’s coat went on to bigger and better things, becoming a hashtag phenomenon on Twitter. Despite high prices paid for A-list celebrity endorsements, it was Rob Riggle who seemed to get the most career mileage out of this year’s crop of game ads — including  screen time in both a faux movie trailer, Escape to East Rutherford, and a Ford Fusion … Read More »

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UPDATE: MSNBC Begins Probation, RNC Tells FNC In Re Cheerios Ad Tweet (Video)

By | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 6:43am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE, 6:41 AM:  MSNBC began probation today. MSNBC was put there by the RNC, after network chief Phil Griffin apologized to RNC chief Reince Priebus before Priebus could appear on FNC‘s Hannity to talk about the boycott of MSNBC he’d organized in the wake of the net’s Cheerios ad tweet. Yesterday afternoon, Priebus announced that until he got a personal and public apology from Griffin himself  for the tweet on the net’s official web site, suggesting “rightwing”-ers might not like Cheerios’ new Super Bowl ad featuring a multi-racial family, RNC staffers were banned from contact with MSNBC. Priebus said he’d asked all members of the GOP to do same.  On the strength of that, Hannity booked Priebus for his show. But Griffin apologized quickly, which left Priebus to tell Hannity he’d put MSNBC on probation: “Now we have to stay on top of it. So you know what? It’s sort of like being on probation I guess. But the fact of the matter is, we’re here, we’re watching them,” Priebus said. He warned that if he sees any more rannygazoo coming from the general direction of MSNBC, “I’ll do it again. I promise you that.”

PREVIOUS, 1:19 PM Thursday: MSNBC says it has let go the employee who tweeted that “maybe the rightwing will hate” Cheerios’ new Super Bowl ad featuring a multiracial family, and that MSNBC president Phil Griffin has personally apologized to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus for the tweet. Meanwhile, Fox News reported Priebus will give his first Cheerios Tweet-gate interview to Hannity at 10PM/ET. ”The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” Griffin said in a statement today. “We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it.  We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet. I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At MSNBC we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change. ”

PREVIOUS, 10:45 AM: RNC chairman Reince Priebus says MSNBC’s apology for its tweet about a Cheerios commercial does not go far enough, and is organizing a msnbc_logo_20110630160351__121213191013__140102224602GOP boycott of the cable news network. MSNBC has deleted the tweet, called it “offensive,” said it “deeply regrets” the tweet. The network apologized and said it “does not reflect the position of MSNBC.” The tweet was about a Cheerios ad running in Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring the same interracial family used in an earlier Cheerios ad that generated such hateful comments on YouTube that the video’s comments section was shut down. “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” MSNBC tweeted, while also directing readers to its report on the ad with video of the ad.

reince-priebusNot enough, says Priebus, who’s trying to orchestrate a GOP-wide boycott of the network until MSNBC president Phil Griffin  himself “personally and publicly” apologizes for “this behavior,” telling Griffin in a letter that also made its way to the media that “such petty and demeaning attacks have become a pattern at your network” and jumping to a discussion of how “many of your hosts have personally denigrated and demeaned Americans – especially conservative and Republican Americans – without even attempting to further meaningful political dialogue.”  Technically, some of those people are now “former hosts.” Read More »

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MSNBC Launches Promos For ‘Up Late With Alec Baldwin’ As NBC Kills Clinton Miniseries

By | Tuesday October 1, 2013 @ 7:44am PDT

Alec Baldwin’s MSNBC talker Up Late With Alec Baldwin -- aka Republican National Committee’s Talking Point No. 2 in its State of Upset Address about NBC’s now-defunct plans to air a miniseries about presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — premieres October 11. Let the promos begin:

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UPDATE: NBC Kills Its Hillary Clinton Miniseries; RNC Takes Credit

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 3:18pm PDT

2ND UPDATE 6:30 PM: The Republican National Committee is taking credit for NBC and CNN deep-sixing what the group calls “their Hillary Clinton infomercials”. In August, the RNC threatened to block both networks from the 2016 presidential debates if they were forward with their Clinton programs. Here RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski’s statement on their cancellation: “This was only the first step in the Republican Party taking control of our debate process. The purpose of our party’s debates is to better inform our grassroots and those participating in Republican primaries and caucuses. Now that CNN and NBC have canceled their Hillary Clinton infomercials, we will work on developing a new debate model that will address the timing, frequency, moderators and venues that will come in the next few months. Any media organization looking to be part of the debate process will have to comply with the new system.”

Related: CNN Bails On Hillary Clinton Documentary

UPDATED, 3:18 PM: Having lost its production partner on its Hillary Clinton miniseries back in August, and with all the brouhaha that had erupted over its Clinton mini (and CNN’s documentary), NBC planned to announce that its biopic was a goner sometime down the road, a source tells us. But when CNN this morning announced the demise of its Clinton documentary, NBC pounced on the opportunity to slip its news into the CNN story, rather than have reporters pound away with will-NBC-or-won’t-NBC sidebars and second-day stories. This is known as taking out all the dirty laundry in one afternoon — public relations 101.

Related: CNN Fires Back At GOP Over Hillary Clinton Docu & Debate Threat
Read More »

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CNN Joins NBC, Bails On Hillary Clinton Documentary

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 7:10am PDT

Now CNN has bailed on its plans for a Hillary Clinton documentary, but insisted the director made the call. The news comes just weeks after NBC issued a statement saying its Hillary Clinton miniseries — which was the biggest bit of news at its TCA Summer TV Press Tour appearance — was after all only a project in development and might never see the light of day (translation: don’t hold your breath). CNN let it be known this morning its CNN Films division had informed the mothership it would not move ahead on its Clinton docu  – because the director had bowed out. “Charles Ferguson has informed us that he is not moving forward with his documentary about Hillary Clinton … [W]e won’t seek other partners and are not proceeding with the film,” CNN Worldwide told Politico. Message of the message: CNN did not decide to cancel the docu — it was the director’s decision.

In one of those incredible coincidences that makes this industry so interesting, Ferguson this very morning wrote a blog post published on Huffington Post, in which he complained pressure from Clinton’s camp and the Republican National Committee led many of his prospective interviewees to give him a “no dice” response to appearing in the docu. He expresses surprise to discover “that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away. I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from CBN (Pat Robertson) and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.” Read More »

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UPDATE: RNC Responds to CNN Hire of Participant Media Exec Courtney Sexton

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 1:31pm PDT

UPDATE, 1:30 PM: “Any concerns the Clinton team had are all gone. This puts the ‘P’ in puff piece,” a Republican National Committee rep said this afternoon, in response to our report about the announcement by CNN Films that it had hired senior director Courtney Sexton, who previously oversaw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the bio-docu Jimmy Carter Man From Plains among many other projects. “What’s next: Michael Moore directing?” added Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director, in an email to Politico about Deadline’s coverage of the hire.

PREVIOUS: CNN Films, the division of CNN Worldwide responsible for commissioning the documentary about Hillary Clinton that’s got the RNC’s knickers in a knot, today announced it is welcoming Courtney Sexton to its Los Angeles team as senior director. The Republican National Committee may latch on to this news — in much the same way it did reports MSNBC was giving Alec Baldwin a program — because Sexton has spent the last eight years working with Participant Media where, CNN noted, she managed from development to release such documentary films as An Inconvenient Truth. That’s the Oscar-winning docu about former Veep Al Gore’s global warming campaign. Other titles Sexton shepherded include Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, among many titles. Prior to joining Participant, Sexton worked for two years with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim — An Inconvenient Truth’s director — on the HBO series Deadwood, among other projects.

Related: NBC Says Hillary Clinton Miniseries Might Never Go To Production Read More »

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NBC News’ Chuck Todd Compliments RNC’s Decision To Block NBC From GOP Primary Debates

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 7:41am PDT

NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd — the guy who complained NBC News would only “own the negative” aspects of NBC Entertainment’s planned Hillary Clinton miniseries, seemed in a much better mood this morning, after NBC Entertainment said late Friday the mini might never be programmed. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Todd said the Republication National Committee’s announcement Friday morning that it would block NBC from the GOP primary debates because of the miniseries (as well as CNN, over its planned Hillary Clinton docu) was “smart” if it limited the number of GOP primary debates, weeding out fame seekers. “About half the Republican field from 2012, if they didn’t have the debates, they would not have run. They simply ran for exposure — to get a talk show…to get a radio deal, a column, or a deal with Fox [News]. It wasn’t really because they thought they had a viable shot,” Todd said. He added, “One of the things in the whole celebrification of the presidential cycle is that it has allowed for this underbelly of candidates to say ‘Hey,  I can show up, I get to be on national television’.” He then imagined if the RNC “had put as much effort as they put into this, to getting immigration reform passed.”

Related:Read More »

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NBC Says Hillary Clinton Miniseries Might Never Go To Production

By | Friday August 16, 2013 @ 6:22pm PDT

NBC began to circle the wagons on its Hillary Clinton miniseries this afternoon, hours after the Republican National Committee blocked the network from GOP primary debates, calling the miniseries a Clinton promo. “The Hillary Clinton movie has not been ordered to production, only a script is being written at this time,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said this afternoon in a statement. “It is ‘in development’, the first stage of any television series or movie, many of which never go to production. Speculation, demands, and declarations pertaining to something that isn’t created or produced yet seem premature,” he added. The statement was issued not long after word got out that Fox TV Studio, which had been in early stages of talks to produce the miniseries, would not move ahead with the project about the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

NBC’s took on this headache when Greenblatt made the Clinton miniseries one of his big announcements at his Summer TCA Press Tour appearance on July 27. Network execs like to come to Press Tour with these kinds of bright shiny lights, to distract the press so they don’t ask too many uncomfortable questions about ratings and some of their new series pickups, etc. Greenblatt announced that the network was preparing the four-hour miniseries as part of an ambitious slate of longform projects with which he hopes to make noise and boost ratings. “We need to be in the event business,” Greenblatt said back then.

Related: RNC Votes To Block CNN, NBC From Primary Debates

Read More »

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RNC Votes To Block CNN, NBC From Primary Debates Over Hillary Clinton Projects

By | Friday August 16, 2013 @ 9:24am PDT

The Republican National Committee formally spanked NBC and CNN over plans to air programs about Hillary Clinton, saying the RNC would not partner with either network for presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle. Nor will the RNC sanction any debates those networks might sponsor or broadcast. NBC announced it’s working on a miniseries about the presumed Democratic presidential candidate and CNN has announced it’s got a documentary in the works. RNC honchos voted unanimously on a resolution at their annual summer meeting in Boston.

Read the RNC resolution, from RNC staffers, via The Washington Post, after the jump:

Related:
NBC Says Hillary Clinton Miniseries Might Never Go To Production

Fox TV Studios Won’t Produce NBC’s Hillary Clinton Miniseries

WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and

WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and

WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks; and

WHEREAS, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of

Read More »

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