UPDATED, 11:30 AM: Martin Bashir‘s resignation from MSNBC after making graphic statements about Sarah Palin on his program led to some interesting, and unexpected, results. This morning, for instance, Palin praised the media for keeping on the story alive after Bashir apologized for comments he made about her on his show. “It was refreshing to see though, that many in the media did come out and say, ‘Look our standards have got to be higher than this’,” Palin said this morning on Fox News Channel‘s Fox & Friends. “Those with that platform, with a microphone, a camera in their face, they have to have some more responsibility taken.” Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin, who’d added his voice to the chorus wondering why MSNBC had not punished Bashir for his incendiary, pre-planned on-air comment about Palin — Baldwin had been suspended, then canceled for his homophobic rant against a photographer — weighed in with support of Bashir after word of the latter’s resignation got out. “I’m sorry to learn that @MartinBashir is out at MSNBC,” Baldwin tweeted yesterday, followed a minute later by, “Bashir created great television.” On his November 15 MSNBC program, Bashir called Palin a “world class idiot” for comparing the country’s debt to China to slavery. After describing one slave-owner’s practice of forcing a slave to defecate in another slave’s mouth, Bashir said Palin would be a good candidate for such treatment. READ MORE »
MSNBC‘s joint announcement today with Alec Baldwin’s camp that they had mutually decided to end Baldwin’s Up Late interview show leaves the cable news network with just one on-air talent headache: Martin Bashir, whose apology for graphic comments he made about Sarah Palin hasn’t ended chatter as to whether he should be punished.
This past weekend, Palin, a Fox News analyst, said in an interview with Fox News Sunday that MSNBC was guilty of “executive hypocrisy” in not disciplining Bashir for his “vile, evil comments.” Following Bashir’s on-air apology, the network — which fired Don Imus in 2007 for referring to members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” and suspended David Shuster for two weeks in 2008 for suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had “pimped out” daughter Chelsea by having her make phone calls to celebrities and convention delegates — told the Associated Press it was “handling this [Bashir] matter internally,” and wouldn’t comment further.
Bashir had used his weekday afternoon program on November 15 to criticize Palin for having compared U.S. indebtedness to China to slavery. Bashir cited the diaries of a former plantation overseer who punished slaves by having someone defecate in their mouth or urinate on their face. Bashir suggested the former Alaska governor was a candidate for the same treatment. After Bashir made that suggestion, the same day MSNBC suspended Baldwin’s show after the host’s off-screen behavior, much debate ensued as to why Baldwin’s reprehensible rant during a heated off-air confrontation merited suspension, while Bashir’s thought-out, and deliberately gag-inducing, suggestion, made on air, did not. Bashir apologized during his next telecast, on November 18.
Pivot — the millennial-targeting network launched in August to “entertain and inspire activism” among 18- to 34-year-olds with its “completely different approach to television,” including a “very f—ed up, weird reality talk show” (said Pivot president Evan Shapiro) — today announced that the host of that very f—ed up, weird reality talk show, Meghan McCain, will interview her dad, Sen. John McCain, for the first time.
The interview, premiering Saturday, will feature Meghan asking Dad, among other things, how he turned “a crushing defeat into an inspiring comeback” during the ’08 presidential bid. In clips sent to the press today, Meghan also asked Dad how millennials “can overcome all the obstacles we are facing and still live a fulfilling life.” He said they need to be involved, but “it doesn’t have to be in the military,” ticking off a couple other ideas. More newsworthy, perhaps, Meghan asked Dad about his failed 2008 presidential race against now-President Obama and how he turned that concession speech — or, as Pivot at one point in its news release called it, his “confession speech” — from a “difficult moment into something that has turned out to be so beautiful.”
Despite leaving Fox News last month, Sarah Palin is not joining Al Jazeera America as a talking head. She is, however ,certainly mocking a Washington Post report today incorrectly claiming she was. “Hey @washingtonpost, I’m having coffee with Elvis this week. He works at the Mocha Moose in Wasilla. #suziparkerscoops #idiotmedia,” the former GOP VP candidate wrote on Twitter today. Earlier in the day, the Post ran a seemingly unbelievable story by blogger Suzy Parker on its website saying Palin was heading to the new U.S. version of the Qatar-based network. Parker’s story cited a February 4 report on the Daily Currant as its source for Palin’s new gig. The story quoted the conservative former Alaska Governor as saying Al Jazeera “told me they reach millions of devoutly religious people who don’t watch CBS or CNN. That tells me they don’t have a liberal bias.” However, what the Post didn’t realize was the Currant is a news parody website and the original story was meant to be funny and not at all factual.
The former Republican Vice Presidential candidate will no longer be on Fox News Channel, the network confirmed today. “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors,” FNC Programming EVP Bill Shine said in a statement. Sarah Palin has been a frequent contributor to Fox News since 2009.
Not only did the News Corp-owned network reportedly pay Palin more than $1 million a year, but FNC even built a studio in her Wasilla home so the former Alaska governor could work from there. However, the relationship was not always ruffle-free. On August 29 last year, Palin took to her Facebook page to complain about FNC removing her as a talking head for the network’s GOP convention coverage. Fox News said later it was a scheduling issue and not a slight. Palin showed up on Sean Hannity’s show the next night.
UPDATE, 5:17 PM Thursday: Sarah Palin’s comments on Facebook about her Republican Convention speech being canceled may be part of an elaborate negotiating tactic, according to New York magazine. Palin’s contract is supposedly up in …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Katie Couric breezed through ABC’s morning presentation at TCA to hype her forthcoming syndicated daily daytime talk show Katie, disclosing that she already has invited famed former interview subject Sarah Palin to come on but has yet to hear back. Couric also has invited President Obama and Michelle Obama as well as Mitt and Ann Romney to the show, which premieres September 10.
Couric also detailed what she expects the show to be (she disclosed that Sheryl Crow wrote and performs the theme song) and that producer Jeff Zucker — long her boss during her years at the Today show — will be constantly in her ear during production. ”I’m really excited to be able to work with Jeff,” Couric said. “We had some great years on the Today show and have very similar sensibilities. We can finish each other’s sentences. And I know he’s got my back. I trust him implicitly. It givers me a great sense of security to have him here, to have someone in your ear whom you really trust.”
Related: TV Teaser: Katie Couric’s ‘Katie’
The former GOP VP candidate tore into Hollywood — including comedian Bill Maher and HBO’s movie about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change — but showed some affection for Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey on the Today Show’s “Today’s Professionals” panel discussion segment this morning. Asked about Winfrey’s admission yesterday that she failed to appreciate how hard it would be to launch her struggling OWN network, Palin said “more power to Oprah for getting out there, showing the guts, showing the grit that it takes to succeed. ….She is representing what makes America great. You have opportunity to succeed and to fail and to keep trying again.” Palin didn’t raise her hand when host Matt Lauer asked panel members to do so if they thought that Winfrey would be able to fix OWN. But she added that she thinks the channel is “going to be around. She should get some conservatives on the show, some patriots.”
After a massive promotional campaign and a dash of controversy, HBO’s Game Change premiered with an average of 2.1 million viewers at 9 PM on Saturday to become the network’s most watched original film in almost …
Sarah Palin Dismisses ‘Game Change’ As “Hollywood Lies” And Accuses HBO Of Being “Pro-Leftist, Pro-Obama”
HBO premieres its controversial political movie Game Change tonight about the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign based on the book by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris. On Friday, Palin sent this email to ABC News: “I believe my family has the right priorities and knows what really matters. For instance, our son called from Afghanistan yesterday and he sounded good and that’s what matters. Being in the good graces of Hollywood’s ‘Team Obama’ isn’t top of my list.” Palin also Palin also told Fox News: “I’m not going to go see the movie, neither is the good Sen. John McCain. We’ve discussed this and realized that Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies. They’re going to do what they can to drum up their money and their machine, and their machine happens to be a very pro-leftist, pro-Barack Obama machine there at HBO that created this movie. And those campaign staffers who essentially threw John McCain under the bus, I think that they should feel some shame, and they should feel some embarrassment, because the movie is based on a false narrative, as you can see in the trailer.”
Here’s the trailer for Nick Broomfield’s documentary, which Freestyle Releasing plans to open in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 30.