"Today" led with the PA primary results and hosted Hillary Clinton. "Early Show" led with the PA primary results and hosted Clinton. "GMA" led with the PA primary results and hosted Clinton.
You're Our Wonderwalls
Multiple hours of the 4/22 PA primary coverage made for some fun TV moments last night. Here are some highlights:
• Pat Buchanan, on the notion Barack Obama is getting "beat up" in PA: "The country don't want a wimp" (MSNBC).
• Dem strategist Donna Brazile, to CNN's Lou Dobbs: "Lou, you're not exactly my boo" (CNN).
• Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), on Hillary Clinton: "In the 'bitter' areas of Pennsylvania, she just rocked and rolled" (FNC).
• GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, on the perceived negative effect Bill Clinton is having on Clinton's campaign: "This is why you don't have surgeons operate on members of their own family" (CNN).
• MSNBC's Chris Matthews, on Clinton: "She's come across as the hometown girl. If you don't mind that phrase -- girl."
• CNN's John King, on his magic wall that switches colors as soon as a precinct switches between candidates: "Look at that. That's the wonder of the wall."
"Math is not her most important subject. She likes psychology."--NBC's Tim Russert, on HRC, "Today," 4/23.
Larry The Cable Guy
"Just as Katie Couric was reportedly eyeing his juicy primetime job," CNN's Larry King has signed a contract extension with CNN that could keep him on the air through '10. Although the extension will only add one year to King's $28M deal, "the timing of the signing is most telling." CBS' Couric was "exploring the idea of a move to King's spot if she decided to step down as anchor of the 'Evening News' early next year.'" CNN had "denied it was even considering replacing King -- but his contract had been set to expire in summer 2009, just as Couric would become available" (New York Post, 4/23).
Feeling Good, Feeling Great, How 'Bout You?
On 4/22, for the "upteenth time," the legal teams of Dan Rather and CBS "appeared back in court" in NYC for "yet another round of legal gymnastics" over Rather's $70M civil suit against CBS. In the 4/22 session, NY Supreme Court Judge Ira Gammerman "allowed limited discovery to proceed" regarding contractual issues and CBS' "internal investigation" during the aftermath of the flawed story on "60 Minutes II."
CBS, in a statement: "We are gratified that the judge has significantly limited the scope of discovery to matters still pending before the court. We are also pleased the court affirmed its dismissal of the fraud claim. We will contest any attempts by Mr. Rather to recast this claim, and we are confident that we will prevail."
Rather atty Martin Gold, in a statement: "The Court's rulings today make clear that Mr. Rather's lawsuit following the Court's April 10 opinion is not just a 'garden variety contract claim,' as CBS previously announced."
Rather: "I'm focused on the big picture here. The facts alleged in the complaint remain, the punitive and compensatory damages remain, discovery continues and depositions are on the horizon. I feel pretty good" (Gillette, New York Observer, 4/22).
More Rather, who has been in court for "almost every hearing": "[Proving] the truth of the story is all I've ever wanted" (Maull, AP, 4/22).
CBS atty James Quinn: "We have nothing to hide. ... It's one of those sad cases where a person at the end of his career wants to go back after people he feels mistreated him" (Gregorian, New York Post, 4/23).
The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week
Following the speculation of Katie Couric leaving and its Dem WH '08 debate in NC being cancelled, CBS received more "bad news" on 4/22. The "'Evening News' recorded the worst five-night run in its history last week." The program attracted an average of 5.4M viewers. "That number was down from about" 5.6M "the week before and" 6M "two weeks ago." CBS Sr. VP Paul Friedman: "Of course we're frustrated with the ratings. We believe the broadcast and Katie are not getting the credit they deserve" (Carter, New York Times, 4/23).
Way To Go, Williams
In other ratings news, NBC's "'Nightly News' was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of" 4/14 "in all categories" (release, 4/22).
Meanwhile, "Daily Intelligencer" reports, NBC's Brian Williams' new "fun and fearless" MySpace page "automatically plays Gnarls Barkley" and reveals that he "has fallen for Vampire Weekend" (New York mag, 4/22).
Jay Leno: "In Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama celebrated Earth Day by throwing mud at each other. ... This week, of course, Passover week. I guess it started Saturday, and it lasts for eight days. And again, you know, President Bush tries to get into the spirit of the Jewish holiday. I don't think he understands. I understand he spent all day coloring matzo balls. ... Of course, all the presidential candidates seized on the pope's visit. And people are speculating which presidential candidate is most like the pope. And it's hard to say. I mean, you got John McCain, he's the old guy. He's closest to God. Barack Obama is the elitist. He's holier than thou. And, of course, Hillary who is married to Bill Clinton, and who has forgiven more sin than Hillary? How do you pick one? ... And former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, working on a new book about his strategy for the war in Iraq. The book just came out, we have a first copy here. It's called, 'Don't Blame Me. It was Cheney's Idea.' Also in Washington this week, President Bush named a new HUD chief. Bush says he wants to reverse the direction of HUD. Now, if you reverse HUD, you get 'duh'" ("Tonight Show," NBC, 4/22).
David Letterman: "And today in Pennsylvania, are you excited about the campaign? The Republicans, you know, you have John McCain, and he was running against Gomer Pyle. ... Now they have Hillary and Barack Obama. And oh, my gosh. Here's the problem. I'm no pundit, I'm no political expert, but here is the problem with what the Democrats are doing. They're spending too much time attacking one another, and not enough time trying to rig the election. That's the problem. Hillary, God bless her. She is a campaigner, and you know, she is trying to convince the people in Pennsylvania that she's a hunter. So she's been campaigning all month in Pennsylvania. Yeah, she's a hunter. So she shows up at campaign events wearing her beaver pelt pantsuit. ... And this is great. She's been trying to convince the voters in Pennsylvania that she is pro-gun. I was thinking about this. Come on. If she was really pro-gun, Bill would be dead" ("Late Show," CBS, 4/22).
Jon Stewart: "What a night. What a big show we've got tonight. Obviously, the big news: the Pennsylvania primary. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. The results [were] mind blowing. Hillary Clinton [inaudible mumbling] and Barack Obama, who could have predicted? [inaudible mumbling]. It's the shocking result that we will have more on tomorrow. ... You know that Barack Obama was the guest on the program. He was not actually here in the studio. The good news, of course, [is that] hope can be transmitted via satellite. Just flies through the air. We've actually now had all the presidential candidates on our show, the three that are remaining. And I would like to think that appearing on this program is as low as they are going to go to pander for votes. I would like to think that we truly are the bottom of their barrel. Or not even that, whatever it is that grows under the bottom of barrels, that would us. That would be my hope for them, for our country. But last night, I go home after the show, as I usually do on a Monday night, put my feet in some epsom salts, light a cinnamon candle, and I turn on my WWE Raw and I see this [on screen: video coverage of Obama, Clinton and McCain appearing on wrestling's 'Monday Night Raw']. Let's get ready to stumble! ... Why did the candidates humiliate themselves in cable backwaters like WWE Raw and 'The Daily Show?' Because they are running for president. And the chance to humiliate themselves on a network [on screen: Pres. Bush appearing on 'Deal or No Deal']" ("Daily Show," Comedy Central, 4/22).
Stephen Colbert: "Now, instead of arguing about manufactured issues, the campaigns are talking about something Americans truly care about: my show. Last Thursday in Philadelphia, Senator Clinton made an appearance at the beginning of my show, and Senator Obama appeared at the end of my show, leading one Clinton aide to say of Obama, 'I can't believe it -- he's such a copycat.' True story. Unfortunately, Obama had already declared that he was rubber and she was glue. Obama spokesman Bill Burton fired back, 'I'm not surprised the Clinton campaign is attacking us for going on the 'The Colbert Report' since their campaign is 100% negative.' Just another inspiring example of the Obama campaign's efforts to bring all Americans together with their unifying message of calling Hillary divisive. I will say the Clinton's camp accusations of cop cattery have some merit. After all, Barack Obama proposed tax credits for college students and family leave legislation after Hillary Clinton had proposed both. But it goes deeper, folks. First, Hillary was born in Illinois. Then Obama moved to Illinois. Hillary became a senator, and suddenly Obama decides he wants to be a senator, too. Then Hillary became the Democratic frontrunner, until Obama said, 'That sounds like fun, let me give it a try.' And perhaps most damningly of all, Barack married a black woman 17 years after Hillary married a black man [on screen: photo of Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton]. So, given all this evidence can we reasonably accuse Obama of being a copycat? [on screen: video of Obama and supporters chanting, 'Yes, we can! Yes we can!']. And will Clinton's campaign continue to make those accusations? [on screen: video of Clinton and supporters chanting, 'Yes, we will! Yes, we will!']. She's nothing if not tenacious" ("Colbert Report," Comedy Central, 4/22).
Conan O'Brien: "Of course, the Pennsylvania primary was today. Hope you all voted. Right. Get on a bus and pretend to be from Pennsylvania. Now, we tape early. I'm gonna be honest with our television audience. We tape early, a few hours early. ... Play along. We don't have the results just yet, okay? But I will give you the latest news. Earlier this morning, Hillary Clinton, this is true, said she will stay in the presidential race even if she loses the Pennsylvania primary. She also said she'll stay in the race even if she loses the nomination and November's election. She's not going anywhere. ... Hillary, she went all out. She pulled out all the stops to win in the state of Pennsylvania. The other day, this is true, Chelsea Clinton tried to help her mother attract the gay vote in Pennsylvania by visiting several lesbian bars. ... And Bill Clinton visited several lesbian bars, too, but he wasn't campaigning. He was actually just there anyway. Political experts say that Barack Obama is attracting mostly younger voters, while Hillary Clinton is attracting much older voters. They may be right, because today John McCain said he's voting for Hillary" ("Late Night," NBC, 4/22).
Jimmy Kimmel: "Hey, the long-awaited Pennsylvania Democratic primary ... is finally over. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been fighting for like, I don't know, seems like six months over this state. And as usual, it all came down to the Amish vote. Hillary was the favorite going in. And they say that in order to stay in the race, she had to not only win the state, but she had to win it big. And she did. The numbers are still coming in, but at last count, she led Barack Obama 54% to 46%, which I guess is big. And now I think she leads the popular vote. Which is exciting for her. But the truth of the matter is, she still has almost no chance of winning the nomination. She'd have to win almost every state left and she has to win like win 80%. This is what I hear on television. Honestly, I don't know anything. I just watch and then I go 'Yes.' ... This has been an unusual campaign. The candidates have been on pretty much every TV show, except for this one. Even Tyra became an important stop on the campaign trail. But last night it got about as weird as it can. Short of the candidates showing up on 'Maury' for a DNA test, all three presidential candidates appeared last night on [WWE's] 'Monday Night Raw.' ... They each made a separate, ridiculous wrestling-themed statement. We put it together so you don't have to kill yourself sitting through them [on screen: Clinton, Obama and McCain appearing on WWE]. ... John McCain has had a weird week already. Yesterday he was in a town called Gee's Bend, Alabama, where, despite the fact that that is Democrat country, he had no trouble whatsoever fitting in [on screen: video of McCain mingling with voters and listening to them sing]. That is something. Somebody definitely got fired over that one, right? The photographer. McCain isn't the only one vying for uncomfortable white guy of the week. While McCain was in Alabama, President Bush was in New Orleans, where once again, he ended up on stage dancing [on screen: video of Bush dancing on stage in New Orleans]. ... By the way, whoever keeps advising him to do that, thank you. Honestly. Makes our jobs a lot easier around here. I don't know if it has anything to do with the dancing, but President Bush now has the highest disapproval rating of any president in the history of disapproval ratings, or approval ratings. 70% Of Americans disapprove of the job he's doing. That's even worse than Nixon, right, before he left office? So way to go, Mr. President. It goes to show you with hard work and determination, you can accomplish anything" ("Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC, 4/22).