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Things ain't so rosy for Rosie O’Donnell: OWN has cancelled her daily talk show.
“The Rosie Show” will tape its final show on Tuesday, according to the network. The final episode will air on Friday, March 30.
The gabfest, which brought in minuscule ratings, debuted on OWN in October 2011 and was on the air for five months. It had occupied the same space where Winfrey’s long-running daytime show was shot in Chicago’s Harpo Studios. After millions were spent to renovate the space, the show underwent a format change, initiated by O'Donnell, in January that downscaled the show, ridding it of the studio audience and band.
O'Donnell also cleared out much of the staff with close ties to Winfrey and her old talk show — which led to clashes between O’Donnell and OWN over the show’s direction. There was concern that O’Donnell was going rogue.
“I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “As I have learned in the last 15 months, a new network launch is always a challenge and ratings grow over time as you continue to gather an audience. I’m grateful to Rosie and the dedicated Rosie Show team for giving it their all.”
This is the latest high-profile exit from the network, which has witnessed a revolving door of executives and on-air talent. Winfrey’s good friend, Gayle King, also left her OWN talk show several months ago to join "CBS This Morning" with Charlie Rose.
On Thursday, CNN’s Erin Burnett spoke with David Axelrod, the communications director for President Obama’s re-election campaign, about his recently-canceled plans to appear on controversial host Bill Maher‘s HBO program.RELATED: David Axelrod Cancels Bill Maher Appearance
Burnett brought up Axelrod’s condemnation of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh for having called Georgetown student and activist Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” — a condemnation that proved problematic in light of his decision to appear on Maher’s show given the comedian’s own history of referring to women — mainly, but not solely, conservative women in the public eye, like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann — by derogatory names.
Burnett then asked Axelrod if Maher’s recent million dollar donation to a pro-Obama Super PAC should be returned in light of his comments.
Well, first of all, let me say there’s been a coarsening of our political culture. I don’t think that language is appropriate, no matter who uses it. And I think whoever you are in politics, you ought to be willing to say so. I was disappointed that Governor Romney didn’t stand up more forcefully when Rush Limbaugh said what he said.
But understand that these words that Maher has used in his standup act are a little bit different than — not excusable in any way — but different than a guy with 23 million radio listeners using his broadcast platform to malign a young woman for speaking her mind in the most inappropriate, grotesque ways.
Nor does Bill Maher play the role in the Democratic party that Rush Limbaugh plays in the Republican party, where he’s really the de facto boss of the party. Everybody responds to him, which is the reason why I think Governor Romney was afraid to take him on.
When Burnett noted that, as a public figure herself, she wouldn’t appreciate being called a “c-word” by anyone, Axelrod reiterated that he isn’t trying to “excuse” anyone.
“I do not excuse those kinds of characterizations of women,” he said. “I don’t think those kind of gratuitous, nasty words — about anyone — is appropriate in the public sphere. I’m not excusing anyone. But I think what– what Limbaugh did was was particularly egregious. And it wasn’t just once. He built on it and built on it to the point where he built into a sort of perverse soliloquy at the end about, you know, whether she post her…. relationships online.”
“I can respect that,” replied Burnett, agreeing that Limbaugh’s comments about Fluke had been “disgusting.”
As for the whether the Priorities USA Super PAC should or will return Maher’s hefty donation, Axelrod stressed that it would be illegal of him to become involved in the group’s decisions, but “as a general rule, I don’t think those words belong in the public space.”
Later, Burnett reported that Maher’s contribution makes up 15 percent of the Super PAC’s total contributions since it was established.
CNN contributor John Avlon described Axelrod’s response as a “dodge,” noting that a pervading problem in politics is people’s willingness to defend those on “their side,” while condemning those on the other for the same or similar actions.
If you turned on The O’Reilly Factor tonight hoping to hear Bill O’Reilly go on about liberal media bias, you’re in luck! O’Reilly’s entire first segment of the show focused on how influential, mainstream media outlets are getting information from left-wing media watchdogs and it has a disturbing influence on the general public.RELATED: Tucker Carlson Suggests White House Is Coordinating With Media Matters To Attack Fox News
O’Reilly brought up the last interview Andrew Breitbart ever did, accusing Media Matters of being in collusion with both MSNBC and the Democratic National Committee. O’Reilly reminded viewers that he’s been sounding the alarm bells about that website, and its ties to billionaire George Soros, for years, and then revealed that there is more evidence that what Breitbart said is correct. Remember when several media outlets noticed a divergent trend between Fox News coverage of rising gas prices under George W. Bush and Barack Obama?
Well, it came from a video compiled by Media Matters. And in the video, O’Reilly is saying that any politician who says they can lower gas prices is full of “BS.” But in the full context of the clip, O’Reilly does criticize the Republicans (which he says included Bush) for letting “big oil do whatever it wants” while refusing to “reign in corrupt speculators” who are trying to raise gas prices. O’Reilly then accused MSNBC of deliberately taking his words out of context, before explaining that unlike in previous years, when liberal media bias was just simply noticed in their selection of stories that reflected positively or negatively on both sides, “national news agencies are actually lying to you.”
O’Reilly warned that the presidential election might end up being reported unfairly by many major news outlets, before getting to the big problem at hand.
“But if Andrew Breitbart’s contention is true, that the Democratic party is now coordinating with Media Matters, who is coordinating with MSNBC, that is troubling, and a blatant corruption of the First Amendment.”
Then O’Reilly brought on Bernard Goldberg, who actually disagreed with O’Reilly’s contention that such collusion would have a noticeable effect on voting trends. He said that while Media Matters does have some allies in the media, these allies are not necessarily in positions of power, and Goldberg noted that Media Matters isn’t necessarily making journalists more or less liberal than they already are. Goldberg agreed that Media Matters is “annoying,” but its influence on the electorate is negligible.
O’Reilly shot back by referring to the out-of-context clip of himself being picked up by mainstream media outlets, suggesting that such a strong, mobilized effort to get the video out there would certainly affect people. Goldberg admitted that it might have a slim effect on certain voters, but maintained it would not affect the outcome of the November election.
CNN’s Soledad O’Brien isn’t used to criticism. In the world of media elites, she’s a beloved figure and an award-winning news anchor. But last week, she revealed her true, decidedly non-neutral colors. And she’s not happy about the hoi polloi questioning her hallowed journalistic objectivity.RELATED: CNN’s O’Brien goes for a do-over
On Thursday, O’Brien interviewed Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief of the late Andrew Breitbart’s online empire. Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com released a 1991 video of Barack Obama (then a 30-year-old law student) at a Harvard rally embracing radical racialist Derrick Bell and his push for more aggressive race-based hiring at Harvard. Bell is a proponent of critical race theory (CRT), which posits that America remains a hopelessly racist country dominated by Jews and white supremacists.
O’Brien lost her cool when Pollak shed light on Bell’s fringe legal theories. Acting more like an Obama campaign surrogate than a disinterested host, she angrily jumped on Pollak’s mention of CRT. “That is a complete misreading of critical race theory,” she shrieked. “That’s an actual theory. You could Google it and some would give you a good definition. So that’s not correct!”
When viewers took to Twitter to pepper O’Brien with follow-up questions about critical race theory, the CNN star had a twit fit. She invited a liberal professor, Emory University’s Dorothy Brown, on her television show to back her up and then lashed out: “See? That was our critical race theory 101. Stop tweeting me. We have moved on, people.”
Not so fast, sister.
Turns out that O’Brien, a Harvard grad, has a rather emotional connection to Bell. As documented at my new Twitter curation/aggregation site Twitchy.com, O’Brien tweeted that it was a “rough day” for her when Bell passed away last fall. She wrote that she had “just started re-reading” one of his books and mourned again: “RIP Prof. Bell.” O’Brien also shared tributes to Bell from fellow Harvard prof and friend of Obama Charles Ogletree. That’s the same Professor Ogletree who bragged that he “hid” the Obama/Bell video during the 2008 campaign.
O’Brien failed to disclose her pro-Bell bias to viewers before her segments.
O’Brien also failed to disclose that the liberal prof who denied on her show that critical race theory had aaaaaanything to do with bashing America as a white supremacy-ruled government actually wrote the exact opposite. In one of her own books, Brown asserted that the purpose of CRT was to “highlight the ways in which the law is not neutral and objective, but designed to support White supremacy and the subordination of people of color.” Oops.
O’Brien is entitled to her opinions, of course. The problem is that she masks her political activism under the banner of corporate media “diversity.” Of multicultural heritage, O’Brien has won countless accolades for her “Black in America” and “Latino in America” documentaries for CNN. The medical school at historically black Morehouse College created the “Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award” to honor “outstanding catalysts of social change.” The first recipient of the activist award? Soledad O’Brien, of course.
O’Brien is also a card-carrying member of two racial/ethnic-centered journalism lobbying groups: the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. These organizations are inherently politicized entities that enforce a skin color-deep ideological solidarity and push a social justice agenda of advocacy journalism. I know because I’ve fought their collective herd mentality for the past 20 years.
Liberal minority journalists have themselves acknowledged their slavish fealty to Obama and his progressive agenda. During the 2008 campaign, the NABJ, NAHJ and Asian American Journalists Association held a “journalists of color” confab where then-candidate Obama was welcomed with Justin Bieber-style mania. One journalist squealed, “He touched me!” after Obama’s address, which was interrupted multiple times with standing ovations, cheers and whistles by the press.
Organizers were so concerned about public displays of Obamedia affection that they issued several warnings to their news professional members that the speech would be broadcast live on (Soledad O’Brien’s) CNN. “Professional decorum” was encouraged. One wire story even fretted: “Can minority journalists resist applauding Obama?”
Nope, liberal minority journalists simply can’t resist carrying water for Obama. That’s because their journalistic unity demands political unanimity. If you don’t accept the left-leaning agenda of “social change” journalism, you’re enabling racism. If you don’t support the pursuit of racial hiring goals as a primary journalistic and academic goal, you’re selling out.
Now you know the reason for O’Brien’s thin-skinned reaction to Obama’s critics. When you vet the president, you vet the media. And they don’t like the narrative table-turning one bit.
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter, the author of “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America,” took some shots at those seeking the limelight in the Republican Party and the conservative movement Monday night at the Indian River County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Vero Beach, Fla.RELATED: What's Their Problem With Romney?
Coulter, who was asked about the prospects of a brokered Republican convention, hinted — as she has done in the past – that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is promoting the idea because she would like to be considered for the GOP nomination should a brokered convention occur. Coulter warned that selecting a candidate that way would void the vetting process that has weeded out inferior candidates.
“One of the ones promoting that [a brokered convention] is Sarah Palin, who has suggested herself as the choice,” Coulter said. “I think as long as it’s between us girls — I’ve been observing something about her. I don’t think it’s likely to happen. I don’t know what these people are cheering for. As I wrote in a column a few weeks back, who is this dream candidate we’re hoping to get from the convention, because Rick Perry used to be the dream candidate. Can we see them in a debate first?”
Coulter said that might be a weakness in the Republican Party as a whole — that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics, which Democrats have been able to avoid.
“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”
She cited Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as examples where despite having a loyal following, Democrats haven’t honored him with even an MSNBC show.
“No, no, no — you embarrass us and drag this thing out, you are finished in the Democratic Party,” she said.
Coulter proposed a pledge for Republican presidential candidates, which would be meant to limit their ability to profit off of political stardom.
“The one pledge I support and I think I’m going to draft it up is for all Republican nominees for president — I want them to sign a pledge saying, ‘If I lose the nomination I pledge I will not take a gig with Fox News or write a book.’”
President Barack Obama has forged a surprising consensus on opposite ends of the political spectrum: They wonder how on earth he gets away with it.RELATED: Repulsive progressive hypocrisy
A series of recent moves — from aggressively filling his reelection war chest to green-lighting shoot-to-kill orders against an American terror suspect overseas — would have triggered a massive backlash if George W. Bush had tried them, say former Bush administration officials and a few on the political left. Even Obama’s love for the links draws only gentle ribbing rather than the denunciations that helped drive Bush to give up the game for the balance of his presidency.
The muted public response has fueled frustration – and more than a little envy.
“A little bit of consistency from the media would be appreciated — and from the left-wing groups,” said Mark Corallo, director of public affairs at the Justice Department from 2002-05. “I don’t see anybody standing up. … Where is the outrage?”
Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, an icon of what the Obama White House famously dubbed “the professional left,” also sees a strange lack of interest toward some of Obama’s policies. Among them: his administration’s claim that the Constitution allows executive use of armed drones to kill U.S. citizens abroad deemed to be terrorist operatives.
“Virtually all the Democrats who were apoplectic about Bush and were constantly complaining about him ‘trampling on our values’ over eavesdropping and detention have been silent about assassination, even though it’s so much more severe,” Greenwald said. “It isn’t that Obama is necessarily any worse on civil liberties than Bush. The point is he’s able to get away with so much more.”
A White House spokesman declined to comment for this story. But Obama aides have noted that he takes plenty of heat for other policies — such as expanding entitlements or phasing out traditional light bulbs — that were far less controversial when Bush did them. Obama’s recent decision on contraception and religious employers triggered a political firestorm, but a similar policy in place throughout the Bush administration barely registered on the political radar.
Some differences in coverage flow from a simple truth: Stories that feed an established media narrative about a political figure get more attention than those that cut against it. And the press tends to blow up stories when partisans attack one another. Some of Obama’s practices, particularly in the war on terror, are supported by Republicans — even as they cringe at the unanimity.
Here’s a look at five areas in which critics on the left and right say Obama’s gotten a relatively easy ride:
A green light to kill U.S. citizens abroad
Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder visited Chicago to lay out his rationale that the U.S. government has the legal right to kill U.S.-citizen terror suspects overseas — and that there’s no role for the courts in reviewing such use of lethal force.
The speech at Northwestern University Law School drew a smattering of news accounts and a handful of reporters, but few protesters, no candlelight vigil and no audience members clad in orange jumpsuits and chains. Some liberal groups issued press releases taking issue with Holder’s analysis, but the reaction to what could be termed warrantless killing was a far cry from the sky-is-falling, apocalyptic rhetoric unleashed at Bush and his appointees a few years back over efforts merely to listen in on the communications of suspected terrorists through the warrantless wiretapping program.
After Obama submitted to a rare news conference the next day, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart noted that not a single question was asked about the provocative Holder speech. “How come no one at the press conference brought that up? Didn’t even say a f—ing word about it?” Stewart asked on his program Wednesday. “You didn’t say anything about a historically massive, executive branch power grab.”
Greenwald sounded equally amazed. “Here you have Obama asserting the power not to detain Americans or eavesdrop on them, but to target them for execution by the CIA without a shred or whit of due process,” he said. “I would think that most people would prefer to be eavesdropped upon, or detained, than killed with a drone.”
He argues that muted criticism of Obama on the war on terror actually makes his policies more extreme.
“There were Americans in Al Qaeda throughout the Bush administration, but it never asserted the power to target them for death. It was just a bridge too far for them,” Greenwald said. “Those Democrats who claimed to find these issues so important and are now being opportunistic and politically cynical are not just neglecting these abuses, they’re actually enabling them.”
Corallo said he supports the drone policy outlined this week, but if his former boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, gave a similar speech, he would have been excoriated.
“You would have gotten a firestorm of criticism from the left,” Corallo said. “We would have been pilloried as ‘a bunch of jackbooted thugs ignoring the Constitution. We ought to impeach this president.’ The cacophony would have been deafening. The New York Times editorial page would have pilloried Ashcroft and Bush, and reporters would have found every leftist constitutional law scholar to come out and scream and yell that we’re just trampling on constitutional rights.” (The Times did weigh in with an editorial Sunday, six days after Holder’s speech.)
Corallo noted that the Bush administration’s detention of Al Qaeda suspect and American citizen Jose Padilla without charge in a Navy brig in South Carolina became a cause célèbre for many on the left, while reaction to the drone strike that killed New Mexico-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year has been relatively muted.
“We got pilloried [over Padilla], and they’re dropping missiles on some guy’s eyeball from 30,000 feet and it’s just business as usual,” said Corallo. “In fact, they’re actually crowing about it.”
Fundraising and swing state travel
Obama, who came into office bemoaning a broken electoral system, has proved surprisingly energetic at fundraising from wealthy donors and using his office to his political benefit in states that could decide his reelection.
He’s attended 103 reelection fundraisers — about double the 52 such events Bush had attended at this point in 2004, according to tallies kept by CBS’s Mark Knoller.