Weekend Links and Open Thread

  • Lean Forward: Brian Williams rebuked for ‘patronizing’ Maddow.
  • MediaBuzz videos: fixation;
  • Reliable Sources videos: Venomous Trump; anti-media Trump; NY Times.
  • Weprin: Sorry cablers, there was no news to cover at the WHCD.
  • Somerby: Rachel Maddow in the killing fields part one, part two.
  • The perfect solution: let’s just hire a woman to run Fox News.
  • Court rules CNN defamation case can proceed.   Q&A: W Kamau Bell.
  • Kelly is keeping up with the Kardashians.  Morning lovebirds’ road trip.
  • Kludt: Fox & Friends enjoys ratings surge;  Weiss: How F&F warps minds.
  • CNN celebrity chef carries a concealed weapon.  FNC quits Election Pool.
  • Six things you didn’t know about Abby Huntsman.  Sunday talkers: preview.

59 thoughts on “Weekend Links and Open Thread”

  1. Ms. Weiss, I will have you know that my mind was warped long before Fox & Friends or Fox, for that matter, even existed. MAD Magizine and the National Lampoon did it, and I am grateful.

  2. I caught only the last few minutes of yesterday’s radio show with Tom Shillue and Andy Levy. Before they signed off, Tom said they would be back on Monday. Is this going to be a permanent gig?

    • Seems too soon for this to be made permanent. Also doesn’t seem that likely. Fox will likely give the job to someone who is more suited for radio and likely a single host. The little I heard of them over the week wasn’t that impressive.

      Podcast is a better format for Tom and Andy. They need to probably expand that to three times a week. They can spend more time talking about what they want instead of the news of the day. They also don’t have to worry about commercial breaks and calls.

  3. For those who speculated TVNewser’s transition from Disqus comments sections to Facebook comments sections might have a negative impact, here’s what a very small sample size (one day) shows:

    Thursday, April 20th (Disqus)

    Thursday, April 27th (Facebook)

  4. After seeing what Fox came up with for 5:00 and the first week of The Five post-Bolling, it looks like Fox really didn’t put nearly enough thought into where people should go.

    Of course they aren’t available full-time, but Wallace and Baier both fit in on The Five much better than Watters. Considering that The Five is now one of the three most important shows at Fox and is in the toughest time slot, they should have found someone better suited to replace Bolling.
    I think Jesse would have been better being part of the show at 5:00. Have him be part of something new instead of having to replace someone on a hit show.
    Even though Bolling and Watters are pretty similar in their opinions, I think their style is different enough. A rotation of Williams, Watters and Timpf would probably also be better than just the two women. They could choose the two who would work best with whatever guests they have that day. It gives them another option, if someone is just not working out, they could get rid of them without causing much headaches.

    The Five should have just went ahead and had rotating hosts until they found the right person. Viewers are already used to seeing The Five have a variety of hosts and Perino, Guilfoyle and Gutfeld are going to be who people watch for anyway.
    There are a lot of talented FBN hosts that are good options to move up to FNC. Also should have been willing to consider replacing Bolling with a woman.

    Fox also seems to be messing up their Saturday shows with some of their moves. Greg is going to have to find a new time to tape his show. Timpf has far less time for Gutfeld. Watters has far less time for Watters World.

    Unfortunately for Fox, they are sorely lacking in younger (under-45) male on-air talent to use as hosts.
    They probably wish they could have had Bolling stay on The Five and Watters as a host of the new show, but a Watters, Williams and Timpf show sounds like a weekend show.
    They’ve made a lot of good female hires, but they need to find some guys.

    • Good point re: their lack of overall male talent.

      Beyond that though I never got the whole Jesse Watters thing. The Five was a lot better with Baier and Wallace in his place.

      As far as “The Fox News Specialists” goes – I don’t see that keeping up the ratings that The Five enjoyed (or for that matter, Glenn Beck) but I guess we’ll see.

      • The Five was better with Bolling than Waters, he kind of didn’t fit in when he filled in either, especially in the Greg seat. Plus Eric and Bob play well together . It would be interesting to see what young talent they can get for their network ,

    • Your post made me think: who are the younger Gen X and Millennial males on FNC and FBN? You’re right: there aren’t a lot but the ones they do have cross racial and ideological lines:. Jesse Watters, Pete Hegseth, Guy Benson, Leland Vittert, Peter Doocy, Richard Fowler, Tyrus. There are also those that are not official contributors but frequently appear and probably should become contributors:. Brian Brenberg, Dave Smith, Kevin Jackson, Michael Malice, the young man from the Heritage Foundation that’s on Fox News Sunday a lot whose name escapes me. Will be interesting to watch new management find & develop talent over next couple of years.

      • Out of the 14 male weekday hosts, Watters is the only one under 45 (almost 10 years younger than next youngest) and Tucker and Baier are the only others under 50. Out of the 12 female ones, seven are under 45, five are under 40 (Timpf is under 30) and only two are over 50.
        Five are younger than the youngest male host. Eight are younger than the second youngest male host. Seven men are older than the oldest female host.

        – This is not even counting Kennedy, Melissa Francis or Trish Regan who are all under 45 and do some hosting on FNC.
        – They have four women who are under-35, were hired less than two years ago and are now either hosting a weekday show (McCain, Timpf, Williams) or a major weekend show (Huntsman). Not counting Beckel, the male weekday host who is newest to Fox is Tucker and he has been there for eight years.
        – A lot of the female hosts seem like they could have even bigger roles in the future. Most of the guys seem like they might be at their peak.
        – I didn’t even mention Pavlich or Ellison Barber (both under 30), Kristin Fisher, Gillian Turner or Elizabeth Prann (all under 35). The newest anchor hire, Jillian Mele, is under 35.
        All of this is even after Fox lost a lot of women (many who were younger) for a lot of different reasons the past couple of years. Didn’t lose younger men.

        Out of the younger guys at the network, Hegseth probably has the most potential out of who is at the network on the opinion host side and Vittert probably has the most on the news side.
        Fowler need to improve. Doocy seems to be more suited to being a reporter than a host. Benson has become a really good commentator, but doesn’t really seem like much more than that. Tyrus has done well, but I don’t see them seeing him in a larger role. Maybe as a commentator on other shows.
        Clayton Morris is also there, but is probably seen mostly as an eventual replacement for Kilmeade and/or Doocy.

        Smith and Malice are both smart, somewhat unique and pretty good on TV, but I think actually being employed by Fox would water them down too much. Maybe if Kennedy had correspondents, they would be good in that role.

        I think Buck Sexton might be the best available person out there. He has a good combination of personality, intelligence and broadcasting experience. Kennedy’s show has been having him on weekly for 2-3 months now.
        – Charles Cooke would also be a good choice as a contributor. Kmele Foster might be a good person to bring back. Will Cain is now at ESPN, but he was pretty good when he was doing political commentary and hosting.
        Steven Crowder has become a really good host and commentator, but seems like he would be limited if he was back at Fox.

        Not sure how many potential younger male hosts are out there though. I don’t see many at other news networks to choose from.

        Fox is going to be criticized no matter what, so they might need to be willing to be creative with finding younger male hosts. People who are willing to take risks and ruffle feathers. Greg Gutfeld would not be hired by present day Fox News, but that shouldn’t be the case. Fox should be looking for the next Gutfeld.

      • Peter Doocy is the Mike Golic Jr. of FNC. He contributes absolutely nothing and would have a hard time getting hired as the weekend fill-in at the lowest-rated station in Winnemucca if it weren’t for his father.

    • I’m surprised they didn’t seemingly have any plans to replace O’Reily or an idea of a plan , they should have planned for a post O’Reilly. I honestly thought Bolling was going to take 8pmet himself. Second , they should have waited a little long on the Specialists show , longer than a week to get some ideas and some thing done then launched the show. They do need to find some more younger male talent come on Murdoch’s do a search!

      • It’s odd that, considering O’Reilly’s age, they didn’t have a Plan B. In fact, they should have a backup for all on-air talent. You never know what can happen, especially with someone’s health or the like.

        • I used to assume they did. Though post-Ailes maybe they don’t.

          Also, I think they were hoping to transition slowly from O’Reilly to perhaps Bolling. Maybe even keep The Factor format (which was really well developed). The sudden exit probably threw that out. So, they just moved their biggest show that could change times to prime time.

          They still rushed. They could have kept having guest hosts do The Factor for another month. Maybe ratings would have dipped more than they would have liked, but now they are stuck with the changes for a while.
          They should have also done a couple of weeks of promotion (title and who the hosts are) for the debut of the new 5:00 show.

          • That actually would have been a good idea – to keep The Factor format but with a different host. Bolling would have been good. I used to love it when “Miss Laura” subbed for O’Reilly. Even Gutfeld did a good job filling in.

  5. Nixon, I just saw your Lily Langtry do a news break during Judge Jeanine’s show – hope you caught it. Haven’t seen her in a while.

          • Patti Ann never seems to age! I was so disappointed that she didn’t make the list of guests for the last week of Red Eye. She was an important part of that show in the early days.

          • She wasn’t on after Tom took over. Nor was she on when he was a guest or guest host. I heard that he didn’t like her. Figures. He always reminded me of a car salesman in Sacramento that I bought a new car off of. Damn lemon spent more time in the garage than on the road. It was a Ford Escort. Finally, Ford threw up their hands and swapped it out even for a Mercury Topaz, a slightly bigger and more expensive car.

  6. Woodward: “Polling numbers show that most Americans disapprove of & distrust the media. This is no time for self-satisfaction or smugness.”

  7. I wish FNC would give Tammy Bruce, Sharyl Atkisson and James Woods a shot at hosting something/anything!

  8. Kilmeade did a terrific job subbing for Jesse on Watters World. His man-on-the-street segment was as good, if not better, than the ones Jesse does.

    • Yes he did. I almost missed it because I didn’t realize they had a complete pre-taped show ready to roll in the 11pm hour. Kilmeade is under appreciated, and I think he has the funniest ad lib sense of humor of anyone in cable news, including Greg. I’d say his delivery reminds me of Joey Bishop, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen Joey Bishop I’m probably misremembering. Unfortunately Brian’s work day starts with a 6-hour shift 6am-noon so he can’t do much of anything on a regular basis that airs after 6pm or so. He used to do once a week with Megyn but sometimes those were pre-taped.

      • He’d be great in primetime. Funny that you mention Joey Bishop. I thought he was the best sub for Johnny Carson decades ago (yes, I’m that old). He also had a very funny ad-lib sense of humor. He was always under-rated and under-appreciated, especially in terms of the Rat Pack. The Joey Bishop Show is now on Antenna TV and Joey was a terrific comic actor.

        • I remember when ABC launched The Joey Bishop Show opposite Carson. Joey’s sidekick was a young fellow by the name of Regis Philbin. I wonder what became of him? 😉

          • Joey Bishop, Dick Cavett, Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin all but forgotten all these years later.

            But in their primes they seemed to garner a good deal of attention — perhaps due in part to the fact that back then they did not have to compete with basic cable realty shows, HBO, Netflix and Comedy Central.

        • People think of the Rat Pack and remember the shows with Frank, Dean and Sammy. What they forget/don’t know is that Joey Bishop wrote those “ad-lib” sketches.

      • I just watched a full hour of Media Buzz and your appearance was the only thing that was interesting. Yet another bland interview with Sean Spicer and then three consecutive panels with Joe Trippi and Erin McPike repeating platitudes. Thank goodness I have a DVR and can speed through those boring panels.

      • As the TV cameras repeadily scanned the crowd at the WHCD one thing stood out — and I could be wrong about this.

        It appeared a lot of ‘unfamiliar’ people got a chance to attend that may not have in the past when the current President was there and a recognizable comic was featured.

        For example, in seeing reasonably closeup shots of a couple hundred people only a small number were recognizable. Kinda like the Sean Spicer press briefings. 🙂

        • Wife liked it. Fun time. Plenty of big names in cable news there. But who cares? The celebrity aspect cable news or otherwise isn’t the point.

          • Coulda been the fact I was watching mostly a CNN camera feed (and some of an MSNBC feed), Joe.

            It probably showed over 1/2 dozen regular on camera people from CNN, but I saw hardly anyone from Fox or MSNBC.

            Hasan Minhaj had a few funny lines and the reaction today to Woodward and Berstein was generally positive. Good but not great IMO.

            Glad you and your wife liked it. My point wasn’t to put it down. Just to point out that I saw table after table with no one I recognized — suggesting enthusiasm for the event was down a bit this year.

          • Got there very late due to a guest spot, but I saw Sharpton, Katy Tur, Shannon Bream and Kennedy. The place is so packed and there’s so many people there. The cocktail hour is the only time mingling occurs and I missed that.

  9. This weekend’s most popular links:
    5 road trip
    4 ratings surge
    3 you didn’t know
    2 no news to cover
    And the most popular link in today’s links…
    1 FNC quits Election Pool

  10. For once I am on BW’s side I mean if saying “Thanks for visiting tonight. Glad you were a part of our coverage.” is patronizing then I’d hate to see some real patronizing.

  11. Just watched the CNN ” Reliable Sources” clips. Don’t want to hear anymore whining about how liberals are outmatched on FNC shows like “The Five” and “Outnumbered”. Jason Miller barely got to speak as it was 4 against 1. Carl Bernstein worse than Eric Bolling about interrupting someone that disagrees with him. (and Bolling pretty bad interrupting Bob and Juan). Last point: Brian Setzer has to be the most smug, unlikeable host on cable news. CNN clearly sees something there I as a viewer don’t see.

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