Thursday, August 30, 2007

Study: Democrats Get More A.M. Airtime

Aug 29, 11:22 PM (ET)


NEW YORK (AP) - A conservative media watchdog organization charged Wednesday that the network morning news shows have spent considerably more time this year on Democrats running for president than on Republicans.

Network news executives rejected any suggestion of bias, and said they have a considerably harder time getting Republican candidates to appear on their shows.

Through July 31, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows devoted 284 campaign segments to Democratic candidates and 152 to Republicans, according to the Media Research Center. Another 81 stories discussed both parties or a possible independent run by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"The double standard has got to stop," said L. Brent Bozell, the group's founder. "What you hope is that there would be fairness. If you are going to give that much coverage to the Democrats, give it to the Republicans, too."

The disparity was most pronounced in January, with 52 stories on the Democratic campaign and five for the Republicans. That's the month that the campaign rivalry between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama began.

News executives say they strive for fairness, but the Clinton-Obama January jockeying is an example of how news drives their airtime decisions.

"You've got a former first lady and a black senator fighting for the nomination," said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC's "Today" show. "That's historic. We're not going to make apologies for covering that."

Stories about the cancer relapse of Democrat John Edwards' wife Elizabeth were also counted in the total. It's unfair to count a personal story like that in a tally that suggests bias, said Jim Murphy, executive producer of ABC's "Good Morning America."

The news executives also said Democratic candidates have been far more willing to appear on their programs than Republicans.

Republican Rudolph Giuliani and potential GOP rival Fred Thompson both have standing invitations to appear on "Today," Bell said. Giuliani has been on once and Thompson has repeatedly refused the network he recently worked for (on the prime-time show "Law & Order"), he said.

"Good Morning America" announced this spring that the three top candidates from each party were invited for hourlong town meetings. Clinton and Edwards have both already appeared, and ABC is trying to work out a date with Obama, Murphy said.

None of the Republicans have committed to a town hall meeting, he said.

"The candidates are responsible for how much time they generally get," Murphy said. "They can get it by agreeing to interviews and agreeing to forums."

Bozell conceded that Republicans have shown a more pronounced reluctance to go on the air. He said the Democratic candidates have also been more forceful in pushing their campaign agendas in the early stages.

His group complained that too many of the stories on Republicans emphasized the candidates' flaws. But the morning show executives noted that one of the biggest stories of the GOP campaign has been the flagging candidacy of John McCain.

Bozell said the performances of "Today,""Good Morning America" and "The Early Show" on CBS should be watched closely because of their importance in reaching more than 10 million viewers each day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Two elderly friends, Larry and Ken, met in the park every day to feed the pigeons, watch the squirrels and discuss world problems. One day Larry didn't show up. Ken didn't think much about it and figured maybe he had a cold or something. But after Larry hadn't shown up for a week or so, Ken really got worried. However, since the only time they ever got together was at the park, Ken didn't know where Larry lived, so he was unable to find out what had happened to him.

A month had passed, and Ken figured he had seen the last of Larry, but one day, Ken approached the park and -- lo and behold -- there sat Larry! Ken was very excited and happy to see him and told him so. Then he said, "For crying out loud Larry, what in the world happened to you?"

Larry replied, "I have been in jail."

"Jail?" cried Ken. "What in the world for ?"

"Well," Larry said, "you know Sue, that cute little blonde waitress at the coffee shop where we sometimes go?"

"Yeah," said Ken, "I remember her. What about her?"

"Well, one day she filed rape charges against me, and, at 89 years old, I was so proud that when I got into court, I pleaded guilty.

"The judge gave me 30 days for perjury."
To My Friends:

Subject: Thinking

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then -- just to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver.

"You think as much as college professors and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors.

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?"
it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I took the final step...I joined the Democratic Party.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Isn't Senility Something Else?

The preacher was explaining that he must move on to a larger congregation that will pay him more.

There is a hush within the congregation. No one wants him to leave.

Joe Smith, who owns several car dealerships in the city, stands up and proclaims, "If the preacher stays, I will provide him with a new Cadillac every year, and his wife with a Honda minivan to transport their children!"

The congregation sighs in relief, and applauds.

Sam Brown, a successful entrepreneur and investor, stands and says, "If the preacher will stay on here, I'll personally double his salary, and also establish a foundation to guarantee the college education of all his children!"

More sighs and loud applause.

Sadie Jones, age 88, stands and announces with a smile, "If the preacher stays, I will give him sex!" There is total silence.

The preacher, blushing, asks her, "Mrs. Jones, whatever possessed you to say that?"

Sadie's 90 year old husband Jake is now trying to hide, holding his forehead with the palm of his hand, and shaking his head from side to side, while his wife replies, "Well, I just asked my husband how we could help, and he said, "Screw the Preacher!"

P.S . 'Isn't senility something else?'

Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.
Seat Mates

A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane.

He soon realized she was heading straight towards his seat. As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, "Business trip or pleasure?"

She turned, smiled and said, "Business. I'm going to the Annual Nymphomaniacs of America Convention in Boston." He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen sitting next to him and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs.

Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, "What's your business role at this convention?"

Lecturer," she responded. "I use information that I have learned from my personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality."

"Really?" he said. "And what kind of myths are there?"

"Well," she explained, "one popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed of all men, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait.

"Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers when actually it is men of Jewish descent who are the best.

"I have also discovered that the lover with absolutely the best stamina is the Southern Redneck."

Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed. "I'm sorry," she said, "I shouldn't really be discussing all of this with you. I don't even know your name."

"Tonto," the man said, "Tonto Goldstein, but my friends call me Bubba."