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Mediaite.com | News & Opinion

(Page 1) | 2 | 3 | .... | 5 | newer

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    In light of Tuesday’s presidential election, tonight’s cold open of Fox cartoon The Simpsons hammered hard at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, voter ID laws, and uninformed voters who believe President Barack Obama wants to set up “death panels.”

    As Homer Simpson entered the Springfield polling place, a white volunteer asked him to show identification because “stopping all Americans from voting is for the protection of all Americans.” When Homer explained to the man that he is a “40-year-old white guy who didn’t go to college and gets all his news from the monitors at gas stations,” he was immediately let in to a voting booth: “In you go!”

    When it came time to make his pick, Homer had an inner monologue:

    Barack Obama? I don’t know. I already got one wife telling me to eat healthy. Plus he promised me death panels, and Grandpa’s still alive. Mitt Romney? I hear he wears magic underpants. I expect the leader of the free world to go commando. Plus his horse totally choked at the Olympics. On the other hand, he did invent ObamaCare.

    And so Homer voted for Romney, prompting the voting machine to thank him and allow him to see Romney’s tax returns which included “a medical deduction for personality implant,” “six wives all named Ann,” and the fact that “the government paid him taxes for five years.”

    When Homer threatened to tell this information to the press, the voting machine told him, “You’ve just been outsourced,” sucking him into a tube and shipping him off to an American flag factory in China.

    And so began the final Simpsons before the 2012 election.

    Watch below, via Fox:


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    >> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

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    During a performance last night on his “Never Ending Tour,” legendary musician Bob Dylan tried his hand at political soothsaying, predicting a “landslide” victory for President Barack Obama.

    Dylan made the prediction Monday night while performing the song “Blowin’ in the Wind” during a concert at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisc.

    Earlier in the day, President Obama appeared at a rally in Madison with another legendary songwriter in Bruce Springsteen. “We tried to play good tonight since the president was here today,” Dylan reportedly told his audience.

    “Don’t believe the media. I think it’s going to be a landslide,” he continued, before completing the song and finishing up the encore segment of the concert.

    Perhaps Dylan has been reading a lot of Nate Silver with that sort of disdain for the punditocracy’s “media narrative” and a confident pick of a landslide for the president.

    Some detractors will likely say this is just another hippie liberal musician cheering on President Obama, but if you recall back in September, Rolling Stone tried and failed miserably to get the 71-year-old legend to profess his adoration for the president and deem his critics “racist.” Calling the race for the president does not equal being “in the tank” for that candidate. Heck, I’m no fan of President Obama’s (or Romney’s) but I am fairly certain the president will come away victorious (though not by a landslide).

    Then again, it’s really not worth trying to make sense of what Dylan says, seeing as he is likely the most inscrutable figure in all of popular culture.

    Anyway. Consider this yet another phase in Dylan’s ever-morphing chameleon ways: folkie, poet, druggie, hipster, country musician, father, gypsy, divorcée, evangelical Christian, Zionist, leather-clad 80s rocker, Oscar winner, Grammy winner, memoirist, Santa Claus, Medal of Freedom winner, and… political pundit.

    – –
    >> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter


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    A hurricane has left the east coast devastated, and with a nor’easter slowly approaching, results from New York and New Jersey could potentially be delayed. Voter fraud is an alarming concern for both major parties. But voter turnout is crucial, and one tiny little factor may get in the way of that today: Halo 4. The latest installment in the popular video game franchise is out today, and if this FoxNews.com piece is any indication, there are real concerns that it could have an impact on turnout among younger voters.

    RELATED: Obama Beats Romney In Xbox Live Poll Because Video Gamers Have Political Opinions Too

    It’s interesting, to say the least, that a big Xbox game would be released on election day, since Microsoft partnered with YouGov and NBC News this year to engage users more on the election. However, a spokesperson for Microsoft has assured the suddenly-alarmed electorate that they have been pushing a tie-in get-out-the-vote campaign with their promotion of Halo 4, and when Xbox Live users log in today, “they will see a reminder to vote.”

    One public relations manager who spoke to Fox News expected only three out of every eight gamers who pick up the game today to vote. A poll conducted by gaming site IGN found that over half of registered voters would rather wait in line to buy Halo 4 than wait in line to go vote.

    Gaming analyst Jon Peddie didn’t mince words.

    “The idiots who can’t get a date and look at the women’s breasts in the games will definitely find Halo 4 more interesting than something that requires thinking.”

    However, he predicted that overall, the majority of young people will turn out to the polls. But when you go out to vote today, just remember there are people who decided not to vote and blow up evil aliens instead.

    [Image via]

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    It’s finally Election Day. We’re all exhausted from a long campaign season, but it’s time to watch the numbers slowly come in while everyone waits with bated breath over who will be the next president.

    We Mediaiters will be glued to our television screens, but some of you may not be able to get to a set tonight. But have no fear because here’s a comprehensive guide to viewing the election results live online:

    ABC News: there will be live streaming coverage HERE beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

    NBC News: you can view live streaming coverage HERE, starting at 7 p.m. ET on NBCNews.com, the NBC Politics app for iOS, and via the network’s Windows 8 app.

    NPR: live coverage HERE, beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

    UStream: will host a slew of live content from various outlets HERE including CBS News (4 p.m.), PBS NewsHour (4 p.m.), the Washington Post (3 p.m.), and the Wall Street Journal (5 p.m).

    Fox News: live coverage begins HERE at 5 p.m. ET tonight.

    MSNBC: live online coverage via NBC News live stream found HERE.

    CNN: live coverage HERE.

    Comedy Central: live episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report HERE later tonight.

    C-SPAN: live coverage HERE, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.


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    I’m a New Jersey native, and it’s been hard to follow the news of just how damaged the state got last week after Sandy swept through. And this nor’easter is likely going to add to the trouble. But if there’s one thing New Jersey and New York don’t need right now, it’s the eyes of the nation on them to end this election. Why would we be waiting for them? Because honestly, we don’t know how the election’s going to turn out in those states right now. Voting results may be delayed. And if we get to the end of the night and no one has reached the 270 mark yes, the eyes of the nation will be on New York and New Jersey to decide this presidential election.

    Polling places in both states have been relocated, and lines are a mess. CBS News reported earlier today that in some New York that got hit by the storm, turnout was “heavy,” but there has been quite a bit of confusion over where the new polling places are. This led to Governor Andrew Cuomo issuing an executive order to allow affidavit voting.

    What that means is that until the polls close in New York tonight, state residents can go to polling places in surrounding counties, instead of just the one they’re assigned to, and as long as they fill out affidavits stating that they are legally registered to vote, they can vote! Now, Cuomo did have another option, namely rescheduling voting within 20 hours of the election day under a little-known provision of New York law. But this move may not necessarily be the right one.

    Howard Portnoy from Examiner.com explains what’s problematic about Cuomo’s executive order.

    The plan bars New Yorkers from voting for candidates from their own congressional district, which means they are being denied a vital portion of their franchise.

    It also means that those untroubled by the prospect of voting multiple times for president or U.S. Senators can do so with little fear of reprisal. In the midst of the confusion that is sure to reign at area polling places, it is highly unlikely that poll workers are going to verify whether those signing affidavits’ have voted elsewhere.

    So that’s why New York may be a problem tonight. New Jersey, on the other hand, is dealing with voter fraud in a much different way. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno announced over the weekend that residents displaced by the hurricane can request to submit a ballot by e-mail or fax. The deadline to request one passed an hour ago, and all e-ballots must be submitted by Friday.

    While this might sound good and easy, here’s the part that’s making some people happy and frustrating others:

    [I]n response to concerns that the procedure she’d outlined wouldn’t pass statutory muster, Guadagno clarified that voters must send in the original copies of their ballots. This satisfied legal experts, but solidified an extra layer of difficulty for those who are struggling to get their votes counted. In the span of only a couple of days, the state’s election officials have tossed a line and seen it tangled, unavoidably, in the mess of hurricane recovery and national politics.

    Here’s the thing: tens of thousands of New Jerseyans have been displaced by the hurricane, all of whom have the option of requesting online submissions for their ballots. And with these electronic submissions requiring an extra layer of security, many of these people may not be able to vote in time. And while you may not care because 1) you don’t live in New Jersey, and 2) you’re confident it’s a solidly blue state regardless, consider this.

    In 2008, Barack Obama won New Jersey by 600,000 votes. But now we have a Republican in the governor’s mansion who has been one of Mitt Romney‘s biggest allies (hurricane-fueled tensions notwithstanding), and quite a number of people could be disenfranchised because of how crazy the state is by now. Electorally speaking, it might not mean that much, but New Jersey and New York are Democratic bastions, and regardless of the electoral college people will be monitoring the popular vote count.

    So don’t be surprised if it’s midnight and we’re still huddled around our TV screens, waiting on New York and New Jersey to finally settle this thing. Because if neither candidate has reached 270 by then, this is going to be a long election.

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    By an incredibly thin margin, Congressman Allen West is behind his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in his congressional race. Murphy has already claimed victory, with his campaign publicly doubting that West will be able to make up the difference, but West is calling for a recount in one county that West’s campaign says made the difference in the incredibly close race.

    RELATED: Chuck Todd: Republican Party ‘Has Some Serious Soul-Searching To Do’

    West, a conservative freshman with national Tea Party popularity, won a fairly safe conservative district in 2010, but since he was sworn in, his district was gerrymandered and became far more competitive for the outspoken Republican. After a long and contentious campaign, Murphy appeared to be be victorious, with a lead around 2000 votes.

    But West is not willing to let his seat go without a fight, and his campaign is contesting the results and demanding a recount. According to Reuters, Murphy’s win was outside the margin that would normally “trigger an automatic recount under Florida rules,” but West’s campaign is arguing some votes were not counted properly.

    [West campaign manager Tim Edson] called for a recount of St. Lucie County ballots, claiming West held a district-wide lead of nearly 2,000 votes until St. Lucie County conducted a recount of thousands of early ballots, leaving West behind by 2,400 votes.

    “We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary,” Edson said.

    The race for Florida’s 18th district was one of the most expensive in the country, with PAC money from both sides flooding in. West raised five times as much as Murphy.

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    Bill O’Reilly opened his show tonight with a simple question: “what the heck happened last night?” O’Reilly did his best to explain the series of events that led up to President Obama‘s big win over Mitt Romney last night. He warned of what could be in store for the country in the next four years of an Obama presidency, but also had some advice for the Republican party. O’Reilly said that the GOP can’t win a national election on an ideology, and if they want to win in a “rapidly changing country,” they need to “rethink strategy” going forward.

    O’Reilly admitted he thought Romney has a good choice to run against Obama because his private sector business experience would be a great contrast with Obama presiding over a rough economy. He also touted how he believed early on that the polling would be insignificant and the first three debates would be much more telling. The first debate made Romney competitive, but O’Reilly said he never “seize[d] the day” to capitalize on it.

    O’Reilly also criticized Romney for not confronting Obama over Libya in their big foreign policy debate. Had Romney mentioned it, O’Reilly said the media “would have been forced to cover the story,” which would have hurt Obama’s public image.

    O’Reilly also pointed to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, saying it gave Obama a boost because he looked presidential. O’Reilly said Romney could have won the election ‘if he had recaptured momentum last weekend,” and by not emerging aggressively after Sandy, he missed an opportunity to gain some pre-election momentum. And as for the Republican party in general, O’Reilly advised them to read the writing on the wall.

    “The USA is a rapidly changing country and the Republican party needs to rethink strategy.”

    However, O’Reilly also said that Romney could have had a chance had he explicitly warned voters about the “danger” of Obama’s policies. O’Reilly said Romney could have done better had he “overwhelm[ed] the electorate with points of doom.” But he concluded by saying that while conservatives are still a powerful bloc, ideology is no longer enough to win a national election.

    Watch the video below, courtesy of Fox News:

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    Jon Stewart recapped all the big news from last night’s election, but saved his harshest criticisms for Fox News, Karl Rove, and in particular, five fateful minutes of the network in near-pandemonium after Ohio was called for President Obama that Stewart predicted would live on forever.

    RELATED: Karl Rove Causes Fox News Chaos By Challenging Obama Victory Projection

    Stewart joked that Obama’s victory speech appeared to show that he was given “fresh batteries” for his second term, marveling at how all it took to get the president back in his “groove” was the mere thought of never having to run in another election ever again. Stewart brought up victories for gay marriage and marijuana proponents in a number of states, and said the undisputed “best news” of the night was that even though Florida is still too close to call, “the election was decided without them.”

    “Florida’s clusterfuckery is irrelevant!” Stewart happily shouted.

    He then turned to Fox News, which was “caught flat-footed” after months of brushing aside the polls and predicting that Mitt Romney would win. And that’s when Stewart got around to the amazing, insane moment of panic on the network that Stewart said, unlike all of humanity, “will… live forever.”

    Stewart was amazed that Rove’s insistent denials that Ohio was really a lock for Obama got Megyn Kelly to suggest that Rove was either lying to himself or to the audience in doing his own math. And Stewart actually managed to come up with an alternate slogan to Fox’s “Fair and Balanced”: “Math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.”

    But of course, Stewart then tracked Kelly’s “voyage” through the halls of Fox News to find out the truth of what really happened in Ohio, going so far as to confront the people at Fox News’ very own election desk. As Stewart phrased it, “there was an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain.”

    Stewart ended by tearing into the Fox News personalities who were amazed at how many Americans voted for Obama because they want more entitlements. He mocked them for thinking that they would have won if not for minorities taking the country away from older white people (a.k.a. Fox’s audience).

    Watch the video below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    Tuesday night was an emotional night for Barack Obama, and during a post-victory event talking to supporters, the president teared up a bit as he told the crowd how overwhelmed he was by their level and support and commitment in helping him get re-elected. He told the audience that wherever they end up and whatever they end up doing, he predicted they will “do great things” and said that last night he felt like what he started when he ran for office four years ago had come full circle.

    Obama talked about his own experience as a community organizer in Chicago and how much the experience changed him and allow him to witness the great things that ordinary people can accomplish when they put their differences aside.

    He told the crowd of supporters that after watching them for months, they have done so much better than him. Obama predicted good things to come for the individuals in the crowd, and started tearing up a bit when he said that the work they have done for him helped to validate his purpose in continuing to fight for ordinary Americans. The audience applauded as the president wiped a tear from his face.

    The president concluded by saying that whenever people ask him about how frustrated he must get on a daily basis, he thinks of his most ardent supporters who helped fight for him to win reelection this year.

    Watch the video below:

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin did not let a presidential election get in the way of their criticisms of President Obama‘s foreign policy, and along with the same criticisms of Obama’s response to Libya that they’ve been reiterating for weeks, Hannity and Malkin suspected that the news earlier today of an Iranian attack on a U.S. drone last week was deliberately covered up by the Obama administration so the news would not come out before the election.

    RELATED: BREAKING: Iranian Jets Fire On U.S. Drone… Last Week

    Hannity brought up statements by an Obama administration official earlier today, and asked Malkin why the country is only learning this news a week after it happened. He and Malkin agreed that the White House may have tried to hide the news, which Malkin sarcastically said was “par for the course for the most transparent administration ever.”

    Malkin said this is just the latest example in a long line of attempts by the Obama administration to engage in “truth suppression,” and wondered if anyone in the media knew about the attack but were asked to keep it quiet. “People’s blood should be boiling,” she said.

    Hannity went back to the Libya attacks and lamented how Obama was able to get through the final two months of the campaign without having to seriously address any questions about the attack. Malkin slammed the Obama administration for its “cynical elevation of their political self-interest above the national interest,” thanking the Congressional Republicans holding hearings on the attack.

    When Hannity and Malkin speculated over what could happen if it was discovered that Obama deliberately covered up the Iranian attack, Malkin alluded to impeachment as a possible consequence for the president.

    Watch the video below, courtesy of Fox News:

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    After spending last night on the presidential election results, Jon Stewart focused tonight on the ballot referendums passed across the country, particularly the marijuana legalization initiatives passed in Washington and Colorado. But what Stewart found most amusing about the reaction to the referendums was the relatively unserious way the national news media has been covering it.

    RELATED: Barney Frank Admits To CNN’s Erin Burnett That He’s Tried Pot Brownies

    Stewart first brought up a number of serious issues voted on by Californians before reacting to the referendum mandating that porn stars must wear condoms. He was stunned that voters get to decide that, and suggested a number of potential porn-related referendums for the state to take on, including how many men can be put into a porn scene before it starts feeling kind of gay.

    But then Stewart brought up the marijuana legalization successes in two states, putting on headphones in advance in anticipation of the crowd going wild. He played a game of “find the narc” in the media that would be the big buzzkill about the news. Brian Williams didn’t pass the test, and in fact made a wisecrack about having the munchies.

    But Steve Doocy, over at Fox & Friends, who warned parents about their kids “getting all potted up on weed,” qualified as Stewart’s narc of the night. What Stewart also noticed was that many in the media are seemingly incapable of reporting on the news without giggling or making all sorts of pot-related puns.

    Correspondent Al Madrigal then appeared for a report, and like his colleagues in the media, he really overdid it with the pot wordplay.

    Watch the video below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

    —–

    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow stopped by the Colbert Report on Thursday to talk about the election. And, in case you were wondering: No, she hasn’t gotten any sleep.

    Stephen Colbert wondered what the energy was like at MSNBC on election night. Like, for instance, was Chris Matthews running around with a lampshade on his head? (Probs.) Later, Colbert asked why it was that the folks at Fox News seemed so “freaked out,” prompting Maddow to reply that “people of the right” had talked themselves into believing that there would be a Romney landslide victory based on gut feelings rather than poll numbers. And, Colbert added, the possibility of winning that secret state that only the right can see: “Whitesylvania.”

    Colbert also “called bullshit” on Maddow when she said that she was merely describing the events that had unfolded on election night rather than performing a “victory dance.” Maddow laughed, but asserted that the facts in this case “have a liberal bias.”

    Have a look, via Comedy Central:


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    Gallup’s editor-in-chief, Frank Newport, is defending the organization’s polling, which showed Mitt Romney leading President Obama in the 2012 election race in the final few weeks of the campaign. Newport said that Gallup’s numbers were close enough to fall within the margin of error, and took a shot at blogger Nate Silver when he criticized people who “focus on aggregating and analyzing others’ polls.”

    RELATED: Nate Silver Accounts For 20% The New York Times’ Web Traffic On Monday

    Newport argued that Gallup’s final pre-election poll reflected what eventually came to pass on election day.

    “In the end, Gallup’s national popular vote estimate was that the popular vote was too close to call, a statistical tie — 50% for Mitt Romney, 49% for Barack Obama. When the dust settled, Romney got 48% of the popular vote and Obama received 50%, meaning that Gallup’s percentage-point estimate was within two percentage points for Romney and within one point for Obama.”

    He acknowledges that changing trends may force pollsters to try different methods, and predicts that in 2016, there will be significantly fewer polls conducted, as a result of budget cutbacks and “a shift to the use of other technologies for assessing public opinion in the future.”

    However, Newport also gets in a swipe or two at Nate Silver, albeit indirectly. Silver did some calculating with polls released by groups like Gallup and ended up correctly predicting which presidential candidate would win each of the fifty states. Newport dismisses what Silver does as mere aggregation of poll results.

    It’s not easy nor cheap to conduct traditional random sample polls. It’s much easier, cheaper, and mostly less risky to focus on aggregating and analyzing others’ polls. Organizations that traditionally go to the expense and effort to conduct individual polls could, in theory, decide to put their efforts into aggregation and statistical analyses of other people’s polls in the next election cycle and cut out their own polling. If many organizations make this seemingly rational decision, we could quickly be in a situation in which there are fewer and fewer polls left to aggregate and put into statistical models.

    h/t WaPo


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    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is not shying away from giving the Republican party advice on its messaging following its big election loss last week. Yesterday he said the party needs to stop peddling “dumbed-down conservatism,” and today he strongly rebutted Mitt Romney‘s claim that President Obama won reelection because of the “gifts” he gave to key voter demographics. Jindal said that comments like Romney’s divide Americans and are the kind of thing the GOP needs to stop saying if they want to win over more voters.

    RELATED: GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal: Republicans Need To ‘Stop Insulting The Intelligence Of The Voters’

    Romney said that Obama promising benefits like health care and amnesty for illegal immigrants helped him win reelection. Jindal said he “absolutely reject[s]” what Romney said, and that he wants the Republican party to work for everyone’s vote by explaining how their policies benefit people who want to make it in America.

    One, we have got to stop dividing American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent — we need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.

    Jindal warned that for the Republican party to stay “competitive” in future elections, it has to show the electorate it is working to win every person’s vote, and not disparage different groups of Americans.

    h/t TPM


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    Over the course of 2012, we covered an array of politicians, authors, entertainers, media mavens, and others as they discussed their crafts and their industries. (Here’s last year’s list.) We enjoyed most of the panels, lectures, and debates we took in, while some of them fell short. Here, a rundown of our 5 favorites, followed by the 10 quotes that defined the year in New York City media panels:

    1. Who: Nicolle Wallace, Abby Huntsman Livingston, Sandra Fluke, Christine Quinn, Amy Holmes, Stephanie Schriock, moderated by Chelsea Clinton
    Where: 92Y
    When: March 28, 2012
    What we said: “At the end, Clinton wrapped things up by reaffirming that conversations like this one should be seen as the beginning. Each of these women will undoubtedly continue to share her thoughts and send these positive messages to young men and women. And from the way the audience cheered throughout the night, it’s clear that they too will take these lessons home.”

    See the full review.

    2. Who: Emily Nussbaum, Richard Brody, David Denby, Kelefa Sanneh, moderated by David Remnick
    Where: Joe’s Pub
    When: January 12, 2012
    What we said: “Not a single member of The New Yorker‘s esteemed panel was willing to argue in favor of the proclamation that television has surpassed – or would surpass – the prestige and prowess of Hollywood cinema. However, some were more willing than others to argue that TV shows have come a long way in proving that they, too, can be taking seriously as an artform.”

    See the full review.

    3. Who: Joe Klein, Margaret Hoover, Anthony Randazzo, moderated by Toure; Evan Bayh, Rick Lazio, moderated by Ben Smith
    Where: 92Y Tribeca
    When: September 9, 2012
    What we said: “Everyone agreed that Romney will have to perform well at the first debate if he hopes to keep the race close. Klein wondered whether Romney actually did himself a disservice during the primaries when he began taking “weird stances” that the conservative base imposed. Plus, Klein said, attacks that conservatives hurl at Obama that he hasn’t accomplished enough are easy to fend off once you sit down and make a list of all of Obama’s key achievements. Obama is just bad at communicating them, Klein said. They all agreed that the two candidates must shift to speaking more positively if either expects to sway swing voters going forward.”

    See the full review.

    4. Who: Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Lee Toland Krieger, moderated by Alison Bailes
    Where: 92Y Tribeca
    When: July 31, 2012
    What we said: “The panel members were charming, funny, and real in a way that every filmmaker hopes for with his or her fictional characters. Bailes, for her part, was impressed with what she’d seen of “Celeste and Jesse Forever” — this screening was actually her second viewing of the new film — and she raised questions that got the writers/actors and the director to delve deeper. It was, however, a case for us where hearing the creators discuss the film was drastically more interesting and entertaining than the film itself.”

    See the full review.

    5. Who: Josh Levin, Mike Pesca and Stefan Fatsis, with guest- Nate Silver
    Where: City Winery
    When: January 17, 2012
    What we said: “All of that meshed perfectly with the addition of Nate Silver to the panel for an interview segment. Silver was choppier when discussing himself and his own progression, but became more animated and passionate when the discussion turned to his work with statistics and prediction models both in sports and politics. Just as Hang Up and Listen’s discussions shied away from stereotypical sports blowhard culture, Silver diverged from the pomposity of political punditry. Silver focused a great deal on explaining the limits of statistics, how important it is to know those limits exist, and accepting them.”

    See the full review.

    THE 10 BEST QUOTES OF 2012

    1. “[Sandra Fluke] and I actually have something in common: We’ve both been attacked by Rush Limbaugh.”
    - Chelsea Clinton has a sense of humor about her opponents

    2. “To me, the Internet was an absolutely essential component of proving what TV could do.”
    - Emily Nussbaum points to message boards as a source for people to communally exchange thoughts about their favorite shows

    3. “I like the policy of obstruction if it will be stopping bad ideas.”
    - Anthony Randazzo says that everything is good in moderation

    4. “Tweets are the new headline.”
    - Ben Smith uses his experience as a reporter to tease his followers

    5. “Sometimes the truth is more absurd than fiction.”
    - Will Reiser actually had to cut parts from his movie based on true events that some felt were too far-fetched to be perceived as possible

    6. “Some precedent is always broken, if you define things narrowly enough… eventually every player is a special snowflake”
    - Nate Silver would have a problem with us claiming that this is the best Nate Silver quote to ever run second in the Panel Nerds’ “What They Said” section. In January.

    7. “I moved to L.A. to make enough money to move away from L.A.”
    - David Cross enjoys going on stand-up tours

    8. You work such long days you don’t want to work with assholes.”
    - Rashida Jones discusses her approach to casting

    9. “I think The King’s Speech would play very well on TBS, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.”
    - Richard Brody prefers avant-garde movies

    10. “The best politician wins. Always.”
    - Joe Klein explains why Obama is leading in the polls


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    Three students at the Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia were disciplined for their role in a racially-charged riot and violating the school code of conduct, while another student was expelled. After news broke that President Obama was reelected, these four boys were part of a group that, according to the Associated Press, gathered outside the Minority Student Union, shouted racial slurs, and even threatened physical violence.

    RELATED: Richard Wolffe Says Susan Rice Part Of ‘Witch Hunt For Every Person Of Color’ Who Has Served Under Obama

    No one was injured as a result of the protests. Chris Howard, the college’s first African-American president, condemned the students involved in the “harmless, senseless episode,” and told parents in an e-mail that “there is no place for bigotry or racism on this campus.” Four of the students involved were brought up on charges and disciplined by the administration.

    The four were found guilty by a student court of violating the college’s student code of conduct, the school said in a statement released to The Associated Press. Hampden-Sydney spokesman Thomas H. Shomo said the students are not being identified, and that college administrators never comment on student court verdicts…

    The expelled student was found guilty of disruptive and lewd behavior and harassment. The other three were found guilty of violating the code of student conduct. They included lewd behavior, hazardous acts and fireworks violations. The college did not elaborate on the charges.

    A town hall meeting was held the day after the protests took place to discuss what had happened. Hampden-Sydney is an all-boys school with black enrollment close to nine percent.

    h/t USA Today


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    Ex-Fox News pundit Dick Morris sat down tonight with CNN’s Piers Morgan to address just how startlingly wrong his predictions for the 2012 election were, his departure from Fox News, and what the Republican party can do to take back the majority in the next election. After Morgan ran videos of his “greatest hits” in inaccurate predictions, Morris quipped, “You gonna sue me?” He admitted to Morgan that he didn’t just get 2012 wrong, but he was “wrong at the top of my lungs.”

    RELATED: Walk Of The Cock: Lawrence O’Donnell Gives Dick Morris Greatest Hits Sendoff

    Morris admitted he feels “battered and bleeding” after all the negative press he’s been getting. Morgan confronted Morris on how he, a pundit who is supposed to be an expert in his field, got the election so wrong when Nate Silver, a guy who “sits on his computer,” crunched the numbers and got it “completely right.” Morris defended his overall track record in predicting election outcomes, and when Morgan tried to trip him up with some other clips, Morris joked, “You gonna sue me?”

    Morgan remarked that it must have been “humiliating” for Morris to be let go by Fox after being referred to in some corners as “the worst pundit of 2012.” He told Morris, “you know people are laughing at you.” Morris insisted he has helped dozens of successful political candidates, but the real question is why Mitt Romney lost, and on that score Morris partly blamed Hurricane Sandy.

    Morgan doubted this explanation, telling Morris that Obama didn’t just win the election, “he just cleaned Romney’s clock,” and told Morris he just can’t blame that on a hurricane. Morris allowed that Obama’s margin was so large because of a “fundamental demographic shift” in the country that he erroneously assumed was a one-time thing in 2008. He admitted, “I was wrong at the top of my lungs,” and said of his departure of Fox that “at some point a great marriage has to come to an end.”

    Morris said the Republican party needs to recognize certain realities in the country and adjust their policies accordingly, including fighting for abortions to be rare instead of illegal and to stop getting in the way of individual states that want to legalize gay marriage. He also said that the Republicans seriously need to “reclaim their legacy,” citing Wisconsin governor Scott Walker as someone he would like to see leading the party into the next election.

    Watch the video below, courtesy of CNN:

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    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    This week some interesting news happened in West Virginia: Saira Blair, a 17-year-old high school student, defeated Republican state delegate Larry Kump in the GOP state primaries on Tuesday. Kump, a 67-year-old man, admitted, “Quite frankly, she out-campaigned me… It was a low voter turnout and she won.” (Roughly 1,600 votes were cast.)

    Blair is a principled conservative with strong views on social issues and federal government overreach. On her Facebook page, she pledges never to use political robocalls, be completely transparent with the public, never use special legislative vanity license plates, and “to promote and support conservative fiscal policy for State government.”

    Blair ran a very successful get-out-the-vote campaign, even getting friends her own age to vote in the primary. 17-year-olds can vote in the primary so long as their 18th birthday falls before the general election, and the same rule applies to Blair’s eligibility to run in the primary. And now she’s won and will move on to the general election.

    Oh, and her high school class is graduating next week. So kind of a busy month.

    [h/t Fox News]
    [image via Saira Blair]

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    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    People bet and gamble on everything, but should it be legal to place bets on presidential elections? Well, you’d figure if it was legal, it’d be the state that’s home to Sin City, right? Nope. Because this week a Nevada panel rejected a proposal to legalize gambling on the race for the presidency.

    Democratic State Senator Tick Segerblom pushed for this bill to allow Nevada sports books to take bets on presidential elections, so finally, people would have a reason to be invested in the future of their country. And I’m only half-joking about that, because one Vegas oddsmaker argued election gambling would bolster voter turnout. Why? “It’s the first time you can actually have a say in the outcome of your money.”

    However, a state committee swiftly rejected the proposal. One state senator said, “I think that something as import as elections, as opposed to games, should not be the subject of wagering in our state.”

    [image via Shutterstock]

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    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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    A mayoral race in Peru ended in a tie. Wilber Medina and Jose Cornejo both received 236 votes. So what did they do? They settled things with a coin toss.

    That’s right, the final decision of who gets to be the mayor of the town of Pillpinto, Peru came down to a coin toss.

    Medina ended up winning the coin toss, and thus the mayorship. And in case you are wondering, yes, this could theoretically happen in the United States. A number of states allow for tiebreakers like coin tosses in the event that the top two candidates get exactly the same number of votes. In fact, just this year a New Mexico judicial election was settled with a coin toss.

    And guess what? There’s actual video of the Peru coin toss, which you can watch here, via the AP:

    [image via screengrab]

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    Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac


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