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April 1, 2009

(Vol. 22; No. 7)

Brilliant Performance by America’s Passenger-in-Chief

Co-host Diane Sawyer: “As we said, President Obama is in London today, his first trip to Europe since becoming President. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos has been watching all of this, and is here with his report card....”
George Stephanopoulos: “Barack Obama arrived at the G-20 summit just hours ago, too soon for a real assessment of his diplomacy. But, Diane, the flight over the Atlantic was just spectacular. Our pool correspondent tells us there was very little turbulence, the food was delicious, and the view of London on the approach was magnificent. So, I’m giving the President an ‘A’ for this trip — if he can keep this up over the next couple of days, it’s going to be a very successful summit.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, April 1. [Audio/video (1:03): Windows Media (4.16 MB) and MP3 audio (233 kB)]

Just What the Venus de Milo Needs
“Coming up in the next half hour: Esquire magazine’s fallen hard for their latest ‘Women We Love’ cover girl. The editors will be here to confess they dream at night of being cradled in Michelle Obama’s amazing arms.”
Today co-host Meredith Vieira, April 1.

Journalists as Loyal to Obama as a Dog
“One last question, Mr. President. This week I went down to Monticello, and one of the guides down there reminded me that Thomas Jefferson — who, I must say, his historic life and ideals remind me a lot of you — once said the presidency had brought him, quote, ‘nothing but increasing drudgery and a daily loss of friends.’ I just wonder, with all the tough decisions you’ve had to make to fix the messes you inherited, have you suffered the loss of friends? You certainly have a lot of friends in the press who are sure to remain as loyal to you as any dog.”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer interviewing President Obama on Face the Nation, April 1. [Audio/video (0:44): Windows Media (2.77 MB) and MP3 audio (159 kB)]

“Before he left for Europe, President Obama could be seen walking his new dog on the South Lawn of the White House. One wonders if this little Portuguese water dog knows how lucky he is, how historic he is. And as the puppy does his business near the Rose Garden, you have to ask yourself, is this a metaphor for his owner’s ascent to power? One man, cleaning up the smelly mess of a cheerful, but uncomprehending being?”
— ABC Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran, April 1.

Barack Obama, Already Destined for Mt. Rushmore
“March saw the best stock market gains in some time, deaths in Iraq are at their lowest level in six years, and we just saw CIA drones successfully kill another al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan. I have to ask, has Barack Obama caught on to the job of President in record time?”
— Harry Smith to political analyst Craig Crawford on CBS’s Early Show, April 1.

“President Obama quickly apologized for his quip comparing his bowling skills to those of disabled athletes. Recognizing the slip at once, Mr. Obama called the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver, from Air Force One. ‘He apologized in a way I think was very moving,’ Mr. Shriver said. Indeed, one of Obama’s signature traits is an almost uncanny unflappability. From his quick recovery after misspeaking the presidential oath to graciously confessing fault over his Cabinet nominees, this President handles his mistakes with such impressive grace that one is left almost glad that he makes them.”
New York Times White House correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg, April 1.

How Bigger Government Makes Us All Richer

“For many Americans, it can be tough to grasp how all this deficit spending will turbo-charge our economy and end the recession. Tonight, with the help of a few visual aids, we’ll show how everyone gets a macro-cosmic boost whenever Uncle Sam opens his wallet....Think of each dollar in the economy as a jelly bean. You and I each have a few jelly beans, but the government has a whole lot of them. In a recession — a jelly bean shortage — we might feel like holding on to our jelly beans instead of sharing them, but that would bring our jelly bean party to a grinding halt. But if Uncle Sam re-fills the jelly bean bags of those who are running low, our party can go on and on....And if we ever find ourselves running out of candy, Uncle Sam can always make more — he owns the jelly bean factory! The fun never has to stop....”
— Katie Couric explaining the economics of bailouts on the April 1 CBS Evening News. [Audio/video (1:14): Windows Media (4.33 MB) and MP3 audio (267 kB)]

Clamoring for Some Real Government Intervention
“We’ve seen government intervene in the banking industry, mortgage industry, insurance, automobiles, chasing down problems after they happen. Wouldn’t it be better to try and get ahead of the next crisis by just, right now, nationalize the whole economy and let government experts take over for failing CEOs?...According to our polls, the public has a lot more confidence in President Obama than these executives we in the media have demonized for the past year, so why wouldn’t it be better for the Obama administration to take everything over?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman, April 1 Good Morning America.

Commiserating with Flummoxed White House
“Top White House officials confide they feel caught in a bind. Whenever they pretend to care about the populist backlash against Wall Street, they hear it from top Democrats like Chris Dodd, who fear a loss in campaign donations. But when they try to appease the business community, the public rises up and threatens their chances to succeed in this once-in-a-generation chance to enact universal health care. Being President, it turns out, Charlie, is a lot tougher than they ever imagined when we were ridiculing Bush on the campaign trail.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on World News, April 1.

Now That’s a Quota Queen
“In a previous blog post, I urged gendermandering congressional districts after the 2010 Census to boost the ranks of women in Congress. I realize now that’s not enough. We need one woman for every man on the Supreme Court, even if it takes an FDR-like court-packing plan. Even Rupert Murdoch’s American Idol has now advanced to a two-man, two-woman judging panel. President Obama, if you don’t have the progressive stones to do this in your first term, the women of America will vote for a female Democratic nominee in 2012 who does!”
— PBS’s Bonnie Erbe in an April 1 blog post at U.S. News & World Report’s Web site.

Countdown to Crackpot Conspiracies
“Tonight! A stunning new revelation from Karl Rove’s past! Could the man known as ‘Bush’s Brain’ have been the personal political protege of Joseph Stalin himself? Also, which of the Bush administration’s former officials had family members who were distantly related to Pol Pot? Condi Rice knows! Finally, new information regarding the Cheney Death Squads: The commander of this unit was directly involved in the Kennedy assassination! Which Kennedy assassination? We’ll find out next, on Countdown!”
— Keith Olbermann opening MSNBC’s Countdown, April 1. [Audio/video (0:35): Windows Media (2.82 MB) and MP3 audio (161 kB)]

“Our ‘Worst Person in the World’ tonight, for only the 1280th time, Bill-O, the sad clown of Fixed News, for somehow prosecuting what he calls the ‘Woodstock generation’ for the violence of Mexican drug cartels. It doesn’t matter how many Viagras he pops, or how many painkillers Rush Limbaugh has washed down with Dominican rum, the right-wing hypocrites are desperately trying to put Crosby, Stills, and Nash in Guantanamo. To quote James Taylor, Bill-O’s still a fool playing his stateside games. Hillary Clinton is right: American demand for narcotics is a major part of this problem. Mexico even has a hot black market in anti-paranoia suppositories — not that I know from personal experience.”
— Olbermann later in the same show.

Admiring an Environmentalist’s Principles
“We have an update of a story we first told you about two years ago. Colin Beavan won a lot of admirers for his devotion to our planet. To try and keep his carbon footprint to a bare minimum, Colin — dubbed ‘No Impact Man’ — would not use modern transportation, only ate food grown close to his home, no electricity, and even no toilet paper. Last week, he came down with some sort of infection, but refused to ride in a gasoline-powered ambulance. Colin Beavan was admired by so many of us for his idealism; he was 45 years old.”
— Weatherman Sam Champion on ABC’s Good Morning America, April 1. [Audio/video (0:31): Windows Media (3.01 MB) and MP3 audio (194 kB)]

Choosy Eaters Don’t Choose Chips
“Is that bag of potato chips you have with lunch everyday just a guilty pleasure or potentially lethal?”
“Coming up, we know junk food can make you gain weight, but could it also cause you to lose your life?”
“And later this half hour. Vending machines: convenient snacks, or death for 75 cents?”
— CBS anchor Julie Chen on The Early Show, April 1, teasing a segment on the purported dangers of snack food.
Tweets You Can’t Beat
“It’s time for ‘Twitter Watch,’ where we allow you to talk about us, talking about you. DonkeyLvr7 wonders, ‘Where’s the investigation into the GOP’s efforts to secretly manipulate Barack Obama’s NCAA tournament picks?’ DNCChairTK says House Republicans are the ‘Special Olympians of Congress.’ Pow! Good one, TK.”
— MSNBC 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue host David Shuster reading “Twitter Mail,” April 1.
Bill Maher Goes Down Under
“In Australia, they’ve come to terms with the poisonous cane toads. They stick them in freezers to die, grind them up, and use them as mulch on the sugar cane fields. Why can’t we do this with our toxic homegrown pests, with all of our American ingenuity? Who wouldn’t want to euthanize Dick Cheney and toss his pellets to refertilize some humanity in Iraq?”
— Bill Maher on his HBO Real Time, April 1.
Journalists Celebrate Their Bro-Mance with Obama
“Our dear leader Obama has that inner serenity, that special something which is needed to bring our nation out of that darkness of the eight years of George W. Bush and his cronies. While he’s bodysurfing in Hawaii, his wife Michelle is buffing up her arms. I just have a crush on the two of them. It may not give me any tingles like my colleagues at MSNBC, but that may be because of my old age. That is, unless you can spare me a few of your pills, Larry.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty, during an interview on Larry King Live, April 1.

Chris Matthews: “Before we go, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon, there’s a New York Times blogger who claims women are dreaming about having sex with Obama. Do you think that’s just limited to women?”
Democratic political consultant Steve McMahon: “Uh-”
Matthews: “Sometimes, I think I’m in that movie Wild Things? Have you seen it? Pretty steamy. There’s a three-way between Neve Campbell, Denise Richards and Matt Dillon....And, maybe, Neve Campbell represents America being embraced by the strong arms of Matt Dillon, who obviously represents Barack Obama....And in this scenario, I would be Denise Richards. I’ve often thought about the President pouring champagne over my bare chest.”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, April 1.

Obamagasm Coordinator: Chris Matthews
Chief Seagull Discharge Scooper: Bill Weir
Last Reader of the Washington Post: Bob Schieffer
Adviser to the Chief of Staff: George Stephanopoulos
Most Paranoid Person in the World: Keith Olbermann
Chief Pelosi Cheerleader: Katie Couric

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