Friday, November 14, 2008

The TR: Election Euphoria, Atheist Advertising and Messin' With Journalists

The media (and, admit it, the rest of us) breathlessly hang on every O workout and evasive syllable that falls from John Podesta's lips -- but the world economy still hangs in the balance. Read on for gallows snark to get you through next week.


Don't expect the Detroit bailout to go anywhere, what with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson morphing from indulgent parent of banks ("Anything to make you feel better, snookums!") to tough-love dad of automakers ("No handouts, young man -- it's character-building loans for you!"). Dad, must your discipline extend even to the defenseless baby in the family, the struggling homeowner?

Meanwhile, what to do about the tanking retail sector, aka "safety net for the newly unemployed?" As American Express converts itself to receive the holy communion of golden crumbs from the infamous $700 B, and as AIG, Fannie and Freddie line up for seconds, uh, could we please have a little transparency? PLEASE?!

A desperate world will be poring over the outcome of tomorrow's G20 Summit, which will discuss ways of addressing the international financial crisis. Come on, world leaders! No need to get all Debbie Downer by bemoaning how ineffectual it's going to be or by painting the host, Dubya, the fool by alleging he didn't even know what the G20 was (isn't that Jon Stewart's job, anyway? Give him his last few shots while he's got 'em!). Maybe it's the crushing disappointment that O won't be crashing the party. (But, hey, he'll be on 60 Minutes!)

With various Senate races dragging on, campaign junkies need not go cold-turkey into withdrawal after all (and thank heavens for that!). In Minnesota, elephants and donkeys will continue throwing numbers around through the Tuesday hand-recount, one side to cast doubt on the process, the other to forecast an Al Franken victory. Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin are facing off again in Georgia, and Mark Begich is edging ahead of Crypt Keeper Stevens as Alaska continues to slowwwly count absentee ballots. Dem hopes for that golden ticket of legislative dominance, the mythical and filibuster-proof 60 seats, could be achievable after all (if they can resist the urge to toss Lieberman overboard).

Finally, O's most important appointment, over which he is visibly struggling, could hijack the whole news cycle next week: First Puppy. The sheer adorable-ness of this Presidential Family is almost too much, even WITHOUT the puppy. Add in a baby animal and Hannah Montana cameos and we think our Culture Minister may require an insulin shot.

The Week That Was

Who could ignore this week's wildly amusing coverage of Towel Gate, Africa Gate (see our next item for more), and the continuing saga of Fashion Gate? Ye Gods, Sarah Palin, you are a one-woman scandal industry -- the Queen squirms with Schadenfreude. You are less successful in the spin game, however. Oh, and did you pay someone in the Secret Service to give your hubby the code name "Driller," or did you guys lose (or win!) a bet somewhere? We're going to take the high road and avoid all the obvious snark here, guys. If you've got a snappy one-liner, leave it in the comments!

Two aspiring TV producers fooled the blogosphere (and harried TV newsrooms that prowl blogs for fodder to toss into the gaping 24-hour news maw) into believing that Martin Eisenstadt, adviser to John McCain, was the source of various colorful Palin fun facts. All it took was a few amateurish YouTube videos, a quickie website for "Eisenstadt's Think Tank," a deadpan blog, a few emails, and source-checking neglect at MSNBC, The New Republic, and the LA Times. A web search would have turned up plenty of warnings that Eisenstadt was fake, says the Gray Lady. Would-be hoaxers everywhere are waiting to see whether this feat lands masterminds Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish a TV pilot based on the fictional pundit (cuz that's, uh, original?). As for Palin's alleged Africa gaffe, New York Magazine says it has yet to be debunked.

Maybe we did kinda take Johnny Boy's word for it when he asserted to Jay Leno that Arctic Barbie did not hurt his ticket. Without her, would more of the ultra-conservative Republican base have stayed home, making way for tumble weeds to blow across the empty fields of his rallies as the old war hero faded away? (Hey hacks! How's THAT for purple prose?)

Hmm, perhaps Obama can be friends with lobbyists after all. They're not all bad, you know -- some use their powers for good, not evil. Virginia gave a good deal more than an inch, but the Dems are plotting to take a yard: How about Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe for Guv'nah? Howard Dean is stepping down from the chairmanship of the DNC, while... wait, could it be?... OMG, is that Newt Gingrich edging his way to head the RNC?!

The culture wars rage on, with the Obama win provoking conservatives to new heights of aggression. Catholic bishops vowing to fight the administration on abortion, and the passage of Proposition 8 eliciting passions and protests that continue to re-ignite. Liberals, if you need a break from the backlash, we can help.

So, Larry Summers, women's pretty little heads are incapable of advanced math and science? Bam! Off the short list.

In entertainment news, the pregnant man is (spoiler alert!) pregnant again; Michael Moore is really trying to stay relevant; the new season of Top Chef started in NYC on Wednesday (Spike, our favorite from last season and who hangs in DC, was live-Twittering; this really IS the best cooking show on TV); atheism has marketing reps, apparently; and publishing lay-offs continue at gossip rags. Luckily, the Turner Report is still doing a-ok!

The election may be over, but media outlets are still looking for ways to keep the excitement going. How, you ask? By writing a book about it! Step right up for your copy of America Speaks: The Historic 2008 Election by ABC News and USA TODAY. Every last story, detail, and picture will help you re-live it over and over. And if that's not enough, there's a fancy little companion DVD that captures the "voices of the voters" so you can return to the days, er, months... no... YEARS of the campaign.

Finally, our favorite story of the week: supremacist skinheads charged with Obama assassination plot cry foul -- the jury has too many black people. Another DIY-snarkfest, dearies; put your quips in the comments and show us some love.


Media coverage of Treasury Secretary appointment? Nailed it. Hard-right turn for the GOP? Nailed that one too. Automakers? Yup. We are on FIRE, y'all!

Get geared up for those holiday parties, people; you've got a LOT of hobnobbing to do. If you need cool stories to impress your boss with, you know where to find us.

Have a lovely week!


Suzanne said...

Gloria Pan RULES. This entire thing happend while the Q0S was completely passed out - sick -- near hospitalizaiton...

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