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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2013
Maybe it's just me, but a fundraising letter I received from CNN's Paul Begala last week struck me as emblematic of what's wrong when media are mixed with money and politics -- as they increasingly are these days at cable TV news channels in Washington. Here's the letter. And you tell me if this is appropriate for someone listed as "commentator" at CNN -- someone who also appears on the channel's website under the heading "Anchors/Reporters" as Begala does in the screenshot above.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 5, 2013
Maybe it's just me, but a fundraising letter I received from CNN's Paul Begala last week struck me as emblematic of what's wrong when media are mixed with money and politics -- as they increasingly are these days at cable TV news channels in Washington. Here's the letter. And you tell me if this is appropriate for someone listed as "commentator" at CNN -- someone who also appears on the channel's website under the heading "Anchors/Reporters" as Begala does in the screenshot above.
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FEATURES
By Orlando Sentinel | January 20, 1993
"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"Anyone who watches "Saturday Night Live" will recognize those stirring words as the mantra of Stuart Smalley, the coifed, co-dependent character invented by comedian Al Franken.For three years now, Mr. Franken has starred in a "SNL" skit called "Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley," in which Stuart, a creature of the recovery movement -- the vast array of 12-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous -- looks lovingly into a mirror and mouths the affirmations that remind him he's really OK.Now those words are also the title of a book by Mr. Franken.
NEWS
By Faye Fiore and Faye Fiore,Tribune Newspapers | July 8, 2009
WASHINGTON - -Al Franken, the funnyman who wrote the best-seller Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, was sworn in as the junior senator from Minnesota on Tuesday without doing one single funny thing. Once, he was known on the Saturday Night Live stage as the lisping, sweater-wearing bundle of insecurities Stuart Smalley ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, gosh darn it, people like me"). But Franken stepped into the ornate Senate chamber to take his oath of office in a charcoal gray suit, Bible in hand, surrounded by political allies eager to cast him as a "serious" addition to Congress.
FEATURES
By Dan Fesperman and Dan Fesperman,SUN STAFF | August 10, 2000
In a whacky era when sexual trysts in presidential closets become front-page news, it is no longer sufficient for life to imitate art. Now it must imitate parody. Thus, when presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Al Gore selected Joseph I. Lieberman as his running mate this week, he was following in the footsteps of parody candidate Al Franken, the comedian who made the same choice in his 1999 spoof of presidential politics, "Why Not Me?" The book, a satirical "look back" at Franken's meteoric road to the White House in the 2000 presidential campaign, features a newspaper headline on page 205 announcing: "Franken Picks Lieberman as Running Mate."
FEATURES
By Alice Steinbach and Alice Steinbach,SUN STAFF | January 24, 1996
WASHINGTON -- In a minute, you will learn all about how Al Franken chose the title for his new book on modern American politics. But first: a word or two about the titles he rejected. "I probably should have called it were too confrontational."Instead, satirist Al Franken, best known for his appearances on "Saturday Night Live," settled on a kinder, gentler title: "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations."Leaning back into the sofa in his posh suite at the Jefferson Hotel, Mr. Franken -- who describes himself as a "mushball liberal Democrat" -- explains the compelling reasons for choosing such a title.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Liz Halloran and Liz Halloran,HARTFORD COURANT | March 14, 2004
Are American radio listeners ready for The O'Franken Factor? Moreover, is The O'Franken Factor really ready for them? This past week, after more than a year of planning and pitfalls, the Air America radio network, comprising a handful of politically liberal shows airing on four stations, announced plans to begin operations March 31. "We are not ceding this territory any more," comedian and writer Al Franken said from the network's New York offices Wednesday....
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 17, 1999
As we hold our breaths the next six weeks awaiting word from NBC on the fate of "Homicide: Life on the Street," here's another series that's on the bubble and definitely worth worrying about: "Lateline" with Al Franken.The NBC ensemble sitcom about life inside a network news show that's very much like ABC's "Nightline" returned last night for a six-week run. NBC is giving the series its best time period so far -- between two series that are guaranteed to return next fall, "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "Just Shoot Me."
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 6, 2005
The Truth (With Jokes) Al Franken Dutton Adult / 336 pages The picture of Al Franken on the cover of Al Franken's new book is much bigger than the picture of Al Franken on Al Franken's last one. Franken has come a long way lately, not least in the area of self-promotion. Since the 2003 publication of his Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken has progressed from taking potshots at talk-show hosts to joining their ranks (via Air America Radio and the Sundance Channel). He has expressed nascent political stirrings, positioning himself as a possible senatorial candidate from Minnesota for 2008.
NEWS
February 14, 2005
Sure wasn't Christmas News that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had fired an aide for spreading rumors about Mayor Martin O'Malley's marriage broke the same day that the mayor was making national headlines for other reasons. In a speech in Washington on Tuesday, O'Malley compared President Bush's proposed budget to the Sept. 11 attacks, saying both hurt American cities. On Wednesday, when those controversial remarks showed up in The Washington Post, The New York Times ran a front-page story about Baltimore's high homicide rate.
NEWS
By P.J. Huffstutter and James Oliphant and P.J. Huffstutter and James Oliphant,Tribune Newspapers | July 1, 2009
WASHINGTON - -After a fierce legal battle and a vote recount that stretched on for seven months, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday that Democrat Al Franken should be certified as the winner in the state's U.S. Senate race. Two hours after the ruling was announced, Republican Norm Coleman conceded defeat. Franken said at a news conference that he was humbled "not just by the closeness of this election but by the responsibility that comes with this position. I can't wait to get started," he added.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | April 22, 2007
THE QUEEN -- Miramax / $29.99 Stephen Frears' scintillating The Queen imbues the negotiations between new Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) over Princess Diana's funeral with the tension and humor Hollywood reserves for films about the Mafia. The queen puts off any show of mourning for Diana. When Blair dubs Diana "The People's Princess," he unifies the country and shows up her antique reflexes. But what starts out as a deliciously polite black comedy about royal inertia and modernity turns into a political mating dance with unexpected feints and turns.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 6, 2005
The Truth (With Jokes) Al Franken Dutton Adult / 336 pages The picture of Al Franken on the cover of Al Franken's new book is much bigger than the picture of Al Franken on Al Franken's last one. Franken has come a long way lately, not least in the area of self-promotion. Since the 2003 publication of his Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Franken has progressed from taking potshots at talk-show hosts to joining their ranks (via Air America Radio and the Sundance Channel). He has expressed nascent political stirrings, positioning himself as a possible senatorial candidate from Minnesota for 2008.
NEWS
February 14, 2005
Sure wasn't Christmas News that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had fired an aide for spreading rumors about Mayor Martin O'Malley's marriage broke the same day that the mayor was making national headlines for other reasons. In a speech in Washington on Tuesday, O'Malley compared President Bush's proposed budget to the Sept. 11 attacks, saying both hurt American cities. On Wednesday, when those controversial remarks showed up in The Washington Post, The New York Times ran a front-page story about Baltimore's high homicide rate.
NEWS
By Clarence Page | January 13, 2005
WASHINGTON -- My conservative pundit friend Armstrong Williams just had the weekend from hell, answering phones and juggling interviews like a multitasking press agent for Paris Hilton. "Have you seen the coverage?" he exclaimed over the phone. "I had no idea I was this important!" Well, sorry, my friend, but it's not just about you. There's also the matter of $240,000 in taxpayer money. That's how much the Education Department paid Mr. Williams to promote the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind education reform policy in his dual roles as chief executive officer of a public relations firm and a multimedia news and public affairs pundit.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Liz Halloran and Liz Halloran,HARTFORD COURANT | March 14, 2004
Are American radio listeners ready for The O'Franken Factor? Moreover, is The O'Franken Factor really ready for them? This past week, after more than a year of planning and pitfalls, the Air America radio network, comprising a handful of politically liberal shows airing on four stations, announced plans to begin operations March 31. "We are not ceding this territory any more," comedian and writer Al Franken said from the network's New York offices Wednesday....
NEWS
By Faye Fiore and Faye Fiore,Tribune Newspapers | July 8, 2009
WASHINGTON - -Al Franken, the funnyman who wrote the best-seller Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, was sworn in as the junior senator from Minnesota on Tuesday without doing one single funny thing. Once, he was known on the Saturday Night Live stage as the lisping, sweater-wearing bundle of insecurities Stuart Smalley ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, gosh darn it, people like me"). But Franken stepped into the ornate Senate chamber to take his oath of office in a charcoal gray suit, Bible in hand, surrounded by political allies eager to cast him as a "serious" addition to Congress.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | April 22, 2007
THE QUEEN -- Miramax / $29.99 Stephen Frears' scintillating The Queen imbues the negotiations between new Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) over Princess Diana's funeral with the tension and humor Hollywood reserves for films about the Mafia. The queen puts off any show of mourning for Diana. When Blair dubs Diana "The People's Princess," he unifies the country and shows up her antique reflexes. But what starts out as a deliciously polite black comedy about royal inertia and modernity turns into a political mating dance with unexpected feints and turns.
SPORTS
By LAURA VECSEY | January 19, 2004
THE JURY may be out on Pete Rose, but the jury is apparently reading. The Hit King's new autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, will make its debut at No. 1 on next week's New York Times best-seller list. Talk about up the charts with a bullet. Talk about crime paying. The literary merit of Rose's hardcover mea culpa, otherwise known as the book of excuses, deserves at least cursory inspection, if only because it so dramatically leapfrogged nonfiction hotties like Dude, Where's My Country?
NEWS
By Ellen Goodman | December 25, 2003
BOSTON - Now before the year runs out, we once again present our media culpa column, an annual accounting of the errors of our ways. we made along the path of 2003. We - the editorial we - almost skipped this ritual cleansing of the keyboard this year. After all, our culpas are measly compared with the big culp-rit Jayson Blair, the serial plagiarist who lied his way out of a job at The New York Times and into a book contract. As for mishaps, ours pale beside the mistake of folks who put that "Mission Accomplished" banner behind the president in the May 1 flight deck photo op. Nor did we allow Pedro Martinez to continue pitching in the fateful eighth inning of the seventh game of the Red Sox-Yankees playoff series.
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