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Palin Takes Stage, "Daily Show" Takes Aim, "90210" Takes Off (Barely)
September 3, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
There's a lot to cover today: How the networks covered last night's convention, and what to expect tonight. How good The Daily Show is doing at these conventions. And how the two-hour premiere of CW's 90210, not available for preview, measured up last night.

So let's get right to it, in order:

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION -- Day 2 of the Republican National Convention, the first real day of speeches and TV coverage (because of Hurricane Gustav), was a mixed affair in terms of cable and broadcast coverage. When Orson Swindle (he being one of the POWs held captive the same time as John McCain) spoke during the 9 p.m. ET hour, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC and PBS all televised the speech intact -- but Fox News, oddly, only joined it in progress.

RNC-2-Laura-Bush.jpg RNC-2-Bush-big-screen.jpg

That network was on board with everything the rest of the night, though, as were all the cable news operations. They were there for Laura Bush, who was there in person to introduce her husband, who wasn't -- but who spoke via satellite, in an eight-minute speech that was over at 10:01 p.m. ET, just as the broadcast networks came aboard for the night. (CBS, NBC and ABC did offer tape-delayed coverage of President Bush's remarks.)

RNC-2-Thompson.jpg RNC-2-Lieberman.jpg

All the broadcast networks, including PBS, ignored the Ronald Reagan video tribute, and, except for PBS, presented Fred Thompson on a delayed or truncated basis. Anyone watching public TV or cable, though, could see and hear, live, Thompson's playful endorsement of Alaska vice presidential presumptive nominee Sarah Palin: "I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, she's the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose."

Joe Lieberman's speech was the evening's only clean sweep, covered live by everyone. Tonight, the one speech guaranteed to be covered by everyone is Palin's acceptance speech, Be there, and flip through lots of channels afterward to taste a wide sampling of reaction.

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART -- How I love this show. Last night, its first night in St. Paul, the correspondents covered the delegates "stranded" at the convention center on day one as the white, pampered equivalent of Hurricane Katrina's huddled, ignored victims three years ago. Deadly, hilarious counterpoint.

Daily-Show-Obama-levee.jpg

Barack Obama didn't escape unscathed, either. Stewart offered a mock visual of Obama in New Orleans, holding back the water as a modern Moses. And later, Stewart interviewed Brian Williams, and the two, as usual, got along great, even as Stewart asked questions so direct -- especially about the dysfunctional family of colleagues over at MSNBC -- Williams had to sheepishly sidestep them.

Daily-Show-Brian-Williams-a.jpg

They're a great team, Stewart and Williams -- the "real news" guy going for jokes, and the "fake news" guy raising serious points in a funny manner. Watch them, and you'll laugh. But if you listen closely, you're also likely to learn something.

90210 -- Because the CW neglected to send out preview copies of their small network's biggest new show, I expected the worst. Last night, I saw it.

90210-Premiere-Anna.jpg

Actually, 90210 fits right in at CW, where Gossip Girl, its allegedly "hit" show, has more press mentions than viewers, and whose dramatic intensity and credibility is about on par with an Archie comic book. The new 90210 is that way, too, only the sweet Betty is a brunette, and the nasty Veronica is a blonde.

The reunions scenes between Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty, from the old Beverly Hills, 90210, were one highlight. If there was a second one, I missed it. And I watched both hours.

 

1 Comment

 

Neil said:

Have to comment on this. Quoting you quoting that icon of the Senate and the NYC District Attorney's office:

> Thompson's playful endorsement of Alaska vice
> presidential presumptive nominee Sarah Palin:
> "I think I can say, without fear of
> contradiction, she's the only nominee in the
> history of either party who knows how to
> properly field dress a moose."

Cute line, but you'd think that a Republican would know enough of his party history to be familiar with the name (and reputation) of one President Teddy Roosevelt. Who, if my arithmetic is accurate, was the sitting president one hundred years ago today. (Actually, his next line was to add, with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt. So good for you, and, I guess, for Thompson. -- David B.)

 

Comment posted on September 3, 2008 1:37 PM


 
 
 
 
 
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