Category Archives: TV

Top Women Television Journalists We Should Support

While it may come as no surprise to you, I still think I need to fess up: I am a news and politics junkie. And in honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to share with you my favorite women pundits, correspondents, news anchors, bloggers and political writers. Women news sources are still in the minority so this is my simple way of supporting every woman out there reporting on what will certainly become history some day.

Now how could I ever sum up the women I support in one concise post? Exactly, it’s utterly impossible. So this will be a three part post – and even then I am quite sure I’ll be skimping on you. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it a shot. This week, I will share with you my picks for the best women television news sources that you need to turn on and follow. Sure, do it for the future of women’s journalism, do it for women’s solidarity but really just do it because they are accomplished professionals making an important impact on mainstream media.

Until the early 1960’s, news reporting was strictly a man’s gig. So first things first – let’s give a shout out to some of first women who reported the political goings on in Washington. Nancy Dickerson was in fact the first woman television reporter. She opened the doors for such news greats as Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Ann Compton, Lesley Stahl and more recently, Katie Couric. The stories I’ve read about how difficult it was for these women to break into journalism makes the hairs on my neck stand up. They deserve respect and credit for the ceiling they have all cracked together.

maddow

Today, there are a number of television pundits and correspondents who have established themselves as top news contributors. But who tops my list? None other than the amazing and brilliant Rachel Maddow. If you don’t watch her MSNBC show at 9pm every weeknight (or follow her on twitter), you are missing something impressive. Ann Marie Coxis often a guest on her show and I have become a fan of hers also.

Another good perspective comes from Campbell Brown and her show “No Bias, No Bull” is my “go to” when I am not watching Keith Olbermann (and while he’s a “he” and therefore does not fit the bill for this post, I am a loyal viewer of his also). And by the way, Alison Stewart(previously of MTV fame and Emmy award winner) does a fabulous job filling in for Maddow and Olbermann – I hope to see more of this amazing news contributor in the future.

Gwen Ifill is the Moderator and Managing Editor on PBS’ Washington Week. Along with the stiff shirts of the McLaughlin Group, my father watches her regularly. I am a big fan myself and think she handled the vice presidential circus debate with grace and professionalism.

And while I stare at my monitor most afternoons, I usually have MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell quietly on in the background. She’s smart and does a fantastic job asking the right kinds of questions. And then Norah O’Donnellis the MSNBC chief washington correspondent and also hosts the 3pm hour of MSNBC.

While not your traditional political pundits, I have to mention the women on The View. They have made a significant impression on this country with their ideals and fiery political debates. Say what you will about The View being an actual news source, Whoopi Goldeberg and Joy Behar have my utmost respect.

And finally, Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, deserves every bit of recognition she has received including the Peabody Award, two Emmy Awards and has been named the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She speaks three languages and fearlessly positions herself at the epicenter of war, chaos and international instability on a daily basis. There is no question that she has earned my deepest admiration.

The only way we will see more women reporting and commenting on important news stories is if we support the women currently doing just that. Take note of who sits around the table during Meet the Press or gather in the White House Press conference room. Is our women’s perspective represented? Let’s hope it will be the case more frequently in the future.

Feel free to comment about some of your favorite women journalists below. And stay tuned for next week’s second post in this series about my picks for favorite women political newspaper journalists and writers that deserve their place in history.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Educating myself, Feminist tendancies, Giving respect, Inspiring people, Parenting, Politics, Reccomendations, TV, Women

Having a little Election Fun.

As I write this post, I am watching my usual political pundits review today’s electoral goings on. They are updating me about the sound bites, the polls, the accusations and the tensions sourrounding this presidential campaign. Like so many Americans these days, I am all kinds of fired up. Posts of the liberal kind are tumbling around in my brain, willing my fingers to type.

*Deep breaths*

Enough already, its time to take it down a notch. For a change of pace, I would like to share some election fun with you. Lets have some laughs, let’s allow for some silliness and enjoy some light hearted looks at this presidential campaign so far. Not convinced yet? I’ll even promise you some ice cream for your troubles. So turn off those pundits, read on and have a laugh – I know I sure need to.

So, here is what I am going to do. Over the past couple weeks, I have been collecting funny links that have given me a chuckle. Mostly, my finds are of the democratic and Obama persuation, but all are worth a look and a laugh.

Halloween and Obama come together at this wonderful site: Yes We Carve. Do you have a hankering to carve a Barack-o-latern? Find the pumpkin sculptor within you and then post your pictures at their site. They even have stencils you can download for a more easy carving experience!

I don’t know about you, but I sure could use a calming, life sized likeness of Obama for my living room. On tough election days, days like today when I hear McCain is eeking out a lead over Obama in my state of Florida, this might be exactly what I need. BO can stare at me across the room and assure me that his lead in the polls will remain. Perhaps his likeness could inspire even my children: “Yes, we *CAN* eat our broccoli!” (Cue cheers, signs and confetti now.)

Did you realize your vote counts not only for your family and your children – but your vote counts for your pets too? Grab your pooch, some kleenex and get all patriotic while watching this “Pets for Obama” YouTube clip. Oh and don’t leave the dog out of election fun either with this cute t-shirt.

Have you ever played the game Stratego? Well, have you ever wanted to play a presidential election style stratego-like video game? Well, now you can at miniclip.com! You pick you presidential nominee and then you can choose your staff, each armed with their own under-handed campaign skills. Your mission? To gain the control over each U.S. region and eventually win all of your nation’s votes. Beware, this game is hard – but fun for the campaign manager hiding in each of us!

Is there a birthday coming up? Do you need to brighten someone’s day with an e-card? I’ve got your political e-cards right here, thanks to good ol’ Jib Jab. My fav? “Sentence structure with Sarah Palin”.

In case you have been living on the moon and have NOT seen any of the Saturday Night Live bits, NBC has all of their videos online for your viewing pleasure. Make their site a favorite and replay them when O’Reilly has you screaming into your couch pillow again. (Or am I the only one who does that?)

I assume all of you are planning to vote, correct? And I assume all of you love ice cream? And now the two shall meet. (Cue heavenly light from above and angels singing.) Ben and Jerry’s is offering free ice cream on November 4th to anyone who voted. That alone is almost enough of an incentive to vote. …ALMOST.

And finally, the funniest bits of election humor I have seen yet are the speeches both John McCain and Barack Obama gave last week at the Alfred E. Smith fundraiser dinner. Of course, I thought Obama’s was better (shocking, I know) but I would encourage you to watch both. On the evening following a very stressful debate, both candidates proved that they could find some very funny common ground during this event.

My friends (to quote a certain republican nominee), it’s been a very long, exhausting, emotional election year. And with only days left until November 4th, I don’t expect it will get much easier. Let’s try to take a moment, find the humor in all that we do, and be good to our neighbors – no matter whose political sign they’ve got posted out on their front lawns.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.

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Filed under Cheesy stuff I like, Election, McCain, Obama, Politics, Reccomendations, Sarah Palin, Silliness, TV

Tim Russert, the father.

I know that it’s the day after father’s day but I feel the need to recognize another exceptional father we have actually all been mourning over the past few days: Tim Russert.

There is no doubt in all of our minds, Tim Russert was an exceptional journalist; he was whom so many of us turned to during an election or political event to thoroughly boil down the important issues. He used to exude such passion for politics; like a fired up sportscaster, he got me psyched for every debate or primary return night. I feel as if we have lost our voice of reason – as his son Luke noted, he considered himself “the questioner of the American people”. He made sure that we regular folk had a clear explanation of the issues so that we could then become informed voters. He saw his work as his calling: Tim Russert pushed hard as a journalist for the sake of OUR understanding, not for the sake of television ratings or a sound-byte. How will this election go on without him? He will be missed. He will be missed. He will be missed.

But I think what has really resonated with me while watching the coverage of his passing over the past few days, is the man I knew less about. Tim Russert – the father. It is quite clear to me now that he was an extraordinary father. There was no limit to the immense love and pride he had for his son Luke.

This morning, I watched an interview with Luke Russert and Matt Lauer. It was a wonderful interview and, selfishly, it helped my mourning process to see his son getting through this difficult time and also to “see” some Tim Russert live on in him. 

But this is what I was truly left with: Luke Russert is an exceptional young man. And it is quite apparent that Luke Russert is the man he is today because of the father he had. The lesson to be learned here is that you can truly see the “stuff” of a man through the eyes of his own child. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, but Tim Russert showed no shame in unabashedly, pile it on thick, completely, 100% adoring his son – and what a son he has left the world with. I have found even more respect for Tim Russert, the father, after watching this interview. Please watch it for yourself here.

As Matt Lauer pointed out, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Cheers to the memory of Tim Russert, the father, who gave so very much to his son Luke. Happy Father’s Day to the late Tim Russert.

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Filed under Family, Fathers, Inspiring people, Parenting, Politics, TV

After winter, must come spring.

After a long day yesterday, I sat down in front of the TV to put on my running shoes. I was certainly NOT running (eww), but I have been trying to escape every evening for a walk with my ipod in hand and my thoughts for company. As I was tying up my shoes, my man, Keith Olbermann was just getting warmed up on MSNBC. And right before I grabbed my ipod, he announced he would be making a “special comment” tonight about, my scumbag, George Bush. As a teaser, he mentioned the fact that Bush had decided he had quit playing golf out of “respect” for those that have died in Iraq. Ohhhh, this was gonna be good. I had to be back in time to watch.

So off I went, into the evening. Sun already set, the Florida air was finally cool, sprinklers on, people walking their dogs before it was finally dark, cars coming home from work and pulling into driveways.

It feels so good to move, GET OUT and be child free in that moment. But my mind wandered back to our president’s sacraficed golf game. His enormous ego, complete lack of responsibility and general stupidity makes me want to spit. And then the news in general right now. Iraq is as bad as its ever been. And I haven’t even touched on the topic of Myanmar or the earthquake in China because it is so horrifying, I can’t even do the topic justice. I have no idea how to even wrap my brain around the kind of loss they have suffered. I have no idea how to understand it, process it or make any kind of peace with it. And now Clinton is still holding on, tenacious however still suported. I respect her for this, but I’m so discouraged that we still don’t have a nominee. And the talk that her votes wouldn’t go to Obama anyway, and then recent discussions that race might play more of a role for voters than I ever expected. We are unsettled, we aren’t working forward towards resolution. We are spinning our wheels. So, yeah, I was a little bummed out.

And then my ipod shuffled and up popped a song by Lauryn Hill called “Everything is Everything”. I have mentioned before how music can change me. Well, this song did some magic.

Sometimes it seems
We’ll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all
And the ones on top, wont make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let’s love ourselves then we can’t fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication

Let me tell ya that,
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
After winter, must come spring
Everything is everything

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

Ok, I feel some hope. This change can happen. We can do this. Just push forward. My walking pace was at full speed by this point. I still refused to run (eww), but I felt fast and able and suddenly a little hopeful.

When I got home, I pulled off my shoes, grabbed some water and saddled up to watch Olbermann give his special comment. After winter, must come spring. 

I give you, my man, Keith Olbermann and his Special Comment.

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Filed under Bush, Florida, Inspiring people, Music, Obama, Politics, TV

I’m a Democrat, not an Obamacan.

Permanent:
I did it. I put an Obama ’08 bumper sticker on the back of the Momvan, MOSTLY to reassure MYSELF this nomination is not going to be stolen.

I read Queen of Spain’s post and I am so jealous. *I* want to put a bumper sticker on my car. I have zero car vanity issues, Florida needs to see democratic support, I am 100% ready to do it. But I won’t. Not quite yet.

Why not? I mean, yeah, Obama is the man – no doubt. His sticker belongs on the dusty bumper of my Saturn for sure, I’ve got a spot all picked out. And that’s something because it wasn’t always Obama. At the start, I wanted to make sure we got someone experienced in there who knew what he or she was doing. I wanted smart, not just cool. I wanted a known commodity, someone who had a real plan – who might even “be ready on day one”. And a women’s college graduate? I mean, duh, Hillary seemed a shoe in for my vote. And she even got it during that Florida primary. Remember that primary that didn’t count for jack? Yup, I still showed and flew my Hillary colors.

But I guess its a good thing it didn’t count. Because now I feel like the insane politicking and the creepy Clinton mafia thing has kind of gotten in the way. She’s always been a little calculating but now its kind of starting to freak me out.

And Obama represents so much hope for this country. He is smart. He’s got an amazing plan. He is something we have never seen before; he is honest, in touch and a true leader. He will turn it around for us. I know it.

But here’s the thing. Its not so much that I want to put his sticker on my car. I want to put THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE on my car. I want our party unified and moving forward. And right now it feels like our country has three parties: The Obamacans, The Hillaryats, and The McCainians. And while The Obamacans and The Hillaryats slowly circle each other in gladiator fashion with their audience frothed for a blood letting, McCain is slickly doing his thing and he is getting away with it. While we are all fixated on who is interviewing which democratic candidate this week (O’Reily? Olberman? The View?), McCain is hardly being called to the carpet on boo. Enough already. We Democrats have gotten caught up in the glamour of this and have become a little too self confident. We know we have two cool candidates and we assume its just a matter of which one of OURS will win. IS IT?

Come ON already. I am not an Obamacan. I am a democrat. And I want to proudly slap that democratic candidate’s sticker on my car and parade it around. While Obama seems to be my man, I will 100% back whoever gets the nomination. Let’s find our person, let’s all get behind him or her and focus our attention and resources on beating McCain. Not each other. Sheesh.

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Filed under Hillary Clinton, Inspiring people, McCain, Obama, Politics, TV

Hot for President

I just heard Barbara Walters say out loud to Barack Obama what I have been thinking for awhile now. 

“We fwink dat yew are vewy sexy looking” 

I don’t care if I agree with a woman who is twice my age on what’s sexy, it’s TRUE. And I honestly don’t feel ok about it.  

Here’s the thing. He is young, tall, and attractive; he has a deep confident voice and can inspire thousands upon thousands when he speaks. He is funny, he is masculine, and he can even dance. He has this sweet, somewhat honest, self-deprecating way about him when he’s chatting but can turn on the important presidential “take no prisoners” voice when it’s appropriate. That’s it, put a fork in us, we’re done; he is someone a lot of American women, including myself, are fawning over. 

But that doesn’t feel right to me. What, I won’t vote for Hillary because she’s not hot? There is no doubt that she isn’t bringing in the crowds quite like she used to. She doesn’t have the speaking presence that Obama has. She can be a bit serious and hard edged. To hell with it, lets just face it, Hillary is just not “sex”.  But is that any reason not to vote for her? Absolutely not!  

I was a Hillary girl at the start. She is a smart woman with years of history in politics and the white house (and don’t tell me being the wife of a president gives you no experience). She is serious about the issues at hand, is extremely focused on health care reform and has some excellent ideas about how to lead this country out of its current mess. And while I would not vote for any candidate solely based on their gender, I was comforted that a smart woman, mother and women’s college graduate could very well lead this country. Yes! Perfect! This is what America needs at last! 

But as the weeks have gone on, some of that Hillary excitement has just faded away for me. Her true politicking has bubbled up to the surface on more than one occasion, her reactions to certain events haven’t been all that impressive, people deeply involved in the Democratic Party are backing Obama – she just hasn’t really kept the flame alive, you know? And I guess I feel sort’ve “eh” about her these days. 

Obama on the other hand, well, he continues to shine. No doubt, the press are stumbling over themselves to cover his every move. And today, even Barbara and her co-hosts giggled and told him he was cute. Shoot, did you know he’s even loosely related to Brad Pitt! Are you kidding me? People seem to want him as president… and people seem to want him, period. 

So I still haven’t 100% made up my mind whether I want Hillary or Obama in office (not like my vote counts anyway… thanks, DNC). Undoubtedly, I will wholeheartedly back whoever gets the democratic nomination. But I just need to get it off my chest. Obama is “vewy sexy looking” – these hearts in my eyes are not in good taste and it’s all rather unfeminist of me.  

Hillary, now is your chance to reign in the women of America. Show us the facts and set us straight. You have to get cracking. He will make an excellent president but the fact that he is Brad Pitt’s long lost relative is certainly working in his favor right now.  

In the meantime, will someone give Barbara and the rest of us a cold shower?

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Inspiring people, Obama, Politics, TV