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Sunday, October 11, 2009

State of the Union for October 11, 2009

The behind the scenes video clip for this week's State of the Union with John King was shot in Washington, D.C. The clip has an interesting start with John King asking, "What do you want to talk about?"

The first interview on program this morning was a pre-recorded interview that King did with Senator John McCain earlier in the week. Topics covered during the interview:

  • President Obama's Nobel Peace Award
  • Afghanistan war
  • McCain: We need more troops
  • Iran & nuclear negotiations
  • Economy & job creation
  • Health Care Reform - Senate bill
  • McCain: GOP needs an agenda
  • McCain: Tensions with Palin

King talked to two Democratic Senators in a live interview during the second half of the first hour: Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Bob Casey. King asked them about repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, the inclusion of sexual orientation into the hate crime bill, and the "don't ask, don't tell" policies. King had a hard time of getting the Senators to answer the question about repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and even asked Senator Stabenow directly why she wasn't answering the question. When asked about whether "don't ask, don't tell" should be looked at now or after the 2012 election, Senator Stabenow answered that human rights and jobs are always important issues and should be their primary focus. (Maybe its me, but I think she tried to dodge another question.)

King then moved on to asking the Senators about Afghanistan and troop levels as well as health care reform.

John King was in Kentucky this week for the American Dispatch segment. He took a look at the impact the recession has had on the horse racing industry: an industry that supports 100,000 jobs in the area. He also visited Hazard Kentucky.

Reliable Sources started off talking about the Nobel Peace Prize award to President Obama and the reaction from the press and pundits. Howard Kurtz pre-recorded an interview with the White House Communications Director, Anita Dunn. She responded to the negative reaction of some commentators. Kurtz asked her about her comments about FOX News, "It's opinion journalism masquerading as news." that appeared in Time magazine earlier this week. She stated this morning that FOX News "often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican party." Kurtz followed up to the comment to ask her whether that was reason why Obama didn't include FOX news when he did his Sunday morning interviews a few weeks ago: yes. She went on to clarify that she doesn't have an issue with Major Garrett (WHC for FOX) but pointed out that Chris Wallace had not been fair to the administration. FOX issued a statement in response to this interview, but declined to have someone appear on Reliable Sources.

The first panel of the hour included Ana Marie Cox and Chris Stirewalt. The topics included the statements from the White House Communications Director, the pundits "slamming" Obama for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the Obama SNL skits from the past two weeks and its influence on the mainstream media, and MSNBC's Olbermann's expressing his views on health care reform.

Next Kurtz talked with Sharon Waxman, David Zurawik and Steve Friedman about the coverage of the David Letterman scandal (meanwhile Senator Ensign's sex scandal doesn't get as much coverage).

Friedman made an interesting (and true) statement during the segment: "Television is the greatest democracy in the world: people vote with their clicker." My one question: who calls it a clicker anymore?

The panel then discussed the negative impact Jay Leno's move to 10PM has been hurting local news ratings on NBC affiliates.

The 11AM hour brings us to the Sounds of Sunday and the pundits.

Four commentators in the first panel: Peter Sprigg, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, and Robert Traynham. They discussed the President's comments at the Human Rights Campaign dinner about don't ask; don't tell and the Defense of Marriage Act and the potential culture war that could result from taking on these issues at this time.

A panel shake up at for the second segment Brazile and Bennett keep their seats and Candy Crowley and Dana Bash join the fun. They continue to discuss the "don't ask; don't tell" policy, and Defense of Marriage Act. Bennett thought that King was spending too much time this morning on these issues.

The panel then focused on troop levels in Afghanistan and the health care debate. And the lightening round topics were Gov. Palin and the Nobel Peace Prize.

I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but the 11AM hour went by very quickly and seemed to always be "interrupted" by the commerical breaks. I don't know if it was the lively debate or keeping Brazile and Bennett though the whole hour or having a three - four person panel instead of a two - three person panel. Whatever the cause, it seemed to work for that portion of the program.

CNN Diner segment was at Rick's White Light Diner in Frankfort, Kentucky. King spoke with Rick Paul (owner of the diner), Joel Schrader, and an unidentified woman. By far, the most spirited conversation that we've seen during the diner segment as they discussed health care reform.

The Last Word went to Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service and the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD, to discuss H1N1 (swine flu) and the vaccine. Per Dr. Schuchat if you're getting the shots or a shot and one nasal mist, you can receive the H1N1 and the seasonal flu vaccination during the same visit. If you're receiving nasal mists of both vaccinations, then she recommended waiting three weeks between them.

King mentioned that he will be heading to Alaska this coming week: it will be the 40th state that he's visited since State of the Union began.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Fox News, but IMHO, the Director of Communications, Anita Dunn, needs to apologize to Fox News or be fired. Telling them that they are "opinion journalism masquerading as news," just alienates those viewers who watch Fox News. This is not a good move for the White House or Obama. How does alienating a certain segment of the population, older voters in fact, help the situation? It is like third grade name calling. If the President approved of this tactic he deserves whatever he gets.