Dan says there were not “substantive interviews” on this morning’s shows. We can’t help but wonder if he was really watching previously. . .
With voters already heading to the polls, the morning shows focus on news pieces and keep substantive interviews to a minimum. Laura Bush and John Edwards pop up here and there and, with their large mouths and glittery eyes, look as though they could be brother and sister. Every network runs a story explaining why their news divisions won’t screw everything up this time. News peg: Dixville Notch, NH votes 35 for Bush, 21 for Kerry, 1 for Nader, the Democrats’ strongest showing in Dixville Notch in years. Hot topic: Appeals court rules Ohio polling places must allow partisan vote-sitters; Justice John Paul Stevens declines to review at 2:30 AM. Unsurprising revelation: This one will not be decided until very, very late. My prediction is December 10.
7:15 NBC. The Today Show:
John Edwards: Believes North Carolina will be more competitive than polls have shown thus far. If Kerry wins, he will call Dennis Hastert and John McCain tomorrow. “America needs a fresh start.”
7:18 NBC. The Today Show:
Katie Couric interviews Laura Bush (taped Monday). Everyone loves campaigning. The girls are having a great time. “Whatever happens, we’ll be great.”
7:25 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO): “You can get five bucks on eBay for that New York Post front page.” As is often the case, F&F anchors love to get the last word in interviews; Brian Kilmeade follows up Gephardt’s comments on Iraq by noting helpfully that whatever, Saddam Hussein is “a whack job." America needs a “fresh start.” Predicts Kerry win with 275-280 electoral votes.
7:33 ABC. Good Morning America:
In his segment explaining why 2004 election coverage won’t be a total fuck-up, Peter Jennings declares ABC has “a hugely comprehensive package.”
7:34 CBS. The Early Show:
John Edwards mouths platitudes, says this election will not be as close as 2000.
7:36 CBS. The Early Show:
Laura Bush receives a totally hot tongue bath from Rene Syler. Sample question: “Do you enjoy your status as one of America’s favorite First Ladies of all time?”
7:38 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM): 40% of eligible New Mexico voters took advantage of early voting; his organization registered 10,000 new Native American voters. “I feel a tidal wave coming,” says the governor of a desert state. Predicts Kerry will take one other Western state in addition to his own.
7:47 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Frank Luntz, pollster: Believes Zogby‘s Ohio poll is correct, predicts Bush in Ohio. Refuses to predict overall winner, but does believe tomorrow’s morning shows will be the ones to call the election. Shit, does that mean I need to get up at 5:00 in the morning to watch a special edition of Fox & Friends?
7:53 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Head vs. Head: Terry McAuliffe, DNC chair, vs. Ed Gillespie, RNC chair.
Gillespie: Our poll-watchers are really protecting voters from disenfranchisement. If someone cancels out your vote with their illegal vote, you’ve been disenfranchised. “If Dick Tracy and Mary Poppins vote today they’ll vote for Kerry.”
Gillespie: Refuses to give exact number prediction, though he says he’s got an entry in the RNC office pool. Steve Doocy asks if anyone in that pool is predicting Kerry; Gillespie replies that it’s purely a margin of victory pool.
McAuliffe: Predicts over 300 electoral votes for Kerry.
7:58. ABC. Good Morning America:
13,000 votes cast electronically in Daytona Beach were lost in a computer crash; paper backups allowed the votes to be restored.
8:07 CNN. American Morning:
Familiar Head vs. Familiar Head: Terry McAuliffe, DNC chair, vs. Ed Gillespie, RNC chair. This is billed as their final debate before the election.
Gillespie: “We’re up, up, up, up, up.”
McAuliffe: We’re leading in early voting in FL, IA, NM. Fresh start!
Gillespie: Cites Gallup Bush approval rating of 51%. Livens up sleepy face-off by nailing McAuliffe with “nuisance,” taxation, and litigation just under the closing bell.
McAuliffe: Bush was humiliated in the first debate.
8:14 NBC. The Today Show:
Chris Matthews: Rain in OH and PA is good for Republicans.
8:16 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA): Republicans have made 1.6 million voter contacts in PA in the past four days. Asked about the 400,000 new Dem voters in Philly, replies, “We believe a lot of those are fraudulent.” Predicts PA will turn on fewer than 25,000 votes.
8:20 MSNBC. Imus in the Morning:
NBC’s Tom Brokaw and CBS’s Bob Schieffer. Schieffer: 20% of voters voted before today, early or absentee, and so networks simply will be unable to call close states until very, very late. Brokaw: “Our watchword tonight is patience.” Wearing a sweet brown velvety suit, Brokaw says Imus looks like “a homeless man, slightly deranged, with a Conway Twitty haircut.”
8:24 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Laura Bush hits her third morning program (all pretaped, I believe). Asked what went through her mind when she saw the Bin Laden tape Friday, she replies, “What went through my mind is exactly what the President said.” Maybe Bush’s earpiece isn’t hooked up to Karl Rove‘s brain after all! Sample hard-hitting question from E.D. Hill: “I know if I asked you your least favorite part of the campaign, you wouldn’t answer, so I’ll stay positive. What was your favorite part of the campaign?”
8:32 FNC. Fox & Friends:
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): Blah blah blah, all about turnout, blah blah blah, bipartisanship, I will win, so will Kerry.
Many networks interrupt coverage to show video of Bush family voting in Crawford. FNC’s Steve Doocy: “The President is about to do his duty and vote in Crawford.” Close your eyes and think of America, Mr. President.
After the family votes, W takes questions from the press corps. It’s his second press conference of the year! Bush: “I’m not a very good prognosticator, but we’ll see what the people say.” “The whole campaign was a fantastic experience.” Asked why he generates such passion, both for and against him, Bush smartly answers, “I take that as a compliment. I take a stand in what I believe in. A lot of politicians take a position but they don’t take a stand.” Refers to two reporters as "Stretch" (Dick Keil) and "Big Stretch." (Bill Salmon).
A wash. On Election Day, everyone plays nice and stops being such a dick. That makes for some boring morning TV. Message of the Day: Keep an eye on Peter Jennings’ comprehensive package.