Evening reporter Neal starts drinking late, starts taking notes early. The straight qaaqaa:
Holy fuck. The Republican talking point has finally changed. Instead of "Kerry thinks terrorism is a nuisance", we now have.... "When Kerry talks about the 380 tons of heavy-duty weaponry missing from Al Qaqaa, he's really bashing our brave troops!". But it doesn't seem like pundits and talk show hosts are even biting that one, except for Sean Hannity and he's a wackjob anyway.... News peg of the night: Newscasters love saying Al Qaqaa. Weirdest talk show guest lineup ever: President Bush, Ann Coulter and Barack Obama on Hannity & Colmes.
When he read your e-mails, was he wearing any pants?: Countdown With Keith Olbermann (MSNBC, 8PM) - Announcement of $24,216 of viewer donations to purchase those sexy, steamy Bill O'Reilly tapes.
8:36PM - "We have all the makings for a perfect storm... I've never seen anything like it, we have 150,000 lawyers running around looking for trouble" John Dean, ex-Richard Nixon legal counsel, on AP poll announcing 69% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans do not expect a clear winner in the presidential election.
Olbermannisms of the day: Three-way tie from everyone's favorite pithy liberal. Is it his response to a readers' e-mail that she now prefers him to Bill O'Reilly, whom she used to correspond with, "When he read your e-mails, was he wearing any pants?" . . . Or in discussing Andrea Mackris keeping the O'Reilly tapes for leverage, laughing like a fifth grader and betting that "There's a section on the O'Reilly tapes about leverage too". . . or accusing British grocery store Sainsbury's of breeding super-intelligent lettuce that will take over the world? Only you can decide.
Oh Woodward, where art thou?: The O'Reilly Factor (FNC, 8PM) features Bill O'Reilly spinning four, count 'em, four separate angles on the Al Qaqaa story. O'Reilly tries valiantly not to crack up while repeating "Al Qaqaa".
8:40PM - O'Reilly continues his Kerry interview pet project, using non-Kerry guests to answer questions as they think Kerry would answer them. Except, answering the question is.... Bob Woodward. That Bob Woodward. I really thought he was classier than that. Questions asked: How would Kerry seal up the Mexican border? How many troops would Kerry send to Iraq? How would Kerry pay to create a universal health care system? What mistakes did Kerry make as an anti-war protester? Why is Kerry against gay marriage? Woodward: "Bush had no doubt about what he was doing in Iraq. But where is the doubt in Kerry's world?"
Separation of church and state? Wuzzat?: Larry King Live (CNN, 9PM) has theologians and people of faith discussing God and the Presidency. Tens of thousands of CNN viewers around the country drop to their knees and pray to God to for protection from His followers.
Guest Jesse Jackson says absolutely nothing interesting and shills the DNC line like a good soldier. Boston College theologian Fr. David Hollenbach speaks eruditely and sensibly on the subject, unlike these guys...
9:08PM - Max Lucado, author of "Do It Again, Lord": "America is a studio where God can do his great work." Ghost of Reinhold Niebuhr shudders at comparison of God to Jessica Simpson, or worse, Jackson Pollock.
9:09PM - John MacArthur, radio evangelist, speaks on the electoral process: "God ordains leaders and puts down leaders and kings."
9:25PM - MacArthur again: "I don't believe in separation of church and state, as long as we're talking about the true church. The issue is the one true church of Jesus Christ in America, which cannot be separated from the country."
Then Tommy Lee appeared. "Shout At The Devil" and stuff... But, seriously.... it's 2004. People still care about Motley Crue?
AL QAEDA! WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! HELP US!: President Bush opens the second part of his Hannity and Colmes interview (FNC, 9PM) in a fever pitch over Al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction. Bush rants like a street preacher on three lines of bathtub meth.
9:03 Bush, honesty, wha?: "Whether we can ever stay truly safe is up in the air."
9:04 Bush: "Taking Kerry's own words, he has a limited vision."
Insight into the President's mind alert:
9:05: Bush namedrops "My Utmost for His Highest", anthology of sermons from 19th century preacher Oswald Chambers. Staff of the Onion eagerly takes notes.
Sean Hannity losing touch with reality alert:
9:14 Sean Hannity denies that a weapons cache even existed in Al Qaqaa...
9:17,cries in anguish, "Where is truth, honesty and soul in the Democratic Party?"
We love Ann Coulter...
9:22, Ann Coulter on the men who threw a pie at her: "They got their faces smashed in prison."
Finally, Hannity and Colmes viewers always have the dubious benefits of pre-taped interviews on goofy sets. President Bush? Interviewed at what appears to be a yacht club. Vice President Cheney? A faux-farm, complete with bales of hay. Senator Barack Obama? A fake school set. Lockers! Blackboards! Classy!
9:50, Barack Obama on non-decided voters: "People who are the least likely to vote, when they go to the polls, vote Democrat."
The combination of bad news out of Iraq and fears over Rehnquist only helps Kerry. Barack Obama on FNC makes Sean Hannity look like a foo' and creepy religious types on CNN make Republicans even scarier. Even Ann Coulter was off her game tonight.... Winner: Democrats for the second night in a row.