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Politics, Polls, Football and Meryl’s Daughter

This is what I’m thinking:

In the immortal words of the old guy in the 1987 movie “Moonstruck,” I’m confused.

On Monday morning, I woke up to hear NBC’s “Today” led off by announcing Republican Mitt Romney was the frontrunner in the presidential race based on new swing state polls.

On Monday evening, I turned on the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and heard that President Obama was slightly ahead in two nationwide polls.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that whoever is best at getting turnout will win the presidency.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13:  Brian Williams of ...

Brian Williams: NBC’s Nightly News Contradicts “Today”

After further review, I’m struck that the post-debate analysis of the Joe Biden-Paul Ryan debate didn’t focus more on Ryan’s suggestion that Americans go on the front lines in Afghanistan instead of Afghans. Much of the post-debate analysis focused on Biden’s smiles and other exasperated looks as Ryan spoke, prompting NBC’s Savannah Guthrie to note that what debaters do when their opponents speak has become the big issue of the TV shows. 

All the analysts suggested that today’s second debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney will be key. However, Obama’s first debate performance will be difficult to overcome. I suspect analysts will call tonight’s debate a draw even if it isn’t. The winner actually will be declared on Twitter before CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and the broadcast networks weigh in. That is the major shift in how debates are scored these days.

I don’t want to pile on Channel 4’s new sportscaster Lauren Brill. I really do hope she improves as much as the Buffalo Bills defense did Sunday.

But I see no signs of improvement.

Last week, she said that the San Francisco Giants had a 3-2 lead in games in their playoff series with the Cincinnati Reds when the Giants had won the five-game series.

On Sunday, I thought I heard her say A. J. Feeley missed a potential winning field goal for Arizona instead of Jay Feely. I rewound it and that’s what I heard again, but perhaps that was because of her voice inflection and diction and she meant to say a Jay Feely miss.  She really should slow down while giving highlights. Did anyone else hear it the same way I did? If I’m wrong, I’ll pull a Hillary Clinton, apologize for the confusion and take the blame. A.J. is a quarterback. I wasn’t even sure he was still in the league until I checked Monday and discovered he is a backup quarterback for the St. Louis Rams.

Brill also named kicker Rian Lindell the superhero of the Bills 19-16 victory after he made a routine game-winning 25-yarder. Defensive back Jairus Byrd (two interceptions) or defensive end Mario Williams (two sacks and more pressures) were more deserving. She also had Byrd running back his second interception to the 1-yard line instead of the 6-yard line before Lindell’s kick.

I’m still rooting for Brill to prove me wrong and show me and the rest of WNY that she will learn with her on-the-job training. But her performance hasn’t been pretty so far.

Speaking of the Bills game, Channel 4 viewers had no idea that Alex Carrington got his hand on Feely’s missed game-winning kick because CBS play-by-play man Bill Macatee and analyst Steve Tasker didn’t tell them. After watching a replay, you can see the direction of the kick was altered. Tasker had predicted that Bills Coach Chan Gailey would call a timeout to ice the kicker. He didn’t, possibly because he didn’t want the Cards to have more time to prepare for the kick. I wasn’t sure what Bills games Tasker has been watching lately after he said the Bills have had a lot of success with the wildcat formation with Brad Smith.

I also have a couple of friends who wondered why pass interference wasn’t called against the Cardinal defending Donald Jones before Smith’s pass was intercepted. It was a reasonable question left unasked by Tasker and Macatee.

The Bills win had about a 33.5 rating on Channel 4 after the 15 minutes were eliminated because of technical difficulties. The game averaged a 42 3 rating for the last 30 minutes of regulation and overtime.

It is hard to know how temporary this is, but Channel 4’s “Wake Up!” on the first two days day since Joe Arena left for Pittsburgh featured solo anchor Nalina Shapiro. Meteorologist Bryan Shaw worked Monday morning with Shapiro, making Channel 4 look like a college station.

Has anyone seen “Samsara” on You Tube? According to one of my Twitter followers, the documentary movie currently running at the North Park Theater is on You Tube. “Arbitrage,” which is playing at Eastern Hills, is available on iTunes and On Demand for a fee.

I watched the pilot premiering on the CW tonight of “Emily Owens, M.D.” months ago and all I remember is I didn’t want to waste an hour of my life watching it again. I was struck by how old-fashioned it was. It stars Meryl Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer, as an aspiring doctor who is insecure socially. Any resemblance to the premise of the Fox comedy “The Mindy Project” is purely coincidental. “Emily” could have starred Mamie’s mom 30 years ago when it would have looked like a fresh idea. It should last longer than CBS’ “Made in Jersey,” which already has been canceled. But not much longer. 


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4 responses to "Politics, Polls, Football and Meryl’s Daughter"

  1. Ian says:

    I know you’ll probably catch this on your own, but it’s “Nalina”, not “Natalie”

  2. Rob says:

    Some thoughts while wondering if Gary Johnson makes an appearance tonight:

    Totally agree on your point with NBC and how they present the polling data. It’s even worse if you channel surf and see MSNBC, CNN, Fox etc since it seems like its all over the map on who is actaully ahead. You would think they would tone down all the polling data and just investigate the issues, such as that Ryan suggestion you point out. I don’t know if its lazy jounalism but I saw or read more stories on Biden’s teeth and hairplugs than I did on some of Ryan’s shaky data.

    I doubt the pundits will call this a draw. This format of this debate is like a home game for Obama who has done well with these in the past. If Romney comes acros as genuine and not programmed, and stays out of Obama’s space, then he at least accomplished his objective. This whole media frenzy on “Obama being agreesive” could backfire since his appeal is the exact opposite of that.

  3. Judi says:

    I can’t tell if Lauren Brill has an accent or a speech impediment, but she has a strange delivery. And I too, have caught some inaccuracies in her reporting. When I see that she’s doing the sports reporting, I usually change the station to WGRZ.

    Speaking of WGRZ sports reporting, I was wondering what you think of Jonah Javad? I like him but sometimes his style of reporting is a little over the top. It’s like he’s auditioning for ESPN’s SportsCenter. Chris Berman would be proud!

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