Hello, and welcome to the Political Punch-Out for December 2, 2013. Political Punch-Out is TKNN’s end-of-the-day wrap-up on the top political news.
TOP STORY: The Administration has released a progress report detailing the fixes that HealthCare.Gov endured. Jeff Zients wrote the report and described the difference between today and two months ago as “night and day.” The report claims that the site can handle over 800,000 visits a day. The error rate has also been knocked down to .75%. The report also announced a new queue system, which will email people to alert them when to comeback and use the site during heavy usage times.
CNN starts two new shows tonight as the cable news network seeks to rejuvenate their primetime ratings. The 11th Hour with Don Lemon and ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) are half hour shows that will take the place of the Erin Burnett: Outfront rerun in the 11 o’clock P.M. EST hour. Lemon’s show is billed as the last word on the news, and tonight will feature marijuana. ICYMI is a CNN recap show, and tonight will be talking about Chris Cuomo’s interview faux controversy. Burnett had her first child over the weekend, and the network is taking advantage of her maternity leave. Don Lemon and The Lead anchor, Jake Tapper, will be anchoring during her absence.
Politico’s media blog has posted two scoops tonight going off sources. Dylan Byers posted that Martin Bashir’s vacation is actually a suspension. All last week, Bashir was said to be on vacation, which even continued today. Byers says that the vacation is a suspension in response to the host’s comments about Sarah Palin. MSNBC has not announced a suspension, but did not respond to TKNN’s request for comment in regards to the Politico story. This is similar to MSNBC’s handling of the Alec Baldwin controversy. The network stayed quiet for awhile, and eventually outrage led to the show’s suspension. However, MSNBC never officially announced a suspension, it was announced by Alec Baldwin online. Later, MSNBC did announce that the show had ended.
Hadas Gold broke the news that CNN’s John King may be making a return to CNN’s airwaves as an anchor. The network is reportedly testing a new, half-hour show called The Source. The show would air on the weekend and feature a roundtable of political reporters. This would be John King’s first time anchoring a show since his weekday evening show, John King USA, was cancelled last year.
Finally, a shake-up was announced with regards to the morning show wars. Good Morning America’s weatherman, Sam Champion, is leaving and is heading to the Weather Channel. Champion will have a management role and will anchor the network’s morning show. This means Al Roker’s show, Wake Up With Al, will either be cancelled or shortened. This may not be the only way that Champion impacts Roker. The Weather Channel is partially owned by NBC, which means Champion could potentially appear on the Today Show, a competitor to Good Morning America. Champion was part of the crew that led to Good Morning America’s ratings win over the Today Show, so many media analysts will be watching to see how the ratings will be impacted. However, when Robin Roberts was off for a medical leave, the ratings were not severely impacted.
HORSE RACE UPDATE:
Former Sen. Bob Smith announced he would run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire. Smith was a Senator before getting beat by then-Rep. John Sununu in the Republican primary back in 2002.
CRAWLING THE WEB:
National Journal’s Ron Fournier believes the President needs to fire his team.
However, Mediaite’s Noah Rothman disagrees.
George Demos’s campaign released an ad lumping together President Obama and Rep. Tim Bishop with late-night comedians’ favorite mayor, Rob Ford. (CNN)
Vice President Biden is overseas as Japan and China are fighting over China’s air zone. He arrived in Tokyo today and is expected to get involved in the negotiations between the two countries.