On Thursday evening, Access Hollywood genuflected twice to President-elect Barack Obama, while taking one more shot at GOP vice presidential pick Sarah Palin.
Access Hollywood's introduction teased the viewers with a story about the “Obama effect goes Hollywood” and another about “What kind of dog should the Obama girls get?” In sharp contrast, AH offered up a titillating tidbit about GOP VP pick Sarah Palin and her “most revealing moment,” repeating allegations by McCain staffers that Palin conferred with them while wearing a towel.
AH reporter Billy Bush began his Hollywood piece by playing clips of celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Will Smith excitedly discussing Obama's victory. Bush observed, “The Obama effect goes Hollywood – hitting some harder than others,” and played a clip of Will Smith thrashing about on the floor of Oprah's stage in uncontrollable glee.
Teasing his story on Sarah Palin, Shaun Robinson roped in viewers with this line: “…Stunning new allegations straight from McCain-Palin insiders: did Sarah spend even more than reported on the clothes, and Palin's most revealing moment.” This bit included a video of Katie Connolly, a political correspondent for Newsweek, recalling a McCain insider saying, “She sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel.”
Reporter Maria Menounos followed Robinson with a tease about her Obama story: “What kind of dog should the Obama girls get?” Her question was accompanied by footage of the Obama family onstage waving to supporters.
The story about jubilant Hollywood celebrities focused on a clip of Oprah Winfrey asking Will Smith, “When was the moment you knew that, uh, Barack Obama was going to be our president?” Smith replied, “You just said it, and I'm getting teary again… I'm an action hero, I can't be crying on your show.” That story ends with clips of celebrities Michael J. Fox and Tori Spelling happily engaging reporters' questions about their reaction to Obama's win. “It can be no secret, we're… we're thrilled,” said Fox.
Robinson later told viewers, “The Palin wardrobe controversy explodes again,” and played a clip of Connolly revealing a private donor's shocking reaction to the amount Palin spent on her wardrobe. Connolly then claimed a McCain insider told her that Palin “sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel.”
Erin Brown is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.