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I don't know if anyone else saw this, but on tonight's Sunday Night Football telecast between the Bears and the Packers, Michaels came out and opened the broadcast by saying "I don't know if global warming is fact or myth but it's 50 degrees in Chicago on New Years Eve. We'll take it!"  First off Al, if it was 20 degrees in Chicago on New Years Eve, global warming would still be a fact.  Ask any scientist who isn't being payed by the oil companies, and they'd tell you this.  It's a shame that Al used NBC's airwaves to do Exxon's bidding but considering Michaels' track record of injecting political commentary into his NFL broadcasts, it's not that much of a surprise.

First off, Michaels is a staunch Republican who contributed to Bush's 2004 campaign.  However, it's not just that. Michaels has a quite an extensive history of making political comments during NFL games.  For instance, in 2004, Michaels used the airwaves to take a swipe at John Kerry during a game between the Raiders and Patriots.

   MICHAELS: What a wacky series.

   MADDEN: This is what you call a flip-flop.

   MICHAELS: You're in the right state for that.

And then just a week later, Michaels then made complementary comments towards Condeleeza Rice  

MICHAELS: Condoleeza Rice, the national security adviser, is right there. And she's in town because her father was at Johnson [C.] Smith College [sic: University], and she was delivering a speech there. I read an interview with her a couple of years ago, John, when she talked about what she wanted to do post-government career. She wanted to be the commissioner of the National Football League. I said come to the booth. It's a lot easier. She said now that really sounds like a good idea.

   MADDEN: I think there's going to be a job open there for the commissioner of the National Football League in a couple years. I think that [NFL commissioner] Paul Tagliabue signed a new contract, but I think he's only going to be there a couple more years. So if she can just wait a couple years, that job, I think, will be open.

   MICHAELS: Well, she hopes it will be four. But we're not supposed to talk anything besides football, so, sorry.

Al Michaels' injection of political commentary has no place during an NFL game.  I know that a lot of the people who cover the NFL and other sports are probably Republicans, but they at least are able to keep the political issues to themselves and strictly call the game.  Michaels, on the other hand, has a fairly extensive history of making political comments during telecasts which I think is uncalled for.  He shouldn't be talking about things like global warming, John Kerry's flip-flops, or how great Condoleeza Rice is; he should be talking about the game!  If I tune into a sports broadcast, I expect the broadcaster to talk about the game and not reiterate some political talking points!

Originally posted to dumbya on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:04 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Al equals TOTAL TOOL. (11+ / 0-)

    He is a complete elephant.

    Should have heard his comment before Kerry-Bush election.

    Lame.

    Turn it down & listen to local radio.

    Let's make Missouri sharp! Meet Jay Nixon who will defeat Matt Blunt in 2008

    by aimeeinkc on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:02:50 PM PST

    •  He used to be the Cincinnati Reds announcer... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, MHB

      ...in the early 70s. Replaced by Marty Brennaman, who's an even bigger Republican than Michaels is, and who's probably more blatant about making his political views known than Michaels. But Marty's been around for 30-odd years now, he is what he is, I grew up listening to him, and I give him a special exemption. Michaels, on the other hand, is grating to me. I remember the Kerry crack...

      •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skymutt

        I also grew up listening to Marty Brennaman & Joe Nuxhall. I don't recall hearing any political comments from Marty on the air, although he makes no effort to hide his affiliations otherwise. It irritates me, but at least any comments he makes on the radio are to a relatively small radio audience as opposed to a national television audience. Then again, I have complained to the Braves Radio Network about political comments from Skip Caray. The bottom line is, a broadcaster has a right to participate in the political process, but not to use their positions to push their viewpoints on others.

        Ever notice how conservatives don't conserve anything?

        by MHB on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:05:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I heard it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, 3goldens, trashablanca, kath25

    Al is an idiot.  Global warming in a fact.  The only debate is how much human beings are responsible for it.  What Al the idiot did not mention - it has been in the middle 40s to low 50s in Chicago for the past 2 weeks.  The forecast for the next week is for it to stay in the middle 40s.  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:10:05 PM PST

  •  I heard him (9+ / 0-)

    complain about our "punitive tax policy" during a Monday night game a few years back. I'd call him walking, talking scum, but I've never seen him walk.

    •  Just remember (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoeWPgh, metal prophet, MHB, Ky DEM

      ...Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller have both been in that broadcast booth with Al.

      COnservatism -- it's like a disease...

    •  Punitive tax policy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoeWPgh, MHB

      That rhetoric is a thing of beauty really.  As the tax burden is continually shifted onto the middle-class and working-class taxpayers by Republican policies, rich Republicans can ever more successfully exploit pseudo-populist anti-tax appeals.  

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        that clearly isn't true.  The percentage of the federal income tax being paid by the upper end has grown, not shrunken.

        •  Oh really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catullus, MHB

          Has the portion that the top brackets grown as a proportion of their income?  Or decreased?  And what are you using as your base year?  

          •  You can find those stats anywhere, just Google it (0+ / 0-)

            but here is the first one that came up for me.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/...

            •  find someone other than the national review (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MHB

              to cite, please. Preferably nonbiased economist(s).

              •  Facts are Facts (0+ / 0-)

                But here is an IRS paper sumamrizing the data from 1979 (the IRS collects the data, you'll need to read on down the report for out specific topic).

                http://www.irs.gov/...

                For ealier periods (this is from 1984) all I could quickly find was a Time article (this would be pre-Reagan), the IRS data above brings all of that up to date.

                http://www.time.com/...

                You have to go a long, long way back to a point where only the top 1% paid any taxes at all, so then it would be 100%, but there is no question whatsover that in the modern era -- say since Kennedy, that as top rates have fallen the percentage of federal income tax they pay has nearly doubled.

                What the NR article says is true.  It may be an inconvenient fact but true nonetheless.

            •  you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

              The tax rate for the rich was 90% under Eisenhowser.

            •  HA! HA! GOOD ONE... (0+ / 0-)

              ...oh, you're serious?

            •  Lies, damned lies, and statistics (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Grover StL

              It is indeed true that the total income tax paid by the topmost tax brackets has increased, although their tax rates have declined. How, you may ask, can this be so? Because the income of those topmost tax brackets is rising enormously more than that of, say, the lower 95% of taxpayers. An academic study  

              uses IRS tax data to estimate the income share for various income groups. The findings echo what others have found; the top end is earning a greater share of income and is taxed less. Those in the middle are earning a smaller share and pay a greater share.

              http://www.argmax.com/...

              And although this has been the trend for the last 30 years, under Bush it has accelerated greatly.

              The tax cuts are regressive. In 2005, EGTRRA, JGTRRA, and WFTRA tax cuts (the tax cuts of 2001, 2003, and 2004) averaged 2.6 percent of after-tax income ($742) for those in the middle quintile of the income distribution. Those in the top 1 percent received an average tax cut of 4.6 percent of after-tax income ($34,948). The top one-tenth of 1 percent-taxpayers with income greater than $1.75 million-received an average tax cut of 5.6 percent of after-tax income ($185,533).

              http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/...
              So, as ActivistGuy said, indeed

              the tax burden is continually shifted onto the middle-class and working-class taxpayers by Republican policies

              and please, do not bother to point out Pres. Clinton's nominal party; economically speaking, he was the best Republican president we've ever had.

              •  You acknowledge (0+ / 0-)

                the accuracy of the basic premise but then go on to raise a few non-sequitors.

                Of course they pay a higher percentage because their incomes have gone up.  Wasn't that the very point?  That if you reduced a (confiscatory) tax burden you would eliminate tax advoidance and disincentives, generate more income and thus more revenue?  It has worked exactly as predicted.

                But I suppose you say that comes at too high a price because dammit those people are getting rich.  So what?  If you could have some combination of rates and income that would end up with the top 5% paying all of the taxes would you say that is a bad thing?

                I think you would.  Why?  How does that affect your life?  Do you think wealth is a zero sum game such that whatever Bill Gates has made or accumulated was stolen or taken from you?

                I tried to take a look at your links. but the tax policy center link give a raw screen -- no report. All I got from Argmax was what looked like a blog entry (with a lot of typos) describing a report.

                In any event, you can't have it both ways and say that yes you agree the top is paying a higher percentage of the total income tax revenue than ever (modern times) and somehow try and say on the other hand that the middle's percentage has increased.  It doesn't work that way, and I think you are getting income data confused with percentage of revenue, which is what started this thread -- but if there is something in there you want me to see I'll take a look.

  •  I took my niece into the city to see (6+ / 0-)

    the decorated windows at Marshall Field's. What should have been a beautiful snowfall was a hard-driving rain!

    With great jackassery comes great responsibility...Jackass!

    by The Gryffin on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:14:29 PM PST

    •  ????? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Gryffin

      I took my niece into the city to see the decorated windows at Marshall Field's Macy's.

      There, fixed that for ya. ;-)

      My mom worked for Field's for 30 years and retired right around the time Macy's bought the company from Target.  They closed down her department a year later, and discontinued retiree health benefits.

      I just can't bring myself to shop there any more.

      "Spoken like a true smartass."

      by ChiGirl88 on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:17:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's a sportscaster (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, MJB, ticket punch, kath25, gustynpip
    Surprising he didn't blow the grammar! Keith Olbermann, he ain't. His brain holds nothing but sports trivia. He does his job, competently. When he improvises, his foot goes down his throat. We can live with it.

    Besides, as a linguist, I'd say the whole clause with global warming is just a toss-away intro to his statement about the weather. He could have done better with: Anyone who wonders about global warming should be here today! But that would be as political statement. His wasn't.

    Have a great NYE, just sober up by Tuesday!

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:16:15 PM PST

  •  Al Michaels: shut up and sing! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, trashablanca, kath25

    Hat tip to Repug harpie and possible future felon, the phone-jammin' Coulter-wannabe Laura Ingraham.

    PRAVDA under Stalin had more shame than Fox News.

    by chumley on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:17:10 PM PST

  •  Make a complaint. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc

    I've heard other sportscasters say similar things, in part because they know they can get away with it. The upshot is that if enough people complain about it, and let those reponsible know that they will stop watching if it continues, it will stop. If Al Michaels and his ilk become liabilities to their corporate employers, they will be silenced.

    Ever notice how conservatives don't conserve anything?

    by MHB on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:18:35 PM PST

    •  What's the complaint here? (4+ / 0-)
      1. Michaels noted in jocular fashion how warm it was in Chicago. He didn't feign scientific expertise, but his observation can only be taken as anecdotal support for evidence of global warming.

      2. Michaels noted Sec. Rice's  abiding interest in pro football (which is longstanding common knowledge) and her ambition to serve as Commissioner of the NFL (which ambition is NOT taken lightly her or the pro's). On this score, she knows her stuff -- and it's no state secret.

      How does either of these remarks offer grounds for complaint?

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:53:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gustynpip

        for the level headed comment.

        Be the Democrat you want to see. DebateScoop

        by demondeac on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:05:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously (0+ / 0-)

        some people here felt that his comments were inappropriate. I simply reminded them that they have the option of complaining to his employers. No one is suggesting that you complain if you do not wish to do so.

        Ever notice how conservatives don't conserve anything?

        by MHB on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:09:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not objecting to your comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ticket punch, gustynpip
          Just attaching a remark to it, to raise the obvious question -- now that you've decided to write the network, what words are you (the generic "you") going to put on the paper?

          Do you write "Al Micheals is a Republican, and I'm pissed off"?

          Do you write "Al Micheals thinks global warming might be real, and I'm pissed off?"

          Do you write "Al Micheals thinks Condi knows something about football, and I'm pissed off"?

          Or do you just write "I'm pissed off! Please correct this situation immediately!"?

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:36:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I want all of you to get up out of your chairs, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RonK Seattle, ktakki, MHB, gustynpip
          •  How about this, for starters? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stodghie

            "As a regular viewer of your broadcast, I consider it inappropriate for Mr. Michaels to use his position as a sports commentator to espouse editorial opinions on politically controversial issues."

            If one's efforts in this regard do constitute an overreaction, then the free marketplace of ideas will determine such, i.e. few others will complain and Al will continue upon his merry way. In that case, if one complains as I suggested, the worst that will happen is that they will be labeled not very "level-headed," a charge that one commentator here has already directed at me for having the temerity to suggest complaining.

            Ever notice how conservatives don't conserve anything?

            by MHB on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:58:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Having the temerity"? This is some pity party (0+ / 0-)

              and wouldn'tcha know it, I'm outta champagne.

            •  But don't you think your complaint should (0+ / 0-)

              include the claimed espousal of an editorial opinion being complained of?  And is that going to be that he stated he didn't know whether global warming is real or not????  

              This is nit picking in the extreme.  Living in an area in which people are used to having already experienced several days, possibly weeks, of below zero weather, having shoveled feet of snow, and probably been stuck in the ditch a time a two by this time of year, I can assure you I hear this exact same comment at least a half dozen times every single day.  And not one of those comments is intended in any kind of political context.  It is, pure and simple, reveling in not having yet had the blissful experiences of bitter cold and feet of snow yet this year.  

              Yes, I'm concerned about global warming.  There's a knot in my stomach about what might be happening to our earth in the next decade.  But I admit that each and every day that I wake up and it's above freezing and winter weather is delayed, I know it's one less day I'm going to have to deal with all the misery of it.  So I join right in with the gleeful comments about the weather.  And if someone refers to global warming and the benefits it's bringing us this year - well, I don't assume they're making any political statement, believe me!

  •  As I noted in my diary below this is the date of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, murrayewv, trashablanca, kath25

    The ICE BOWL in 1967.  Nearly 40 years later the Packers are playing in slightly better weather.  

    'Events are in the saddle and ride mankind.' Emerson

    by deepsouthdoug on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:22:00 PM PST

  •  What do you expect from someone... (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, aimeeinkc, MJB, demkat620, MHB, trashablanca, kath25

    ...who was traded for a cartoon rabbit?

  •  I ended giving up on sports in 2004 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, mightymouse

    tbe year my Dad died. We always talked sports. I saw so damn many Repubs in sports I didn't want to support them financially at all.  When I found out Tommy Lasorda was a Dubya dupe, I totally lost it.  Fuck you, Tommy.  I only hope Vin Scully is more reality-based.

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

    by trashablanca on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:29:30 PM PST

  •  Jim Lampley (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, MJB, MHB, trashablanca

    ... I heard him filling in on one of the liberal talk shows one time. Was surprised that he was such a left winger but apparently he is. But I never heard him putting down Bush on an HBO Boxing telecast. Like you say, it's very much out of place on a sports telecast.

  •  proof: Al Michaels donated $2k to Bush in 2003 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB

    link to contribution: http://www.newsmeat.com/...

  •  Al Michaels has a new can of spray hair..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, MHB, kath25

    maybe he was inhalingwhen he applied it.  

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 06:41:07 PM PST

  •  A few weeks ago on MNF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB

    I heard Michaels make a snide crack about "animal rights activists" when they were showing footage of turkeys around Thanksgiving. He's a smug jackass, despite that 1980 Olympic hockey call.

    Somewhere a senator sits behind a big wooden desk...he took his money just like all the rest- Neil Young

    by ctami on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 07:24:04 PM PST

  •  Sob (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, PhantomFly

    Four things needed to happen today for the Tennessee Titans to make the playoffs.  We had to beat New England, and then Jacksonville, Denver, and Cincinatti all had to lose.

    Wouldn't happen, most observers said.  Denver was playing San Francisco, and Cincy was playing Pittsburgh.  Even if the Titans won, they still wouldn't make the playoffs.

    All the teams we needed to lose, lost.  Only the Titans lost too.  Pardon me if I don't want to talk about football right now.

    GoldnI for TN State House District 56 2008!! (Now on Facebook!)

    by GoldnI on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 08:28:49 PM PST

  •  maybe the worst play-by-play (0+ / 0-)

    combo in history. bring back Dandy Don.

    call mean's radio show at 1-800-853-6035 :: 11pm to 2:30am EST

    by meangene on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 08:52:25 PM PST

  •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

    He's an ass kisser who has held his job while everyone else on MNF has gone by the wayside. He spouts what the boss wants to hear.

    Michaels is a mediocre sidekick to Madden because he imagines his lengthy tenure as a talking head makes him as knowledgeable and entertaining as the latter.

    •  Madden = entertaining? (0+ / 0-)

      I can't stand John Madden. He comes off as an uneducated buffoon. He knows football, but he can't explain it, he tries to through in idioms and fails. I don't mind Michaels. He knows football, is coherent, and if he strays into editorializing, I disagree with him and move on. I watch football for the football, the commentators are there to fill in the dead air between plays.

      "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
      (-8.63), (-7.03)

      by Perdition on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 09:55:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  May all his oceanfront properties subside... (0+ / 0-)
    beneath the crashing waves after an iceberg the size of Texas calves off the artic perma-shelf and melts...

    But think of the collateral damage!

    People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

    by rgilly on Mon Jan 01, 2007 at 07:29:28 AM PST

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