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The Big Chill

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Opie & Anthony’s suspension from XM comes as the satellite radio
operator is seeking government approval for a merger with Sirius — a dicey time for any company. The
company, however, says that despite the notion that their performers
can say whatever they want, they do have standards. “Comments made by
Opie and Anthony on yesterday’s broadcast put into
question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter,”
Washington-based XM said in a statement. “The management of XM Radio
decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air
talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom
requires of them.” The shock jocks made crude sex comments about
Condoleeza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth II and made light of
the incident a day later. Full disclosure: Variety and Sirius have a partnership for which I serve as a consultant.

Big Media Blowback:
Networks are fighting back FCC efforts to regulate violence with the release of a report today that claims there is “no good reason to believe that television violence causes aggression, much less serious violence,” reports B&C. The report comes from University of Toronto professor Jonathan Freedman.

Debate Post Mortem: Thanks to a 9/11 moment, pundits call Rudy Giuliani the debate winner, say McCain held steady and that Romney lost some steam.

From Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics: “The more substantive and consequential exchange was between Ron Paul
and Rudy Giuliani about “blowback” and 9/11. And that unscripted moment
unquestionably benefited Rudy Giuliani above and beyond anything else
that happened last night.”

From Mike Allen of The Politico: “Careers in sports, in journalism, in politics are defined by seizing
opportunity. And when former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani literally
grabbed the moment last night, insisting that Fox News White House
correspondent and debate tri-questioner Wendell Goler give him the
floor, the topic was 9/11 – his raison d’etre in this race. Talk about
the planets aligning.”

And a little less enthusiasm from Ana Marie Cox of Time’s Swampland: “Why do I have the feeling that all those pundits who swooned over
Giuliani’s ferret moment last night (with Ron Paul, fittingly, in the
role of the ferret) will wake up sometime this afternoon and hurriedly
search for their high heels and party dress, hoping to slink unnoticed
past the RA’s room before someone catches them? Sure, it was an
immensely satisfying smackdown, but it was largely substance-free,
fueled by vitriol and personality. And you’re gonna go home with that guy? If that’s the standard that the Republicans want to hold their leader too, dude, the terrorists have won.”

King’s Daughter Dies: Yolanda King, a producer and civil rights activist and the eldest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., died suddenly in Santa Monica on Tuesday. She appeared in numerous films including “Ghosts of Mississippi” and the 1978 miniseries “King.”

Shriver Says: Maria Shriver had planned to return full time to TV journalism after her husband’s releelection, but now she’s not so sure. From the Los Angeles Times’ Political Muscle: “I kind of made up my mind I did not want to go back into
the news division after watching the Anna Nicole Smith frenzy. I was just flabbergasted by that. How it was
across the board, all encompassing ,and I just thought to
myself, this is not where I want to work. I actually quit and I said, you know what, this ship has
sailed, it’s not for me.”

Exchange, Exchange: Michael Moore gave his latest response to Fred Thompson’s cigar-chomping response to Moore’s debate challenge. (Got it?) “Why would a potential presidential candidate provide photographic
evidence of himself committing a felony?” the director told the New York Daily News.
“Someone should tell him that ‘Law & Order’ isn’t just a TV show,
it’s real life. I hope the federal government will take the proper and
necessary actions against him for violating the law.”

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