2. Updated: Celebs Swarm to DC Giddy for Obama's 'Magic Moment'
3. NBC's Today Show Touts 'Obama Thongs'; Skimps on Bush Farewell
4. CBS's Parting Shot at Bush: Lowest-Ever Approval Rating
Following HBO's multiple Sunday showings of "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial," featuring a "who's who" of artists, a list of one hundred-plus celebrities planning to celebrate Obama's inauguration over the next few days in DC, such as: Beyonce, Steve Carell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jenna Elfman, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, John Mellencamp, Garth Brooks, Bruce Spingsteen and Marisa Tomei.
The list of people and groups -- those scheduled to perform, appear at an event or ball or listed on a host committee (many will participate in more than one event) -- was collated from a bunch sources, starting with the AP's Thursday article, "Hollywood on the Potomac: Where the stars will be." See: news.yahoo.com 
That was supplemented by the WashingtonPost.com's "Party Central" and its The Sleuth blog: www.washingtonpost.com 
USAToday.com's entertainment blog: blogs.usatoday.com 
And MSNBC.com's The Scoop blog: www.msnbc.msn.com 
Those with an * took part in the Lincoln Memorial event, the rights to which HBO paid the inaugural committee $2.5 million. HBO's page for the two-hour show, with re-run times: www.hbo.com 
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
* Beyonce (Sasha Fierce)
* Jack Black
* Mary J. Blige
* Garth Brooks
* Steve Carell
Cedric the Entertainer
* Sheryl Crow
Billy Ray Cyrus
* Jamie Foxx
Lou Gossett Jr.
* Josh Groban
* Herbie Hancock
* Tom Hanks
LL Cool J
* Samuel L. Jackson
* Jon Bon Jovi
* Ashley Judd
* Queen Latifah
* John Legend
* Laura Linney
* John Mellencamp
Edward James Olmos
Sarah Jessica Parker
Lisa Marie Presley
* Bruce Springsteen
* James Taylor
* Marisa Tomei
* Denzel Washington
* Stevie Wonder
This list does not include those planning to attend the inauguration but not listed as taking part in any event, such as actresses Gloria Reuben, Kim Raver and Maura Tierney, whose views were quoted are quoted in #2 below.
[This is an updated item, with two fresh quotes, from Friday's CyberAlert.] "I'm so happy my children have a real hero to look up to" in "a truly scholarly man" who will make an "intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President" at a time when "people are so ready to rejoice and celebrate what is hopefully the return of the foundation of the United States" so "my eyes well up just thinking about" Barack Obama being sworn in since "I'm calm for the first time in eight years," knowing "somebody is in charge that has such intelligence and grace and is so thoughtful."
That's some of the giddy excitement expressed by a few of the many celebrities swarming to Washington, DC this weekend for Obama's inauguration which were collected by USA Today for articles in Thursday's and Friday's "Life" section.
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
# Actress Gloria Reuben, now in TNT's Raising the Bar and formerly on NBC's ER, will be on hand Tuesday "to watch the magic moment happen" since she yearns for an end to the "hell" of the Bush years. (Screen capture is from Reuben on ABC's This Week in 2006 when she was promoting a play in which she played Condoleezza Rice):
# Actor Josh Lucas (I've never heard of him either): "I've been around him and shook his hand. He's a truly scholarly man. I'm very excited that we have this powerful, intelligent, constitutionally brilliant President. I find him very soulful in private."
# Actress Ashley Judd. "A highlight of her inaugural adventure, of course, is her prime seat for watching Obama be sworn in," USA Today relayed: "My eyes well up just thinking about it....I do think that everyone is hungry and excited for change. But I also think there is a very grave collective awareness of the fact that we're in a real pickle. I can't believe that we've got this incredible President-elect, and he is inheriting, oh my gosh, one crisis after another."
# Actress Kim Raver, now on NBC's Lipstick Jungle and formerly on Fox's 24: "[Barack Obama's] presence is so larger-than-life. I'm so happy my children have a real hero to look up to....We're in such difficult times right now and it's very hard for so many people, and for a man as intelligent and charismatic to come along and unite this country -- to watch him bring so many people together -- that's really what America is. To be a part of that will be a really remarkable life moment, I think."
# Actress Maura Tierney, best-known as "Abby Lockhart" on NBC's ER: "I'm calm for the first time in eight years, that somebody is in charge that has such intelligence and grace and is so thoughtful. I feel calm that the country is falling apart, but really that he's in charge now. There's a relief that I feel. After this past administration, I feel really lucky."
The Thursday article, "Inauguration will be a 'magic moment' for celebs, too," by Donna Freydkin and Olivia Barker: www.usatoday.com 
The Friday story, "Celebs head for D.C., express hopes for a brighter future," by Kelley L. Carter and Arienne Thompson: www.usatoday.com 
Judd: www.imdb.com 
Lucas: www.imdb.com 
Reuben: www.imdb.com 
The three network morning shows on Friday almost totally skipped any coverage of President Bush's farewell address to the country on Thursday. Despite having a combined eight hours of air time, NBC's Today, CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America devoted only 55 seconds total to reporting on Bush's speech. Instead, important topics such as "Obama thongs" and cheddar biscuits were highlighted.
Over a period of two hours, The Early Show ignored the speech entirely. Good Morning America, which has a similar running time, allowed a mere 17 seconds. The Today show, which now encompasses four hours of broadcast time, provided the most, with 38 seconds of information about the address. None of the three programs featured any clips of Bush's farewell. (In contrast, on March 19, 2008, the day after then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's speech on race, these same shows allowed nine and a half minutes of sound bites of the Democrat.)
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
Of course, much of Friday's programming recounted the incredible tale of passengers and pilots who survived a water landing on the Hudson River in New York. However, the three shows certainly had time to revel in the frivolous, including silly stories related to President-elect Barack Obama. On Today, host Hoda Kotb held up the latest in Obama thongs. (Kotb and co-host Kathie Lee Gifford giggled at the "Momma Got Hope" logo on the front of one thong.)
Over on GMA, co-host Robin Roberts and others spent over four minutes cooking bacon and cheddar biscuits with Emeril Lagasse. Additionally, co-host Diane Sawyer discussed whether Obama had the right dancing moves for the inaugural dance.
Finally, the Early Show, which had zero coverage of Bush's speech, featured two Obama related segments, one on patriotic arts and crafts and a second on a Harlem school that will be having a group of children perform at Barack Obama's inauguration.
What little coverage there was of Bush's speech often featured Obama. On GMA, guest news anchor Deborah Roberts announced, "President Bush's next public event will be attending Barack Obama's inauguration." Natalie Morales on NBC said of Bush: "And he praised President-elect Obama, calling him a man whose history reflects the enduring promise of our land."
Transcripts of the three January 16 news briefs follow:
# NBC's Today:
# ABC's GMA:
Friday's CBS Evening News delivered a parting shot at outgoing President George W. Bush as fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriguez paired how a just-released CBS News/New York Times survey pegged Bush's approval rating "at just 22 percent" -- which she noted "is the lowest for an outgoing President since the question was first asked more than 70 years ago" -- with how "68 percent said they expect Barack Obama to be a good or very good President."
The CBSNews.com summary of the poll pointed out the partisan disparity in assessing Bush: "Views of Mr. Bush's popularity are highly partisan. Only 6 percent of Democrats approve of the job he has done as president, while 57 percent of Republicans approve. Eighteen percent of independents approve." See: www.cbsnews.com 
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
The short item from Rodriguez on the Friday, January 16 CBS Evening News: "There's no question the economic crisis contributed to President Bush's poor showing in the final CBS News/New York Times poll on his job performance. This poll, out tonight, puts Mr. Bush's approval rating at just 22 percent. That is the lowest for an outgoing President since the question was first asked more than 70 years ago. Meanwhile, 68 percent said they expect Barack Obama to be a good or very good President."
-- Brent Baker