Tom Shales At Large

Tom Shales At Large

Obama's Declaration of Independence

By Tom Shales There was the tense sensation that actual news might break out at any moment -- but we knew it would be just as well if it didn't. The Second Inaugural of President Barack Obama, which occupied most…

Tom Shales At Large

Late-Night: Later Than You Think

By Tom Shales Jimmy Kimmel still comes across like a guy who crashed a party and got caught at it, yet adamantly refuses to leave. He has no real business being there -- hosting a late-night network talk show, that…

Tom Shales At Large

He plays the President on TV, too

(AP photo) We can be very glad Barack Obama won his bid for re-election for reasons that have nothing to do with politics. Unlike Obama, his defeated opponent is, to put it gently, not a gifted public speaker. He actually…

Tom Shales At Large

Early returns: The ascent of the Stephanopoulos

Polls may be open somewhere, results in many races remain inconclusive, but I am willing to make one fearless projection: ABC News is the winner in 2012's Election Night coverage. In fact, ABC's coverage of the entire campaign has generally…

Tom Shales At Large

The final debate: Whoppers and bayonets

(AP photo) It was almost as if President Obama's advisors had said before the debate, "Don't agree with Romney on anything," while Romney's advisors might have said to their boy, "Agree with Obama as much as possible." After all, this…

Tom Shales At Large

Presidential mud and oil wrestling

(AP photo) by Tom Shales "What I try to do is be consistent," said President Barack Obama. He was talking about energy policy -- not about debating strategies, because as all the world knows by now, Obama projected a far…

Tom Shales At Large

Biden vs. Ryan: "More real"

by Tom Shales Consensuses form so quickly now -- faster than frost on a window pane. The vice presidential debate had barely ended last night when agreement emerged from within the vast media morass that Joe Biden had forcefully redeemed…

Tom Shales At Large

Obama vs. Romney and Punxsutawney Phil

Network commentators and reporters fell all over each other in declaring Mitt Romney the winner of the first presidential debate Wednesday night, but maybe Romney didn't so much win as Barack Obama surrendered. Obama all but handed it to Romney…

Tom Shales At Large

The Emmys: Everyone but his parakeet

Rarely does a TV show arrive with lower expectations than the annual Emmy Awards telecast. It's a given that the thing will suck. Even so, this year's -- the 64th -- managed to come up short and disappoint. And it…

Tom Shales At Large

Good Morning, Muppets

And the Emmy for Best Family Comedy Goes to -- "Good Morning, America"? Well, why not? ABC's weekday 7 a.m. "news" program is about as newsy these days as "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." It's also as warm, cuddly and…