As usual, the show that recognizes the best that television has to offer was slammed by critics as being just the opposite. San Francisco Chronicle writer Tim Goodman wrote "The opening flopped, the middle sagged and the end was rushed. ... The nation was treated to five reality show hosts hammering home the same old reality we get every year -- that apparently nobody in television can make a decent awards show about brilliant TV series, actors, writers and directors." Mary McNamara, the Los Angeles Times 's television critic opined that only British comedian Ricky Gervais, who presented the award for best director of a variety, music or comedy program, actually entertained the audience -- unlike any of the reality-show hosts. "If we come away with nothing else from this year's Emmys, let us all agree that having a host with some experience actually entertaining people is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Seriously, Mr. Gervais, what do you need to make this work for you next year?" Robert Bianco in USA Today also took aim at the hosts "Why, in a year when so much good work was done by writers and actors, would Emmy turn itself over to five performers from unscripted TV -- and reward them for their incompetence by devoting extra time to their unnecessary category?" Mark Perrigard in the Boston Herald objected to the continuous jibes at John McCain and Sarah Palin "It was a night that only reinforced the belief that Hollywood's most talented believe they know how America should vote -- and they were just itching to give instructions. Ironically, they just gave McCain more ammunition." In TV Week , Josef Adalian added "While the political references will No Doubt give bloggers plenty of fodder, and provided some mild distractions for viewers, they weren't enough to make this year's Emmys remotely interesting." (He, too, recommended that the producers hire Gervais to host next year's presentations.)