Archive for March, 2010

Where is Brian, Really?

March 30, 2010

As Fox & Friends began this morning, guest co-host Peter Johnson, Jr., appeared to let the proverbial cat out of the bag about Brian Kilmeade’s vacation location. After co-anchor Gretchen Carlson announced that Peter would be filling in for Brian, Peter ad libbed, “I think he’s out in Rapid City, South Dakota.” Co-host Steve Doocy replied, “That’s what I hear. He should be having a fun time with his family.”

As the next hour started, apparently, Steve and Peter got the message that they needed to try to put the feline back in. As the intro music ended, Steve stated, “Brian Kilmeade is off today: I think he’s down in, I know he’s down in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with his family.” Immediately, Peter chimed in, “He is!” Seemingly, not in on their ruse, Gretchen exclaimed, “What are you talking about!”

Steve nonchalantly responded, “He’s on vacation” and Peter hastily concurred. Gretchen incredulously declared, “He’s not in Oklahoma City!” When Steve asked where he was, a giggling Gretchen (apparently, then realizing that she should not say) remarked, “I don’t think he’s in Oklahoma City.” Seemingly, to divert the viewers further, Steve stated, “If…anybody knows the whereabouts of Brian Kilmeade, e-mail us. Yes, indeed!”

In the final hour, Steve appeared to try to put the matter finally to rest. As the opening block began, Steve asserted, “Brian is off today: He’s on vacation in Carson City, Nevada.” As he did, Gretchen looked at him in disbelief, smiled, and shook her head no. Peter laughed and wisely did not offer his two cents again.

Kiran Misses Mark

March 29, 2010

And Klein’s CNN “opinion-free, middle-of-the-road alternative”? Palin (and Tea Partiers) escapes unscathed. Today American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry seemed loaded for bear, or another moose predator, Sarah Palin. In a political segment (with Republican stalwart Mary Matalin and Democratic strategist Lanny Davis) entitled “Sarah Palin on the Stump,” Kiran a la Carol Costello seemed to be salivating for some piping hot minced Palin meat for breakfast. However, the big trophy game seemed a mite much for her to take down.

Before the discussion, Kiran commented, “Love her or hate her, it’s hard to ignore Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor VOP [sic] vice presidential candidate is certainly a political lightning rod and she struck again over the weekend when she introduced Senator John McCain at a campaign event.”* Kiran continued, “After a year of sort of sniping between Senator John McCain’s camp and Sarah Palin’s camp, they’re back together….What’s going on, Mary?”

Countering Kiran’s clear implication, James Carville’s better half replied, “Well, the Senator and Governor Palin were never at odds. Campaigns…tend to get tense at the end there and that one did….But, the Senator has always been loyal to her and vice versa.”

Turning to Davis, Kiran persisted, “Well, Lanny,…John McCain was asked several months back to name some GOP…hopefuls that could run for President and he didn’t mention Sarah Palin, his former GOP running mate.” Then noting Palin’s popularity with “these crowds” and citing various polls that indicated that a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents did not want her to run for President, Kiran asked, “What to make of that division there, Lanny?”

Unswayed by Kiran’s spin, Davis responded, “[N]ice to be on with Mary, and we usually agree which is a disappointment to your audience that loves partisanship. I agree with Mary…that John McCain has always taken a gracious high road and so has Sarah Palin….[D]espite the sniping among the staffs, it did not happen between the two of them.”

Then, the Clinton diehard added, “I give Sarah Palin a lot of credit. First of all, she’s always impressed me as a political performer and also a political talent, and I think any Democrat that underestimates her is making a mistake. Secondly, I give her credit for standing up to this Tea Party movement that is opposing John McCain, and… [her] going there tells me…that she’s willing to stand up to what she might consider her base: And, that is a good definition of political courage.”

Seemingly surprised by Davis’ positive evaluation of Palin, Kiran remarked, “Yeah, it’s a little bit confusing, though, because a lot of the things that she said are the exact things that the Tea Party wants to happen: I mean from less government, lower government. In fact, let’s listen to what she said. This is at a rally in Senator Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada, on Saturday.”

[On the tape, Palin proclaims, "We're not inciting violence. Don't get sucked into the lame stream media's lies about conservative America's standing up for freedom as inciting violence. Violence isn't the answer. It's a bunch of bunk what the media is trying to feed you. Don't let them divert attention from the debate."]

After the footage aired, Kiran continued, “So, she [Palin] seemed to brush off the media and brush off the violence and sort of point the finger at the media. She also…said it was ‘ginned up’ and she referred to the media as the ‘lame stream media.’ Mary, does that work, blaming the media, instead of talking more seriously about some of these quite credible threats that have happened in the wake of health care reform passing?”

Matalin retorted, “Well, I don’t know that they’re necessarily credible. All of that was videotaped, and they’ve yet to appear to be any credible appearances filmed. But, that’s not the issue here. The Tea Party activists, we should be careful not to paint them with a broad brush: They’re not monolithic: They are largely pulled together by their constitutionalism….They want less government or government closer to the people that’s more accountable. And, the main stream press was slow to come to cover them.”

Then, underscoring her disagreement with Kiran’s claim of “quite credible threats,” Matalin asserted, “But, these notions of violence and threats that that has happened, I don’t think is credible. And, secondly, that it never happens to Republicans or conservatives or by the hands of liberal activists is nonsense.”

Appearing to seek some support, Kiran queried, “Lanny, do you take the same thoughts as Mary when it comes to whether or not this is a bigger deal what we’ve been talking about?”

Offering little solace, Davis declared, “I’m sorry to disappoint your audience that wants some fireworks here. But, I do agree with Mary….[T]he Tea Party movement does represent conservative thinking but there are extremists in both sides that both parties need to repudiate, including Sarah Palin. There was evidence of some nasty behavior and she should repudiate that the same way Democrats should among the haters on the left of which there are many.”

Apparently disappointed, a slightly smiling Kiran concluded, “Alright, Mary Matalin and Lanny Davis, great to get your take this morning. Appreciate it.” As Mary and Lanny bid each other adieu, Kiran’s co-host John Roberts sympathetically chuckled in the background before he took the reins again. In response, Kiran’s seemingly forced smiled briefly broadened.

Clearly, Kiran missed her mark this morning. No kill: ergo, no meal. Hunting hint: Reload and shoot straight.

*American Morning – 03/29/10 (@8:11 a.m. ET)

Julie: “I’m Following You Now, Alan”

March 27, 2010

“Teabagger” rift continues. Julie Banderas, FNC’s Big News Weekend host has taken sides with Alan Colmes against Red Eye’s Andy Levy and the Tea Party. After Carpe Diem reported that Andy had quit following Alan because of his continued use of the derogatory term “teabaggers” to describe members of the Tea Party, Andy RT’d a J$P Tweet that linked to the article. Responding shortly thereafter, Julie Tweeted, “You [Andy] got my attention.. I’m following you now Alan.”*

Unfortunately for Julie, her Twitter followers took note, too. One, IloiloKano, Tweeted, “Well you got my attention too @JulieBanderas, so this ‘teabagger’ is no longer following you..” Another, DaveMolinarolo, wrote, “@JulieBanderas I agree with @andylevy about the term “teabagger”…it’s not funny, it’s stupid. @AlanColmes is part of the problem.”

Related or not to the negative feedback from her followers, Julie deleted her controversial Tweet. (It is still available here.) Nevertheless, she remains true to her word: i.e., she is still following Alan.

Keeping Up with the Banderas.

* The entire Tweet read, “You got my attention.. I’m following you now Alan RT @andylevy: RT @johnnydollar01: Why @andylevy quit @AlanColmes. http://bit.ly/ahvT7E

Andy Levy: Y I Quit “Following” Colmes

March 26, 2010

“Teabagger” rift. Fox News’ forlorn liberal Alan Colmes seemed genuinely miffed at “TV’s Andy Levy” this morning on Red Eye. During the “Post-Game Wrap-Up,” Andy, as if alerted, asked, “Hey, Alan, did you have a question for me?”: The former Hannity & Colmes co-host replied, “Yeah, I wanted to know why you stopped following me on Twitter.” As both RE panelists Bill Shulz and Juliet Huddy in surprise exclaimed, “Oh,” Andy retorted, “Uh, ’cause you think the word ‘teabagger’ is really, really funny. And, I think it’s really, really stupid.”

In response, Alan, stuttering, facetiously asserted, “I didn’t, uh, you know what, I hate to be on, I’m glad that we are on a show that never does stupid jokes.” As guest host F&F’s Brian Kilmeade roared in laughter in the background (as if to lighten the moment), Andy sternly riposted, “It’s not a question of stupid jokes. You know it’s offensive to people, and you keep using it.”

Defensively, Alan answered, “They’re the ones who started using it themselves, not knowing what it meant. They’re the ones who started using that word.” Dismissively, Andy rejoined, “Oh, stop it, Alan. Please. Give me a break!” Having the final word, Andy concluded, “Back to you, Brian!”

Red Eye for the Liberal Guy?

*Red Eye – 03/26/10 (@3:59 a.m. ET)

Kiran: Sitting Pretty

March 24, 2010

Literally. Today American Morning‘s Kiran Chetry found herself tightly tethered to her anchor seat. While her co-host John Roberts routinely rose to the occasion, Kiran remained strangely seated for the entire three hours without her habitual catwalk, a vertical round-table interview, or even so much as a standing story intro. In fact, she stayed snugly shod in her signature black Ugg boots tucked under the AM desk (without once needing her on-air high heels).

Swollen ankles? Perhaps. If so, now might be the perfect time for her and hubby Chris Knowles to add a third addition: I.e., if her AM show is shelved or revamped as rumored and her contract concomitantly lapses, she should still have time to have a child and possibly pursue Katie Couric’s CBS Evening News chair next year (if CBS does not renew Couric’s costly contract). Nevertheless, Kiran showed scant evidence of that gravid condition yesterday as she stood for two segments (on health care debate and teen “sexting”): In fact, a closer camera shot Friday revealed even less as she introduced a “CNN Heroes” story.

However, as the adage says, “Time will tell.” In the meantime, Kiran, as your former Fox & Friends floor crew would often jest, “Walk it off!”

Kyra: “John, You’re Just Faking It!”

March 24, 2010

Biden: Kyra Phillips remembers her live mike moment?* Before American Morning co-hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry tossed to CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips today, they briefly discussed Joe Biden’s latest gaffe. After a Jeanne Moos report entitled “Yes He Did…Again: V.P. Biden Drops F-bom at health care ceremony,” John jested “Now all Presidential live events will on be a six-second delay.” Subsequently, when he and Kiran segued to Kyra, Kyra, apparently, recalling her own infamous bathroom open-mic incident* commented, “Admit it, you guys: If they kept all our mikes on during the commercial breaks, they’d have plenty of bloopers.”

As John smiled and stayed mute, Kiran answered, “Oh, yes! No argument here.” Kyra replied, “See, Kiran I love how transparent you are.” Then wagging her finger at her reported boyfriend John, Kyra continued, “John, you’re just faking it.” As John (who has had his own “fr**king” and “WTF” AM occasions) simply chuckled and Kiran waited expectantly for his further response in vain, Kyra laughed, “I know. I had to leave it there.”

But, Carpe Diem did not.

*YouTube video (August 29, 2006)

**Newsbuster.org transcript (August 29, 2006)

S.E.’s Cupps Overflow

March 23, 2010

Apparently, Vice President Joe Biden’s wit and wisdom were not the only things on display at the Radio-Television Correspondents Dinner last week. According to sexy conservative commentator and author S.E. Cupps, she gave “America’s most influential columnist” Charles Krauthammer an inadvertent peek at her cups.  When Andy Levy asked S.E. about a fetching photo of her in front of a Fox News banner, she answered, “That’s from the correspondents’ dinner…last week where Biden spoke.”* Then, she provocatively revealed, “The thing you learn about strapless dresses is you will spend the entire evening trying not to flash Charles Krauthammer–which I did.”

Now, that’s a news flash!

*Red Eye – 03/23/10 (@3:57 a.m. ET)

Megyn: I Can Die Now!

March 22, 2010

With KISS front man Gene Simmons on set Friday, America Live anchor Megyn Kelly acted as giddy as a school girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. After introducing him and “his wagging tongue” (and his business partner) for an interview* ostensibly about health care reform, Megyn ducked her head demurely and cooed, “It’s so exciting to have you here first of all.” Then, when he subsequently grabbed her right hand and kissed it, Megyn gushed, “Oh, that’s nice. Oh, Gene Simmons is kissing my hand. I can die now!”

Subsequently, she said, “Everyone’s telling me, ‘He’s a genius. You can ask him about anything.” In response, the co-founder of Cool Springs Life immediately began his spiel on one’s need to be educated–about one’s life options. Trying to redirect Simmons, Megyn declared, “You have some strong opinions, I’m told, when it comes to, for example…health care.” Simmons replied, “Oh, it’s horrific!”

Megyn countered, “You voted for President Obama: you’ve been open about that.” Simmons answered, “I did” and added that he, “like most Americans…[was] closer to the center.” Elaborating further, he opined that the American foreign policy was “pathetic” and “wimpy” and that “in terms of the economy, fiscally, we think the worst thing we could do now is health care.” After then bemoaning the government’s involvement in health care, he began his promotion of his life insurance company anew, saying, “That’s one of the reasons why we’re here: we’re here to talk about your [viewers'] options.”

Then the sale was on and it went on and on and on. At one point, “Megyn aptly declared, “Wow! This is like an infomercial.” Yet, still it did not end. Later, as she concluded the interview, Megyn laughed, “Well, that, that went in an interesting direction!” And, so it  had.

The dangers of interviewing one’s childhood crush, perhaps?

*Video of interview (via Mediate.com)

F&FW Ensemble: Airs of Oral Flatulence

March 20, 2010

Fox & Friends Weekend’s Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth had had enough during the four-hour special edition of Fox & Friends, apparently. He had already given six reports in the usual three hours and had just completed another in the fourth.*  After his segue to co-hosts, Alisyn Camerota, Clayton Morris, and Dave Briggs, Rick, had an “open-mike” moment.

As Clayton previewed the upcoming health care segment, an off-camera oral flatulence, i.e., the sound of forced wind pulsating over one’s pursed lips could be heard. (Not unlike that which a tired horse might emit after an arduous race at Belmont or the pursuit of one too many errant cows.) As Aly smiled, rolled her eyes, and tried to maintain her composure, Clayton continued, “Does their math add up?”: then, he quickly ad libbed, “Rick doesn’t think so!” After guffawing, Aly impishly followed Rick’s “lead” and blew purposefully through her puckered lips; then, Clayton smiled at Dave and joined in the puckish fun; and, Dave simply bowed his head, put his hand to his mouth, and rocked gently in quiet laughter.

Good save, Clayton, Aly, and Dave!

*Fox & Friends – 03/20/10 (@9:13 a.m. ET)

F&F Fails Math 101

March 20, 2010

Are Fox & Friends co-hosts Dave Briggs and Brian Kilmeade stereotypical dumb jocks? If not, viewers can be forgiven for thinking so this week. Today, it was Dave’s banner: Thursday, it was Brian’s chyron and copy (hopefully).

Today, Dave Briggs reported that thirty-two NCAA teams had advanced to the second round in the playoffs: regrettably, his chyron repeatedly read “More March Madness! 33 Teams Eliminated, 32 Win and Move on.” Obviously, in the NCAA’s 32-game first round, of the 64 teams in contention, 1/2 (32) of the teams lost and were eliminated and the other 1/2 (32) won and progressed to the next round.

Perhaps, today Dave was simply inattentive to the math: However, Thursday Brian’s subtraction problem was even worse. During a headline story, he razzed Arizona State for its improper grammar on a billboard which omitted the article “the.” (The sign was emblazoned with the laudatory phrase, “One of top 100 universities in the world.”) Unfortunately, Brian threw yet another stone as he teased guest host Juliet Huddy for not noticing the error. Then, in the very next story that he read, he made his math mistake: he said that West Point was founded in 1802 and that it was celebrating its 210th anniversary. Patently, it was its 208th. (Viz., 2010-1802 = 208.)

Perhaps, it’s time to pull out the abaci, fellows. Or, at least, get new batteries for the calculators.

Perino’s Faux Pas: Brian’s Boner Recalled

March 19, 2010

Ms. Tracy Lawrence: Oops! Filling in for Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson today, guest co-host Dana Perino introduced herself to viewers with an embarrassing personal anecdote. The former White House Press Secretary related how she started in television journalism as a DJ at a Pueblo, Colorado, country music station. Before introducing her story, she explained that she did not know very much about country music.

Then, Dana revealed the tale of her very first day at KCCY FM 96.9. She stated that as her 2-to-6-am shift started, she was given a Tracy Lawrence tape to play. Dana said, “So, I put it in, pressed ‘play,’ and I introduced it by saying, ‘Here’s Tracy Lawrence with her new song.’” Guffawing, co-anchor Steve Doocy interjected, “What a faux pas! Tracy Lawrence is a man!” Laughing, Dana continued, “Yeah. So, like thirty seconds later, I realized how embarrassing that would be. But, I thought no one would listen at 2 a.m. They did!”

In the final hour, F&F producers “surprised” Dana with an opportunity to make amends with Tracy Lawrence. After a story about an abashed America’s Next Top Model contestant falling twice on the stage, they ran a clip of Dana’s earlier account of her own discomfiting misstep in which she had said that she hoped that Lawrence took no offense. Subsequently, Steve said, “Well, let’s actually ask him. Joining us on the phone right now is country music star, Tracy Lawrence. She joins us right now from Nashville.”

Putting her head in her hands, Dana exclaimed, “Oh! I am so embarrassed!” Good-naturedly, Lawrence said, “Well, you know, this has scarred me for a long time; I need some relief, [and] I need to let this go.” After Dana then asked him if she had been the first to have made that mistake, Lawrence replied, “No, you are not the first ever to make that mistake….But, I do actually forgive you.” Smiling, Dana responded, “Thank you so mu[ch]. You know what? That makes me feel a lot better. I can maybe let this thing go now.” Later, when concluding the call, she exclaimed, “Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. I’ll never forget it.”

However, the fun was not quite over. As the segment concluded, Steve segued to F&F Weekend co-hosts Dave Briggs, Clayton Morris, and Alisyn Camerota. After the toss, Dave declared, “But, Brian, that country music story reminds me of you [and] Trace Atkins. You said, ‘his new album “X”‘: it was called ‘Ten.’ You’ve got your own country music story, Buddy.” Chagrined, Brian replied, “I was a little slow at the Roman numerals. Okay? I apologize, Dave. Thanks!” Chuckling, Clayton added, “Dana, don’t feel so badly now!”

[N.B. Trace Watkins was not nearly as nice to Brian for his boner. Cf. Carpe Diem's "Trace Adkins: Brian, 'Such an Idiot.'"]

CBS Evening News: Kiran After Katie?

March 18, 2010

With her American Morning show seemingly on its last legs in its current iteration, is co-anchor Kiran Chetry considering jumping ship to CBS? During her March 4 “Women in Media” talk to her hometown Larchmont Historical Society, Chetry did not completely rule it out. According to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck, the local newspaper, Chetry was asked whether she would like Katie Couric’s job at CBS Evening News desk in light of the fact that Couric current contract concludes soon. Chetry replied, “”Is it my ultimate goal? I don’t think so….I wonder if those jobs will continue. Because of instant access to technology, there’s no need to make an appointment to view the news to get news.”

Even if Couric’s chair is not her ultimate goal, it may be her next one (if AM’s shake-up coincides with the end of her own CNN contract). As Couric’s reportedly $15 million/year contract winds down in little over a year, CBS with its financially-distressed news division may be looking for a newer version of Couric at a cut-rate price: Chetry may well be an attractive option.

Earlier in Chetry’s Larchmont oration, she had said that Katie Couric ” is like a mentor to me and someone I aspire to be in TV news.” Like Couric, she earned her chops as a sharp, smart, and personable–and, yes, sexy–morning news co-host. (In fact, she has the “fabled legs,” too.)

Aside: If Couric’s contract is not renewed, John Roberts, Chetry’s AM co-anchor, may himself want to take another stab at Uncle Walter’s seat.

Roberts: Green with Envy?

March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! American Morning co-host John Roberts was definitely feeling the green of the day–or, at least, the M&M green. Whether it was the contagion of the purportedly philandering “greens” giant Tiger Woods or the beguilement of his gorgeous green-clad colleague Kiran Chetry, John appeared all revved up and ready to roar.

After airing a story about Woods’ return to golf next month at the Masters (while reportedly still in sex addiction therapy), John looked at Kiran and wistfully declared, “So, here’s a prediction. Alright? I’m going to go out on a limb here. By the end of this year, he’s going to be bigger than ever.”* Raising her eyebrows skeptically, Kiran, a married mother of two, replied, “We’ll see what happens.” John, a recently divorced father of two persisted, “It’s the perfect spot for redemption as well, you know?…If he does well, if he finishes in the top five, he’ll be golden: if he wins, man, that’s just going to blow wide open.” In a silent response, Kiran turned to the audience with a seemingly forced smile and her shoulders slightly shook repeatedly as if in dismissive laughter.

Later, during CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s segment dubbed “Heartbreaking Stock Stress,” Kiran asked how to best manage such stress. When Sanjay answered that prayer/meditation, “happy” time for one’s self, sex, and laughter, Kiran, with a slightly suggestive lilt, responded, “Some good advice! There you go. Sanjay, thanks so much.”** Chuckling, John remarked, “Some great advice!” Grinning broadly, Kiran naughtily queried, “You like meditating, huh?” Still looking straight ahead, John facetiously retorted, “Yeah. And, yoga.”

Watch out, Kyra, your old boy appears ready to party!

*American Morning – 03/17/10 (@6:43 a.m. ET)

**American Morning – 03/17/10 (@7:57 a.m. ET)

Courtney: For Entertainment Only

March 16, 2010

Fox & Friends Weekend viewers, just sit back and enjoy the view of former Maxim model Courtney Friel. On Red Eye this morning, F&FW’s newest feature correspondent Courtney Friel assured her FNC fans that she does not intend to bother them with her political opinions. After host Greg Gutfeld asked Courtney whether axed NYT executive editor Howell Raines’ slam of Fox News in the Washington Post Sunday was “sour grapes,” she agreed. Then, she quickly added, “But, look! No one has ever tried to influence me to think a certain way [or] to vote a certain way. I tried to stay out of all the political drama surrounding FNC: that’s why I cover entertainment!”*

*Red Eye – 03/16/10 (@3:24 a.m. ET)

Reagan, O’Reilly? Reality Check

March 16, 2010

FNC’s Bill O’Reilly, host of his eponymous O’Reilly Factor, needed his own “Reality Check” last night. During a segment on drug violence in Mexico, O’Reilly asked whether President Obama should send troops to help the Mexicans fight the drug cartels (in the wake of the killings of two Americans last weekend in Juarez). In his preface, O’Reilly remarked, “I want everybody to remember that Ronald Reagan invaded Panama for this very reason…that Panama was becoming a country run by drug cartels under Noriega who’s still in prison. Okay? And, Reagan sent in U.S. troops to prevent that.”*

Unfortunately, for O’Reilly, he himself did not remember. In fact, it was George H.W. Bush, not Reagan, who ordered the invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989. During this operation dubbed Just Cause, Bush sent in almost 30,000 troops, who quickly defeated the rogue regime and captured its leader, General Manuel Noriega.

An ironic twist: Later in the program during the “E-mail” segment, O’Reilly rebuffed a reader who defended Tom Hanks’ purported “believing racism was a prime motivator in World War II.” As he did, Factor producers put up a large photo of Hanks with the chyron, “Rewriting History?”** Indeed.

*O’Reilly Factor – 03/15/10 (@8:24 p.m. ET)

**O’Reilly Factor – 03/15/10 (@8:56 p.m. ET)

Ailes’ “Fun Girls” Return

March 15, 2010

Not only was Southern belle Ainsley Earhardt back on the curvy couch as a guest host Sunday but also Philly filly Courtney Friel returned surprisingly to her role as a regular. It was Roger Ailes version of the return of Andy Griffith’s “Fun Girls.”

As F&FW began yesterday, co-anchor Dave Briggs, with raised eyebrows for emphasis, warmly welcomed his former F&FW co-host Ainsley, saying, “We are happy to have you here.” Turning her eyes fully toward the sports guy, the South Carolina cutie replied, “Thank you. So good to be back! Thank you.” Subsequently, the ringless, short-skirted lovely seemed to relish her comeback as the cynosure of her former F&FW male colleagues and viewers.

Later, almost mid-show, Dave heralded the return of another F&FW cohort, Courtney Friel (another former Ainsley, Dave, and Clayton Morris F&FW era cast member, i.e., headline newsreader) as a regular. Introducing a Victoria Secret segment, Dave declared, “We want to welcome in a new addition of Fox & Friends Sunday: Each week, we’re going to bring you entertainment stories that matter and that you won’t see anywhere else.” Ainsley added, “Courtney Friel: she is here with the scoop today!” Confirming her new status after her report, Courtney remarked, “I’ll…see you here every Sunday in different places all over on different subjects.

The girls were back in town for a day. Apparently, with Bill Shine’s blessing, Courtney will stick around. As to Ainsley, she certainly seemed like she would not mind doing the same. Of course, Alisyn Camerota might have something to say about that again.

Kiran & Kids Escape Flood

March 15, 2010

Today American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry’s Twitter followers knew but her other AM viewers were left strangely in the dark. Yesterday, after the Nor’easter had severely stricken her home county of Westchester, NY, Kiran Tweeted, “We had a bad flooding situation. The kids [Maya and Lil Chris], dog and me had to be rescued from house by fire dept on a front loader!!! CK [hubby Chris Knowles] raced home from wk”: she continued, “Flooding happened so fast. Basement a loss!…Thanks to all for prayers. Just so grateful kids r ok. Stuff is stuff. That’s not the imp thing.” Strangely, today, her fill-in Christine Romans made no mention of Kiran’s plight but simply stated that Kiran had the day off and her co-host John Roberts provided no further explanation.

Happily, Kiran seems to get it: she opened up to her fans and followers on a personal level. Unfortunately, her American Morning producers still do not. They seem to think that their audience merely wants a wire report from talking heads. Little to do they realize that their viewers want more: not only do they care about the important news of the day but also about the ones who daily deliver it to their homes.

Kiran, kudos! Klein, hopefully, you’re listening and learning.

Clayton Claims & Clowns

March 13, 2010

Legal prostitution, global warming, and a football mitre. As Fox & Friends Weekend fans know, co-host Clayton Morris may sometimes get his facts wrong but he is usually sure to amuse. Today, was no different as Clayton erroneously opined on the legality of prostitution in Las Vegas and humorously Tweeted a Time (yes, a Time) article in support of global warming. Nevertheless, Clayton brought his game when he donned a football papal headdress as he sampled dishes during a food segment.

In the very first F&FW block, after Alisyn Camerota read a story on women being better than men at handling money, she and co-anchors Clayton and Dave Briggs briefly discussed the report. Then, when Dave tossed to meteorologist Rick Reichmuth, he remarked, “I agree with this entirely, Rick. What do you think?” In response, the single weatherguy jested, “I don’t know. Maybe, I need to get one of them. Yeah, could you just hire that out, maybe?” Dave laughed, “That’s quite something else. That’s illegal!” Chuckling, Clayton incorrectly added, “Not in Vegas.”  [N.B. Prostitution is legal in Nevada: however it is unlawful in Las Vegas itself.]

Later, when F&FW had concluded, Clayton Tweeted, “[R]ead from @time: http://bit.ly/9Acx6h.” The Time article was entitled, “Report: The Case for Global Warming Stronger Than Ever.” Clayton seemed to be trying to persuade an increasingly skeptical American public (and his F&FW fans) that is now taking the “climate change” threat much less seriously in the aftermath of Climategate and IPCC global warming guru Phil Jones’ admission (that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995). Curiously, Clayton cited the very magazine that had sounded the alarm about a coming ice age in 1974.

Regardless, even when Clayton is wrong or questionable at best, the Philly laddie comes through as the fun, self-effacing entertainer for his fans. E.g., in F&FW’s penultimate segment today, a clowning Clayton happily pulled a silly football mitre (or papal headress) over his eyes so that he could test taste food for salt in a story on a NY legislator who is trying to outlaw the use of salt in restaurants by chefs. No shame but definitely game!

A.M.: AmeriCANNED Morning?

March 12, 2010

The steady drumbeat of doom continues to eerily echo in the early American Morning air. Today Mediate.com‘s Steve Krakauer authored an article entitled, “Is It Time for Changes at CNN’s American Morning?” (Over a week ago, Carpe Diem had similarly asked, “AM: Shake-up Looming?“) Krakauer cited Dylan Stableford’s TheWrap.com’s Wednesday piece dubbed, “Exclusive: CNN Developing Morning Show” as to CNN creating a “Fox & Friends” pilot to suggest that changes are imminent for CNN’s morning show. In making his case, Krakauer explains the import of AM‘s dismal ratings when he notes that  not only does sister network HLN’s Morning Express with Meade A25-54 demo ratings surpass those of AM, but also FNC’s Fox and Friends A25-54 demographic exceeds AM’s total viewers.

After Krakauer had presented a quite cogent argument as to the probable change, he mentioned that AM co-host Kiran Chetry was “another element.” He keenly queried, “Would a change at CNN in the morning coincide with her contract being up?” Remarking that CNN would not comment, he asserted that others yesterday had and linked to “Another Sinking Show at CNN” by author Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald’s blog.

The demise of CNN’s American Morning, or, at least, the current format is long overdue. When CNN/US prez took the reins from Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien and gave them to Kiran Chetry and John Roberts, he simply put new “new wine into old wineskins.” And, Fox & Friends‘ superior formula of news with a fun, flirty, and friendly approach continued to win the day convincingly over AM‘s stale recipe of the latest with a staid, distant, and supercilious style.

If Klein indeed revamps his early morning show, perhaps, there is yet hope yet for his anemic evening lineup.

Dead Show Airing?

March 11, 2010

A.M.: R.I.P.? After noting that American Morning co-hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry have seldom been seen behind the AM desk together lately and that a host of substitute co-anchors have been paraded before the AM audience, last week Carpe Diem asked, “AM: Shake-up Looming?” Yesterday, TheWrap.com answered in the affirmative–or, at least, indicated that it appears to be in the works. According to media expert Dylan Stableford (former Mediabistro.com managing editor and contributor to Salon, New York, and Rolling Stone), an inside source indicated that “CNN is testing a concept that would include personalities with dueling political ideologies and opinions” for “a new morning show pilot.”

Apparently, CNN/US prez Jon Klein has finally taken the blinders off. After trying to revitalize American Morning’s anemic ratings three years ago by bringing in seasoned journalist John Roberts and Fox News’ rising star Kiran Chetry, Klein’s endeavor has met with dismal disappointment. In fact, based on TVbytheNumbers.com’s figures and the author’s calculations, the total viewer ratings of 2010 (1st quarter) are identical to those of 2007 (1st quarter). Even more troubling, TheWrap.com reports that Nielsen numbers show that AM has declined 30% in 2010 in both total viewers and the prized 25-54 demographic.

According to Stableford, it is unclear what the purported changes mean for Roberts or Chetry. In the last few weeks, Roberts has been temped for by T.J. Holmes, Jim Acosta, and Christine Romans whereas Chetry has been filled in for by Sara Sidner and Kate Bolduan. In doing so, Klein has seemed to substitute AM regulars for Roberts and new faces for Chetry. Perhaps, he will keep this part of his formula but acribe to a more provocative, zanier, and, yes, “Friendlier” approach. [N.B. Roger Ailes' Fox & Friends shellacked Klein's American Morning by 4:1 (overall viewers) and by 3:1 (25-34 demog) in the latest numbers (03/09/10)]

As to Roberts and Chetry’s respective futures, a Klein canning could actually inure to their benefit ultimately. Roberts would be in a position to stake his claim anew to Uncle Walter’s seat if the old Tiffany network does not renew Katie Couric’s costly contract. And, Chetry may finally find redemption with her many fans at the top-rating cable news network if she is but granted Ailes’ absolution.

[Author's aside: Since Chetry's absences have been fewer than those of Roberts, Klein may be considering whether to keep Chetry. If so, he could use the former Fox & Friends (First & Weekend) co-host to guide CNN's version of FNC's morning news juggernaut.]

Hat tip to J$P (Johnny Dollar’s Place).


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