Archive for May, 2010

Dave: “Pardon Me, Courtney”

May 31, 2010

“I wasn’t paying attention.” Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Dave Briggs appeared to channel the author this morning as he shared headline news reading duties with Courtney Friel. After over 2 1/2 hours of a forgettable “special edition” Memorial Day edition, Dave seemed to succumb to the tedium. After Courtney read the first story and a concomitant vid ran, the camera focused upon Dave who was peering downward: looking up suddenly, he turned to Courtney and apologized, “Pardon me, Courtney: I wasn’t paying attention.”

You were not alone, Dave. Of course, F&F viewers who were celebrating the start of their Memorial Day by firing up the grill, grabbing a few bloody Mary’s, and preparing the food may have also had less than an eagle eye on their TV. However, some of those who were actually gathered around the set could be forgiven for suffering from a similar malady.

Readers of this blog had ample warning that FNC SVP of Programming Bill Shine seemed to have plans for a Memorial Day much less memorable than the one last year. (Of course, the 2009 was notable primarily for Dave’s apparent appreciation of the rumps of his female colleagues, Ainsley Earhardt and Janice Dean, as captured and lampooned by Jay Leno.) Notably, Shine did not bring Ainsley back for the celebrations this year and both Dave and Janice were conspicuously absent from the obligatory meat segments. Interestingly, both of them were needled by Clayton: Before his Johnsonville sausage segment with Courtney, Clayton teased a “hungry” Janice that they were “gonna have to keep [her] off the platform” of the weiner mobile and, afterwards, kidded an in-studio Dave about being stuck without eating the brats.*

F&F Memorial Day 2009: a day to remember. F&F Memorial Day 2010: a day to forget.

Fox & Friends – 05/31/10 (@8:39 a.m. ET)

“Good Time” Juliet

May 30, 2010

Fleet Week: Huddy treat? America’s NewsHQ guest co-host Juliet Huddy put out her welcome mat to America’s sailors seeking some “r & r” in the Big Apple this week. When co-host Gregg Jarrett introduced a navy segment with Peter Doocy, he teased Juliet about noticing this “inescapable” event and mentioned that he had given seamen directions to Fox News. Giggling, she suggestively asked, “You did? To my office?”* Smiling knowingly, Gregg replied, “They would have loved to have seen you.” Coyly, she tittered, “I’m just kidding.”

Subsequently, after Peter’s report which included a high-tech female robot, Gregg randily remarked, “She is actually quite attractive. Very cute.” Of Gregg who, apparently, had made an off-color comment off-camera, Juliet queried, “What did you just say [inaudible]?” Chuckling, Gregg replied, “I’m not going to say what I said.” Juliet impishly insisted, “You gotta say what you said!” Facetiously, Gregg retorted, “No, no, she could be my new future co-anchor is what I said.”

Wanting to get in on the ribald revelry, Peter teased, “And, I’m sure that if any Marines need to know the directions to Juliet’s office while they’re in town, the robot could help them out, too.” Laughing, a flushed Juliet answered, “I was only kidding. You know, as a female, you have to say that when you’re.” Batting her eyes, she coyly continued, “Well, I guess, maybe, I was inappropriate, and I apologize for that. I was trying to lighten things up a little bit.” Riantly, Gregg replied, “They will love you! Marines, navy, come on down. Twelve eleven.” Reddened, Juliet coquettishly responded, “Quit it! Be quiet.”

The former Fox & Friends Weekend hottie is definitely back in the FNC house.

*America’s NewsHQ – 05/30/10 (@4:23 p.m. ET)

F&F Forgets Ainsley? UPDATE: Recalls Janice

May 29, 2010

F&FW‘s Memorial Day 2009 (with Ainsley Earhardt), a day to remember. Apparently, FNC SVP of Programming Bill Shine still recalls Fox & Friends Memorial Day last year when guest co-host Ainsley Earhardt heated up the show. Perhaps, he read and recollects Carpe Diem‘s account of Ainsley’s titillating of Dave Briggs with her bawdy banter about “huge meat.” Assuredly, he remembers his star co-host Dave Briggs getting grief from Jay Leno for allegedly eyeing Ainsley’s derriere that day–not to mention the acute embarrassment that Dave felt. Apparently, Shine is making certain that F&F’s Memorial Day 2010 is not quite as memorable: I.e., he has Courtney Friel, not Ainsley Earnhardt, filling in for co-anchor Alisyn Camerota.

But, Bill, will F&F’s Memorial Day be as much fun as last year?

[Author’s aside: As to Aly’s absence, at the conclusion of F&FWSa, Dave stated, “Clayton and I will see you here in, no, this, this is only Saturday [so] all three of us are back tomorrow, and Aly added, “Yeah. I’ll be here tomorrow.” With regard to Courtney’s filling in for Aly, during Red Eye’s “Post-Game Wrap-Up” with Andy Levy Thursday (May 27), Courtney revealed, “I’m going to be hosting Fox & Friends on Monday morning.”]

Update1: On F&FSu (@7:27 a.m. ET),  Aly iterated, “I won’t go to work…tomorrow.”

Update2: According to her blog, Janice Dean will be in tomorrow. Ironically, like last year, while Dave and Clayton will be in tomorrow for Memorial Day, both Aly and Rick are off. Furthermore, like last year Janice is subbing for Rick: However, Courtney, not Ainsley, will be temping for Aly. Apparently, Shine did not want to put the full cast of that ribald episode together again. N.B. Janice was another alleged object of Dave’s roving eye and also engaged in some of the aforementioned “bawdy banter” (ironically, during A.S.S. or the After the Show Show).

AM’s “Missing Leak”

May 28, 2010

What happened to that third leak from BP’s off-shore oil well polluting the Gulf of Mexico? American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry did not seem to realize that it existed, and her co-anchor John Roberts initially appeared to have thought that it had been plugged. However, BP (or British Petroleum) has acknowledged its existence and has not yet announced its closure.

On May 5, BP stated that it had sealed one of the three oil leaks from its off-shore well. Further, the New York Times reported that BP had stopped one of these leaks and would try to shut up the worse of the remaining two with a “containment dome” and, if successful, then would tackle the third one with a second dome. However, according to the author’s understanding of  BP’s releases, it has been unsuccessful with the containment dome(s) (including its second “top hat” model) thus far on the second leak and has mitigated it’s flow with an RITT (riser insertion tube tool) which carries a portion, at least, of the oil leakage to a surface ship. Apparently, now BP is trying to shut off this second leak and the third yet un-dealt-with leak with a “top kill” approach (intended to clog up the oil wellhead with industry “mud” and cement it, and thus cut off the oil leakage).

Yes, AM, the third BP leak exists. Brickbats to Kiran for blithely ignoring the reality (after being apprised by the author citing a CNN transcipt of her interview with a Purdue professor). Bouquets to John for readily acknowledging it (when he received Tweets from the author about the NYT article and the link thereto, supra). Nevertheless, kudos to Kiran, for her great in-the-field coverage of the BP ecological nightmare in Louisiana.

“Adultery?”: Gretchen Grins

May 27, 2010

When it came to adultery during the O’Reilly Factor’s “Cultural Warrior” segment,  Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson stayed strangely silent. Before Bill O’Reilly quizzed his guests Gretchen and FNC colleague Juliet Huddy on their positions on adultery, same-sex relations, abortion, children outside of wedlock, and the death penalty, he showed them a recent Gallup poll of Americans’ views on the issues. Then he offered them the option to opt out if they so desired to avoid embarrassment.

O’Reilly declared, “Alright, Carlson, we begin with you. So, let us start with adultery. I mean, it’s obvious that the American people think that’s the most immoral thing even over abortion which is life and death.”* (92% of Americans surveyed by Gallup agreed that it was “morally wrong” whereas 6% deemed it “morally acceptable.”) Without answering the question, Gretchen commented, “Yes, it’s also quite apparent that they’re lying when they’re answering this Gallup poll.” “You think so?” asked an incredulous O’Reilly. Gretchen replied, “Well, more than half of all people cheat in their marriages so to say that only.” Before she could finish,, O’Reilly interrupted, “But, just because you do it doesn’t mean that you think that it’s okay.” Undaunted, Gretchen answered, “Well, that’s true about a lot of these things that we’re going to discuss tonight but…I’m not so sure people answered honestly. I think they answered intentionally how they would like to lead their lives.”

Interjecting, Juliet laughed, “Or, there are just a lot of hypocrites out there. I mean, a lot of hypocrites.” Opining himself, O’Reilly offered, “Or, you can say, ‘It’s the human condition.’ We’re all sinners, right? And some people do bad things, they don’t justify it [but] they do bad things and then they say they’re sorry.” Juliet answered, “Well, they recognize that it’s immoral.”

Attempting to conclude the discussion on that matter, O’Reilly asked, “Neither of you [are] among the 6% who think it’s okay?” Jesting, Juliet remarked, “No, I was one.” O’Reilly queried, “Oh, you were?” Furrowing her brow in mock indignation, Juliet retorted, “Of course not. Who are these 6% that would say that?” Turning to Juliet, a guffawing Gretchen interposed, “He said we didn’t have to say.”

Trying again to end the matter definitively, O’Reilly questioned, “So on adultery, you’re both, ‘Immoral,” right?” Succintly, Juliet emphatically answered, “Bad. Adultery bad.” With her jaws tightly clenched, Gretchen simply smiled and slightly nodded her head but she uttered not a word.

Does Gretchen approve of adultery? Probably not. But, tonight she certainly did not appear overly eager to answer that question.

[For the reader who is interested in their views on the remaining social issues, Gretchen and Juliet concurred that same-sex relations and the death penalty were morally acceptable. However, as to a child born out of wedlock, Gretchen judged it "morally unacceptable" but Juliet found it "morally acceptable." With regard to abortion, Gretchen would not divulge her view but Juliet reluctantly deemed it "morally acceptable."]

*O’Reilly Factor – 05/27/10 (@8:30 a.m. ET)

Clayton Gets “Help”

May 27, 2010

Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Clayton Morris asked for “help” on marriage Saturday: he got it the very next day. After a “divorce-risk factor” segment Saturday, co-host Alisyn Camerota promised that “good news” was on the way: in reply, Clayton commented, “Can’t wait for that. Help me out.” “Help” arrived Sunday as Aly, Clayton, and co-anchor Dave Briggs interviewed New York Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope, author of “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.”

Opening the colloquy, Clayton asked Parker-Pope about why the “how-we-met story [was] very important.” Ironically, she answered, “Using those different pronouns, using “we” versus “you”–those kinds of things tell you if negativity has crept into your relationship: So, telling that story can tell you a little bit about how you are feeling right now.”* (“Ironically” because, earlier this year in pre-Valentine’s Day relationship stories on the very same day, both Clayton and his then, apparently, estranged wife Sara Batterson separately embraced the “me” rather than the “we” in discussions about the implications of these personal pronouns within the marital context: Clayton, on his F&FW show, and Sara on her Brite Girl blog.) When Dave immediately followed up with “Okay, conflicts will clearly emerge,” perhaps, tellingly, Clayton chuckled heartily.

Later, as the interview ended, Clayton (perchance, preferring to deflect the audience’s attention from himself) impishly jested, “Will you [Parker-Pope] autograph that copy for Dave?” Smiling and shaking his head, Dave exclaimed, “I have a great marriage!” Subsequently, self-effacingly, Clayton deadpanned, “Actually, could I borrow this?” As he grabbed the book, Clayton continued, “I think I need to read this.” Emphatically, Dave quipped, “Yes! Read up!” (As F&FW went to commercials, Clayton obeyed, comically opened up the book and acted as if he were.)

When the show returned from the ad break, Clayton “still” had his head in the book as if in profound concentration. Addressing the viewer,  a teasing Aly commented, “Clayton’s engrossed in reading about good marriages, the science of it.”** Puckishly, Dave sniped, “Yeah. He’s got a lot to learn, folks.”

Whether he does or not, Clayton’s may well have his own autographed copy by now–courtesy of his rumored girlfriend, CNET TV host Natali Del Conti.

[Reader, yet another catch-up article on F&FW.]

*Fox & Friends – 05/23/10 (@9:53 a.m. ET)

**Fox & Friends – 05/23/10 (@9:59 a.m. ET)

Clayton: “Help Me Out”

May 26, 2010

Fox & Friends Weekend co-hosts Dave Briggs and Alisyn Camerota tried to do just that during a divorce segment Saturday. As the three co-anchors, Dave, Aly, and Clayton Morris discussed an DailyBeast.com article about predictors of divorce, Dave and Aly took the lead. As they went through various divorce risk factors (e.g., both spouses’ respective parents have divorced and remarried, and/or have twins or triplet, only one spouse smoking, etc.) both Dave and Aly talked about their personal marriages. Dave revealed that both he and his wife Brandi’s respective parents had been divorced and had remarried but did not argue about money. Likewise, Aly disclosed that she and her husband Tim also both had parents who had divorced and remarried and that they furthermore have twins. However, a ringless Clayton remained conspicuously silent about his own marriage to Sara and merely kidded about an old college girlfriend who smoked.

As the segment ended, Dave joked, “Both your parents divorced, remarried, you [Aly] have twins. Tim, I’m sorry: retain a lawyer, my friend, because the two of you are in deep trouble!”* Aly replied, “Oh, no, no. There is good news and we’ll show that later. There is good news for marriages but you’ll have to stick around for that.” Clayton smiled, raised his eye brows, and interjected, “Can’t wait for that. Help me out.”

Indeed, Dave and Aly already had.

Fox & Friends Weekend – 05/22/10 (@7:36 a.m. ET)

[Reader, another catch-up article on F&FW.]

Happening Tomorrow?

May 25, 2010

Happening Now: is FNC’s most boring morning show getting a much needed Jane jolt? Today, co-hosts Jane Skinner and Jon Scott haunted the news room a la Martha MacCallum and Trace Gallagher on FNC’s now defunct Live Desk, the show that formerly followed HN. Perhaps, Fox News’ Bill Shine is finally trying to get his “plain” Jane to be a little less vanilla and to spice up the show a scintilla.

Generally, both Jane and Jon stay behind their desk in a fashion akin to America’s Newsroom co-anchors Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer when one or both of them would similarly so sit in the very early days of AN. Of course, Shine changed the set somewhat when he appeared to have an epiphany that AN’s rating might be enhanced if viewers caught a glimpse of Megyn’s gorgeous gams. Whether he has the same thing in mind now for Jane, time will tell. However, Jane seemed not to be fully compliant today: she sheathed her stems in slacks to elude that errant eye.

Bravo, Bill. You surely need to do something to make Happening Now actually happen soon. Otherwise, you may as well confine HN to Sirius radio.

Aly: Coed Streaker?

May 24, 2010

Sorry, readers! As to Fox & Friends Weekend, I have had to take somewhat of a sabbatical for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, I merely got dribs and drabs of the F&FW shows on May 8th and 9th but I did watch the programs of last weekend (albeit today). Also, happily, I did catch the last part of the program on Sunday the 9th. But, please do not hold me to a verbatim account thereof.

As Sunday’s show drew to an end, F&FW producers aired a video of a shirtless Philly chap “streaking” across the Citizens Bank Park field (a day after another one had taken to the diamond only to be Tasered by a less than sympathetic cop). After the footage had run, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Alisyn Camerota racily remarked, “That’s not really streaking. If you’re gonna streak, really do it!” Caprinely, colleague Clayton Morris commented, “Like you did in college?” Like a siren, Aly seductively smiled as if Clayton might have serendipitously disclosed a secret past.

If a sexy streaking coed vid of Aly exists, will she share it with her F&FW fans? Perhaps, so: the F&FW’s lovely Venus is not shy. E.g., she did proudly parade her hot ’80′s bikini pic for them with her frisky self-described “business in the front, party in the rear” coif.*

*Fox & Friends – 07/02/08 (@7:38 a.m. ET)

Kiran: Still Off Her Game?

May 24, 2010

BP: “Beach P” or “Beach Pee”? American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry appears all wet when it comes to BP and its oil spill of late. Last Thursday and Friday, Kiran seemed deaf to the estimates of the BP oil well leakage per day in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, she did one better: she got the company’s name wrong.

In a preview of her upcoming interview with BP COO Doug Suttles this morning, Kiran misspoke, declaring, “Coming up next on the Most News in the Morning. More than a month later, thirty-five days the oil still pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. We’re gonna be speaking with Beach P‘s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles.”* Not quite, Kiran. Of course, BP is an acronym for British Petroleum.

In Kiran’s defense, maybe, she simply had a Freudian slip a la such notables as the erstwhile House Majority Leader, Dick Armey, and former President Jimmy Carter. As to Armey, the conservative Texas Republican once referred to the proudly gay Democratic liberal Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as “Barney Fag.” Re Carter, he flubbed his 1980 Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech by dubbing the loquacious late Dem great Hubert Humphey as “Hubert Horatio Hornblower.”

Perhaps, Kiran merely said on air what she, too, may say in private, at least, in front of her children, i.e., “Beach Pee” (a rather mild invective against BP, the polluter of Louisiana’s wetlands now and most probably its beaches soon). Reader, remember, she does say “h-e-double hockey sticks” in the hearing of her kids, Maya and little Chris.

Nevertheless, Jamie, you may want to give Kiran a bit bigger BP briefing book tomorrow.

American Morning – 05/24/10 (@6:39 a.m. ET)

Kiran: Size Doesn’t Matter

May 21, 2010

Or, at least, when it comes to the BP oil spill (polluting the sensitive wetlands of Louisiana and threatening other Gulf states). Yesterday, American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry interviewed Steven Werely, a Purdue mechanical engineer prof who questioned BP’s 5000 barrel/day estimate of the oil leak. When she asked him his own estimate (based in part on a BP video), Werely answered,  “[T]his video is what B.P. is classifying as the smaller of the two leaks. And this one in particular, I just calculated yesterday, the rate on that one is 25,000 barrels a day. And the original leak that I — not just me, but several other well-respected researchers around the country — calculated numbers considerably higher than B.P.’s — something in the order of between 20,000 and 100,000 barrels per day for that main leak.” Kiran responded, “That’s a huge differential, 20,000 to 100,000.”

Apparently, Kiran was not listening closely because she later referenced the Professor Werely’s estimates of the BP oil well leakage at 20,000-100,000 twice in the program. [As can be seen from the professor's aforementioned quote (from transcripts.cnn.com), he also estimated an additional 25,000 barrels/day for the smaller one.] Subsequently, the author sent Kiran a Tweet and left her a comment on the AMfix blog (as James H. of LA) pointing out her mistake. Thereafter, Kiran did not cite Werely’s estimate nor did she correct her error.

Apparently, Kiran was not listening to the author either. Today, Kiran did accurately report, “We heard for the first time from BP: they were talking a little bit about the fact that they may have underestimated the oil spill. Since the disaster began more than a month ago, BP has insisted it’s 5000 barrels a day coming out of that well.”* However, she subsequently mistakenly again asserted, “We spoke to an engineer yesterday who said that the estimations are widely off [and] it’s probably about 20,000 to as much as 100,000 barrels of oil a day leaking out of there.”

Consequently, the author anew gave Kiran three Tweets (including a link to the CNN transcipt of AM yesterday) and posted an AMfix blog comment noting her error. Happily, once more Kiran did not repeat her mistake. Unhappily, she did not correct it either for her AM audience even in a subsequent BP oil spill segment, named, “How Much Oil is Gushing?” Ironically, AM co-anchor John Roberts introduced that very story, saying, “When it comes to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, size, apparently, does matter to the White House now.”

Unfortunately, size does not seem to matter to Kiran now. It should. If Professor Werely is correct, Kiran is overlooking a leak (that “small” 25,000 barrels/day oil leak) that is FIVE TIMES the size of what BP had estimated that the entire well is leaking.  Those of us in the affected states and/or who care about this ecological disaster assuredly do. Hopefully, tomorrow and thereafter, Kiran will, too.

[N.B. The BP well had three oil leaks, one of which has been closed.]

*American Morning – 05/21/10 (@7:29 a.m. ET)

Gretch: Cougar 2 Pussycat

May 20, 2010

Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson hid her claws today as she interviewed the newly crowned 2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih.  Last Tuesday, the former 1989 Miss America pounced on rival 2004 Miss USA Shandi Finnessey with a vengence for the racy pics of the 2010 Miss USA contestants, including Fakih, in their lingerie. However, today, Gretchen, armed with those very same photos and additional controversial “pole dancing” pics of Fakih strangely held back. It was as if FNC SVP of Programming Bill Shine had told her to put aside her personal feelings and to treat Fakih with kid gloves.

However, Gretchen did not appear overjoyed with the beauty queen that now reigned impertinently over her own realm (i.e., the Miss America pageant). Unlike her smitten co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen questioned Fakih about her “pole dancing” pics, her runway stumble, and her “controlled substance” gaffe. Although she tried to be congenial, there seemed to be some Artic tundra in tiara land as the two exchanged pleasantries when the segment ended: e.g., when Fakih remarked, “I’ll call you [Gretchen] for pointers [in the 2010 Miss Universe contest].* Gretchen icily laughed, “Alright.”

To the F&F fan, it sounded an awful lot like “That will be a cold day in hell.”

*Fox & Friends – 05/20/10 (@8:27 a.m. ET)

A.M.: Alpha Male 2 Beta Boy?

May 20, 2010

Is CNN/USA prez Jon Klein cutting John Roberts in favor of Jim Acosta? As Campbell Brown departs from her eight o’clock “no-bias-no-bull” perch because of low ratings, Klein seems to be promoting AM co-hosts Roberts and Kiran Chetry’s “open marriage” with Acosta as Chetry’s current courter. Perhaps, he is trying to confect the perfect solution to cure both American Morning abysmal ratings and those of Campbell Brown. I.e., he may want to rejigger the AM format by sending the seasoned news veteran (and CB guest anchor) Roberts to a straight news substitute for CB and replace him with a younger version on AM.

However, such a move may imperil the CNN’s anemic morning news program even further, especially, if Klein replaces alpha male Roberts with a proverbial albeit talented eunuch. As viewers of AM know, Roberts is the MAN on AM. Even weatherstud Rob Marciano cedes the preeminent role to Roberts albeit with an occasional obligatory nip at his elder’s heels. Roberts is CNN’s real silver-haired rogue who loves the ladies, knows his facts, and can still effortlessly play it cool with his AM audience, guests, and co-horts. To boot, he can keep co-host Kiran Chetry in awe at the same time with ease. Without him, AM becomes merely a bevy of beauties, beta boys, and choral castratos.

Even though his departure may well leave AM in the lurch, Roberts would probably be the perfect fit for a CB substitute as the “voice of Olympus” who bellows the”impartial truth” from the throne at Ted Turner’s erstwhile crown jewel. CNN would get their version of “fair and balanced” news and Roberts could finally pontificate in the evening a la Uncle Walter. Not to mention, Roberts also has the hip MuchMusic veejay JD persona to potentially draw in the prized A25-54 demo.

Even if Klein does solve his CB problem with Roberts, he may exacerbate the aforementioned AM one, especially, if he picks Jim Acosta. Yes, Acosta is from the valued Hispanic demographic but he seems to lack the needed machismo as CNN colleague Carol Costello has indicated and Acosta has appeared to acknowledge. To make matters worse, potential co-host Kiran Chetry seems to patronize Acosta by maternally putting up with his incessant interruptions and inane ad libs while charitably comparing him to George Clooney.

If Klein sends Roberts packing to his CB replacement, he should turn to his stable of young stallions like Rob Marciano or T.J. Holmes. Both of those young bucks seem eager to take their place at the helm as ruddy, randy roues ready to regale Kiran and the AM audience. Of course, Kiran’s hubby might prefer the more sedate and effete Acota, but the AM audience would probably continue to decline with such a flaccid fellow.

When will Klein finally face reality? He needs to connect with his vast vibrant audience of the American Everyman rather than his preferred incestuous elitist Manhattan socialites (who tow the politically correct line and massage one another’s egos). If he would embrace the egalitarianism of FNC’s Roger Ailes, CNN/USA’s top suit might realize that he did not need to feign disdain at ratings but rather could actually appreciate them fully if he followed suit.

Ergo, Klein, talk with your audience not down to them. Raze the trappings of hubris that you have embraced and walk among the people. Do away with AM’s distancing desk and the imperious palaver: rather, pull up a few chairs and converse with your viewers intelligently but not pedantically. I.e., get off your high horse a la Marie Antoinette before you meet a similar fate.

AM’s “Open Marriage”?

May 19, 2010

Or, pre-separation spousal “infidelities” by American Morning co-hosts Kiran Chetry and John Roberts? For six straight shows, the two have not been seen together on AM and have been coupled with other partners. (Last Wednesday, it was Kiran and Drew Griffin; Thursday and Friday, John and Christine Romans; this Monday, John and Carol Costello; and Tuesday and today, Kiran and Jim Acosta.) Like cable news watchers at Carpe Diem (March 4), TheWrap.com (March 10)Miami Herald (March 11), and Meidiaite.com (March 12), AM viewers are beginning to wonder what is going on.

Apparently, some of the AM anchors are also asking questions. For example, filling in for Kiran Monday, Carol Costello queried, “Where is Kiran this morning?” Acting like a cuckold lover, co-anchor John sheepishly shrugged and stammered, “I, I’m not my TV wife’s keeper. She, she has another husband, she has another husband who takes care of that on the weekend.” To which, a chortling Carol replied, “Smart man. That’s right. He [Chris Knowles] needs to worry about her this morning.”*

Perhaps, the AM audience should be worried, too–not only about Kiran, but about John as well. According to Inside Cable News (April 12), FTVLive has revealed that “un-named insiders [are] spilling dirt that CNN is going to make wholesale changes to American Morning that could see one or both hosts removed from the program.” If the six programs of American Morning are any indication, CNN may well have begun the auditioning process.

* American Morning – 05/17/10 (@5:59 a.m ET)

“Tough Guy” Hatch(ets) Tearful Bennett?

May 13, 2010

Poor Robert Bennett. After becoming the first Utah Senator in seventy years to be summarily ousted in his party’s primary ten days ago, the junior Senator got a gratuitous jab in the eye by his friend and fellow Republican, Utah senior Senator Orrin Hatch today. In an interview on FNC’s Happening Now of Hatch, co-host Jon Scott asked him whether he was “nervous” of those conservatives who had orchestrated Bennett’s tearful exit and who were also critical of Hatch (who comes up for election again in 2012). Hatch retorted, “No, I’m not concerned about it. I’m not Senator Bennett, by the way. I’m a tough guy, and people know it.”*

That may well be case. However, Senator Hatch may still want to offer an apology to Senator Bennett akin to the one he gave other dear friend, the late Senator Ted Kennedy,” after he mentioned that “bridge in Massachusetts” that he had to sell during the rancorous Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Happening Now – 05/13/10 (@11:40 a.m. ET)

Roberts: “The Wife” Kyra

May 13, 2010

American Morning co-anchor John Roberts finally alerted his audience to his engagement to CNN colleague Kyra Phillips today. Before he promoted Kyra’s upcoming CNN Newsroom (which immediately follows AM), John turned to guest host Christine Romans and casually commented, “Got to give the wife a plug here.”* Not saying a word, Christine simply giggled in response.

According to the author’s knowledge, this is the first time that John has acknowledged the upcoming nuptials of himself and Kyra. Approximately 2 1/2 weeks ago, April 25, TV Newser reported that  the two became engaged on a weekend getaway in West Virginia: Kyra accepted John’s proposal after he popped the question on bended knee to his avid amateur golfer gal on the 18th hole of the Greenbrier Resort golf course. Interestingly enough, when John returned to AM the following Tuesday, neither he nor his AM colleagues made mention of his winning the hand of his beloved.

*American Morning – 05/13/10 (@8:56 a.m. ET)

AM Employees Worried?

May 12, 2010

After recent rumblings about changes afoot at American Morning, are employees concerned about their jobs? The “third longest-serving CNN employee,” Richard Roth, seemed to suggest so today. Each time his twice-aired AM report (on a sandwhich-board-wearing man who finally got a job) ran, Roth joked about possibly needing to use the man’s methods in the future.

When his segment first ran, Roth discussed the newly employed man’s story with AM co-host Kiran Chetry and guest co-anchor Drew Griffin. As he concluded his comments, he deadpanned, “I may have to try some of his tricks. I don’t know.”* Kiran replied, “You have a major job here for now, at least. And, you have for the last thirty years.” Roth responded, “Yeah. Some would say I’m pulling a rabbit out of a hat every morning here, too.” Chuckling, Kiran answered, “Well, we love having you. We’ll see you back here, soon, I hope. Smiling, Roth responded, “Let’s hope.”

Later, after Roth’s tale aired a second time, co-anchor Griffen commented on the “transformation” of the sign-carrying-man from pathetic to positive. Roth explained, “That’s what his job coach stressed. And, I think it’s good for everyone to try to keep up, keep a different look. Happy. You want to look optimistic even if you’re crying inside. I mean I come to work everyday with that attitude.”**

Guffawing, Kiran replied, “And you’ve done it successfully for years and years.” Chiming in, Griffin commented, “And so far without the board.” Smiling and raising his eyebrows, Roth remarked, “I might need that coach [inaudible].” Then, somewhat ominously, he added, “We all may need that coach one day.” Nodding her head, Kiran responded, “You’re not kidding.”

*American Morning – 05/12/10 (@6:30 a.m. ET)

**American Morning - 05/12/10 (@8:57 a.m. ET)

Kiran’s Marathon Man?

May 11, 2010

Sir Lancelot: Buff biking beefcake. American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry seems to have caught the Lance Armstrong bug today from her co-anchor John Roberts and her CNN colleague Dr. Sanjay Gupta today. After a segment where the seven-time Tour de France champ gave biking tips to his bromancer Sanjay and Sanjay’s “Fit Nation” team (of AM viewers training for the New York City triathlon this year), John remarked, “I want to borrow his [Armstrong's] legs just for one day just to see what it’s like: just to see if it would make spin class any easier.”* Kiran replied, “You need his legs and his lungs: you need his lung capacity, too.”

After John conceded, “Well, that’s true. Okay, so both. Legs and lungs, alright,” Kiran racily replied, “He wants your legs and your lungs, Lance, but for reasons.” Before Kiran could continue, John interjected, “Wait a second. Don’t be twisting what I said.” Laughing, Kiran risquely concluded, “But for different reasons than most women do.”

Kiran, time for hubby Chris to get back on his exercise bike again?

* American Morning – 05/11/10 (@8:56 a.m. ET)

Gretchen Pounces: Miss America vs. Miss USA

May 11, 2010

Fox & Friends beauty queen catfight? Rwwr! The 2010 Miss USA provocative promo pics really got under the skin of F&F co-anchor Gretchen Carlson this morning. Ironically, almost a year ago to the day (May 13, 2009), the former Miss America (1989) was likewise taking umbrage at Donald Trump’s edgy upstart which had the temerity to eclipse the one that made her queen. Nevertheless, not only did she rail against the racy lingerie photos at the beginning of F&F but she also pounced ferociously on the 2004 Miss USA who defended them in a later segment on the show.

When Gretchen’s producers prominently displayed four of the racy photos in the very first block today, she cattily commented, “Is that for Maxim?” Acerbically, she opined, “I think what this does is, really shows you the difference between Miss USA and Miss America. I’m a little biased as a former Miss America. There’s a talent category, there’s a scholarship aspect to it; [and] you have to do a lot of volunteer service. And, basically, be a classy person!” She added, “I’m not so sure this is the right role model situation that we want for our kids….(the) role model you want for your children, not what guys want to go home with.”

Less than an hour later, Gretchen was ready to growl again as she started her interview of 2004 Miss USA Shandi Finnessey. Starting somewhat abruptly, she queried, “Well, let me just ask you straight up. These photos, some are saying, ‘Too risque, too provocative, look a lot like the cover of Maxim magazine.’ Not really what some people would think was appropriate for a Miss USA contestant. Your thoughts?”

Somewhat meekly, Shandi answered, “I think it’s completely appropriate because the difference is Miss America and Miss USA. And Miss USA has always been a typical beauty pageant: it’s sexy, it’s fun, [and] it’s a woman of today….[Y]ou open up any magazine right now and that’s what you’re gonna to see. And, the Miss USA girls are the ones that move out to Hollywood and those are the ones who get into acting and TV hosting and modeling.” Then baring her teeth a tad, Shandi continued, “Miss America is the scholarship program….You yourself, Gretchen, you were a Miss America. But, more often, those girls…become doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, things like because it is a scholarship progam. And, so, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Not cottoning to that “left-handed” compliment, Gretchen scornfully retorted, “Right. I really appreciate you pointing out the stark differences between the two programs. The Miss America pageant has a talent category, of course. And, also, it’s the largest scholarship program in the world for women.” Going on the offensive again, Gretchen  continued, “But, be that as it may, why would this be appropriate just because the current magazines of our day are showing photos like this? I’m sure there are a lot of parents out there right now who have small children who are saying to themselves ‘Even though magazines do this, why should everyone just follow the trend?’”

Sharply, Shandi riposted, “Well, I think that’s what keeps Miss USA very relevant. I mean, we are such a huge, we’re on NBC and co-owned between NBC and Donald Trump. Unfortunately, Miss America who hasn’t been able to stay with the times have lost their ratings, lost their advertisement. They no longer have a network they’re even on which is very unfortunate because that was the original pageant that started in 1921.”

In response, a still game Gretchen pressed Shandi about whether Miss USA (“not afraid to be sexy”) or Miss America (“hold ourselves to a higher standard”) was “a better role model for our young people today.” Defiantly, Shandi answered, “I personally think that Miss USA is because that girl is trained to live in the 2010. I mean, she is fun, she’s sexy, she’s confident, she’s relevant, she’s tangible. Miss America oftentimes is put on such a pedestal and she lives up to these expectations…. Miss USA’s…are very real, very relevant, and current with the times. And, that is why the ratings are so high. And, that is why we still have a network.”

Taking note of Shandi’s final slight, Gretched countered, “And, currently, Miss America is in Germany visiting our troops and thanking them for their service. We’ll let our audience be the judge on that.

Gretchen, as long as viewers tune in on May 16, Miss USA will probably not care if she is a role model.

Ailes’ Virgin Vixen?

May 10, 2010

Gerri Willis: CNN cloistered cutie to FBN femme fatale? Roger Ailes’ latest CNN snatch made her virgin appearance on Red Eye Saturday night. From the moment host Greg Gutfeld heralded her first appearance on RE, Gerri seemed timid, stiff, and stilted as she warily navigated RE‘s Kafkaesque labyrinth.

Further, the future Willis Report anchor inexplicably botched her chance to shine as to the big biz question of the day. When, during the RE “Halftime Report,” Andy Levy asked, “Gerri, what exactly happened with the stock market today?,” she, stating the obvious, replied, “It went down.”* As Andy motioned for more, Gerri simplistically answered, “It went down big time.” In response, Andy acerbically sniped, “Wow! I really want to demand Fox Business now.” Smiling abashedly, Gerri responded, “Oh, why am I here?” Subsequently, when Andy asked again, a flustered Gerri declared, “I was warned about this and I didn’t listen. I came anyway. And, now I am so mad at myself.”

At that moment, perhaps, Fox News and Fox Biz boss Roger Ailes had his own second thoughts about Gerri. When he announced her hiring, he stated, “Most of the CNN talent have been restrained from showing what they can do — we’re looking forward to providing Gerri with a platform at Fox Business to showcase her financial acumen and television expertise.” Maybe, Gerri is still finding her sea legs. Speaking of which, perhaps, next time Greg will give her the vaunted “leg chair” and Gerri can start to adapt  (a la Patti Ann Brown) to her new station on the U.S.S. Roger Ailes.

The transformation of this former Jon Klein girl-in-chains may take some time.

*Red Eye – 05/09/10 (12:32 a.m. ET).

[Editorial aside: As to Andy’s saying “today” when speaking of the stock market decline, apparently, he was referring to RE‘s production date (Friday) not its airing one (Sunday).”]


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