Archive for June, 2010

Roberts: I’ve Got a Crush on Oh!Anna

June 30, 2010

“John Roberts…loves sultry redheads.” Apparently, American Morning co-anchor John Robert’s fiancee was watching her boy salivate over Ann Chapman, the sexy supposed spook (one of the alleged Russian eleven operatives scooped up by the FBI recently). When Roberts appeared on her show, CNN Newsroom, the chestnut-coiffed cutie gave him a good ribbing.

When John first introduced the “Real Life ‘Bond Girl': inside alleged Russian spy ring” report, he said, “Our Deb Feyerick…[is] here now with a closer look at some of the accused.” Seemingly ensnared by Anna’s allure (and, perhaps, her sensual photos), a grinning John stuttered, “And, certainly a lot of people are focusing on the, the, the redhead.” Smiling back at him, Deb replied, “It’s giving it legs, definitely.” Beaming broadly, John responded, “Oh! Very nice.” As Deb concluded her segment, John unconvincingly commented, “I’m, I’m amazed at the fascination with this young woman. Chapman is her name?”

Later, when Deb’s segment had run again in the third hour, John elaborated, “I love this fascination with Anna Chapman. She’s like the Elektra King [Bond babe] of this whole thing. You know, the woman in the ‘World Is Not Enough.'”

Despite John’s apparent attempts to transfer his “fascination” with the modern day Mata Hari to others on AM, Kyra was not so easily fooled. According to TVNewser,  when John appeared on her program, CNN Newsroom, to discuss the suspected Russian operative, Kyra kidded, “The bombshell fits right in among the fictional Bond girls: seductive sultry and allegedly searching for intel among US power-players. John Roberts, who loves sultry redheads, live in New York with our AM Extra.” In response, he reportedly replied, “Where do I go from there?” After his report, he protested, “Just — just for the record, there’s only one sultry redhead that fascinates me.” Aptly, Kyra answered, “Thank goodness and luckily, you are engaged to her.”

The Notorious J.F.C.

June 30, 2010

“That was pretty good.” This morning American Morning contributor Jason Carroll got caught rocking it out to the rap of the Notorious B.I.G before his segment. As AM returned from commercial break to the tune of  “Mo Money: Mo Problems,” the audience heard the sounds of human oral percussion.* With his back to the camera, there sat Jason, apparently, the mouth of music, moving animatedly to the beat. When co-hosts Kiran Chetry and John Roberts caught sight of the cam, Kiran suddenly stopped her more subtle swaying but John just continued reservedly rocking his head.

As the cameraperson zoomed in on Kiran and John, Jason whispered, “That was pretty good.” Grinning broadly, Kiran turned to him and remarked, “We did catch you there, Jason!” Chuckling, John interjected, “Jason approves.”

Subsequently, after Kiran previewed Jason’s report about a Detroit teenager, John jested, “Her story is the latest in our ongoing series, Building Up America. And, our Dancing with the Stars contestant, Jason Carroll, here with that this morning.” Grabbing his coat lapels, Jason sheepishly replied, “You caught me [inaudible], too!”

Too bad, the AM audience does not share more such “off-camera” moments. With Americans waking up each day to two prolonged wars, economic distress, and ecological disaster, they could use a little levity on occasion. Hopefully, AM executive producer Jamie Kraft is listening.

*American Morning – 06/30/10 (@8:55 a.m. ET)

“Mae West” Martha

June 29, 2010

“Like, ‘are you just happy to seem me?'” A lusty Martha MacCallum, America’s Newsroom co-host spiced up the FNC morning for her male viewers yesterday after a segment on “crazed sex poodle” Al Gore and his upscale masseuse. When the story had concluded, co-anchor Bill Hemmer asked, “Do you own a poodle?” Animatedly, Martha replied, “No…what is a sex-crazed poodle? I’m glad I have not run into a sex-crazed poodle!”

After chuckling, Bill inexplicably commented, “A mouse in your pocket is an old phrase when you want to say ‘I’ but you actually say ‘we.’ In response, Martha asked, “Oh, so the mouse makes you more than one?” Bill answered, “That’s exactly right.”

Laughing, Martha risquely remarked, “I thought it was sort of a Mae West thing: like, you know, are you just happy to see me kind of thing.” Smiling back at her, Bill answered, “It could have been.” Quickly backtracking, a beaming Bill added, “No, no, no, no. Especially, not after that segment.”  Ingenuously, Martha giggled, “No, my gosh! No connection, folks at home.”

Sure, Martha. However, the author did initially think that you may have been referring to certain famed assets of the legendary sex goddess. Bad girl!

Friel: Zach, “This Handicapped Person”

June 28, 2010

“Who Can’t Speak as Coherently as” Dr. Phylis? If viral phenom Zach Anner wins Oprah’s contest to be an OWN host, his John Mayer theme song may well be “Courtney, Your Brain is a Wonderland.” During a Fox & Friends Weekend entertainment segment Sunday with co-anchor Clayton Morris on the rumors that Oprah might be rigging the vote in favor of a rival because of Anner’s cerebral palsy, FNC entertainment correspondent Courtney Friel seemed to defend Oprah, if guilty.

In her story, Courtney, reported that Oprah had created a competition in which online voters choose someone to star in a show for Oprah’s new network OWN.  She explained that the two main competitors were Zach Anner and Dr. Phyllis Tucker-Wicks and that Tucker-Wicks’ votes had spiked after Anner was endorsed by singer John Mayer. Further, she stated that an Internet site had indicated that the “vote button” code had been altered that “could have allowed an Oprah employee to manipulate the votes ’cause, maybe, they wanted Dr. Phyllis to win instead.” Elaborating, she continued, “And, then, everyone was like, ‘Oh, is Oprah, is she discriminating against this handicapped person?'”

In response, Clayton queried, “What are Oprah’s people saying about this?” Courtney replied, “The language in it all is kind of confusing: they’re [that is, the entrants are] not sure if the producer is going to be picking or if it’s going to be the final votes.” Without an apparent grasp of the gravity of discrimination against the physically challenged, she matter-of-factly added, “It’s confusing. And, that’s the big question like, ‘Do you want to give the TV show to someone who can’t speak as coherently as? I don’t know. That’s the big question out there.”

To make matters worse, Clayton seemed similarly insensitive to the issue at hand. In response to Courtney, he opined, “Right, because at the bottom line, somebody could rig the vote. Right? I mean we see this in elections all the time. We saw what happened in South Carolina. Somebody could say, ‘You know what? We want Mickey Mouse to have their own television show….So, maybe, you do need some filter at the end.” Courtney concurred, “Yeah.”

No, Courtney and Clayton. Discrimination against the disabled is a serious matter that should be addressed forthrightly. To compare a vote for “this handicapped person” Anner who “can’t speak as coherently [sic] as” Dr. Phyllis to a vote for Mickey Mouse is simply unacceptable. Even if done in blithe ignorance.

What’s “Happening Now”?

June 24, 2010

N’awlin’s Chocolate: a new morning flavor for FNC’s ice cream parlor? Something seemed slightly amiss today as Happening Now co-host Jane Skinner announced her sudden departure from the show while citing the, yes, “spend-more-time-with-the-family” reason. While her co-host Jon Scott was rather tearful and her colleague Janice Dean was exceedingly dolorous at the news, Jane remained studiedly stoic like a good soldier who had received her walking papers. And, maybe, she had.

One month ago today, InsideCableNews.com stated that FNC honcho Roger Ailes and his top FBN suits had “convened in a room [about a week earlier] to watch the network’s broadcast…to examine the programming in detail and see what was working and what might need changing or tweaking.” Apparently, Ailes and his top people may have looked at their golden goose FNC, too, and watched its most boring morning hour. Approximately two weeks later, Mediaite.com reported that Ailes was bringing back the sassy, sexy ebony beauty Arthel Neville (daughter of the founder of the Neville Bros.) back to FNC. Today, as to Jon’s new co-host, Mediaite.com mused, “Maybe a non-white anchor?”

Perhaps, Fox News SVP of Programming Bill Shine will use this opportunity to add some much overdue figurative and literal color to FNC’s most boring morning news show. As Carpe Diem readers may remember, the author has long felt that Happening Now needed a major shake-up. E.g., over six months ago, in an article entitled “Jon & Jane: Happening Not,” the author opined, “[T]he show with David Asman’s ‘tv twin’ and Roger Goodell’s gal seems to be an ill-conceived paean to America’s bourgeois best. After an entertaining and edgy Fox & Friends…FNC seems to have plopped the vanilla couple in the middle of the morning when the majority of their more adventurous audience is apt to roam….Bill [Shine], you surely need to do something to make Happening Now actually happen soon.” Even Jane seems to agree that she was not necessarily the most charismatic media figure on FNC: in an interview with Mediaite.com (after telling HN viewers good-bye), she stated, “I worked for five bosses before Roger, not one, including all of my professors at journalism school, said, ‘you have a personality, you should use it.’”

Hopefully, Shine will add some real color commentary to Happening Now–from a person of color. Over two years ago, the author similarly bemoaned the incredible lack of diversity on another FNC morning show in a May 4, 2008, post entitled, “Lily White F&F” to no avail. Hopefully, times have changed.

Skinner Skedaddles: Dean Dolorous

June 24, 2010

Adieu, audience! Happening Now co-host Jane Skinner shocked her viewers with a short, sweet farewell this morning. As her show was about to end, Jane remarked, “Before we go today, I want to take just one minute and nine seconds of your time to let everybody know this is my last day on the air at Fox….[I]t’s been a thrill to have been a part of this incredible success of this place over the past twelve years that I have been here.”* She continued, “However, my life in those twelve years has changed pretty significantly in wonderful ways, and they’ve created a lot of new responsibilities. I added a husband [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell]….I have twin daughters….So, to do justice to this new life, I’ve decided to take a break from this business.”

Subsequently, as Jane thanked boss Roger Ailes, co-host Jon Scott, and colleague Janice Dean (the “Weather Machine”), Jon’s eyes began to well up with tears. Then, with a quivering voice, Jon replied, “We are going to miss you like oxygen….I had a little ‘heads up’ on this–very little ‘heads up–and I thought it was going to keep me from getting all emotional. But, it didn’t!” With tears beginning to stream down his face, Jon continued, “Your girls and your husband are very lucky that you’re making a decision like this because there aren’t many women in this business who would do what you’re doing. And, I really admire you for it.”

Meanwhile, out of nowhere, Janice leaned into the shot and planted a mournful kiss upon Jane’s cheek. After cupping Janice’s face affectionately in her hand, Jane declared, “They’re pretty amazing. And, we have a lot of opportunities in our life to do a lot of great things, and I just don’t want to miss out on ‘em. So, but, thank you everybody, and thanks everybody for watching. It’s been so much fun!”

Then, looking back at Janice who was clenching her hands tightly together and weeping greatly, a slightly uncomfortable Jane laughed, “Do not cry! Don’t cry!” Interjecting, Jon remarked, “Somebody get the Weather Machine a tissue. We got a hurricane erupting on stage here.” Jane answered, “Oh! The emotional Weather Machine. Now you know why I love her. See, everyone else loves her, too.”

Shortly thereafter, Jane stoically concluded, “But, anyway, thanks everybody for watching. And, we will see you down the road. We will see you at the Super Bowl, for sure….And, Jon’ll see you tomorrow!”

*Happening Now – 06/24/10 (@12:56 a.m. ET)

Update: Vid (courtesy of J$P)

F&F’s Birthday Beauties

June 21, 2010

Happy birthday, Bristol Bay Babe and Short Stuff Sparkles! Not only was today the beginning of summer but it marked the earthly advent of both of Fox & Friends’ femme fatales, i.e., Gretchen Carlson (weekday version) and Alisyn Camerota (weekend edition). Yesterday, F&F Weekend co-anchors Dave Briggs and Clayton Morris celebrated Aly’s birthday at the very end of the show and presented the spicy Italian with two New York pizzas (one with her photographic likeness atop it and the other with the “Fox & Friends” logo on it). However, today, F&F co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade gave their Swedish beauty queen the royal treatment during the show from start to finish.

As to Gretchen this morning, she reveled in the birthday wishes from friend and family this morning and happily shared her personal anecdotes with the F&F audience. When the show began with her childhood chum Molly’s wishing her a happy birthday and teasing her about missing homemade chocolate chip cookies, Gretchen explained that it was an “inside joke.” (Gretchen elaborated that she as a “chubby kid” would eat all of the cookies when her mom left and blame “stick-thin” Molly.) Later, when producers played audio of Gretchen’s mom, saying, “Happy Birthday, Sparkles!, Gretchen explicated that it was a nickname that her maternal grandfather had given her: subsequently, she indicated that she was glad that her mom did not use her own sobriquet, “Short Stuff,” for Gretchen. Happily, a certain reporter during her Miss America reign did not call in as well: otherwise, she may have had to reveal his mean moniker, “Blimpo.”

Aly and Gretchen, once again, happy birthday!

“That’s the Wrong Black Man!”

June 21, 2010

“I know that we all look alike, but damn!” Yesterday an all-white Fox & Friends crew had eggs all over their faces Sunday when they interviewed Anthony Anderson,* an African-American star of Law & Order (as its Det. Kevin Bernard). As co-anchor Dave Briggs  began to ask Anderson about the long-running NBC drama that had been canceled, producers aired an old picture of the L&O cast. Unfortunately, the photo featured Anderson’s predecessor on the program, the popular Jesse L. Martin (L&O‘s Det. Ed Green) who left the show in 2008.

When the pic appeared on the screen, Anderson exclaimed, “That’s the wrong black man!” As Dave bowed his head in obvious embarrassment and fellow co-host Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris recoiled in similar abashment, Anderson iterated, “That’s the wrong black man!…I  know we all look alike, but damn! Who is that?”

Reddened, Aly laughed, “Oh, my gosh! That is who you were playing.” Undeterred, Anderson continued, “Did I lose that much weight that I look like Jesse L. Martin?” Acknowledging the gaffe, Aly exclaimed, “Oh, my god!”

Trying to regain control of the interview and to save some face, Dave declared, “Anthony, let me ask you though, as we try to turn the page from that error [or "era"], now [that] Law & Order has been canceled and it’s left a void in people’s lives…are you feeling that void?” As Anderson answered, producers ran a vid including footage of Jesse L. Martin interspersed with clips of Anderson.

When Anderson had finished his reply, Clayton queried, “Now let’s just be clear. That is the correct video, right?” Shaking his head, Anderson retorted, “No that wasn’t.” Seeing Martin onscreen, Anderson shouted, “No. Who is that? Who is that? That is not. I have a beard, not a goatee! You are running the wrong B roll, Fox!”

As an interspersed clip of Anderson appeared without Martin in the scene, Aly asserted, “There you are. There you are. That’s you in a cameo not speaking. Perhaps, trying to provide his producers more cover, Dave declared, “You were in the room.” Clayton echoed, “You were in the room with him.” Rolling his eyes, Anderson facetiously retorted, “Yeah, I guess.”

Later, when the interview began to conclude, Aly jested, “Well, thanks, so much for being here, Anthony Edwards. Just kidding!” Riantly, Anderson riposted, “Anthony Edwards? You might as well now call me Ice Cube. Don’t call me Gerald Lavert, Reuben Studdard, [or] any other black man with a beard or a goatee or a mustache.” Then, as Aly howled in laughter and Anderson shook his head in an admixture of amusement and bemusement, Clayton comically concluded, “Anthony Edwards from ER, great to see you. We’ll be right back.”

Perhaps, with a person of color in the cast soon?

*Update (h/t VideoWired.com): Fox News video of Anthony Anderson interview on Fox & Friends Weekend (Sunday) – 06/20/10 (@8:40 a.m. ET)

Clayton: Daddy 2B!

June 20, 2010

“Happy Father’s Day soon to you [Clayton Morris]: Soon enough it will be Happy Father’s Day for you.”* So declared Fox & Friends colleague Dave Briggs to co-host Clayton as a beaming co-anchor Alisyn Camerota gave Clayton her rapt attention. Biting his fingernail and grinning sheepishly, Clayton confirmed, “To me. Isn’t that crazy? Yeah, I’m going to be a new dad.”

Smiling, Clayton bent down on the curvy couch, saying, ” I got a new gift actually already…. Check this out.” When he proudly displayed a baby jumper with his fave Phillies emblazoned on it, Aly cooed, “Oh, my gosh. That’s adorable.” Interjecting, Dave asked, “Now we don’t know boy or girl yet, right?” Clayton answered, “No, don’t know boy or girl so we have to get neutral colors and a lot of dots.”

In response, Dave promised, “I will get some Rockies, Red Sox gear on the way for little Morris.” Aly kiddingly added, “I’ll get some pink stuff.” Turning serious, she stated, “We’re very excited about a new member of the Fox & Friends family. Concurring, Dave exclaimed, “Congratulations!”

Interestingly, Clayton, apparently now divorced from Sara Batterson, failed to mention the mother-to-be of his child. However, yesterday Clayton’s rumored paramour Natali del Conte (who is expecting her baby in August) Tweeted, “My mom and sister are throwing me the baby shower of the century today. Big production at the Del Conte house today.” Like Clayton, Del Conte does not know if her baby is a boy or a girl according to  del Conte’s response to a Twitter follower. N.B. To the author’s knowledge, neither Clayton nor del Conte has publicly confirmed rumors that Clayton is the father.

*Fox & Friends Weekend (Sunday) - 06/20/10 (@8:32 a.m. ET)

Kiran: Me So Horny

June 17, 2010

Kiran: from Nepal’s “ray of light” to U.S.’s way of delight? American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry heated things up this morning with her horn blowing. In fact, after her lusty rendition, FIFA may never ban South Africa’s celebrated vuvuzela from the World Cup (regardless of how crazy the plastic “mad-hornet” trumpets drive the uninitiated ear).

In an AM report on FIFA’s decision not to prohibit the vuvuzela from the Johannesburg World Cup, CNN correspondent Richard Roth ineptly tried to master the “art” of blowing the cacophonous instrument. When his story had run, an in-studio Richard handed the vuvuzela to Kiran and remarked, “If you’d like to try, Kiran.”* After asking for some hand sanitizer first from Roth and not getting any, Kiran bravely replied, “Alright, they’re yelling in my ear, ‘Blow on it. If I get sick!”

After Kiran gamely blew the vuvuzela, Roth declared, “That is very good for the first time because one of the women at the restaurant said she had to take lessons and you could say I was pretty weak.” In response, Kiran exclaimed, “Lessons?!” Then, she suddenly seized the horn anew and zestfully blew a playful rift.” Grinning goatishly at Kiran, Roth queried, “Why are you so good at that?”

As the floor crew erupted in laughter and her co-host Drew Griffin beamed broadly, Kiran ignored Roth’s racy question, laid her trumpet on the desk, and glanced at Drew. As Drew chuckled and avoided her gaze, Kiran rolled her eyes and hid the trumpet behind her chair. Feigning offense, Kiran “icily” commented, “Always a pleasure to have Richard Roth with us. Thank you, Richard.”

CNN/US prez Jonathan Klein is right. Kiran definitely “light[s] up the screen” and “brings a delight” to American Morning and to its audience. Kiran, you lived up to your name today!

American Morning - 06/17/10 @7:57 a.m. ET)

Clayton: Contagious?

June 13, 2010

Dave: “Find better friends!” During a Fox & Friends Weekend segment entitled “Divorce Is Contagious,” co-anchor Dave Briggs gave his apparently divorced friend and colleague Clayton Morris some rough ribbing:  However, co-host Alisyn Camerota was there to give Clayton some support and solace. Interestingly, a ringless Clayton introduced the story, saying, “There’s a new study out about divorce and apparently it can be contagious….So this idea [is] that if you know somebody that’s had one [and] you’re friends with one, oh, you better watch out.”*

Aly replied, “By a huge amount….[I]f your friend gets divorced, you’re 147 [sic] times more likely to get divorced. I don’t know if it’s because when you see divorce up close and personal, it makes you examine your own marriage or it looks good.” Dave responded, “I don’t think it glamorizes it.” Aly maintained, “Maybe, it looks good!” Chuckling appreciatively, Clayton interposed, “Here we go. That’s why I love Camerota!’

As the trio of hosts continued to discuss the study, Dave opined, “See, I think you examine your relationship. If it’s not a perfect marriage, then you say, ‘Well, maybe, we’d be better off apart as well. I mean, if you’re a healthy marriage and your friend gets divorced, you not thinking, maybe, we should get a divorce.” Interjecting, Aly jested, “You’re not?” Without answering, Dave continued, “But, if you’re on the fence, then, hey, maybe, it gives you a little kick in the butt.” Laconically, Clayton concluded, “But think of it as an option.” Concurring, Aly added, “Right.”

Subsequently, previewing a similar upcoming segment, Aly declared, “But, there is some good news. And, Dr. Keith Ablow is going to be here to tell us how to have a…protective measure. If your friends and siblings are getting divorced, then, you are susceptible. Interrupting Aly and then speaking over her, Dave exclaimed, “Find better friends!”

Giving Dave the eye (as if he made a major gaffe), Aly sternly continued, “So we’re going to talk to Dr. Ablow about that. Or to do about it.” Trying to take his foot out of his mouth as Clayton looked icily on, Dave backtracked, “Better friends’ marriages or something. I’ll ponder while you [Aly] do the headlines.” Aly answered, “Please do.” Clayton simply smiled to himself.

* Fox & Friends – 06/13/10 (@7:33 a.m. ET)

Aly & Palin: Oil, Pols, & Boobs

June 12, 2010

Sarah’s assets: real or inflated? Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Alisyn Camerota interviewed former Alaska governor about the BP oil spill disaster, recent female ballot box successes, and, yes–Palin breast enhancement rumors. After Palin had opined on the Gulf crisis, women’s political ascendancy, etc., Aly went personal: however, she stayed above the belt, so to speak.

Before running a stand-alone clip of that particular question, Aly explained that it was always difficult to decide whether to ask a “newsmaker about his or her personal life.”* Then, she stated, “But, I went there because it’s been the top item on so many websites and blogs so I asked her if she had [had] some enhancements lately.”

Subsequently, in the footage aired, Aly reticently queried, “Let me ask you a very primitive question….[S]ome websites [say] that, perhaps, you’ve had some physical enhancements. Do you want to set the record straight today?” Without flinching, Palin proclaimed, “No. I don’t have breast implants!” She continued, “And, it’s funny that we even have to talk about it. But…those bored bloggers and some reporters who are covering this issue…really…need to get a life.”

After the film snippet concluded, Aly commented, “She went on to say that she first heard about this story about her own body when her daughter Bristol called her, laughing hysterically and said, ‘You won’t believe what they’re talking about now: you won’t believe what they’re focused on.'” Clowning, Clayton racily interjected, “And, to all the bloggers  who wanted to ask that question, yes, I have had enhancements.” Responding rather risquely, Aly “focused” on Clayton: looking him up and down twice, she jested, “Hm. It’s obvious!”

Back above the belt, Aly!

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 06/12/10 (@9:35 a.m. ET)

Chris: Childish Aly?

June 11, 2010

Wallace, still chafing at Camerota for her “sleeping on the couch” question? Last Sunday before Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace’s promo for his program on Fox & Friends Weekend, producers played a short clip of Chris “hitting on” country music singer Kellie Pickler and her racy response the previous Friday. Afterwards, F&FW co-host Alisyn Camerota queried, “Let’s bring in Chris Wallace right now to find out if he has been sleeping on the couch since that time. Chris, what did Mrs. Wallace have to say?” Even though Chris seemed to welcome the opportunity to apprise the audience that he was not in trouble with his wife Lorraine, he may not have been amused by Aly’s choice of words.

Today, as Chris did his FNS preview on F&F (with co-anchor, Brian Kilmeade, and guest hosts, Alisyn Camerota and Eric Bolling), Chris seemed to take a snipe at Aly instead of his usual target F&F co-anchor Brian Kilmeade. After Brian had briefly introduced Chris for his FNS preview, Chris acerbically joked, “You know, I have to say, watching the three of  you this morning, the idea that any network would put a show on in which Brian Kilmeade is the grownup is kind of…just asking for trouble right there.”

Surprised, a smiling Eric Bolling, host of the upcoming prime time FBN program, Money Rocks, who appeared to be Chris’ collateral damage, softly uttered, “Wow!” Deftly and adroitly, Aly answered, “Oh, we resemble that remark, Chris.” Happy to have someone else take the brunt of Chris’ barbs, Brian riantly exclaimed, “I actually think it’s the first time someone else has been dissed by Chris Wallace with me on the couch. And, you guys actually took it worse!”

Perhaps, Aly has learned her lesson to be not too impertinent to Mr. Wallace. Or, maybe, next time she will simply display a little more cleavage a la Kellie Pickner last Friday. Or, as Gretchen suggests, don one of those sexy cowboy hats that Chris likes.

Remember, Aly: to paraphrase Hank Williams, Jr., a country girl can survive.

Romans: World Cup “Golf”

June 11, 2010

World Cup: un-American (Morning). Or, at least, un-Christine. In the first hour of the show, American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry declared that the World Cup was the “biggest sporting event in the world…although it might not seem like it here in the U.S.” Subsequently, CNN correspondent and now three-time World Cup attendee Pedro Pinto asserted that he had “never seen anything like” the festivities attendant to Africa’s first World Cup held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nevertheless, like many Americans, AM‘s biz babe Christine Romans did not seem impressed.

Later, Christine discussed the adverse effect of the “world’s most popular sport” on productivity in the United States. After stressing that soccer (or non-American “football”) was the fourth worst offender after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, NFL Fantasy football, and the Super Bowl (Monday thereafter), she showed AM co-host Kiran Chetry a voluminous bankers’ analysis of who would win the World Cup. When Kiran asked why bankers were so interested, Christine responded, “Because there’s nothing more global than banking and the people who work at these banks [have] usually worked at a lot of different places around the world: They are golf, uh…no, they are World Cup nuts.”

Trying to give her colleague Christine some cover, Kiran kindly nodded her head and offered, “They’re golfers, too.” However, after Christine’s story had run, her producer was somewhat less sweet. Christine Tweeted, “and there i am on air with @kiranchetry cnn talking world cup and i accidentally call it “golf”. my producer razzing me mercilessly!!”

Golf vis-a-vis soccer? As the author replied to Christine, at least, she lives in the United States where many may have not noticed. However, had she lived in Brazil, she may not have returned to work the next business day. Vive la difference!

*American Morning - 6/11/10 (@8:23 a.m. ET)

“Certainly, it’s not [BP's] Fault”

June 10, 2010

Who said it? No, not BP CEO Tony Hayward but Fox & Friends contributor and FBN reporter Ashely Webster! During an F&F segment concerning the danger of BP going bankrupt, co-anchor Brian Kilmeade asked, “Ashley, do we have to be careful now politically and out in public with our statements at the highest level in ripping BP? Should we moderate some of our criticism in order to sustain the company?”*

Beginning quite reasonably, Webster answered, “No, I don’t think so. I mean, obviously, BP didn’t want this to happen. It’s the last thing in the world they wanted to happen but they certainly haven’t helped themselves with the way they responded initially. And, CEO Tony Heyward, of course, saying, ‘This is the worst day of my life’ and, so on, certainly did not come across very well at all.” Unfortunately for Webster, he did not stop there.

Sounding almost like a BP shill, he continued, “You know, BP is one of many of the major oil companies that do this type of exploration around the world to satisfy our thirst for oil.” Then, he incredibly concluded, “And, certainly, it’s not their fault but the way they’ve handled it hasn’t been great at all.” Shockingly, as the segment ended, F&F’s co-hosts (Brian, Steve Doocy, and Alisyn Camerota) uttered not a word of disagreement.

Perhaps, that Fox & Friends’ segment should have been entitled “Hayward’s Wet Dream.”

*Fox & Friends – 06/10/10 (@7:02 a.m. ET)

Shep’s Trampoline Bear: PETA MIA

June 7, 2010

The exploitation of the “trampoline bear” by Studio B‘s Shepard Smith must come to an end. [Unfortunately, this almost seven-year-old video is shown periodically on not only Studio B but also other programs on both FNC (and CNN) ad nauseum--literally.] At the end of today’s broadcast, Shep aired a story about a Monrovia, CA, bear that had been tranquilized: subsequently, he joyfully ran the 2003 video of the Missoula, MT, black bear that was similarly tranquilized, fell from its tree, hit the trampoline underneath, and sprung back high into the air, and then crashed face first into the ground. Thereafter, Shep laughed uproariously and remarked, “Trampoline bear makes Monday even palatable.”*

Really, Shep? Running this story once as news on September 10, 2003 by news organizations is understandable but to air it continually thereafter seems inexplicable. It is almost as if you have a cross-species schadenfraude or perverse pleasure derived from the obvious pain of this black bear (albeit upon its awakening). Even if you and other TV news personalities have no subjective ill intent, you should reconsider your actions and remember the messages that you are sending to the children and to the general public.

Unfortunately, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), apparently, has not yet uttered a word. It should. And, now.

Studio B – 06/07/10 (@3:57 p.m.)

Kiran: Jump on It! [Updated]

June 7, 2010

“Oops, I Did It Again!” was the message that American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry sent her Twitter followers this morning. To be exact, she Tweeted, “If you see something on my leg this AM, it’s an aircast. I sprained my ankle pretty badly jumping on a trampoline!” As her Twitter followers may remember, Kiran likewise injured herself (albeit her neck then) last year on a trampoline (Moonbounce) as she showed off for her daughter Maya’s friends at a birthday party with an ill-fated flip.

Strangely, Kiran, co-anchor John Roberts, and AM producer Jamie Kraft made no mention of Kiran’s sprained ankle during the show today. In fact, the cameraperson seemed intent on concealing it: e.g., in Kiran’s standing shots, she was shown from basically the knee up. However, on occasion, her cast could be barely seen from a distance when AM returned from commercial break as the camera panned the studio.

Conversely, could one imagine its juggernaut competitor, Fox & Friends, missing such an opportunity to connect personally with its audience and showcase its co-host? Surely, its hosts, especially, Brian Kilmeade, would have given Kiran all kinds of grief as to how she was injured as their cameraperson took more than a few lingering shots of her gorgeous gams. However, AM executive producer Jamie Kraft seems to have taken the mayo tack to news–all too distinct from the spicier salsa approach that his predecessor Janelle Rodriguez had preferred.

Second-chance suggestion: Jamie, let JD pick a few songs to showcase Kiran’s injury on the trampoline, e.g., Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Jump on It,” Pointer Sisters’ “Jump (For My Love),” or Van Halen’s “Jump”. Or, maybe even include the Van Halen vid itself, too, in which lead singer David Lee Roth bears a resemblance to John in his MuchTV veejay days: a twofer! At the very least, have John and Kiran do another “What’s Under the Desk” segment.

Jamie, “Jump on It”!

Update: According to Mediabistro.com, Kiran is supposed to have her ankle in an aircast for 4-6 weeks but she hopes to have it off sooner, i.e., the Friday before the 2010 Daytime Emmys (June 27, 2010). (Kiran’s seemingly self-shot close-up of her ankle is included in the Mediabistro.com article.)

Aly: “Sleeping on the Couch,” Chris?

June 6, 2010

Or, in a real “Pickle(r)” with Mrs. Wallace? When Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace appeared on Fox & Friends Weekend today to tout his program, he first had to account for his  “latest ‘Wallace wandering'” to co-hosts Dave Briggs, Alisyn Camerota, and Eric Bolling. Introducing the segment, Dave declared, “We want to remind you about a little incident that took place on Friday on Fox & Friends…between Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and…Kellie Pickler. Take a look.” [F&F producers then aired a clip of Chris flirtatiously asking Kellie if she even knew who he was and Kellie coquettishly responding that she did indeed and had a poster of him above her bed." (N.B. The link, supra, also includes footage beyond the rather abbreviated F&F clip, i.e., Brian's jest to Kellie, asking her to offer her "services" to Chris.)]

After the vid ran, Aly remarked, “Let’s bring in Chris Wallace right now to find out if he has been sleeping on the couch since that time. Chris, what did Mrs. Wallace have to say?” Even though he had said Friday that he was “gonna pay a heavy price for this,” Chris answered, “No, Lorraine was watching and she laughed at it, especially, when we both found out that Kellie Pickler is, in fact, precisely two days older than my youngest daughter. So.” Commiserating, Aly enjoined, “I hate when that happens.”

Less sympathetic, Dave, looking up as if in fixed amorous adoration of a lusty pinup, nettled, “But, that Chris Wallace poster on her [Kellie's] ceiling must have been quite an image for your wife.” Then, perhaps, sensing that Chris (with a cocked head and slight smile) seemed less than amused, Dave quickly added, “But, we won’t dwell on that!” Parrying Dave’s initial barb, Chris self-deprecatingly riposted, “That must have been quite an image for Kellie Pickler!” When Eric subsequently asked Chris if Mrs. Wallace had Chris’ poster on her ceiling as well, Chris wisely concluded his comments, saying, “No. She has Chris Wallace right next to her.”

Luckily, for Chris, Mrs. Wallace continues her charitable approach to such amorous meanderings.

Chris’ “Cowgirl” Fantasy?

June 5, 2010

Palin, now Pickler: Gretchen jealous? After Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson excited him almost two years ago with her black cowboy hat and Kinky Friedman cigar, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace seems to have fallen prey to that “wanton” country girl fantasy. First, there was Gretchen; second, there was Sarah Palin; and, yesterday, it was country star Kellie Pickler. Mediaite deemed the latest instance “creepy” but it just seemed like the latest “Wallace wandering” to the author.

With regard to Gretchen, as long-time Fox & Friends fans may remember, Chris, in a similar FNS promo for his show on July 25, 2008, was so taken with Gretchen in her cowgirl getup, supra, that he flirted, ““Let me just say…I was thinking how to clean this up. Gretchen when you were wearing that cowboy hat and smoking that cigar you looked very fetching!” Subsequently, when she teased him with a seductive pose, he panted, “Oh! Mama! You should take that home for your husband tonight.” The sexual tension was such that F&F co-anchor Brian Kilmeade interjected, “Hey, Chris! Is there a shower in that studio?”

[Apparently, Chris got in trouble with the wife, Mrs. Wallace over that episode. Approximately, three months later, during a FNS promo on Halloween Day, Gretchen teased Chris about liking "cowboy hats and cigars." Chris replied, "We can’t keep talking about that, Gretchen: Mrs. Wallace is no longer amused at that conversation.”]

With regard to former Alaskan governor and famed outdoorswoman Sarah Palin, Chris bawdily bantered about her with FBN anchor Imus before his February 7, 2010 FNS interview with her. When Imus asked, “When you interview her, will she be sitting on your lap?, Chris randily responded, “One can only hope.” Consequently, Chris got grief from women such as noted journalist, Cokie Roberts. (Whether he did from Mrs. Wallace is not known.

Yesterday, during his promo for FNS on Fox & Friends, Chris turned his amorous ardor toward country singer Kellie Pickler, the former American Idol contestant, kicking off F&F’s “All American Summer” concert series. After, apparently, seeing the blond beauty Pickler perform throughout the earlier 2 1/2 hours of the show in her bosom-baring red top and hip-hugging blue jeans, a seemingly smitten Chris could not wait to talk about her. After F&F co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced Chris’ segment (citing the BP oil disaster and the President’s tough times), Chris began, “Yeah. Listen, before we get to that, I’m just curious. Has Kellie Pickler been asking about me?”*

As Gretchen chuckled heartily, Brian answered, “Yes. Yes, she has. And, I think it’s kind of odd because I’m sitting right there, and all I hear is Chris Wallace this, Chris Wallace that.” Chris replied, “You know, just, just tell her that I’m a big fan of hers, too. And, you know, who knows?” Incredulous, a grinning Brain echoed, “Who knows?” Aptly, F&F co-host Gretchen interjected, “Wow! I know that you are a fan of cowboy hats so that, that would make sense.” Brian jested, “She going to be singing in about ten minutes for Chris Wallace.” Before talking about the BP oil spill, Chris enthusiastically added, “Yeah. Maybe, she’ll do one of those torch songs about her unrequited love for me.” In response, Gretchen’s eyes immediately widened and her mouth suddenly shut while a surprised Brian simply smiled.

Later, during Chris’ segment, Brian began a question (about whether purported White House offers of positions for certain candidates to drop out of  Senate races portended a “burgeoning scandal”), stating, “If I wanted to get Chris Wallace out of that job and put myself in it, I’d have to get you another attractive job to actually lure you out and open up that spot.” With thoughts of Pickler still prancing in his head, Chris riantly replied, “Oh. I thought when you said you were going to offer me an attractive job to leave this, I thought it was going to be interviewing Kellie Pickler in six minutes.”

As Chris’ segment concluded, Brian ribaldly remarked, “The fact of the matter is, I do want your job, and I am willing to make an offer to you. Kellie Pickler, are you out there? Will you do me a favor, and offer your services to Chris Wallace?” As a blushing Pickler appeared on a trisected screen, a chagrined Chris grimaced and shut his eyes, and Gretchen screamed, “What! What! Excuse me!” Offering Brian diaphanous cover at best, Steve interjected, “Musical services. Musical services.” As Gretchen sat with mouth agape, a goatishly grinning Brian continued, “Would you say ‘hello’ to Chris Wallace?”

As Gretchen punched Brian in the shoulder for his puckish impertinence, a coy Kelli Pickler cooed, “Hello, Chris. How are ya?” Then, as the trio of co-hosts disappeared from the screen, close-ups of Pickler and Chris emerged. Almost like a bashful schoolboy, Chris answered, “Well, I’m just great, Kellie. I must say, I’m better right now.” Chuckling, Pickler coquettishly replied, “Me, too.”

After telling Pickler that he was a big fan of American Idol and saw her “with sushi and all of that stuff” when she was on the show, he queried, “Do you have the faintest idea who I am?” Less than convincingly, Pickler teased, “Oh, yeah. Absolutely! I have your poster hanging above my bed.” As a smiling Pickler looked back at her amused band members, Chris, tugged at his lapels and proudly proclaimed, “Well. Okay, Kelly! There we go!”

Perhaps, a mite jealous, Gretchen questioned, “Chris, is Mrs. Wallace watching?” Before he responded, Pickler interjected, “My apologies to your wife.” Then, Chris replied, “Unfortunately, I think she is. And, I’m gonna pay a heavy price for this.”

Perhaps, not, Chris. Mrs. Wallace has seemed rather charitable thus far.

*Fox & Friends - 06/04/10 (@8:31 a.m. ET)

A.M. & Costello: Funny Business?

June 4, 2010

CNN’s Carol Costello: Journo joker? (Cf. “Who’s Your Expert, Carol?,” infra.) If the BP oil spill ecological disaster were not so tragic, perhaps, Carol’s Orwellianly named report, “Emotion vs. Science: Are sand berms a smart defense?” would have been comedic. As President Barack Obama, under fire for being unemotional and for his reticence to approve of the sand berms to protect the Louisiana wetlands, traveled to Louisiana today, Carol seemed to be on a personal mission to give him cover from his detractors, both liberal and conservative.

Introducing her straw-man segment, Carol stated, “When President Obama comes here today, some people want him to show more emotion. They want him to take emphatic charge of the situation. There are plenty of local politicians, showing a lot of emotion. You know, they want to build those sand berms. But, scientists say, ‘Hold off on the emotion for just a minute and think about what these sand berms really do to the environment.’ So, is emotion or science better? A gut check this morning.”*

As footage of the disaster site ran, including that of Louisiana Governor Jindal, local Louisiana officials, and an oil-soaked pelican in the wetlands of Louisiana, Carol opined, “Louisiana’s governor is usually low-key but not these days. He’s fired up, emotional like so many other Louisiana politicians…There is a sense of doom here and some say politicians in their eagerness to do something are calling for solutions that may not work like giant six-foot walls of sand or sand berms. It’s a concept that politicians say has been in their area contingency plan with the Corps of Engineers. President Obama finally agreed under pressure, approving six berm sites.” [Italics added for emphasis.]

After portraying the Louisiana “politicians” as being uber emotional, Carol turned to a young unidentified bearded man with sunglasses and a BTNEP baseball cap, asking, “Would these giant sand walls really work?” He answered, “There are instances where they would be of benefit.” With no mention of his credentials, Carol continued, “Mel Landry studies the barrier islands and marshlands Louisiana politicians are so desperate to protect.” Subsequently, she solicited his view on the berms which he said “could have adverse impacts” citing a bulldozer’s incidental leveling of nests in the berm-building process. (Seemingly not satisfied with her sound bite, Carol superimposed, “He adds the berms could be blown away in a hurricane and could also disrupt natural tidal flows if they’re use to block gaps between barrier islands. But local politicians aren’t hearing that. The berms will go up and BP will pay the price, $360,000,000!”)

As the footage ended, Carol remarked, “John, six berms have been approved. One berm is under construction. Um, experts tell me [that] it could take a couple of weeks for these things to be put up but they’re raring to go.” Then strangely BP sensitive, Carol facetiously snarked, “And, hey, BP’s footing the bill, $360,000,000. So a lot of people here are saying, ‘If it is a waste of money, who cares? BP is paying!”

Seemingly, less than impressed with Carol’s reasoning, John sensibly stated, “Alright. Well, some good news for those folks there.” Similarly sympathetic to the plight of Louisianans on the Gulf coast, Kiran (who herself had reported from Grand Isle and other devastated areas in Louisiana) cogently countered, “The front page of all the papers this morning has some heart-breaking pictures–and we have the video as well–of these birds covered in oil. And, a couple of the datelines at East Grand Terre Isle, which is where one of those berms is being built currently, and they said [that] if they could have just gotten that done earlier, maybe, that marshland would not have become oiled. So, there are very strong opinions on both sides about that.”

Unfortunately, after Carol nonchalantly said, “Absolutely,” and asked for viewer input to her AM blog, she got back on message. Shaking her head, Carol icily commented, “I mean, should politicians just step back just for a minute and really study this and bring scientists in and, and really get a group together to see if these berms are really effective because sometimes the solution could be worse than the initial problem–because if these sand berms are gonna kill the wildlife anyway, why erect them?”

As an, apparently, incredulous John sat tight-lipped, wide-eyed, and stone-faced, Kiran reasonably remarked, “Yeah, a lot of questions this morning about that situation. And, another guy (vis-a-vis Landry?) locally said, ‘Hey, if a hurricane does knock the berm over, it’s done its job. At least, it’s protected it from getting on shore. So, again, a lot of differing opinions about it. Carol Costello this morning, thank you.”

Carol smugly smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Who’s Your Expert, Carol?” Even though John and Kiran seemed to sanely reject Carol’s premise that the sand berms were a case of “Emotion vs. Science” (or, in Carol’s case, local Louisiana “politicians” versus her mysterious scientific expert Mel Landry), they did not tell you the “rest of the story.” Just who is Mel Landry, Carol’s source for science or font of wisdom? According to his Facebook page, the twenty-nine year old Mel Landry is a 2004 college graduate from LSU who majored in fisheries and aquaculture. Furthermore, he states that he is the “Public Involvement Coordinator for the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.” In his role, Landry explains, “I work with local communities, businesses, governments and volunteers across the state to save Louisiana’s vanishing coast and culture. I’m neck deep in science and politics and anyone who’s been around long enough knows that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

So, for her scientific authority, Carol depended on a mere college graduate who is “neck deep in science and politics” and who works as the “public involvement coordinator” of a non-profit organization, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program. Perhaps, she could not find a non-political, post-graduate Louisiana scientist to do her bidding. After getting this senior sage who taxied her around Grand Isle and a berm or two, Carol (in her AmFix blog) vapidly and vacuously pontificated, “So, chalk up one for emotion: the berms will go up, BP will dole out $360 million for the project, and maybe science will be the better for it. Or not.”

“Chalk up another one for emotion”? Indeed. In fact, Carol’s seeming selection of her own “expert” to make her case is remarkably similar to the time (about six months ago) that she apparently chose a panel of four “very sharp” women to pan, er, critique Sarah Palin’s book, Going Rogue. Now, as then, she appears to have readily obtained the conclusion that she wanted from her self-selected “experts” that had few if any bona fides. Playing politics with Sarah Palin is one thing but playing politics with Louisiana, its wetlands, and its way of life is another thing altogether.

Carol, as a CNN reporter, you should be ashamed of yourself for producing another biased, specious piece: strike two. Jamie, as AM executive producer, you should be embarrassed for letting it air once, much less a second time. And, Jon, as CNN news chief, if you really meant that you wanted CNN “to position itself as an opinion-free, middle-of-the-road alternative to its cable news rivals — conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC,” you need to make it happen.

*American Morning – 06/04/10 (@6:32 a.m. ET)


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