Archive for March, 2011

“You’re Just Carrying the Water for Mr. Obama!”

March 31, 2011

Christine Romans: “I’m certainly not carrying anyone’s water! And, I will assure you of that.” No milquetoast for breakfast today. Polite American Morning co-host Christine Romans got a piece of Michael Scheuer’s mind instead.  And, she was not amused.

During the AM segment entitled, “CIA in Libya,” Christine and co-anchor Kiran Chetry interviewed Michael Scheuer, a “former CIA counter-terrorism analyst, about the United States’ latest intervention in the Middle East. Skeptically, Scheuer propounded his concerns about the efficacy of arming and training the Libyan rebels in time to defeat Khadafy; “the [President's] putting himself into a corner where his only option is ground troops”; and the U.S.’ role in Libya being a “recruiting tool for extremists” (because it was perceived as the “American-led West attacking a Muslim country that has oil”).

Pressing Scheuer about his final point, supra, Kiran countered that U.S. officials had said that NATO had fully taken over operations and that their coalition included Arab states. Scoffing, Scheuer answered that the “U.S.-to-NATO leadership transfer was a “piece of theater set up by Ms. Clinton and Mr. McCain and the bipartisan group that loves to intervene abroad”) and that the “U.S.-led operation” was seen “in the Muslim world…[as]…Americans killing Muslims again…for oil.” Subsequently, when Kiran asked Scheuer whether America’s aid for the Libyan rebels was actually support of “Islamic democracy…tired of totalitarian rule,” he acidly asserted, “If we were supporting Islamic democracy, that would be one thing. But, if you listen to Ms. Clinton and, especially, the rather crazed Ms. Rice at the U.N., this is all about democracy in a world were democracy is not going to take hold.”

As Christine listened to Scheuer’s increasingly cutting criticism of the U.S. involvement in Libya, she appeared to become agitated in tandem with his answers (as she repeatedly put her hand on her hip, crossed her arms, and furrowed her eyebrows).

When the interview concluded, Christine dismissively interjected, “I think it’s very clear, Michael Scheuer, that you are no fan of this policy and this administration.”  Then, looking at Kiran repeatedly (as if for succor), Christine scolded, “I think calling Ambassador Rice crazed is certainly a significant charge.”

Unrepentant, Scheuer acerbically retorted, “Oh, I don’t know! I’ve just listened to her! That’s only my impression. Elaborating, he remarked, “[T]his is not a Democratic problem: this is a Republican problem, too. Both parties love to intervene in other people’s business where there are no U.S. interests at stake and where we spend enormous amounts of money at a time when we’re nearly bankrupt.”

With her arms crossed defiantly (and Kiran looking down at the desk demurely), Christine sharply disagreed, declaring, “And, that’s a whole nother [sic] story. To call the United States bankrupt–the United States is running humongous deficits, yes.” But, the economy  and this mission is Libya are two separate issues.”

Smiling, Seuer sneered, “They’re not separate issues, ma’am. You’re just carrying the water for Mr. Obama.”

Bristling at Scheuer’s slam, Christine retorted, “I’m certainly not carrying anyone’s water! And, I will assure you of that.”

Then, after thanking him for his time, Christine icily concluded, “You, know, we’ve had a very long, exhaustive interview. You’ve had plenty of time to give your point of view on that.”

For tea-sipping Christine, her Scheuer segment may have been “too early in the AM for  [such] insults.” But, for this coffee-quaffing viewer, it was a timely AM java jolt. Or, was it a Jautz jolt?

Update: This evening Mediaite‘s Matt Schneider found the story, supra, via Johnny Dollar’s Place and basically recapped it. However, Chickaboomer seized it saucily and gave it her own inimitable take.

Update2: Bill O’Reilly weighed in Friday during his O’Reilly Factor opening “Talking Points” segment on the Scheuer/Romans spat. After playing the clip of Scheuer skewering Christine, O’Reilly remarked, “This CNN anchor is wrong when she says the Libyan action and the American debt are separate: they are not. He opined, “The sad truth is every action America takes from now on will have to be evaluated from a cost standpoint: That’s what happens when you’re 14 trillion dollars in debt.”

Huddy: “Unlucky” & Hiding?

March 29, 2011

Juliet: I’ll be back very soon! As FNC correspondent Juliet Huddy’s unexplained absence from the air gets longer and longer, she continues to assure her anxious fans that she will indeed return to Fox News “soon.” However, she has been promising them just that for over three weeks–while offering them nary a hint as to why she is away.

On February 18, ICN reported that  Juliet had “disappeared” from the air on FNC a “few weeks” earlier and had not fielded a Johnny Dollar Tweet as to when she would return. However, two weeks later (March 6), Juliet broke her silence when one of her Twitter followers, TheDonAllen, inquired, “What are you doing now? I’m assuming you aren’t with FNC anymore. Everyone is”: Juliet tersely retorted, “‘Everybody’ would be wrong.” When he responded, “Well, that’s good to hear: Hope to see you again soon,” she elaborated, “You will! Thanks sweetie.”

Subsequently, after yet another two weeks had elapsed (May 21), Juliet still had not reappeared on FNC. Consequently, Twitter follower, DonnyRoss99, plaintively penned, “Miss seeing u on fox..always had a crush on you.” Anew, but more definitively, Juliet declared, “Awwwww thanks. Despite some of my conspiracy theorist tweeps, I’ll be back very soon!”

Nevertheless, as of Sunday (March 27), Juliet still had not returned to air on Fox News. Hence, yet another Twitter follower, BenYurcho, queried, “R u still with FNC?” Again, Juliet pledged, “Yes, I am still with Fox! Back soon.”

Hmm. Shortly, after the ICN article (February 21), supra, Juliet announced,”About to celebrate my 13 year anniversary as a Fox-er.”  Was she subtly signaling her ill luck of late to her followers and fans? If so, perhaps, she is simply waiting for her ill omens to blow over.

Regardless, the ardent acolytes of Juliet eagerly await her return. Until then, they are looking and listening for clues as  to why their lovely left them without a word. In the meantime, they are growing increasingly restless.

Update: The long wait over? On April 7, Juliet Tweeted, “I will be on in the next week or so. See you all soon.” Stay tuned.

Kiran: But, We’re Happily Married

March 25, 2011

“Did we look like idiots?” Limitless star Bradley Cooper turned American Morning co-hosts Kiran Chetry and Christine Romans into “two school girls” this morning (as Kiran aptly noted). Not only did he have them giggling, blushing, and almost ruing their wedding bands for almost thirty minutes, he rendered them speechless–literally.

The fun began during the final half hour of AM today when Christine started to promo Cooper’s upcoming segment before a commercial: Stopping suddenly, she turned to Ali, saying, “Why don’t you take this lead?”* Amused, Ali read, “Sure, he’s got a sexy smile…but Bradley Cooper sure can act: His new slick thriller Limitless is number one at the box office, catapulting him into Hollywood’s big leagues. Bradley is here.” As Kiran and Christine giggled and Cooper grinned and waved back at them, Ali ribbed, “My two married co-anchors are having some difficulty spitting this all out.”

Turning to Ali, Kiran playfully protested, “Married?” Chiming in, a similarly piqued Christine queried, “Why did you have to bring that up? Ah!” Slipping out of her anchor seat in her bare feet, Kiran bent over and began to slip on her high heels, muttering, “Thanks a lot, Ali.”

When AM returned from ad break, the frivolity returned as Kiran and Christine joyfully interviewed a dapper Cooper who looked like he had just climbed out of bed with his scruffy beard, mussed hair, and loosened tie.** Initially, Christine and Kiran appeared on terra firma as they asked Cooper about his hit Limitless and his older cine Hangover. However, as the interview went on, they appeared to get lost in Cooper’s clear blue eyes as this handsome hunk answered their queries with an attentive eye, quick wit, and seductive smile.

Rarely taking their eyes off their dreamboat, Christine and Kiran seemed to lose track of time. As the interview progressed, the questions turned personal. When Christine asked him how it felt to be a “megastar” and Cooper self-deprecatingly scoffed at the idea, Kiran intently intoned, “People have an intensive interest in your life….People want to know about your personal life. Are you back on the market now?”

As Cooper looked back at Kiran and chuckled, she quickly added, “We’re married. We don’t want to know but we’re asking for our friends.” Even less convincingly, Christine chimed, “Oh, yes. This is important for the people to know.”

Evading Kiran’s question about his love life deftly, Cooper suddenly answered Christine’s query about being a “megastar,” explaining that his “life has not changed, honestly.” Joking, Kiran riposted, “So, you don’t have somebody to carry an umbrella around if it’s sunny.” Cooper chuckled, “Of course, I do. That’s normal, right?” Joining in the mirth, Christine jested, “And then somebody else to count the money, too.”

Then, abruptly, the colloquy ended as Christine looked over at Kiran. “What!” exclaimed Kiran. As the two sat befuddled, Cooper interposed, “So what are we going to talk about?” Shrugging, Kiran replied, “Nothing else. Um.” Looking back at Ali in disbelief, a smiling Cooper exclaimed, “Wow! Total dead space. That was amazing! That was amazing!”

Chagrined, Kiran pointed to Ali, saying, “Ali’s making fun of us. This never happens: we interview ambassadors, interview ex-Presidents. We never run out of things to say but now we’re like two school girls in a bar. This is terrible!” Still somewhat shocked, Cooper exclaimed, “That was incredible!”

As Kiran and Christine mocked themselves, feigning a feverish search through their papers for one last question, an amused Aly patiently waited in the background for the toss. Fanning her flushed face with her hand, Kiran exclaimed, “Get us out of here!” Ali teased, “He’s pretty dreamy, huh?”

Then, reading out the segment, Aly declared, “It’s hot in here but it cold’s outside….Rob Marciano’s got your weekend travel forecast next.”

When AM returned from break, it was still “hot” in the AM studio as Kiran, Christine, and Aly sat behind the AM desk.*** When Kiran started to toss to Rob for his report, Christine whimsically interjected, “I don’t mean to name drop but my mike is falling off because we just were hugging Bradley Cooper, Rob, and we’re going to have to get the weather so we can get everything all settled here.” Before Rob could reply, Kiran queried, “What do you think? Did we act like idiots?”

Responding indirectly, Rob gibed, “Ali, are they trying to make us jealous? It’s not working you know. We professionally respect what he does as an actor.” Agreeing, Ali asserted, “I was fine sitting here being ignored for several minutes that continued to go on and on and on.” Seemingly, still somewhat slighted, Rob humorously bristled, “It was a nice break, you know, watching them abuse somebody else for a change. God love them. Poor Bradley!”

Howling in laughter, a flattered Kiran answered, “Rob, I know. You’re still our favorite. Don’t worry.” Concurring, Christine declared, “We objectify you everyday, three times an hour. You know.” Affirmed, Rob riposted, “An entertaining segment, nonetheless.” He got no argument from Kiran: she simply raised her eyebrows and suggestively smiled.

Subsequently, when Rob had given his report and had segued back to Kiran, Christine, and Aly, Aly jested, “I’ll take it to break. My co-hosts are still recovering.”

Later, as AM‘s final segment concluded, Kiran, at least, had still not yet fully recovered. Segueing to CNN Newsroom guest host Carol Costello, she coyly commented, “Carol, from a fellow happily married woman, me and Christine.”**** Looking down, a weary Aly pleaded, “Oh, don’t start!” Undeterred, Kiran continued, “We can blush and giggle over Bradley Cooper, right? Because he’s just a, he’s just a beautiful man to look at.” But, we’re happily married.”

Sighing like a school girl herself in the retinue of Justine Bieber, Carol responded, “He’s hot! I’m happily married, too. But, he’s hot!”***** Smiling and raising her eyebrows, Kiran nodded her ardent agreement.

“Did we look like idiots?” No, Kiran. Happily, more like Fox & Friends. Hopefully,  AM executive producer Jim McGinnis finally did remember CNN chief Ken Jautz’s sage advice.

[Author’s aside: Jim, if you are indeed beginning to make AM “more compelling and engaging…more fun…[and]…livelier,” you may also want to ditch the distancing desk for a cozy couch (and close those doors again behind that odious AM desk).]

*American Morning – 03/25/11 (@ 6:34 a.m.)

**Ibid at 8:37 a.m. ET.

***Ibid at 8:47 a.m. ET

****Ibid at 9:00 a.m. ET

*****Kiran, Christine, and Carol are married to meteorologist Chris Knowles, Rueters reporter Ed Tobin, and Loyola College Maryland’s Veep for Academic Affairs Timothy Law Snyder, respectively.

Gretchen: Putting the “Spring” in Springer!

March 24, 2011

Jerry: Gretchen, “Believe me, I would fly with you: And, you’re not bringing an airplane either!”  Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson got her own personal dose of the “Jerry Springer Show” this morning from the legendary eponymous talk show host himself. Before Springer’s Fox & Friends appearance, Gretchen had shared a personal vacation photo with her audience and her co-hosts, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade: in the pic, Gretchen, sporting a black leather jacket, posed saucily behind the cockpit controls of a U.S. Airways jet. Subsequently, when Steve welcomed Springer to join him and his co-anchors on the curvy couch, the former Cincinnati mayor bad boy pointed at Gretchen, saying, “By the way, great flying!”*

Appreciative, Gretchen animatedly replied, “Oh, well, thank you!” Then, widening her eyes and leaning forward in her low-cut plum top, Gretchen cooed, “You would fly with me, wouldn’t you?”

Smiling rakishly and nodding his head ardently, Springer rejoined, “Believe me, I would fly with you!” As her co-anchors roared with laughter, Gretchen chuckled, “Well, thank you.”

Hoping to stoke the blond beauty’s fire further, Springer randily remarked, “And, you’re not bring an airplane either, I’ll tell you that. Giggling, Gretchen exclaimed, “Uh, oh!” Grinning lustfully, Springer continued, “We’ll be here all night!”

Shaking his head in amusement, Springer added, “No, I’m just joking.” In response, Gretchen, put her hands up as if to clear the air of his ardor and declared, “Let’s move on to politics.” Concurring, Springer answered, “Yes, I’m teasing.”

Gretchen is back: Heating up the F&F studio.

Fox & Friends – 03/24/11 (@ 7:35 a.m. ET)

JD Says: Kiran Says

March 22, 2011

What really sparked John Roberts’ infamous rant against Kiran Chetry, his co-host on CNN’s American Morning? On September 8, 2010, JD infamously berated an off-camera Kiran during his interview with President Obama’s smirking senior advisor, David Axelrod. Carpe Diem reported the story that day; Mediaite ran with it (with vid) about a week later; consequently, other media outlets (e.g., Huffington Post, Gawker, and TV Guide) picked it up, and, subsequently, it went viral. However, no one reported what Kiran had done to set off JD’s rant.

This morning, JD (now FNC’s senior national correspondent) provided his version  of the “infamous incident” during a telephone interview with FBN’s Don Imus. Succinctly, Imus asked, “Was it your co-host, one? And what was she doing?” JD stuttered, “Well, well, well, that, that morning, I was wearing a particularly lovely shade of, of plum nail polish and there had been a chip that had developed in it when I had whacked my finger on the desk, and she was trying to fix the chip in my nail polish. Explaining his errant behavior, JD continued, “And, I thought that interviewing David Axelrod, that was not an appropriate time to be fixing my nail polish. So I just said, ‘Would you mind waiting until I’m [sic] done this and then you can go ahead.'” [Vid via Mediaite.]

However, Kiran gave a completely different story during her interview with Mediaite‘s Tommy Christopher on February 18. When Christopher rather reluctantly queried her about “that clip,” she stammered, “I was, oh, um, it was just, I think it was a little bit overblown:  This is why I love you bloggers because one moment in time gets, you know, immortalized forever.” Then, putting her hands over her computer keyboard as if reenacting the scene, Kiran continued, “But, we were dealing with some breaking news: he was doing an interview and I was typing. And, I guess that got a little annoying.” Later, Christopher confidently commented, “Well, I’m glad that we could set the record straight.”

But, did Christopher and Kiran really “set the record straight”? JD certainly does not seem to think so.


Megyn: I Was the Victim of Bullying

March 22, 2011

Kelly’s catfight recalled? Today, after a segment on school bullying, American Morning anchor Megyn Kelly obliquely remarked, “I was the victim of such bullying [re viral Aussie-big-boy-victim vid] when I was in school.”* Then, as a school counselor might intone, she added, “And, one positive angle I can offer to young girls out there who are victims of it is [that] I do think it makes you a more empathetic person. And, you can take that with you throughout your life and use it  [in] situations like this.”

When Megyn revealed that rather ambagious aside on AL today about her being picked on as a young girl, the author recollected Megyn saucily telling Bill Hemmer (her then America’s Newsroom co-host) about such a high school tormentor. In her account then, Megyn disclosed that when she was a sophomore “in [her] cheerleading uniform,” she was confronted by a senior girl who called her “the ‘b’ word.” In response, Megyn had retorted, “If you call me that one more time, you’re gonna regret it.” When the senior bully did so, Megyn stated that she “let her have it” and that they both” were down on the ground rolling around…in the girl’s locker room” until the gym teacher stopped intervened.

However, Megyn’s bullying moral then was much more direct than it was today. To Bill and her AM audience, she crowed, “She never bothered me again–not that I’m advocating violence.”

*America Live – 03/22/11 (@ 1:50 p.m. ET)

A.M.: Asexual Menage (a Trois)?

March 21, 2011

More March madness? Today, American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry expectantly picked up the plural-marriage baton that HBO’s Big Love had dropped late last night. Instead of having her usual single “work spouse,” Kiran had two (for this AM audition), hubby Ali Velshi and sister-wife Christine Romans (CNN biz anchors, respectively, Your $$$$$ and Your Bottom Line). But, unfortunately, for AM, without even a soupcon of sexual tension.

To make matters worse today, AM executive producer Jim McGinnis seemed intent on lessening it between Kiran and Christine and their admiring AM viewers. I.e., in front of the open AM desk generally displaying their gorgeous gams, McGinnis placed two huge television screens with the obnoxiously omnipresent “AM” logo emblazoned thereon.

Hopefully, McGinnis will soon well remember CNN chief Ken Jautz’s sage advice that “CNN shows…[should be]…more lively and passionate and engaging in the presentation.” Perhaps, then he can earn Jautz’s confidence when he said that AM was in “good hands” with McGinnis. Time and ratings will tell.

Special F&FW Cast: Future F&F Team?

March 20, 2011

Today, Fox & Friends Weekend (special edition) again turned to F&F‘s real A-Team as U. S. forces attacked Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy’s loyalists with B-2 Stealth Bombers and Tomahawk missles. When the show started, F&FW regular co-anchor Alisyn Camerota declared, “Alright, good morning everybody!…We have special coverage: I welcome in my colleagues, Steve and Brian, in for Clayton and Dave this morning.”* [N.B. For those who missed the import of Aly's opening announcement, co-host Clayton Morris confirmed, "We were off this morning because of special coverage."] Interestingly, Aly did not mention F&F‘s weekday missing center-seat co-host, Gretchen Carlson.

Perhaps, Aly’s omission was no mistake. In fact, Gretchen’s unannounced absence would come as little surprise to long-time F&FW viewers: FNC Programming SVP Bill Shine has regularly teamed Aly with Steve and Brian on F&FW special editions. However, more portentively possibly, of late, Gretchen has seemed to have made herself scarce on F&F as her hubby/sports agent Casey Close reportedly leaves his agency, CCA Sports, this month when his five-year contract expires.

Perhaps, Aly’s appearance with the weekday crew is a harbinger of changes to come. If Gretchen does depart F&F for other things as her hubby transitions to a new agency, his own, or otherwise, F&F weekday has a seasoned, alluring alternative, Aly. Furthermore, Shine already appears almost to have begun auditions for F&FW‘s center seat on the curvy couch in February when he presented Fox News viewers with a sexy three-gals-in-three-days weekend revue (starring Dana Perino, Molly Line, and Ainsley Earhardt).

Stay tuned, F&F fans.

[Author's aside (as to Aly's potential move to F&F): On F&F this week, Shine substituted not only Aly (Friday) but also America's Newsroom co-anchor Martha MacCallum (Monday-Wednesday) and the aforementioned FNC correspondent Ainsley Earhardt (Thursday).]

*Fox & Friends – 01/20/11 (@ 6:00 a.m. ET)

Dave: Living the Life of Riley

March 19, 2011

“Off this weekend”: again. Two weeks ago, Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Dave Briggs was basking in the sun on the beautiful beaches of Mexico with his beautiful wife Brandi and their two children, Emerson and William. This weekend, he was enjoying the slopes of  breathtaking Breckenridge Mountain with them. Generously, Dave invited his fans along for the ride–at least, a vicarious one–with Tweets and photos.

Chronicling his Colorado vacation daily for his Twitter followers this week, Dave began (Tuesday), “Just took my 3-year-old [William] skiing for the first time at @breckenridgemtn so I’m one proud dad.” Awed by the majesty of his mountain playground (Wednesday), Dave remarked, “10K ft above sea level & 50 degrees in March @breckenridgemtn, no wonder they call #Colorado ‘God’s Country!'” Subsequently, sharing his “Irish” spirit with a toast and a pic (Thursday), ” Dave declared, “Before chairlift ‘tips up’ it’s #Guiness ‘bottoms up’ on St. Patty’s Day @breckenridgemtn, cheers!” Then, yesterday, as a kind courtesy to his followers and fans, Dave announced, “Gonna miss @AlyatFox & @ClaytonMorris tomorrow but stayin up w/ my wife, #MarchMadness & @breckdistillery is NICE! As of today, Dave has not yet updated his status with his activities but his F&FW co-host Clayton Morris did (during the show) stating, “Dave Briggs…is off this weekend.”*

Enjoy, Dave! And, kudos for sharing your fun with your fans.

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 03/19/11 (@ 7:00 a.m. ET)

AM Hot Mic: Deb Boring?

March 16, 2011

“Obviously, we’re talking about something more interesting.” Laughter. Dressed to kill in her all black pleather mini with sleek boots and transparent stockings to match, the generally dour and dowdy CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick expected her viewers undivided attention today. And, that she got–at least, from this male author. However, her female producers (apparently) were not so kind.

After taking her toss for “Everyday Radiation Exposure” segment from AM co-anchors Kiran Chetry and Christine Romans, Deb declared, “Everybody is concerned about this [the compromised Japanese nuclear reactors]. Everybody wants to know what this potential nuclear cloud means to us.”* However, subsequently, she droned on about the ubiquity of radiation in our quotidian experiences and then played a professorial pundit’s pontification to prove a point. When the clip ended (and a muted Deb tried to continue), a female producer with a live mike could be heard, saying, “Because that makes–obviously, we’re talking about something more interesting.” To make matters worse, another laughed heartily in the background.

Deb, your female producers may have been right. But, take heart: At least, your new look kept the keen interest of your viewers. Especially, your male ones.

*American Morning – 03/16/11 (@ 8:43 a.m. ET)

Kyra, John: “Welcome…to the World”

March 15, 2011

“Long road to get here.” CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips and “fiance” FNC senior national correspondent John Roberts make “absolutely beautiful little people” together. According to a People exclusive, the two celebrated the birth of twins, Sage Ann and Kellan Clay, just after midnight this morning. Both brother and sister weighed five pounds fifteen ounces and measured eighteen and half inches long.

People reported that the delighted duo issued a statement, saying, “It was amazing to welcome them to the world. It was a long road to get here, but they are absolutely beautiful little people.” (As to the “long road to get here,” the couple may have been alluding to Kyra’s possible in vitro pregnancy attempts and final success.) They added, “It’s incredible to be able to hold them in our arms and love them in person.”

Congratulations, Kyra and John!

H/t, TVNewser.

Double M: Hugging Honey

March 15, 2011

Apparently, blond beauty, Fox & Friends guest co-host Martha MacCallum, just loves to hug–even the bad boys. During an F&F “Touching Too Much?” segment with Martha and co-anchor Steve Doocy yesterday, co-host Brian Kilmeade posited, “Evidently, there’s a people that believe there’s an energy given off of love and acceptance when you do hug somebody. And, they’re looking to share that energy.”* Puckishly, he added, “Other people are just coming on to you. Let’s be honest!” Feigning surprise, co-host Steve Doocy asked, “Do you think so?” Giggling, Martha responded, “So, they’re just looking for an opportunity to just kinda like cozy up a little bit, right?” Ducking her head, batting her eyelashes, and jiggling suggestively, she racily cooed, “That’s okay.”

With Gretchen away, Double M and her bad boys will surely play. Or, rather, just “cozy up a little bit.”

*Fox & Friends - 03/14/11 (@ 7:39 a.m. ET)

Chastened Clayton: Toxic Cheerleader?

March 14, 2011

U-S-A! U-S-A! Mo’ nuke plants on your way! Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Clayton Morris seemingly echoed that ominous cheer as Japanese nuclear reactors threatened to melt down both Saturday and Sunday. Happily, co-host Alisyn Camerota checked him Saturday and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace chastened him Sunday for his quick and cavalier advocacy of an unthinking embrace of America’s nuclear industry.

Throughout the show Saturday, F&FW producers seemed to downplay the potential dire threats of the inadequately cooled nuclear reactors in Japan. Then, in the final segment, Heritage Foundation fellow for nuclear energy Jack Spencer appeared poised to perform the coup de grace as he assured his F&FW audience that the “Japanese authorities seem to be keeping this under control” and that “human health and safety has [sic] rarely, if ever, been affected–certainly, not in the case of Western nuclear power plants.”* Disconcertingly, Spencer laughed, “The one time that it, that there really was real impact was Chernobyl.” After then asserting the obvious, i.e., that the situation “absolutely has to be stabilized,” he blithely concluded, “I predict that once this is all said and done, we’re once again gonna see the inherent robustness of nuclear energy and that even when subjected to these sorts of stresses that it’s able to be maintained, the safety of that over time.”

When the segment ended, Clayton thanked Spencer for his expertise. After he had done so, Aly interjected, “It’s so interesting what Jack [Spencer] left us with because, obviously, there was momentum building for more nuclear energy here.” Nodding his head, co-anchor Dave Briggs concurred, “Yeah.” Arching his eyebrows, Clayton derisively declared, “And, there still is!” Uncowed by his risible remark, Aly retorted, “Well, you don’t know! I mean, if after this, people will be so scared.” Somewhat indignantly, Clayton countered, “Well, you don’t stop multi-billion dollar projects that have been being [sic] built for years–fifteen years–right now, so.” Interposing, Dave portentously proclaimed, “Perhaps, we will dive into that debate tomorrow.”

And, “tomorrow,” they did indeed engage again. As the weekly Fox News Sunday promo segment with anchor Chris Wallace began, Aly asked, “It seems as though the nuclear power argument was just gaining some momentum. I mean, after decades of it being a bad word, suddenly, people were revisiting it. How does this change that dialogue now?”** Confidently, Chris answered, “Oh, I got to think it’s a total game changer. And, you’re exactly right, Alisyn, because, obviously, Republicans have been pushing nuclear power for some time…[and] the President and Democrats were on board the idea of nuclear power as safe, green energy, no carbon, greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, we’re seeing now in Japan something a whole lot more dangerous than carbon emissions–radiation….Remember, after Three Mile Island, we had about a thirty-year moratorium on the building on any new nuclear power plants in this country….This could be another thirty-year hold.”

Not exactly pleased with his colleague Chris’s answer, Clayton contended, “Yeah, major concerns, of course, about, about the radiation poisoning there although we’ve been hearing reports this morning that, maybe, it’s been overblown. And, after all, it survived a 9.0 magnitude….So, here is a plant that survived not only a 9.0 earthquake, it’s a forty-year-old reactor….And, it survived a tsunami. And, at this point, only 160 people have been treated for radiation and only three have been sickened.” Finally, he concluded, “So, that’s a pretty good track record.”

Shaking his head, Chris countered, “I think you’re jumping the gun there, guys. I mean, first, of all, I wouldn’t say [that] it survived anything, given the fact that we’ve already had an explosion at one of the reactors. There’s the possibility of meltdowns at another one of the reactors. And, I think this is a still a very active situation: so, I wouldn’t say anything about a good track record at this point. I think the situation at two nuclear power plants and multiple reactors at both is very much in play.”

Recanting abruptly, a chastened Clayton answered, “Well, I’m saying that, and we had Jack Spencer on the show from the Heritage Foundation and a nuclear expert who [sic] those were his words this morning. Not to jump the gun and no concern. Certainly, not OUR words.”

Or, certainly, not ALY’s words.

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 03/12/11 (@ 9:58 a.m. ET)

**Fox & Friends Weekend – 03/13/11 (@ 8:14 a.m. ET)

T. J. Leaves AM–Early

March 11, 2011

So soon? This past Monday (March 7), interim American Morning co-anchor T. J. Holmes announced that he would only be “with @cnnam 4 [a] couple more weeks.” However, today (only four days later), co-anchor T. J. Holmes declared, “Signing off on @cnnam. Today is my last day with this show.” Early ejection?

From the very beginning–in fact, before he even began co-hosting AM–T. J. has been quite candid with his fans, i.e., that he was “anchoring ‘American Morning’ in NY 4 a yet-2-be-determined period” and that it would be “temporary.” Subsequently, he has reminded his ardent Twitter followers that he would be only an interim AM anchor. However, he did assure his acolytes Monday that he would continue in that capacity for a “couple more weeks.”

What changed from Monday until today? Could it have been his “kinder, gentler” Roberts moment Monday when he gently chided Kiran to “listen” as she typed while he spoke? Perhaps. However, it would be seem rather strange since he came across as a “Southern gentleman” unless the producers thought that Kiran’s independent image had been somehow compromised.

Regardless, T. J. is on his way as of today. In his place behind the AM desk with co-anchor Kiran Chetry will be Christine Romans next week according to Inside Cable News. And, as for T. J., apparently, he will return to anchor anew CNN Newsroom weekend.

T. J., great job on AM. You’ll be missed!

FOX Friel & CNN Hubby’s Tsunami Duel

March 11, 2011

F&F vs. AM: secret battle of the spouses! Cable news duo, FNC entertainment reporter Courtney Friel and her hubby CNN correspondent Carter Evans took off time from their Hawaiian vacation to report on the Japanese tsunami for their respective networks. As the waves approached Carter’s native Hawaii, the rival spouses vied for viewers as Courtney reported for Fox & Friends from Oahu and Carter likewise for American Morning.* While acquitting themselves well, neither spouse mentioned their “hated” connubial competitor by name.

*Fox & Friends (Courtney’s appearances) – 03/11/11 (6 o’clock hour link, supra; 7:53 a.m. ET; and 8:37 a.m. ET)

*American Morning (Carter’s appearances) – 03/11/11 (@ 7:30 a.m. ET & @ 8:28 a.m. ET)

Update: TVNewser‘s managing editor, Chris Ariens, echoes Carpe Diem’s story, supra–almost seven hours later. H/t? Nah. But, in his defense, it was the eighth of nine stories that he posted today and the weekend had already begun.

TJ: Kiran, You Wanna Listen to Me?

March 7, 2011

Holmes: a “gentler, kinder” Roberts. Today, almost six months ago to the day, American Morning co-host John Roberts infamously berated Kiran Chetry for typing (off-camera) during his interview of President Obama’s senior advisor David Axelrod. This morning, it appeared to be AM interim co-anchor T. J. Holmes’ time to rant.

Shortly, before mid-show, Kiran and T. J. started to take turns reading the headline news stories. After Kiran reported the first one, T.J. began to read the next one. As he did, a still on-camera Kiran started to type on her computer keyboard.* Almost immediately, T. J. stopped and looked over at Kiran: Tapping her on the arm repeatedly, he exclaimed, “Hey, hey! Wait! What are you doing?”

In an embarrassing moment of deja vu, Kiran’s eyes suddenly widened and she glanced back at T. J. uncertainly. Breaking into a broad grin, T. J. pointed to the camera and chuckled, “One, one is trying to tell your story here, Kiran.” As she sheepishly laughed, T.J. teased, ” You want to listen to me?” Kiran simply smiled and looked ahead.

AM‘s Southern gentleman: You did your momma proud today, T. J.

*American Morning - 03/07/11 (@ 7:20 a.m. ET)

Update: AM producers apparently took note, too: When asked today (March 10) “why no more laptops on [the AM] desk,” Kiran aptly answered, “[L]ooked messy they said.” At least, on two occasions, supra.


Briggs Back But Forgotten: Dave Who?

March 5, 2011

Oops! Poor Dave. After being away from F&FW for only one week, Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Dave Briggs found that his fame was all too fleeting today. To his chagrin and his colleagues’ amusement, a F&FW fan remembered all of the program regulars except Dave during a live weather segment.

Dave’s embarrassing episode occurred this morning shortly after he and his co-host Alisyn Camerota segued to meteorologist Rick Reichmuth for his weather forecast (third-hour-second-half). When Rick took the toss, he commented, “We’ve got some people out here. They were saying, ‘What is your outside segment today?’ And, I said, ‘You’re it.”* Laughing, a painfully prophetic Dave exclaimed, “Bummer, dude!”

Turning to the spokesperson of the group of fans, Rick queried, “And, you have coffee ever Saturday morning with us?” She answered, “I have coffee every morning with Clayton and with Alisyn and with you.” Perhaps, taking some umbrage at his omission from her list, an off-camera Dave coaxed, “And?” Not catching his cue, the fan continued, “And, with everybody else” (as the producers went to a split screen to include then include Dave and Aly).

Apparently, feeling a tad dissed, a wincing Dave shouted, “Ohhh!” before hiding his reddening visage behind a laughing Aly (who was leaning forward on the curvy couch). Subsequently, when Rick reminded the fan about Dave, Dave showed his face again and slapped his leg, declaring, “I got left out!” Meanwhile, co-anchor Clayton Morris, grinning from ear to ear, leaned into Dave and Aly’s shot and flashed the audience a big schadenfreude thumbs-up.

Realizing her gaffe, the F&FW fan apologized, saying, “I’m sorry. Sorry, Dave.” As Dave gaped in disbelief at his slight, Rick “charitably” asserted, “Dave, you’re the everybody else, man.” Following suit and feigning sympathy, Aly added, “You’re bigger than one person: you’re everybody.” Bowing his now humbled head, Dave humorously riposted, “I’m outta here. I’m walking off like Whoopi!”

Just make sure that you come back like Whoopi, Dave. Fox & Friends Weekend gold!

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 03/05/11 (@ 8:37 a.m. ET)

Megyn’s Baby Girl?

March 5, 2011

Kelly: “Little buddy” a “she.” Four months ago, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly announced to her America Live audience that she was pregnant with her second child. When doing so, she referred to her unborn baby as her “little buddy.” At the time, the author assumed that she may have let the gender of her little one in the oven slip by using a seemingly masculine sobriquet. However, yesterday Megyn appeared to signal just the opposite.

During her all-female Power Panel segment (with Women’s Campaign Form CEO Sam Bennett, Dem strategist Krystal Ball, and conservative columnist Andrea Tantaros), Megyn appeared to let the cat out of the bag. During a discussion about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz’s assertion that babies were going to turn into criminals if child-care cuts occurred, Megyn scoffed, “If sounds a little like fear-mongering like ‘If you make these cuts that Republicans are calling for, we’re going to have way more criminals. Those little kids right now, my little Yates (her seventeen-month-old son), criminal!” Subsequently, placing both of her hands over her belly, Megyn laughed, “Okay, and, this little baby here, unless she goes to Head Start.”

Speaking of “head start,” Megyn, it sounds as if you just gave your fans one in the baby-gender-guessing game.

*America Live – 03/04/11 (@  2:33 p.m. ET)

Shep: JD, “Don’t You Miss the Anchor Chair?”

March 3, 2011

Canned CNN American Morning co-anchor John Roberts got a rude reminder of his new status from Fox News’ Shepard Smith yesterday on Studio B. Doing his duty as FNC senior national correspondent, Roberts updated Studio B viewers on the Gulf Coast post-BP spill recovery in his buttery baritone “voice of God.”  Approvingly, Shep replied, “John Roberts, it’s great to see you, man”: Regrettably, he did not stop there.*

Segueing to the next story, Shep read, “Charlie Sheen.” Suddenly stopping, Shep looked over at Roberts (off-camera) with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Grinning mischievously, Shep queried, “Don’t you miss the anchor chair with Charlie Sheen around?” Comfortably or not, Roberts chuckled but said nothing. Unfortunately.

Shep had asked the very question that many Roberts fans want to know. To wit, does the erstwhile silver-maned alpha anchor of CNN miss his old show and wish that he had a new one? Or, is he happy in his new role for now as a brown-haired FNC beta boy simply delivering the news at whatever hour that his bosses dictate?

If not, maybe the old CNN dog needs to learn a few new FNC tricks.

Studio B with Shepard Smith – 03/02/11 (@ 3:42 p.m. ET)

Where’s T. J. Holmes?

March 1, 2011

Kiran: Don’t freak out. American Morning interim co-host T. J. Holmes has been gone from his interim post for two full days and his fans are beginning to notice. Even though T. J. did not announce his absence on the air, he did tersely Tweet that he was not going to be on AM this week. And, happily, his co-anchor Kiran Chetry, apparently, revealed why: I.e., he’s out celebrating with his woman.

In a February 18 interview with Mediaite.com about her unannounced absence from AM which caused a “little panic attack” (after a five-day vacation alone with her hubby, not a two-day one as mistakenly reported by the Mediaite.com columnist), Kiran was asked about her relationship with T. J. In answer, she declared, “He’s a newlywed. He’s celebrating his one-year wedding anniversary pretty soon. So, he gonna be away for a while.” Laughing, she added, “And, so, I hope everybody doesn’t freak out because he deserves to have his one-year anniversary as well.”

So, don’t worry, T. J. fans. Your Prince of West Memphis is with his new Princess. For now, his man, Ali “Shady” Velshi, will have to do.

[Author's aside: According to the Commercial Appeal, T. J. a/k/a Loutelious Holmes, Jr. and Marilee Fiebig obtained their marriage license in a post dated March 2. Earlier, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had reported that the two would “tie the knot in March in Memphis.]


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