Posts Tagged ‘Ali Velshi’

Ali: “Miss You” Still, Kiran

June 27, 2012

Velshi (August 2011): “Miss @KiranChetryTV every morning.”  Today, CNN anchor Ali Velshi almost echoed those very words that he had shared with his former American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry‘s hubby Chris Knowles after Kiran left the show almost a year ago. And, in his sweet missive to Kiran, he said what many CNN morning viewers assuredly have been thinking lately, i.e., “Miss you.”

Earlier, Aly had received a Tweet from a former AM viewer yesterday, fondly reminiscing, “Those were the days I used to watch @cnn in the morning cc/ @AliVelshi @kiranchetrytv pic.twitter.com/6wkzOPSx. Somewhat awkwardly, Ali answered, “Ahh, memories of my old friend!” Not surprisingly, a “piqued” Kiran playfully interjected, “@AliVelshi hey who are you calling old mr??” Aptly apologetic, Ali responded, “Long time! I meant my ‘long time’ friend!’ Miss you.”

Indeed. If the paltry ratings of Early Start and Starting Point are any indication, so do many more of Kiran’s American Morning fans. Without doubt, TV cable news needs its “ray of light” again.

CNN A.M. Future: Miles O’Brien? [Updated Anew]

June 1, 2012

Zoraida: Miles…in these parts, you are a rock star! Yesterday, Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin greeted former American Morning anchor Miles O’Brien to the CNN a.m. like a returning hero. During a space segment with the whilom point man for NASA coverage, Zoraida reintroduced the once canned anchor of the low-rated American Morning to CNN’s early morning shrinking audience. Before his report (on the return to earth of the NASA-sponsored Space X Dragon), Zoraida gushed, “Miles, I got to tell you, in these parts, you are a rock star! Everybody absolutely loves you! Very excited to talk to you this morning.”*

The moment seemed surreal: Miles O’Brien, a “rock star”? Almost five years ago, he and his American Morning co-host Soledad O’Brien unceremoniously got the Klein boot because of low-ratings (in favor of John Roberts and Kiran Chetry). When John and Kiran could not right the AM ship nor their interim successors Christine Romans, Carol Costello, and Ali Velshi, CNN replaced AM with their even more ratings-challenged shows Early Start (with anchors Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida) and Starting Point (solo host Soledad): With ES and SP listing even lower than AM ever had, perhaps, Miles O’Brien “in these parts, is a rock star” and everybody does love him again.

So much so, that CNN brings Miles back to its early mornings?

*Early Start – 05/31/12 (@ 6:04 a.m. ET)

Update 1: Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent may have much more drastic measures planned for CNN’s a.m. than possibly adding Miles to the cast. After defending his prime-time line-up on the very day of Miles ES appearance, Kent admitted that “we have some other shows that probably need to be replaced.” If recent ratings are any indication, Early Start and Starting Point may well be among those very CNN shows.]

Update 2: According to the New York Daily News, veteran ABC reporter John Berman has now enlisted with CNN and will become an Early Start anchor. If Berman were to join the gals Ashleigh and Zoraida, he would add some much needed male perspective: But, if he teamed up with Miles instead (and the ladies exited), ES would become an all-boy’s club, perhaps, no more attractive than the current all-gal gala. Perhaps, on the bright side, Berman may simply serve as the last captain of CNN’s wee-hour Titanic and Kent will finally get a seaworthy ship.]

Rob Marciano: I’ve Got Butt Implants

May 17, 2012

“Can, can you tell?” On Hump Day, the boys were back in town in the CNN “A.M.” Yesterday, Early Start guest co-host Ali Velshi and meteorologist Rob Marciano brought in some much needed testosterone, albeit a low dose, to the usually “all girl” show. With co-anchor Ashleigh Banfield gone for the week, Ali sat in her place, perhaps, to test run a change in the dynamic of CNN’s moribund morning program.

In the second hour of Early Start Wednesday, news reader Christine Romans reported the story of a young man who had implanted magnets into his wrist to secure his iPod.* Segueing to Ali, Christine suggestively remarked, “Ali, what do you have implanted and where?” As ES co-host Zoraida Sambolin interjected, “Oh, my!,” Ali nonchalantly revealed, “I have a chip: I have one of those things like you put in a dog….I did it for a story. I’m a real company man.”

After an incredulous Zoraida felt the random canine chip in his right forearm, Ali segued to Rob, remarking, “Rob, no need to comment on my bodily [sic], you know, implants.” As Zoraida chuckled, Rob teased, “The company allowed you to do that story so that they can track you kinda like a dog that gets away.” Subsequently, he jauntily joked, “I’ve got butt implants”: Turning to offer the camera and his viewers a profile perspective, he laughed, “Can, can you tell?”

Happily not, Rob. But Early Start does need some “boy” implants. Or, at least, a few more testosterone shots.

*Early Start – 05/16/12 (@ 6:13 a.m. ET)

CNN’s Early Start: American Morning Again?

May 14, 2012

Alina Cho MT: WEIWEI”@AliVelshi…good AM.” Freudian slip? As Early Start began this morning guest co-host, a “wiredAli Velshi, Tweeted, “Nice to be back w/ my buddy, colleague & former office mate @AlinaChoCNN. Between her @ZoraidaCNN & @ChristineRomans, it’s a good morning.” In reply, Alina exclaimed, “WEIWEI” and MT’d Ali’s Tweet with the not so subtle change of “good morning” to “good AM.” Whether she was answering enthusiastically in French phonetically, or, less plausibly, simply could not contain herself, literally, her message was crystal clear: Alina was quite excited to be back again with her former American Morning colleagues, AM co-hosts Ali and Christine Romans.

As well, Alina–not to mention, CNN suits–should have been. Early Start was a marked improvement over its short and dismal past: E.g., Co-host Zoraida Sambolin simply came alive today and asserted herself charismatically with uncharacteristic aplomb. Perhaps, it was simply because the rather reserved Zoraida was no longer tethered to her regular co-host Ashleigh Banfield, who, according to Inside Cable News, lacks the requisite chemistry with Zoraida as a “hyper and over-caffeinated [anchor who leaves] no pause unmolested” in contradistinction to the more reserved Zoraida. Furthermore, it was a delight to see the facile, informed exchanges between Ali and Christine in clear contrast to the usual sycophancy of Ashleigh toward her “Mayor of the Morning” Christine.

Yes, American Morning under Ali and Christine and their erstwhile interim co-anchor Carol Costello was assuredly a morning CNN cellar dweller: But, at least, it was watchable (even eminently so, at least, until AM’s last permanent co-host, comely Kiran Chetry, bid her fans a final namaskaar). And, that is more than one can readily say about Early Start as it fatefully charters new ratings depths (even lower than AM ever descended in its ten-year history).

“Early Start”: American Morning again? CNN viewers can only hope.

CNN A.M.: Christine Back Already?

January 4, 2012

Early Start and Starting Point: “Vampire” Romans Reemerges. CNN may have put a silver bullet in their cellar-dwelling American Morning but former AM co-host Christine Romans did not seem to notice. Under cover of night, the biz beauty reemerged as headline news reader Tuesday on CNN’s partial replacement morning show Starting Point anchored by Soledad O’Brien. Today, Christine was promoted to the “magic wall” election expert: She appeared on both SP and Early Start (the even earlier CNN morning program co-anchored by Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin).

Eerie? Perhaps, not. CNN chief Ken Jautz may now realize that the old American Morning audience needs, at least, a somewhat suitable segue to the new morning shows. After all, AM viewers were not even alerted to the fact that American Morning was ending last Friday. This Monday, laic CNN morning viewers were likely quite surprised with the disappearance of AM and it’s co-hosts, Ali Velshi, Carol Costello, and Christine Romans.

Perchance, Jautz decided to ease that abrupt transition by bringing Christine back to the CNN early a.m. programs. Christine back? Apparently, at least, for the moment.

A.M. HangOVER: Auld Lang Syne?

December 30, 2011

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Today, American Morning ended its decade-long run without a peep to its peeps. No nod to its original anchor, “just a little sexy” Paula Zahn, its final permanent one, “Chetrylicious” Kiran Chetry, or its other less colorful ones. In fact, holiday guest co-hosts Alina Cho and Deborah Feyerich did not even offer AM‘s loyal viewers a final farewell.

In the final segment today, Alina and Deb were surrounded on the AM divan by CNN nameless faces. As the strains of Auld Lang Syne began to air, Deb declared, “And, before we leave, we want to show appreciation to all those who work behind the scenes here at American Morning. These are the folks who get up in the middle of night when everyone is sleeping to bring you this show, and they do it with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy.”

Chiming in animatedly, Alina asserted, “These are the people who work behind the scene tirelessly day and night to make us look good each and every day. And, we cannot thank you enough because we’re nothing without you guys.” She concluded, “Thank you very much. Happy New Year! We hope you have a great year.”

Subsequently, as the final credits began to run, ironically, producers struck up Auld Lang Syne again. No retrospectives of the show’s past co-hosts nor highlights of the program were shown at all. In fact, no mention was made that the show had ended to AM‘s audience who were not in the know.

What a surprise awaits the unwitting viewer next Monday (January 2). AM and its usual “temporary anchors” Ali Velshi, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello or their fill-ins will be nowhere to be found. Instead, two new CNN shows and their cohosts will be there: I.e., CNN newbies, Zoraida Sambolin and Ashleigh Banfield, will greet the viewers in the 5-7 a.m. ET hours, and AM veteran Soledad O’Brien will visit them anew from 7-9 a.m. ET.

Auld lang syne: forget about it? As AM ended today, unfortunately, CNN did not give its AM audience a chance to remember the good times past nor to bid adieu to their old friends today. Rather, CNN seemed to simply hope that their “hung-over” viewers would be happy to make entirely new morning acquaintances next year. In three short days.

AM: Ali (Velshi) Moves (On)

December 29, 2011

Ali: “My last morning was yesterday.” Today, American Morning‘s “temporary” co-host Ali Velshi left CNN’s moribund morning show–a day early without explanation, seemingly. Yesterday, he announced, “1 more day as your @CNN bookends: anchoring @cnnAM 609aET, then @OutFrontCNN 7/11pET.” When an apparent AM viewer queried, “[H]ow do you plan to mark the last ever @CNNAM tomorrow morning?,” Ali tersely replied, “My last morning was yesterday [Tuesday].

Such an abrupt departure by Ali should not be surprising to the AM audience. Since AM‘s last permanent anchor Kiran Chetry gave her fans a final namaskaar in late July, AM has had three “temporary” co-hosts, Ali, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello. Generally, if any of them were off, their absence was duly noted by the ones present. Lately, the co-anchors do not even do that anymore: In fact, today, guest co-hosts Alina Cho and Deborah Feyerick, seemed almost to forget Ali, Christine, or Carol altogether.

If CNN is not careful, AM‘s audience may forget–to tune in.

Christine: Ali’s Delicate!

December 18, 2011

Rob: “He’s a delicate challenge….I’ve known that for a while!” American Morning co-anchor Ali Velshi got a much deserved flaying Wednesday for his brief two-day return to the show last week. After jetting around the world for weeks for some fun and purportedly business, Ali came back to help helm AM Monday and Tuesday: Then, he was off for the rest of the week to the amusement of his co-hosts, Christine Romans and Carol Costello, and CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano.

As Rob’s 6:20 a.m. ET weather report came to an end, he tossed back to the two present AM co-hosts, Christine and Carol. Jesting, Rob sniped, “What! Does Ali come back for one [sic] day and then he flies the coop?” Shaking her head, a smiling Christine replied, “He’s delicate! He’s a delicate, what, he’s a delicate, you know, I mean.” Feeling in the blanks, Rob laughed, “He’s a delicate challenge. Yes, I’ve known that for a while!”

Looking down at her desk, arching her eyebrows, and nodding her head in agreement, a more reticent Carol chuckled, “I don’t even know how to respond to that.”

A fun AM moment. Rob, just what the AM doctor should have ordered? Too bad, CNN chief Ken Jautz never gave you a trial run with Kiran Chetry before he axed the show.

American Morning – 12/14/11 (@ 6:22 a.m. ET)


Carol: Ali Is Still Working Off the Turkey

November 29, 2011

Ali Velshi: I won’t be back “until December 12th! Lots of travel.” Where in the world is Ali? American Morning co-host Carol Costello knows but she was not telling this morning. As she introduced herself and co-host Christine Romans, she “explained” Ali’s absence, laughing, “Ali is still working off the turkey!”* For AM viewers who miss Ali and want to know where he is, Carol’s Thanksgiving joke may be wearing thin.

Fear not, Ali acolytes, your  “hairless prophet of doom” has not altogether abandoned you. When one Twitter follower asked, “When r u coming back???,” he responded, “Not until Dec 12th! Lots of travel.” Later, he explained that he was doing a “bit of vacation” but “mostly work.” Furthermore, he chronicled his travels to his native Kenya, CNN studios Abu Dhabi, his friend and former AM co-host Kiran Chetry‘s birthplace Kathmandu, etc.

Apparently, Ali has been enjoying some “r & r” as his American Morning co-anchor role ends next year and is now preparing for his new CNN International Asia “World News Today” co-host position which begins in January 2012. But, he will be back albeit briefly on “December 12th.” Mark your CNN calendars.

*American Morning – 11/30/11 (@6:01 a.m. ET)

Romans: AM “Files for Bankruptcy”

November 29, 2011

“Costello: “That was a Freudian slip.” So it seemed. Today, American Morning co-host Christine Romans teased an upcoming business segment, saying, “American Morning–uh, huh–American Airlines files for bankruptcy protection.”* Laughing,  co-anchor Carol Costello declared, “That was a Freudian slip.” In response, Christine howled knowingly.

As their CNN morning show nears its end in 2012, the two AM co-hosts seemed to scoff openly at the moribund state of their ratings-challenged show. Carol, who made the caustic observation, appeared to continue to be especially sensitive to the coming demise of AM. As the reader may recall, only three weeks ago, after Christine did another biz promo (for an investment story), Carol casually commented, “I want to retire very soon.”

When AM “files for bankruptcy” next year, perhaps, Carol shall get her her wish. As her AM co-anchors stay with CNN, her future seems less secure. While Christine continues her business reports and interviews at CNN and fellow co-host Ali Velshi assumes “new roles across CNN Worldwide” after AM ends in 2012, Carol, has lost her seemingly sole CNN role as “a contributor to American Morning.”

Perhaps, more than one lady’s slip was showing this morning.

American Morning – 11/29/11 (@ 8:21 a.m. ET)

Ali Remembers Carol–Finally

November 11, 2011

Ali “Oops”? Only three days after American Morning co-host Carol Costello said that she wanted to “retire very soon,” her AM co-anchor Ali Velshi seemed to send out signals that she might have already done so. As he started the first and second hours, he welcomed viewers, saying, “Christine [Romans] is off today. I’m Ali Velshi along with Alina Cho.” However, in the third and final hour, he remembered Carol and announced that she, too, was “off.”

Ali, a Rick Perry “oops” moment avoided–barely: And, you only had to remember two things! Be thankful you don’t have to give account to Christine later. Note well the unrelenting grief that she gave the poor Texas governor yesterday for his lapse of memory.

Saved by AM‘s attentive producer!

Carol Costello: “I Want to Retire Very Soon”

November 8, 2011

The wife of Ken Jautz’s “Odd Couple” out? Last Friday, CNN announced that American Morning was being replaced in 2012 with two new morning shows in its time slot. Furthermore, it revealed that CNN newbies Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin would co-host the 5-7 a.m. ET edition and that former AM co-host Soledad O’Brien would anchor the 7-9 a.m. ET one: Ergo, AM co-hosts Ali Velshi, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello were out as CNN’s early morning co-hosts.

However, CNN issued almost simultaneously a press release detailing Ali Velshi’s future (assuming “new roles across CNN Worldwide” as he started “signature segments on CNN/U.S. and anchor CNN International’s ‘World Business Today'”). As to Christine, she herself Tweeted, “Have no fear. You will still see my business reports and interviews.” Meanwhile, Carol stayed strangely silent.

Today, she seemed to break her silence today after a segment by Ali and Christine on personal finance hyping their new book, How to Speak Money. When the two tossed to her with a tease for their investment story tomorrow on “how to make your money work for you,” a subdued  Carol laughed, “Okay, I’m excited to hear that one–’cause I want to retire very soon.”* In response, Ali merely grinned as Christine chuckled animatedly.

As AM ends, for this Costello, the question may not “who’s on first“–but if she’s on at all.

*American Morning – 11/08/11 (@ 6:47 a.m. ET)

CNN’s New “A.M.”: Soledad O’Brien Back

November 3, 2011

Out with the old & in with the new? For the most part. CNN announced that it is replacing its flagging American Morning with two new two-hour show in a “new format of news and conversation in the morning” in 2012. Fresh CNN faces, Emmy-winning former TruTV anchor Ashleigh Banfield and current NBC5 News Today (Chicago) Weekday Edition co-host and Telemundo Chicago correspondent Zoraida Sambolin, will co-host the 5-7 a.m. ET edition: CNN veteran, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien returns to her former American Morning time slot in the subsequent 7-9 a.m. ET hours.

Perhaps, with a soupcon of a positive spin, Executive VP and Managing Editor of CNN Mark Whitaker proclaimed, “This is an exciting time to be relaunching our morning show, with the morning television audience more up for grabs than it has been in years.” As to the nature of the new programs, boss Executive VP of CN Ken Jautz opaquely declared, “We are planning to offer something original in the four-hour morning block to complement our direction in primetime.” More pellucidly, the CNN release explained that Banfield and Sambolin’s program would cover a “broad spectrum of the day’s news” and that O’Brien’s show would be a “new conversational ensemble program that explores top issues of the day opening the conversation to people of all walks of life.”

Not surprisingly, the three new hosts were quite effusive in their enthusiasm for their respective shows. Banfield said, “I’ve dreamed of joining CNN for more than 20 years. It’s the gold standard of news–the brand, the people, and the product.” Her co-host Sambolin added, “I am completely thrilled to be coming to CNN. Ashleigh is an accomplished journalist with an incredible wit and dynamic personality.” As to O’Brien herself, she declared, “I couldn’t be more eager to return to daily news, to bring conversation and context to CNN viewers in the morning. I welcome the opportunity to give voice to people who aren’t often heard and stories that are sometimes overlooked.”

Understandably, CNN did not discuss the future of American Morning “temporary” co-hosts, Ali Velshi, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello in its press release, supra. However, in a separate release issued today, CNN said that temporary AM co-host Ali Velshi  would be taking “new roles across CNN Worldwide” as he “launch[ed] signature segments on CNN/U.S. and anchor CNN International’s ‘World Business Today.'” However, CNN did not mention Christine Romans or Carol Costello in either. Nevertheless, when Romans was asked about her future, she Tweeted, “@HRHughesIII have no fear. You will still see my business reports and interviews. As to Costello, her plans may be less certain: her CNN bio simply lists her as “a contributor to American Morning.”

Three Divas on a Divan

September 26, 2011

“Tense” American Morning? AM co-anchor Christine Romans and guest co-host Alina Cho welcomed CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien to their angular divan Friday.* Catfight? No, but they did have a lovefest over a 2012 Olympic boxing hopeful segment entitled, “Latino in America: “In Her Corner.”

As AM fans watched the trio discuss five-time national champ Mexican American Marlen Esparza‘s quest to win a gold, they saw AM‘s past, present, and, possible future in front of their very eyes. First, as to the past, Soledad had co-hosted the show with Miles O’Brien until the duo was dumped in favor of Kiran Chetry and John Roberts. Second, now that John and Kiran themselves have departed, Christine temporarily co-anchors (alongside Ali Velshi and Carol Costello) and Alina occasionally fills in. Finally, as to the future, Soledad has been referred to as the imminent host of the second show in a new CNN “AM,” i.e., one that incorporates AM: Wake Up Call and the first hour of AM and another that consists of the last two hours of the current AM.

With the current iteration of American Morning seemingly toast and the new “AM” about to begin, CNN viewers can hope for a more flavorful fare in the morning. Since fan fave Kiran Chetry inexplicably left the show in late July, AM has stopped serving its rather spicy stew of salient stories in favor of a more insipid hash of prosaic presentations. Hopefully, a new chef, i.e., Soledad, can confect a tastier breakfast for future “AM” viewers.

AM viewers can only hope.

*American Morning – 09/23/11 (@ 8:51 a.m. ET)

American Morning Toast?

September 18, 2011

Kiran Chetry out & Soledad O’Brien back in–for good? CNN appears to have bared its future plans for American Morning two months ago: on the day after AM announced that Kiran was leaving the show, it brought Soledad O’Brien in to fill in for her. At the time, the author surmised that the substitution seemed to be a strange and sadistic slap at Kiran who had replaced Soledad herself almost four years earlier–perhaps, from the very AM insider who had told Page 6 that “Kiran [was] dumb as a rock.” In hindsight, it appears that CNN may also have been showing its cards.

According to TVNewser, American Morning may be ending it current incarnation and transmogrifying into two shows (a two-hour one from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET and another from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.). Furthermore, TVNewser reported that the former American Morning anchor Soledad was being considered to host the second show and that TruTV anchor Ashleigh Banfield has been mentioned for the first one. Apparently, CNN is hoping that a mix of its old blood and new blood can jumpstart its program that has lagged behind as of August not only juggernaut FNC’s Fox & Friends but also MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for five consecutive months.

Hopefully, the lovely ladies Soledad and Ashleigh can resurrect a moribund AM. Ever since the gorgeous, engaging Kiran Chetry left the show on July 29th on an awkward note, the show has gone from must-see HD to quick-scan low-def. Without her at the helm, AM‘s relatively plain and prosaic temporary co-hosts, Ali Velshi, Christine Romans, and Carol Costello, have gallantly tried to keep the listing ship afloat–to little avail.

Good luck, Soledad and Ashleigh!

Ali Velshi: [I] Miss Kiran Chetry Every Morning

August 30, 2011

Yesterday American Morning co-host Ali Velshi pined for Kiran Chetry, his  gorgeous, exotic former AM co-host. After her hubby, meteorologist Chris Knowles, appeared anew on A.M.: Wake-Up Call for a weather segment, Ali Tweeted, “@chrisknowlestv nice to see you on our air. Miss @KiranChetryTV every morning.” And who could blame him?

After Kiran tearfully left AM for a mysterious “very special opportunity” on July 29, he has co-hosted the program with Christine Romans and Carol Costello. For the cosmopolitan Kenyan-born Canadian, his two former Iowa farm girls may seem a mite too plain and prosaic in comparison–especially, if the lovely ladies’ recent dress and mien are any indication. On one hand, Christine, overly cloaked in her high-collared tops and school marm midis, appears determined to play the earnest advocate: On the other, Carol, too oft in her Kyra Phillips slacks and/or Mary Jane shoes, seems to strive to be the studied cynic.

Unfortunately for Ali, AM‘s Aphrodite has left the the Time Warner Center: And, the sexy Nepalese beauty has not been replaced. Only Kiran’s personally dubbed “resident fashionistaAlina Cho may have come somewhat close. But, alas, Ali was gone that day.

Missing Kiran, Ali? So do your American Morning viewers!

CNN Cuts “Warrior for Christ”

August 8, 2011

Shush, American SEAL hero widow! American Morning let Kimberly Vaughn’s offensive reference to Christ in a tribute to her husband get by their censors once but they had the politically correct sense to cut it a mere five minutes later. In a moment reminiscent of NBC’s “regrettable” omission of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of the U.S. Open two months ago, CNN cut  “warrior for Christ” from Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute to her hero husband (one of twenty-two Navy SEALS and eight other servicemen killed two days ago in a Chinook helicopter during a mission in Afghanistan).

When introducing a two-part report entitled “Deadliest Blow of the War” this morning, anchor Carol Costello commented, “One Navy SEAL widow wants the country to know [that] her husband was a hero.”* Immediately thereafter, a video aired of a tearful Kimberly Vaughn proudly proclaiming, “I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man, that he was a wonderful husband, and a fabulous father to two wonderful children. He was a warrior for Christ, and he was a warrior for our country. And, he wouldn’t want to leave this earth any other way than how he did.”

Subsequently, Carol went to CNN correspondent Barbara Starr who gave the latest details of the story. When Starr had finished her account, Carol’s co-anchor Ali Velshi segued to CNN correspondent Brian Todd, who was in Virginia Beach, Virginia (the “adopted home of the Navy SEAL Team”), asking, “What’s the mood around there?” In response, Todd declared, “What happened on Saturday is just now beginning to sink in, and it’s very, very tough to take.”

Then, Todd began his report with a snippet of Kimberly Vaughn sorrowfully recounting her mournful reaction of falling to her knees when informed of the death of her husband, Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn. Subsequently, as Todd intoned that Kimberly was now left to care for their two-month-old daughter soon-to-be two-year-old son, the video continued with Kimberly’s tribute aired only five minutes earlier. However, this time CNN censored the clip: Gone was Kimberly’s six-word remark, “He was a warrior for Christ.”**

Regrettable, CNN? Or, just “all the news that’s fit to air”?

*American Morning – 08/08/11 at 8:08 a.m. ET.

**Ibid at 8:13 a.m. ET.

Update: Video: CNN’s censored clip of Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute. Cf. CNN’s unedited transcript of it.

Update2: CNN’s online uncensored clip of Kimberly Vaughn’s tribute was posted today under the rubric “SEAL widow: ‘He was a warrior for Christ'” notably, without any apparent time stamp.

Breastfeeding Benefits: Sanjay’s “Bloody” Banner

August 3, 2011

Yuck: American Morning’s graphic graphics. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, AM co-hosts Christine Romans, Ali Velshi, and Carol Costello interviewed CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the benefits of breastfeeding this morning. Unfortunately, the CNN graphics department made it almost impossible for this AM viewer to concentrate on Sanjay’s sage advice. As the distinguished doctor explained the advantages of nursing to both mother and child, directly behind him was a pulsating bloody banner of his name and title (Sanja Gupta MD).

Reminding the author of a barbershop pole with its red, white, and blue colors, Sanjay’s graphic (atop a white background) had his name in black lettering to one side with his title in blue on the other separated by a bright red line. Fine and good. But, as Sanjay spoke, images of barbarous bloodletting were evoked as  splotches of bright red blood seemed to flow up and down the banner repeatedly throughout his segment.

Breastfeeding benefits: what “bloody” benefits, Sanjay?

American Morning – 08/04/11 (@ 8:52 a.m. ET)

Kyra Crashes Kiran’s Namaskaar

July 30, 2011

Kyra: “Alright, I’m gonna break it up here!” And, so she did. Yesterday American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry bid her audience a teary goodbye at the end of the show. Before segueing to CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips, Kiran announced, “I’m not gonna cry. But, I just want to tell you guys–as some of you know, today is gonna be my last day here at CNN. It’s gonna be my last day at America Morning.”

With her co-hosts Christine Romans and Ali Velshi seated beside her on the new divan, Kiran declared, “Before I leave, I just wanted to thank everyone, all of you out there for letting me into your living rooms each morning for the past nearly five years. I’ve enjoyed it.” Pointing to Aly and Christine, she continued, “I feel very lucky to have been able to work with wonderful, kind, dedicated people here at CNN.”

As she spoke, the camera briefly showed attentive AM staffers standing nearby: Reaching out to them literally, Kiran remarked, “Look at my buddies. Oh, can we take that shot again, please?” As the cameraman consequently panned back to include not only the staffers but also the floor crew, Kiran commented, “These people come in before midnight day after day after day. We work hard to get it right: But, through it all we have always found a way to laugh and enjoy our work.”

Then, addressing her AM audience again, Kiran tearfully concluded, “So, I’m terrible at goodbyes. I’m not going to say, ‘goodbye.’ I’m gonna say, ‘See you soon.'” Turning toward Christine and Ali, she said, “And, to both of you, it’s been a pleasure.” Then after kissing Christine and Ali au revoir, Kiran waved to the audience, saying, “Thanks, guys!”

Then, just as Kiran softly began to conclude her final namaskaar to her AM fans and then to toss to CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips, Kyra gauchely interrupted. Brassily, she declared, “Alright, I, I’m gonna break it up.” Gracefully, Kiran softly and simultaneously continued, “And, I promise to keep in touch. CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips starts now.”

True to her ill-timed promise, Kyra declared, “We’re gonna go back to that shot, Kiran, of Petey [AM floor director].”  As Kiran laughed uncomfortably at Kyra’s strange interruption, Kyra unabashedly continued, “Let’s go to Petey. Let’s get another shot of Petey there. ” Graciously, Kiran concurred, “Let’s go one more time.” Oddly fixated on this “Petey,” Kyra continued, “Yeah, because Petey will make us laugh. Petey is the one.”

As the cynosure of the camera changed from Kiran to Petey, Kyra continued, “There he is. Give us a shout-out. There we go.” Apparently, trying rightfully to regain the spotlight, Kiran commented, “Guess what, Kyra. Kyra, Petey said to me [that] he is going to learn to email just so that he can keep in touch with me. You know what an honor that is.”

Apparently, realizing her patent faux pas, Kyra penitently responded, “Oh, yes. Kiran, you know…that’s why I went there because Petey has added so much joy to…the morning for you guys. And, he’s made you laugh and been a big part of making those mornings special for you. So, there we go: we won’t to leave on a [sic] upbeat note. Then she added, “Best of luck to you, Kiran.”

Smiling sweetly, Kiran tersely responded, “Thank you.”

[Author’s aside: To paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel, “What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson, (er, ‘Mrs.’ Roberts)?” Comely Kiran has left and gone away. Hey, hey, hey, she barely got her say.]

Update: CNN vid entitled “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later: Kiran’s last day at AM.” N.B. CNN producers wisely cut Kyra’s “crash” of Kiran’s farewell.

Update2: YouTube uncut video of Kiran’s goodbye.

Poppy: “If Kiran Wants to Sell Her Wedding Ring”

July 28, 2011

Kiran: No, I don’t! I’m teasing, Honey! American Morning Kiran Chetry gave her hubby a sportive scare Wednesday. After appearing to have forgotten her wedding ring again Tuesday,* Kiran had her connubial bond conspicuously back on her ring finger yesterday. However, it was not on permanent display.

During an AM report entitled “What’s Your Gold Worth?” by CNNMoney.com host Poppy Harlow,” Kiran playfully reminded her hubby not to take her for granted. After Poppy had aired a clip of people getting their gold assayed (for Kiran and her co-hosts Christine Romans and Ali Velshi), she remarked, “If you are thinking about selling your gold now, we are an all-time high.” In response, an puckish Kiran took off her wedding ring and presented it to Poppy, saying, “Here you go!”

Clapping her hands in laughter, Poppy proclaimed, “That’s your wedding ring!” As Christine guffawed, “Kiran!,” a grinning Kiran exclaimed, “I’m kidding!”

Facetiously, Poppy proffered, “If Kiran wants to sell her wedding ring.” Before she could continue, Kiran interjected, “No, I don’t! I’m teasing, Honey.” Somewhat reassuringly, Poppy concurred, “But, she doesn’t Chris.”

Kiran: Keeping hubby honest!

*Kiran sans wedding ring [American Morning – 07/27/10 (@ 6:01)] and less than five minutes later with one (single band with larger rock) that appeared different than her own (two banded one – joined wedding and engagement rings) less than five minutes later. Comparative closeup (brief) – 6:47 a.m. ET.


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