Mediaite.com’s Christopher: Two Stories! Did American Morning‘s Valentine, co-host Kiran Chetry, make Mediaite columnist Tommy Christopher go weak in the knees–or, perhaps, mushy in the mind? During this month of Amor, Christopher has penned two articles on Kiran and her “unusually devoted fan base” (“who had a little panic attack” when she took an unannounced five-day vacation in the Dominican Republic barely a month after her former co-anchor John Roberts was axed on Christmas Eve). Even though Christopher got his conclusion right about Kiran, unfortunately, he got the facts wrong about her and her fans–twice.
In his first column (February 1), “Fans of CNN’s Kiran Chetry Rejoice! She Will Be Back on the Air Wednesday Morning (February 2),” Christopher rightly declared that the “real story…is [Kiran's] dedicated fans.” However, he erroneously elaborated that they were so worried about Kiran after her “two-day absence” from American Morning that they spiked traffic to a “four-month-old post” so high that it hit the number 5 position on Mediaite in a “very unusual occurrence.” [Underscoring added for emphasis.] In awe, Christopher marveled, “Such grassroots fandom is the stuff that superstars are made of.”
In his followup piece, entitled “CNN’s Kiran Chetry Talks American Morning, John Roberts, and Journalism with Mediaite,” Christopher interviewed Kiran about the reaction of her “unusually devoted fan base” to her absence. Perhaps, hedging on her time away, he began, “Your fans, you took a few days off and your fans”: Before he could finish, Chetry inexplicably and incorrectly interjected, “Two days!” Echoing her error, Christopher continued, “Two days and your fans got all worried about you. How did that make you feel?…I’ve never seen that before.” Kiran answered that “it was very flattering that people wondered where I was” and that part of the interest probably pertained to John Robert’s recent low-key departure from AM.
As Kiran seemed to suggest, her American Morning fans probably did wonder where she was and were concerned that she may have been canned like Roberts as she frolicked in the Dominican Republic with her hubby Chris Knowles. Also, undoubtedly, Christopher was correct that Kiran has “super-devoted fans” who may “have had a little panic attack when she took…off.” However, they did not have that “little panic attack” Tuesday after Kiran had been off for only the second day in a row as Christopher claimed: rather, they grew concerned after she had been gone for five straight days. (Apparently, Christopher, did not realize that Kiran had also been off the Friday beforehand.)
Nevertheless, Christopher can not necessarily be blamed for being a bit discombobulated by the allure of AM‘s Aphrodite. Others, including Kiran’s former AM co-anchor John Roberts (twice), her current interim co-host T. J. Holmes, and her guest Richard Simmons have swooned in her presence. In fact, even the author from afar.
[Author's aside: Kiran was off January 28-February 1. Kate Bouldan substituted for Kiran on January 28 (Friday); January 31 (Monday) and February 1 (Tuesday).]