Posts Tagged ‘Mediaite.com’

Carol Costello: I’m Just Whining on a “Friend”

September 10, 2012

CNN Newsroom anchor: “Strange ‘leg crossings’ on Fox’s early, early news.” No wonder FNC’s Fox & Friends First continues to bury its CNN counterpart Early Start in the ratings: Even CNN morning host Carol Costello is tuning in for Fox News’ early morning gamfest.

Today, Mediaite.com author Andrew Kirell reported a very candid Carol Facebook post this morning. To whit, Carol comically declared, “Good morning! Each morning we are amazed at the excellent posture and strange ‘leg crossings’ on Fox’s early, early news. I have tried to get my legs to do that…but, it hurts. What can I say, it’s a slow Monday!”*

Slow or no(t), Carol’s comment  was illuminating. She clearly has her eyes on the early morning juggernaut that is demolishing CNN’s Early Start by more than 2 to 1 in the demo and 3 to 1 in total viewers. And, she herself has tried to emulate the Fox News foxes–without success.

At least, Carol has tried. Perhaps, Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin will follow suit. CNN desperately needs a sexy new start to boost its early morning ratings, especially, now that its erstwhile AMray of lightKiran Chetry no longer ushers in the dawn.

[Author’s aside: Title, supra, play on the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend.”]

*The Fox & Friends First co-hosts Monday were Patti Ann Browne and Heather Childers.

AM Adopts F&F’s Couch (But, Shep’s Commode?)

May 17, 2011

The De-Klein and Fall of American Morning in one day? Today AM co-hosts Christine Romans and Ali Velshi and their audience celebrated the long-awaited arrival of their cozy “curvy couch” (a la FNC’s Fox & Friends). However, regrettably, along with it came a real Fox News seat–the unflushed porcelain throne of Shepard Smith–still filled with the Ole Miss devotee’s disgusting dung, i.e., the offensive seven-year old Trampoline Bear video.

As AM began today, the camera panned over the comfy couch that AM co-host Kiran Chetry had apparently teased almost three months ago to Mediaite.com reporter Tommy Christopher. For far too long, the AM audience had suffered under the inane adage of former CNN chief Jon Klein that “couches/chairs sap energy.” However, today, his successor Ken Jautz clearly took yet another shackle off of his AM co-hosts to free them to be “more upbeat,” “more compelling…engaging, [and] sometimes more fun.” I.e., to sit down and talk to their AM audience as personal friends and family rather than stand and chat with them as casual acquaintances and customers.

Unfortunately, Ali and Christine spoiled the delightful debut of AM‘s divan with a gratuitously thrice-aired video of ugly, ursine plight. After running a headline news story about a little brown bear near some Albuquerque, New Mexico, apartments (that had to be sedated and then lowered by ropes into a bag), Christine gleefully commented, “That gives us, of course, an excuse to resurrect this oldie but goodie.”

Chiming in (a la Shep de Sade), Ali exclaimed, “I, I never get tired of this one. This is Missoula, Montana, a similar situation.” As the Trampoline Bear vid ran showing the black bear falling from the tree onto the trampoline, being hurled high into the air, plunging into the hard earth, and then crumpling under its own weight, Christine chortled, “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!, and Ali cooed, “Ooh! Oww!”

Trying to assuage her horrified viewers, Christine hastily added, “He was fine! He was fine!” Then, as AM producers aired anew the repulsive footage, Ali baldly asserted, “I’d only show this to you again because he was fine.” Offering his personal color commentary as the bear took its crushing course into an unforgiving ground, Aly continued, “He bumps on the trampoline once and then [pause] off the trampoline.” Then, incredibly, the AM producers ran the video a third time for good–or, rather evil–measure.

About thirty minutes later, Christine and Aly cheerfully exhibited their Cyclopean couch to their viewers as they returned from break.** As the camera closed in on them, a blushing Christine chuckled and Aly announced, “We have our new couch!” Christine commented, “I like it.” Concurring, Ali replied, “I like this, too.”

So does the author. In fact, he suggested the couch about two and half years ago when Klein was in control. Bouquets, Jautz, for the welcome change.

But, brickbats, Ali and Christine, for adopting Shep’s used toilet. Flush his filth and clean CNN’s studio. And, apologize to your AM fans.

*American Morning – 05/16/11 (@ 7:10 a.m. ET)

**American Morning – 05/16/11 (@ 7:42 a.m. ET)

Clayton: My Wife in Bed

May 9, 2011

“Happy Mother’s Day. I love you, Hon!” Yesterday, Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Clayton Morris finally shared his wife, Natali Morris nee Del Conte, more fully with his fans. And, she did not seem to mind one whit. In fact, she seemed to revel in their rapt attention–not to mention, his full aegis–at last.

As Fox & Friends Weekend viewers may remember, Natali was rumored to be the gravid illicit lover of a married Clayton slightly over a year ago according to Mediaite.com. Almost four months later, the CNET TV news anchor (and whilom F&F tech guest) bore their love child: However, Clayton did not acknowledge Natali as his son’s mother even when he proudly heralded baby Miles Benjamin’s arrival with photos and video to the F&FW audience. Subsequently, Clayton wed Natali: Interestingly, he still refrained from mentioning her name on F&FW air even when he showed a photo album of their son which included photos of Natali to his viewers. Nevertheless, on Christmas Day 2010, Clayton began to rectify his omissions by calling Natali “my beloved wife Natali” when he showed a holiday photo of himself and his new family to F&FW fans.

On Mother’s Day, Clayton went one step further and literally embraced Natali as his new spouse on air in what appeared to be a made-for-TV moment. Seemingly, eager to receive this on-air imprimatur, Natali took the “Red Eye” to get to the FNC studio on time according to Clayton’s co-anchor Dave Briggs.* Furthermore, apparently, pumped producers thrice promoted the breakfast-in-bed block with preview shots of the sexy young mom and her adorable child together.

During the segment itself, Clayton served a chef-confected breakfast of soft-crab omelet and mom mimosa to Natali who was sitting in the bed and cradling their baby Miles. As Clayton did, he lovingly took their son into his arms and then kissed Natali on the top of her head, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day. I love you, Hon!” Turning to Clayton with a smile, Natali grabbed his waist and responded, “Thank you very much!”

As the segment ended, Clayton jested, “See, now, this gets me off the hook…from having to do anything else the rest of the day.” As his co-hosts Dave and Molly Line took his toss, they laughed at that notion. Looking down at Natali, Clayton comically queried, “Does it?”  Arching her eyebrows and shrugging her shoulders, a grinning Natali gamely proclaimed, “Sure!”

As the Virginia Slims ads said, “Natali, you’ve come a long way, baby!” Or, rather, was it Clayton?

Fox & Friends Weekend – 05/08/11 (@ 8:01 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.


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.]

“MIA” Kiran: “Two Days!”

February 24, 2011

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).]

Roberts: Going Rogue

January 3, 2011

From CNN’s “voice of God” to FNC’s “voice of Everyman”? Mediate.com reported today that CNN correspondent and recent American Morning co-anchor John Roberts is expected to jump ship to Fox News. Approximately, three weeks ago, CNN chief Ken Jautz stated that Roberts would be leaving AM and that CNN was “discussing an Atlanta-based reporting role for him.” However, exactly ten days ago, when Roberts bid AM adieu, he proclaimed that he was going to Atlanta (to be with his gravid fiancee, CNN Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips) but he did not confirm that he would be working at CNN.

In fact, in retrospect, Roberts seems to have deftly avoided making that assertion to his American Morning audience in his final appearance on the program on Christmas Day. As AM ended (and before it segued to CNN Newsroom), AM guest co-host Carol Costello announced, “The American Morning show has to bid John Roberts adieu because we will miss you. You’re going on to bigger and better things in Atlanta.”* Without elaborating on her comment, Roberts ambiguously answered, “Well, I’m going on to a lot of things in Atlanta.” Immediately thereafter, steering the conversation strictly to family (vis-a-vis work), he continued, “Yes, my sweetheart is going to have twins in March. And, I don’t think I’d be long for this world if I didn’t go down to Atlanta to join her for that blessed occasion.”

Subsequently, when Roberts tossed to his fiancee, Kyra Phillips, the CNN Newsroom anchor kept the subject of Roberts’ departure to Atlanta restricted to its implications for their family. Smiling, Phillips commented, “Carol, you know I can’t do this all on my own”: Carressing her babies’ bump, she added, “Let me tell you, these little guys are kicking right there. They’re like ‘Where’s Dad? Where’s Dad? We want him here!'” Staying on message, John interjected, “Dad is coming down to Atlanta to be with Kyra and our new family which will be arriving very soon.”

Seemingly, not quite satisfied with John’s farewell to the AM audience, Costello appeared to try to reassure the viewers herself. To Roberts, she remarked, “You’ll still be working for CNN as well [and will] be covering really big stories for us and doing special reports and really fascinating stuff like that.” Without committing himself, John simply stated, “I’m looking forward to being down there. But, this, this, this lady [Phillips] right here is the one that is, is the main focus.”

At least, as to Roberts’ CNN colloquy with Costello.

Update 1: According to the Huffington Post, FNC “officially announced” that Roberts would depart CNN to become an FNC senior national correspondent, citing FNC veep Michael Clemente who stated that FNC was “excited to welcome John to FOX News.”

Update 2: TVNewser reported that Roberts made the move to FNC because of Roberts’ regard for Roger Ailes as a “brilliant broadcaster and consummately loyal boss” and the opportunity to “play for a winning team.” [Keenly, TVNewser noted that “loyalty is a particularly sensitive issue for Roberts referring to Roberts’ recent axing from American Morning by new CNN chief Ken Jautz and to his being “passed over” by CBS in 2006 for Dan Rather’s CBS Evening News anchor seat in favor of Katie Couric.]

Clayton: Natali Who?

December 12, 2010

“My son [Miles Benjamin Morris] here.”* And, his mother by his side is, Mr. Morris? Sorry, Fox & Friends fans, still no introduction necessary, apparently. Interestingly, F&FW co-host Clayton Morris seems to be taking the Prince Charles tact when it comes to introducing his new wife Natali Morris nee Del Conte to his F&FW fans.

As the reader may remember, Mediaite.com reported in April that it had received a “tip” that married F&FW co-anchor Clayton and a certain guest, Natali Del Conte, were having an affair; that this same Natali was rumored to be pregnant with their love child; and that Clayton’s then wife [Sara Batterson] had filed for divorce. Since then, Clayton and Natali have both acknowledged the birth of their son Miles (July 27) and have subsequently married (October 20). However, in the author’s memory, Clayton has never disclosed on Fox & Friends that Natali Del Conti is his wife. (N.B. During a Clayton-diaper-changing segment shortly after Mile’s birth, co-host Dave Briggs appeared to begin Natali’s introduction to the F&FW audience for Clayton by crediting Natali by first name for sending in the video.) Today, when given a perfect opportunity to do so, Clayton avoided it.

During a segment entitled “Gadget Gift Guide: Clayton’s Top Tech Picks for Mom” with co-anchors Dave and Alisyn Camerota, Clayton touted MacBook Air with an app iLife that helps one generate photo-albums. Picking up one such album, Clayton commented, “I created this one of my son here.” Subsequently, pointing to the album named “Miles Benjamin Morris 2010″ (with a darling cover photo of Clayton’s son), Aly interjected, “Now, see, I want this but I want it with pictures of Miles because he’s the cutest baby in the world.” Proudly opening up the album for the viewers to enjoy, Clayton displayed three more photos (one of Miles alone and two others of him with his loving mom Natali). Oddly, of his beautiful new bride Natali, Clayton uttered nary a word.

At least, not yet.

*Fox & Friends – December 12, 2010 (@ 9:55 a.m. ET)

AM Amnesia: Kiran & John’s “Bad Dream”

September 21, 2010

Nothing happened between us: really! Today American Morning co-hosts Kiran Chetry and John Roberts treated their viewers as if they had been slipped an extra powerful “roofie” and could not recall not only last night but also almost the entire two full weeks earlier. Back together for the first time since the video of Roberts sniping at Chetry on camera truly went viral, both co-hosts acted as if John’s odd behavior had been merely a bad dream (a la Dallas). But, for the AM acolytes suffering from that “amorous amnesia,” Carpe Diem is happy to jog their memory.

As the author first reported almost two weeks ago (September 8), Roberts appeared to brusquely rebuke Chetry on air while he was doing an interview with David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior adviser. The very next day everything seemed to be reasonably civil between Roberts and Chetry but thereafter both of them did not appear together again on AM until today. In the meantime, the strange episode went viral as Mediaite‘s Steve Krakauer seized the story and it consequently reverberated throughout the media outlets, e.g., Huffington Post, Gawker, and, yes, even the staid TV Guide.

Giving the story even more prominence, Chetry’s former Fox News colleague Juliet Huddy added her two cents on Red Eye. When asked by host Greg Gutfeld about the incident, Huddy opined, “I knew Kiran; we used to work together; [and] I like Kiran a lot. She is a very energetic, hyper girl. She was probably either texting or something like that because she’s very hyper.”* Not wanting to appear malevolent, Juliet animatedly concluded, “And, I love her. I do love her.” Then taking a stab at Roberts, Huddy exclaimed, “I can’t believe he did that. Unprofessional!”

Perhaps, most notably, Chetry’s husband, Chris Knowles, weighed in on the matter. When a Twitter follower asked, “Did you catch JR snapping at your wife this morning?,” Knowles tersely responded, “Noticed and no comment.”

Carpe Diem noticed, too, but did comment. And, now, so have many of the other media watchers. Apparently, AM, like Chetry’s spouse, remains mulishly mute, too timorous to remember more.

*Red Eye – 09/17/10 (@3:18 a.m. ET)

Gretchen, Snooki, & the Senator

August 12, 2010

Carlson: “Man, I Got to Get You Some Glasses, Senator!” Less than two months ago, Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson respectfully interviewed Jersey Shore‘s Snooki, a/k/a Nicole Polizzi, on the curvy couch: specifically, she asked her about Senator John McCain’s unsolicited supportive Tweet against the tanning bed tax. Today, however, the former Miss America had a snarkier take on Snooki as to the 2008 GOP Presidential candidate’s latest flirtation with the pop culture queen.

During a first-hour headline news segment, Gretchen reported that Senator McCain had offered his opinion on Snooki’s recent (July 30) disorderly arrest.* Subsequently, F&F producers aired an audio clip from the Tim and Willy Show KLME in which McCain said, “Is Snooki too good looking to go to jail?…I’m kind of leaning towards Snooki being too good looking.” Immediately thereafter, Gretchen snarked, “Man, I got to get you some glasses, Senator!” When she did, her co-host Steve Doocy smiled and arched his eyes brows in surprise while her off-camera co-anchor Brian Kilmeade exclaimed, “Wow! Ow!” In response, she simply snorted in amusement and finished reading the Snooki story.

After that gratuitous slight, will Snooki return to Fox & Fiends’ curvy couch any time soon? On the weekday with Gretchen, probably not. However, on the weekend with Alisyn Camerota, another proud Jersey Shore Girl, it may well be a different matter altogether. N.B. Less than a month ago, Aly dubbed herself, “Snooki Camerota.”

*Fox & Friends – 08/12/10 (@6:37 a.m. ET)

Update: Mediaite.com’s Jocelyn Rousely weighs in on the strange “menage a trois” sans Gretchen.

Natali: Morris’ “Mamma Mia”

July 31, 2010

Clayton’s baby boy: Miles Benjamin Morris. As Fox & Friends Weekend began this morning, co-host Clayton Morris joyfully showed off photos of his newborn son and himself to his co-hosts, Alisyn Camerota and Dave Briggs, and to his F&FW audience. As he did, the now single Clayton expressed his elation at being a father but never showed a photo of the mother of his child nor even mentioned her. However, later, during the show, Dave let the cat out of the proverbial bag by naming her twice.

Of course, fans of Clayton have long had a good idea of the name of his presumed paramour. On April 12, Mediaite.com disclosed that it had received a tip that a married Clayton had a relationship with CNET anchor, Natali Del Conte and that she was rumored to be pregnant with their love child. (Further, the source indicated that Clayton’s wife Sara Batterson Morris had started divorce proceedings.) On June 20 (Father’s Day) on F&FW, Clayton revealed, “I’m going to be a new dad”: Only a day earlier, Natalie had Tweeted, “My mom and sister are throwing me the baby shower of the century today.”

However, recent tweets by Clayton, Natalie, and tech friend Ryan Block appeared to conclusively identity Clayton’s lady. On Monday (July 27), Clayton joyfully Tweeted, I’m better than ever. Had a son a today. Was at hospital all day. Trying to finally sleep now.” On Tuesday (July 28), Natalie Tweeted, “Excited to take my son home from the hospital today. That’s right, it’s a boy! Healthy and handsome!” Tellingly, the very next morning Wednesday, Clayton Tweeted, “I was supposed to be in today but just had my son. First night home from hospital.” Then, Thursday, in a now deleted Tweet, Ryan Block wrote, “Still catching up from Seattle, but belated congratulations to @natalidelconte and @claytonmorris on the arrival of Miles!”

If Clayton or Natali’s more casual followers were still unaware of their apparent love child, Dave Briggs appeared intent on spreading the word to them. In the final hour of F&FW, Dave and Aly seemingly surprised Clayton with footage of him changing Miles: Dave added that Miles’ mother Natali had sent in the video. If the viewer missed it the first time, Dave repeated her name. Perhaps, at the behest of Clayton, Dave began the introduction of Natali to his F&FW viewers.

Even though neither Clayton nor Natali have yet acknowledged that they have a child together publicly, to the author’s knowledge, it appears pellucidly clear that they do indeed share a son–and his name is Miles Benjamin Morris.

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.

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)

AM’s “Open Marriage”?

May 19, 2010

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

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

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

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


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