Posts Tagged ‘Miss America’

Gretch Goes Go-Go: Decries Sexualized Culture?

October 11, 2013

Naked Carlson: “It’s the intl day of the girl today….1st time ever on cable news.” Today, Real Story anchor Gretchen Carlson gave her fans a queer case of cognitive dissonance. Before her show this afternoon, Gretchen teased, Tweeting, “It’s the intl day of the girl today. What do u think i will I [sic] do to honor the self esteem of our girls? 1st time ever on cable news.” Get nude with a “go-go girl?” Yes, she did! But, not necessarily the way that the reader might hope.

As the final block of her new show started [vid], Gretchen proudly proclaimed, “Well, welcome back, everyone! For the first time in cable news, here I am–make-up free, for a reason, as is my guest today. Sex sells!” Elaborating awkwardly, the former Miss America (1989) continued, “But, [as] to eight-year-old girls these days, it’s not easy to empower your tween daughter to become a confident young woman. Toy companies like Bratz giving dolls hourglass figures, sultry looks, and mini dresses: Abercrombie [& Fitch]  designing pushup bikinis for teens. Today, is international day of the girl: So, let’s look at positive role models in the fight to let girls be girls.”

In this segment entitled, “Empowering Girls in a Culture of Sexualization,” Gretchen and her guest Jodi Norgaard (CEO of Dream Big Toy Company) lauded each other for bravely baring, daring to go sans makeup on air. When Gretchen praised Norgaard for sticking up for girls on the national day of the girl, she asked, “What’s the message?” Norgaard answered, “The message is to support girls: We need to [get] girls to concentrate what’s on the inside and not what’s on the outside”: Touting the “Brave Girls Alliance” effort to ask media and retailers “to provide healthy messages and healthy images for girls,” she asserted, “It’s not about being angry. It’s about being equal. And, let’s stop sexualizing our young girls.”

Subsequently, when Gretchen asked Norgaard about her toy company that “focused on science, and technology, and good body image,” she declared, “When I designed the Go! Go! Sports Girls, it really hit home when I saw a doll and the name on the hang tag was Lovely Lola and…she…had a belly button ring and, uh, looked very–something I didn’t want my daughter to play with. So, it’s encouraging girls to use their bodies in a healthy way.” As she did, the camera zoomed on Norgaard’s doll box which was benignly emblazoned, “Soccer Girl Cassie‘s Story: Teamwork Is the Goal” Perhaps, more tellingly, above it was the rubric, “Go! Go! Sports Girls: Dream Big and Go for It!”

“Go! Go! Sports girls”? Go-go “[in the] buff” Gretch!

Fox & Friends’ Hasselbeck: The New View

September 17, 2013

Brian Kilmeade: “It’s time for a new day.” Yesterday, former View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck succeeded Gretchen Carlson as the new queen of the curvy couch. After being unceremoniously snubbed by Gretch Friday, Elisabeth returned the favor by not even alluding to her predecessor (even re the segments on the new Miss America winner): The return slight was made all the more conspicuous since Gretchen was excitedly celebrating her silver anniversary as Miss America. Perhaps, Elisabeth was simply letting the past be the past: After all, FNC had just created a new studio for the “high maintenance” lovely according to Judge Andrew Napolitano.*

The Survivor siren definitely has the potential to be a successful F&F co-host: She’s bright, tough, and beautiful–and she certainly has the requisite gorgeous gams to boot. Furthermore, she surely has the right mentality about the F&F family but she took the metaphor a mite too far in her tease preview vid when she deemed her co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade to be like “my brothers”: obviously, F&F uses sexual tension, real or feigned, between the boys and the gal to help propel ratings.

But, apparently, as Brian said in the opening to the latest F&F iteration Monday, “It’s time for a new day.” Hopefully, F&F can keep its natural feel and flow even with the new gal and the new set (that looks somewhat like the one at CNN’s New Day re the imposing window and gigantic couch, ironically). However, if it assumes a highbrow Upper East Side vibe, its more humble flyover fans may be less apt to follow as assiduously as they usually do.

Good luck, Elisabeth! And, welcome to the show!

[Author's aside: Elisabeth jokingly referred to herself as "high maintenance" when Judge Napolitano suggested that FNC had built a new F&F studio for the blond beauty.]

*Fox & Friends – 09/16/13 (@ 6:36 a.m. ET)

Gretch’s Strange Adjo: Snubs Hasselbeck

September 15, 2013

And takes a sly shot at Aly? Friday, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson bid her co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy adieu as she left the number one cable news morning program for her own soon to-be-announced afternoon show. In the penultimate segment of Gretchen’s final show, producers played a moving melange of some of her most memorable moments on F&F [vid(s) via J$P]: When the clips concluded, Gretchen thanked almost everyone (her co-anchors Brian and Steve, FNC meteorologist Maria Molina, hair-and-makeup, crew, producers, and even her alarm clocks)–but oddly she forgot about her fans or her successor Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

As to her fans, perhaps, Gretchen felt thanking them–seemingly at the cue of the teleprompter–at the start of the first and final hour of F&F for watching her for seven years seemed somewhat sufficient. However, Gretchen’s failure to even mention Elisabeth during the three hours appeared strange at best: Instead of acknowledging Elisabeth as the next queen of the curvy couch, Gretchen stayed focused on her own past on F&F; her future afternoon program on FNC; and her silver anniversary as Miss America. Perhaps, the most salient example of Gretchen’s omission occurred at the beginning of the second hour of F&F when Steve explained that the reason for all of the retrospection was that Friday was Gretchen’s last day and that Elisabeth would take over Monday: Instead of gracefully giving her seal of approval to Elisabeth, Gretchen simply smiled, nodded, and then pursed her lips.

As to the “sly shot at Aly” allusion, Gretchen opened the show, saying, “Today’s my last day….And, we’re gonna be looking at some things that…happened over the last seven years.” Raising her finger for emphasis, she smilingly added, “I do want to say however… that it’s somewhat of a good thing that I never once overslept….Three alarms set every night and somehow I always made it here.” As F&F fans may well remember, Gretchen’s premier fill-in co-host and fan fave Alisyn Camerota overslept this past summer and appeared approximately a half hour late for the show (and was sorely teased by Steve and Brian thereafter).

F&F interregnum weekend: Gretch is gone and Elisabeth is coming. May they both find success. And, hail to F&F‘s fair royal Aly who, at least, still rules F&F Weekend.

Gretchen Gets Punked: “Fun with Perverts”

September 17, 2012

Brian: “I think he was vacuous and drunk.” Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson got “punked” this morning by University of Texas at Austin student Max Rice, seemingly. In a segment ironically entitled “Boomerang Generation Votes,” Gretchen touted him as an unemployed college graduate who had moved in with his parents and portrayed him as an Obama voter who may have changed his mind on the President. Instead of hitting President Obama with this Boomerang voter, Gretchen herself got suckered instead by an apparent young wannabe comedian who styles himself as a gonzo journalist.

After Gretchen wished him a good morning, Rice animatedly answered, “Well, hello, Miss, Miss U.S.A.: It’s an honor!” Rolling her eyes at his misnomer, a slightly agitated Gretchen stammered, “Uh, Miss America [1989] but, but, but close enough.” Grinning, a goofy Rice replied, “Miss America! Miss Universe, in my book, in my book.” Smiling, Gretchen responded, “Oh, okay. Well, well thank you very much.”

Turning serious, Gretchen stated, “Now, tell me your story. You believed in the  “hope and change” of President Obama…so you voted for him….[T]ell me about the next three-and-a-half years.”

Grabbing his Starbucks coffee cup for an insouciant on-camera swig, Rice implausibly declared, “Oh, I was a huge Obama supporter in 2008. I met him in third grade. I met him when I was little.”

Arching her eyebrows, Gretchen asked, “Okay. And, why now are you supporting Mitt Romney?”

Shaking his head, Rice remarked, “Uh, why am I supporting Mitt Romney? It’s actually a funny story: I lost a basketball game to a friend of mine, Alex Dern, who’s a huge supporter of this show.”

Pursing her lips with apparent annoyance, Gretchen replied, “Okay, so it sounds like your not being very serious about this.”

Seeming to realize that his apparent gig was almost up, Rice quickly responded, “I’m also disappointed in the direction that Obama is taking this nation: But, yeah, I will be casting my ballot for Mitt Romney!”

Quizzically, Gretch queried, “And, is it true that you had to go back and live with your parents after you graduated from college?”

Cagily, Rice replied, “Oh, yeah. After I went to college for a bit, I had to absolutely go back and live with my parents this summer. I’m back on my own, independent. I’m on national TV….It’s an honor.”

Her skepticism renewed, Gretchen asked, “Okay. Well, are you being serious about this interview or not?” With a mischievous grin, he answered, “Yeah! I can’t see your face right now: this is so weird.” Smiling, Gretchen sweetly answered, “Alright, actually we’re going to wrap this up right now because I’m not so sure that you’re actually being totally serious about the interview.”

Reluctant to give up his proverbial “fifteen minutes of fame,” Rice demanded, “Oh, we are? I am. Wait, wait, wait, wait! Wait.” Chuckling, she responded, “I’m not so sure that you’re ready for prime time yet, with this interview.”

As a still hopeful Rice’s shot ended and before she teased the second hour, Gretchen charitably remarked, “Alright, we’re gonna give Max another chance, maybe, when he’s ready to do the interview.”

When Gretchen and her co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy returned from commercial break, Gretchen laughed, “Usually, Brian gets assigned those interviews….I remember the interviews that you’ve done with kids who didn’t have much to say: In this case, I got a big kid that didn’t have much to say in that last [block].” Sweetly, she added, “I feel sorry for this guy; I don’t know him; [and] maybe, he didn’t get much sleep last night.”

Acerbically, Brian remarked, “I think [that] he was vacuous and drunk, personally. He probably doesn’t have a lot to say on his best day! And, this was probably his worst day.”

Author’s aside: It F&F had vetted Max Rice a mite more, Brian, he does have a lot to say. And, to put it politely, some of it is not very nice. The 2010 Senior Class President at New Trier High School‘s graduation speech (1,2) and stand-up comedy routines (1,2) would have provided a clue. Not to mention, a simple perusal of younghotmeat‘s cruel YouTube video series “Fun with Perverts”  should have put an immediate kibosh on any thought of such an interview with Rice.

*Fox & Friends – 09/17/12 (@ 6:54 a.m. ET)

Update: Vid via TVNewser (within article by Alex Weprin).

[Author’s aside: Weprin gives Mediaite a “hat tip” in his main article for noting that Rice was “snarky.” But, he fails to give another to Carpe Diem in his later update for noting that Rice is a “wannabe” stand-up comedian [supra]. He nonchalantly claims, “After about three minutes of Googling, it looks at though Rice is a (wannabe?) stand up comedian.” Guess Weprin should Google before his writes a piece or just check “Carpe Diem” for the rest of the story.]

Update 2: According to the Washington Examiner, FNC Executive VP of Programming Bill Shine addressed Gretch’s punking, saying, “We are still examining the situation but it will be addressed with the appropriate parties involved.” In genteel terms, someone is going to the woodshed at best for that inexplicable blunder.

Update 3 (correction and addendum): As the author indicated, supra, Rice is no college graduate: However, he is no longer enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. Rather, he is now a matriculate at Columbia College in Chicago according to the Washington Post. Of his dubious brush with fame, Rice remarked, “Anyone can say what they want as long as they realize that [Fox & Friends is] a sham and it’s wrong….I’ve always hated Fox & Friends.” H/t J$P (and Chicago Sun-Times).

Shannon Bream: Liberty Belle & Trump Beauty?

September 16, 2012

America’s News Headquarters anchor Shannon Bream: no small fry! The beautiful blond legal eagle that graduated from Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell’s Liberty College oft appears too demure, too modest, and too soft-spoken for FNC’s foxy fold of sassy, sexy, and brassy news babes. Her Fox News fans would not be shocked that the Florida native, who had interned in college on the Hill for Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL), subsequently got her J.D. cum laude at Florida State University, became a corporate lawyer, and got the journalist bug that eventually led her to Fox News (a la FNC colleague Megyn Kelly). But, they might be quite surprised that their “conservative” cutie, the former Miss Shannon DePuy, in the interim, was furthermore not only a 1991 Top 10 Miss America finalist (Miss Virginia) but also a 1995 Top 12 Miss USA semi-finalist (Miss Florida).

Yes, the Southern belle has the brains to cover the Supreme Court beat. But, she also has the looks to sashay on the catwalk with the best of them–be they Bert Parks’ classic beauties (1991 Miss America Top 10 vid) or Donald Trump‘s chic chicks (Top 12 and swimsuit vids).

Bream: served to order!

H/t: Glamour (and TVNewser).

Gretch Stretch: Ouch!

July 10, 2012

“In case you’re wondering….” Without any explanation to her audience, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson began her day on the curvy couch this morning with her left arm taped from wrist to elbow. However, fans of the former Miss America need not worry: their Swedish beauty is one tough broad. To her concerned Twitter followers, Gretch Tweeted, “In case you’re wondering about the tape on my arm … my arm is fine … bad tennis elbow… tape trying to stretch muscle. thanks!”

F&F: Gretchen Carlson Forgotten?

June 27, 2012

“I’m Alisyn Camerota.” Three times, Fox & Friends guest co-host Alisyn Camerota so introduced herself this morning to her audience–without a word of regular co-anchor Gretchen Carlson.* Simply an oversight? Perhaps, but Gretchen’s absences seem to occur more and more often lately: in fact, she has not graced the curvy couch in approximately two weeks with little apparent concern from her co-anchors Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.

However, yesterday, F&F guest co-host Anna Kooiman did repeatedly say that she was in for Gretchen. Even though Aly uttered nary a peep about the former Miss America today, perchance, Anna will do so again tomorrow (when she “subs” again). If so, perhaps, Anna’s assertion may help tamp down any rumor that all may not be well with Gretchen’s reign on the curvy couch.

Gretchen: forgotten today. Her tomorrow?

*Fox & Friends – 06/27/12 (@ 6:00 a.m. ET; 7:00 a.m. ET; and 7:59 a.m. ET)

Carlson: I’m a Cougar!

January 20, 2012

“I just don’t act on it.” Rwwr! This morning, Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson made no bones about her attraction for much younger guys after a F&F headline news story about a Utah high school that decided against choosing the “cougar [the cat] as a mascot because it [didn't] want to offend another kind of cougar.”* In fact, she was “outraged.”

During the F&F mid-show headline news segment this morning, Gretchen’s co-host Brian Kilmeade read the ditched-cougar-mascot account and producers aired an accompanying Cougar Town clip of a flashing Courtney Cox. As he explained, “If you watch Cougar Town, you know Courtney Cox plays an older woman who dates younger men, Gretchen whooped, “Alright!” When Brian elaborated that some parents and school board members were consequently for another mascot, the bawdy former Miss America exclaimed, “Oh, come on! Come on! That is so ridiculous! And, I can say so with authority!”

Amused, Brian asked, “So you are outraged?” Lifting her right eyebrow suggestively, Gretchen cooed, “I’m a cougar!” Pruriently prodding her on, Brian continued, “You’re a cougar?” Shrugging her shoulder and smiling coyly, Gretchen insisted, “I mean I don’t act on it but I’m a cougar.”

Tweaking a randy Gretchen, Brian jested, “Right, I know: Casey’s 29. This is something brand new.” While chuckling at Brian’s playful but, perhaps, untimely reminder of her middle-aged hubby Casey Close, Gretchen protested, “I just mean in age alone–not that I’m gonna act on it.”

Crouching cougar: Hidden Carlson?

*Fox & Friends – 01/20/12 (@ 7:36 a.m. ET)

[Author's aside: For related Carpe Diem articles, cf. Gretchen: Cougar 2 Pussycat, "Cougar" Carlson: "I'm in the Mood," "Cougar" Carlson: Saved by the Bell, and Gretch: Rub My Toes, Peter Doocy.]

F&F Holiday: Gretch Away

December 23, 2011

Christmas cheer: Aly & Juliet appear. Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson took off early for her holiday vacation. But, true-blue fill-in co-anchors, Alisyn Camerota and Juliet Huddy, more than took up the slack this Thursday and Friday, respectively. Unlike the former Miss America who demands the attention of her co-anchors, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, and the F&F fans, these FNC reigning beauties more than earned it.

What a delight: Aly and Juliet were as usual–smart, sexy, and scintillating.  But, for the author who still can not quite grasp how Gretchen gained E.D. Hill‘s long-held throne over her seemingly more socially adept, less solipsist rivals, Aly and Juliet (not to mention former FNC rising star, Kiran Chetry), their appearances were a bit bittersweet. And, if Brian and Steve’s less contrived conversations and more relaxed demeanor were any indication, they appeared to concur–happy for the moment for the “new” spirits and their Christmas cheer.

F&F holidays: Skal!

Gretchen: Let’s Not Go There!

October 28, 2011

Brian: “Dumbing it down for us.” Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson still seems to be smarting from Jon Stewart’s left-handed compliment almost two years ago. After an FNC correspondent compared the EU’s resolution of the Greek debt crisis to putting a three-year-old to bed this morning, F&F co-anchor Brian Kilmeade jested, “Right. Obviously, there’s a big push from people on the couch and away from the couch to down it down for us.”*

Apparently, still remembering the slight from the Comedy Central comedian that the Standford grad who won Miss America in 1989 as a classical violinist was playing the part of Chrissy Snow on F&F, Gretchen guffawed. Looking down and adjusting her hem, Gretchen groused, “Let’s not go there!” Beaming, Brian answered, “Yeah!”

But, we must.

*Fox & Friends – 10/28/11 (@ 6:08 a.m. ET)

Dad: Anoka’s Gretch Carlson “Excellent at Boys”

September 25, 2011

Missing Hall of Famers? Garrison Keillor declined & Michele Bachmann snubbed. Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson may have been a bit abashed as she was was inducted into the Hall of Fame at her high school alma mater on September 8. Not only did the renowned raconteur Garrison Keillor decline the very same honor but her “favorite babysitter,” GOP Prez candidate and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, was not even nominated for it. To boot, her dear dad zinged her with zest about being “excellent at boys” during her time at Anoka High School.

When Gretchen returned to F&F four days later, she proudly previewed a snippet of her parents introducing her at her high school’s “first ever Hall of Fame induction ceremony.”* As the footage began, her dad proudly proclaimed, “While at Anoka High, she was valedictorian, homecoming attending: then, looking up over his reading glasses with an arched eyebrow, he jauntily jibed, “and excellent at boys and socializing.”  (Of course, her doting dad also included her being Miss T.E.E.N. Minnesota and Miss Teen Nationals runner-up and alluded to her being 1989 Miss America.)

After that vid clip ran (and a subsequent one of her hugging her parents), a tearful Gretchen profusely praised both her mom and dad and thanked her community and family. However, she failed to mention the declination of the award by Keillor (who self-deprecatingly said that he “wasn’t anything in high school” but was rather “a quiet, mediocre student with no plans”) nor the obvious omission of Bachmann to be named for the honor itself or in the preliminary nominations. As to her father’s ribbing about being “excellent at boys,” Gretchen said nary a word.

In Gretchen’s defense, she did address, at least, Bachman’s exclusion from Anoka High’s Hall of Fame with her home state’s largest newspaper. According to the Star Tribune, Gretchen said, “My favorite baby sitter….I feel completely disheartened that she’s not part of this”: she added, “In the committee’s defense, in growing up in a small town, I know this happens. It was a grass-roots effort, from the heart. This is just so unfortunate.”

Even though Gretchen’s viewers may not solicit an explanation for Keillor’s skipping out on the Hall of Fame. With little doubt, they may want to know more about her your dad’s “excellent at boys” barb. If they do, they may want to heed the advice of the eponymous host of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” as to cable news customers who do not get FBN: I.e., “Demand it!”

A belated congratulations, Gretchen!

*Fox & Friends – 09/12/11 (@ 8:32 a.m. ET)

Gretchen Carlson: “Basel, Basil, Whoever He Is”

September 14, 2011

Basel a man? Oops! More fodder for Jon Stewart’s Gretchen Carlson “dumbing [herself] down” segment? Perhaps, the former Miss America, Stanford cum laude alum, and, yes, classical violinist (vid), is not dumb but she certainly did not adequately prepare this morning for a business segment. But, co-anchor Steve Doocy and FBN Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino seemed to wish that she had.

During an F&F segment prosaically entitled “Politics or Good Policy? Frank Pushes to Reform the Fed Voting Rights,” Steve quoted JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s attack on Basel III banking capital rules as being “anti-American.” Afterwards, Steve explained, “What the Basel is saying is that you [banks] have to up the amount of cash in the kitty.” Concurring, biz whiz Gasparino elaborated, “There is a global regulation known as the Basel Accord: This is Basel III. And, they’re saying you need to basically up the amount of cash, the amount of capital on hand for a bank.” Subsequently, Gretchen weighed in–much to her chagrin.

Almost dismissively, a prolix Gretchen opined, “Right. But, the big story here–because most Americans don’t study Basel, Basil, whoever he is on a daily basis–the big story is that this leader of JPMorgan, one of the most esteemed banks in the world, has paid many visits to this White House and appeared to be a supporter of this President and for him to come out with this kind of anti-regulation argument is very substantial.” [Underscored and italicized for emphasis.] In response, both Steve and Gasparino gulped in apparent astonishment. As they tried to remain stone-faced, Steve could not quite suppress a slight smile nor Gasparino a subtle smirk.

As Gretchen should have well known, Basel is not a he. Rather, it is Switzerland’s third largest city. More to the point, it is the home of the Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision which developed those very “comprehensive set of reforms” known as Basel III.

No, Basel is not an herb either.

Related Carpe Diem stories include “No, I’m Not Dumbing Myself Down!” (December 14, 2009); “Gretch: Sorry, I Actually Was Valedictorian” (July 1, 2010); and “Gretchen Carlson’s ‘Release’” (December 2, 2010).

Geraldo’s F&F Gaffe: “Steve, E.D., and Brian”

August 12, 2011

Indignant Gretchen: “Geraldo, Gretchen’s been doing this show for about five years. Not E.D [Hill]!” Twice this morning FNC anchor Geraldo Rivera called Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson “E.D.” And, Gretchen was not amused–at being confused with her older, immediate predecessor, i.e., the blond brassy Texas beauty, E.D. Hill (whom the 1989 Miss America unceremoniously replaced as FNC celebrated its tenth anniversary).

When Geraldo concluded his weekly Geraldo at Large promo segment today at a ceremony honoring the returning troops from Afghanistan at Fort Campbell, KY, he somberly noted the year of loss to them and the consequent questions of whether the sacrifices were worth it. As he did, he mistakenly said, “Steve, E.D., and Brian.”* Then, as he began the further question of the troops families, i.e., “Where do we go from here?,” the apparent cackle of Gretchen could be heard. When Geraldo concluded a few moments later, he remarked, “These are very, very important issues, Steve, E.D., and Brian.”

Without so much as acknowledging those “very, very important issues,” Gretchen insouciantly exclaimed, “Geraldo, Gretchen’s been doing this show for about five years: not E.D!” Looking perplexed at her solipsistic response, Geraldo stammered, “What, what’s that about five years?” Laughing heartily, Gretchen waved her hand dismissively and answered, “”It’s okay. I’ll tell you when I see you next week.”

Ending the segment with a sigh, Steve said, “Alright, Geraldo Rivera live at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with General Campbell.” Chuckling, guest co-host Clayton Morris commented, “You’re going to receive a nice fruit basket in your office very soon. I’m sure of that.” Gretchen responded, “I am?” Clayton replied, “Yeah, I’m sure.”

As Gretchen took apparent umbrage at Geraldo’s gaffe, ironically, she made her own. I.e., she forgot the returning troops, their fallen comrades, and their respective families at Fort Campbell. Maybe, a few more fruit baskets should be in order. Posthaste.

*Fox & Friends - 08/12/11 (@ 8:32 a.m. ET)

Update: Video of Geraldo’s second (segue) gaffe. (Courtesy of J$P.)

Gretchen Carlson’s “Release”

December 2, 2010

Don’t email me and tell me I’m ditsy! Okay?” And, “No,  [John Stewart], I’m not dumbing myself down!,” she seemed to assert again. Today Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson yet appeared intent on proving Comedy Central’s Daily Show host Jon Stewart wrong: I.e., no, the 1989 Miss America, who is a Stanford alum, is not “dumbing herself down” for her Fox News audience, e.g., by claiming not to know what “ignoramus,” “double dip recession,” or “czar” meant. Today, Gretchen added “release” to that list.

After a story on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s failed promise to provide a ladies’ restroom nearer the House of Representatives floor, Gretchen commented, “So the bathroom’s fifty yards away. And, coming into the next Congress there will be seventy-one female members who also have to be sprinters if they would like to go and release themselves while they get back for a vote.”* Laughing at Gretchen’s possibly Freudian malapropism, co-anchor Brian Kilmeade questioned, “Release themselves? Relieve!”

Concurring quickly with Brian’s correction, Gretchen remarked, “Relieved! Whatever that word is. Sorry.” As she began to segue into the next story about new putative Speaker John Boehner’s plan to fulfill Pelosi’s promise, Gretchen abruptly stopped. Admonishing her audience aforehand, she exclaimed, “Don’t e-mail me and tell me I’m ditsy, okay?”

*Fox & Friends – 12/02/10 (@ 7:09 a.m. ET)

Gretchen: “Not Me. Not the Young Part!”

November 30, 2010

Glamorous and super rich: Two out of three ain’t bad. This morning Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson appeared to proudly proclaim that she was not ready to cede her 1989 Miss America crown to those “komely” Kardashian kids. At least, not yet.

During a preview of an upcoming segment with the sexy sisters, Kim, Kloe, and Kourtney, co-anchor Brian Kilmeade waggishly intoned, “They’re young, they’re glamorous, and they’re super rich! Am I talking about Gretchen Carlson? No. I’m talking about the Kardashian sisters.”

Rather regally, Ms. Casey Close chuckled, “Not me, not the young part!” Something better left unsaid. Perhaps, Gretchen has forgotten E.D. Hill, her F&F predecessor.

*Fox & Friends – 11/30/10 (@7:19 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.

Gretchen Fetchin’ Mr. WRight

July 13, 2010

Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson lived up to her high school moniker, Fetchin’ Gretchen, today. Swathed in her short, sleeveless, scoop-necked teal dress this morning, the former Miss America cast her carnal cantrip. And, FNC correspondent (and former F&F Weekend co-anchor) Kelly Wright fell victim willing to her sensual spell.

During an F&F segment on Senate Wall Street reform legislation, Gretchen introduced Kelly’s report, saying “Kelly Wright joins us from Washington with more on that. Three Republicans have decided to go with the Democrats. Right, Kelly?”* Not ready to fully respond to her query before paying her his tribute, he tersely answered, “Yeah, Gretchen, you’re right.” Then, as if kneeling before his Reubenesque Venus in adoration, he stammered, “And, Gretchen, really, I’ve got to take note right now. You look very nice this morning. Very nice.”

Basking in Kelly’s praise (while co-anchor Steve Doocy laughed in the background), Gretchen responded, “Well, well, thank you very much.” A somewhat flushed Kelly replied, “You’re welcome.” As an embarrassed Kelly tried to begin his story, a grinning and brazen Gretchen continued, “I appreciate that. Compliments are few and far between so thank you.” Kelly nervously laughed and simply replied, “All right.”

Subsequently, Kelly gave his report and sequed back to Gretchen and her co-hosts Steve and Brian Kilmeade. Having not completely collected himself, Kelly remarked, “And, Gretchen, I send it back to you. And, Steve and Bryant [sic], you guys look nice as well.” As Gretchen smiled knowingly, Steve chuckled, and Brian deadpanned, “Alright. Thank you very much.”

Gretchen finds Mr. WRight–wanting.

*Fox & Friends – 07/13/10 (@6:32 a.m. ET)

Gretch: Sorry, I Actually Was Valedictorian!

July 1, 2010

Trust me. Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson is a blond former Miss America but she is not “dumbing [herself] down” as Jon Stewart suspects. In fact, as she seems to insist, the classical violinist and Stanford alum is smart–really.

After a F&F viewer mail segment today on a school that had thirty valedictorians, Gretchen proudly proclaimed, “Well, speaking personally, I, I was valedictorian, and I have to tell you that there were others at my school who also were. I graduated with over nine hundred kids: we all earned it. I forget if there were five or six of us but it is a huge honor.” Shaking her head earnestly, she concluded, “So, I think that they should not, you know, make it not as big of a deal because it’s something that you work really, really, really hard to attain.”

Seeming to sense that Gretch was waxing too melodramatic, co-host Brian Kilmeade waggishly remarked, “I would have been if there were 220 people less in my class.” Laughing uproariously, co-anchor Steve Doocy joked, “So you had 221 kids in your class? Smiling, Brian deadpanned, “Sometimes, luck doesn’t break your way.”

Still quite serious, Gretchen interjected, “Trust me. You have no idea how many times I have liked to pull that one out of my back pocket.” Amused, Brian asked, “Why?” Gretchen somberly responded, “Because having blond hair and being a woman, it’s easy to be under attack. And, it’s very nice to be able to say, ‘Sorry, I actually was valedictorian.”

No matter what they might say.

“Conservative” Carlson: Pro-choice?

June 3, 2010

Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson is Bill O’Reilly’s “Culture Warrior.” But, is she really FNC’s social conservative? Six days ago on the O’Reilly Factor, the 1989 Miss America, Presbyterian (PCUS) Sunday school teacher, and granddaughter of a prominent long-time Evangelical Lutheran pastor refused to divulge her abortion view (even though she revealed that she did believe that same-relations were “morally acceptable” and opined on other issues such as adultery, out-of-wedlock children, and the death penalty). However, today she seemed to flash her “Souter” slip to her F&F viewers.

This morning, when Gretchen introduced a headline news story entitled, “Speaker’s Religious Rant,” she exclaimed, “Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, did you hear her religious rant recently? She said the word ‘Word’ about thirty times in fifteen seconds.”* After the May 6 clip of Pelosi ran, co-anchor Brian Kilmeade jested, “Do we have a bell for the ‘Word’? I thought ‘Grease’ was the word up until now.” After Gretchen bowled over in laughter, her smiling co-host and a proud Catholic, Steve Doocy turned serious. “But, what’s extraordinary about that…it’s great that she feels comfortable talking about her religiousness in public. But…if she’s saying that the ‘Word’ should influence public policy and they should follow the Gospel, well, why is she for abortion? News flash: The Bible does not like abortion.”

Somewhat surprisingly, Gretchen decided to qualify Steve’s assertion: she declared, “At least, Catholicism does not.” Steve replied, “The Bible’s talking about, I’d like to see where it says, the Bible does not like abortion.” Changing the topic, Gretch answered, “But, the more important thing to me in this whole discussion is that this signals that people on the far left can’t say the word “God.” You see, she had to say the “Word,” she was just sort of stumbling like “Word, Word, Word, Word. Why? Because people on the far left don’t want to say the word ‘God’ anymore. It’s a bad word! It’s a bad word out there. That’s what I got from that little rant.” “Hmm,” responded Steve succintly.

Since Gretchen seemed to skirt the issue last week on O’Reilly but appeared to address it more today, the author checked the current teachings of her church‘s denomination for some possible illumination. They are certainly well within the “mainstream denominations” vis-a-vis evangelical ones: According to the PCUS 2003 amended “Statement on Post-Viability and Late-Term Abortion,” abortion after viability should occur only “in the rarest of circumstances” e.g., to save a mother’s life, preserve her health (when seriously at risk), or in case of rape or incest. N.B. Like many church members, Gretchen may not subscribe to the teachings of her church or denomination, esp., in this controversial issue, but they may suggest her general inclinations.

Perhaps, Gretchen is wading into the abortion debate. Whether she reveals her position fully is her choice. Until then, her audience may now have an educated guess.

*Fox & Friends - 06/03/10 (@7:10 a.m. ET)

Gretchen Pounces: Miss America vs. Miss USA

May 11, 2010

Fox & Friends beauty queen catfight? Rwwr! The 2010 Miss USA provocative promo pics really got under the skin of F&F co-anchor Gretchen Carlson this morning. Ironically, almost a year ago to the day (May 13, 2009), the former Miss America (1989) was likewise taking umbrage at Donald Trump’s edgy upstart which had the temerity to eclipse the one that made her queen. Nevertheless, not only did she rail against the racy lingerie photos at the beginning of F&F but she also pounced ferociously on the 2004 Miss USA who defended them in a later segment on the show.

When Gretchen’s producers prominently displayed four of the racy photos in the very first block today, she cattily commented, “Is that for Maxim?” Acerbically, she opined, “I think what this does is, really shows you the difference between Miss USA and Miss America. I’m a little biased as a former Miss America. There’s a talent category, there’s a scholarship aspect to it; [and] you have to do a lot of volunteer service. And, basically, be a classy person!” She added, “I’m not so sure this is the right role model situation that we want for our kids….(the) role model you want for your children, not what guys want to go home with.”

Less than an hour later, Gretchen was ready to growl again as she started her interview of 2004 Miss USA Shandi Finnessey. Starting somewhat abruptly, she queried, “Well, let me just ask you straight up. These photos, some are saying, ‘Too risque, too provocative, look a lot like the cover of Maxim magazine.’ Not really what some people would think was appropriate for a Miss USA contestant. Your thoughts?”

Somewhat meekly, Shandi answered, “I think it’s completely appropriate because the difference is Miss America and Miss USA. And Miss USA has always been a typical beauty pageant: it’s sexy, it’s fun, [and] it’s a woman of today….[Y]ou open up any magazine right now and that’s what you’re gonna to see. And, the Miss USA girls are the ones that move out to Hollywood and those are the ones who get into acting and TV hosting and modeling.” Then baring her teeth a tad, Shandi continued, “Miss America is the scholarship program….You yourself, Gretchen, you were a Miss America. But, more often, those girls…become doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, things like because it is a scholarship progam. And, so, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Not cottoning to that “left-handed” compliment, Gretchen scornfully retorted, “Right. I really appreciate you pointing out the stark differences between the two programs. The Miss America pageant has a talent category, of course. And, also, it’s the largest scholarship program in the world for women.” Going on the offensive again, Gretchen  continued, “But, be that as it may, why would this be appropriate just because the current magazines of our day are showing photos like this? I’m sure there are a lot of parents out there right now who have small children who are saying to themselves ‘Even though magazines do this, why should everyone just follow the trend?'”

Sharply, Shandi riposted, “Well, I think that’s what keeps Miss USA very relevant. I mean, we are such a huge, we’re on NBC and co-owned between NBC and Donald Trump. Unfortunately, Miss America who hasn’t been able to stay with the times have lost their ratings, lost their advertisement. They no longer have a network they’re even on which is very unfortunate because that was the original pageant that started in 1921.”

In response, a still game Gretchen pressed Shandi about whether Miss USA (“not afraid to be sexy”) or Miss America (“hold ourselves to a higher standard”) was “a better role model for our young people today.” Defiantly, Shandi answered, “I personally think that Miss USA is because that girl is trained to live in the 2010. I mean, she is fun, she’s sexy, she’s confident, she’s relevant, she’s tangible. Miss America oftentimes is put on such a pedestal and she lives up to these expectations…. Miss USA’s…are very real, very relevant, and current with the times. And, that is why the ratings are so high. And, that is why we still have a network.”

Taking note of Shandi’s final slight, Gretched countered, “And, currently, Miss America is in Germany visiting our troops and thanking them for their service. We’ll let our audience be the judge on that.

Gretchen, as long as viewers tune in on May 16, Miss USA will probably not care if she is a role model.


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