Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Prime-Time Megyn: “Hannity & Kelly”?

August 12, 2013

Roger Ailes’ “Minor Change”? In an exclusive Thursday, the Drudge Report reported that Fox News was “set to make its first primetime schedule change in 10 years” and that “superstar newswoman Megyn Kelly [had] landed the 9 PM slot” according to its top sources. When asked about that “rumor” by Fox News’s Neil Cavuto, FNC chief Roger Ailes responded, “Well, generally, I don’t confirm or deny any rumors….However, Megyn has earned a better time period: She’ll be in our prime-time lineup. But, I must quickly say that all of our stars will be back: We have new deals with (Sean) Hannity and Greta (Van Susteren) and Shep(ard Smith).” Noticing Ailes’ obvious omission, Cavuto quizzically commented, “So, it sounds to me like (Bill) O’Reilly‘s gone: Mischievously, Ailes answered, “Yep, he’s finished, that’s it! No, I’m just kidding.”*

According to New York Times columnist Bill Carter, the prevailing speculation is that Megyn will get her own hour and Sean Hannity will move to the 7:00 p.m. slot (replacing Fox Report with Shepard Smith) and Shep will move to an afternoon hour. However, in his Cavuto interview, Ailes himself cryptically remarked, “We have a great roster of talent: I am making a few minor changes….You have to choose well in the first place and have the guts to stay with people who can do the job. And, that’s what I try to do.”** Furthermore, he reportedly explained, “One of my jobs is to get the best audience flow between shows and that’s one of the reason[s] I’m making a few changes right now.”***

And, that very audience of Ailes in both prime-time and full-day ratings “has had a median age of 65-plus (according to the aforementioned NYT author). If the anecdotal observation that older people tend to be resistant to change is true, Ailes would do well to only “[make] a few minor changes” as he seeks to facilitate the “best audience flow” of his hyper-loyal older viewers (and tries  to attract a younger demographic at the same time). Creating three new shows for Megyn, Hannity, and Shep, as the NYT suggested, seems more than a few major changes–especially, when Gretchen Carlson’s new fall show and, an imminent iteration of Fox & Friends (with new co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck) are added into the mix.

“Hannity and Kelly”? Don’t count it out.

*Therightscoop.com (video and text) – 08/08/13.

**Ibid.

***Therightscoop.com (video) – 08/08/3 (@ 02:12/04:13).

[Author’s aside: If Megyn does indeed join Hannity, Ailes real primetime schedule (8-11 p.m.), the hosts will represent true-blue gender equality surpassing rivals CNN and MSNBC.]

FNC’s New Future: Megyn In for Greta?

July 7, 2013

Van Susteren: “I’ve been been bucking to get an earlier hour for years….”* Apparently, her boss Roger Ailes was listening: Only five days after FNC On the Record anchor Greta van Susteren uttered those very words to her old friend Larry King on his 06/27/13 eponymous online show, Fox News issued a release which read, “[America Live anchor] Megyn Kelly will move to Fox News Channel’s (FNC) primetime lineup upon her return, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, FOX News.” However, FNC took pains to highlight the fact that Greta had been signed to a long-term contract (as well as FNC’s other prime time hosts Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity).

In King’s interview of Greta, the former CNN anchor discussed the possible personnel changes of new CNN honcho Jeff Zucker: In so doing, she referenced FNC and her long-time chief, saying, “Look at Fox News….Roger Ailes has been there the whole time I’ve been there. We haven’t had a change in eleven and half years.” Nonchalantly or not, she continued, “I’ve been bucking to get an earlier hour for years but that ain’t happening….If anyone ever left, I would put in a pitch.”

Now that Ailes has decided to change his storied FNC schedule, it seems that Greta will get her wish of an earlier hour. But, whom will she replace or with whom will she pair? If Greta replaces anyone, it will probably be Fox Report host Shepard Smith who could continue to work in his “long-term contract” as anchor of Studio B. But, if Greta were to co-host instead, a likely pairing would be with fellow conservative Sean Hannity who sorely needs fresh blood to reinvigorate his recently ratings-challenged show.

And, if Greta does vacate her 10 p.m. ET throne, it seems that Fox’s long-suffering “rising star” has finally achieved her rightful place in the FNC ether. In December of 2008, Carpe Diem warned Greta to watch out for Megyn. Six months later, the New York Times eyed Megyn as a “potential heir to Ms. Van Susteren.”

Now, Megyn’s time has come: Prime time!

*Larry King Now – 06/27/13 (@ 11:29/28:19

Soledad’s Fall: CNN’s Spring?

February 22, 2013

Zucker’s “Morning in America”: O’Brien toast–again. Starting Point anchor Soledad O’Brien has been iced again as the face of CNN’s dawn according to the New York Times. Throwing cold water on Soledad’s vain hopes to finally prevail in the cable news morning ratings wars, CNN’s new chief Jeff Zucker finally cried, “No mas.”

As long-time CNN viewers may know, Soledad and Miles O’Brien co-hosted American Morning from 2003 to 2007 and were replaced by Kiran Chetry and John Roberts to revitalize flagging ratings. Over four years later (July 15, 2011), Soledad ominously returned to the show to substitute for Kiran for her first absence after AM announced Kiran’s own imminent departure from the still ratings-challenged show. Subsequently, when the ill-fated AM folded at the end of the year, Soledad was given a second chance to redeem herself and the CNN brass in the new year with Starting Point in the 7-9 a.m. ET hours. Unfortunately, for Soledad, she failed to seize the opportunity and sunk the show to even lower depths.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Zucker was pulling the plug on Soledad and that she would leave Starting Point this spring. According to the old Gray Lady, Zucker had “decided even before he started the job in January that he wanted to replace…[her program]…with a brand new one.” As to Soledad’s future, it added that she would create a new production company and “continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis.”

Putting a positive spin on her departure to the Hollywood Reporter, Soledad said, “I will not miss getting up that early, I cannot lie, not for a minute.” Defending her show itself, she declared, “We had a staff  of people–we never were fully staffed–where we were able to in spite of not getting a lot of support really make our show relevant. To do that, that was pretty tremendous.”

Soledad’s fall: CNN’s spring. It will be morning in Zucker’s America again soon.

T. J. Holmes: Don’t Sleep for an Hour

November 13, 2012

BET anchor T. J. Holmes announced yesterday that his NYT-acclaimed “social issues” show, Don’t Sleep, will be expanding to an hour by popular demand. Elaborating, T. J. explained that his audience’s “#1 comment has been that [the original 30-minute version of] Don’t Sleep is too short!” In response to his viewers’ desires, T. J. said that BET has extended his program to a new “hour-long format…[that]…will allow us more time to delve into topics and determine how we can all, in our own way, be agents of change.” He added that his program will air at 11:00 p.m. ET.

Congratulations, T.J.!

FNC’s “Mean Girl”: Kirsten Goes Loco on Lolo

August 10, 2012

Today’s “Beast”? Anthony Weiner’s former girlfriend and erstwhile defender Kirsten PowersFox News’ self-professed Christian progressive must have forgotten all about I Corinthians 13 (“The Love Chapter”) today. In her Happening Now appearance this afternoon, the usually compassionate Daily Beast columnist defended New York Times sports columnist Jere Longman’s misogynistic attack against Olympian Lolo Jones, a born-again Christian who posed a la a shy pre-Fall Eve in ESPN Body Issue 2009, for her sensual allure to an appreciative media at the perceived slight to her competitors. [N.B. No mention from Longman that Lolo is the first woman who has won back-to-back World Indoor titles in the 60-meter hurdles and that she was a three-time national champion hurdler and an eleven-time All-American at LSU.]

In Kirsten’s HN segment, her fellow Fox News colleague, former NYT investigative reporter Judith Miller opined, “I think it was very unfair….It was so harsh on her. It was so unforgiving.”* Substantiating her point, Miller cited the criticism of the NYT‘s very own ombudsman Arthur S. Brisbane, who said, “I think the writer [Jere Longman] was particularly harsh, even unnecessarily so….[T]his piece struck me as quite harsh and left me, along with others, wondering why the tone was so strong.”

Shaking her head, Kirsten emphatically countered, “I don’t agree! I do not agree.” Clad in her low-cut, sleeveless, short black dress, FNC’s blond beauty, perhaps, ironically groused, “He [Longman] never called her the Anna Kornikova: he interviewed somebody who said that….The point that he was actually trying to make is that here are actually two other American athletes whose names we don’t even know really…[who] have gotten no endorsement deals, have gotten no media coverage even though they have medals when this person who didn’t even get a medal is getting all of this media attention….How did she become the victim?”

Then, Kirsten added, “In terms of him talking the stuff about her, she’s the one who put it out there….She’s a woman. She’s, at least thirty….She cannot complain about media coverage that’s critical of her.” Coming to Lolo’s defense, Miller exclaimed, “Oh, yes, she can. Yes, she can when she’s really being attacked.” Shrugging her shoulders, Kirsten replied, “I don’t think it was an attack.”

Miller answered, “It was an attack! The only two people quoted in the entire piece are negative quotes.” Smirking, Kirsten caustically queried, “You’re not allowed to write a negative article about an athlete?” Miller riposted, “Wait a minute! He left out the fact that she had spinal surgery the year before. Her own extremely back story left out.” After clenching her teeth as Judith spoke, an irate Kirsten argued, “But, hasn’t that been covered extensively.”

Miller responded, “But, not in his column! If somebody’s reading that column, you have no idea where [she’s coming from]…Why beat up on this woman?” Unconvincingly, Kirsten replied, “He’s not beating up on her!” Immediately, Miler countered, “He was!” Appearing to contradict herself, Kirsten answered, “And, why he is not allowed to do that? I don’t understand.”

Interjecting, HN co-host Jon Scott remarked that while Lolo’s competitors may have won medals she was apparently the only woman to have won the national indoors hurdling championship twice. Cutting to the quick, he said, “Let’s show the photo that…aroused so much, I guess, ire, so much negative attention to her.” As the photo of a seated nude Lolo looked backed at the camera with all of her “lady bits” discreetly covered, Jon continued, “What doesn’t get noted is the small type there…a quote from her coach at LSU Dennis Shaver who writes, “She has the perfect core, which is where her horsepower comes from. Her abs are like a washboard, all muscle fiber and no fat. You don’t get like without proper diet and training: And, even then, you’d need Lolo’s determination.’ That gets lost in the coverage of that photo.”

“Exactly: it certainly did,” concurred Miller. As Kirsten laughed in derision, Miller chastened, “And, the back story gets lost. And, Kirsten, I’m really surprised.” Interposing, a bemused Kirsten queried, “What back story? I don’t even understand.”

Miller explained, “Wait a minute! You can make the point that the media likes some people and the companies choose to use some people without beating up on her, without demeaning her or her achievement. And, the fact that she’s a self-proclaimed Christian virgin and comes from this poor family. I think it’s an amazing story.”

Gesticulating animatedly, Kirsten interrupted, “As one of the other girls comes from a very poor story [sic]. And, it’s an amazing story that been covered ad nauseum.

As Kirsten ranted, a smiling Miller interposed, “She’s beautiful. Why should we hold that against her?”

In a seemingly disingenuous response, Kirsten said that “we shouldn’t” but then echoed Longman’s plaint that Lolo was getting a disproportionate amount of attention. Then, baring her claws, Kirsten caustically exclaimed, “And, I’m sorry, but, you know, the whole born-again Christian thing and posing naked, I don’t think they really go together. Call me crazy!…I talk about my faith all the time, and if I posed like that I would expect to hear about it!”

Conversely, if Kirsten posits like that, she should certainly expect to hear about it.

Happening Now – 08/10/12 (@ 12:45 p.m. ET)

Update: Video via J$P.

Megyn Kelly: “GQ Intelligence…Hot”

November 22, 2010

Slate: “A Post-Feminist News Babe.” America Live anchor Megyn Kelly is no man and proud of it. As her alluring photos and Greg Veis interview in 2010 GQ Men of the Year edition prove, Megyn has spurned the Procrustean yoke of her feminist forerunners who felt compelled to almost ape a man in apparel to solicit respect. Instead, she fearlessly forges her future as the smart and sexy face of Fox News.

This year, Megyn’s star has begun to shine brightly as the media has really begun to take note of the beautiful blond journalist at FNC. Shortly, before her debut on America Live (AL), the New York Times reported on January 31, 2010, that Megyn was a “centerpiece of the news side of Fox News” and “seem[ed] to be progressing through Fox’s star-making machinery.” In a review soon thereafter (February 12), Slate.com deemed Megyn a “post-feminist news babe” not shy with her sexuality as it cited her casual comfort at colleagues’ colorful banter, the revealing camera shots of her sexy stems, and her amorous, adventurous advice for her distaff audience. Then, two months later, Howard Stern, the satyric shock jock and self-anointed “King of All Media,” really noticed Megyn and got her to open up to his “very personal questions”: in so doing, disclosed that her breasts were real, that her husband Doug Brunt called them (“killer bees”), and that her sex life was unimpeded by pregnancy.

Now, in the GQ Men of the Year issue, the almost forty-year-old, gravid again, journalist daringly goes one step further with her incredibly sexy shots to accompany her interview with Veis. Posing for two provocative photos in a beautiful black mini with a plunging neckline, Megyn flaunts her “killer B’s” and luscious legs. Seductively, Megyn beckons her admirers with only a wedding ring to damper their desire. Modestly, she explains, “People want to see the anchor.”

Indeed.

Wiehl: “Rooting” Lindsay?

July 14, 2010

From Lindsay Lohan’s “Freaky Friday” to Lis Wiehl‘s “Hump Day”? After reading Fox News legal analyst Wiehl’s “Just Go to Jail, Lindsay,” the author was still not sure what the sexy former prosecutor had in mind for the wayward waif. After Wiehl encouraged the troubled starlet to take the high road, serve her time, and be an example to her young female following, she exhorted Lindsay to do it for herself. Subsequently, sounding like one of Lindsay’s possible reality-series-bad-girl cellmates, Wiehl concludes, “And we’ll all be rooting you.”

Copy edit error or artistic license by the racy New York Times best-selling novelist?  Rather, Lis Wiehl: Lindsay Lohan cheerleader or cellmate? Either way, Lis, it might make for a “mean” book.

AM’s “Missing Leak”

May 28, 2010

What happened to that third leak from BP’s off-shore oil well polluting the Gulf of Mexico? American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry did not seem to realize that it existed, and her co-anchor John Roberts initially appeared to have thought that it had been plugged. However, BP (or British Petroleum) has acknowledged its existence and has not yet announced its closure.

On May 5, BP stated that it had sealed one of the three oil leaks from its off-shore well. Further, the New York Times reported that BP had stopped one of these leaks and would try to shut up the worse of the remaining two with a “containment dome” and, if successful, then would tackle the third one with a second dome. However, according to the author’s understanding of  BP’s releases, it has been unsuccessful with the containment dome(s) (including its second “top hat” model) thus far on the second leak and has mitigated it’s flow with an RITT (riser insertion tube tool) which carries a portion, at least, of the oil leakage to a surface ship. Apparently, now BP is trying to shut off this second leak and the third yet un-dealt-with leak with a “top kill” approach (intended to clog up the oil wellhead with industry “mud” and cement it, and thus cut off the oil leakage).

Yes, AM, the third BP leak exists. Brickbats to Kiran for blithely ignoring the reality (after being apprised by the author citing a CNN transcipt of her interview with a Purdue professor). Bouquets to John for readily acknowledging it (when he received Tweets from the author about the NYT article and the link thereto, supra). Nevertheless, kudos to Kiran, for her great in-the-field coverage of the BP ecological nightmare in Louisiana.

Clayton Gets “Help”

May 27, 2010

Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Clayton Morris asked for “help” on marriage Saturday: he got it the very next day. After a “divorce-risk factor” segment Saturday, co-host Alisyn Camerota promised that “good news” was on the way: in reply, Clayton commented, “Can’t wait for that. Help me out.” “Help” arrived Sunday as Aly, Clayton, and co-anchor Dave Briggs interviewed New York Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope, author of “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.”

Opening the colloquy, Clayton asked Parker-Pope about why the “how-we-met story [was] very important.” Ironically, she answered, “Using those different pronouns, using “we” versus “you”–those kinds of things tell you if negativity has crept into your relationship: So, telling that story can tell you a little bit about how you are feeling right now.”* (“Ironically” because, earlier this year in pre-Valentine’s Day relationship stories on the very same day, both Clayton and his then, apparently, estranged wife Sara Batterson separately embraced the “me” rather than the “we” in discussions about the implications of these personal pronouns within the marital context: Clayton, on his F&FW show, and Sara on her Brite Girl blog.) When Dave immediately followed up with “Okay, conflicts will clearly emerge,” perhaps, tellingly, Clayton chuckled heartily.

Later, as the interview ended, Clayton (perchance, preferring to deflect the audience’s attention from himself) impishly jested, “Will you [Parker-Pope] autograph that copy for Dave?” Smiling and shaking his head, Dave exclaimed, “I have a great marriage!” Subsequently, self-effacingly, Clayton deadpanned, “Actually, could I borrow this?” As he grabbed the book, Clayton continued, “I think I need to read this.” Emphatically, Dave quipped, “Yes! Read up!” (As F&FW went to commercials, Clayton obeyed, comically opened up the book and acted as if he were.)

When the show returned from the ad break, Clayton “still” had his head in the book as if in profound concentration. Addressing the viewer,  a teasing Aly commented, “Clayton’s engrossed in reading about good marriages, the science of it.”** Puckishly, Dave sniped, “Yeah. He’s got a lot to learn, folks.”

Whether he does or not, Clayton’s may well have his own autographed copy by now–courtesy of his rumored girlfriend, CNET TV host Natali Del Conti.

[Reader, yet another catch-up article on F&FW.]

*Fox & Friends – 05/23/10 (@9:53 a.m. ET)

**Fox & Friends – 05/23/10 (@9:59 a.m. ET)

Another Leg Up

February 2, 2010

In her debut as lone anchor on her new FNC show, America Live, Megyn Kelly fans were not disappointed.* Fresh from a maternity leave of four months, the “old” Kelly was back: smart, sharp, and sexy. Apparently, Fox News Senior VP of Programming Bill Shine decided not to mess with her winning formula.

In promos for American Live, FNC had presented its star, Megyn Kelly, much too somberly.* I.e., this Ms. Kelly would be a SERIOUS newsMan much like some of her male-mimicking counterparts in the old media. Happily, the previews did not match the style nor the substance of its brainy, blond beauty.

Yesterday, from matching wits with cam-ham lawyer Gloria Allred to waxing maternal about her newborn son Yates, Megyn seemed to navigate with comfort the gamut of a “working” woman’s duties. Dressed is a rather conserative red dress (high-necked & knee-high), she still was fun and frisky with liberal shots of her long legs throughout the show. Megyn was not afraid to be herself: professional mom and married hottie.

In other words, the lovely legal eagle acquitted herself well yesterday. The latest step up for FNC’s rapidly rising star on the FNC ladder. What’s next? Hm. N.B. As the New York Times reminded readers Sunday Greta van Susteren’s current contract expires at the end of this year.

* Vid links: via Johnny Dollar’s Place (J$P).

Megyn Kelly: Afternoon Delight

January 20, 2010

In less than two weeks, America’s Newsroom co-host Megyn Kelly is getting her very own FNC two-hour program according to Mediaite. On February 1st, Megyn’s still unnamed show is slated to replace Fox News’ Live Desk which is co-hosted by Martha MacCallum and Trace Gallagher. In turn, Martha will take Megyn’s position on AN.

The move by FNC Senior Programming Veep Bill Shine came as little surprise. More a month ago, when Martha began regularly filling in for Megyn on AN and recently re-signed Juliet Huddy began ably subbing for Martha on LD, the author opined that Shine might be preparing to give Megyn Kelly her own show upon her return from maternity leave. (Apparently, he indeed was.) However, the author assumed that Megyn might replace Greta van Susteren on On the Record if she did not re-up with Fox News (as suggested by the New York Times) or, maybe, Shepard Smith on one of his two daily p.m. shows to provide better representation for women in the p.m.

Instead, Megyn got the Live Desk slot. Why? Perhaps, Shine has determined that Greta is still in the FNC fold for the foreseeable future and that Shep can keep his two programs for the time being. And, perchance, with Martha’s move to AN being such a success and Juliet Huddy’s sudden disappearance from LD and the Fox universe, Shine was presented with an unexpected void at LD and a golden opportunity to fill it with Megyn’s own two hour show.

Regardless, the lovely legal eagle deserves her own show. Not only is Megyn smart, sharp, and sexy, but also she has shown that she can best even FNC’s ratings king Bill O’Reilly on his own show in a battle of wits, reason, and panache. Congrats, Megyn!

Kiran: Bruised Beauty?

January 12, 2010

Manhandled? American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry may have had some “splaining” to do when she got home yesterday after the show. That is, if hubby Chris Knowles saw a blue and purple mark on his beloved’s right arm.

Mid-AM Monday, perhaps, in a rush to interview New York Times Pultizer winner columnist Nicholas Kristof for the following healthcare segment, Kiran seemed to lose her camera cognition. As she ended a story with Alina Cho and co-anchor John Roberts, Kiran prematurely started to leave as John began to read the headlines. Then, as the news video subsequently ran on the wall, an oblivious Kiran began to walk in front of the screen unawares.

Out of nowhere, an apparent crew member, dressed in black, grabbed a startled Kiran by her right upper arm. Then, the chunky, calvous chap began to roughly march her out of the shot. As he did, Kiran winced in pain, grabbed her arm, and quietly exclaimed, “Ow!”

Jamie, you better be careful. AM’s Aphrodite may not like her beauty bruised.

American Morning (01/11/09) – @7:29 a.m. ET

Krugman Corrects John: Kiran Laughs

December 31, 2009

Playing American Morning co-anchor John Robert’s loyal TV wife, co-host Kiran Chetry stood by her man again today (at least, for the most part). Immediately after welcoming the audience to American Morning, she freshly piqued her “Gregorian purist” viewers once again: she matter-of-factly opined, “A very special day, of course, because it is the last day of the decade and the year.” More reasonable and receptive than yesterday, John replied, “You know there are people who argue that the next decade doesn’t begin until next year, December 31, 2010. But…everybody else is going to be partying to end the decade tonight so you might as well.”

However, when the second hour of AM began, John stirred the pot anew. Welcoming back his audience, he said, “Good morning. Thanks very much for joining us…on this last day of 2009, the last day of the 2000’s decade as well.” When Kiran readily agreed, “Right,” John, looked directly into the camera and kindly condescended, “And, for all those of you who say, ‘It’s not until next year that we change to the next decade,’ you’re invited to the party anyway.”

Later, John dragged AM meteorologist Reynolds Wolf unwittingly into the fray and the truth finally emerged. After Reynold’s weather report, John asked, “Reynolds, do you believe this is the end of the first decade of the 2000’s?,” Reynold’s initially answered, “Yeah.” Then, quickly correcting himself, he responded, “No, actually, I think when you go from one through ten…if you want to be a stickler in terms of the numbers, I think that it ends this [sic] year. 2011 would be the next one.”

Subsequently, John remarked, “Some people believe that. They say, ‘Because of the Gregorian calendar, we didn’t start in the year zero, we started with the year one….But, I mean, it’s commonly held that, you know, the 20’s did not end in 1930: the 1930’s did not end in 1940.”

In response to John’s fallacious vox populi argument, Kiran replied, “I know. Although, I have to say, I had to laugh. I thought of you today because I was reading Paul Krugman’s column…and he also said, ‘Technically, technically [that the decade began in 2001].” Embracing the voice of the common man again and spurning the elitist Krugman’s assertion, John retorted, “Technically, schmechnically! Everybody else is going to be celebrating tonight just like they did in the year 2000 with…the December 31st, 1999, for the millennium. So, that’s the party I’m going to.” Concurring, Kiran chuckled, “Don’t let the numbers trip you up.”

As a further dig to his doubters right before the commercial break, John joyfully jibed, “Do you want to make the next decade better than this decade? Hahhh!…All that and more is still ahead in the Most News in the Morning as we continue to drive Gregorian purists nuts.

Mission accomplished!

[All ribbing aside, readers: whether tomorrow marks a new decade or just another year, Happy New Year to one and all!]

American Morning Censored?

December 9, 2009

Iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe’s alleged marijuana use? Hush! Controversial pop SINsation Lady Gaga’s gender? Hush! Hush! What is going on at American Morning this week or, actually, the last eight days? Unfortunately, it appears that  AM executive producer Jamie Kraft has presided over its becoming C.N.N. (not CNN), i.e., the Censored Network News.

Last Wednesday, when AM co-host John Roberts reported on the recent sale of a private Marilyn Monroe video, he failed to inform his AM audience that Marilyn Monroe was allegedly smoking marijuana in it: rather, he simply twice said, “[It] shows her acting casually on the couch with friends, smoking and drinking wine.”** However, cable news rivals FNC* and MSNBC did not shy away from Marilyn Monroe’s alleged pot use nor did the main stream media, e.g., ABC, BBC, and the New York Times.)

Today, Jeanne Moos reported on Lady Gaga’s meeting Queen Elizabeth II in Liverpool, England, after the Royal Variety Performance.*** Afterwards, Roberts remarked, “I’ll admit that there’s something strangely fascinating about her but, I mean, it’s all image and marketing.” Co-host Kiran Chetry concurred, “Of course, it is!”

Really? According to recent concert footage, Lady Gaga may be Laddy Gaga: In the NSFW Gawker.com clip, as she gets off a motorcycle and subsequently shimmies in a micro red mini, she exposes what seems to be a small male member. According to Bossip.com, Lady Gaga confirmed her hermaphroditic status, stating “It’s not something that I’m ashamed of, just isn’t something that I go around telling everyone. Yes. I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female.” Reportedly, she added, “The reason I haven’t talked about it is that it’s not a big deal to me.”

With Marilyn Monroe, AM omitted a material fact, i.e., her apparent smoking of marijuana. As to Lady Gaga, AM seemed to include a significant fiction, i.e., that her “strangely fascinating” nature is “all image and marketing.” If Kraft does not give his AM viewers the full news, sans such salient omissions and questionable inclusions, they may begin to lose confidence in the accuracy of American Morning and, by extension, CNN.

___________________________________________________________________

*Fox & Friends (12/02/09)

** Full quote: A new home movie of Marilyn Monroe unscripted has surfaced. The quick clip from the ’50’s shows her acting casually on the couch with friends, smoking and drinking wine. The copyright to the film will be offered on Ebay this week by a collector who paid a quarter of a million dollars for it.” American Morning (12/02/09)- @ 6:08 a.m. ET and @8:39 a.m. ET (Second reading omitted “and” between “smoking” and “drinking” and substituted “one” for “a” before “million.”)

***American Morning (12/09/09) – @6:55 a.m. ET

Zhu Zhu: “Pig,” “Master,” or Both

November 24, 2009

According to CNN‘s American Morning and the NYT, the cheap, cute Zhu Zhu hamster made in China is the “hottest toy” this holiday season. In fact, American parents are scrambling nationwide to get the popular toy for their little ones in time for Christmas. According to the American toymaker’s founder Russell Hornsby, “zhu zhu” denotes “little pig”: However, babynamescountry.com says that the name “Zhu” means “master or owner.”

Perhaps, Zhu Zhu means both “little pig” and “master master.” If so, it would be a propos. I.e., if American consumers continue to be “little pigs” in their purchases of such Chinese imports (vis-a-vis Chinese consumption of U.S. exports) and America continues to borrow money from China at an ungodly rate, China may well become the “master master.” As Solomon sagely said, “[T]he borrower is servant to the lender.” [Proverbs 22:7] This truth is beginning to sink in for the American people as they see values that their leaders had once clarionly championed, e.g., freedom of religion, human rights, etc., get shorter and shorter shrift in American/Chinese dialogue in tandem with the increase in American indebtedness.

However, even if “Zhu Zhu” merely means “little pigs” as a euphemistic moniker for hamsters as it most probably does, it would do well to remember its other possible meanings. Whether it be a Chinese dig or an ironic name, either (or, in fact, both) can be instructive for Americans and their children as they celebrate this special season and plan for another economically challenging year.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties?

November 22, 2009

The sisterhood of the former Fox & Friends Weekend co-hosts Kiran Chetry and Alisyn Camerota appears to still be going strong. They may not have bought pants from a thrift store that will help them stay together as they thrive on separate cable news networks but they seem to have found some granny panties that will. Or are they something else?

Friday the “traveling panties” showed up on Kiran Chetry, the co-host of CNN’s American Morning. As the Nepalese lovely interviewed New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter on Oprah’s post-broadcast future, her charcoal skirt inched upward to reveal a rather snug black undergarment. Granny panties?  Perhaps. But possibly something else. As the faithful AM viewer will recall, Kiran revealed that she was wearing her “emergency biking shorts” under her skirt the day that Richard Simmons had a sudden urge to literally kiss her foot.

By Saturday, Kiran seemed to have sent her hubby Chris to personally deliver the magical netherwear to Aly at the now verboten F&FW studio. Beginning in the show’s first segment, the granny panties (or “emergency biking pants”) peeked out from underneath Aly’s red dress. When they did, they seemed to take on a pinkish hue in a futile attempt to go unnoticed.

Regardless of the nature of the lingerie, Kiran and Aly appear to be at one. Perhaps, they can help their respective audiences cross the political aisle as well. Of course, for their male admirers, it might be easier if there were less fabric involved.

F&F Rally Redux?

November 5, 2009

Another Fox News producer rallying another crowd? It certainly appeared so. However, it may not be a big deal this time. Earlier, an FNC producer got into trouble with her bureau chief because she was caught rallying a Tea Bag Party crowd for Griff Jenkins during a Glenn Beck show. Today, a young man who looked like a FNC producer was seen similarly goading the troops on the U.S.S. New York into enthusiastic applause with a like hand gesture for the F&F program held on deck.*

It may be no big deal if F&F is primarily an entertainment show vis-a-vis a news program. In defending his popular morning news program for airing caricatures of New York Times staffers last year, former FNC Exec VP of News Editorial John Moody did contend that F&F is an “entertainment show that does some news.” However, in a Tweet to the author (defending his failure to wear a Phillies uniform for an entire as to a lost bet to his colleague Clayton Morris), F&F Weekend co-host Dave Briggs acerbically asserted, @Jakeho that’s absolutely ridiculous, Clayton never said I’d wear the uni for 3 hours, we actually have a job to do, we are a news show.” [Italics added for emphasis.]

The manufactured approbation is probably no big deal but it seemed to blur the line needlessly between news and entertainment. (One could almost imagine being on a game show with the lighted sign blinking, “Applause! Applause! Applause!”) Since the hearty clapping seemed to be for F&F itself vis-a-vis any patently political point, perhaps, it was indeed adiaphorous. Nevertheless, the apparent F&F producer conjured up today memories of that earlier censured producer.

Fox & Friends (11/05/09) – @8:12 a.m. ET

Silent Al-y, “Crush It!”

November 1, 2009

Boo, Aly! (And, not the scary kind.) Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Alisyn Camerota seems to be giving her readers and followers the Calvin Coolidge treatment this Halloween weekend. Verily, Aly did notify her social network audience that she would be subbing for F&F co-host Gretchen Carlson Friday and penned two brief Green Room posts this weekend. However, she has responded to none of their Tweets nor blog comments.

Even though her Green Room attendees may tend to give her a pass (since she seems to be somewhat more attentive to them), her Twitter followers may be becoming less and less apt to do so. Aly, apparently, has ignored their Tweets for almost two months (since September 4th) and has only deigned to reply on three distinct days since she began her account on August 23.

On the bright side, perhaps, she will heed the wisdom of today’s F&FW guest wine gonzo guru and New York Times best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk. As he promoted his book, “Why Now is The Time to Crush It!: Cash in on Your Passion,” co-anchor and Vayniac Clayton Morris inquiringly remarked, “One of the things you talk about in living your passion…[is] people need to understand social media.” Gary “Vee” replied, “Whether the people…think Twitter or FaceBook…is stupid is irrelevant. Later, he elaborated, “What’s most important is you go into things like FaceBook and Twitter and you start talking to people. Not spamming them and selling them. Talking, and you build real connections.”

F&FW Twitter king Clayton seems to get it. After today, maybe, Aly did, too. Let’s hope so.

Juan’s “Fordian” Slip: Megyn’s Mock

September 14, 2009

FNC contributor and NPR analyst Juan Williams had his Gerald Ford “Free Poland” moment today. During a “Does Racism Play a Role in Anti-Obama Protests?” segment, Hemmer asked about Maureen Dowd’s assertion that Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-R)’s outburst was based on race. Williams replied, “If you listen to talk radio these days, especially, black talk radio…people are really beginning to see a pattern….Joe Wilson’s disrespectful reproach to the President, ‘You lie,’ has become a refrain for the President’s critics. But, it seems as if there is a degree of disdain in there or contempt–a refusal to say, ‘Well, gee, we’ve got to give him the respect that’s due any President.”

Unfortunately for Williams, he did not stop there. He added, “There were people who really didn’t like George W. Bush but no one yelled out in the midst of a joint session, ‘You lie': No one questioned his legitimacy to be President.'”*

Like the moderator in the Ford-Carter debate, co-host Megyn Kelly could not quite contain herself at the conclusion of the segment. Looking at Hemmer, Kelly scoffed, “Did Juan say that, that no one questioned the legitimacy of President Bush? Hah! I think he’d probably  want to amend that.”

When Hemmer replied, “At times.” Megyn continued, “That happened throughout the eight years after the 2000 election.” A grinning Hemmer animatedly agreed, “At times, it crossed, it crossed the wires.”

*America’s Newsroom – 09/14/09 (@9:13 a.m. ET)

NYT’s Aly: Profile in Beauty

August 21, 2009

Fox & Friends Weekend co-anchor Alisyn Camerota is getting the eye, and not just from her red-blooded male admirers. In fact, the Old Gray Lady will be watching her intently this Sunday. According to Aly (on Red Eye this morning), New York Times photogs will be following the hottie host around on the F&FW set and taking pics of her for an upcoming profile.

Laurels, Aly!


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