For the third straight day FNC’s Fox & Friends has covered the Miley Cyrus, a/k/a Hannah Montana, Vanity Fair brouhaha. As Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson have bemoaned the controversial pics and Brian Kilmeade has defended the fifteen-year-old sensation, F&F has run the racy pics and photo shoot vid ad infinitum. One is reminded of Bill O’Reilly’s rants and ravings about the degeneracy of pop culture while running endless loops of the risque antics of springbreakers on FNC’s O’Reilly Factor. Or even straight-laced Sean Hannity’s sermonizing as he runs similar clips on Hannity & Colmes.
Archive for April, 2008
Today was not Gretchen Carlson’s day on FNC’s Fox & Friends. She started F&F First by apologizing for making fun of the arm injury to a Dancing with the Stars male dancer yesterday. Later on F&FF, she wrongly corrected Brian Kilmeade about which of Drew Pearson’s wives was found dead in a bathtub: Brian and Steve Doocy gently righted the confused co-host. Finally, while reading the headlines on the regular F&F, Gretch said that Ryan Schallenberger was accused of blowing up his school: Steve reminded her that the teenager “did not actually blow up the school.” Perhaps, today the audience should have mimicked Jackie Mason who on Monday merely ignored Gretch to her great chagrin and extreme exasperation and, perhaps, to the viewer’s perverse pleasure.
As I awoke this morning to the return of Fox & Friends Saturday mediocrity, I kind of dreaded the viewing: I got a reprieve. After watching the weird first weather segment voiced by Rick Reithmuth, my reception went out because of thunderstorms in the area.
It is back on but I’m not that happy that it is. The crew of Ainsley Earhardt, Clayton Morris, Eric Shawn, Courtney Friel, and Rick Reithmuth do not really inspire alot of love. Eric Shawn supplies a bit of gravitas but he seems quite out of place: he is like the kid who wants to fit in a bit too much. Clayton tries to be the leader with his “take-charge” wackiness and Ainsley sweetly follows along. It’s like watching Happy Days without the Fonz. FNC has to add a sexy, knowledgeable, and confident female co-host like Kiran Chetry or Page Hopkins, or this show has “jumped the shark.”
At the very end of CNN’s American Morning (04/22/08), did Kyra Phillips let the cat out of the proverbial bag as to the duration of Kiran Chetry’s maternity leave? Or did she merely misspeak? As John Robert’s was signing off the broadcast, he turned to Kyra and said, “Great to have you here as well.” Kyra replied, “It’s been wonderful to be here. I look forward to the next, uh, couple of months.” Kiran may be out longer than the viewer has been led to believe.
On CNN’s American Morning today, Kyra Phillips filled in for the lovely Kiran Chetry who is on maternity leave. AM co-host John Roberts revealed that Kyra would be filling in for Kiran for a while. Since Roberts told the AM audience that Kiran would be out for a few weeks on her last day before taking maternity leave, it seems that Kiran will be back around the 30th of this month. Caveat: Kiran laughed off Roberts’ statement and said that it might be a few days and that she would be back before he had a chance to miss her.
On this morning’s Fox & Friends, guest co-host Greg Kelly dissed the vacationing Brian Kilmeade after Steve Doocy teased him about his orangish tie. Doocy said that it looked like one of Brian’s and Gretchen Carlson said it looked like a Halloween tie. Greg defensively declared, “No this is not one of his ties: Brian wears bolo ties…and…clipon ties.” He added, “Brian has trouble tying ties.” Gretchen joked that he should be glad that Brian was no where near a TV. Greg dismissively retorted, “What would he do?…he’s small…he’s about five-eight…I could take him.”
Kelly v. Kilmeade? You be the judge.
According to Fox News today, Mattel’s Barbie is being spanked by the Bratz dolls, her competition made by MGA Entertainment. Jane Skinner, co-host of FNC’s Happening Now, decided to remind the viewer of Barbie’s roots. [According to Salon, Barbie was based on Lilli, an adult doll made in Hamburg, Germany, (a city with a legal yet legendary red-light district) and based on a Deutsche demimondaine in a Bild Zeitung cartoon.] Skinner introduced the segment, saying, “Barbie’s sales are flat unlike her chest…those Bratz dolls…are giving Barbie some…stiff competition: Jenna Lee has been hard at work on this one this morning.” FBN’s Jenna Lee responded, “I have been hard at work at this one” and added, “Barbie sales are flat and…we see some stiff competiton from the Bratz dolls that are a little bit more risque.” No double entendres there.
After a news item about Prince William’s landing of an RAF helicopter in the garden of his amie Kate Middleton, Fox & Friends guest co-host Greg Kelly shared his flight school fantasy. (ExtraTV’s 2007 “Most Eligible Anchorman in America” and the son of NYPD’s police commissioner was a nine-year pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps and is now a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.) Kelly said, “I used to fantasize about landing my aircraft on somebody’s lawn, seriously, in flight school but I would have been court-martialed.”
When Steve Doocy and Alisyn Camerota’s queried, ‘Whose lawn?,” Kelly elaborated, “I actually had this all planned out. I showed up at some cocktail party in the afternoon with my Harrier jet and I got out…Said sorry I got to go but I’ll see YOU later.”
Ali replied, “That would have been great.” Doocy commented, “That’s the life of our Colonel McDreamy. Fox News’ Kelly answered, “But that’s my dream life: McDreamy dreams.”
Roger Ailes’ “Go-to Guy” Shepherd Smith welcomed Clayton Morris to Fox News this morning on Fox & Friends Sunday albeit haltingly. After Shep’s promo for his coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s mass at the “House that Ruth Built,” he looked at his notes and said, “Eric,” and then he looked again and corrected himself, “I mean, Clayton, welcome to the family.” Since Clayton is not appearing on any other FNC shows, it appears that his position as F&F Weekend co-host is permanent. Ainsley Earhardt’s status seems still somewhat up in the air since Megan Henderson was auditioning a mere two weeks ago. As to Greg Kelly, his seat seems to definitely be up for grabs since of late he appears sporadically at best.
Readers, think about what team of co-hosts you would most like to see. Former co-hosts like Page Hopkins or Alisyn Camerota; new prospects like Domenica Davis or Rick Reithmuth; or someone outside the current FNC circle? I’ll try to do the same and make an entry later.
N.B. Eagle-eyed M. Davey, a reader, separately came to the same conclusion about Clayton Morris’ standing.
FNC’s Fox & Friends Weekend personnel person must be an MSNBC mole. Co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Clayton Morris may finally be able to coalesce into a cohesive F& F Weekend team if FNC finds that third catalystic co-host: however, Eric Shawn does not fill that bill. He’s a fine Fox News correspondent but he lacks a natural rapport with his co-hosts. His stiff, awkward demeanor makes Greg Kelly look like Mike Jerrick in comparison. Central casting continues!
Thanks to the Pope coverage, Fox & Friends Weekend is in adult hands today. Alisyn Camerota is in the center spot flanked by Steve Doocy and Eric Shawn with Ainsley Earhardt reading the news. Some sanity (albeit probably passing) has returned to the set: no childish Clayton nor co-host de jour. It’s a little like watching Dukes of Hazzard after the “real” Bo and Luke returned or Dallas after Bobby woke up. All is right or, at least, better in the F&F world again. For now.
For those turning in at 9:00 ET today and wondering what happened to Fox & Friends Saturday. Because of Fox News’ extensive coverage of the pope’s visit to America, F&F Saturday was moved up an hour. I.e., it began at 6:00 ET and ended at 9:00 ET.
In his promo for his weekend show on Fox & Friends, Geraldo Rivera got hit on the head with his own homing pigeon’s proverbial poop. As Brian Kilmeade introduced an interview segment with Arnold Schwartzenegger, the controversial FNC correspondent and host made a futile attempt at humor at the California governor’s expense.
Amid his fellow co-hosts Steve Doocy and Alisyn Camerota and guests Geraldo and Joe Piscopo, Brian teased, “I sat down with Arnold Schwartzenegger and we talked politics, we talked bodybuilding.” Geraldo Rivera interrupted, “Did you sit in his lap?” Kilmeade, “No, I didn’t sit in his lap but I’m actually stronger than him now.” Geraldo sniped, “Because he’s off steroids?” His comment was met with shock and discomfort by Kilmeade and crew. Geraldo hushed, quit smiling, and appeared to realize his gaffe.
According to CNN, last night at 10:45 p.m. American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry, her hubby NYC WPIX weatherman Chris Knowles, and their daughter Maya Rose welcomed a new addition to their family, Christopher Chetry Knowles. The baby boy weighed seven pounds zero ounces. Kiran described him as looking “so much like [his] Daddy,” according to People.
Little Chris came into the world a luminary like his lovely mother. According to Kiran’s AM co-host John Roberts, OK! Magazine has an exclusive on his baby pics: Ergo, AM was not able to show any photos. Kiran joins other hottie celeb moms like Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Jennifer Lopez in this reasonably new trend.
Your many friends and fans at both CNN and FNC (especially Fox & Friends) are very happy for you both. God has blessed you with both a daughter and a son. Congratulations, Kiran and Chris!
CNN: AM – 04/18/08
On Fox & Friends this morning, Ainsley Earhardt subbed for Gretchen Carlson, who attended last night’s radio/television correspondents Washington press gala. Happily, she had Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy to help guide her through the “McCain Too Old?” segment. In that story, Kilmeade and Doocy derided seventy-five-year-old Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for saying the seventy-one-old presumptive Republican nominee was too old.
After the Murtha footage rolled, Murtha/McCain comparison pics were displayed, and further Murtha vids ran, Ainsley pointed out the “clear difference” in their age by noting Murtha’s wrinkles and his hesitant gait. When she couldn’t get one particular vid rerun, she offered to demonstrate his doddering.
Kilmeade saved the sweet lamb from more controversy. When she rose to reenact Murtha’s walk, Kilmeade intervened and lightly admonished, “You don’t want to mock people.” He kindly and smiling added, “Just don’t mock age.” Doocy repeated Kilmeade’s admonition. Chastened Ainsley said, “Oh, sorry.”
The producers, Kilmeade, and Doocy seem to realize that viewers notice verbal missteps. Unlike their failure to address Beckel’s Special Olympics slight, they corrected Ainsley on the spot. Laurels, Fox News!
E.D. Hill, anchor of FNC’s America’s Pulse, temporarily takes the reins for O’Reilly tonight on the Factor. As any Fox & Friends viewer during E.D.’s tenure may remember, she is spirited, opinionated, and a bit abrasive. I.e., she is the perfect guest host for her male doppelganger. However, her sexy, sensual side helps take the edge off of her in-your-face journalistic fervor.
The gorgeous, gravid Kiran Chetry, co-host of American Morning, took maternity leave today. According to her counterpart John Roberts, Kiran will be off for a few weeks. She is expecting her second child with hubby Chris Knowles, WPIX weatherman, any day now. As she did with her firstborn Maya on Fox & Friends, Kiran promised to send in baby pics. (Alina Cho filled in today.) As an aside, the hottie mum looked especially radiant in her CNN baby shower pics: Kiran seems to be one of the fortunate few femme fatales that looks even sexier off air.
If you missed the baby shower photos on AM Monday and/or if you would like to see more pics, Johnny Dollars Place provided the InStyle link for Kiran’s “sparty” (spa-party) with attendees that included Alina Cho, Vanessa De La Cruz, and other CNN cuties.
Megan K. seems to be FNC’s new “it” girl. From Kendall to Kelly to Knockout. According to WaPo columnist Howard Kurtz, the lawyer lovely’s audition tape ko’d Brit Hume, Fox News’ Washington managing editor. Kurtz reports that Hume indicated that the demo of this “strikingly attractive” attorney knocked him out. (Apparently so: this “fast-rising” leggy learned’s appearances span FNC’s broadcast day as she co-hosts American Morning, co-anchors the afternoon America’s Election Headquarters, and regularly contributes on the O’Reilly Factor.) As lagniappe, Kurtz notes Kelly’s “hottie” status on the Web and observes that her FNC “morning show…showcases her long legs.”
Watch out, Gretchen, Alisyn, and, Ainsley! Megyn may be poised to take your seat on the Fox & Friends sofa. Is she FNC’s next Kiran Chetry?
On the very first segment of Monday’s Fox & Friends First before the break, the last item on the menu of stories was entitled, “Who’s Perfect?” Since Ainsley Earhardt, Clayton Morris, and Dave Briggs failed to address F&F Sunday’s technical snafu, the author thought maybe Brian Kilmeade and the ever lovely Alisyn Camerota might mention it then. Oddly, the story was never “clicked” and discussed: perhaps, Fox News second-guessed themselves. If so, wrong choice.
04/14/08 – @6:11 A.M. ET
At 9:13 ET on Fox & Friends Sunday before the break, Clayton Morris teased for the next segment with Father Jonathan Morris. After the usual ad time, Fox News returned with a blank screen and background noise for ten seconds; then the voice of Ainsley was heard introducing Fa. Morris before stopping abruptly; the screen stayed blank and then without sound for 45 seconds; thereafter, ten “unceasing” minutes of ads aired. When Ainsley finally began her interview with Fr. Morris, no apology or explanation was given. Sound familiar?
It may seem inconsequential but this instance of keeping the viewer in the dark (literally and figuratively) is an exemplar of FNC’s treatment of its audience. E.g., when will fans know who the permanent co-hosts of Fox & Friends Weekend are? What is Greg Kelly’s status? Where is Page Hopkins?
If FNC is interested in fostering continuing loyalty, it must start informing its audience and being true to its motto: We Report, You Decide.
In the first hour of Fox & Friends Sunday after giving the mobile device address for Fox News weather, Rick Reithmuth tossed back to today’s co-hosts. Clayton Morris ad libbed, “And a personal text from Rick.” Ainsley Earhardt chimed, “You want to give out your e-mail address there, Rick?” In an apparent reference to Ainsley’s controversial e-mails to this author about the undetermined status of the co-hosts, Rick replied, “You’re the only one who does that.” Ainsley smilingly said, “I’m not doing it anymore.” Apparently, FNC’s “dressing down” has hushed her.