Archive for September, 2008

“What’s Your Problem With Gretchen? Seriously”

September 29, 2008

Carpe Diem reader Boogiewoogee took issue sharply with the author as to this blog’s treatment of Gretchen Carlson in the comments to “Debate Team.” He/she wrote,¬†“What’s your problem with Gretchen. Seriously.” (Cf.¬† for his/her full comment.)

Gretchen is an attractive, intelligent, and capable woman. The current Fox & Friends co-host was apparently engaging enough as co-anchor of the CBS Saturday Early Show for FNC to choose her to replace E.D. Hill. Gretchen seems to be making a sincere effort to fit in with the Fox & Friends fold.

However, in this author’s view, Gretchen has yet to irradicate herself fully from the mindset of CBS and the rest of the dinosaur news media. The former anchor of the “CBS Saturday Early Show” seems to still be adjusting to FNC’s less scripted, less self-absorbed, and less reverential approach to the news. This former Miss America appears uncomfortable in engaging in unfettered give-and-take with her co-hosts Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and guests. Moreover, she seems to be a bit slow on the uptake and to need to be assured constantly in her views.

Let’s hope that Gretchen can fully make the transition. In the meantime and beyond, the F&F suits could bring in some eye candy as headline news reader to ease the process. If not, the viewer will always have Alisyn Camerota as occasional fill-in host unless the savvy F&F suits lose her a la Kiran Chetry.

Debate Team

September 27, 2008

Gretch was unfortunately right: The regular Fox & Friends co-hosts, Gretchen herself, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade, have replaced the F&F Weekend co-anchors of Alisyn Camerota, Dave Briggs, and Clayton Morris today for a special four-hour presidential debate edition. Since there appeared to be essentially nothing new from John McCain or Barack Obama nor any major gaffes by them last night, these four hours of F&FW may go on forever. Not even any Aly eye candy to help pass the time!

Oh, well! If you must, turn on the channel, grab your cup of coffee and the morning paper (or surf the Net), and listen to the program in the background as you greet the day. On second thought: As to the morning java, make a mimosa or two instead.

Page: A New Chapter

September 26, 2008

An observant ICN reported yesterday that the bio of Page Hopkins had been removed from the FNC site. Today TVNewser revealed that sources said former Fox & Friends co-host had indeed left Fox News recently on her own terms. Were these sources the same ones that said she was on vacation when FNC exiled her to Etna with an occasional pass (to guest host at the Breaking News desk on Happening Now)?

Page will be missed by her many fans, especially, those who deeply resented FNC’s sudden replacement of her and her co-hosts, Greg Kelly and Kelly Wright, without notice or explanation. Page is a real asset that FNC is losing. Hopefully, she will find a stint at another network that will fully utilize her talents.

Much continued success, Page!

Boot Tease

September 26, 2008

American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry gave CNN weatherman Rob Marciano, and by extension, her male viewers a bit of a boot tease this week. With the cooling temperatures of an approaching Autumn, last Friday Rob asked Kiran if she were wearing a turtleneck sweater again. (An Atlanta-based Rob had said that he had not had a chance to see what she was wearing.) After describing what she had on, the Nepalese beauty teased, “No…but I told you next week we break out the boots.” Captivated, Rob pleaded, “Lots of full length shots, please.” An almost blushing Kiran laughed, “Already, Rob: thanks.”

Apparently, Kiran couldn’t find her boots this week. Chris, did you hide them?

Ali Cleans Up

September 26, 2008

American Morning’s Ali Velshi returned today to the air with a much needed cueball cut and fresh shave. Yesterday the Bald Prophet of Doom sported a five-o’clock shadow and wispy temple tufts, apparently, after a late night. Today Janelle Rodriguez must have brought out the razor again for her wayward business correspondent. As punishment, she may have even used the one dulled by shearing Ali’s Mr. Potato Head goatee.

Gretch: “Let’s Not Bring That Up”

September 26, 2008

Tuesday Steve Doocy told the Fox & Friends viewers that Gretchen Carlson was away “on assigment” after her shellacking by Shepard Smith Monday. Today Brian Kilmeade and Steve welcomed Gretch back from the West Coast. No mention of the assignment or what that may have entailed was mentioned.

When Geraldo Rivera appeared later to promo his weekend show, he alluded to Shep’s cutting criticism of F&F indirectly. After Brian read a story about a bomb scare at the Philladelphia Phillies over some left-over foil-wrapped franks. Geraldo said, “Shepard Smith is going to complain about you reading that story: It’s all hotdogs!” Gretch responded, “Let’s not bring that up, shall we?

One can’t blame Gretch for wanting Shep’s appearance to remain in the can. An F&F segment hasn’t been panned that pointedly by an Fox News colleague on air since Chris Wallace zinged the F&F co-hosts for Obama bashing earlier this year. Moreover, Gretchen hasn’t been that dismissed since her attempted questioning of Jackie Mason in his earlier appearances.

Megyn’s Aerobics Class

September 24, 2008

Megyn Kelly, America’s Newsroom co-host and former aerobics instructor, put Barack Obama spokesman Bill Burton through a heart-pounding exercise program today. Previously, the physically fit blonde had put John McCain’s spokesman Tucker Bounds through an equally rigorous regimen the same day that Bill Hemmer Hammered Obamaton.* In today’s show, an NRA ad aired that alleged that Obama supported a handgun ban: Burton seemed to evade the issue initially but realized that Megyn would have none of it.

Even though Burton denied that Obama favored the banning of handguns, Megyn pointed to a questionaire with a question answered in the affirmative and an amended one with the same answer and Obama’s personal annotations on it. Megyn gave him no quarter throughout the interview but let Burton know that it was not personal at its end: she said, “Bill Burton, thanks so much for coming on: always fun sparring with you, Buddy.”

Megyn’s Aerobics: Good for your mind, too.


F&F’s Faux Pas Misstep

September 24, 2008

Ironically, Fox & Friends tripped this morning while pointing out Dem veep nominee Joe Biden’s false steps. In an interview with Bernard Goldberg, FNC media analyst and Bias author, and in a later segment entitled the Pundit Pit, F&F ran the subtitle, “Gaffe-Master: Biden’s Faux Paux’s [sic].” Since “faux pas” is the proper plural of “faux pas,” F&F made a humorous misstep as they threw their stone.

Cf. for a similar HuffPo gaffe.

Kiran in the Middle

September 24, 2008

Living up to her Nepalese name, American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry shone brightly yesterday as she refereed a contentious debate between conservative Michael Reagan and liberal Roland Martin. As soon as McCain supporter Reagan answered Kiran’s first question, the verbal fisticuffs began. Obama backer Martin characterized Reagan’s response as “pretty cute of you” and continued in a patronizing manner as if he spoke ex CNN’s cathedra. A visibly peeved Reagan told Martin to quit playing “that crappy game” on him and to “don’t talk down” to him. Even though it appeared to the author that Martin expected Kiran to side with him, Kiran refused and played it down the middle during the spirited exchange. At the end of the segment, Kiran thanked them for the “vigorous debate” and said it was great to see them both.

GOA: Gretch On Assignment

September 23, 2008

Where was Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson today? According to co-anchor Steve Doocy, she is “on assignment today and for the next couple of days.” Maybe, she’s recuperating from the spanking that Shepard Smith supplied yesterday.

Yesterday Gretch tried to be FNC’s “company girl” by defending F&F’s extensive coverage of the JFK hoopla (when the drama ended up being about WWII hand grenade paperweights) and the viewer numbers of FNC’s Internet “Strategy Room”: Shep merely mocked her and condescended to her as if she were a journalistic gamine. Gretch tried in vain to get his approbation and respect: However, he would have none of it. E.g., after Gretch tried to “make up with Shep” and he gave her a patronizing raised handshake, she asked for “the standard handshake”: Pulling his hand back, Shep nonsensically said, “I don’t know the handshake.”

Who did FNC call? Yep. Alisyn Camerota.

Shep: “What’s Wrong With Gretchen Today?

September 22, 2008

Today Shepard Smith gave Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson about as much respect as Jackie Mason generally does. In fact, he dissed the show itself for its lengthy coverage of the JFK JetBlue drama about the hand grenade paperweights without checking out whether they were real first. As he walked onto the set, he derisively stated, “I, too, have a bomb…a bottle of water for you that actually contains human poisons.” He complained, “We shut down a whole airport for a couple of paperweights: are you kidding me?”

Innocently, Gretch asked, “Isn’t that better than if they actually were the real thing and something happened?” Shep sarcastically replied, “It’s better if everybody looked into it first, don’t you think?” Gretchen answered, “I’d rather have people err on the side of being protected.” Shep derisively responded, “Yes, Gretchen, we all would.”

Later, while promoting The Strategy Room, Shep said, “We are very excited….for nine hours without commercial interruption…we’ll talk about politics, Wall Street, and everything non-stop.” He added, “You can do anything, you can take your clothes off if you want: Nobody’s watching!” Gretch interjected, “Yes, they are!” Dismissively, Shep replied, “Oh, come on Gretchen: please relax!”

Gretch said, “I don’t think I’m going to say anything else ’cause Shep is really angry at me.” Shep groused, “What is wrong with you?” Of F&F co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, he later asked, “What’s wrong with Gretchen today?” Then she gamely queried, “What’s wrong with you?

At the end of the segment, trying to save face, Gretch sweetly stated, “I need to make up with Shep today before he leaves.” She got up and sat between Shep and Steve Doocy and put her arm around Shep. He inquired again, “What is wrong with you? Does that mean I get some touchy?” Then he said, “Maybe, I don’t know the rules of the program [F&FW] because I don’t watch it.”

Poor Gretch: she may have been Miss America but Shep was not Mr. Congeniality.

Update: Since the author’s entry, JDP has posted the vid link as follows:

Update 2: Cf.

Dominica’s Peeping Dave

September 22, 2008

Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Dave Briggs found fill-in meteorologist Domenica Davis a sultry siren Sunday. On the last day of summer, Domenica was teased by Clayton Morris for having a fall coat on. As she slowly stripped off her black coat, Dave smiled and sportily said, “This needs some theme music.” In the next weather segment, Domenica flirted back, “Dave has to put his Speedos away at 11:44” (E.T. Monday, the official end of summer). The self-described Fenway Park “nacho girl” laid it on further by dubbing her Beantown sports boy her “favorite leaf peeper.” In fact, as Clayton and Alisyn promo’d the first F&FW After the Show Show with promises of Dave’s secrets, Domenica purred, “He’s a leaf peeper.”

Bristol Bay Babe

September 22, 2008

Fox & Friends co-host Alisyn Camerota a/k/a Bikini Aly revealed her attraction to First Dude Todd Palin. She said that she is more “fascinated” with him than with his wife Sarah, the Republican veep nominee, because he is a commercial fisherman. She declared that that vocation is the “most hazardous, treacherous thing.” She disclosed to her co-hosts Dave Briggs and Clayton Morris that her “long-term boyfriend” was a commercial fisherman and that he fished the very same Bristol Bay (Alaska) that the First Dude has. She breathlessly added, “And I know how dangerous it is: These guys risk death every day that they go to work.”

Aly, was your brave boating beau the mustached mate in your bathing beauty pic?

CNN’s “Leg” Up

September 16, 2008

Thanks, ICN, for your “heads up” on CNN’s “leg” up on FNC on DirecTV. According to Swanni of, CNN took the lead in programming in HD while FNC “dragged its feet on the HD launch.” He added that FNC has now lost its favored status at a HD-capacity-starved DirecTV once FNC’s parent company, News Corp., ceded control of DirecTV to John Malone’s Liberty Media.

Since appreciation of distaff aesthetics has often led the way in technological progress in the visual media, it seems strange that Fox News is lagging so far behind CNN HD. Ironically, Rupert Murdoch’s cable news network, known for its unabashed celebration of the feminine form, e.g., in its selection of co-hosts, subject matter, and attitude, is following far behind in the footsteps of Ted Turner’s erstwhile jewel CNN, associated far too long with a stodgier, passe p.c. presentation of the news a la the dying dinosaur Big Three news networks. In CNN’s defense, it is slowly making progress in this regard, e.g., with its snare of Kiran Chetry as AM co-anchor, its choice of Janelle Rodriguez as AM executive producer, and its welcome embrace of a less sterile atmosphere.

Thus far, FNC has generally enjoyed a comfortable lead in the cable news race. However, how does it compare to CNN HD on DirecTV?


AM: A Minor “Slip”

September 16, 2008

Kiran Chetry (or her cameraman) had a serendipitous minor “slip” today. After a commercial break, a standing Kiran introduced a “Dream Job” segment in which Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed a NASA sleep test subject who had to stay in bed for weeks. For a brief moment the cameraman captured her in her gold-trimmed ebony slippers (or flats): apparently, either Kiran forgot to change them for her brownish high heels or the cameraman unthinkingly included Kiran’s shoes in the shot. After Sanjay’s story, a newly high-heeled Kiran returned. Serendipitous? Yes. Slippers before the sleep segment and high heels afterwards.

By the way, Kiran is moving up in her off-camera footwear. As the reader may remember, the camera “caught” a gravid Kiran sporting pavonine sneakers under her desk. After the close-up, an “abashed” Kiran (or EP Janelle Rodriguez) must have decided a less caz look was more AM-appropriate.

Hemmer Hammers Obamaton

September 15, 2008

Bill Hemmer, America’s Newsroom co-host, hammered Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton for an ad attacking John McCain as being out of touch. The commercial claimed that McCain can’t use a computer nor send e-mail: however, it failed to mentioned that McCain reportedly cannot use a keyboard because of his prisoner-of-war injuries. Hemmer asked Burton repeatedly about the assertion: Burton continued to skirt the issue by robotically repeating his talking points and failing to respond. At the end of the interview, an exasperated Hemmer said, “I asked you a lot of questions some [of which] you answered part way but next time we’ll do it again.”

Another example of the “ferocity” promised by David Plouffe?

Lehman Monday: A “Gay” American Morning

September 15, 2008

At 8:02 ET two pranksters tried to sabotage a live American Morning segment on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. As AM’s Allan Chernoff reported in front of the historic investment bank, two embracing wanton wags with tongues aflicking began a faux make-out session. The unblinking reporter glanced at the men behind him twice and without a word of recognition stoically continued his story while the camera person panned away for the duration of the story. After Allan tossed back to Kiran Chetry, she charitably commented, “Allan didn’t notice this probably but, of course, our television viewers did: two guys, just obviously trying to make light of a bad situation, pretending to console each other out there.”

Frumpy Aly & Her Doublemen Twins

September 14, 2008

Frumpy Aly made Fox & Friends Weekend less than compelling television. Yesterday her subdued look (blue Polo-like top with crew neck and short sleeves and white just-above-the-knee skirt) was in order because of the gravity of Hurricane Ike: today her ruby dress (akin to a longer robe worn by your nana) meant you might be better served to listen in on XM radio. With the medicine (or is it the placebo?) that her flavorless Doublemen twins serve up, a little Aly eye candy is needed to make it go down a mite easier.

Gretch Roars Anew

September 12, 2008

Gretchen Carlson, Fox & Friends co-host, roared anew as WOMAN. Fresh from taking on Sally Quinn for her questioning of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s ability to be a mother and help govern the nation, Gretch took patent umbrage at radio show personality Mike Papantonio’s comments today. In a segment on Palin’s first interview since being selected by the GOP, Papantonio dismissively referred to Palin as “this woman” twice and opined, “Sarah Palin wants a free pass because she’s a woman.” A palpably piqued Gretchen responded, “Oh, give me a break: wait a minute.” She added, “Did she ask for the free pass when they annihilated her before she opened her mouth? This has risen above politics; this is about the cultural effect of sexism in this society; and when you say a comment like that, Mike, it’s just, it’s deplorable.” Wisely, Papantonio finally held his tongue.

Shaky AM

September 11, 2008

About 9:21 ET American Morning’s lost its video and then its audio as Zain Verjee interviewed Seif Gadhafi, son of Moammar Gadhafi, leader of Libya. AM cut to commercials and John Roberts apologized for the glitch when the program resumed. However, he failed to announce that AM’s HD was on the blink, too: in fact, the screen appeared worse than normal television at times. Losing HD is not so bad when John or Ali Velshi is on air but it is unacceptable when the comely Kiran Chetry is on (especially, when she looks as lovely as she did today in her beautiful brown mini with matching v-neck top and high heels).