Archive for October, 2008

Pumpkin Peeking

October 21, 2008

American Morning co-host John Roberts couldn’t resist! After a Jeanne Moos segment on political pumpkin carving (and as Roberts and Kiran Chetry were closing the show), Kiran spread her arms wide open and asked, “What are we going to do after that?” Roberts responded, “I don’t know…but there’s nothing like a political pumpkin to get into the spirit of the season.” However, as he made his remark, he glanced quickly down at Kiran’s ample ones. Unknowingly, Kiran aptly replied, “How about it?” Nonchalantly, Roberts dutifully thanked the viewer for joining AM, wheeled around, and stole one last look.

Usually, the spirit of the season is trick or treat: Today it was trick AND treat.


Kiran Turns Up Heat

October 20, 2008

American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry turned up the heat today. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on air: it was at home. In fact, she told AM meteorologist Rob Marciano that her hubby Chris would probably wake up sweaty this morning.

For those whose minds may be wondering down a certain path, Kiran told AM meteorologist Rob Marciano that she turned on her heat in her house for the very first time this fall. Apparently, when she dressed, the chill was still very much in the air. On AM she wore an almost wintry navy jacket with a matching knee-length skirt and a warm persimmon blouse. To ensure that her ensemble was complete, she shod her feet in brown closed-toed high heels and painted her nails an autumn dark red.

Janelle, turn up the studio heat so that Kiran can do the same!

Kelly: Brian, “O-tay, Buckwheat!”

October 20, 2008

FNC Washington correspondent Kelly Wright did not exactly relish being called the new Molly Henneberg, the name of his blond white Washington bureau colleague, a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. After Kelly complained of Washington being “dissed” with no Redskins game news, Brian Kilmeade said that he would put him on if he “cut the highlights.” Steve Doocy asked, “Is he the new Molly Henneberg?” Brian replied, “He is the new Molly, baby!” Kelly retorted, “Oh, tay, Buckwheat,” mimicking the controversially stereotypical black character in Hal Roach’s popular children’s series.

Seeming to sense some possible racial implications to the exchange, Steve raised his eyebrows and shook his head. However, without thinking Brian responded, “At least it’s not Stymie,” another black “Our Gang” character. After Steve gave him the eye, Brian quickly added, “I no longer go by the nickname Spanky,” a white main child actor in the show. Coming to Brian’s aid, Steve joked, “Not at work, at least.” Perhaps, oblivious to any subtext, Gretchen Carlson just hid her face in laughter.

Kiran’s Plumber Cracks

October 18, 2008

American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry rode Joe the Plumber without mercy Friday. While her co-anchor John Roberts and CNN correspondent Christine Romans called him “America’s most famous plumber” and “the most famous name in politics” respectively, Kiran relentlessly ragged on Joe. Among her numerous swipes, Kiran ad libbed, “If you [Joe] really are a plumber” (during a “Recession Proof Jobs” segment with Christine Romans), “Joe, the almost plumber” (during a SNL segment promo), and “Joe the Not So Plumber” (during another SNL segment promo).

Kiran’s comments seemed dissonant with her usual kind and affirming remarks. Maybe, this harsh political season has finally prevailed upon the gracious, comely Kiran Chetry. Or, perhaps, untoward voices whispered nefarious utterances in her ear for her to echo. Whatever the case may be, let us hope that another day finds her renewed and unblemished by partisan politics.

No Briggs Saturday

October 18, 2008

Dave Briggs, co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend, was replaced by Peter Johnson, Jr., today. Fear not, Dave’s darlings: your beloved’s absence was mentioned at the start of the first and final hour. Ergo, his position does not seem to be imminently imperiled.

As to Briggs’ sub, the eminent effete attorney did an admirable job as usual. Not only did Johnson provide a measured, intelligent take on the week’s current events, but he also kept Clayton Morris’ clowning in check with little effort. Good job, Peter!

By the way, Alisyn, keep tuning up your castrato choir and their understudies. However, keep the heat turned up, too! Your male audience will not notice your boys’ mistakes as much.

Gretch Does “Palin” 4 Wallace

October 17, 2008

Ever ready to tease Chris Wallace, Gretch donned dark horn-rimmed glasses and had her hair in an updo. In the promo for Fox News Sunday, Brian Kilmeade asked Chris if Katie Couric had stolen Palin’s patented updo for the Al Smith dinner: when F&F juxtaposed pics of Couric and Palin, Chris said that they did look alike but that Katie had more bling. At the end of the segment, Gretch was doing her Palin.

Chris smiled and exclaimed, “Oh! Gretch playfully pouted, took off her glasses, and gave him the doe eyes. Chris said, “I got in trouble…with Mrs. Wallace, talking too much about Gretchen and the cowboy hat so I cannot comment on her looks.” As Gretch listened, she grinned broadly and said, “I remember.” Then she gave him a big wave, a western “Adios,” and wished him well in his interview with John McCain.

“I Ain’t Missing You at All!”

October 17, 2008

Did the viewer hear John Waite’s air, “I Ain’t Missing You at All,” as American Morning co-host John Roberts ended his solo interactive presidential scoreboard segment today? Roberts seemed to make sure that he did not repeat yesterday’s body language misstep and tug at his missing wedding ring at the close of the segment. Well before its end, he placed his left hand in his pants pocket and kept it securely ensconced there. No physical faux pas today: no need to turn around and blink. When he had finished, the notable newscaster strode confidently off camera.

Shultz Storms Off F&F

October 17, 2008

Ed Schultz, liberal radio talk show host, got steamed and stormed off the F&F set today. In a presidential election debate segment with conservative Steve Malzberg, a conservative radio talk show host, Schultz got irate when Malzberg asked him whether his family construction business made more than $250,000. (Schultz was defending Barack Obama’s tax plan and had said that he and his sons’ business would benefit from it.) Schultz said, “I didn’t interrupt you, Steve [Malzberg]: This happens every time I go on the air with you. Malzberg responded, “Aw, stop complaining.” Shultz continued, “You always torpedo everybody you go up against.” When Brian Kilmeade interjected, “Just to the point: Are they [Democrats] right to attack him [Joe the Plumber], Shultz smirked, shook head, and left without a word.”*

After Shultz left, a disgusted Brian declared, “Isn’t that interesting? That’s so fantastic. He added, “How sensitive do you have to be? One line and he storms out.” From the live feed iin The Villages in Florida, Steve asked, “What are nuts? Ed, Ed, Ed, aw, man.” Gretch opined, “I think he just wants to be on YouTube.” Brian kiddingly requested Malzberg to storm off, too, and Malzberg good-naturedly complied. Shortly thereafter, Brian and Steve did, too, in jest.

* 6:27 a.m. ET

Ingenue Gretch?

October 16, 2008

Gretchen Carlson, the feigned innocent of Fox & Friends, promo’d the Brian Wilson presidential preference cafe segment. She teased, “I know who is there–the intrepid, the wonderfully dependable…Brian Williams [perhaps, thinking of NBC’s evening news anchor].” Steve interjected, “Wilson!” Gretch responded, “Oh!…Brian Wilson. I’m sorry: You’re never going to forgive me. Anyway, will you still bring me back a hot dog? Brian Kilmeade risquely remarked, “Excuse me!” Gretch blushed, giggled, and dropped her head.

After the commercial break and as the Wilson story was concluding, the ingenue Gretch ribaldly requested a “hot dog.” Wilson said that he would. Mrs. Goody Two Shoes with a dirty sole?

AM Flies, F&F Falls

October 16, 2008

With vastly different results, American Morning and Fox & Friends aired live seventh-generation Flying Wallendes scion Nik Wallendes’ attempt yesterday to break the world record for highest netless bike ride. As the high-wire artist tantalized the crowd 235 feet above Newark with his traversal of the distance first on foot and then on bike, AM’s Kiran Chetry and John Roberts treated their viewers to vivid close-ups with colorful commentary: meanwhile, as F&F’s Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Gretchen Carlson prepared to hawk their live footage, the video began to break up and then completely fizzled before the distant daredevil could easily be espied and before Wallendes set the world record.

American Morning flew with their colors high as Fox & Friends fell unceremoniously to the ground.

Roberts Missing Missus?

October 16, 2008

Is American Morning co-host John Roberts missing someone special? As Roberts ended his presidential scoreboard segment at 6:15 a.m. ET today, the stentorian voice of AM rubbed his hands and then subconciously felt for his missing wedding ring as he approached the camera. When he seemed to realize what he had done, he turned around a bit abruptly and blinked.

Is Roberts still happily married? According to a MediaBistro article with a short interview dated August 25, 2008, Roberts is married with two children. However, this author has not seen him with his wedding ring on since September 2, just over a week later.

Of course, a missing wedding ring does not necessarily mark the end of wedded bliss but it might be an ominous portent. Hopefully, Roberts’ marriage is not on the rocks but rather secure in a safe harbor. For the scandalously inclined, his AM counterpart and recent mother anew Kiran Chetry has steadfastly worn hers.

Gretch: An E.D. Evolution?

October 15, 2008

Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson seems to be upping her game lately. She appears better prepared, more self-confident, and increasingly assertive a la her immediate predecessor E.D. Hill. E.g., today Gretch was shown aggressively interviewing Senator Hillary Clinton on the Democrat’s share of responsibility for the current economic crisis. Whether one agrees with the merits of Gretchen’s questioning or not, one would be hard pressed to argue that she lobbed softballs or was cowed by the former First Lady.

However, Gretch, if you are following the E.D. model, please try to refrain from aping her occasional F&F solipsist soliloquies. Remember the flag footage and patriotic music that the crew used to abash her with when she would go on an overly enthusiastic chauvinistic rant? F&F’s audience wants to be educated and entertained not to be pedagogued.

Gratulations, Gretch, on your good work!

Kiran Gets Earthy

October 14, 2008

After a week of dire economic news and commensurately drab distaff fashion, American Morning’s Kiran Chetry changed the tenor Monday. After the G7 financial gurus came together over the weekend to bolster the world finances and the markets seemed to positively respond, Kiran did her part to rally them further. The leggy Nepalese beauty brightened the Monday morn with her hot earthy brown pinstripe mini and flattering fuchsia wrap top. Yes: It was morning in America again!

“We Don’t Need Another Hero”

October 12, 2008

The lyrics of Tina Turner, leggy queen of Southern soul, seem to echo in the minds of McCain’s Republican faithful now. Once again another GOP American war hero is playing second fiddle to his more youthful, charming, and charismatic Dem counterpart. Like World War II veteran Bob Dole, Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential opponent, John McCain seems to have left his fighting spirit on the battlefield: perhaps, soon he’ll be happy making copious appearances on the talk show circuit and singing the praises of Viagra, too!

AM: ACORN Manifest

October 12, 2008

After a virtual blackout Thursday, CNN’s American Morning pulled backed the curtain on its coverage of the ACORN voter registration controversy. Before the first commercial break of the final hour, AM’s co-host Kiran Chetry promo’d the upcoming segment on “more claims of voter registration fraud against a liberal activist group already under fire in several states.” When AM returned, AM co-anchor John Roberts introduced the story about more claims against ACORN in Indiana in addition to other states, e.g., Nevada. Roberts asked Special Investigations Unit correspondent Drew Griffin, “What’s ACORN being accused of exactly here, Drew?”

Not mincing words, Griffin responded, “Well, it’s not even accused–there, it’s fraud, John.” Griffin went on to elaborate that the heavily Democratic county in a heavily GOP state had found that approximately 50% of ACORN voter registrations were “bad.” Further, he revealed that ACORN had endorsed Barack Obama and that the Obama campaign had given ACORN $800,000 for its voter registration in the primary but was not working with it in the general election. Giving ACORN an opportunity to respond Griffin interviewed ACORN Senior Counselor of Project Vote Brian Mellor: Mellor stated that he believed that the allegations were attempts to suppress votes.

AM may have been caught sleeping Thursday but it awoke Friday with a hard-hitting segment on ACORN by Drew Griffin.

[Caveat: Due to technical difficulties, the author has not yet reviewed the first two hours and three minutes of AM’s Friday program.]

F&FW Pretenders? “Don’t Get Me Wrong!”

October 12, 2008

Today Fox & Friends Weekends opened to the strains of the Pretenders’ “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” Maybe, the producers are asking the viewers to embrace the song’s penultimate verse. The stanza reads as follows:

Don’t get me wrong
If I come and go like fashion
I might be great tomorrow
But hopeless yesterday.

In F&FW’s prior reincarnation with the cast of Ainsley Earhardt, Clayton Morris, Dave Briggs, Rick Reichmuth, and Courtney Friel, the show seemed like a series of news skits with no one to exert a semblence of sanity. In fact, it did seem “hopeless yesterday”: it is better with seasoned veteran Alisyn Camerota today; and, maybe, just maybe, it “might be great tomorrow.”

“Don’t get me wrong”: “Great” seems like an unattainable aspiration. Let’s just hope that F&FW continues to get better.

Aly’s Do-Over

October 12, 2008

Poor Aly! Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Alisyn Camerota got as much respect yesterday from ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson as Gretchen Carlson gets from Jackie Mason or Shepard Smith. Levenson sounded like Al Gore listening to George Bush in the ’04 presidential debates: he tut-tutted, sighed deeply, and patronized his opponent John Fund relentlessly as moderator Aly helplessly looked on. After getting grief from her GreenRoom blog, Camerota gave Fund another opportunity today to give his side of the ACORN voter registration controversy unfettered: Levenson was not invited.

O’Reilly 2 Black Prof: “Boy”

October 9, 2008

At the conclusion of Bill O’Reilly’s Race Factor segment with black Temple University prof Marc LaMont Hill on racial language, O’Reilly referred to Hill as “boy.” O’Reilly had had a congenial discussion about racial “code” language citing the presidential debate (McCain’s “that one” allusion to Obama), Palin’s mentioning of Joe Six-Pack, etc. O’Reilly discounted most of Hill protestations that such words had racial connotations. Ironically, at the end of the segment at 8:28 ET, O’Reilly said, “I’m glad I didn’t have you in school, boy: I would have gotten [sic] a “D.”

Hill seemed to take no offense, and O’Reilly acted as if he had given none. They both laughed and seemed to part on collegial terms. An odd moment.

AM: ACORNless Morning

October 9, 2008

The contrast of the treatment of the Nevada secretary of state’s raid on ACORN’s offices in Las Vegas by FNC’s Fox & Friends and CNN’s American Morning could not have been more stark. F&F led with the raid and had lengthy segments dedicated to it whereas AM merely mentioned it by name once in the headlines reading and another time in another headlines segment in a generic manner. F&F co-host Gretchen Carlson embraced the controversy as a personal crusade whereas AM co-anchor Kiran Chetry avoided it like the plague.

Why the difference? It may be in no small part because of Barack Obama’s connections (tangential or more intricate, depending on whom you believe) to ACORN. As the election draws nigh, the leanings of the two major cable news networks seem to become more and more manifest.

[ACORN, Association of Community for Reform Now is an organization that emphasizes the voter registration of economically challenged persons. According to Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller the raid was a result of a month-long investigation that indicated that ACORN may have submitted fraudulent registration forms.]

Kiran’s AM Nausea

October 8, 2008

American Morning co-host Kiran Chetry had an apparent bout of nausea today. During a young voter presidential debate perspective segment with Obama backer Alexandra Acker and McCain supporter Jason Mattera, Kiran held her stomach and gulped as if trying to keep her vittles in check. Morning sickness? It would seem a bit early after the April birth of her son Christopher Chetry. Perhaps, she was reacting to the pundits’ logorrhea. Or was she recalling yesterday’s brown pantsuit meant for Kyra Phillips that she had mistakenly put on? Regardless, she recovered nicely and continued in fine form.