Archive for October, 2013

“I’m Carol Alt”: I’m Just Like You

October 27, 2013

No, Carol, you’re not: And, that’s okay! Former supermodel Carol Alt continues to introduce her eponymous show A Healthy You & Carol Alt with one of the most annoying taglines ever. I.e., “I’m Carol Alt. I’ve been on the cover of more than 700 magazines and traveled the world for photo shoots and movies….I’m just like every person watching this show, and I want to help make a healthy you.” Argh!

One is surely tempted to turn the channel after Carol’s solipsist boast amid the cognitive dissonance. But, the gorgeous gal appears to have done her health homework and even the fitness nut may learn a thing or two from her. But, if Carol wants to broaden her viewers beyond those who have read her latest book, Easy Sexy Raw, she may want to open up the arcane argot of her health experts and herself to FNC’s “benighted masses”: In other words, if Carol want truly wants to make her fans “A Healthy You” she needs to spend less time trying to impress her expert guests with her knowledge and more on conveying it to her audience.

As a viewer of her show since its inception, the author has noticed that Carol has tried to hone it each week. And, as one who hopes that she and it succeeds on FNC, he hopes that she will scratch the irritating intro, supra, (or, at least, have someone else do the voice over) and talk less exclusively with her experts–and more so with her audience.

Go “Easy Sexy Raw,” Carol! Less experts and argot: more you and your audience. Again, dare to bare!

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Tucker Carlson: F&FW’s Shelley Hack?

October 27, 2013

Clayton Morris: “Welcome in Mike Jerrick from Philadelphia!” Yesterday, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Anna Kooiman welcomed increasingly frequent co-anchor Tucker Carlson fill-in Mike Jerrick with a spirited fist bump to the curvy couch. Heartily endorsing his predecessor and successor at FOX 29 Good Day (Philadelphia), Clayton Morris enthusiastically exclaimed, “Welcome in Mike Jerrick from Philadelphia!” And, no mention was made of Tucker then or for the rest of the show Saturday. Or Sunday–when Mike returned.

As the author mused today about yet another absence of Tucker and the fact that his co-anchors Anna and Clayton (or meteorologist Rick Reichmuth) did not even care to cite it, he recalled, perhaps, a revealing vignette last Sunday on F&FW of Tucker’s disconnect to the show. After a segue to his weather report, Rick ribbed Tucker about not being able to get off the floor in an earlier “fitness” segment: Chuckling, Tucker jested, “I’d fallen and I can’t [sic]  get up.”* Meanwhile, putting her hands over her eyes, Anna interjected, “So embarrassed about that video: we keep playing it.” In reply to both, perhaps, Rick declared, “We can’t let it go.”

Grinning, a gesticulating Tucker queried, “On normal TV shows, don’t they kind of prevent you from embarrassing yourself on TV?” Interposing, Clayton jested, “On normal TV shows, not on Fox & Friends!” Rick riposted, “[Inaudible] Tucker has not watched this show before he joined!” Smiling, Tucker conceded, “Yeah, apparently, not.”

Seven months ago to the very day, the rather cerebral Tucker officially was named the replacement of popular, unapologetically sentimental Dave Briggs on the curvy couch. It seemed a somewhat strange choice for a weekend show that is largely predicated on a personal nexus between the co-hosts and the audience. It appeared, especially, so in light of a F&FW signature analysis segment on January 12 (approximately two-and-half months earlier): F&FW “handwriting expert” Michelle Dresbold declared Tucker’s printed signature (“TSMC”) to indicate that he was not really letting anyone see too much of himself.** Concurring, Tucker acknowledged, “It’s like ‘Tears of a Clown’: I keep it inside.”

Perhaps, too much so. What does the FOX say?

[Author’s aside: Incidentally, after seven months as an official F&FW co-host, Tucker has still not added his FNC position to his Twitter rubric. Re “Shelley Hack” in the title of this post, supra, she was the single-season actress who replaced Kate Jackson as the “cerebral” Angel in Charlie’s Angels and got bumped summarily when she did not connect with fans.]

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 10/26/13 (@ 8:04 a.m. ET)

**Fox & Friends Weekend – 01/12/13 (@ 9:48 a.m. ET)

Proud Anna [Kooiman]: “Nice and Rough”?

October 26, 2013

“‘Nice and easy’: I’d like to do that for you….But we never, ever do nothing nice and easy: We always do it nice and rough!” Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Anna Kooiman may know how to give up a “booty-shaking” performance [vid] a la Tina Turner as a rocking fitness instructor: But, if she is ever going to rule the F&FW curvy couch, she needs to learn from the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” not only to translate her youthful enthusiasm and sexy energy into her new FNC gig but also to find a way to infuse her Southern niceness with a little old-time Tina “roughness.”

Too often, on the set with her co-anchors Clayton Morris and Tucker Carlson (and/or Mike Jerrick), Anna seems to embody her beautiful, playful yellow lab Baxter–overly eager to please. She would do well to remember the success of past F&FW “alpha bitches” (e.g., Juliet Huddy, Alisyn Camerota (thrice), Kiran Chetry, and Page Hopkins) and the failure of another nice Carolinian F&FW anchor (Ainsley Earhardt). If Anna hopes ever to rival her predecessor Aly (to whom Clayton bid adieu, saying, “I have never worked with someone in a female capacity on the air who has been just as effortless and fantastic as you”), she must learn not to be cowed by Clayton’s cleverness and Tucker’s intellect (and/or Mike’s deftness).

In other words, don’t be afraid to be an F&FW “alpha bitch,” Anna: Dominate the boys with your smarts, wit, and sensuality.

[Author’s aside: The subtitle, supra, is a quote from Tina Turner’s introduction to her legendary Proud Mary (with her then husband, Ike Turner). As to the inclusion of Mike Jerrick, supra, he seems to be co-hosting F&FW with increasing frequency for the incorrigibly absent Tucker.]

Bawdy Berman’s “Red Room”?

October 15, 2013

Saucy Sambolin “fit to be tied”! Early Start co-anchor John Berman got rather bawdy with his beautiful co-host Zoraida Sambolin this morning. Introducing their penultimate segment this morning, “The Bleacher Report,” John randily remarked, “Welcome back to Early Start, everyone–or, as we like to call it–the Red Room of Pain.* Gasping at John’s risque reference to the sexually sadistic romp room in Fifty Shades of Grey, Zoraida blushed and shook her head in utter disbelief. As John finished his intro to the sports report, he grinned goatishly as he looked over at his now flushed co-host. In response, Zoraida simply smiled and continued to shake her head at her bad boy.

Early Start: “The Red Room” with John and Zoraida. Now, that might be a sure CNN ratings success!

Early Start – 10/15/13 (@ 5:51 a.m. ET).

F&FW Med Malpractice? Tylenol Hangover Cure!

October 13, 2013

Oops: Partier Alert! This morning, Fox & Friends Weekend anchor Clayton Morris inaptly introduced New York City mixologist/bartender Pamela Wiznitzer as one who would “separate fact from fiction” as to hangover cures.* After discussing the merits of Sprite, “hair of the dog,” bananas, etc., Wiznitzer confidently declared, “I’m gonna tell you one thing: Aspirin is not what you should be taking if you’re drinking….But, ibuprofen and Tylenol are very safe!” As co-hosts Clayton and guest co-host Mike Jerrick remained mute, co-anchor Anna Kooiman muttered, “Okay.”

No, it is not “okay.” According to the Mayo Clinic, “[I]f you sometimes drink alcohol to excess, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can cause severe liver damage even in doses previously thought to be safe.” Off air, Wiznitzer was rebutted by one Tweeter, who said, “[T]ake Tylenol instead of Aspirin”.. this is backwards. Tylenol and Alcohol cause liver damage.” Acknowledging her ill advice to the Tweeter (and to @ClaytonMorris), Wiznitzer conceded, “Indeed you are right….Never mix the two.”

Medical advice from a mixologist/bartender? Seriously?! Unfortunately, F&FW producers and the co-anchors fell down on the job today. But, Clayton, perchance, had an even greater responsibility to alert wrongly informed viewers of the dangers of Tylenol (especially, if he read his guest’s recantation before the end of the show).

Alisyn Camerota has “left the building.” Now, it is time to take up the slack, F&FW! Until then, caveat emptor, viewers!

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 10/13/13 (@ 8:53 a.m. ET).

Mike “Jerric”: F&FW’s Co-host Again?

October 12, 2013

Aly’s gone: Tucker, too? Today, Fox & Friends guest co-anchor Mike Jerrick returned to the curvy couch to help Clayton Morris steer the now almost rudderless ship that current American News HQ co-host Alisyn Camerota and F&FW‘s three-time captain “abandoned.” Filling in for the incorrigibly absent co-host Tucker Carlson who was recently brought on board, F&FW veteran Mike returned this morning to help save the day, as co-host “for nowAnna Kooiman struggles to gain her sea legs.

Without their long-time leader Aly today, F&FW producers and Clayton seemed saliently off course this morning. At the start of each hour (that identified the co-hosts), Mike’s surname was thrice risibly spelled as “Jerric.” (Perhaps, his early ’00’s classic F&FW stint with Juliet Huddy and Julian Phillips is now but a faint memory if ever there were one.) To boot, a strangely off-key Clayton segued twice to meteorologist Rick Reichmuth with obviously erroneous info that Rick had to correct: First, Clayton, implored male viewers to send in pics of them illegally kissing their wives today (re a Hartford, CT, law that made such P.D.A. illegal on Sundays);* and, later, he indicated that Phuket, Thailand, was devastated by a typhoon rather than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.**

F&FW: Clayton, Anna, and who? Sans Aly, F&FW flounders anew. Clayton’s hand at the helm is somewhat uncertain; Anna is trying to find her footing; and Tucker is M.I.A. again. A la Aly, Mike to the rescue?

*Fox & Friends Weekend – 10/12/13 (@6:34 a.m. ET)

**Ibid at @ 9:09 a.m. ET.

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!

Gretchen’s New Gig: The Real Story

October 6, 2013

Flowers for Carlson: Nerd Tears and Casey Close. Last week, Gretchen Carlson finally brought her own show, The Real Story, to her FNC fans. Slotted in what was once the final hour of America Live, Gretchen seems to have salvaged and revamped Megyn Kelly‘s sloping desk; to have “stolen” her all-femme “Power Panel,” and to have adopted the AL feel–perhaps, hoping that Megyn’s magic will rub off on her.

Fox News certainly hopes so. In the premiere of her program, Gretchen ceremoniously received the blessing of FNC fave The Donald who predicted that she would “have great success.”* (Adventitiously or not, Trump also trumpeted in her Fox & Friends successor Elisabeth Hasselbeck in her Fox & Friends debut.)

However, Gretch will have to do more than mimic Megyn and hobnob with the high and mighty to make her show a success: she will also have to prove that she learned well her Minnesota parents’ purported lessons of “core values and humility.”** She will have to eschew the solipsism that she too oft displayed on Fox & Friends, e.g., when she haughtily heralded her resume of being the high school valedictorian, the Stanford alum, and the first Miss America that was a classical violinist. Even though comedian Jon Stewart and her Connecticut blue blood friends may approve of such hubris, FNC’s much maligned “flyover” audience do not.

Gretchen’s Real Story needs to be about the Everyman/Everywoman who watches Fox News. Not Gretchen. If she remembers that simple truth, her intended audience will remember her and tune in—again and again.

[Author’s aside: Re the subtitle, Nerd Tears critic Kevin McCarthy gave Gretchen flowers on her last day on Fox & Friends and hubby Casey Close did likewise Friday on the last day (of her first week) on The Real Story.]

*The Real Story – 09/30/13 (@ 2:11 p.m. ET).

**Ibid at @ 2:01 p.m. ET.

Huddy’s “Hell”: To Freeze Over?

October 5, 2013

O’Reilly: “We’re gonna keep it…at least, for the time being.” Good Day NY anchor Juliet Huddy was given an entirely new weekly segment from Bill O’Reilly entitled “Mad as HellThursday on his eponymous show. A day earlier, Juliet’s erstwhile signature slot on the O’Reilly Factor, “Did You See That,” was handed to America’s Newsroom co-host Martha MacCallum. Stranger yet, O’Reilly himself seemed to suggest that Juliet’s new gig might not be long-lived.

Apparently, signaling the changes afoot on the Factor a week earlier (September 25), Martha Tweeted, “I will be on @oreillyfactor every Wed night.” Then, this past Wednesday, Martha appeared in Juliet’s place on “Did You See That” with no mention of the missing Juliet by either Martha or O’Reilly. However, at the end of the show, O’Reilly announced that the Factor on Thursday would “launch a brand new segment called ‘Mad as Hell'” with Juliet commenting on viewers’ missives about what really ticks them off.

True to O’Reilly’s word, Juliet appeared Thursday on “Mad,” opining with her “William” about e-mail from peeved viewers.* And, at the end of her segment, “O’Reilly asked for more such letters to them for the following Thursday.

However, on Friday, O’Reilly indicated that he and Juliet might not be entertaining such correspondence permanently. At the end of his show Friday, Bill read an e-mail from a fan of “Mad,” saying, “Mr. O, if you discontinue the Mad as Hell segment, I will be mad as hell.” In response, O’Reilly remarked, “Alright, we’re gonna keep it…at least, for the time being.”

In Ailes’ world lately, that “time being” is rather tenuous–at best.

*O’Reilly Factor – 10/03/13 (@ 7:29 p.m. ET)

**O’Reilly Factor – 10/04/13 (@8:55 p.m. ET)

Heather & Ainsley: F&FF Catfight Queens?

October 4, 2013

The other Heather and PAB scratched out! FNC chose the Carolina belles Heather Childers and Ainsley Earhardt to be the permanent co-hosts of Fox & Friends according to TVNewser. As to their former rotating fellow co-anchors, Heather Nauert has transitioned to be the quirky headline news reader on the new weekday Fox & Friends and Patti Ann Browne announced that she will do updates and hits and will guest anchor during the “dayside hours.”

Heather and Ainz can be proud of themselves: after all, they are the last ones standing from the originally proclaimed cast of ten (including not only their latest partners Heather N. and PAB but also FNC beauties Anna Kooiman, Juliet Huddy, Arthel Neville and Jamie Colby, and beasts Dave Briggs and Clayton Morris). Ainsley, especially, must feel giddy since she inaugurated this second version of the Fox & Friends First (with Anna) and is still heading the helm.

Unfortunately, the sapor of the show has changed from the time when Ainsley (and Anna) delivered on the promo to be a “shot of espresso” to rouse their viewers from their bed. Short skirts, flirty fun, and cheeky chats have given way too oft to more demure dress, insipid sobriety, and banal banter. Oops: from caffeine to decaf!

Congrats, Heather and Ainsley! Break a leg. And, spice it up!

[Author’s aside: “Catfight Queens”? Perhaps, if the ratings dip too much!]

Camerota: “It’s Going Too Quickly”

October 1, 2013

Aly: “Ha! Leave ’em wanting more.” Yesterday, Fox & Friends Weekend queen of the curvy couch Alisyn Camerota made her move yesterday to a new throne on America’s News HQ next to the “thieving” Bill Hemmer. Apparently, producers realized that Aly’s Fox & Friends Weekend fans were not necessarily overly amused with the loss of their beloved beauty: Thus, they opened the new ANHQ with a humorous show-starting skit a la Saturday Night Live (of lovely Aly with a huge curler in her hair being served a bagel by an obsequious Bill before they both frantically realized that they were running late for their premiere program).

Continuing the meme mid-show, Bill asked, “How you doing? You alright?” Smiling knowingly, Aly answered, “Doing well. It’s going too quickly!” Grinning  back almost impishly, Bill replied, “Is it?” Beaming beautifully, Aly responded, “Yes, stretch it out a little more, Bill. Slow it down! Too fast for me!”

Too fast for Aly’s F&FW fans, too–by three hours! When the author suggested as much to Aly, she aptly Tweeted, “Ha! Leave ’em wanting more.”

And, indeed she does!

Update: Aly and Bill’s ANHQ opening vid via J$P.