Archive for April, 2017

“The Fox News Specialists”: Really?

April 30, 2017

Five O’Clock Somewhere might strike a more resonant chord with long-time Five fans whose show has moved to prime time (9 p.m. ET). The Five‘s replacement show as of Monday (May 1), “Fox News Specialists,” sounds somewhat supercilious at best and downright condescending to faithful, informed FNC viewers who probably know almost as much or possibly even more than the newly named co-hosts Eric Bolling, Eboni Williams, and Katherine Timpf.

Eric deserves the five o’clock slot if anyone does: Eric has held the Five center seat with distinction and promoted The Five diurnally by pointing to his left hand with all five “fingers” (including his thumb) extended at the end of virtually every show–not to mention, he’s a smart cookie who also anchors Cashin’ In on Saturday mornings (11:30 a.m. ET). As for Eboni, she’s has been a regular on Outnumbered who has a sharp legal mind, good common sense, and distinct feminine pulchritude. As to Katherine, she is smart and sexy, too, but she can be annoying with her millennial snark as she frequently has evidenced on Red Eye and the Greg Gutfeld Show.

“News Specialists” sounds more like an obnoxious MSNBC show that might be hosted by Mika Brzezenski  of Morning Joe who infamously said, “[Trump] is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. He could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. That is our job.”

Eric, Eboni, and Katherine, it’s not Mika’s job, and it’s not your job. As you all well know, your job is to report and to let your audience decide. And, when you and your colleagues do it well, every viewer is a “Fox News Specialist.”

Break a leg! Hopefully, it’s “five o’clock somewhere”!

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O’Reilly Out: Carlson In

April 20, 2017

Five replaces Carlson; Bolling replaces Five; and Watters replaces Bolling. Yesterday, FNC honcho Rupert Murdoch “caved”: Joined his boys James and Lachlan in dethroning the King of Cable Bill O’Reilly (statement)–while O’Reilly was on vacation. And, O’Reilly did not get the last word on his once eponymous show last night newly named simply The Factor.

Rather, The Factor fill-in host Dana Perino solemnly declared, “Finally, tonight, it is the end of an era here at the Fox News Channel….Bill O’Reilly is leaving this chair and this network after more than twenty years. Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news, and for good reason: He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere; he has also held his staff to exacting standards in his quest to put the best possible program on the air and they are great; and you his audience responded in record numbers making The Factor the number one cable news show for more than sixteen years.” Trying to soften the blow to O’Reilly’s fans further, Dana declared, “In a memo to the staff today, Rupert, James, and Lachlan Murdoch who run Fox News described Bill this way, [saying], “By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. We wish him the very best.”

Even though the Murdochs recently re-signed their FNC flagship anchor and top revenue generator to an 18-million-per-year contract, they decided to  jettison O’Reilly amid the continuing allegations of sexual harassment. According to the New York Times, Fox luminaries Rebecca Gomez (2011), Laurie Dhue (2016), and Juliet Huddy (2016) have received settlements: Furthermore, reportedly, erstwhile Outnumbered regular Andrea Tantaros‘s psychologist Michele Berdy said under oath that Andrea “complained to me about recurring unwanted advances from Bill O’Reilly.” To boot, the New York Daily News reported, “On the day before he [O’Reilly] was booted, a black colleague said a leering O’Reilly shamelessly ogled her cleavage and nicknamed her ‘Hot Chocolate.'”

Not amused, O’Reilly responded to his firing, saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we [Fox News and O’Reilly] part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers.” [For full statement, link here.]

As to O’Reilly’s dedicated viewers, they will now have “a new evening and prime time lineup” according to Fox News. As of Monday (April 24),  Tucker Carlson Tonight will replace the recently renamed O’Reilly Factor (to The Factor); The Five will follow with the usual cast of Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, and Bob Beckel with the addition of Jesse Watters to take Eric Bolling‘s middle chair (April 24); Bolling gets his own show in the old The Five slot at 5:00 p.m. ET (May 1).

Coaxing his own Tucker Carlson Tonight viewers to make the jump to the new time last night, Tucker concluded his show saying, “There is change coming to Fox News, the channel and to this program: Starting Monday, we are moving to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. You’ve made the journey with us from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: We hope you’ll come along once more and join us an hour earlier.” Graciously, he aptly added, “We’ve got big shoes to fill: We’re going to do our best.”

Indeed, Tucker does have big shoes to fill: Whether O’Reilly devotees will give Tucker that chance remains to be known. And, to whether FNC fans cotton to James and Lachlan’s kinder, gentler Fox News is another issue altogether: Their father Rupert had the Midas touch with his “Mad Men” mentality. Going PC may be FNC’s folly: Alchemy in reverse.

F&FF’s Rob Schmitt?

April 6, 2017

Who the heck is Heather Childers‘ hubby du jour? Yes, Carpe Diem was similarly situated as most of FNC’s audience. After a Google search, the author found that guest Fox & Friends First co-host Rob (pics) like FNC star Shepard Smith (pic) and Gregg Jarrett (pic) has his own mug shot to add to his portfolio. According to SFLTV.com, Rob was arrested on “alleged battery/domestic violence charges”: However, SFLTV.com later reported, “The case against Rob Schmitt was dismissed on 3/9/2009 for lack of evidence.”

Obviously, in this fallen world, viewers should not be surprised at what journos, pols, or others are accused of doing or of what they do in spite of their celebrity. After all, there has never been a perfect mere mortal. But, the F&FF fan can be forgiven for giving a double take after her/his Google search of a Fox News newbie.

With all of the anti-Fox News feverish fervor from its competitors, FNC would be wise to place on the scales who Rob is and what he brings to the table for their audience.

Early Start: False Start!

April 4, 2017

Early Start confuses two very prominent black women: Condaleezza Rice and Susan Rice! In ES co-anchor Dave Briggs’ tease of upcoming stories as the show began, ES showed photos of President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice for an “Unmasking vs. Leaking” segment.* Subsequently, co-host Christine Romans and Dave introduced the “‘Unmasking of Trump Associate’s Names” as photos of President Obama’s former National Security Advisor ran, with no mention of their earlier mistake.

After the segment ended, Christine exclaimed, “I have to apologize quickly! We used some video that was Condaleezza Rice at the top of this program, not Susan Rice. Obviously, we know the difference. That was just a file tape.”** Chiming in, Dave declared, “She has nothing to do with this story.” Looking into the camera, Christine earnestly said, “That was just a, a tape snafu. So sorry about that, everybody! Sorry about that, Condaleezza Rice!

Unfortunately, Christine, someone at Early Start did not know the difference.

*Early Start – 04/04/17 (@ 4:00 a.m. ET).

**Ibid @ 4:03 a.m. ET).