|April 19, 2007
YO HO, BLOW THE MAN DOWN
- . . . The wind practically did Monday morning. And I heard it was worse up north with a lot more rain than we got on the lower eastern seaboard. That ole nor'easter is hitting the East Coast bad. It ain't no gentle wind beneath my wings, that's for sure.
- . . . But, of course, The New York Times has to spell out the word northeaster and not use the hyphenated version when everybody else does. Are they still the newspaper of record?
- . . . News4 Washington weatherman Tom Kierein said this: "The wind is roaring through the woods like an angry pack of dogs."
- AHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. There's a real life wolfman about. He was on 20/20 Friday night and his full story aired Monday night on the National Geographic Channel: A Man Among Wolves. Long-haired, scruffy looking Shaun Ellis is a wolf behavior expert who has lived with wolves in captivity in England and Idaho, getting down on all fours, snarling, howling and licking with the pack. He probably stinks.
- . . . In fact, he keeps his clothes dirty so it'll preserve his wild outdoor smell for the wolves, never washes them. He hangs 'em out on the clothesline to keep the stench from inside the house, then puts 'em back on to hang out with the howlers.
- . . . They say his wife and kids have left him because of his wild ways.
- Rev. Al Sharpton got very grilled by Chris Wallace last week on Fox News Sunday. All about Imus, rappers and hip-hop music (they played a Ludacris clip), the Tawana Brawley case (1987), the Duke University lacrosse team alleged rape case and about Hillary Clinton receiving $800,000 from hip-hop artist/producer Timbaland and Sean 'Puffy' Combs (Diddy) being a guest at the White House. It was good journalism, called for accountability and young Wallace reminded me of his father Mike Wallace in his old 60 Minutes days.
- . . . Can we now never hear the term "hos"? Let's delete that word from the modern day lexicon please.
- Oprah Winfrey addressed the hip-hop question last Tuesday as part two of her coverage of the Don Imus controversy continues. (Part one being with the Rutgers University women's basketball team)
- . . . You know it's big when she gets involved.
- THE HOAX. The Richard Gere movie in which he plays Clifford Irving, the author who wrote a bogus autobiography about the reclusive Howard Hughes back in 1971. Gere seems convincing as the manic writer; partner-in-crime Alfred Molina is really good as his nervous nellie cohort Dick Susskind; Hope Davis plays a good role as the eager beaver in the publisher's (McGraw-Hill) office and Marcia Gay Harden is okay as Irving's wife Edith, although they could've done away with the hair thing and the foreign accent in her character, if you ask me.
- . . . Okay movie. I noticed that the packed theater audience I saw it in was skewing very baby boomer-ish, so I guess they're still making movies for my particular demographic.
- The new American Morning on CNN debuted Monday with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry (who?). They dumped Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien - "no chemistry," someone at the network thought. So we'll have to see how many sparks fly with the new Roberts/Chetry team.
- . . . NOTED: On day one, Chetry had a microphone on her lapel that matched the color (blue-green, torquoisey) of the jacket she had on so it didn't stick out and look that awful black that microphones usually are. ANOTHER SPRUCE-UP: And when they went to Jackie Schechner (Internet "reporter"), who is often seen on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room, she (Schechner) was actually dressed up like a professional reporter this time instead of how she's normally seen on TSR, which is like a college student.
- . . . NOTICED. And, not to be sexist but just stating the obvious facts, Chetry was showing a lot of leg action (Katie Couric?), sitting in a chair talking to Larry King about his upcoming special, 50 Years in Broadcasting.
- Expedia.com has a new version of when they sing it at the end of their commercials. Before it was real cornpone (and therefore funny); now it's mainstreamed. Gone is the hillbilly flavor; now it's more MOR (middle-of-the-road). So they've taken the soul out of it.
- Now there's Crest toothpaste in three new Nature's Expressions flavors: peppermint oil, natural lemon and mint, and mint and green tea extract. Good God! Do we have to flavor everything? Who wants all that in their mouths?
- . . . And what is it with green tea now? Tea, lattes, soft drinks, even ice cream. The H with it, just give me Lipton's.
- . . . The "Nature" in Nature's Expressions on the new Crest flavors looks like and is reminiscent of what old natural standby Tom's toothpaste from Maine has looked like for years. So I think Crest is trying to glom onto that market, hippies, right?
- FUNNY. The New York Post put Larry Birkhead's head on the body of Larry, one of The Three Stooges, on their front page with the headline, "It's Larry!)" after the news broke about the DNA testing that proved he was the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby Dannielynn. They left Larry's famous curly hair sticking out from under a hat he's wearing with a red circle around the doctored photo and it was funny.
- JUST ASKING. Is the baby's name (Dannielynn) pronounced Daniel Lynn or Danny Lynn? This is unclear.
- WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT? That's the question they ask in the previews for The Reaping, the movie which opened two weeks ago and then fell last weekend to number eight on the list. It's the one with Hilary Swank in it who plays a former Christian missionary who has lost her faith and who investigates a small Louisiana town that's supposedly suffering from some of the Ten Biblical Plagues (water turns to blood, locusts swarm, darkness).
- . . . A friend saw it and said it was okay, suspenseful, but not great and you could tell the effects were CGI-ed all over the place. And the ending indicates that there may be a sequel.
- . . . Can't anybody make a scary, biblical-related, prophetic movie anymore? Gimme a Break!
- TMZ.com, the sleaze Web site that catches celebrities off-guard and at their worst moments and slaps it up on the Internet for all to see, opened up a Washington, D.C. office this week. This time they're after politicians and other Washington types who go off-color. It's part of the TimeWarner company, headed up by Harvey Levin, formerly with Celebrity Justice, People's Court, other syndicated shows and frequent on-air contributor to anyone who wants dirt on the stars,
- . . . So it'll be interesting to see what they dig up in Washington and who's career might be ruined. Someone said on a talk show that TMZ could play a role in the 2008 election. Sounds like an over-statement but hey, could happen, especially if it's juicy enough.
- OBSERVED. Peter Alexander of NBC seems to be anchoring a lot on various network programs: On MSNBC in New York or wherever they are now, down in Blacksburg, Va., reading the news on the Today show. They're bringing him in from the field. He seems to be following the path of Brian Williams who followed the path of Tom Brokaw. Can he be the heir apparent (already?). Seems like that's what's happening. Being nursed along the way like Williams was. Must be nice to be chosen.
- Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, got on camera and expressed concern about the shootings at Virginia Tech before President Bush did, She's quick on the draw and got a leg up - again. Remember, a couple of weeks ago she went to the Middle East and talked to Syria about the conflict over there with Israel. She acts like she may be president.
- FYI: Meteorologist Bob Ryan of News4 Washington said on Monday that this April has had the coldest weather since ... 1875. Dig it.
- Fantasia (Barrino) , third season American Idol winner in 2004, is now on Broadway playing Celie in The Color Purple, the lead role played by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1985 movie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of a young black girl growing up in the early 1900s which follows her life through the next 30 years. Powerful, emotional movie. The play hasn't gotten such great reviews (they say it's too fast and crams too much in) but we're waiting to see what people are saying about Fantasia.
- . . . I hope she doesn't do too much of that screeching when she sings in the play.
- They say chickens came from dinosaurs. Remember that the next time you eat scrambled eggs.
- Curious how all those regular politicians and media types who were staples (guests) on Imus in the Morning to pitch whatever they were pitching have stepped into the shadows. They've backed off,, not uttering a peep. How many came out to say anything nice about the talk show host when he was under fire? Mike Barnicle's (Boston newspaper writer and frequent talk show guest) is practically the only one I've seen. They all abandoned ship.
- . . . Did they give credibility to the misogyny that Imus spouted on his radio show? Were they enablers? You answer that question.
- Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey's best friend and editor of her O Magazine, said last week, in answering a question from Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood - don't know which one, they're both bad - that no, she wasn't going on Dancing With the Stars. But she did admit that she was taking hip-hop dancing lessons. Geez, what else can she do?
- Someone referred to actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon, who are rumored to be dating and the subject of which was explored on washingtonpost.com's Celebiritology Live with Liz Kelly last week, as Gyllenspoon. Now isn't that cute.
- Kurt Vonnegut died last week -- the American novelist known for his books which combined satire, science fiction and black comedy. He wrote Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle. (FUNNY1: I thought Cat Stevens wrote Cat's Cradle.)
- . . . Actually this is wrong. Harry Chapin wrote Cat's in the Cradle and not Cat Stevens and Cat never recorded it either but Harry did sang it.
- . . . And Vonnegut was also known for the phrase "So it goes." FUNNY2: I thought Linda Ellerbee coined that one. She used to say it at the end of her NBC News Overnight show and even had a book out called "And So It Goes."
- . . . So I've been wrong a lot in my life.
- Jennifer Lopez, aka J.Lo, actually was pretty good, "mentoring" the American Idol contestants last week. She was fun, had good advice and seemed nice last Tuesday. She was coaching the lads and lassies on how to sing Latin-type songs. She talked about passion a lot.
- . . . Sad though, they didn't perform any of her (J.Lo's) illustrious hits on the show. What's that say about her repertoire?
- I hope that Virginia Tech student (Jamal Albarghouti) who had the cellphone video which was used all across the TV/media universe GOT PAID for it. He's got rights, he took the risk. So hear that, media outlets, PAY UP, you've got the money.
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, still comes out on top, says owner Sally, despite the arrival of new family member Charlie the horse. But Lee Lee is very jealous and takes it out by chasing Buddy the cat "something fierce" around the house. Charlie, incidentally, recently hurt his foot (hoof?) and can't be ridden for a month. Sally says he acts like Mr. Ed!
- . . . A horse is a horse, of course, of course ...
- COARSE. Last week in a promo for an upcoming Dr. Phil show on child abuse the man himself, Mr. McGraw, said this: "I'd have choked the son of a b_ _ _ _." I couldn't believe they let that air.
- . . . Some people get away with anything.
- CONNECTIONS, BABY. Do you think Condoleezza Rice is jealous because World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz's girlfriend makes more money ($193,590.00)than she ($140,000.00) does?
- Larry King says John Roberts should be his successor when/if King ever leaves his talk show, which will be never if he has anything to do with it. This revealed in a Q&A in USA Today on Monday.
- . . . Roberts's stock is high now. He's really moved around and up in CNN since he left CBS. So there is life after Big Three network news.
- . . . All three of the big networks called their coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings (initially when the story broke) "Massacre at Virginia Tech" -- ABC, CBS, NBC, plus MSNBC. Fox called theirs Campus Massacre, the letters on the TV screen done up in an old-fashioned news type, shaded to give a macabre, true crime aura to the title, typical. CNN seemed to call theirs Virginia Tech Tragedy with a similar style typeface as Fox News Channel used but less forboding-looking.
- Sometimes on the Internet I feel like I have clicked my last click.
- . . . UH . . . Click Clack - Dickey Doo & The Don'ts, on Swan, 1958.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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