|February 18, 2007
SEX KITTEN (CAT) UPSTAGES SPACE CADET
- . . . Yeah, the news about Lisa Nowak -- remember her? -- , the Space Shuttle astronaut involved in a "love triangle" who was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and more, was barely over when the news about former Playboy model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith broke. One thing after another. The hits just kept on coming.
- . . . The news about Smith kept cable TV, the Internet and even the network news .
- . . . People like their tabloid news and TV and Internet producers know it. People want it fast and immediate with lots of speculation and what-ifs and the execs know that grabbing viewers turns into ratings and money, so expect more of it being drummed into your collective consciences.
- . . . So I wonder what Zsa Zsa Gabor thinks about her husband (Number 8 or 9), Prince Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, saying he could be the father of Smith's baby girl Dannielynn. Says he was involved in a ten-year relationship with the Marilyn Monroe/Jayne Mansfield wannabe. If Zsa Zsa was in better health, I bet she'd whup his a_ _. I wanna hear a sound bite from her, somebody find that woman!
- . . . LATER: The New York Post's Cindy Adams reported that the frequently married Hungarian , who had a stroke, just stays around home, doesn't go out and has been known in the past to boss her husband around. When he leaves the house, he locks the gate out front so nobody can come in to see wifey Zsa so she seemed shuttered in. That's what Cindy sez.
- . . . POINT OF INFORMATION. Zsa Zsa is now 90 years old and von Anhalt is 59. They've been together for 20 years. So she was 70 when she married him and he was 39. Good God, how much could they have in common?
- Were the Dixie Chicks's multiple wins at the Grammys an open protest vote by the Recording Academy against Bush and the Iraq war or were the group's Taking the Long Way and Not Ready to Make Nice album and single that good? Some might say that this is a vindication for the backlash they got when Natatlie Maines said in London at a concert in 2003 that the group was ashamed of being from Texas, the same state the prez hails from. So maybe things've come full circle now.
- NBC Entertainment shows its Web site address on TV as their colored peacock logo with .com after it instead of spelling nbc out. Clever. So it's peacock.com, sort of. But if you go to the actual peacock.com, you'll find some business site for outsourcing. It's advertised as the "world's oldest dot com address," established Oct. 12, 1995.
- . . . So NBC didn't hop on the bandwagon soon enough to lock that name in.
- THIS DAY IN HISTORY. Actually Monday, Feb. 12, 1964 was the first appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and reportedly 73.7 million people watched. That's bigger than Idol. (This from a former colleague who always had a way with numbers and figures.)
- BIG BOO-BOO. Last Sunday's Parade (Feb. 11) magazine had outdated information about Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in Walter Scott's Personality Parade. Responding to a question about the horse's health after his injury in the Preakness Stakes, Scott answered that the thoroughbred was in stable condition. That's news to me. Did he come back from horse heaven? .
- . . . But on Monday there was an Editor's Note on parade.com that said, "Barbaro developed serious complications after we went to press, and the horse had to be euthanized on Jan. 29."
- . . . JUST ASKING. How far in advance do they publish that column? I like my news fresh..
- Whitney Houston came out of the closet, so to speak, again with record mogul Clive Davis at his annual pre-Grammy party. She looks good, waved to the crowd and she's still got light hair. She was seen a little while back but this time she looked better. So when's she gonna start singing again and does she still have The Voice?
- . . . In the video I saw of her walking by the gawkers, she looked like her Cousin Dionne, as in Warwick. I could notice the family resemblance.
- Christine Uglihaira, er ... I mean Aguilera ... went a little bit over the top, singing James Brown's It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World at the Grammys. Admittedly, she can sing and has a range but she socks a bit too much into her performances. Everything's gotta be a knockout and it's just not necessary. And the makeup and the hair and the fake tan and always in sheeny white, I mean, Gimme a Break!.
- THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Good movie about ruthless Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the '70s as seen through the eyes of his private physician (, a young, naïve and inexperienced Scottish doctor who Amin takes under his wing and makes an advisor. Things go well at first but then it gets dangerous and trecherous. Forest Whitaker plays Amin skillfully and scarily and the doctor (Nicholas Garrigan) is played by James McAvoy. Movie well directed by Kevin Macdonald.
- . . . Whitaker is up for Academy Award and may win, great performance.
- Diane Sawyer of ABC was in Iran last week reporting and, anchoring Good Morning America from there with the normal contingent in New York. Sawyer got a sitdown interview with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and made news out of it. And while there she fashionably wore hajabs (head scarf) all week a la Christiane Amanpour of CNN/CBS.
- . . . She still stood out though because of her blonde hair so she didn't necessarily blend into the crowd over there.
- . . . The Today show's Meredith Vieira spent the night in an area hotel last Tuesday night because she wanted to be close to work due to the winter storm. So she walked to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and on the way slipped in the snow and bumped her head. "It's slippery out there," she exclaimed, and prefaced her story by warning Matt Lauer and viewers that that's why she might be acting a little goofy, because of the bump on her head which was covered up with makeup.
- Tracy Smith of last weekend's Saturday EARLY Show said this about Anna Nicole Smith in her intro before interviewing some celebrity author: "She was no 'candle in the wind.' More like a blowtorch in the breeze." .
- . . . And another TV anchor (I forget which one) said of Ms. Smith, "She's less a candle in the wind, more like a red light in a bordello."
- . . . Elton John's Candle in the Wind, when originally released (1973), was a song written by John and partner Bernie Taupin about Marilyn Monroe, although Taupin got the idea when he heard the phrase used to describe '60s blues belter Janis Joplin. Then later, in 1997, the song was rerecorded and dedicated to and Princess Diana after she died in that car crash. And now it's being used for tabloid Smith. Trite usage.
- TREND? I'm seeing a lot of those knit, usually multi-colored, homemade-looking winter hats with the 'pigtails' (side straps) hanging down. You see 'em everywhere this winter. Lots of young ladies are wearing them. Passing fad?
- Does one have to have a big ego to be president of the United States? Does Bush, did Clinton, did Father Bush, did Carter, did Ford, Nixon, Kennedy? Which ones?
- . . . All of 'em, fool.
- SICK OF. . .Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. They appear everywhere together. What, are they sewn together, for cryin' out loud? Never one without the other. He's the star, she's lesser. Flaunting togetherness. I hope their marriage is lousy.
- RAISING A QUESTION. How does Eddie Murphy get away with making fun of overweight people? He does in Norbit, the No. 1 movie of last weekend. Isn't that politically incorrect? Aren't these people considered a kind of minority? Isn't it discriminatory to mock them for entertainment value? How many talk shows have done shows on this topic?
- . . . And someone wrote in to a washingtonpost.com movie discussion asking the same thing: "Why does this movie and others feel like it's okay to bet up on fat people in a manner that would be unacceptable for any other sub-group of people?"
- . . . So answer me that and get back to me.
- . . . Also, Washington's movie critic Arch Campbell, now at Channel 7 (ABC) since leaving NBC4 due to budget cutbacks, was reviewing Norbit and mispronounced one of Murphy's multiple characters (the woman he's engaged to and who is seen in the movie posters on top of his nerdy title character Norbit) in the film. Her name is Rasputia but Campbell said Rasputa. Wrong. Get it right!
- . . . And the Campbell segment was obviously pre-taped and not live. Boy, that's a cheap way to do it. Have the man live so he can do a little two-way with the anchors. We don't want his segments canned.
- Last Sunday NBC Nightly News with John Seigenthaler reported that upstate New York (Oswego County) got 150 inches of snow. That's all well and good but I can't visualize that. I know it's more than we usually get but tell me how many feet it translates to. I want the anchorman to do the conversion for me.
- Looks like Kelly Wallace has left CNN and is now at CBS. She did a piece on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric last Wednesday on old-name products coming back into the marketplace, i.e., the Ford Taurus. And then she was on a few nights later. She (Wallace) seems pumped and Katie seemed to enjoy her report(s).
- . . . CBS hires a lot of CNN-ers: Wallace, Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to name a few.
- The New York Times treated the story about NBC's Jeff Zucker becoming the new president and CEO of the company like it was the second coming of Christ, with a massive article last Tuesday in their Business section (C1). And then the next day there was another pretty big-sized article on it having happened, come to fruition. All that newspaper space. I mean, is it that significant?
- Someone at work sent around a "cute" animation of a cat on the ground swatting at the dangling legs of an allegedly hanging and dead Saddam Hussein, entitled Saddam's Cat. Was amusing – but not respectful.
- On the NASA video feed one day last week, flight engineer Sunita Williams up in the Space Station working in a module in and someone at work commented that she looked like one of those troll dolls because her hair was sticking straight up due to the weightlessness.
- Viv (Vivian Johnson) from Without A Trace did a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for Black History Month about Marian Anderson, the contralto singer who historically sang "America" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 before a crowd of 75,000 people. But I did a double-take because Viv (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) had a British accent which she certainly doesn't have on the CBS show. On that she does a very believable New York City accent. (In real life she is from London) So I guess she's a good actor.
- DECENT POP. Katharine McPhee's self-titled new album, the latest one from another American Idol (runner-up to Taylor Hicks in 2006/season five), is decent and has gotten some good reviews. First single is Over It, a medium tempo, shuffle-paced song, sounds fine. McPhee describes her style of music on the album as "rhythm pop."
- It was so cold and windy the other day that it blew a friend of mine's stocking cap right off his head. Now that's saying something.
- Will Anna Nicole Smith have a closed coffin now, with all that has happened? Is the body still okay? Will it show well?
- . . . And James Brown ... he's still being kept on ice. When're they gonna commit him to the ground? ("Good Gawd," as James would sing.)
- . . . Or as they would say on CSI, "Smells like decomp."
- ANOTHER CITY NAME ON CONDOMS. This time it's D.C. , the nation's capital. (Last time it was New York City) Last Friday the D.C. Health Department dispensed 250,000 condoms as part of its HIV/AIDS prevention campaign. On the purple and mustard-colored packages it says "Coming Together To Stop HIV in DC." Well who thought of that double entendre slogan? Good Grief, what were they thinking?
- . . . New York's packaging is done in "classy" black and its catch phrase is "We've Got You Covered." That's better. Theirs is more clever and doesn't elicit snickers.
- Mr. Big Stuff calls Aussie country singer and Nicole Kidman's husband Keith Urban, Keith Suburban. In a sense, he has been suburban lately due to rehab but now he's back to being urban, singing on the Today show last Friday.
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, met owner Sally's newest "pet," Charlie the horse, last weekend. Hana barked at first and got all riled up but after spending time with the new family member, she calmed down and followed horsey everywhere. But Charlie seemed "oblivious" to Hanalie and didn't phase him, said owner Sally.
- That Diane Keaton movie, Because I Said So ... Fuhgeddaboudit! Ridiculous, cloying, contrived, saccharine. I walked out after 45 minutes of it, couldn't take it. Diane Keaton should be ashamed of herself. And Mandy Moore, could she be more needy about needing to find the right guy? Pathetic.
- My mother has had it with all the Anna Nicole coverage on TV. She watches Larry King a lot and he had on Judge Judy to talk about the story and mom can't stand her either. "I'm gonna knock that woman's face in," said Mrs. Fisch. "And Mary Hart too [of Entertainment Tonight] for all that gossip coverage. Let the woman (Anna Nicole) rest in peace!" she exclaimed.
- UH . . . One Day of Peace – Love Committee, on Golden Fleece, 1974. Obscure Philly Sound club hit.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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