January 20th, 2010

TV DOCTORS ARE PLYING THEIR TRADE DOWN IN HAITI

  1. Dr. Sanjay Gupta for CNN, Dr. Nancy Snyderman for NBC, Dr. Richard Besser for ABC, Dr. Jennifer Ashton for CBS, others.
  2. … They’re all putting themselves into the story, treating the wounded and giving tours of medical facilities. All the nets are making sure they show the viewers back home how they’re doing their part in the disaster.
  3. … It’s vanity broadcasting and sometimes a bit much. I don’t need to see a “news” piece from Haiti that spotlights what “our own medical correspondent” is doing for the effort. It wreaks of self-promotion.
  4. … Stay out of the story and try covering it neutrally.
  5. … The next time a natural disaster hits, why not ship over the casts of Grey’s Anatomy or General Hospital? They’ll put even more drama into the catastrophe.
  6. … And when did someone announce it was “muscle T-shirt time”? Leader of the pack, naturally, is Anderson Cooper. He likes the dark ‘T’ that’s tight and accents his chest build. Bill Hemmer of Fox News likes the dark ones too but wears his slightly looser. They are the young turks of modern broadcast journalism (although cable TV does not ‘broadcast,’ technically speaking).
  7. Brian Williams wore a regular casual shirt with two front pockets (two nights in a row); Jeff Glor of CBS had on a shirt and flack jacket (like Peter Jennings - remember him? -- used to wear); Lester Holt of NBC wore what looked like an oversized green shirt on his first day of anchoring the weekend Nightly News; and then the second day he had on a similar one that was blue. At one point during his broadcasting stint from there over the weekend he had on a loose white T-shirt - not tight like what the young bucks are doing. Holt probably wanted to distinguish himself from that fluff.
  8. … The gals, Diane Sawyer and Kate Snow for ABC and Katie Couric for CBS were casual too with khaki-colored shirts or blouses worn out and not tucked in. For once they didn’t look like they just walked out of a makeup room in New York. Remember, they’re serious and they’re on assignment.
  9. Katie did have on sunglasses while walking down a street while talking about the tragedy straight to the camera - to you, viewers at home. But after all, Haiti is in the Caribbean and it was sunny out, but Diane Sawyer didn’t wear sunglasses; she had on regular her regular, slightly nerdy, plastic-framed specs.
  10. … I could do without Diane Sawyer coo-cooing and playing with the children down there like she’s their long-lost auntie or something. (ABC made a promo out of it.) Again, can we stay out of the story and just report it? Is that too much to ask?
  11. SELF-PROMOTER. NBC Today show’s Al Roker was in Haiti early in the week (why, in God’s name, would he be there?), along with Brian Williams, Ann Curry (who is good with these types of stories), Kerry Sanders and others of the NBC contingent. The show was airing a piece about the Fairfax County (Virginia) Search and Rescue Team and their mission to the earthquake zone.
  12. … Out of that videotape piece Roker interjected, “We spoke with them earlier today on “Wake Up With Al on the Weather Channel.”
  13. … I couldn’t believe he took the time to promote himself and his early, early morning TV show so shamelessly while he was there in the disaster zone. Was that necessary? Can’t the news - especially breaking news - be free of such drivel and nonsense? It just goes to show you what an “entertainer” and non-newsman he is, and that he had no business being down there on the story in the first place. What a buffoon.
  14. Why does Denzel Washington have to always play a scuzzy role (Eli) in every movie he makes lately? Now it’s in The Book of Eli, where he plays some post-apocalyptic, lone man warrior on the prowl, protecting the only copy (yeah, that’s believable) of the Bible left in the world, which can somehow save humanity.
  15. … He’s been walking the face of the earth for 31 years and it’s a kill-or-be-killed world.
  16. … He looks mean and threatening and carries a huge knife and has guns to deal with the bad guys (Gary Oldman as Carnegie) but he’s a far cry from Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan in his martial arts skills.
  17. … At his age he oughta be playing something more sophisticated, like Cary Grant did for Alfred Hitchcock. Get rid of those badass roles.
  18. I know I’m getting old when I hear Ringo Star is turing 70 (July 7). According to USA Today he’s marking the milestone by playing Radio City Music Hall in New York as part of a summer tour with his All-Starr band, and he’s currently out promoting his 15th solo album, “Y Not.”
  19. … He passed 64 long ago.
  20. … And another example of age-appropriate syndrome from the Gen X-ers or Gen Y-ers or millennials or whatever you call them: My partner in the CURMUDGEON’S CORNER told me that the intern who was sitting with him and training “had never heard of Sophia Loren. Boy am I feeling old,” the codger remarked.
  21. … And so it goes.
  22. … I guess you can’t know everything and everybody.
  23. BS. People in the news business are supposed to know everything and if they don’t, they have no business being in it. Go Google it, for crying out loud.
  24. Ellen DeGeneres sounds like a reluctant judge already. (She’s replacing Paula Abdul on American Idol.) She told her Ellen TV audience last week that she was taping Idol’s Hollywood Week (I thought the show was LIVE when you watched it; they say it is) that she doesn’t like being critical and telling people that they’re not good and eliminating the losers. She says that’s Simon’s job.
  25. … Then why’d she become a judge, for crissakes? They’ve all got to state an opinion and decide people’s fate. What does she think a judge does? Is she gonna coddle every contestant?
  26. … And why’d she even get the job? She’s got her own dumb show. Why are some of these “stars” so overemployed?
  27. … And by the way, the first week of Idol tryouts … haven’t we seen enough of the crazies? It’s all so pre-chosen and set up to spotlight (for ratings) the most outrageous wannabes and it tends to be mean and cruel. Do we have to accept that as entertainment?
  28. WHERE’D THE TERM ‘GLOBAL WARMING’ GO? Now it seems to be climate change. Everybody’s saying that instead. Why’d that happen?
  29. Climate Change sounds less dire to me, less immediate, not as serious. This true now? What do the “experts” say? Was Al Gore wrong?
  30. AVATAR. What a movie. James Cameron wrote and directed this 3-D special effects feast for the eyes about a crew from Earth on a scientific mission to explore the planet (moon) Pandora, which is inhabited by blue-colored, strange-looking aliens called Na’vi who live in a dense forest/woodland. The humans are greedy and want the “unobtanium” (precious metal) that is there and are willing to fight for it.
  31. … Paraplegic war vet Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and others are sleep-induced and transported to Pandora to gather intelligence with a promise that his paralyzed legs will be fixed if he’s successful. He takes the form of an avatar and infiltrates the Na’vi but soon falls in love with “alien” Naytiri (Zoe Saldana).
  32. … It’s a fantastic voyage, sorta, and it works. It’s done with motion-capture and animation and CGI and the scope and movement in the film are unbelievable. Director James Cameron has really created something.
  33. Sarah Palin started her stint on Fox News last week. She appeared on all the big shows as a guest and was ingratiatingly interviewed by Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. So far she hasn’t “commentated” on her own, just responded to Q&A’s.
  34. … It’s another example of someone in the news who is plucked from the firmament with no TV experience, slapped on the air and paid big bucks.
  35. … It just goes to show you, people on TV need no experience. Simple as that. Any bonehead can do it.
  36. DAVID BECKHAM DROPS TROU. He’s seen in a picture that ran in the New York Post last Monday which showed the soccer star on the field bending down and pulling on a new pair of shorts at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, Italy, to celebrate victory.
  37. … You could see he does actually wear those black sexpot skimpyArmani underwear that he advertises in the magazines. Good to know he believes in the product.
  38. … He then took off his shirt and revealed a “new tattoo of Christ on his torso,” wrote an entertainment blogger.
  39. … The man’s got everything.
  40. CRAZY HEART. Movie starring Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake, a down-on-his-luck country singer who is a living legend but who drinks and smokes too much and is now reduced to playing local dives just to get a paycheck. He gets involved with a single mother played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and proceeds to get his life in order.
  41. Bridges is rumored to possibly win an Academy Award for his performance. (He won a Golden Globe, but what does that mean?)
  42. … Movie was just okay by me. Sort of been there, done that regarding the story. We’ve seen it all before. Bridges is good and he seems to be doing his own singing (also on the movie soundtrack CD) but the movie was sort of a snore. (Award-winning music man T-Bone Burnett is a producer and composer on the film.)
  43. … And Colin Farrell (with a ponytail and no British accent) plays an un-credited part of an up-and- coming country singer that lets Bad Blake open up for him in a concert. Farrell is pretty good actually; it just seems like an oddball casting job that someone else might have been better at.
  44. They’re using a cover version of Phil Spector’s Be My Baby for Cialis, the erectile dysfunction pill. (Spector picked up nightclub hostess and actress Lana Clarkson back in 2003 and took her to his LA home where she was later found dead of a gunshot wound. Spector had a history of gunplay with women, was convicted last year of killing her and is currently serving 19 years to life.)
  45. JUST WONDERING. Think they were playing Be My Baby in the nightclub the night he picked her up while he was whispering all those sweet nothin’s in her ear?
  46. UH … Be My Baby, the original, by The Ronettes, on Philles Records, 1963. ┬áJust ask lead singer Ronnie Bennett what it was like to be locked up in husband Phil’s mansion (castle) between 1968 and 1974. She wrote about it in her 1989 autobiography, “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness.”


rocci@roccifisch.com

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