January 31, 2011


  1. …The nation of 80 million was crippled: no data traffic, no text-messaging, no Facebook (Oh God). New York Times writer Matt Richtel says "Egypt, to an unprecedented extent, pulled itself off the grid."
  2. …Tech experts have never seen the plug pulled like this before.
  3. …Can you imagine if this happened here in the U.S.?
  4. …It amounts to taking away people's human rights, says Arvind Ganesan of Human Rights Watch, who was interviewed by The Washington Post's Monica Hesse.
  5. …Activists are taking their frustration (not being able to Tweet, etc.) to the streets because there's nothing else they can do. Being online has become everything to them. What do you do if you can't use your thumbs to connect?
  6. …Whoever thought the Internet would become this powerful and essential?
  7. FULL OF HERSELF. That's what struck me about Oprah Winfrey when she announced that she had a long lost step-sister (Patricia).
  8. …But Winfrey seemed most impressed by the fact that her new sibling never went to the tabloids to reveal her secret connection to the talk show host.
  9. …"She never once thought to sell this story," said Oprah, almost as if this was the most important part of the family discovery and not the fact that her mother gave up the child for adoption and never let anyone in the family know about it. Oprah seemed more concerned because Patricia didnt interrupt or complicate her public profile or get in the way of her emerging new TV network (OWN).
  10. Winfrey was pleased because she wasn't "betrayed" as she had been before by another relative also named Patricia who sold her (Oprah's) teen pregnancy story to a supermarket rag mag.
  11. Oprah, the all powerful.
  12. …I'd say she has her priorities in the wrong place.
  13. NEW EYE CANDY: Nicole Lapin of CNBC. She seems to be the currently favored business reporter that programs like Morning Joe and the Today show go to for their morning updates. That job's been a revolving door for young pretties who come up through the ranks. There's always another one (lady) in waiting.
  14. …Long, light-colored brown hair, big, sexy almond eyes that beam out like radar, a noticeable beauty mark on her left cheek and hair in Rapunzel-length extremes. They've all got that now (see Nancy O'Dell, now of Entertainment Tonight).
  15. …It's so much hair hanging down she could practically sweep the floor with it.
  16. President Obama had on a light blue or purple or lavender (people speculated) tie for the State of the Union address. Most presidents have worn a red tie for that event, haven't they? I liked it myself, went well with his blue suit and busted him out of the dull wardrobe that lawmakers usually don.
  17. …Speaking of don, John Travolta was labeled Don Travolta in a front page picture in the New York Post in which he appeared in LA with mobster John Gotti's son John 'Junior.' Seems Travolta is doing research about how to portray daddy for an upcoming biopic about Teflon Don (John Gotti Sr.).
  18. Travolta had his arm on Gotti Jr.'s shoulder outside a restaurant when the picture was taken. They seemed like buddies.
  19. …Didn't Junior just get out of jail? He was charged with racketeering but they couldn't pin it on him.
  20. …Wonder what the Church of Scientology would have to say about that association.
  21. IHOP COFFEE CUPS ON THE SET. That's what they have at the Good Morning Washington anchor desk, the one usually occupied by Alison Starling and Scott Thuman of WJLA Channel 7 News.
  22. …They sit right in front of the anchors with the IHOP logo very prominently shown.
  23. …"It's the official coffee of Good Morning Washington," says the announcer.
  24. Mr. Highfalutin wonders if they get a kickback for the display. Is the news influenced? How do they report a story about Starbucks?
  25. …"The whole thing reeks of local," as one former associate of mine from network TV might say, meaning that a network news show would never do such a thing.
  26. WRONG. NBC did it years ago with Huntley and Brinkley when they anchored political convention nights "brought to you by Texaco (later Shell)." They used to display a company logo for the oil company right on the front of the anchor desk which was pretty much always in view.
  27. …So there.
  28. Janet Napolitano's (secretary of Homeland Security) voice is heard in the Washington Metro system, one of its many featured and annoying announcements, this one being about encouraging public awareness: "Hullo," she bellows. "This is Janet Napolitano ... if you see something, say something."
  29. …A friend of mine cringes whenever he hears it, feels like it's Big Brother hovering over him.
  30. …Noise pollution.
  31. …You can say that again.
  32. SOCIAL NETWORK. Movie about the beginning of Facebook, originally called The Facebook. (Justin Timberlake's character (Sean Parker) in the film tells Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, to take the "The" off.)
  33. …Movie is well done and definitely about the younger generation. Zuckerberg is portrayed as the ultimate nerd geek (geek nerd?) who has a high estimation of himself, talks fast, is not successful with the opposite sex and is very aggressive in wanting to create the social networking site.
  34. …The movie takes the position that he, Zuckerberg, sorta copped the idea from two other students at Harvard who had the social networking site idea in the first place.
  35. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, came to the rescue for Gidget, owner Sally's cockatoo, who was taking a walk across the kitchen floor (why he wasn't flying I do not know). New household arrival Bucky, a curious (and hungry?) cat, saw the bird and made a beeline right toward him but Hanalie rushed right in, chased the stalker cat out of the way and saved the day.
  36. …There's always something going on in that house.
  37. THE NEW AMERICAN IDOL. So far, I don't like the new judges, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. When you first look at the panel it seems like you're seeing double; they both look alike: long hair and makeup (Tyler's is greasy-looking and scraggly; Lopez's is long, straight and over-extended) Then there's Randy Jackson, the mainstay. He sits over where Simon Cowell used to sit. (I don't like him on that end.)
  38. SOLUTION: Put Randy in between the two long-hairs, divide 'em up. Won't be so hard on the eyes.
  39. OBSERVED: Tyler sometimes acts lascivious toward the young girl contestants and J.Lo (remember that nickname?) seems fakingly nice all the time.
  40. Randy seems to have taken on the senior judge-ship and keeps the show on even keel.
  41. Richard Engel, NBC's senior foreign correspondent, always seems to be on the ground at every hot spot that heats up in the world; this time it's Egypt. Before that it was Iraq, then Afghanistan and in between he comes to New York where he appears on the news set with Brian Wilson, er ... Williams, on the Nightly News and Matt Lauer on the Today show couch. And once in a while the network brass throw him a bone and he hosts the news on MSNBC.
  42. …What a globe-trotting life he must lead.
  43. …The latest example of a network news stud muffin.
  44. …And ABC's Alex Marquardt is another one cut from the same cloth. He scurried down from Russia to get to Egypt this past week. Young and eager, both.
  45. I hope I look as good as Michael Douglas does when/if I get cancer. The guy looks terrific now, no more sunken face look and his skin even looks nice and taut. Did he get a facelift along with his chemo and radiation? Just asking.
  46. The other night Piers Morgan had on two of the Kardashian sisters - Kim and Kourtney. At one point he had them go stand beside life-sized cutouts of each of them and comment about whether they were satisfied with how the posters looked.
  47. …And this is supposed to be better than Larry King?
  48. Piers Morgan ... sorry, I don't get it.
  49. …And I don't think he's making a dent in the ratings either.
  50. LOOK HOW FAR SHE HAS FALLEN. Helen Thomas (90), the longtime White House reporter for UPI and Hearst newspapers who retired after negative reaction to her comments about Israel, Jews and Palestine to a rabbi outside the White House one Saturday with a video camera in hand, is now writing a weekly political affairs column for a small local newspaper, the Falls Church News-Press in suburban Virginia, just out of Washington.
  51. …People say it's a good newspaper even though it's not big time like she's used to.
  52. …At least she's working again.
  53. Christiane Amanpour's profile is probably going up with the crisis in Egypt. She was there on Sunday for her This Week program and remained there for Monday's Good Morning America. And she'll remain there for World News coverage. (Diane Sawyer isn't going, we hear.)
  54. …Maybe this'll all help bring her Sunday ratings up. She knows the area like the back of her hand.
  55. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) benefit, An Evening of Stars, was also a tribute to soulful singer Chaka Khan. It was on over the weekend and the talent lineup was terrific. They all sang songs made famous by the "Queen of Funk Soul." Ginuwine, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Quincy Jones and Bettye LaVette, Angie Stone, Stevie Wonder, Estelle, Faith Evans, El DeBarge and many others.
  56. Khan was sitting in her own special area midway in the audience and grooved to all of the performances, seeming to enjoy all the talent.
  57. "ON THE WINGS OF LUNESTA." That sleep-inducing medicine. It features those ads with the see-through butterfly flitting around like Tinker Bell while people sleep in bed. Reminds me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers when people fell asleep and the alien pods appeared beside their beds to take over their bodies.
  58. …"I was so drugged I didn't know I made a trip to the 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp," said a friend of mine who took the powerful sleeping aid one time.
  59. …It's true that you don't know what hit you. You don't remember falling asleep. All of a sudden you're out. A bit scary.
  60. FYI: John Boehner appeared on Fox News Sunday over the weekend and he didn't cry, although Chris Wallace did ask him about his frequent tear-ups.
  61. …He cries about things that mean a lot to him, like his job and family and kids. Those are his key triggers.
  62. …He's an emotional man. He says he's not weak. He says he's transparent.
  63. …You can see right through him.
  64. PREDICTION. Michelle Obama will become a talk show host sometime after she leaves the White House. She seems to like dressing up a lot and being coifed and being interviewed and talking to people. Just last week she was visited by ABC's Robin Roberts and she seemed to enjoy herself. I bet she ends up on Oprah's OWN Network.
  65. WEIRD THING. Seeing pictures of Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the congresswoman who was shot in Tucson, with his wife in the hospital but not seeing her. In the most recent image you saw part of her arm with his hand against hers; in a previous one there was a shot of Kelly standing up and looking down at the congresswoman but she was hidden behind a hospital sheet.
  66. …Obviously they don't want her face to be seen because of injuries she has suffered.
  67. …It just seems odd not to see her and just him. People are curious.
  68. …And thank God he's not all over TV lately talking about her and her miraculous spirit and recovery like he was last week. That got old. He acted like a press agent, for crissakes. Every time you turned around, there he was being interviewed. He had his 15 minutes of fame as far as I was concerned.
  69. CNN's Rob Marciano, weather guy (AMS meteorologist) and sometime news correspondent, did a feature piece on Disney's new cruise ship, the Disney Dream, and all its accoutrements, pointing out its high-tech features including the AquaDuck, a water roller coaster which he took a ride in (but of course). All well and good.
  70. …But he ended up his report face down on a massage table with nothing but a towel on, showing his bare back and getting a massage from a female spa worker who was massaging his neck. He did his sign-off by dropping his head in the hole of the table and saying "Rob Marciano, CNN, cruising the Bahamas."
  71. …News anchor Brooke Baldwin had this to say out of his report: "Marciano, if you're watching I have no words."
  72. …I didn't either. I was flabbergasted. This is what the networks let roving reporters do and get paid for? Putting themselves in the stories, having fun, making them seem human?
  73. …Good God, please bring back Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley and Peter Jennings. They would have never done such foolishness.
  74. …UH… Foolish Fool - Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne's sister) on Mercury Records, 1969.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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