||June 6, 2011
THE SUNDAY TALK SHOWS: OPINION & ANALYSIS
- …Austan Goolsbee (what a name) was the hot commodity on two of the talk shows:State of the Union with Candy Crowley (although the show title does not have a "with" in it) and then This Week With Christiane Amanpour. He's chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisors and talked, obviously, about the economy andjobs.
- …CNN called their segment "A Stuttering Economy". On ABC Goolsbee said the administration is "focused on private sector job growth."
- …THIS JUST IN: He's out. Goolsbee plans to resign his post at the White House this summer to return to teaching at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
- Sarah Palin was on Fox News Sunday for a One On One Exclusive interview with Chris Wallace. But of course. She's on contract with the network (a Fox News contributor) and every other news organization has to wait in line to speak to her or get an interview even though she's a newsmaker out in the firmament.
- …She did her part of the interview from Arizona, not Alaska. (Recent reports have her buying a house in Scottsdale, Ariz. , and isn't her daughter Bristol living there for an upcoming reality TV show?)
- …"What would Palin do about the economy?" speculated the former Republican VP candidate, repeating the question Wallace asked her and then talking about herself in the third person, which she seemed to like doing.
- …"Cut the federal budget, cut taxes, give businesses initiatives and 'drill, baby, drill,'" she responded.
- …She kept using the Constitutional phrase, "We the People," which is inscribed on the side of her tour bus and said, "We have got to turn things around in 2012, whether it's me or someone else."
- …"It's not about me, it's about the issues."
- …Palin said she was sorry that she may have upstaged Mitt Romney when she was in New Hampshire on the same day last week that he announced his candidacy for president.
- …"I do sincerely apologize. We didn't mean to step on anybody's toes."
- …FACT: The next day the Manchester Union-Leader newspaper led its front page with a big Palin headline and picture, dwarfing poor Mitt and relegating his candidacy announcement to a much smaller picture and "sidebar" article.
- …The Fox News Sunday interview was a long one - it took up almost the whole first half of the show.
- Another presidential candidate (libertarian-leaning Republican, as the New York Post refers to him) Ron Paul was also on CNN's State of the Union and said he was no longer being made fun of (like he was in 2008) because this time he's getting a lot of money donations for his campaign.
- …"You know they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy," he said. "No more, no more. The people are coming over here."
- Meet the Press was pre-empted by the French Open. Good, I needed a break from all their folderol of a TV show.
- DIVERSION. Over on CBS's Sunday Morning, one of the segments was an interview with Herb Alpert, the Tijuana Brass guy, the "A" in A&M Records and Grammy winner and prolific record producer. Russ Mitchell did the piece and Alpert got choked up when talking about Karen Carpenter who, along with brother Richard, made up the pop group The Carpenters, and who tragically died at the age of 32 of anorexia.
- …"She never realized how great she was," Alpert said about her and her talent.
- …(They Long to Be) Close to You and We've Only Just Begun (both 1970) were two of their biggest early hits followed by many, many more.
- BAD DECISION. On This Week after the Goolsbee interview. Amanpour then went to the "Sunday funnies," a regular segment that usually comes at the end of the show. This time it came early - too early, if you ask me - at about twenty minutes after the hour. It's a light feature and didn't belong as high up in the show as it appeared.
- …I thought, "Is the show almost over already?"
- …AND ANOTHER THING …Republican presidential candidate - and there are many-- Herman Cain was a guest on the show but they buried him in the Roundtable segment. There he was, sitting idly by at the crowded table with Dee Dee Myers (former Bill Clinton press secretary) Mark McKinnon (Republican strategist), Jonathan Karl (ABC Senior Congressional Correspondent) plus Amanpour.
- …He should have been given more distinction and had his own interview segment and not forced to share time with non-newsmakers.
- …It seemed like he was the elephant in the room.
- …The man is only running for president of the United States, for crissakes.
- …Meet the Press does the same thing all the time - mixing legitimate people in the news with opinionated analysts or whatever you wanna call 'em. It confuses the viewer.
- …Who's the news and who's spouting personal opinions and bloviating?
- …Then it was time to spotlight World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who is traveling with Secretary of Defense Bill Gates in a farewell trip to see the troops in Afghanistan and where Sawyer will ask the hard questions.
- …Sawyer, seen in a dusty desert barracks compound, walks and talks boldly right up to the camera about how she's going to be doing a reality check on the war. She's forceful in her delivery.
- …Her pre-recorded "package" featured a sound bite from Gates who "got emotional" during an interview with Sawyer when she asked him about how he feels about the troops at night when he goes to beddy-bye.
- …Get him to break. TV likes that.
- …She's all in a hurry from the beginning - on a mission, it seemed, or perhaps almost too busy to do this promotional announcement - and then walks out of the camera shot while she's still talking, presumably on to something else more important in her serious overseas assignment.
- …Gimme a Break!
- …It seemed very staged.
- …It was well-acted.
- …There was another segment on This Week with former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher who was on the show to talk about Yemen and Syria.
- …Snooze time.
- …OVERALL FEEL. The show has become very segment-y lately and has no smooth flow to it. It's obvious that pieces of it have been pre-taped and it's a bit jarring to the viewer. Things seem out of order.
- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, was on Face the Nation. (Host Bob Schieffer was back after not being on the show last week. )
- …Barber decided not to run for president because he didn't have fire in his belly.
- …"Fire, I'll take you to burn. Fire, I'll take you to learn …" - Fire -- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, on Atlantic Records, 1968).
- …Nancy Pelosi - remember her? - was the second guest on "Face," as the insiders call it. She's now House Minority Leader, a comedown from her last job (Speaker of the House). Hey, that's politics.
- …Scheiffer seemed to be hard on her and gave her a tough time about a "do nothing" Congress but Pelosi stood up to him and offered her explanations for the bad economy and the outlook.
- …"Nothing's happened since January," a testy Schieffer said accusatorily.
- …On another issue toward the end of the show Schieffer expressed his feelings about Scott Pelley becoming the new anchor of the CBS Evening News (begins Monday). "It's nice to see someone get the job who deserves it," he said.
- …That was a bit rough on Katie Couric, wouldn't you say?
- "WOMAN AT THE TOP OF THE NEWS." Jill Abramson of The New York Times was on Reliable Sources, the CNN show that media critic Howard Kurtz hosts. Abramson will assume the post of executive editor of the newspaper (the first woman to do so) as Bill Keller steps down from the position to become a full-time writer.
- …Abramson said that she will help accelerate the transition of the newspaper "from a print-dominated world to a digitally-dominated world."
- …IN A NUTSHELL. That's the future of newspapers right there from someone in the know.
- …In referring to her ascendance Abramson said, "I stand on the shoulders of so many other women who have been in our newsroom going back two centuries…"That's a long history.
- …No flash in the pan.
- …FAMILIAR…Abramson called Kurtz, "Howie" and not "Howard" three times:At the top of the show when Kurtz welcomed her, in the middle while discussing liberal bias allegations against the newspaperand at the end for having her on the program. They seemed to know each other.
- …Last week Don Lemon called him Howie too, at the end of the show, thanking the host for having the CNN anchorman on to talk about his book, Transparent or Transition or Trainspotting or something .
- …Maybe they all hang out together.
- …AND NOTICED. The (relatively) new show logo (Reliable Sources) that appears in the background of the set looks like the Fila sportswear company logo, the letters having the same fat-line look. Someone ought to check on that to see if there's copyright infringement.
- …And once again an infomercial-type ad for the Swivel Store organizer appeared on the show as one of the endless commercials which adorn the program.
- …Another commercial was for ChristianMingle. com. Their slogan: "Find God's match for you."
- …And I've finally figured out what that annoying UPS ad about logistics sounds like. It seems to be patterned after that song Dean Martin used to sing, "That's Amore."
- …"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's amore…"
- …But in the UPS commercial the words are changed to: "When it's planes in the sky for a chain of supply that's logistics …"
- …God, what an off the wall idea that was.
- …UH… That's Amore - Dean Martin, on Capitol Records, 1953.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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