June 23, 2011


  1. …The coffee mugs on Fox News Sunday looked HUGE on the talk show desk - very over-sized. (Supposedly the guests and the hosts drink water out of them like they do on the late night shows.)
  2. …Too bad it's not booze but nah, everybody's too good and on the up and up for that kind of thing to happen on TV today.
  3. …I noticed the giant size in the segment where Chris Wallace interviewed Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. They both picked up their mugs at the same time almost as if to toast each other.
  4. …That interview was something else. Wallace asked good questions - as he usually does - and Stewart did not back down from his accusations about Fox News having an agenda with everything and that it's a mouthpiece for the Republicans and conservatives.
  5. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates preceded Stewart on the show, which was billed as his Special Exit Interview, like he was meeting with HR upon leaving his job or something.
  6. Gates is now into badmouthing the wars in Iraq and especially Afghanistan now that he's a lame duck and leaving the administration. What's next, a mea culpa, tell-all book?
  7. …His allegiance is shifting.
  8. FYI: Michele Bachmann is guesting on FNC next Sunday, Wallace announced at the end of the show. Will she be treated like gold?
  9. …He also said, "Happy Father's Day to my dad (where is CBS newsman Mike Wallace lately?) and to all the fathers out there."
  10. "Welcome to the program and Happy Father's Day," said Christiane Amanpour at the top of her show, This Week.
  11. JUST ASKING. Since when did Father's Day become a universal greeting to be addressed to everyone? I thought it was a personal greeting. When did the "holiday" become a salutation like Merry Christmas or Happy New Year?
  12. Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation said Happy Father's Day to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) who was on the show.
  13. …He probably should have said Happy Grandfather's Day to him, although Schumer did say at the beginning of his segment that he was going to play golf with his son and his 88-year-old father who, said Schumer, could still hit the ball - not far but straight.Good for him.
  14. Robin Roberts said Happy Father's Day to President Obama at the end of her interview with the chief executive.
  15. David Gregory said "Happy Father's Day to you and yours" at the end of Meet the Press.
  16. John McCain seemed fired up on Amanpour's program about the Republican presidential candidates and their "isolationist" stance regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and involvement in Libya, and said that they do not represent the Republican Party and also that Ronald Reagan would have been disappointed in what they were saying last week in the New Hampshire debate.
  17. McCain made it sound like Reagan's probably rolling over in his grave. If he is, someone tell Nancy to reposition the body.
  18. Once again, This Week had on a guest, this time Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, in a semi-roundtable segment (along with Liz Cheney,a former State Department something, and David Ignatius of The Washington Post) to discuss, obviously, Pakistan. There he was, the center of the discussion and there they were (Amanpour, Cheney and Ignatius) hardly paying any attention to the featured guest. They were all honking their own horns, pontificating and hardly paying any attention to Haqqani. Once again (they did the same thing a couple of weeks ago with Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for president) the featured guest was the elephant in the room.
  19. …It was rude.
  20. Robin Roberts's (GMA) interview with President Obama got some more mileage on This Week (and other ABC News programs), the focus of the interview being personal, with questions about his role as a father and his feelings about his family. (I guess he did it for the Father's Day "holiday"; he just did a one-on-one interview the previous week with another morning network personality, Ann Curry, but hers was more hard news.
  21. …Upon the president's entrance to the interview area at the White House, he leaned over and kissed Roberts on the cheek and she returned the favor.
  22. …It was a nice gesture, a casual kiss-kiss-type thing, I guess, but I thought, "Does he greet female lawmakers (Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Waserman Schultz) this way?"
  23. …Does he ever kiss Katie Couric? Has he kissed Diane Sawyer? Greta Van Susteren?
  24. …Did he ever kiss Helen Thomas in the White House press room?
  25. …Over-familiarity is what you call it.
  26. …During the Roberts interview the president said, "I live over the store," admitting that he lives upstairs in the White House and has the advantage of being able to spend time with his family, and that every night - barring a national or international emergency - he sits down at 6:30 for an hour or an hour and a half and "has dinner with the kids."
  27. PULL 'EM UP. Someone should get the president higher socks (Thigh Highs?) or tell him to pull them up before he does a TV interview. He sat with his legs crossed but you could see one of his bare legs in a cutaway shot.
  28. …Lack of attention to detail.
  29. Tim Pawlenty (former governor of Minnesota and currently a Republican candidate for president) looks like Dana Carvey to me. I'd like to see Dana impersonate him.
  30. "THE WET HEAD IS DEAD." Amy Walter, ABC's political director, was a Roundtable participant on This Week and sported a new look: "The Dry Look." Her hair no longer had its normal gelled, wet look and instead was dry. "Long Live The Dry Look," is what they sang in those old Gillette hairspray commercials from the early 70s.
  31. Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.), probably the next Republican to announce a run for president, sounds like George W. Bush to me. It's that Texas thing, I guess.
  32. …He seems to like to make fire and brimstone speeches.
  33. …He resembles an undertaker.
  34. …He misspoke when he invited people to join him on "Tweeter"; he should have said Twitter, but some said that was okay and that, in a way, it was endearing.
  35. …Yeah, I agree. He's an older guy, give him a break.
  36. …It's hard sometimes to keep all these social media expressions straight.
  37. NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel was on Meet the Press. He looked different, dressed in a suit and was sitting on the Washington set of the show with others instead of appearing in a "window" from a hot spot war zone thousands of miles away.
  38. …He looks better in the field.
  39. Engel pointed out that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a mistake at the debate last week by calling the people of Afghanistan, "Afghanis" and not Afghans. "Afghanis," Engel pointed out, is the name of their currency and not what the people are called.
  40. …I don't know if Romney's camp had any response to the correction but maybe he oughta think about hiring Engel as a diplomatic consultant on foreign affairs before he gets too far into the game of running for president.
  41. NBC assured viewers during Meet the Press in a promo that it was going to be following first lady Michelle Obama "every step of the way" on her goodwill trip to South Africa and Botswana and that coverage will be on Nightly News With Brian Wilson, er…Williams.
  42. Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC, political director at the network and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, came off as a know-it-all on Meet the Press.
  43. …He knows this; he knows that; he knows everything.
  44. …But, admittedly, he's not the only on TV one who appears that way.
  45. …They all need to eat some humble pie from time to time and be knocked down a few notches, if you ask me.
  46. Howard Kurtz interviewed Larry King on his Reliable Sources (CNN) program. King has a new book out called Truth Be Told and says he's keeping very busy with many projects coming down the pike.
  47. …It was good to hear King again and his opinion on people and issues in the news made practical sense.
  48. …Too bad he's not regularly on the air now.
  49. …I could think of many he could replace, if any network execs want my opinion.
  50. …Another high-class commercial was on during Reliable Sources, this time for the Perfect Meatloaf pan which sells for $14.95 + shipping and handling (1-800-583-2131 and perfectmeatloaf.com).
  51. …"Non-Stick Lifting Tray lets your meatloaf come out clean, all in one piece!"
  52. Robert Gates was also on CNN's State of the Union and they, too, called it an "exit interview." Host Candy Crowley also interviewed David Axelrod (lost some weight), chief political strategist for President Obama.
  53. Keith Olbermann's new Countdown show began Monday night (Current TV at 8).
  54. …Just another loudmouth to put up with, if you ask me.
  55. There she was, Angelina Jolie, in Syria of all places, in a picture taken by the Associated Press which showed the movie star "waving to a crowd of refugees at the Altinozu camp in southern Syria on Friday of last week.
  56. …No American press is allowed in the country to cover what is going on there, where many demonstrators have been killed but here's Jolie, a Hollywood movie star, taking up valuable space. Is she covering the news (like Demi Moore allegedly does in "Nepal's Stolen Children," A CNN Freedom Project Documentary about sex trafficking, on June 26)?
  57. . . . To be fair, she is a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees.
  58. ONLY IN YOUR DREAMS. Oprah Winfrey dreams of "O.J. Simpson confessing to me." That's what she told Paula Zahn (remember her?) at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention n Chicago last week. (Zahn did the interview duties.) That's her goal -- to kick-start (again) her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which is reportedly not pulling in the ratings.
  59. …"And I am going to make that happen, people," she stated to the audience. "I don't just want the interview. I want the interview on the condition that you are ready, Mr. Simpson."
  60. Winfrey justified her desire to get Simpson to confess by saying, "The fact that that baby girl from a shotgun house in Mississippi can get to the OWN network means that the O.J. Simpson interview is possible."
  61. …What cloud is she on?
  62. …I'd like to know what O.J. thinks of that request. Can someone call him up at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada and get a response?
  63. …A shotgun house is a narrow, rectangular house with no hallways that became popular in the South after the end of the Civil War.
  64. …And Paula Zahn is currently host of Investigation Discovery channel's newsmagazine, "On the Case with Paula Zahn."
  65. HIGH REPORTER STANDARDS. That's what ABC's Ashleigh Banfield exhibited on Dr. Drew's HLN show (DrDrew, with no period after Dr and no space between his title and his name -- trendy) the other night, as a guest reporter discussing the Casey Anthony trial. When Drew asked Banfield at the end of the segment, "Guilty or not?," referring to whether Casey Anthony killed her two-year old child Caylee, Banfield said, "I'm not gonna say. ABC News. But I'd like to come back [on the show]."
  66. …Way to go! A reporter who doesn't broadcast an opinion, remains neutral, refuses to get drawn into a prejudiced conclusions and states the facts without interpretation.
  67. . . . Anybody remember those standards?
  68. …Let's bring 'em back in abundance, thank you.
  69. …As opposed to Nancy Grace, who refers to Casey Anthony as "Tot Mom," who is also "reporting" on the case from Orlando and who often participates as an instant "analyst" on ABC's GMA every day along with their (relatively) new legal correspondent Dan Abrams (formerly NBC).
  70. Grace's comments on the morning show reflect the way she is on her HLN show: tabloidy and full of overwrought emotion.
  71. Thursday, Grace begged to differ with Abrams and show co-host George Stephanopoulos on a certain point, charging excitedly: "You guys are talking about this like you are out driving your Porsche on Park Avenue and you are going to just shift gears and go into second gear."
  72. Abrams responded dismissively, "Tell me how it works, Nancy. I have been waiting to learn how it works."
  73. …Going next to the weather, Sam Champion commented laughingly, "That's good television."
  74. …Yeah, that's what the producers want. Get 'em all riled up.
  75. Sean Hannity looks to me like he should be in a barbershop quartet with that hairstyle (his part practically straight down the center). Move it over a bit and avoid the comparison.
  76. AMANPOUR AGAIN. She was on Piers Morgan Wednesday night. Learned facts: 1.) She went to boarding school, and one of the first votes she cast was for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and 2.) she is not a U.S. citizen.
  77. …When Morgan praised her and thanked her for coming on the show she said, "You know how I feel about CNN." Then Morgan threw it to Anderson Cooper who said, "And we miss her indeed."
  78. …Awww.
  79. …They're all millionaires.
  80. CHANGED FORMAT. On Entertainment Tonight, now with Nancy O'Dell (instead of Mary Hart) and Mark Steines. There is much chatter between the two anchors on the set in delivering the stories, much give-and-take as they lead into and out of taped pieces. The two of them meld together well, I think.
  81. …It's much more of a participatory role for Steines now than it was with Hart. She was the focus of the show and you practically had to do a search to find Steines anywhere in the program.
  82. O'Dell and Steines seem like a team, at least for now.
  83. MOVIE: Beginners. Thoughtful drama/comedy stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer as son and father. Told in flashbacks, dad is 75, reveals he is gay (after 44 years of marriage and the death of his wife) and also is terminally ill. Son has relationship with an "unpredictable" girl (Melanie Laurent as Anna). Father (Hal) and son (Oliver) grow close and Oliver observes the richness, humor and bravery that his father now exhibits in his life and desires the same for his relationship with Anna. Got all that?
  84. Stuff Like That - Quincy Jones (featuring Ashford & Simpson and Chaka Khan), on A&M Records, 1978.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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