June 8, 2010


  1. . . . The oil leak in the gulf.
  2. . . . It's still spewing. You can see it in that live shot that BP provides from the depths of the sea.
  3. . . . Sometimes they call it "plume monitoring."
  4. . . . This week a diamond-tipped saw became stuck in the well pipe.
  5. . . . Then robotic vehicles with a pair of giant shears cut the damaged pipe.
  6. . . . Now oil and gas spew from a single plume.
  7. . . . It looks like the "Lost" smoke monster is down there.
  8. . . . It's been pumping "at least half a million gallons of crude [oil] a day" into the gulf, a disaster.
  9. . . . BP CEO, Tony Hayward, the one that looks like one of Frodo's friends in Lord of the Rings, is now going to step back from the crisis. Seems like he's been called on the carpet for that "Get my life back" comment and the oil compnay's gonna replace him with another outfront person to take the heat.
  10. JUST ASKING. How does Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol warrant getting $15,000 and more a pop for speaking engagements? Why is she so high-priced? What are her credentials? Is it just because she's the daughter of the former VP candidate?
  11. . . . Doesn't seem right, doesn't seem fair.
  12. . . . Everybody in that family wants to be famous. They all seem to hold a free ticket to the media.
  13. AMERICAN IDOL. It's been reported that next season the show will be 90 minutes on competition night on Tuesdays and then just a half-hour on Wednesday to announce the results.
  14. . . . Studies have shown that viewers want more singing.
  15. . . . That show needs more than that. It's going down.
  16. . . . It needs to be rethought - but not that much rethought. Don't make that many changes to the original concept, which is what they did this past season.
  17. . . . And IF YOU ASK ME . . . The show DOESN'T need four judges; cut it back down to three - too much pontificating and criticism.
  18. . . . Donny Deutsch (53) proves that an older man can wear tight-fitting muscle t-shirts (with those shorter sleeves wrapped around bulging pecs) too, like fellow on-airer Anderson Cooper (43)and his ilk (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 41) do when they're on location.
  19. . . . Deutsch sometimes appears on the fourth hour of the Today show, the one with Hoda Kotbe and Kathy Lee Gifford.
  20. . . . I guess the ladies like him..
  21. . . . MSNBC doesn't. He was kicked off the cable net for criticizing Countdown host Keith Olbermann when he was filling in for the opinionated host.
  22. . . . LATER: He'll be returning to MSNBC soon. Apparently all has been forgiven.
  23. . . . Lou Dobbs - remember him? - will be the headline speaker at the National Tea Party Unity Convention at the Palazzo Las Vegas Resort in July (15-17).
  24. . . . The former CNN anchor says he's had great experiences with the Tea Party movement (in New Orleans and New York); that the crowds were large and boisterous and that they were made up of Americans who want to take their country back.
  25. . . . He and Sarah Palin. What about that ticket for 2012? Palin and Dobbs for president.
  26. . . . Boy, that would be a chatty ticket. You can't shut either one of 'em up.
  27. NOTHING SPECIAL FOR LAW & ORDER. For all those years on NBC and the show finale wasn't anything special, just another episode. Wouldn't you think the network would've done something big for a show that was on for 20 years and delivered that much programming?
  28. . . . It seems like nobody cares.
  29. . . . That's typical of NBC nowadays.
  30. . . . The execs have run the network into the ground and nobody can make a decent decision about prime time.
  31. Jake GYLLENHAAL looks like a wig came dropping out of the sky and plopped down on his head in that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie. In some shots from the movie running in newspapers and magazines it looks just like that: fake, even though there were reports that he actually did grow his hair long for the role.
  32. . . . He's very buff, just like Angela Basset's arms were in What's Love Got To Do With It when she portrayed Tina Turner.
  33. Mr. Big Stuff calls current teen singing favorite Justin Bieber, Justin Beaver intentionally, just to be funny, but asks, "Who is he and where did he come from all of a sudden?"
  34. . . . Many other grownups probably wonder about that too.
  35. . . . But the kid from Canada (who isn't?) is big and he's everywhere and his hairstyle is catching on. It harkens back to the mop top of the Beatles in the 60s, I think.
  36. . . . Many think he's cute, that's about it.
  37. . . . Who has to sing anymore? Just get a troupe of dancers and gallivant around the stage and lip sync and there you've got it.
  38. MOVIE: Sex and the City 2. I saw it and thought it wasn't all that bad. Many critics have panned it and been critical of the tenor of it, that it's not fun and that it really doesn't have that much to say.
  39. . . . If you're a fan of the TV show and the first movie, I think you'll like this one. The girls go to Abu Dhabi and have adventures. Admittedly, it's all slight but I thought it was funny in parts. It's very much like the TV show. What more do you want?
  40. . . . But Sarah Jessica Parker, the main character, does not look that great in it. Over made-up and horsey-faced, her wardrobe is very unattractive and weird and the other girls look better than she does.
  41. . . . Mr. Big's in it (he and "Carrie" are married now (two years) and already the "sparkle" is fading; John Corbett's in it (former boyfriend) and Liza Minnelli dances and sings Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) at a gay wedding (pretty lame and pathetic, some say).
  42. PERSONNEL CHANGE. At News4 Washington. Kim Martucci from Fox5 News has hopped over to the local news leader station. She's got a commanding presence when she's on TV and, right now at least, she seems to not fit in with weekend anchors Kimberly Suiters and Aaron Gilchrist. Her style seems a bit brash and too familiar.
  43. . . . Someone needs to tell her to tone it down. News4 is a little less hyper than Fox. Take my word for it.
  44. . . . Proctor & Gamble is advertising that its Dawn dishwashing liquid is being used in the Gulf to clean off the oil-soaked animals and the TV commercial for the product shows birds and fuzzy little things being washed off gently by human hands and Dawn suds. Remember that the next time you do dishes.
  45. . . . Very smart to do this, from an advertising and corporate image angle. Good PR work.
  46. . . . Actually, one online report said that Dawn has been used for decades to help clean up animals affected by oil spills and that P&G has ongoing partnerships with the International Bird Rescue Research Center and the Marine Mammal Center.
  47. DISTURBING PICTURES. Of birds stuck in the oil mess in the gulf. One poor creature was seen belly up with his legs sticking in the air almost like a cartoon but far from funny; another was seen struggling, trying to move around in the muck (I hope the camera person who shot that bird helped rescue it) with so much oil all over its body that you could hardly tell it was a live animal under all that sludge.
  48. . . . What man has wrought.
  49. . . . If the animals could talk.
  50. UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. That's what many think Dancing With the Stars winner Nicole Scherzinger had in the competition. She's the lead in the group the Pussycat Dolls and basically all they do is pole dancing and sexy whisper-singing.
  51. . . . She's used to parading her body all over the dance floor and in videos. She's a "professional."
  52. . . . That's not fair to the other contestants. That show's rigged.
  53. . . . They think they can get away with anything now that the ratings are up in the American Idol range.
  54. . . . They need to be cut down a few notches.
  55. WILLIE NELSON CUT HIS HAIR. After all those years of braided pigtails. His publicist says he got tired of dealing with it every day.
  56. . . . The GAC (Great AmericanCountry)Web site describes the change as a "wash and go chin-length 'do."
  57. . . . Isn't it cute.
  58. . . . Maybe he'll do a commercial for the Hair Cuttey now.
  59. Tom Hanks's son Colin Hanks looks like Pee-wee Herman (to me) in his new Fox TV summer series, The Good Guys, in which he and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) play a new and old-school detective team.
  60. . . . Maybe it's the tight suits he's seen in or the lipstick that it looks like he's wearing that makes me think of Pee-wee's Playhouse.
  61. . . . Fergie (not the Black Eyed Peas one but Sarah Ferguson) spilled the beans to Oprah Winfrey this week. (The Duchess of York was caught red-handed on video, accepting money in a sting to selling access to her former husband, Prince Andrew.)
  62. . . . It reminded me of when former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was caught (1990) in the Vista Hotel in a sting operation by a former girlfriend (Hazel "Rasheeda" Moore)and was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine.
  63. . . . His utterance when caught was the memorable "Bitch set me up."
  64. . . . Fergie didn't cuss with Oprah but she did say that she wasn't in her "right place" when it happened because she had been drinking. "I haven't faced the devil in the face because I was in the gutter at that moment," she confessed.
  65. I heard a new voice delivering the news on cable channel MSNBC the other day and looked up and it was Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who had to resign because he got caught up in a prostitution ring in which he was a client, filling in for regular host Dylan Ratigan, the guy that has all that curly hair sitting up on top of his head.
  66. . . . This is who they put on TV to tell me what the news is? Doesn't the network (NBC) have anyone else to do it?
  67. . . . There's supposedly a bidding war for Mr. Spitzer. Reports say CNN is interested in him to possibly replace Campbell Brown who is leaving soon; he's a hot property.
  68. . . . Could someone make a list of qualifications one must have to be a network anchor? It must be very eclectic.
  69. Clay Aiken, American Idol second season runnerup, has a new album out - Tried and True, a collection of pop standards. (Who's not doing that now?) He was on GMA this past week and sang "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," the Frankie Valli song from 1967
  70. . . . How many times has that song been redone? I couldn't be happier if I never heard it again in my whole life.
  71. . . . On the album cover his hair is all slicked down; he has on a tie and white shirt, is sitting down and has lots of eye makeup on. He looks like a woman dressed in drag being a man, if you ask me, sorta like Julie Andrews in Victor, Victoria
  72. . . . Later in the week he appeared on CBS's Saturday Early Show and sang "Unchained Melody," his version deliberately changed for the sake of changing it, mixing up the lyrics.
  73. . . . His style of singing now has become a bit grating, especially when he's "emoting" and really putting his personal stamp on it.
  74. Los Lobos, the roots-rock band, has decided to cancel a performance in Arizona due to the governor's decision to enact an anti-illegal immigration bill (SB 1070).
  75. . . . The band said, in a statement, that they support the boycott of Arizona and that the new law "will inevitably lead to unfair racial profiling and possible abuse of people who just happen to look Latino."
  76. . . . That governor, Jan Brewer, was just in Washington to meet with President Obama. A gaggle of reporters questioned her in front of the West Wing after her meeting with the president and had a lot of questions to ask her. She seemed a tad overwhelmed and finally had to cut it off and pry herself away from the "madding crowd."
  77. . . . To this observer it seemed to give her a taste of just how rough the Washington press crowd can be.
  78. . . . Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, seems to be having a little arthritis. Owner Sally says she sometimes has a little trouble hopping up on the bed but she does make it on her own. "She's way too proud to be lifted up," insists Sally. "She still loves to run and jump."
  79. A THOUGHT. I wonder what the Gorton's Fisherman up in Gloucester, Mass., thinks of what's happening down in the gulf.
  80. . . . George Stephanopoulos was down there this past Thursday for GMA. He dressed casually, as most anchors do when they visit a trouble scene. He had on a white polo-type shirt. I didn't see an alligator on it so it might have been a cheaper version of the Lacoste classic pique shirt.
  81. . . . Anderson Cooper has been there for two weeks but he's been wearing a sort of Safari-type shirt with top breast pockets and not the muscle "T" that is usually the staple of his wardrobe. The advocacy journalist was seen on video delivering his sermon next to a "BP, We Want Our Beach Back," handmade sign.
  82. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Thad Allen, the Coast Guard Commandant directing the national response to the oil spill, was interviewed by the networks one morning this week. It was about 7:08 a.m. ET and he was LIVE on CBS and NBC at the same time. The designation was on the screen. (ABC did not say their interview was LIVE.
  83. . . . So how could he be LIVE on two networks at the same time?
  84. . . . Someone's lying.
  85. . . . Whatever happened to journalistic truth?
  86. . . . It's deceiving the public.
  87. . . . This happens all the time with guests on the networks. They're all after the same newsmaker and they don't want the viewers at home to think for one minute that something might be pre-taped. God forbid! Nothng's good unless it's live, they think.
  88. . . . But it has to be. The guests are provided to the networks in allotted time before the shows air; each net gets its own crack at it.
  89. . . . It used to be when they played back the interviews that they were careful to properly label it TAPED or TAPED EARLIER. That never happens now.
  90. . . . They want everyone at home to think everything's LIVE.
  91. . . . It's all for appearance sake.
  92. STALE. I discovered one day at work that I was eating Altoids that had an expiration date of Aug. 2006 stamped on the tin box.
  93. . . . I guess I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing.
  94. . . . I've even offered them to some of my co-workers. (They'd never know the difference, they're too busy.)
  95. ADVICE. Someone needs to tell Eun Yang of News4 Washington to calm down a bit. She's too hyper and manic for my taste in the morning. Bring back Barbara Harrison. She was low-key and perfect for the morning
  96. . . . Yang can't get in enough words quick enough in the a.m. I'm rushed as it is in the morning; I don't need my TV anchors adding to the manic - ness of it all.
  97. . . . Bob Ryan, meteorologist for News4 Washington for 30 years or so, has moved over to Channel 7Doug Hill. Why that? What's Channel 7 need with two older weathermen, for crissakes?
  98. Mr. Highfalutin reports that LCD Soundsystem's new CD, "This Is Happening," sounds very retro and very David Bowie/David Byrne-ish. But he's a little disappointed in the overall effort and thinks the critical darlings (actually James Murphy) could have done better.
  99. James Carville got hot under the collar last week about the gulf and how President Obama was handling it. He gave the president holy hell on TV about Obama not doing enough and not coming down to the sooner. "Man, you got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this and get this moving. We're about to die down here," he told Good Morning America.
  100. . . . Later Carville calmed down a bit. But boy was he flustered.
  101. . . . And his face was all scrunched up while he was ranting. Good, he's human.
  102. . . . "Did you plug the hole yet daddy?" (First daughter Malia asked her father one morning last week while he was shaving.)
  103. . . . Do we believe that story? It sounds a little made up to me, a little too schmaltzy for my tastes.
  104. . . . UH . . . Fixing a Hole - The Beatles, on Apple Records, 1967, from the album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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