October 24, 2011



  1. … You didn't need the Wizard of Oz Munchkins to verify that Moammar Gadhafi met his demise last Thursday in his hometown of Sirte, although now, as the Associated Press reports, there's controversy over whether the Libyan leader was killed by rebels in the crossfire or shot execution-style after finding him ignominiously in a "drainage pipe filled with rubbage and filth" (Reuters news agency).
  2. … So a house didn't fall on him like it did on the Wicked Witch of the East in the Wizard of Oz.
  3. Gadahfi called the fighters who found him and dragged him "rats."
  4. … Replied a Libyan government fighter, "He called us 'rats,' but look where we found him." (Not a very dignified location for the dictator.
  5. … Reminded me of what Jimmy Cagney said in the 1932 movie Taxi!: "You dirty, yellow-bellied rat."
  6. … There are a lot of differnt spellings of his name: The Washington Post and CBS spell it Gaddafi; The New York Times and Fox News spell it Qaddafi; AP, ABC and USA Today all spell it Gadhafi; the New York Post spells it Khadafy and NBC goes with Khaddafy.
  7. … Whatever pleases you.
  8. … So I wonder what spelling they'll put on Gadhafi's coffin. (I know, I know, they don't bury people in caskets over there.) But what if they did?
  9. … Whoops, there's some thinking that his body may be dumped at sea, just like Saddam Hussein's was.
  11. Libyans have been turning out by the hundreds to view the slain leader's dead body (and those of his son and military chief), lying on a blood-stained mattress in a meat freezer in a shopping center just outside his hometown of Misrata.
  12. … No dignity there.
  13. … The fact that his body was full of bruises and bullet stains and had been there for the last three days did not keep the crowds away.
  14. … "I wanted to see him dead with my own eyes. Who cares if it's not dignified for him? That was not his first concern for any of the people here," said one "visitor" to the ice house.
  15. JUST ASKING. Do we have to constantly hear about what the Today show anchors might be wearing for Halloween? Come on, grow up.
  16. … And that goes for the Good Morning America crew too.
  17. HOW OBJECTIVE IS THIS? Why would such a smart man do such a stupid thing? asked '60 Minutes' correspondent Steve Kroft while interviewing Walter Isaacson, author of "Steve Jobs," in reference to the Apple company inventor's decision not to initially have surgery to remove a tumor.
  18. … It's a question many would like to know the answer to but it came off - at least to me –as a bit opinionated and not representative of how an experienced newsman would bridge the subject.
  19. … I was surprised at Kroft.
  20. … So go ahead and chastise me for being critical of the cherished journalistic standards of television's most successful news magazine.
  21. SIDE NOTE. NBC's Kate Snow, who was substituting for Brian Williams last Friday night, said this about the Jobs revelations, "We bought the book."
  22. … Yeah, that's likely.
  23. … Don't tell me that NBC News didn't get a comp (complimentary) copy of the book. Publicists send out advance copies of books all the time.
  24. … Meanwhile, AP said they "obtained a copy" of the book Thursday. That's more like it.
  25. "For all of us at CBS News all around the world, good night, and I'll see you Sunday on '60 Minutes,' says CBS news anchor Scott Pelley when he does his sign-off at the end of the Evening News on Friday nights.
  26. … '60 Minutes' too? Isn't one broadcast enough for him to be on?
  27. … He must have a busy life.
  28. Pelley said when he took over the show from Katie Couric that he wanted the CBS Evening News to reflect the excellent reporting of '60 Minutes.'
  29. … Hmm. So maybe that's why he's doing double-duty and wearing a badge of honor for the (once) storied news organization.
  30. Hillary Clinton's growing her hair longer. It's a perky flip-up. I don't know whether I like it.
  31. President Obama is definitely getting grayer. Looks good, especially when he dons a blue/gray-ish suit like the other day when he was in the Rose Garden for some announcement.
  32. (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson, on Columbia Records, 1970.
  33. UPCOMING. My guess is that the networks are probably already planning coverage of following the convoys for the exit of U.S. troops out of Iraq (by the end of the year, according to President Obama).
  34. …Let's be live, live, live for that.
  35. … Will Richard Engel be on top of a tank narrating the proceedings?
  36. … I can't wait.
  37. … Speaking of Engel, he wasn't in Libya last week for the Gadhafi story. Instead, NBC had a reporter named Adrienne Mong doing the honors.
  38. Engel's been in New York lately and out of the action in foreign ports.
  39. … (He's probably preparing/practicing for the premiere of Rock Center, the Brian Williams-led new magazine show that debuts Monday, October 31 (Halloween night), which may not be a good date/time (10 p.m. ET) for it because people are out or treating.
  40. … I like him on the scene instead of being on the set of Nightly News or any other of that news organizations myriad broadcasts.
  41. Andrea Mitchell, on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, upon finishing her interview with the chief foreign correspondent (Engel), said, "Thank you for everything and all of your reporting."
  42. … Anchors often say that to compliment the hard-working reporters when they're in the field on a particularly tough story.
  43. Engel sat comfortably in a chair in New York.
  44. … To be fair, Engel is an outstanding reporter, although he tends to get dramatic about things.
  45. … On the other hand, Christiane Amanpour is in a class by herself. I love it when she explains Middle East events.
  46. … A promo for the new prime-time magazine show has Wilson, er … Williams - standing with the Today show's "news presenter" - that's what the Brits call people who read the news on TV -- Natalie Morales, running down the list of contributors, mentioning Ted Koppel, Harry Smith, Kate Snow and -- of all people -- Seth Myers.
  47. Myers, of course, is a comedian and does Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live.
  48. … I guess they just threw him in for laughs. To appeal to a younger demographic perhaps?
  49. Williams said in an aside to Morales, "He's not one of us."
  50. … So maybe the show won't be too serious all the time; maybe they'll have a touch of self-deprecation.
  51. ALSO THIS: Calling the name of the show Rock Center seems presumptuous. Not everybody in America knows or cares that it's a nickname for Rockefeller Center in New York City.
  52. … The name seems too 'inside' for my liking.
  53. … Frankly I'm sick of Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Plaza, 30 Rock and now Rock Center. It's all too much. Let it go, NBC.
  54. SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. Depend undergarments now come in "grey" (for men, I guess) with the "Same Great Protection," says the TV ad., which plays a version of the baby boomer classic hit, "Green Onions," (Volt Records, 1962) in order to sell the product.
  55. … Wonder what Booker T. and the M.G.'s would say about that.
  56. … I hope they're saying "Show me the money."
  57. OPEN WIDE. People in those Campbell's Soup commercials open up their mouths so wide you could practically drive a Mack truck through their kisses. People don't eat soup like that. It's ridiculous.
  58. …You'd think they were biting into a Big Mac or something.
  59. Smiling, Barbara Walters held Mariah Carey's baby - not sure whether it was Moroccan or Monroe -- in an ABC promo for last week's 20/20, while mommysang to the infant and daddy (Nick Cannon) looked on approvingly.
  60. Walters acted like she was a doting grandmother, for crissakes.
  61. HBO SPECIAL. On George Harrison of the Beatles. Martin Scorcese directed the documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, which chronicled "the quiet Beatle's) life from the beginning as a teenager to the early days of the group in Liverpool, to becoming superstars, to their breakup and his solo work and finally, his illness (cancer).
  62. … Very interesting and personal. Paul McCartney, Ringo, Olivia (his wife), Dhani (his son), George Martin, Eric Clapton, Phil Spector Ravi Shakar, the Maharishi and many more all talked especially about how he was as a person and not just about his music, although that's very well covered.
  63. … Check it out on the repeat.
  64. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood (and lately unintentionally left out of my musings) made another trip to Charleston, S.C., got the VIP treatment and was treated like royalty at the pet-friendly hotel that owner Sally stayed at while they were down there. The dog got her nails done, took walks on the beach and even got a massage.
  65. … She didn't want to come home.
  66. … Who would with that kind of a luxury life going on?
  67. MOVIE: Margin Call. About key people in a New York investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.
  68. … Great cast: Kevin Spacey (good acting; cries because his dog's dying), Stanley Tucci (good acting, first layoff casualty), Zachary Quinto (stick with playing Spock on the Star Trek reboot and do something with those eyebrows while you're at it), Jeremy Irons (great character acting), Simon Baker (heartless, sinister type who dresses dashingly and is very much unlike his Mentalist TV character), Mary McConnell ('Dances With Wolves,' and barely in this picture), Demi Moore (don't give her enough to do/say), and Penn Badgley (sits on a toilet in the men's room , worrying that he's gonna lose his job; what a wuss), Paul Bettany (chews Nicorette a lot and finally breaks down and goes back to cigarettes).
  69. … Excruciatingly slow-moving, dark, pompous, humorless flick. There have been many other movies about Wall Street that are far better than this one.
  70. Arnold Schwarzenegger's next movie ('The Last Stand') role is that of a small-town border sheriff. He tweeted out the news and said he had a fantastic first day on the New Mexico set.
  71. … How believable will he be, with that heavy Austrian accent and all?
  72. … Unless it takes place in Vienna.
  73. UHYou Must Believe Me - The Impressions (written by Curtis Mayfield), on ABC-Paramount Records, 1964.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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