This holds true whether there is an actual train involved or if one is describing a person whose life seems to be spiraling out of control. Sadly we seem to be seeing one of the later before our very eyes in the case of Charlie Sheen. I have not followed his career all that closely although I did enjoy the movie Major League several years ago.
Most of us are more familiar than we care to be with his bizarre behaviour of late accompanied by interviews and statements that are perhaps even more bizarre. Of course the tabloids and celebrity magazines such as People and Us are having a field day. I can hardly imagine the wealth of material that all this is providing for Letterman, Leno and O’Brien. Sheen is proving a gold mine for all these media outlets.
I read one quote from Sheen that basically said if I am insane I have no problem with that. This is not an act. Another one that is already becoming too popular is the reference to himself as having tiger blood. But are those statements any more disturbing in the long run that people saying they know they shouldnt be watching this but cannot turn away? Or how about the 1 million people who become his followers on Twitter within hours after his account was opened? Are there that many folks who care that much about what outlandish thing Sheen might do next? And if there are, why do they care?
Perhaps even more disturbing is that this latest batch of actions is something that could almost have een predicted. If one looks back at his past actions, it is not too hard to see a pattern. Or maybe one could just have asked Denise Richards. And just think about his children. I doubt that they will say about their father what almost inexplicably Martin Sheen said about his son, you are my hero.
One can only hope that as much as he has recently trashed programs and methods of help that Sheen will actually avail himself of competent , professional help, away from the media glare, far away. And mercifully may the third or fourth time for such treatment actually work.
- Guest post: Charlie Sheen, why do we care? (timesunion.com)
………….. and the one who tamed The Wild, Wild West. On Tuesday evening we were searching for a viewing alternative to Obama’s State of the Union address. Lo, and behold we discovered a great choice on PBS, of all places. Seems that the network has a series on The Pioneers of Television. Tuesday’s episode dealt with television westerns and was a real treat to watch. Westerns were a viewing staple in my childhood and as it turned out in my wife’s as well.
The show was composed of interviews with many actors who appeared in the shows, clips from the shows themselves and wonderful historical trivia that delighted me no end. Where to begin? Guess that an explanation of the title would be apropos.
During the 1966-67 season CBS noted that Gunsmoke was showing its age and the program that had been s0 dominant was slipping. After all, 12 seasons should be enough, right? Not necessarily. The outcry was significant and even reached to the U S Senate where Robert Byrd expressed his displeasure. Now, that may or may not have had any impact, but at the least it allows me to think just a little more positively of the late senator. Shucks, he liked Matt Dillon, just as I did.
On the opposite side lies another senator who brought about the demise of what remains as one of favorite tv shows ever,The Wild, Wild West. Who was the offending senator and why did he go after Messrs West and Gordon? The senator was Rhode island Democrat John Pastore. In his place as head of the Senate subcommittee on telecommunications, he held hearings on the effect of tv violence, particularly on children. The Surgeon General testified at these hearings as well. Shortly after the hearings CBS issued a mandate to all its shows to tone down the violnce.When The Wild, Wild West did not satisfactorily do so, it was summarily;y cancelled in early 1969. ( No, I was not scarred by the violence.)
There were a number of other enjoyable things from the PBS show. I was struck by how many actors talked about the biggest stars with such fondness. Acotrs such as James Arness( who got his role courtesy of John Wayne) Barbara Stanwyck and James Garner were lauded for their kindness and how they set such a positive tone behind the scenes.
There were some priceless interviews with actors now deceased such as Arness and his brother Peter Graves. My #1 was the Robert Conrad interview of course. I learned from him and the shows narrator what a genuine tough guy he was, even suffering a concussion when a stunt when awry. Then there was Ross Martin, his running mate,an erudite man who spoke 5 languages and added such finesse to the show.
The show revived some wonderful memories of my teen years and has created a wish to do some dvd shopping. Think the wife may have liked Bonanza better though.
- CBS Planning Wild Wild West Reboot (seattlepi.com)
Today, we are privileged to hear the words of two of Hollywood’s leading actors. Both have been honored for their acting achievements, twice winning Best Actor Oscars. Both are somewhat to the left politically, which is not at all uncommon in their industry. The estranged wife of one actor was actually the costar of the other in one of his Oscar-winning roles. And, both, albeit in a different manner, seem compelled to voice their views from time to time.
Shame, shame if you have not correctly identified Tom Hanks and Sean Penn by now. Upfront, i will admit to enjoying several of Hanks movies, although not lately. As for Mr Penn, not so much.
So, what pearls do they share with us today ? One is political, one not so much. Hanks is a big Obama supporter and had this to say today about the President;s performance.He id doing a spectacular job in the face of this insanity he said on MSNBC today. Another Obama opinion, but first something he said about health care. This comment was framed in light of those who he sees as obstructing the progress of health care reform. To paraphrase, he referenced an un-named member of Congress whose resistance is that kind of thing that would prevent a parent from being able to take their feverish child to the hospital. He does know that hospital er’s must see a patient regardless of insurance? He knows that, right?
Ok, the other Obama reference. “We have elected a wise, calm, man.” Your opinion of that is your own.
Now, the angry Sean Penn. He is in Haiti, presumably at his own expense doing relief work. Good for him, But that does not square up with he told CBS reporter Lara Logan. He was asked if his work in Haiti is a n attempt to distract people from his high-profile divorce from Robin Wright Penn. I read this response several times and will probably watch “Sunday Morning” this weekend to hear it. He said he was too busy to pay much attention to his critics, but he had time for this phrase. “Do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer?” Yeah, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on it.” Wonder what tortuous fate he would wished for had he given it some thought? Good freakin’ grief!!
So, folks, there you have it. Two of Hollywood’s finest.
Of course you know that we are referring to the triumvirate of Williams, Couric and Sawyer. They anchor the “big” nightly newscasts at NBC, CBS and ABC. And, for all the wonderful things they do, they are each paid quite well. Their salaries range from the middle to upper seven figures on in to the comfortable eight figure level( Katieville, where Diane also resides) . Are they worth it to their respective networks? Hard to say, since the highest paid of the group the lowest ratings.
But, for whatever reason, they make the big bucks ( and so does Keith Olbermann and that really puzzles me) . However just a couple of days ago, ABC announced that it would be laying off a significant number of employees in its news division. Estimates range from 300-400. News President David Westin announced “a fundamental transformation that will ultimately affect every corner of the enterprise.” Also announced was a move toward greater use of free-lancers, that would save additional money.
Reading this brought me back to an idea I had some time back. Wonder why none of the big three have not offered to”give back” some of those millions to save the jobs of some of the little people. A couple of million or more considering what Diane and Katie make would save a bunch of jobs. Besides what a wonderful public relations coup it would be. And I am certain a catch slogan could br created to capitalize on the move. Something like, I don’t know, “CBS cares” ? What do you mean they already have that slogan? How can that be?
Maybe they said it and maybe they did not. Drudge reported yesterday that CBS executives would in all likelihood ask Katie Couric to take a pay cut. She makes $15 million a year in case you forgot and is in the 4th year of her contract paying that princely sum.
When she took over the evening news , it was running 3rd behind Brian Williams and NBC and Charles Gibson and ABC. After a brief spurt, those ratings have settled in to where they were. The only difference is that Diane Sawyer has taken the helm at ABC.
The talk of a pay cut came amidst news that CBS would be laying off still more people from the news division, including some at the venerable “60 Minutes.” Ironically that comes not all that long after the death of Don Hewitt.
But the next day, CBS News President Sean McManus denied any talk of a pay cut, no matter what Drudge or the New York Post might have reported. To make things even more interesting, there is a bit of a glam article about Ms Couric in the current issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Not the best timing. Oh, McManus also went on to praise Couric’s job performance profusely.
I really could care less whether she gets a pay cut or not even though she has got to be overpaid if #1 Brian William,s makes only 7 million dollars a year. But it is all so much fun to see, is it not? There is also no truth to the rumor that Couric is miffed that the title of her show was not changed to the C( ouric) BS Evening news.
As your predecessor( who is now whining to Obama about the need for a government commission to save the press) would say, “courage.” Oh, you remember Dan Rather do you not?
Food for thought. The viewing audience for the week of January 25 was 10 million for Williams, 8.5 million for Sawyer and 6.8 million for Couric. Figures are from Chris Ariens at TV Newser.
The comment made by the august majority leader of the U S Senate, Harry Reid, Democrat, Nevada concerning the candidate Obama is much in the news. Although the comment would have to be considered racially insensitive or worse, the President has in effect told Reid, no big deal, everything’s cool; let’s move forward.
And, so say many prominent dems; Feinstein and Sharpton among them. The media is generally on board also with only those noxious Republicans refusing to play nice an d get on the real business of running the country. He has apologized they say, to the president and any number of other black leaders.
I am much more interested in reaction/non-reaction, than in what Reid actually said. The first thing that gets my attention is that the comment was made in 2008. No apology has been forthcoming until the book recounting it came out. Politically expedient apology- yep. CBS had the authors on “60 Minutes,” the home planet of hard-hitting no holds barred questioning. Somehow they forgot to ask a question about Reid’s comment.
There are other things about which I wonder. Why so quick to brush it aside when questions about Limbaugh/McNabb still resurface from time to time? And, what the controversy that actually sunk Senator George Allen’s re-election campaign and made Jim Webb a star? And, of course we have the Trent Lott situation, an event that multiple democrats( Landrieu, Gore, among others)used quite well to force Lott from guess what, Senate Majority Leader? Great verbal battle yesterday on this issue with Ann Coulter winning a TKO over Al Sharpton.
Reckon Reid will have to step down? Nah. But maybe November, 2010 could bring about a change, hmmm?
You may have heard that there is a new book coming out tomorrow. Shouldn’t be an event that is very newsworthy. After all, there are around 250,000 books published annually in the United States( including re-releases) and the vast majority are like 95% of the Screen Actors Guild membership. They get very little notice. It is estimated that the average paper back sells about 15,ooo copies while such numbers are hard, if not impossible to find for hardcovers. Interesting as to why, but not really important. Suffice to say that most books are published with little acclaim.
However, a book is coming out that has already been widely cussed, discussed, analyzed, fact-checked and perhaps even read. It is Going Rogue by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. If the adage holds that any publicity is good as long as one’s name is spelled correctly, this book will be a whopper. By the way, Rush will interview Ms Palin tomorrow. She has spoke with Oprah already and I believe Barbara Walters is due. There have been several folks talking about the book as well.
First, the Associated Press, who used a total of 11 people to fact check the book. They found a total of 6 errors which figures out to about 2 people per error. Wonder if they fact checked either of the President’s books. Nah, already know that answer.
Anyway, here we go. So called conservative David Brooks says you can’t taker her seriously and she is a joke. CBS elder statesman Bob Schieffer called her an amusement with no political future. Good old MSNBC guy, Joe Scarborough said comparing her to Howard Dean is an insult to Dean’s intelligence. Former Vermont gov, DNC chair, Howard the screamer, one and the same. Sure are talking a lot about someone who doesn’t matter, huh?
Sort of an open ended question, is it not? I want to begin big and then move downward from famous people to not so famous ones. The late ABC newsman Paul Harvey was always one of most favorite newspeople . It seemed to me that he was almost in a class by himself; at once reporter, commentator and yet never too full of himself. Since he died earlier this year he just has not been replaced. Don’t know what ABC has done to fill he void, doubtful they even could.
On the other hand, Charles Kuralt, North Carolina native and Tarheel alum was host for years of Sunday Morning on CBS as well as other segments here and there. He died in 1997 after hosting the program for 15 years. He may not have been replaced in the strictest sense but he was succeeded by CBS’ own Charles Osgood. And Osgood has put his own stamp on the show while for this viewer retaining the same “feel”. One was replaced, one not.
Our own presidency provides for me the greatest example of replacement or succession,if you will. Potentially, every 4 yeras we replace our chief executive. We have been doing so for over 200 years. Through war( Roosevelt to Truman ) assasination- Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy; death, Roosevelt, Harrison, Harding ; the office changes hands. Often it is controversial. Try the 1876 contest between Tilden and Hayes before you leap to any conclusions.
The system has worked, not always to our liking, but it has worked. Our head of state can be replaced so perhaps we should be careful not to toot, toot our own horn so loudly.
One small personal example, actually one example that was repeated. Way back in 1979, my company prepared to transfer to a somewhat distant locale. Mrs THT and I were quite active in our church and that made our departure more difficult. I will confess to feeling a bit smug about the positions I held and thought how will they do without me. I somehow forgot that the church was 100 years old and, just maybe would carry on. It did.
Fast forward some 13 years. Same church, a bit greater position of leadership and another job transfer. Imagine my feeling when I jokingly told someone in a meeting how easy I wold be to replace. Another person responded, I don’t know about that and actually was not kidding. Proud was I, oh yeah. Again was I replaceable,see previous lesson. Seemed almost as if I were being taught a spiritual lesson to not be overly enamored with myself. Still working on it some, not so much as before.
Not nearly as proud of my humility, either. Ha!
Hypocrite seemed a bit lacking for today’s subject, so pardon my coining of a new term. Good ole D avid Letterman, former king of late night, Sarah Palin obsessor, Mark Sanford critiquer(although I can understand that) among other things. Seems that Dave has been a busy boy of late. He just married his long time girlfriend, Regina Lasko, this year. She is also the mom of his child.
Seems that monogamy has not agreed with Dave. News reports surfacing yesterday and today have him admitting to liaisons with several staff members (must have been difficult to tell the boss no) over the years. His admission followed news of an attempted extortion plot by an Emmy CBS producer, Robert Halderman, or so it is alleged.
So many questions. Would Letterman have fessed up without the plot? Should he have fessed up at all? Will CBS fire him( that on is a joke) ? Will Sarah Palin have her own Top 10 Letterman list?
And, just for fun, should CBS fire him, what would he do? I have an idea. Maybe he and Jimmy Carter could be the first two residents of the Home for People Who Have Outlasted Their Stay in the Public Eye. So many choices there. But the pedagogical Mr Carter, reverting back to his habit of lecturing others as to where they are wrong and he isn’t, gets the nod. He told CNN that he did not say Obama protesters were racist. In fact, he said go back and read it yourself. If you do, he did.
Wonder what the feminists will have to say about this situation? Clue, nada.
As about anyone who pays attention already knows, politics is definitely a contact sport. So, like the participants or not, sometimes one just has to admire results and how they were achieved. Rahm Emanuel is Obama’s Chief of staff which doubtless covers a wide variety of duties. You know, that line in the job description that says other duties as required. I think we could safely say that arm twister supreme would fall under Mr Emanuel’s purview. And true, all Presidents have them, some maybe have had several.
Remember, Emanuel comes out of Chicago style politics, one of the great arm twisting locales. No doubt, there are a number of instances that could be used as an example of his skill in this area. But let us pick one that involves the prime time presidential news conference. Mr Obama seems to like this venue, having employed it frequently. Originally the ratings were very good but of late they have been on somewhat of a decline, perhaps due to overexposure in the media? Maybe. Anyway, the most recent press conference was #4 since Obama took office. Do you remember the most memorable thing from that event- hint- Cambridge,Ma. In retrospect, it may have been a better idea to skip that one.
According to an article in the Washington Post, when the networks expressed a bit of reluctance at airing the latest press cconference live, Emanuel did a Mr Ed- he went right to the source. Not news people or network execs but the head honchos of the companies that own the 3 major networks. Slick move and it worked.
However, the Democrats least favorite network has skipped the last two such press conferences. Wonder if one of the others will try that the next time ? You know, for the policy wonks that like this stuff, they could just use CNN or PBS or something. Just as long as they don’t preempt NCIS. Jethro would not be happy.
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