Shame on ‘CBS This Morning’ RE: Robin Williams

August 12, 2014

By Karen

Thankfully, it’s not often I wake up to news so unexpected it leaves me stunned. My heart can’t take it. But it happened today when I learned that Robin Williams died at age 63 by apparent suicide.

When I turned on the TV, Matt Lauer was already into full sensational video obit mode on the Today Show, so I switched to CBS This Morning.

CBS happens to be the last network Robin Williams worked for. Just last season, he starred in The Crazy Ones, his first foray into TV sitcom since Mork and Mindy.

I watched every episode of The Crazy Ones because it starred — ROBIN WILLIAMS!

OK, it wasn’t the funniest, but Robin had good chemistry with his on-screen daughter, Sarah Michelle Gellar. From the outtakes closing every episode, it seemed they were leaving most of Williams’s improv skills on the cutting room floor.

My sense was that the rest of the much-younger cast kept pinching themselves over the chance to work with ROBIN WILLIAMS, and I believed the show would gel in its second season, after maybe some tweaks.

But CBS didn’t give Robin a chance to fix it. They pulled the plug on ROBIN WILLIAMS after one season, in a mind-blowing lack of faith that he would ever deliver.

After that, we read reports that Williams was depressed and checked himself into rehab. And now he’s dead.

And today Charlie Rose and Nora O’Donnell had the GALL to sit there, running clip after clip of Williams’ career — but not ONE from The Crazy Ones.

At one point late in the show, Nora mentioned The Crazy Ones, but Charlie quickly steered her away before she said too much.

Nora also said Williams was one of her favorite interviewees, and they showed a recent blip of him at the table — obviously there to plug The Crazy Ones — but they never mentioned that part.

NOBODY said a peep about the CBS cancellation, even though the sitcom’s “failure” undoubtedly weighed on Williams’ already-shaky confidence and self-esteem.

Way to go, CBS, you fucking cowards. Wail and moan over the loss of a great talent — whom you kicked to the curb like so much garbage just a few months ago. Go claim your spot in the journalistic sewer with the Today Show.

PS: Buried below a bunch of other stuff, I found that CBS did slip that last Williams CBS interview about The Crazy Ones on their website. Too little, too late.


Marilyn Hagerty, Kindred Spirit

September 3, 2013

By Karen

The book deal Anthony Bourdain forged with Marilyn Hagert bore fruit on August 27 when an anthology of her newspaper columns, Grand Forks, a History of American Dining in 128 Reviews, was released by Bourdain’s imprint at Ecco Press.

I still have no desire to read it, but I caught online last week this clip of Hagerty doing the Today Show.

Only in a galaxy far, far away would an author publishing 30-year-old material be getting even a nanosecond of air time on any national talk show. Indeed, during Hagerty’s interview, they flashed several pics of Bourdain, looking fetching, as if to explain why they were letting this relative nobody fill space between their commercial breaks.

But it was while Matt and Savannah had Marilyn taste and give a spot review on the latest NYC foodie obsession, the cronut, which Marilyn pronounced “chewy,” that it suddenly occurred to me…

In spite of all the attention she’s gotten from Bourdain and the foodie elite since her review of Olive Garden went viral, Marilyn Hagerty was, and always will be, an UnFoodie!

She eats at Taco Bell and McDonald’s. She eats things out of cans. She probably eats cheese slices wrapped in cellophane. And her readers do likewise. And they enjoy it.

In other words, like most of us, Marilyn Hagerty eats to live, she doesn’t live to eat.

As I watched Marilyn hold her own against that pair of New York sophisticates, possibly not even realizing she was defanging them with her innate civility and common sense, I felt great admiration for her.

In the airless, jaded realm of food worship, where the grosser and scarcer a thing is, the more tasty it must be, Marilyn Hagerty speaks with a clear voice for the goodness of a meatloaf made with ketchup and cheap hamburger.

(Yeah, I know Bourdain’s been saying pretty much the same thing while flogging her book, but somehow it rings hollow coming out of his ortolon-tainted mouth. I, on the other hand, have no dog in this fight.)

The plain food we UnFoodies eat is OK, too. Sometimes it’s even tasty. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t feel bad about being grossed out by bugs and animal guts. It’s OK if our cheese is wrapped in plastic so it doesn’t get moldy.

Marilyn, you go, girl!


Matt Lauer Gets a Taste of Karma

September 21, 2012

By Adele

Folks, remember, you read it here first: The Today Show kicked out Ann Curry for hurting the ratings, yet, as I predicted, that snowball’s still rolling downhill.

We switched to CBS This Morning the day after Ann left, but we still start the day with local news on NBC. Then Karen waits until Today begins and Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie come on screen before she pointedly changes the channel. She says it still feels good, too.

Apparently, our defection isn’t the only one, because Good Morning America has been eating Today’s lunch lately.

So now who are they going to blame? Is Al Roker next in line for a pink slip for not making the weather entertaining enough?

The New York Post reports Lauer has turned into an “anchor animal,” trying to rule the Today roost like an executive producer, and his IQ popularity numbers are down 25%.

Lauer claims he’s open to new ideas for the show. He should have read the slew of ideas I supplied right before Ann Curry left.

But now, the only idea that may actually work is to say “buh-bye” to Matt Lauer. Maybe Katie Couric could use a gofer on her new show.


Ann Curry Shows NBC What Class Is

June 28, 2012

By Adele

This morning Ann Curry announced her departure from Today, and they actually let her speak for a whole 2:10 uninterrupted minutes, which may be a record.

It happened at about 8:55 a.m., after Ann had gamely logged her 2 final hours as co-host.

Ann said she’s staying with NBC to do news, and it’s unfortunate the ingrate network will still reap the benefit of her journalistic skills.

Speaking of journalism, Today is right on track to realize it was already down the crapper long before Ann became co-host. Immediately after Ann’s heartfelt farewell and a commercial break, they switched gears by launching Savannah Guthrie’s hour with cake-decorating with Martha Stewart.

On the other hand, earlier they had let Al Roker talk to popular authors Charlaine Harris (the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series) and Janet Evanovich about summer reading, and let them mention 6 or 8 books apiece, although the last few got one-word recommendations for the usual reason — more commercials.

(Evanovich recommended Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw. She said she loves him, but hates him for being a better writer than she is.)

It was a feeble attempt to raise the bar on content, but too little, too late.

I hope Ann is just staying on while she considers other opportunities, and the day comes soon when she leaves NBC’s stinking corpse to rot.

(We’re also pissed at NBC for stupidly canceling Kathy Bates’ Harry’s Law, its second most-watched drama, behind Smash, but ahead of Law & Order: SVU.)

Talent and quality mean absolutely nothing to those people. They’re worse than Travel Channel.

Meanwhile, CBS, here we come!


‘Today Show’ Producers Have a Death Wish

June 26, 2012

By Adele

It’s like watching a slow-mo train wreck on the Today Show. Ann Curry somehow manages to carry on with grace while NBC execs continue to crap on her good name rather than take responsibility for their own failures in the ratings.

And now it seems they’re seriously considering the vowel-challenged Hoda Kotb to be Matt Lauer’s new sidekick.

REALLY??!! Can anybody even pronounce “Kotb?”

Thanks to NBC, Hoda’s image is of a middle-aged mid-morning drunk who dresses like she thinks she’s a hot 25-year-old.

Just the type to play Matt Lauer’s straight man — NOT.

And where does that leave Hoda’s booze-buddy, Kathy Lee Gifford? Will they pull Regis Philbin and his creepy perm out of retirement and prop him up beside her?

The people at Good Morning America must be dancing for joy. NBC is as hard-pressed to find a decent morning host within its ranks as the Republicans are for a presidential candidate who doesn’t make you hurl hairballs.

Giving Hoda more prominence will be the kiss of death to the Today Show — and it will be well-deserved.


Ann Curry Not Today Show’s Problem

June 25, 2012

By Adele

I’ve been watching the Today Show since I was a kitten, and it’s been going downhill for years. But this hatchet job on Ann Curry is the last straw. Can you say…

Hello, Good Morning America!

You know things are bad when I’m driven into the arms of Oprah’s BFF, Gayle King.

Reportedly, they’re paying Ann Curry $10 million to take a mid-contract hike, blaming her for Today’s sagging ratings.

But the NBC suits seem conflicted on how Ann is single-handedly destroying the show. They do agree she makes a dandy scapegoat.

To stroke Matt Lauer’s massive ego, Ann has dumbed it down and smiled through cringe-worthy drivel they keep throwing at her. I’d like to see her go back to serious news. She’s more of a Christiane Amanpour type anyway.

And here are some suggestions for NBC to salvage Today

  • Cut the inter-cast banter. They should take a backseat to the news.
  • Tell the cast to SHUT UP and let guests answer interview questions (Meredith Vieira was the worst; nobody could get a word in).
  • Present actual news. Too often, what comprises a “story” is nothing but reiterated teaser fluff. You make viewers wait and wait…and wait to FINALLY see stories, but too often our reaction is, “That’s IT?”
  • Speaking of teasers, cut the BS “Up next, but first…,” and “Straight ahead, after this…” The delays are maddening, and you usually pull a bait and switch and don’t even show the next freaking story next. Say a story is “coming right up” and mean it, damn it.
  • Don’t imply you’ve got a live body there, and then air some stale canned footage from last night’s Brian Williams newscast.
  • Accept that 2-3 minutes is not enough time for an interview. When you cut everybody off in mid-sentence for more stupid commercials, you reveal your priorities—and they’re not with interesting content.
  • Screen out everyday yahoos who speak in monosyllables. They’re the interviews from hell.
  • Cut the stupid, obvious questions. We KNOW how somebody who’s lost a limb or a child or survived a catastrophe feels. You don’t need to ask.
  • Just say no to celebrities in their own minds, like Octomom, Kate Gosselin, and the Kardashians. They’re only “famous” because faux-news organizations like you keep them alive.
  • Discontinue cooking segments unless the chefs have enough time to actually cook a recipe viewers can follow.
  • Fire your panel of so-called “professionals” Nobody gives a flying f**k what Star Jones or Donny Deutsch think about anything.
  • Cut that hour with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda whatsits. They give washed-up, middle-aged drunks a bad name.

Ann Curry, take the money and run. You were too good for those self-centered rat-bastards. When GMA mops up in the next ratings sweep using Today as a Swiffer, you’ll have the last laugh.


Bourdain in Miami with a Girl

February 27, 2012

By Karen

That’s right. Celebrity Baby Scoop got the best pictures ever of Anthony Bourdain’s daughter, Ariane, who will be 5 years old on April 9.

Over the weekend, she and dad were hanging out in their hotel pool during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Ottavia didn’t seem to be around, and I kind of doubt the paparazzi would have come away unscathed had she been there.

But anyhoo, the pics are on the ‘net now. Since the Bourdains have always protected Ariane’s image, Cats Working will respect that, but here’s the link to the photos.

Now let the discussion begin… Who do you think she favors?

And just when you think Paula Deen can’t sink any lower…

On February 24 Al Roker was in South Beach for the festival, and the Today Show gave Paula and her son Bobby an opportunity to act shocked and declare that mean people had “piled on” Paula for developing diabetes.

You’d have to go back to the Bush administration to find a more pathetic attempt at spin.

Of course, they carefully omitted how Paula pushed her deadly cuisine for 3 years after her diagnosis, and that she only admitted it once her lucrative diabetes drug endorsement deal with Novo Nordisk made continued deceit impossible.

And Roker let them get away with it. Shame on him!

Without the slightest trace of irony, Paula even had the gall to call her disease “a blessing.”

I guess so, now that it’s opened up a new multi-million-dollar income stream for her.

Honey, y’all ain’t foolin’ anybody. Cashing in on your diabetes was disgusting enough, but enlisting your son to help you bad-mouth anyone who’s appalled by your dishonesty and greed only adds calculated spitefulness to the list.


%d bloggers like this: