“Never believe what you publish and never publish what you believe…”-Miguel Ferrer, “The Night Flier” (1998)
Everyone should know that “The View”-ABC’s late-morning talk show-has nothing to do with real journalism, despite the presence of the legendary Barbara Walters. With abject apologies to Walters, whose credentials are above reproach, the other ladies on the show are mostly from hunger.
Yet, Walters embarrassed herself in a recent White House chat with Barack Hussein Obama. During a break, she leaned toward the president and unwittingly said into an open microphone, “I need one more interview with you, because I’m retiring next year.” Ugh!
Last October, Walters, 82, was criticized on “The View” by co-host Sherri Shepherd for using the word “nigger” while discussing the name of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s hunting camp. However, Whoopi Goldberg was the first to use it, rightfully pointing out that it’s useless to “pretend” the word doesn’t exist. She explained, “Let’s call the camp what it is.”
As a longtime print, radio and TV journalist, it annoys me how today’s news media permits loopy celebrity-types to express their views on the news. Vapid former first daughter Chelsea Clinton-recently hired by NBC News-and far-left loons Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo are cases in point. More later on Clinton.
Meanwhile, leave it to Newt Gingrich to put the media in its place. After CNN’s liberal John King foolishly started the network’s Jan. 19 Republican candidates’ debate in South Carolina by asking about an ABC News interview in which the candidate’s second ex-wife claimed he wanted an open marriage, Gingrich was all over him like ugly on an ape.
With the memory of Bill Clinton’s serial cheating still fresh in many minds, Gingrich retorted, “I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate,” he thundered, prompting a boisterous standing ovation.
“I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for office,” Gingrich said, “and I’m appalled you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that.”
When the sheepish, flustered King said the story “did not come from our network,” Gingrich snarled, “John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else”-garnering even more cheering.
“Let me make it quite clear,” Gingrich said, “the story is false. To take an ex-wife and make it a significant question two days before a primary is despicable.” Then his dagger: “I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.”
From my standpoint, equally welcome were post-debate comments by Herman Cain. You remember him, don’t you? He’s the Black conservative whose short-lived tenure atop the GOP candidate polls was sabotaged by the left-wing, liberal news media. Said Cain: “I loved Newt Gingrich’s response because that’s the same crap they pulled on me. And that’s what’s wrong with politics. That’s what’s turning people off.
“What does something that happened 20 years ago relative to an ex-wife have to do with America’s problems today? I loved when Newt Gingrich shoved it back in their face.”
Now on to Clinton-a classic example of nepotism run amok. In case you hadn’t heard, NBC News last November signed the former first daughter to a 90-day contract as a full-time special correspondent. Yes, that’s right. Can you believe it?
My questions: Does anyone really think Chelsea-I will use her first name to avoid confusion with her famous father, Bill, and her mother, Hillary-has the sticks to be a reporter or commentator for a major national news organization? Is she in any way qualified? Does she have any real life experience in TV or print journalism?
My answers: No. Nada. Nunca. No way, Jose. Except, perhaps, in America’s current “Wizard of Oz” world where so-called celebrities-and I use the world advisedly in Chelsea’s case-are foisted off on an increasingly gullible public. Yikes and triple erk!
Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said Chelsea, 31, would work on its “Making a Difference” series on “Rock Center” and “Nightly News.” Said Capus, “We both want to see how this goes…But I hope it’s the beginning of a nice, long-term relationship.” Hmmm…
After her Dec. 12 debut, Hank Stuever of the Washington Post noted, “Either we’re spoiled by TV’s unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era.” You can say that again.
It’s clear Chelsea has nothing going for her but her famous parents’ name. She did not audition. She did not pay her dues. She did not work her way up the ladder at jobs in small markets, as do the majority of aspiring young men and women with college degrees in journalism-which she does not have. If her last name was Smith, she’d be out like trout.
Finally, a spokesperson for Chelsea had this to say: “She is at the beginning of her contract, and when she gets closer to the end, discussions will begin about whether or not to renew. In the meantime, she is very much enjoying her time there and looking forward to her next piece airing.”
Well la-de-da. As Richard Boone, playing a German officer in 1951’s “The Desert Fox,” snarled at a British commando after a botched attempt to kill Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: “Are you serious, Englishman?” Uh-huh. And that’s the name of that tune.