Friday, May 06, 2005

Sunday Chat & Chews

Get your day planners out, here's the Sunday Chat & Chews.

Due to Chris Donovan (see Monday's entry), I was thinking this afternoon that there must be something nice to be said about Meet the Press. I was thinking that maybe, for instance, Robin Wright (reporter, not actress) would be part of the roundtable and I could note that as a positive. I wasn't planning on fluffing for Meet the Press, but I was thinking that after noting its problems, there would be one thing I could find to praise. Call me ungrateful, Donovan, but I can't. The community appreciates what you did and thanks you. But I lack Elisabeth Bumiller's ability to fluff.

Here are the guests for Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC (check your local listings for air

Former Senior CIA Officer
Author, "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan"
Democratic Strategist
Republican Strategist

Gary Schroen? I'm with Ruth on his revelations. (And what he wrote did have to be cleared.)

James Carville & Mary Matalin? It's like Crossfire with less chemistry.

Seriously, Carville will shake his head "no" repeatedly while staring down at the desk/table. Matalin will tilt her head and roll her eyes while sighing heavily. Tim Russert will chuckle at each of Matalin's lackadaisical remarks as if they're riveting and witty. It's as though we're watching Sonny & Cher on The Mike Douglas Show many years after the show was cancelled (for the second time) and long after we stopped caring. (I'll dub Carville the Cher because he does posses the sparkle and talent.) The act is tired. We've seen it a hundred times over. May they go to their graves (after long, long lives) still singing "I've Got You Babe" but it's not really anything I care to watch.

We will say thank you, again, to Chris Donovan for seeing to it that the "about" page had the proper spelling of Gloria Steinem's name.

Let's note the guests for ABC's This Week (Sunday, check your local listings):

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and co-author of "Winning"
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., member of the Foreign Relations Committee
Seb. Carl Levin, D-Mich., ranking member of the Armed Services Committee*
Comedian Jerry Lewis
[*"Seb." should probably be "Sen." but I'm going by what's written.]

Jack Welch, hmm. Will he be asked about allegedly screaming, "Call the election!" back on election night November, 2000? No, he won't. (And he refused to turn over the tape from the set -- he sees himself as a journalist. Who knew?) So what's he doing on this show? Will he be asked about what G.E.'s done to the Hudson River? I doubt it. Winning? Guess it's not a book dedicated to stock holders unless it's intended to be read as nah-nah-nah.

Jerry Lewis? What? He's going to talk about his pain (physical). Apparently this is important news. Apparently, This Week is going for the Oprah audience (though Oprah chooses better guests). Maybe Lewis can cause a stir by insulting female comedians again?

But when you think it can't get worse and more non-newsworthy, along comes the roundtable:

Our classic roundtable is back this week -- Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts and George Will -- to chew over the week's big stories.

Classic? It's back, at any rate, like a herpes outbreak. But note, to those who e-mail saying something along the lines of, "I know you're being funny, but it is fair to call it the 'Chat & Chew?" Presumably, we're all on the same page that "chatting" goes on. But note that ABC, their own words, uses "chew." Chat & Chews.

Let's check in with Blinky and see what's coming up on CBS's Face The Nation this Sunday (check your local listings for air times):

Social Security; The Filibuster Fight;
The Bolton Nomination
Sen. Chuck Hagel
Foreign Relations Committee
Republican - Nebraska
Rep. Sam Brownback
Judiciary Committee
Republican - Kansas
Sen. Dick Durbin
Minority Whip
Democrat - Illinois
Karen Tumulty
TIME Magazine

Oh wait, that's last week! Yes, it's Friday evening and they still haven't posted whom their guests will be this Sunday. Which is why my friend at CBS mocks the show so much, it is that out of touch. It still thinks we live in a world of three chanels and all flip through our TV schedules when deciding what to watch. Playing it like it's still 1972 probably helps the show take a more serious tone than the other two shows, but it also means that more often than not, viewers have no idea what's coming up on Face The Nation.

If I had to watch, if someone had a gun to my head, I'd pick Face The Nation. "But you pick that every week and you don't even know who's on it this week!" True. But, as always, it's a half-hour so I'm spared thirty additional minutes of skin crawling. Second, of the three, it does aspire to something more serious. (Bob Schieffer, to his credit -- and he earned respect for this from many in the news at CBS -- refused to chase after the Michael Jackson story because he, rightly, realized that "news story" has no place on a Sunday talk show about issues facing the nation.)

If you love the Chat & Chews, tape all three. Just remember not to go in the water for at least an hour after.

By the way, if someone else finds out what's on Face the Nation before Sunday and e-mails about it, we'll note it.

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