Wednesday, Nov. 13
Don’t be fooled by that rockin’ that he got / He’s still Al. Go from the block!
If you thought this week’s gag-tastic J. Lo mediagasm was too much to bear- “Yup, we’re in love, and by the way, I got a cool new record and three big movies comin’!!” -just wait for the coming media re-education by Al Gore! After a doughy convalescence ex-post-Florida, a thin(ner) and rested Rigor-Gore-tis is re-inserting himself into the scene with a lavish press blitz that would make Christina Aguilera blush in her buttless chaps: First, there’s a big Nov. 15 hug with Barbara Walters on ABC, then there’s the Late Show with David Letterman the same night, then there’s Jay Leno on Nov. 27, then in December he’s rumored to be hosting Saturday Night Live , then there’s ….
Hey-we liked this guy better when he was fat, bearded and hiding out on C-Span 2!
Mr. Gore is appearing on these shows because-wink, wink-he and Tipper Gore have a new book out called Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family , but those inside Planet Al want the bet-the-ranch ’04 candidate out speaking directly to the American public, where they feel he performs best. Mr. Gore and Mr. Letterman, of course, have some history: The former Vice President has appeared on the show two previous times, the first time wearing goggles and smashing things up.
One unanswered question: Was Mr. Gore the unnamed, desperate Presidential candidate Mr. Letterman referred to during his July 9 Up Close sit-down with Ted Koppel? Mr. Letterman told Mr. Koppel that with less than a week to go to Election Day, the Late Show “received a call from one of the candidates offering himself up to participate in comedy on the show. Not an interview, but they would be willing to show up and do comedy.”
Mr. Letterman and the Late Show took a pass. “I just had to laugh,” Mr. Letterman told Mr. Koppel. “I just thought, ‘Are they really that desperate? Are they really that silly?’ I mean, has something indicated to them that this will make a difference in-in the outcome of the election?”
Holy Boca Raton-it might have made a difference! No word from either the Gore camp or Late Show camp if Mr. Gore was the unnamed candidate in question. Maybe Dave will ask him about it on the air and we’ll know for sure. And if he says no, a source close to the show said that the Late Show also has a standing offer out to President George W. Bush to come sit on Mr. Letterman’s chair any time he wants.
Tonight on the Late Show , the suddenly headless mobman, Joey Pantoliano. [WCBS, 2, 11:30 p.m.]
Thursday, Nov. 14
Speaking of Joey Pants, who’s got his bloody head?
That’s the question we asked Mr. Pantoliano after his mobster character, Ralph Cifaretto, was ignominiously murdered-then decapitated!-on the Nov. 10 episode of the HBO saga The Sopranos .
Mr. Cifaretto’s little pale dome was last seen being tucked inside a bowling bag. So who gets to keep it?
“I am campaigning for it,” said Mr. Pantoliano, who said he collects memorabilia from his film and television roles. “I am going to call David Chase’s office right now and ask for it! I should have Mayor Bloomberg present me the head at the next Christopher Columbus parade!”
Whoa, Nelly. What about hawking that bad boy on eBay? “It’s not for sale,” Mr. Pantoliano said.
Too bad. Listen, while they’re feeling bloodthirsty over at HBO, can someone please chop off the head of Mike Binder, from Mind of the Married Man ?
Tonight on HBO, Angel Eyes , starring Jennifer Lopez, a hot young actress and singer we predict you’ll soon be hearing a lot from. [HBO, 32, 9 p.m.]
Friday, Nov. 15
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Geraldo!
Fox News Channel’s bid to televise the return of the United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq-if the U.N. inspectors do, in fact, return-is still alive. A spokesperson for Fox said this week that the network’s request to tag along with the inspectors remains “under consideration.” Fox has said that it’s open to sharing access and costs with other news organizations, should it get permission to come to Baghdad.
Meanwhile, surely everyone by now has heard about young Fox star Shepard Smith’s verbal boo-boo last week, substituting “blowjob” for “block party” in a report on Jennifer Lopez. Whoops .
Tonight on Fox, Mr. Smith tells his audience that Saddam Hussein is “more likely to do it doggie-style-I mean, um, do a dog-and-pony show-for U.N. inspectors than any serious examination. Sorry-that will never happen again. I mean it!” Fox Report with Shepard Smith . [FNC, 46, 7 p.m.]
Saturday, Nov. 16
Toward the end of Lou Dobbs’ Oct. 18 installment of Moneyline -right before opening the viewer mailbag full of anxious 401(k) holders venting their spleens at corporate America-Mr. Dobbs read out a rather innocuous news item.
“Well, the NASD [National Association of Securities Dealers] today filed civil charges against New York broker Todd Eberhard,” Mr. Dobbs said. “He is charged in a multi-count NASD disciplinary proceeding. The charges include securities fraud, issuing false account statements and attempting to settle customer complaints without informing his employers. Eberhard faces possible fines, censure, suspension or possibly to be barred from the securities industry. A spokesman for Mr. Eberhard declined to comment.”
But to viewers of CNN and money channel CNNfn, Mr. Eberhard was a little bit more than a “New York broker.” Regular watchers of CNN and CNNfn would have recognized the beefy, affable majority owner of Park South Securities from his more than 600 appearances on the news network’s financial programming, including Mr. Dobbs’ Moneyline .
But now he appears to be on TV ice. Reached at his East 59th Street offices, Mr. Eberhard declined to comment either on his sudden removal from television or on the charges; a spokesperson for the NASD said that as disciplinary proceedings were underway, the NASD would not comment on the case.
Asked about Mr. Eberhard’s absence from Moneyline and other financial-roundtable discussions on CNN and CNNfn, a CNNfn spokesperson would not address the case specifically but said:
“CNNfn never enters into contracts with guests who regularly appear on our shows. Whenever a guest’s credibility is called into question by legal or regulatory action or review, it is our journalistic responsibility to suspend conversation with them pending the outcome.”
Tonight on Larry King Weekend , Mr. King asks: “Enough about this broker guy. Who the hell confuses a block party with a blowjob?” [CNN, 10, 9 p.m.]
Sunday, Nov. 17
ESPN is now carrying N.B.A. basketball- bounce !-and the Bristolytes are again tinkering with the product. This time, they’ve inserted a teeny-weeny camera inside the hardwood floor to give the audience a new perspective on the action-i.e., the chance to see what frail Marcus Camby sees above him when he’s rolling around on the floor, clutching his leg after his 435th knee boo-boo.
“It can pan and tilt so it can look down the lane,” said an ESPN spokesperson, adding that the cable sports network has worked closely with the N.B.A. on the floor cam, making sure its presence and installation doesn’t affect play.
But watching the cam in action the other night, we were wondering: Is ESPN worried that this invasive floor eye might sneak up a player’s shorts and pick up some action it shouldn’t-like, say, someone’s Magic Johnson?
“There has been a little bit of lighthearted humor about that,” the ESPN spokesperson said. “I don’t know how much of a serious concern it is, however. I’m sure if it becomes one, we’ll find out.”
All Knicks and Nets are hereby warned: keep those lacy Hello Kitty thongs at home, fellas!
Tonight on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football , in a rematch of last year’s mucho controversial A.F.C. playoff game, the Oakland Raiders seek vengeance against the saved-by-replay New England Patriots. Ah, who cares? What’s on The Sopranos ? [ESPN, 28, 8:30 p.m.]
Monday, Nov. 18
Pelosi, Pelosi, we all scream for Pelosi!
It’s been a wild couple of weeks for Northern California and New York’s brewing Kennedy clan, as daughter Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO Journeys With George triumph was closely followed by news that her mother, California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, was set to become House minority leader.
For Alexandra Pelosi-currently being wooed by network suitors interested in hiring her lens for the 2004 Presidential campaign-the family media blitz has been pretty funny and overwhelming.
“Every waking moment of my life is people telling me what they think of my mother or my movie,” Ms. Pelosi said the other day “Last night I went out for sushi, and on one side the people were telling me what they thought of my movie, and on the other side they were telling me what they thought of my mother.”
But Alexandra Pelosi figures her run in the spotlight is going to be considerably shorter than her mother’s. On Nov. 12, she was set to guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , and then after that, “my 15 minutes officially end-and my mother’s begins.
“Actually, ’15 minutes’ implies that it’s an empty little publicity thing,” Ms. Pelosi said, correcting herself. “Hers is actually going to last longer than that.”
Tonight on HBO, The Wedding Planner , starring Jennifer Lopez, who is from the Bronx and may be dating a young actor named Ben Affleck [HBO, 32, 10:30 p.m.]
Tuesday, Nov. 19
Tonight on the Fox Report with Shepard Smith , Fox production assistants are told to be exceptionally careful handling all news copy pertaining to 1969, Uranus and the Pacific Rim. [FNC, 46, 7 p.m.]