Wednesday, March 24, 2010

680 Aman-Pouring

680 Aman-Pouring

Welcome and good luck wishes to Christiane Amanpour, newly named host of "This Week," ABC's Sunday morning competition to "Meet the Press" on NBC and "Face the Nation" on CBS.

When NBC made it's worst-ever personnel mistake, allowing David Brinkley to leave, he went to ABC and started the "This Week" program which he brilliantly guided until just before his death in 2003. He awakened the sleepy Sunday morning talk shows with typical wry commentary and interesting guests, giving the other shows a good run for their money.

Readers and listeners of this production know of the great respect and admiration its author/anchor had for Tim Russert, who brought "Press" back to life and made it the hit show it became and remains. But Brinkley gave NBC a run for its money.

Now, years later, we have Christiane Amanpour, a reporter at CNN known for playing the bad cop.

ABC has hired her for the Brinkley chair. She's the lightest weightless anchor since Rather.

She says in the publicity releases she wants to give the program an "international spin," and show the convergence of domestic and international news. Earth to Christiane and to ABC: America doesn't care about "international" news. America is the country that turns off the radio when NPR tries to tell us about a prison in Afghanistan or a TWTD, a "third world transportation disaster." The America that watches the Sunday talk shows wants to know what its idiot representative in congress has to say. It wants stories about people without health care now getting health care. It does not care about Syria or the the Corsicans or the "troubles in..." Lebanon or Ireland or Bangladesh.

So welcome, Christiane. We eagerly await your stories about Scottish sheep herds or the Sunnis in Iraq. We want to hear about what's happening HERE. And those of us who are or were fans of Russert welcome the increase in audience your presence will bring to the competition.

ABC, the junior among the three major traditional networks still has a lot to learn. And one of those things is: the viewers will reject you and they should.

Shrapnel:

--The gas-hot air furnace needs a change of filter about once a month. The 20 dollar filters don't last any longer than the one dollar filters, and sometimes the cheapies even go six weeks. So there ARE real bargains out there if you're willing to experiment.

--Former President Jimmy is out with a statement on how naughty we all are for being so divided on health care. Pot calls kettle black. The guy has gone a long LONG way on dividing opinion on the Middle East.

--Most well made banjos weigh ten pounds or more, which when you stand holding it for an hour feels like a ton; makes you ache from shoulders to back to feet. So it's not surprising that Earl Scruggs, 86, plays only seated these days. Most guys his age can't even lift the thing, let alone play it standing.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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