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THE REAL COUNTDOWN IS JUST BEGINNING — AT OWN
While slowly winding down the year-long goodbye as America’s queen of the afternoon, Oprah Winfrey is a now moving at warp speed to get her next house in order. After a disappointing launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network, she’s finally said out loud what a few of us were brave to say from the beginning: it’s just not good enough.
I remember writing my first blog about OWN last January 7th. It began:
“When Oprah Winfrey first announced the creation of OWN, she revealed she had once written in her journal “that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold.”
Well, three years and $168 million later, we have now seen the future, and it is — extremely disappointing.”
I couldn’t understand how this happened, given the OWN brain trust, with not just Oprah Winfrey but now the amazing Tom Freston who, despite other claims of paternity, actually is the real father of MTV.
After waiting, then hoping, then watching, I pronounced OWN “a stodgy old bore.”
“STOMPS” HIS WAY INTO FLATIRONERS HEARTS
TODAY SHOW APPEARANCE HELPS PUSH NEW ALBUM TO #3 ON AMAZON, SECOND ALBUM AT #6
He is 29 years old and fills stadiums around the world, playing a fusion of classical music and pop on a million-dollar+ Stradavarius, straddling the worlds of Aerosmith and Vivaldi. He performed his first concert at age four and studied at Julliard with the great Itzhak Perlman. His name is David Garrett and if he looks a bit familiar, you might have seen his face on billboards for Banana Republic, on down the runway for Armani.
This morning you may have watching him on the Today Show, but you may have also seen him on The Early Show, Good Morning America, Fox New Year’s Eve Special and Oprah.
EATALY: AS INNOVATIVE IN FOOD, AS GARRETT IS IN MUSIC
Full dislosure: our family looks after him in America. But there’s no need to hype David Garrett. He’s the real deal as you’ll see in his casual stroll through Eataly, New York City’s renowned artisanal food market and eatery created by Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich and located 200 Fifth Avenue (at 23rd).
This performance, featuring The Street Beats Group, brought a special “only in New York” treat to dozens of unsuspecting lunchtime patrons at Eataly.
One Day Left to Bag the Canned Oprah Intv, Replace it With a Real Newsmaker
From the moment it was first announced that Oprah would be the first guest for the launch of Piers Morgan Tonight, I feared it would be a problem. What if a really big news story captured the imagination of the entire nation?
What if that news story sparked a unflinching dialog that crossed political parties, all generations, one story that involved the entire spectrum of modern debate: gun control, mental health resources, parental responsibility, anti-Semitism, marijuana, free speech, the presidency and more.
My “what if” happened on January 8th in Tuscon, Arizona and CNN’s coverage today, eight days later, remains riveting and relevant.
WILL ANYONE ELSE CHALLENGE “OPRAH” ON THE FIRST SHOW?
This morning, Fareed Zakaria analyzed America’s gun culture and toxic political rhetoric, but first looked forward to next week’s White House guest, the president of China. (I will try to resist any references to “Hu’s on first.)
Up next, Howie Kurtz reviewed the role of mainstream media which, he noted for the second week, got in wrong from the beginning when NPR, ABC News and others reported that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been shot and killed. Kurtz went on to discuss the rhetoric and the media’s role and responsibility in covering the president, Sarah Palin and more.
The most riveting of all CNN’s coverage was Candy Crowley’s hour with a father of an adult schizophrenic and a truly amazing man named Fred Frese III, who is director of psychology at Western Reserve Psychiatric Hospital. To call Dr. Frese’s 30-year career distinguished is an understatement. Once an officer in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, Frese had numerous involuntary hospitalizations in state, private and military psych wards. Despite a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, he pursued a medical degree and earned a doctorate in psychology from Ohio University.
I had more of my questions about the Arizona shooting answered by this hour on CNN than any other. Dr. Frese, with all his twitchy charm, explained schizophrenia — its real threats, challenges and treatments — like no other. He began by invoking the pride his (schizophrenia) community had in Dr. John Nash, the nobel laureate portrayed by Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind.” The mental health community should have equal pride in Dr. Frese who, in the most disarming way, explains that as with alcoholics where there are happy drunks and mean ones, he’s a happy schizophrenic. Dr. Frese, for one, would make a great first guest for Piers Morgan. After that, someone should open up on-air phone lines for Dr. Frese, for about three hours.
In between all these better-than-usual CNN hours: Piers Morgan’s promo with Oprah who says, “Whew, that was the toughest interview I’ve had in 20 years.”
If that’s really true, then it will hold. Of all people, Oprah will understand. It’s more important for Morgan to show he’s more nimble than safe, more relevant than star struck. Read the rest of this entry »