Thursday, January 20, 2005

TV notes, part 3: Balls to the Wall

Pierce Bush and T. Boone Pickens. Don King and Stephen Baldwin. Joe Pantoliano and Tommy Lasorda. Oscar de La Renta and Larry Gatlin. Journalists and columnists galore.

All bit players in the pageantry and majesty of the Presidential Inaugural. But, AS SEEN ON TV, something more than that. Exactly what will be for the historians to decide.

Pierce Bush, nephew of the president, made a huge entrance on the American stage, via Larry King Live, on Thursday night.

King went so far as to call the Georgetown U freshman "our young discovery." That was how King introduced the bright-eyed lad.

Allow yourself to make a close inspection of his youthful visage. That, ladies & gentleman, is a clone of George W. Bush at Andover.

Speaking to King from the Texas-Wyoming Ball, Pierce said he arrived late and sincerely regretted missing his uncle and aunt's on-stage dance, since no members of the Bush Family can dance. Rim shot.

How's college going Pierce?
He misses the gang in Texas, "But the ladies are responding well." Double rim shot.

The kid was on fire.

King was amused and enthralled, the way old folks can get with brash youngsters, and he closed the interview by telling him he was a fine young man.
"Larry, you're the man. You know I love you, man."

He said "man" to Larry King, TWICE. Like he was talking to a fraternity bro. Man!

If I didn't know better, and I don't, I would say it is likely Pierce Bush may have had a few drinks. But, being underage, that would be genuinely, well, illegal, right? George W. Bush at Andover? Call you a cab, son? Limo? You're not gonna give me those car keys, are you?

Never you mind. It's Inauguration Day!

King's panel members immediately launched into a discussion comparing the Bush Family to other famous American Political Dynasties: Adams, Roosevelt, Kennedy. The Bush Family has surpassed them, declared CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer.

Someday, we could see Pierce Bush or older cousin George P. Bush, Hispanic son of Jeb, run for the presidency, said historian Michael Bechsloss.

"I'll put my money on that kid," Schieffer said of Pierce.

T. Boone Pickens

The old corporate raider, who hails from the Panhandle, appeared on Neil Cavuto's segment on Fox.

Pickens says he likes this market, leading Cavuto to ask him for specific stock picks and/or sectors in his portfolio, leading T. Boone to rattle off about a half-dozen companies, which Cavuto noted were all energy companies. "Oh, I'm a foot wide and 50 feet deep," replied T. Boone. Which is to say, he only invests in energy companies. Oh, yeah, he predicts $50 oil in 90 or so days.

T. Boone on Social Security: Says he doesn't receive it. Then amends that to say he doesn't "think" he receives it. HE'S RICH, Neil, move on.

T. Boone on whether the president, like T. Boone himself, is a clever fellow who cleverly presents himself to the public as a "Texas backwoodsman": Oh, heck, he wouldn't necessarily use the word "clever" to describe the president. Then amends that to say he doesn't know, clever might be all right to say. Finally says the president is "smarter than he was 4 years ago." And "solid."

Don King

The boxing promoter keeps showing up at Republican events. And the GOP is trying to enlarge its tent. So there must be room for King and his hair.

Interviewed by Greta Van Susteren, King said when he met GWB, he offered to be his promoter. "He said, `Don, I don't know if I can afford you." King's been promoting the president ever since. And tells everyone that he is, in fact, the president's promoter.

It's a Big Tent. Really Big Tent. Keep telling yourself that.

Stephen Baldwin

Since he "came to faith" 3 years ago, Baldwin has supported GWB, the least-known Baldwin Bro. told Van Susteren, yet he doesn't always agree with the president on everything.

Q: Such as?
A: The war in Iraq. It could have been "a little more betterly planned."

Despite the poor grammar, Van Susteren asked Baldwin if he had any advice for the president.
Why is she asking him this, I thought?
Why is she asking me this, he thought.
"Boy, I never thought this day would come," Baldwin said.
(Translation: why are you asking me, a B movie actor, to give advice to the leader of the free world, who declared a few hours ago that he was launching a crusade for total world democracy.)

Baldwin rallied. Keep praying is what he'd tell the president, he said.
Rim shot?

Joe Pantoliano

He's famous for ending up headless in his exit performance on "The Sopranos."
And he played a convincing scumbag in "Risky Business" way back when Tom Cruise danced in his Underoos.

Now he wears one of those Kangol hats backwards. Everywhere. All the time.

For some reason, he was interviewed by Neil Cavuto.

Social Security. Joe, look out, it's a trap! A double-cross!! Ahhh, too late.

After opining that Social Security problems need to be fixed by bipartisan, blah, blah, blah, Cavuto pounced, like a graceful, well-muscled panther on a defenseless, blind, three-legged, baby titmouse. Gulp.

Why should you care? demanded Cavuto.
"You're loaded and you're kids are going to be loaded."

Pantoliano: "Oh, no. I'm an actor. I'm not a movie star."

Somebody's lying. Call Tony on the cell. And Christopher.

Tommy Lasorda

It's a mystery why he was being interviewed. I heard him say his parents came to the USA from Italy. Move on.

Oscar de la Renta

Early in the day, Wonkette, in her blog, questioned the First Lady's wardrobe, invoking a violation of the Don't-Wear-White-After-Labor-Day-Or-Before-Easter Rule.

Turns out the First Lady's afternoon wardrobe was NOT white, it was winter white.

Famous designer Oscar de la Renta, who designs the First Lady's clothing, told Larry King, "Mrs. Bush can practically wear any color."

"It really made her stand out in a crowd," he said of the winter white attire.

(I caught a fleeting snatch of MSNBC's Ron Reagan questioning the color choice, but he invoked a French word I didn't understand. Forget it! Also, it should be noted that Wonkette appeared on the Imus radio show on Inaugural Morning. She has some sort of tatoos on her upper right bicep. She has arm tats and she's dishing fashion smack to the First Lady? To her credit, she refrained from blogging about her anal sex fixation on Inaugural Day.)

Larry Gatlin

The country singer/longtime Bush Family throwdown celebrity showed up on Greta Van Susteren and didn't say much that he hasn't said before, except, "I would rather have somebody (as president) get up and pray in the morning than get up and read the New York Times."

Or do the crossword, most likely.

The Usual Media Suspects

MSNBC:Before an early evening commercial break, Chris Matthews promised more coverage of the "inaugural balls." Which I found amusing. TV fatigue setting in.

C-SPAN: W & Laura danced cheek-to-cheek at the Texas-Wyoming Ball while an orchestra played "I Could Have Danced All Night." They stopped dancing almost immediately ... "Nixon was a good dancer" said Ann Geracimos of the Washington Times; Donna Shore of Washington Life Magazine said George Washington "loved" to dance. "They were minuets, of course." ... You have to pay for your drinks at the balls, they said.

FOX:Street reporter Molly Hennenberg described some protestors as "Bohemian-type-looking people" who chanted war is not the answer. Bohemians? Kerouac/Cassady type bohemians? Or Maynard G. Krebs style bohemians? Were they playing bongos, Daddy-O? Nearby, counter-demonstrators held "Shut Up Hippies" signs, Hennenberg reported. Hippies? Hippie-Hippies? Or Yippie-type Hippies?

Who or what dented the president's limo? Right rear panel, reportedly. Fox Reporter Major Garrett was on the scene. Said he saw nothing "untoward." Then reported he didn't actually see the dent, either. Major wore spectacles when he was a reporter for The Houston Post in the late '80s. No spectacles today. Contacts or Lasik, probably. He can afford it.

At the Patriot Ball for Ohio, Fox Reporter Brian Wilson (not the Beach Boy) did a live report. It was getting late. He looked tired. And he reported that you can always tell when the party starts really rocking because that's when the band starts doing covers of Michael Jackson songs. Not making this up. All true.

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