I've had it. I know I can't make these people or programs disappear from the media swirl, but this is more of a hope than a plea.
Your fifteen minutes of fame are over. Please start moving towards the exits.
1. Nancy Grace Please get this bully off the airwaves as soon as possible. This woman cannot see any other perspective other than her own and if anyone objects to her narrowmindedness, she interupts them until they finally shut down. She is always on the side of the prosecution no matter the evidence. Some have even suggested she caused the suicide of Melinda Duckett:
NBC News Sept. 15, 2006 — "Former prosecutor turned talk show host Nancy Grace is unapologetic about her aggressive approach to a mother who committed suicide after an interview about the woman's missing son. "
While I believe that Grace is not responsible, she was as hateful and vindictive as I have ever seen her during that interview. Hateful and vindictive seems to her normal way of speaking to anyone anymore. There was a time, before she began her spiral, that she at least could muster some sympathy from this viewer.
She is taking it all so personally, as if these outrageous wrongs were being done to her. She wears the tragic murder of her fiancé almost as a badge of honor, giving her sovereign authority to condemn the accused and impunity when her accusations go unrewarded by a jury. She seems intent on righting that wrong by publicly "convicting" any and all accused.
Ken Fox of TV Guide agrees. Stephen King agrees.
Whatever is going on beneath that starched blonde German helmet of a hairstyle, I hope she will stop taking herself so seriously as the Grand Inquisitor of the Universe. Please, lady, you're a talking head worried more about ratings that human beings.
2. Bill O'Reilly When you really believe that everything you think or say is right and everyone else is a buffoon, then the exits are calling.
Big Bill doesn't give a smudge about the issues, the players or the people, he cares only about his opinion. What's the point? Is this a news show? Hardly. Call it the Bill and Baloney show.
Yes, Bill, you are a big blowhard, and you are so right about everything, so how about a nice long fishing trip? Big bloated Bill doesn't listen to his guests, they are merely filler between his next pearls of wisdom. He lets guests have the final word, but even the slick professional polish cannot hide his smug superiority. Checkout time is now.
Another mediahead takes themselves way too seriously and becomes a joke.
3. Grafitti Seriously, I remember when Michael Lipton started this rag back in the day. Yes, the mag had its detractors and its fans (just like its editor, yes?), but at least the magazine had some character, funny stories, and you could find out what bands were playing over the weekend. Now, you can still find out what bands are playing, but little else is worth looking at. And what's with all the trashy photos?
This is worthless. Come back, Lipton-all is forgiven. We'll even take back your snide editorial remarks. Please?
4. Oprah Yes, Oprah worked hard to get to be the Queen of All Media, but the fact that so many people take her so seriously is downright frightening to me. Oprah reads a book and her minions scurry to read it. Oprah is a TV personality, not an English Lit professor. Yet her power can make or break a career in a matter of minutes.
Cross her and you'll be sorry: Jonathan Frazen ran his mouth too much. In the end, he was punished: "Whatever it was, Winfrey took the hint. On Monday, she announced, "Jonathan Franzen will not be on the Oprah Winfrey show because he is seemingly uncomfortable and conflicted about being chosen as a book club selection. It is never my intention to make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone conflict. We have decided to skip the dinner and we're moving on to the next book."
Then there was the James Frey incident.
Baby, you might be the Queen, but even your slick publicists did not protect you from the hosing you got to your credibility. The Big O gave Frey a spanking and he had to dance a big mea culpa to avoid the public execution she had planned for him in Times Square.
"Oprah: James Frey is here and I have to say it is difficult for me to talk to you because I feel really duped." Yes, honey, you were because you believed in your own power.
Oprah got what all media types eventually get when they start to believe their own press. It should be called the Kathy Lee Syndrome.
Exit quietly now and enter the world of anonymous philanthropy. Take those tax write-offs where you can, baby.
5. Saturday Night Live This show has long past its due date. SNL used to be an event and once was a potent, influential show inspiring a whole generation (mine) to be as smartmouthed as the cutting-edge comedy that was brought to us every weekend. It was funny, original, progressive and full of relevant social satire.
Now, this show as is would not even make it past the pilot. The exits are marked in red. Go thee quietly. You did a good thing for many years. Leave your legacy untainted.
6. John Mayer He doesn't seem like a bad guy, the music isn't awful and he has not committed some egomanical media stupidities like the above mediaheads, so why do I include this young lad among the vultures? In truth, I hate to pick on him, but this has been bothering me.
My question is simple: why did he get a recording contract? It is not a question of age speaking here when I say that I can not discern one word that comes out of his mouth when he sings. It is mush to my ears. The singing is marginal at best. More like speak-sing to my jaded ears.
Then I hear about how well the guy plays the guitar. Huh? It is dull and predictable. I remember teaching in high school in the early 80's and hearing a kid so talented on the guitar that it made me evaluate why I was even studying music. That guy later struggled to even get noticed in Nashville and ended up disillusioned, joining the Navy and quitting the guitar for many years. Is that fair? And neither is life, so....
There are thousands of far more talented and deserving artists, why does this kid get attention? He got a guest spot on CSI. We watched it and we both turned to each other and said, "What? What was that?"
Long ago I stopped getting upset about why the truly talented and the innovative are routinely ignored by record companies and the general public. Let's face it: most of the record buying public are totally in the dark and have neither an ear nor a love of music and hence the sales of such artists skyrocket, while the deserving must toil. My generation is as guilty as the next in this regard. Somebody bought all those disco records, just as the mystifying sales of all things Britney or Hillary or...add the current flavor of the week.
John, it's been a good ride. Now, step aside and keep moving towards that little red sign above that doorway over there, ok?
7. Geraldo This is too easy. Mr. Swoop In For the Glory has been ready for last curtain call for decades, but I doubt we'll see that soon.
Here Geraldo is thankful he still has friends in high places that allow him to go over to Iraq and give away the positions of our troops to our enemies. Or perhaps to visit the Sago Mine and add his mighty offer of condolences. What was he doing there anyway?
How about that quick face splash for the Katrina victims? Tearfully loading children onto helicopters, Geraldo got the big photo op he wanted and like all the others, followed the spotlight to the next hot story.
Exit now and maybe a hundred years from now no one will remember the Capone vault slicky slide down into shameful journalism. And just maybe, history will remember the piece you did about the treatment of the mentally ill you did so many years ago before you fell victim to your own vanity.
8. Hillary-Paris-Nicole-Lohan-Tara Ad Nauseum
"And all of this fills my aching head
I hate this space, the luxury hotel bed.
Oh dear, oh me-oh-my
Got to concentrate just to keep from trying
Oh dear, oh me-oh-my
Got to concentrate just to keep from trying"
-Lyrics by David Sylvian
From moment these people were born, these vultures had one destiny: to be famous at any cost. Despite the vapid music, idiotic films and public displays of outrageous behavior, these little silver spoon, bratty Velociraptors will keep on doing whatever their publicists say to keep them in the limelight.
Why don't they ever just shine brightly, ignite and then disappear from our TV sets or theaters? Why doesn't shame ever figure into the equation? Where is good taste?
Ah, hell...who am I trying to kid? That never figures into it.
Listen, please, through that door marked Exit, there's a fabulous sale on Prada, ok? Seriously. Load up while you can. Take care.
9. David Caruso The Eclectic Guy household is filled with television viewing. The Eclectic Wife keeps abreast of what new shows are coming and when old favorites are showing and handles all the recording of such things. I am too dangerous of a techno-idiot to handle these duties and she wouldn't let me handle these matters for all the coffee in Brazil.
We both started watching CSI Miami. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in this series. The stories are predictable and the cast are all expressionless to me, especially David Caruso. Each week, Mr. Keebler Elf takes his sunglasses off, holds them as butch as he can, then puts them back on and this is called acting? Or acting technique number two: with arms akimbo, he looks at the ground, looks back up and then mutters something like, "Then he'll be on my playground. (macho squint pause) And recess is over."
Some actors can make believe the Tough Guy. Caruso looks like he'd be more comfortable discussing fabrics on the Christopher Lowell show.
You've had a good run, NYPD Blue, but now it's time to say adieu.
10. Duncing With the Stars Look, I know this is an easy fight to win. No one is saying that this show is not fluff, but even host Tom Bergeron looks like he is having trouble keeping a straight face getting through this one. I have immense respect for the art of dance and the pros on this show are a pleasure to watch, but Jerry Springer? Who's next, Connie Chung?
I suggest that they beef up the amateur dance list with a few special guests, like Richard Ramirez. The Night Stalker could give us his best serial killer samba, in handcuffs and leg irons of course. Don't forget we will need a full SWAT team in matching ruffled shirts.
Or how about runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks? Can't you just see the mounting pressure making her more and more squirrely each week until she does the inevitable Houdini? And the costume??? Well....something simple, just to "veil" the face.
Beef up the interest or sign off now, because "Duncing", you are justifying every snide remark about TV being a wasteland.
11. Jennifer Love Hewitt Jen-Jen, you've done forgettable movies, a TV show so derivative and unoriginal I'm surprised that any writer would put their real name in the credits, and you have even been so vain as to release some hideously vapid pop music. Sales have been dismal for all music releases. That should have been a clue to stop, but no, you continue. What is it with actors and singing? And vice versa?
Her acting range is this: Anger-knit eyebrows. Scared: open mouth and scream. Otherwise, all other emotions are covered with a blank look (probably thinking about her next hair color) or a smile. You tried and you got further than most girls who dream of stardom. Do the decent thing now, luv, and exit stage right.
Yes, the ghosts are whispering and if you lean really close to them they are saying, so softly......pleeeasssseee gooooooooooo.......
For now, this is my list of expendables. I'm sure more are coming.