by John Walters
The DNC sent up a murderer’s row last night with former mayor Mike Bloomberg, vice president Joe “That’s a bunch of malarkey!” Biden and President Barack Obama. I only was able to see Obama’s speech, which was Sorkin-esque and masterful. That Bloomberg, a New York City billionaire who is not a Democrat, would take it upon himself to speak at this forum spoke volumes. His words: “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business. God help us. I’m a New Yorker I know a con when I see one.”
Bloomberg closed with, “Let’s elect a sane, competent person.”
(I’ve said it here before, but Bloomberg was my pick for president, and I believe he would have crushed Trump because he’s the sane, actual version of Trump, the Trump that Trump tries to sell voters that he is).
Here’s Obama’s speech. That Kenyan can orate!
2. The End of the Tur
Playing the Grace Gummer role from The Newsroom in this year’s election is NBC’s Katy Tur, whom Donald Trump at his press conference yesterday (yes, at least he gives press conferences; give him that) scolded to “Be quiet.”
Tur has been Trump’s gadfly much of the past year, and what a book she must be able to write. But then, the 32 year-old reporter already has enough material to fill a manuscript. She lived with Keith Olbermann for three years (2006-2009) and her father is Zoey Tur, the transgender helicopter pilot (if I had a nickel for every time I’ve written that phrase…) who was such an engaging interview in O.J.: Made In America. You’ll recall that it was Zoey who first found the white Bronco as it was heading up the 405 back to O.J.’s home.
3. When Prince Met Will Hunting
Submitted without further comment, Matt Damon‘s tale about the time he, his wife, and his oldest daughter attended a Prince concert in London. Yet another incredible Prince tale.
4. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Bill Simmons‘ new show, after five episodes, is not particularly terrible, but it’s definitely nowhere near approaching the standards of HBO. And there’s no shortage of local on-air personalities coast-to-coast who are more insightful and trenchant interviewers. Let me enumerate my problems with the program:
- Simmons has now twice devoted segments to DeflateGate and has twice managed a way to get the equivalent of Vines of his own son on air. Would you even know John Oliver is married and has kids after a year of his show? The point is, this is more of a vanity project for Simmons than it is about entertaining an audience. The Judge Joe Brown segment last night with close buddy Michael Rapaport was at least inspired, but it came off as something that they probably couldn’t wait to show their own friends, not realizing that the rest of us really just don’t care.
- The interviews, especially with celebs, are boring fan-boy softball fests. Here’s Bob Costas on his HBO show more than a decade ago with a tense interview with Vince McMahon. It’s compelling TV.
3. Get angry more. Get riled up. Talk about stuff you really care about, talk to people you disagree with, or can’t stand. Explore your own views and, I know this is difficult for anyone from Boston to do, examine your own preconceived notions of everything.
- Have a gameplan for your interviews. Don’t just take a card someone handed you with 5-10 questions and try to hit those marks. Make it like a good first date. Establish continuity. A conversation. Develop some sort of chemistry.
5. The Cat Is Your Expert Witness
As HBO’s The Night Of slowly evolves into Oz (starring Omar from The Wire), the producers took two scenes from Episode 3 to subtly nudge their audience toward Nas’s potential “Get Out Of Jail Forever” card. You see, as I wrote after Episode 1, the key moment in the girl’s murder is when the ground floor gate does not click shut after she lets the cat out. As an Upper West Sider myself, I’m sort of familiar with this concept (and I own a cat).
So, here in Episode 3, we have defense lawyer John Stone (John Turturro) nudge the gate open and there’s the kitty cat waiting to be let inside. John sees quickly that this is the cat’s home, but he is yet to have the “A ha!” moment in which he realizes he was able to push open the gate without turning the handle. That the gate was not locked.
In the second scene with the kitty, he takes it to a pound and learns that the cat will now have 10 days to live (Nas, also in lockup, may have fewer). Anyway, I don’t think the producers have made this clue overt yet, they’ve kept it subtle. But this is the key to Nas’s exoneration. Demonstrating, first, that the apartment was never secure (the second part is going to be explaining how/why Nas got down to the kitchen and the third is how come there was no blood on him after the victim was stabbed 22 times; there’s no bloody clothes, there’s no blood on him except for his hand).
In the late Seventies, back when these things mattered, there was no cooler rock band T-shirt to be seen in than Cheap Trick‘s (great logo). I still think it’s comical that Robin Zander, Bun E. Carlos, Rick Nielsen and the Fourth Guy were enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Yes or Journey (among others), but how many other bands had three of their songs poorly rendered in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (a film written by Cameron Crowe, a Rolling Stone alum)?
The song, and album of the same name, were released in 1979, and the song rose to No. 26 on the Billboard chart.
All the channels, all the time
We’ve made it, America. Tonight, the 8th and final night of the political conventions. From Melania and Scott Baio to “Vote Your Conscience” to “Buh-LIEVE Me!” to hacked emails to Bernie Bros to Malarkey to, at last, tonight: Hillary. Will she address her deleted emails and her private server? Explicitly? Tune i.