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Diss and Dat

Aug 7, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nobody asked for The Insider’s opinion about the men going in and out of the revolving door on “Good Morning America” this summer, why Elisabeth Hasselbeck should be seen and not heard on “The View” and other topics, but so what? It’s been too long since the muzzled critic inside The Insider has been let out to play with the good, the bad and the ugly.

Please, dear readers, be on the alert for signs of The Insider getting carried away and overheating. She’s been watching too much “The O’Reilly Factor” and it’s rubbing off.

Talking Point 1: The talent search needs to widen at ABC if the network needs a substitute co-host to sit in for Diane Sawyer or Robin Roberts on “GMA.”

“GMA Weekend” co-host Bill Weir is smart and personable, but the latter quality doesn’t translate on-camera as well as it does one on one. And his smarts boomerang on him by coming across as smart-ass on TV. Gathering the on-air ensemble around him on the weekends like an audience for a performer when he does his snarky “News You Missed” segments doesn’t help.

His height doesn’t help either, because it inevitably lends an air of talking down to everyone. But there ought to be some way to soften him up, oughtn’t there? For example, what happens when he lets more time pass between haircuts? We’re only suggesting enough to take the military-sharp edges off his hair.

WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter, who seems so confident on ABC’s flagship local news, seems cowed by “GMA.” Always has, and apparently always will. During his recent live interview with Elizabeth Smart, he so awkwardly and persistently tried to get the Utah girl to relive her experience of being held for months by a kidnapper that we felt like we were witness to child abuse. And don’t get us started on what we thought about her father for not stepping in, even as he stood next to her. As Gomer Pyle might have said: Shame, shame, shame.

Chris Cuomo, “Prime” co-anchor and senior legal correspondent for ABC News, should never appear live. “Live” is not flattering to Mr. Cuomo. Editing is. And, dear powers in heaven, please stop him before he ad-libs again.

Talking Point 2: Speaking of stuffing a sock somewhere, could someone please hogtie and duct-tape Ms. Hasselbeck—and her wardrobe adviser—for the rest of the summer?

Without Star Jones Reynolds around as the chief annoyance on “The View,” Ms. Hasselbeck has become unbearable every time she opens her mouth.

Without Star Jones Reynolds around as the chief fashion don’t, Ms. Hasselbeck’s wardrobe has gone from foolish to a parade of big bad jokes. She recently spent the hour on-air in a floor-length, strapless bright turquoise number that could have worked on a beach or at a backyard barbecue in an upwardly hopeful suburb, but that looked silly and inappropriate on a daytime chat show. And the coordinated turquoise print babushka hiding much of her hair didn’t help.

On second thought, having witnessed Barbara Walters be forced to stifle Ms. Hasselbeck on more than one recent occasion, The Insider’s anticipation of Rosie O’Donnell’s arrival runs high once again. Ms. O’Donnell’s work on “The View” is not done simply because Ms. Reynolds took a pre-emptive powder. Ms. Hasselbeck’s never-ending inanities made Debbie Matenopouios, “The View’s” original lightweight, look like a Mensa Miss.

And don’t even get The Insider started on Ms. Hasselbeck’s socio-political tilt that has her leaning so far to the right, the knuckles and her right hand should, by all rights, be a mass of scabs and calluses.

It’s time to say farewell and thanks to the 20 or so folks who wanted to know what the “Big Brother: All-Stars” houseguests would give up to get off Big Brother Slop and return to the traditional PB&J diet for food-competition losers.

Thanks, too, to whoever posted last week’s Insider recipe for “All-Star Gruelty” on those “BB” fan Web sites.

Otherwise, The Insider might have gone her whole life without an e-mail from Mrs. Chicken George. In The Insider’s circles, that qualifies as a free-range celebrity encounter that wins the gold star for the week.