Thursday, March 18, 2004

Alterman on Miller

I stupidly forgot to set the TIVO so I missed it, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun.

Anyway, what was so weird about it was how professional it seemed until I finally sat down with Miller. It was set up long in advance by the book's publicists. The car came on time. In my dressing room, which was pretty elaborate as such things go, I met with a series of staff members who informed me that Dennis would be wanting to discuss topics such as George Soros and the funding of 527s; whether Bush was exploiting the 9/11 families, and I forget what else, just like a real talk show. Then I go out there and what? I'm talking to a stoned teenager, who can't be bothered to say more than, "Whoh, man, you are so totally screwed up. Like, you really believe that stuff, dude?" I paraphrase, but really, Dennis did not say much more than that. Everyone on staff was extremely apologetic afterward and the word "unprofessional" was used over and over.

I try to avoid most of these guys, though I've been on O'Reilly, and Scarborough and Michael Medved's silly radio program a couple of times but never have I encountered a guy who could not be bothered to make his own case on his own show. Really, what can CNBC be thinking with this guy? His ratings are not just in the toilet they have traveled all the way to the septic tank. And as we all know, they need to pay audience members to show up. It has got to cost more than the Phil Donahue show to produce, given the size of the audience and the set and that was yanked even though it was then the highest rated show on MSNBC.

I used to think I should be given half of Joe Scarborough's show. His ratings aren't so hot and we sort of get along and things could only improve. Now, perhaps I should be patient and just wait for Miller to implode a couple of more times and then offer my services to the machers up at NBC News. No need for lengthy negotiations. I'll take whatever Dennis was getting, plus money for liquor and food for my friends when they do the program

If anyone has a clip or transcript, that'd be great.