popular thinking

hopelessly devoted to deconstructing popular culture and conventional wisdom, one blog at a time


Watch out, John Ashcroft.
Al Gore can sing, too. The former VP and woulda-coulda-mighta-been leader of the free world showed off a wicked impersonation yesterday of Bush's former attorney general.
"Let the eagle soar!" boomed the Tennesse tenor (or is he a baritone? once I get the audio clip posted, you can judge for yourself). "Soar like it's never soared before!"
If American Idol ever had an all-politician edition, Gore said he could challenge Ashcroft.
"If he was singing that song, I think he's had enough practice in the shower that he'd win hands-down. But now, if it was 'Wings of a Dove,' I think I could take him," Gore said between hearty laughs. "This is the first time I've ever been asked about Ashcroft's singing."
(Which, of course, makes this a POPULAR THINKING EXCLUSIVE!)
Gore sat down with me yesterday at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, just blocks from his alma mater, to promote his upcoming global warming film, An Inconvenient Truth.
The film opens June 2, a day after his other media project, the Current TV cable news channel, finally finds a home on Boston's Comcast system.
He hadn't yet seen American Dreamz, but had heard that it spoofs both W. and Simon Cowell.
Gore also acknowledged not being hooked on the nation's No. 1 TV show, even though it often has more pull with voters than the average election.
"But you, it's so ubiquitous in the spin-off, the little featurettes on all the news programs and everything. Every time someone is kicked off, you seem them all over the place," he said. "So I feel like I know all about it, even though I haven't seen the show very much."
Gore drinks "at least three or four" Diet Cokes, and is often seen in his movie drinking the soft drink.
The science-loving pol did acknowledge that perhaps all of that fake sugar might be too much of a good thing.
"But (I'm) not too worried. I think probably any day they'll come out with a study showing the combination of caffeine and aspartame turns your brain into telecopy dust or something," he joked. "But you know what? I think it's better than corn syrup. There's actually an emerging linkage between corn syrup consumption levels and the sharp rise in one of the types of diabetes."
Yeah, yeah.
In other related Gore environmental news, he said he finally joined the hybrid car craze -- although he chose a Lexus. Sorry, Prius fans.
And he couldn't recall the last time he rode the T. It did bring a smile to his face, though.
"It's been a long time," Gore told me. "But it's a great system, great system. Boston, like New York, is fortunate to have a great subway."
Which means, of course, it really has been a long time since Al Gore rode the T!

Hello, Kitty Kat! Posted by Picasa


Yes, patting myself on the back once again. But yesterday afternoon, I told viewers of the FOX25 News that Kellie Pickler would be going home, and that Paris would be standing next to her. Nick from the Metro naturally boasted a guarantee that Pickler would win. I said that tape will be funny to watch next week. So do tune in next Wednesday to FOX25, if you're in the Boston area, at around 5:45 p.m. and see Nick eat the proverbial crow whilst I tell you the future.

In the meantime, enjoy this lovely link about Katharine McPhee. (Thanks, Wizbang Pop!)

Kaavya Viswanathan Posted by Picasa


The media loves seeing 19-year-old Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan get her comeuppance after signing a fat $500,000 book deal and earning who knows how much in movie rights for a book that, well, turns out to be largely copied. The Harvard Crimson broke the story over the weekend, and the Globe since has jumped all over it -- here, here, and here.

Which makes sense, since they wrote such a glowing profile of Kaavya just two months ago -- note the third paragraph: "No problem. While taking a full five-course load, Viswanathan banged out ''How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" in her free time. The book is done and due out in April, and Little, Brown is convinced it has signed up one of the hottest young talents in fiction. ''I still don't believe it, even now," Viswanathan said in an interview by the library fireplace in Winthrop House. ''It is so surreal."

That's one way to describe it.

You had to wonder how anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place, taking a teen's essays, putting it into a marketing machine, then foisting mounds of money and pressure on the teen -- all while she tries to study at Harvard. That's no excuse for her blatant copying. But methinks most in the media are not sympathetic at all (some out of sheer jealousy).

The Washington Post practically rolled over laughing in publishing this opening sentence yesterday: That long list of excuses authors have given for writing a book that turns out to contain parts of somebody else's book just got a little longer.


Conspiracy theorists should have a field day based on last night's show...especially since producers have acknowledged fiddling with the contestants' weekly lineup and staging.

Katharine, a bona fide star and beauty who outsings everyone, has to sing first (notoriously a bad spot), gets thrashed by the judges and no pre-song segment. Are the judges hoping to spur more votes for her, or trying to get her out? She was both stunning and stunned, all at once...
Elliott gets a special pre-song interview to play up an emotional connection to Donny Hathaway and extra sympathy by name-dropping Hathaway's daughter as one of the unseen Idol backup singers! Paula breaks down in tears?! Simon calls it "a vocal master class"??? You'd think they want Elliott to stick around as long as possible as the ultimate underdog...
Kellie also gets a special pre-song interview set-up to let the voters know she "doesn't have a boyfriend" and say stupid things about wanting someone to re-enact the Ghost pottery scene with her, which undoubtedly all was designed to get her more votes. But -- she stunk it up again! The judges agreed. As David Foster predicted, "if it's sung without passion, it can be one of the most boring songs." Yes. That sums up the Pickler. Time for her to go. Nashville Star is calling...
Paris, who genetically comes from jazz vocalists and has an old soul to her sound, does exactly that, which Foster and Bocelli loved. Simon said she sounded old. True enough. The folks at Dial Idol predict trouble, which would be unfortunate...
Taylor picked "Just Once" to fit in with his impersonation skills and didn't dance (thank goodness), and the judges finally stopped loving him. Like Elliott, though, a segment of America absolutely loves having him throw a wrench into the show. Can you remember the last time Taylor was in danger of landing in the bottom 3? No...
Chris somehow surprised the judges. I say somehow because they didn't realize that singing a Bryan Adams rock ballad wasn't much of a stretch at all. That said, I've said all along that it should come down to Chris and Katharine in the finale. Will I be right?

RELATED: Watch me on FOX25 at about 5:45 p.m. today as we engage in our weekly Idol chatter.


Sometimes your job makes you do things you wouldn't normally do. Like, say, go see a movie that takes a docudrama look at reliving Sept. 11, 2001, through United Airlines Flight 93.
"Hey, honey, what do you want to do Friday night?"
"How about a Sept. 11 movie!"
Um, no. But your job requires you to see it, so you do, and you sit through the entire film with this pit in your stomach that fills with dread. It's not a popcorn movie (not that that stopped one so-called critic from munching on a sandwich and potato chips during our screening -- egads). But director Paul Greengrass managed to avoid the schlock and cheese, instead showing an honorable if difficult portrait of the people who had to deal directly and indirectly with the horrors of that morning four-and-a-half years ago. I wasn't familiar with Greengrass' previous work (well, I knew of it but hadn't seen it) outside of The Bourne Supremacy when we sat down for a chat last week. We had a good talk.
I wanted to know if Greengrass believed that Sept. 11 would spawn a genre of movies much like the Holocaust, in that filmmakers would continue to probe the horror for years to come.
He didn't quite agree.
"I think the analogy that's best is Vietnam films, because it was a great national tragedy that needed to be processed," Greengrass told me.

Other things he told me:
"American culture would be the poorer, by a wide, wide margin if Universal and other studios didn't allow filmmakers to make these films...not just this film. Brokeback Mountain, Munich, Syriana. We're engaged in a golden period of social filmmaking."
As for directing the real-life FAA and military personnel:
"How could you say to a military person who was there on that fateful morning anything but do what you did?"
"You don't blame anybody because you can see that they were doing their best."
On seeking the truth:
"I think if you polled your people there'd still be some who believe United 93 was shot down by the military."

For the rest of our interview, read my story from Tuesday's Boston Herald:
The writer and director of “United 93” (opening Friday) knows what you’re thinking.
“People will come to this movie wondering, ‘Who are you? Why? How could you do this? Will this film justify this?’ ” Paul Greengrass told the Herald last week.
His film dramatically and thoroughly re-enacts the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, zeroing in on United Airlines Flight 93, the only hijacked plane that did not reach its intended target.
Greengrass, 50, may have directed “The Bourne Supremacy” but he made his mark with real-life dramatizations of political terrorism in Northern Ireland with “Bloody Sunday” (2002) and “Omagh” (2004).
“Political violence is deeply, deeply destructive, and it requires us to respond,” he said. “We want to pretend that it didn’t happen, that our lives can go on.”
They can, but we shouldn’t forget what happened, and art should be part of the conversation, he said.
“Films should ask the question: Why? What is the meaning of these terrible events?” he said.

Hanging backstage with Dane Cook, only a half-hour before he took the stage April 15, 2006, to tape his HBO special at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden. Notice the pen, the paper, and the subject's attention.

More to come. As soon as I can figure out my digital audio recorder software. Posted by Picasa


For all of the quirkiness in Boston's media scene, and despite my love for Seattle (where I lived and worked from 1995-2001), it doesn't look as though now is the right time to go back. The dogfight between the P-I and the Times appears to be on its last doglegs. Boston remains much more of a two-newspaper town, not just in legal business terms (no JOA here), but also in terms of philosophy and readership. The two Seattle dailies, however, tended to appeal to the same readers. And after a dreadful strike at the end of 2000 -- which no one really won -- and seeing the Times move to mornings, anyone could see that it would come to this eventually. Whenever I think it might be difficult coming into the office, I remember what it must have and still does feel like for P-I reporters to come in, not knowing how long their paper will last without its own business staff to fight for it. Keep on fighting the good fight out there. And I'll do the same here.

Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir aren't dancing on the Swan Boat. It just looks that way. (Photo by Matthew West) Posted by Picasa

Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir pose on one of Boston's Swan Boats. (photo by Matthew West) Posted by Picasa

BEHIND THE LENS: Little-known but true, Sasha and Johnny are laughing at me at this moment. Beforehand, Matt had been taking a number of shots of the duo with the gi-normous swan, and he asked Johnny if he could take his sunglasses off. Johnny claimed he would be a horrible squinter. Matt told him, "Close your eyes and keep them closed until I tell you to." Johnny complied. When Matt said the code word formerly known as CHEESE, Johnny's eyes got big, but so did his mouth. Paging Dr. Freud. So I said, "Johnny, you were supposed to open your eyes wide, not your mouth, silly." At which point, much laughter and smiling commenced. And everyone was happy. The end.


Nice day yesterday for a walk through the Public Gardens. When you're walking with Olympic figure skaters Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir, though, you tend to draw more than a few looks. Well, not me. But them. You know what I mean. I got to enjoy a little walk-and-talk with the two skaters, which made for a very informal interview. They'd talk, I'd find something to interject and we'd go from there. Until we reached the Swan Boats. Yes, that was my idea. Johnny was more than up for jumping on the boat, while Sasha? As the kids say...not so much. Our photographer, Matthew West, overheard little miss Sasha saying "this is so tacky" as she made her way aboard the boat. That didn't stop them from smiling (see above).

Or from answering even my silly questions. Here is one such verbal exchange, inspired by the Sasha-lovin' Thighmaster...

ME: Has there ever been a better skating movie than The Cutting Edge?
WEIR: There are no good skating movies.
ME: So I'm going to put you down for a no, there's nothing better than The Cutting Edge.
COHEN: There's nothing better than The Cutting Edge.
WEIR: Except maybe The Cutting Edge 2, with stunt double Amber Corwin!
COHEN: Can you believe she did that?

Tittering followed. Apparently, Corwin performed the stunts for Moira Kelly all those years ago. Corwin was on last year's Champions On Ice tour. That's your trivia for the day.

And now, for the rest of the story, starting with my Pulitzer-winning first sentence:

Sasha Cohen has lost her pants.

For the record, Sasha Cohen is tiny. When she was talking about her pants, her handler mentioned that they're hardly even a size zero. Try pixie, I say. She looks fragile enough to snap if you fell on her. So...don't fall on her. Falling for her is fine, though, Thighmaster.


Hey, here's a fun media game. Count how many headlines today tab the new movie, American Dreamz, as something along the line of Dreamz with a ZZZZZZ or Dreamzzzzzz. Yes, it's a snoozer. Too bad. For one thing, if your so-called satire's tagline is, "Imagine a country where more people vote for a pop idol than for their next president," then, well, you're not a satire. This already IS America. Much of the movie goes the obvious route, too. Haven't we already seen umpteen comedy skits involving Bush, Cheney and American Idol? Give us something different. Something more. Something telling about our society and where it's heading. This is no Network, that's for gosh darn sure. In fact, after the preview screening of "Dreamz" earlier this week, I headed a couple of doors down from the cineplex to Best Buy and picked up the new 6-DVD collection of Network, All The President's Men and Dog Day Afternoon. Those are movies that still resonate 30 years later. "Dreamz" doesn't hold your conscience 30 minutes later. Besides, why would you hold a preview screening of "Dreamz" on a Tuesday night, up against the real thing? It maketh no sense.

All that said, the guy from the Globe sitting next to me (Mr. Ty Burr) really liked the film and laughed throughout. The rest of the audience laughed a bunch, too, but at the jokey jokes and not the satire. Because, again, there really wasn't much in the way of true satire here. Burr at least recognizes that. My colleague (Mr. James Verniere) offers his review here.


Today is Queen Elizabeth's 80th birthday and one of the Gawker mother's birthdays, and also my mother's birthday. Go figure. My mom is nowhere near 80 -- in fact, she's young enough to be the Queen's daughter! Hold on...no, wait. That's right.

Happy Birthday, Mom! :)


I've got two stories up front in today's Herald, both of which are splashy tabloid kinds of stories.

First, how would you like to pretend to have sex with another person...in a video game?

Second, how would you like to watch psychics pretend to conjure up the ghost of John Lennon...in a pay-per-view TV special?


When I finally got home early Sunday morning from the Dane Cook HBO special (don't worry, I've got more than enough coverage for you when the time is right, but for now, check out the fact that the Inside Track bold-faced my name for hanging with Dane, or read this half-hearted review in the Globe of the first show, which paled in comparison to the second show -- which had three -- THREE -- onstage interruptions), I still had to wind down from spending seven hours with the crew. So I flipped around the dial...

And there I saw my first familiar face. Nellie Coes, who graduated a year ahead of me from Westminster School, was making people laugh as part of Nick At Nite's Search for the Funniest Mom 2. Nellie got eliminated in the episode I watched, so I'm glad I managed to catch it in the middle of the night. Wonder how many people that makes who I went to high school or college with who are in the stand-up comedy world? At least three (the others are Matt Iseman and Bill Dawes).

Related: Matt Iseman on MySpace, Bill Dawes on MySpace

I also saw a Comcast ad on TV that starred Jeremy Brothers, who is a very funny leading guy with the Improv Asylum troupe.

Nice to see friends and acquaintances doing well.

In other news, once again, I've accurately predicted who got the boot on American Idol. It was Ace. I said Ace. Last week I said Bucky. Tune in to FOX 25 at about 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays to see what I'm saying next week.


Just checking. Maybe next year, right?


Don't know why I thought New York City open mics would be somehow different (read: better) than open mics in every other city, but they are, if anything, worse (read: soul-suckingly worse).

I returned to the Big Apple to take part in a reunion of sorts of the "Funniest Reporters on the Planet" (a pseudo-contest held in January at the Laugh Factory in Times Square). That time, I took a bus down, performed, hung around afterward, then the bus back. This time, I figured I should at least try to catch some more comedy, if not perform more than once. That's what New York comedy is all about, right?

But first, some touristy sidetracks.

I met up with a friend of mine from high school (Mary) who I hadn't seen in forever, if you define forever as about 11 years. That was fun.

Then it was off to the races. I called Jim Gaffigan for advice. He was busy, on his way to an audition, so I did the next best thing: I walked over to the late-afternoon madness outside The Late Show with David Letterman. The studio audience had just begun to line up (or queue, as my British Commonwealth friend likes to say) outside, and Letterman's studio hands were filming a sketch on the sidewalk. I walked into the Hello Deli, and yes, Rupert Gee was behind the counter. He was friendly. I bought an energy drink ($2.50) and hung around outside for a few minutes, debating whether to stick around and get a second of TV face time or go look for some stage time. I chose the latter. It'd turn out to be the wrong decision.

The gigglechick info was slightly correct. Stand Up NY had an open mic, but apparently not as early as reported online, because the guy there told me he couldn't give me any time before 9 -- he suggested I go down to Comedy Village (the old Boston Comedy Club?) and wrote a note to tell that guy to put me on, but when I got down there, the door was locked, and the bartender at the joint downstairs said the Comedy Village didn't open until 7. That didn't help me, since my show at the Laugh Factory was at 7:30. Little did I know that only 14 customers would show up at the Laugh Factory -- all of whom were friends with one of the other "reporters" on our show. Did everyone stay home to watch American Idol? I did find one early (before 7 p.m.) open mic at a place called HA! on West 46th, but that place was, um, horrible. Eight wannabe open mikers making each other not laugh. No customers. I passed. The Laugh Factory show itself was OK, considering the turnout. At the end of the show, Dan Allen stopped by (he's also friends with Catie Lazarus, the stand-up who freelances for the Forward). He took me down to Rififi. We got there too late for the show, just in time for the post-show mingling in the bar, where I met a couple of former Boston comics (Sean Crespo, Rob from the Rob and Mark Show) and other New York comic/creative types. Good times. Then swung up to The PIT (People's Improv Theater) where they had their first-ever open mic at 11 p.m. Tuesday, called "1 UP". No, don't know what the title means. The host, PIT improviser Chris Grace, said he wasn't publicizing it just yet because he wants to let it grow first (talk about great and secret). Anyhow. Chris did some stand-up. A guy did a bizarre Will Rogers act wearing a cowboy hat and clothes, telling political jokes while performing rope tricks. Another guy read a performance essay piece that was more theatrical than humorous. Then I did about 8-10 minutes of my stuff, which went over fairly well -- methinks because the "alternative" venue and vibe allowed me to be looser than working in a club environment. That's the short story. The PIT people were all nice. And I think the fact that I was on their first open mic may prove to help me in the long-run in terms of networking and potential NYC gigs down the road. At least I hope that's what that means. We shall see.

UPDATE: Nothing yet. That's my fault.

*Not this Tuesday. More like a Tuesday last month.


A continuing saga. On my Good Friday, one of my paper's biggest and best-known personalities (that'd be Cosmo) bid us all adieu, one of my true friends at the paper (that'd be Sarah) gave her two weeks' notice (to go two stops down the Red Line...ack! I mean good for her!) and a real estate agent showed up to tell me that my landlord wants to put my apartment (his condo) on the market. It's enough to make a lesser man squirm from uncertainty. But for me, I say: "Ha!" As in, time for some laughs.

And by laughs, I mean finally getting around to posting all of my bonus comedic interview action, quotes and photomographs. Get ready, 'cause here they come...


In case you've been too busy to pick up a Herald the past couple of days, then you've missed a number of stories under my byline. A quick linky recap:

Why, Dr. Phil, why? Scary Movie 4? It's time to get real.

Boston has a number of experimental bands that provide live movie scores. I talked with one of the guys from Devil Music Ensemble, who do the trick for the 1922 slapstick Western, Big Stakes, on Saturday at the MFA. Check out the score, and a few MP3s, here.

Sure, it's only April, but I've already decreed 2006 to be the year of the Animated Animal Adventure movie. Don't believe me? Read my story, then quibble away, if you must.


I spent the home opener yesterday with the club kids -- the EMC Club kids, that is -- in the priciest section in Fenway Park. Here is a snapshot from Tuesday's ballgame. Red Sox won 5-3, by the way, and that two-run homer off of Foulke? Only 95 percent his fault. Pena shoulda coulda caught the ball, and sorta did, until he didn't.

Meet the new Wally, same as the old Wally (on the inside). Posted by Picasa


Home opener at Fenway Park today. First pitch: 2:05 p.m.

Entering his ninth season as the official Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster debuts a new look for today’s home opener.
Like many Americans, Wally’s belly has bulged this year. Jiggles equals giggles. “When you’re dancing, you can shake it,” he said.
He’s also got a new removable cap, which he can doff for fans or for the National Anthem, to reveal: He’s bald!
Wally (aka 25-year-old Chris Bergstrom of Worcester) scurried around Fenway Park yesterday, preparing for a new season.

Read more of my story in today's Boston Herald here.


Lots to talk about in comedy, not just today, but why not kick things off today with a brief chat with Eugene Mirman. Read my story in the Boston Herald.

Then make plans to see Eugene Mirman tonight with Todd Barry and the Walsh Brothers, at the Middle East. Even funnier videos and audio clips by Mr. Mirman are available on his various online homes.

Related: Eugene Mirman's site
Related: Eugene Mirman on MySpace
Related: Eugene blogs about his radio ads -- and has some of the outtakes

UPDATE...what didn't make it into my story...

Mirman conceded that his own playlist as a DJ doesn't compare to that of the radio stations. "I probably don't play a bigger variety, but I have access to way more songs," he told me.
"Mike" FM might have 10,000 songs, he said, "but they're probably not counting all the Velvet Underground outtakes I have. Then again, I only have 4,000 songs, so I don't have as many songs as an iPod."
His weekly New York show at Rififi, Invite Them Up, regularly has lines of eager fans waiting to pack the intimate venue.
Recent praise from the New York Times hasn't changed his perspective. He recalls his early days here, when his Green Street Grill show got write-ups from both the Globe and the Phoenix. "I think four people came from it," he said. "Nothing's like being on Johnny Carson 20 or 30 years ago."


Just when I thought it was safe to start enjoying the CBS Evening News again, Katie Couric goes and announces what we all thought was more than a possibility -- she is leaving NBC at the end of May to anchor the CBS Evening News and join 60 Minutes. Anyone following the signs (check TV Newser, for example) knew this could happen. But I'm still not keen on this move. In the year since Dan Rather left, CBS has slowly but surely regained its footing as the definitive place to get your nightly network news. Serious stuff. Sure, Bob Schieffer has added his own persona, and the newscast as a whole has allowed its correspondents to get more airtime than usual. But if you watched last night, or you watch tonight, you'll find CBS has something ABC and NBC don't have anymore in their newscasts. A reason to watch and feel like you're learning something important. It's difficult to imagine Couric stepping into this newscast. Perhaps the newscast will change yet again to fit her mold. Or perhaps the revised CBS setup allows Couric to shine. Regardless, I'm still not keen on this move. More to come...

RELATED: The official CBS press release this morning.


Remember when Boston had a full-time professional media critic? Ah, those were days. But Dan Kennedy as blogger isn't the same as Dan Kennedy at the Boston Phoenix, especially when he lets Mark Jurkowitz get away with such clearly biased garbage as his last weekly missive, "High Noon at the Herald." Really? High Noon? Coulda fooled me.

Two points need to be corrected.

1) I may not have lived in Boston that long, but even I know that this city remains a two-newspaper town. So Jurkowitz doesn't make sense when he writes: "And at this point, even if he were to infuse the Herald with resources from a CNC sale, it’s hard to envision a scenario for turning the paper around. And that’s why any impending deal will go a long way toward determining Boston’s future as a newspaper town." Even he should remember that there are many residents in and around Boston who would never, ever, ever read the Globe. They're staunchly loyal to the Herald, based on history and based on the fact that it's not the Globe. The same is true for some Globe readers. Whomever owns the Herald at the end of 2006 will realize that, even if Jurkowitz has forgotten it.

2) But even more outrageous is this ANONYMOUS quote in Jurkowitz's article: “Nobody in their right mind would be thinking about [buying] paid dailies,” bluntly asserts one analyst.
REALLY? I suppose that analyst hasn't heard of McClatchy, which, oh, that's right, just bought most of Knight Ridder. Or all of the chains and investors eager to buy the 12 KR papers McClatchy won't keep. Other than all of those people, sure, nobody in their right mind. That Jurkowitz would use an anoymous quote to prop up this sham without rebutting it or acknowledging what's actually going on in the newspaper industry says a lot about where he stands. It's one thing to not like the Herald. But to avoid reality, well, where is Dan Kennedy when we need him?


I haven't taken a vacation from writing -- just a mini-break from the blog. But I'm back. And here are some stories you might've missed if you're not already a Herald subscriber.

The Big Apple Circus has set up shop smack dab in the middle of Boston at City Hall Plaza. It's just steps from the Government Center T stop. You should go. It'll be fun. Promise. Here, read my review from Saturday's debut. If you can figure out the ventriloquist's dog trick, please tell me. Thanks. Also, let me know if you go whether the Garamov Troupe misses any of its stunts, as they did on Saturday. And tell me your favorite part. Anyone who knows me probably knows that I once thought about running away and joining a circus. When I pictured that happening, it was always Ringling. But after watching my first Big Apple Circus show, I think I might've felt more at home with these so-called clowns.

In today's paper, I talked to Ronald Kessler about his new biography on Laura Bush. Safe to say it'll probably get a lot more press and hype than the other First Lady biography on bookshelves today about Dolley Madison. Oh well.

Tomorrow, I get to meet Meryl Streep. Guess I better shave for that. Here is why I get to meet Meryl Streep.


And throws us some good-natured ribbing and hand gestures in the wake of that whole Scalia flap last week. Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central show aired last night, repeats (episode 2044) tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

If you want a refresher on the whole Supreme Court justice flicks off the media at the church a block away from my apartment, then click here and see the photo and links. My opinion: It's all rather silly, Scalia should've known better than to act how he did, but judging from past brushes with the media, it was all to be expected. And it got us on the Colbert Report.

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