Saturday, April 30, 2011

On The Job


Too Much Media...?


Not everybody likes weddings, or hear and see a lot about one very fancy one; one that matters to a whole country and dazzles the world. Well, at least some of us had fun and continue to delight in reading and seeing the videos and pictures about it.

Today, for example, AC 360's blog was completely dedicated to yesterday's Royal Wedding, and it's all here for you to enjoy, plus this article by Ms. McNamara with a link to a great photo gallery with great pictures of the event.

We (I) give thanks to Ms. McNamara for more media coverage of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge wedding.

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Critic's Notebook: Royal wedding overkill

Too many of the highest-paid television journalists in the world are employed to provide idle chatter leading up to the main event.

Members of the news media assemble on the Queen Victoria Memorial facing Buckingham Palace before the wedding. (WPA Pool, Getty Images / April 29, 2011)

By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

April 30, 2011

As every living soul who cares already knows, it was a lovely wedding. Catherine Middleton, now the duchess of Cambridge, was such a beautiful bride that CNN's Piers Morgan pronounced her "radiant" after glimpsing her fully veiled profile for one and a half seconds as she and her splendid dress (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen) were hustled into their waiting Rolls. Resplendent in his Irish Guard uniform, William was every inch a prince, and, most important, the two seemed utterly at ease with the day and genuinely happy to be getting married.

But if anyone feels guilty for sleeping in and then catching the nuptials in morning reruns, rest assured; the early birds may have experienced the pageantry in real time, but they had to eat a lot of worms to do it. If nothing else, the world now knows how many hours some of the highest-paid television journalists in the world are willing to spend discussing a bridal dress they have not seen while watching people they do not know mill about in Westminster Abbey wearing large hats.

Too many.

Photo gallery: The royal wedding

TV coverage of the royal wedding started at 11 p.m. on Fox, which carried Sky News for two hours before going to its own live coverage; the other networks joined in around midnight, which meant that the three hours before the ceremony actually started had to be filled with something, and that something turned out to be, not surprisingly, filling the airwaves with long shots of cleared streets, excited crowds and silent London landmarks over which herds of A-list anchors provided a mash-up of Oscar coverage, parade narration and ridiculously repetitive speculation about what sort of dress and hairstyle the bride would wear.

NBC's Matt Lauer offered up fast facts about Westminster Abbey like Bob Eubanks rattling off the rose-petal and celery-seed count of the next Rose Parade float, while BBC America read from tweets and Facebook postings before introducing irrepressible historian Simon Schama. On ABC, Barbara Walters wondered aloud whether "we" could call William's bride a princess even though she is technically a duchess, with Diane Sawyer agreeing that yes, of course, "we" could.

Even CNN's Anderson Cooper conceded to Morgan that it was "cool" to see the queen in person. "I've spent most of my life trying to escape this sort of thing," he added, which raises the question, what sort of thing? Parades? Queens? Weddings?

They were so busy talking that when things started happening, some of them appeared to forget why they were there. "Oh, there's the queen," said a CNN commentator, casually interrupting the blithering fashion speculation to note an actual event. CBS' Katie Couric, who got a late start, was so determined to justify her presence that she broke in to the actual wedding ceremony to loudly explain that William would not be wearing a wedding ring, as if this were not tantamount to talking out loud in church. During a wedding.

But at least she was providing information. A vast majority of the commentary was simply idle chatter — did it look like rain? Was Carole Middleton's suit pastel or pearly blue? Could Victoria Beckham get away with wearing black to an afternoon wedding? (Apparently.) Cooper was particularly interested in how the crowds would greet Prince Charles and Camilla (they cheered, but not much), though he offered no explanation.

For this, the networks each had to send two and three anchors, including some of the biggest names in television?

It's not like anything approaching news was going to happen, and any real insight into or explanation of royal protocol was provided by a coterie of experts, including Cat Deeley for CNN, MSNBC's "royalty contributor" Robert Jobson and Tina Brown for ABC.

Occasionally, someone attempted to inject some non-dress-related tension into the proceedings. Noise was made about the fact that John Major was the only former prime minister at the ceremony — Dame Margaret Thatcher was too ill, and neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown are knights of the realm — but no one really cared. Even Al Roker's reminder that "our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in the South" fell flat; back on the parade route, Lauer and Meredith Vieira responded with sympathetic noises and then Lauer quickly pointed out where the volleyball competition would be held during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

None of it came close to topping footage shot by crowd members of the princes William and Harry coming out among them Thursday night to make sure everyone was warm and had things to eat.

Fortunately, the bride got to the church on time and everyone, save Couric, gave it a rest. After that, the cameras really said it all, providing a main event that needed no commentary. The wonderful thing about weddings is that they're pretty much self-explanatory, even this royal one, which could easily have been covered by one anchor per network, with an hour of pre-show for the die-hards, and the sound of the "I do's" and the crowds cheering being allowed to speak for themselves.

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Traditional Modern


April 30th, 2011
12:27 AM ET

Video: A modern royal wedding

Editor's note: AC360° takes a look back at the most memorable moments of Friday's royal wedding.

Related: Special Coverage of The Royal Wedding on

How (Not) To Eat British Style


April 30th, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Cooper: Bacon butty 'actually quite disgusting'

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper talks having tried a bacon butty soon after Friday's royal wedding.

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The Princess's Dress

Hear Anderson giggle throughout this segment... A Price's Dream!

April 30th, 2011
12:05 AM ET

Video: Vogue editor calls dress 'pitch perfect'

Editor's note: Hamish Bowles, of Vogue Magazine, discusses the wedding dress worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Related: Special Coverage of The Royal Wedding on

Earlier: Middleton's best kept secret - the dress!

Sweet, Sweet Moments


April 30th, 2011
12:00 AM ET

Video: The royal wedding's hidden moments

Editor's note: CNN's Isha Sesay reports on the moments from Friday's royal wedding that you may have missed.

Related: Special Coverage of The Royal Wedding on

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mr. Pretty Photogenic


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Sweet Mr. Tired


Tonite: Tornados & Wedding Cake


Alex & Anderson

Two bits of information not related to one another except for the fact that, if it wasn't for Benjamin, Wouldn't Alex Pettyfer and Anderson would make a super sexy couple? They take my breath away!

BitchBack! Alex Pettyfer and Anderson Cooper Spark Some Evil!

Thu., Apr. 28, 2011 -- 4:27 AM PDT by Ted Casablanca

Dear Ted:
Are you a complete idiot? I just read your piece on Alex Pettyfer and aside from the fact that he doesn't bash women in the interview, everything he said is true, which you should well know, being a Hollywood bottom-feeder yourself. I have a suggestion: Take your fake indignation try and find something useful with it. The Republicans want to dismantle Medicare. That is something to get upset about, not some kid who dares to speak the truth. FYI: "C--t" in British usage does not refer to "the ladies," and his lower abdomen tattoo says "Alex" in Kanji. It was a joke. Do you even know what a joke is? It frightens me that there are people who hang on your every word when you are so clearly clueless.

Dear Pissy:
The C-word is one of the most offensive words in America, which is where Alex used it. Yes, some of us are fully aware of how those charming Brits swish the C-word ‘round day and night, but not everyone is as attuned to the idiosyncrasies of English talk (where fag is a cig, etc.) as you demand. That insensitivity, coupled with Alex's nascent fame, ingratitude and his reportedly bad breakup with Dianna Agron, adds up to a guy who doesn't seem to have a clue about being a lasting public figure.

Dear Ted:
I am a huge fan of yours and a huge fan of The Hunger Games. I am loving all the casting suggestions I have been seeing lately, and I have one for you: How about Anderson Cooper for President Snow? I know he is a pretty nice guy, but he also has that pretty-boy look that President Snow is described as having, right down to the full lips. I know it will never happen, but I think he's got the right look, just needs to be made to look eviler.

Dear Casting Ouch!
Hmmm. Wonder what Anderson thinks of that idea? Think we can pull him in from some world-crisis locale long enough to ask him? Personally, I think it's a most interesting idea, and remember, Anderson's mother is Gloria Vanderbilt. Nobody's more capable of channeling evil better than the super rich.

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