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The More You Know

March 6, 2014

Even though I’ve been watching the Today show since Barbara Walters was relevant and Tom Brokaw a mere child of 36, I finally gave it up about a year ago for CBS This Morning because not only do they report actual news, their promo line is “the news is back in the morning,” which is a nicer way of saying that Today and Good Morning America are for mouth-breathers.

I should have stopped watching Today years ago, but I am a creature of habit, not to mention afraid of new things, lazy, near-sighted, I have no upper-body strength, can never remember to water my plants, have a pitchy singing voice, and I forgot where I was going with this. Really, I was just holding onto hope that at some point Today would return to the format it followed when I first started watching it which was:

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Hard News
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Science/Medical news, human interest, the occasional celebrity interview

instead of what it’s become in the last ten or fifteen years which is:

7:00 AM – 7:12 AM: Headlines, mispronunciation of names of countries/world leaders
7:12 AM – 8:00 AM: Matt, Katie/Savannah/Natalie, Al sit on the couch and make fun of Ann
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Celebrity gossip, White Girl in Danger stories, Martha Stewart builds a birdhouse
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Let’s check in with Kate Gosselin, she’s so interesting.
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Hoda chair-dances, Kathy Lee acts vaguely racist about the music that Hoda’s dancing to.

Even as we speak, NBC has a fifth hour in the works that’s just Ryan Seacrest sitting in front of a mirror and flat-ironing his hair.

The other morning when I switched on the TV, out of habit I turned it to Today, only to find that Carson Daly was doing an entire story on what the Today show hosts names would be if they were Travoltified. And it was 7:51! 7:51 and this is what they think is important!

Tangentially, I would also say that even though everyone making fun of John Travolta is starting to make me uncomfortable, that still didn’t stop me from Travoltifying my own name. I put in my real name and in return it gave me back my real name with one letter added. So, good coding, Slate! But then I put in my blog name, which was slightly more interesting.

Okay, well, I did say, “slightly.” Also, please do not call me Frederick. I have enough problems.

Since I’ve switched to CBS, I’ve been in a much better mood in the morning. For one thing, no Matt Lauer. I know people hate Matt Lauer based on his personality, although he never bothered me in that respect. However, I’ve found it increasingly hard to look at him. Where he used to be something of a cut-rate Joey Tribbiani:

he’s now turned into … I don’t even know:

Initially I would have described this look as “professor at a third-tier college, attends student parties” but now I’ve decided he looks more like the kind of doctor who graduated in the bottom 5% of his medical school class, practices either at a jail or a nursing home, and smells like cigarettes.

By contrast, Charlie Rose looks like he probably smells like a pine forest and Barbasol. Piney and soapy is really what you want in a morning anchor. A guy who shaves and smells like the Ponderosa. (Sorry for all the recent Bonanza references. I’ve been watching reruns of the early episodes that I’ve never seen before. In related news, I would like an explanation as to why no one had the decency to tell me that Adam Cartwright is filthy hot. I mean, I realize there’s a toupee and he only has one shirt and that in real years, he’d be like 184-years-old, but still. Keep me informed, people!)

One small problem, though. After CBS This Morning ends at the journalistically acceptable morning news show ending time of 9:00 AM, the Rachael Ray show comes on. If I’m actually paying attention to working, which I do sometimes do albeit in a lackluster fashion (see above re: laziness), then I forget to mute her big mouth until it’s too late and the next thing I know, I’ve become fascinated by whatever disgusting combination of food she slaps onto a plate and calls dinner. Recently, she told this story about how she was I am so sure hanging out with Kevin Bacon and he told her that his favorite sandwich was something called a BLAST, which is a BLT but with avocado and smoked salmon. Now, I think that sounds terrible. Avocado on a BLT? Good. Smoked salmon and you’ve gone too far.

Unless you are Rachael Ray, in which case, you say, “instead of smoked salmon, I’m going to use ground salmon and make it a burger, yummo delish EVOO Mr. Bear!” and when the audience doesn’t applaud you get all pissy and say, “what, no love for salmon burgers?” and then they applaud because otherwise you’re going to stand there and glare, so then you say, “I KNOW!” You burn up a salmon burger and pile on the lettuce, tomato, bacon, and avocado, and also a slice of onion because you are a monster.

Furthermore, pardon me, but once you add onion to a BLAST, that technically makes it a BLOATS. To make matters even worse, which hardly seems possible, she then decided to put sriracha on it.

So. Avocado, Salmon, Sriracha, Bacon, Lettuce, Onion, Tomato. Ladies and Gentlemen, the ASSBLOT.

  1. Mon permalink
    March 6, 2014 7:22 PM

    Best thing I’ve read in a looooong time. And now I’m still giggling, but yet, I must go to sleep. Damn the Dr. Lauer non-delish ASSBLOT.

    Maybe when you wake up, you can have the breakfast version of that sandwich, which is the same but add an egg and put it on waffles instead of a bun. That would be the, let’s see now, EATSBLOWS. Then for lunch, you eat whatever they’re serving at the hospital.

  2. Lynne permalink
    March 7, 2014 3:28 AM

    I can’t stop laughing! My favorite sandwich is PB&J, I would hate to think what RR would turn it into.

    I’m going to Google this right now because I can’t believe that she hasn’t already done something hideous to that. Stay right there.

    Augggh! No PB&J sandwich. Instead, and I wish I were kidding but I’m not: Peanut Butter and Jelly Chicken Wings.

  3. March 7, 2014 3:53 AM

    Well, Freddie, I used to watch GMA while pg and after my son was born (1980). Since babies are supposed to like staring at faces, I would prop him up in front of the TV in the morning so I could have 20 minutes to myself before getting into mommy mode for the rest of the day. I don’t watch daytime TV unless I”m stuck in a waiting room somewhere. I must have caught a bit of Today but assumed it was something else because it was just like you described. I was also forced to listen to some Fox News recently – made me question freedom of the press. Stuff like that extinguishes all hope for the human race.

    I prefer to think of FOX News as performance art. Good Morning America started out being more like Today is now, and they’ve become better over the years, but not by much. As I recall their first anchors were actors — David Hartman and … somebody. Hold on while I look (why are you people making me Google so much this morning?) Oh lord, Hartman’s co-anchor was Nancy Dussault, the actress who played the wife on Too Close for Comfort.

  4. March 7, 2014 8:36 AM

    ASSBLOT? *stands* BRAVO!!

    I haven’t watched morning TV in ages due to kids, work, and other things that cramp my style. Every so often, however, I am home at the time the Today Show is on and for old time’s sake I check it out and I’m always sorry. Total crap.

    It’s not just that it’s crap, it’s that it’s FOUR HOURS of crap. I have to wonder at what point someone at the network said, “well, this show is really terrible, we should have more of it.”

  5. March 7, 2014 11:29 AM

    Bravo, Fred. BRAVO!

    I’m still giggling.


    After I learned about the Julie & Julia book, I briefly flirted with the idea of starting a Rachel & Rachael blog, but I didn’t want to eat her garbage food and also I didn’t want to get sued, which I no doubt would have been because I was pretty sure I was going to be talking some shit.

  6. March 7, 2014 5:07 PM

    My dear Frederick,

    BLOATS and ASSBLOTS for everyone and put it on my tab, there’s a good fellow.

    I watched Today when it was Bryant Gumby and Mrs. Doonesbury, then switched to GMA. Lately I feel it has become too strident, and I’m contemplating meditation instead. And when I say meditation, I mean Spider Solitaire.

    And no Google necessary. You’re welcome.

    Yr obedient,

    I hope you liked Bryant. I sometimes think I’m the only one who liked Gumby Dammit, and it’s a lonely feeling. I think I also liked Jane, but maybe that’s only in retrospect. She’s a bit of a slow talker, but not to Diane Sawyer/Ann Curry levels of irritation.

    There may be something to your Spider Solitaire meditation theory. There was apparently a study a while back that found that a person’s blood pressure would drop when playing Bejeweled, and I believe that to be true because I’ve played Bejeweled and it’s hard not to slip into a coma while doing so.

  7. March 10, 2014 3:20 PM

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time….ASSBLOT!!

    I watched Rachael Ray exactly once because listening to her repeat her ridiculous EVOO a dozen times in five minutes was too much to handle (aside: how much time are you shaving off a sentence by not saying “olive oil”??!). However, its clear that I can also have a cooking show and my own line of pots because when I make stuff with random things in my kitchen its always infinitely less gross than PB&J chicken wings (aside again: do you think she’s just messing with people?? That recipe must be a joke!).

    A lot of her food seems like what you would eat if you were really drunk and said, “hey, I wonder if there’s anything to make a sandwich with … OMG SARDINES AND GRAPE JELLY!” Also, I am in love with how dumb her spaghetti pot is. She always gives herself a pat on the back for making an oval pot so that she can drop all the spaghetti in lengthwise, whereas in a regular round pot, you have to wait five whole seconds like an animal for the bottom part of the noodle to soften up before you can put the top part of the noodle into the water.

  8. Cat Boy permalink
    March 13, 2014 9:54 PM

    I, too, stayed with Today for far too long. Aside from laziness and familiarity, I’m not sure why, but I stayed way too long. In any case, when they all stopped shaving to raise awareness for something (clearly, it did not work since I can’t remember what it was supposed to raise my awareness of), I turned it off for good.

    They should be making fun of people who raise awareness by not doing something. It makes no sense. People host “Walks for Life” and instead these lazy bastards chose to fight a disease by not grooming.

    That must explain Matt’s sad little beard. I guess he stopped shaving for Movember and then evidently decided he liked looking debauched. As an aside, the word “Movember” bothers me. If they’re going to smash together “moustache” and the name of a month, it should have been “Stachetember.” I don’t endorse these stupid names, but even so, mine is better.

    A couple of years ago, someone asked me to sponsor her daughter for a walkathon for something or other. I was looking at the sheet to see what I should give per mile and she said, “oh, she’s not walking, people are just giving a flat amount.” So between her mother bothering her friends and her mother’s friends donating all the money, daughter’s contribution was what, I don’t know.

  9. Marius permalink
    March 14, 2014 6:56 PM

    Sorry I’m late to the party, but I intend to try to use ASSBLOT in a sentence at least once this weekend.

    If you’re having trouble working it into the conversation naturally, I suggest making some PB&J chicken wings. Once you do that, it would be weird if you didn’t say ASSBLOT.

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