Saturday, September 13, 2008

Geraldo Rivera: "The Mustachioed Muckraker of TV NEWS"

When I first saw Geraldo Rivera on Fox News Channel after I finally ventured from CNN back in 2004, the image of Geraldo from like the 80's and 90's stuck with me --- and I wasn't surpirsed the FNC would hire a "sensationalist" like Geraldo if they paraded Juliet Huddy out every weekend and let her perform her antics as a co-host on Fox & Friends Weekend.

Yet, again, it's now 2008 and aside from seeing Geraldo on Fox News Channel, I've learned a few things about Geraldo which have changed my perception about him.

There are two things in particular that made me say, "wow, Geraldo?!" --- which I will share later --- for now, here's "The Mustachioed Muckraker of TV NEWS" ---

"When you were young and your heart was an open book You used to say live and let live (you know you did, you know you did you know you did) But in this ever changing world in which we live in Makes you give in and cry Say live and let die Live and let die Live and let die Live and let die --- What does it matter to ya When you got a job to do You gotta do it well You gotta give the other fellow hell"

  • Chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world. [1991]
  • Born: 4 July 1943, Birthplace: New York, New York
  • His wife, Edie, was Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s daughter. His autobiography, written in 1991 is "Exposing Myself."
  • In his autobiography, he revealed his affairs with Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Judy Collins, Chris Evert, Margaret Trudeau, Marion Javits, and at least 1000 other women. He first made a name for himself as a lawyer defending Harlems's largely Hispanic Young Lords gang. His brother is newscaster Craig Rivera, who previously gained experience as Geraldo's producer at ABC News.
  • He hosted the television segment that gave the American public the first chance of seeing the Zapruder film of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  • His most famous program was The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults (1986) (TV) that aired in April 1986. When Chicago's Lexington Hotel was being demolished, a sealed vault was discovered. Rivera hosted the live program that was going to climax with the opening of the vault, supposedly revealing Al Capone's treasure or a more gruesome find. The biggest find was an empty whiskey bottle. The hype generated a record rating of 57 with an estimated audience of 30,000,000. The term "Al Capone's Vault" has come to mean any overhyped event that leads to nothing.
  • Exposed deplorable conditions in "Willowbrook State School", an institution for people with developmental disabilities, in early 1972. Publicity from the class-action lawsuit against the state of New York that soon followed was a major contributing factor in the passing of a federal law called "Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980."

Controversy, Sensationalism and TV Journalism

  • NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff once said of him: "There are two words that serve as a signal that you're operating in an area of questionable taste. Those words are 'Geraldo Rivera.'"
  • In 1987 he began hosting a talk show, Geraldo, which set the trends toward controversial guests and theatricality (one of the early shows was titled "Men in Lace Panties and the Women Who Love Them"). His nose was broken in a well-publicized brawl that occurred on his 1988 show featuring Nazi skinheads and black activists, which sparked Newsweek's characterization of his show as "Trash TV".
  • He was noted for self-promotion and for inserting himself into stories: he had plastic surgery on his program (twice), and his autobiography Exposing Myself caused headlines in 1991 by discussing his sexual dalliances, which included encounters with Bette Midler and Margaret Trudeau. He was also temporarily the son-in-law of science fiction writer, Kurt Vonnegut.
  • In 1997 he contracted with NBC to work as a reporter for 6 years for a fee of 30 million U.S. dollars. Following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack, he accepted a pay cut and went to work for the Fox News Channel as a war correspondent starting in November 2001.
  • During the U.S./Afghanistan war in 2001, he was derided for falsely claiming to be reporting from the scene of a friendly fire incident which in actuality had occurred 50 miles away. He claims the discrepancy resulted from a misunderstanding.


  • The 1980s GI Joe animated series created the news anchor man character Hector Ramirez as a parody of Rivera.
  • Geraldo had a small, uncredited part in the 1990 film Bonfire of the Vanities as a television reporter named "Robert Corso."
  • Geraldo is mentioned in the episode of Two and a Half Men entitled Corey's Been Dead For An Hour. The presenter takes home both Charlie and Alan's dates after the brothers spend half an hour arguing in the bathroom. The waiter quips that the two girls will now find out how "At Large" Geraldo really is.
  • Geraldo has a short cameo on the series finale of Seinfeld with his former news colleague, Jane Wells. He appeared as himself on his actual show at the time, Rivera Live, holding coverage of the jury trial Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer had. He was also an inspiration for the opportunistic, narcissistic Wayne Gale (portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) in Oliver Stone's 1994 film Natural Born Killers; in fact, much of the character's interaction with the murders Mickey and Mallory Knox was inspired heavily from Rivera's interview with Charles Manson. In Carl Hiaasen's 1989 book, "Skin Tight," there is a narcissistic T.V. reporter by the name of "Reynaldo Flemm," who is almost certainly modeled after Geraldo Rivera. The character meets a gruesome end while being liposuctioned by a quack plastic surgeon.
  • The town of West Babylon has awarded Geraldo with the Key to the City and officially named September 20th as "Geraldo Rivera Day".
  • Kurt Vonnegut mentioned Geraldo several times in various novels, (Palm Sunday, Fates Worse than Death), never once in favorable light. Geraldo was married to Kurt's daughter Edith Vonnegut. They got a divorce in 1984.

What Changed my Perception About Geraldo?

--- My perception changed by being blown away ...

1). seeing him do a few exclusive, rare interviews with John Lennon - namely sitting and walking and talking on the beach with him

2). seeing him in the full length film The U.S. vs. John Lennon

3). seeing Geraldo in a documentary about the legendary Baseball All Star & Humanitarian, Roberto Clemente of Puerto Rico

--- (This is significant to me as when I was just a baby Roberto Clemete held me inisde Three River's Allgheny Club and, then, as my father kept telling me the story every few years I learned what a great human be-ing Roberto Clemente lives on as ...) ---

His Story

On December 23, 1972, a massive earthquake devastated the Nicaraguan capital of Managua. 7,000 people died and thousands of others were injured. More than 250,000 people were suddenly homeless.
Roberto lost many friends in the quake. He had spent most of November in Nicaragua managing a Puerto Rican all-star team in the Amateur Baseball World Series tournament. He felt the threat to his many colleagues, thousands of fans and friends.
Clemente accepted the honorary chairmanship of an earthquake relief committee and used local media to appeal for help. He worked day and night, even soliciting donations door to door. The relief team raised $150,000, and gathered and shipped nearly 26 tons of food, clothing and medicine by air and sea. Then came reports from Managua—the corrupt regime of General Anastasio Somoza was intercepting the deliveries.
Roberto wanted to make sure the food and medicine got to the people who needed it. On New Year’s Eve, he helped load an aging DC-7, then boarded the flight.
"When your time comes, it comes; if you are going to die, you will die,' Vera remembered him saying. "And babies are dying. They need these supplies."
One of the DC-7’s engines exploded almost immediately after take-off. There were two more explosions, then a fourth.
"He liked Nicaragua because it looked like the old days in Puerto Rico when we didn’t have so much progress. He said the people on the farms still used animals, and it reminded him of when he was a little boy. And when we traveled through the country he liked to visit with the people and learn more about the way they lived. The common people, he just liked to talk with them." —Vera Clemente

As a professional baseball player, Clemente ranks among the best of all time. He was, in baseball parlance, a “complete player” and his record proves it in multiples. In addition to the Most Valuable Player Award, Clemente received 12 Gold Glove Awards, 4 National League batting titles, 12 All-Star Game selections, 2 World Series Championships, and reached the 3,000-hit milestone. Only ten players in the history of the major leagues recorded 3,000 hits before Roberto. The highlight of his long and prosperous career came in 1971, when he earned the World Series MVP Award for his superb performance in the Fall Classic against the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles. Clemente batted .414, hit two home runs, and turned in several standout defensive plays to carry the Pirates to one of the most surprising results in World Series history. With a massive television audience witnessing the seven games of this historic Series, Clemente gained the kind of nationwide recognition that had eluded him throughout his career.
But there’s another Clemente record. It is written in cornerstones of schools, hospitals, and other public buildings, inscribed on monuments and statues, struck on coins, imprinted on collectibles and book covers — it is simply his name, Roberto Clemente, and it is evidence of his impact beyond baseball.

Citizen and Athlete
Clemente became known for his fierce ethnic pride and for his unusual capacity to bear a much larger identity—not just for Puerto Rico but for all of Latin America. It was a responsibility he embraced and carried with dignity and admirable grace.
He didn’t see himself as merely a representative of Latin America to the world through baseball. He saw his career in baseball as a way to help Latin Americans — especially underprivileged Puerto Ricans — make their lives better.
"Always, they said Babe Ruth was the best there was. They said you’d really have to be something to be like Babe Ruth. But Babe Ruth was an American player. What we needed was a Puerto Rican player they could say that about, someone to look up to and try to equal."-Roberto ClementeNational League Most Valuable Player, 1966

Best of the Roses, Giovanni French


Friday, September 12, 2008

Ripple ............

The Grateful Dead "Live" in concert @ Radio City Hall in NYC w/ One Very Joyful, Mr. Jerry Garcia............ &, of course, grateful fans............

Best of "Dead Roses,"

Giovanni French


Parker Posey ("Jackie-O") Preparing for Hurricane in "House of Yes"

Parker Posey AT her best one more time.

Best of "Backyard" Roses,

Giovanni French


"Letterman Top Ten, Alaska"

Top Ten Reasons to be Stationed in Alaska

Best of Kodiak Island Roses,

John French

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Everyday Americans

there's nothing ordinary about us - we're all different
everyday Americans want things to work out better
allot of it is that we're not given the chance to do it
because the fact is we're not in charge for changes
as everyday Americans have to work just to survive
- everyday Americans have to buy consumer goods
- everyday Americans are assembled into soldiers
- everyday Americans fight terrorists and many die
- everyday Americans are raped, robbed, oppressed
- everyday Americans are suppressed, aborted & fed
- everyday Americans are now beaten, wasted, dead
what's so ordinary about any of us? any or all of this?
we've been encultured to chase the dangling carrot
- we've been trained to go to school, work, fight wars
and to be good consumers "to help our economy" -
yet does it really just have to be like this? we also
are misled not to buy just to survive but for "standing"
inside a created culture of "keeping up w/ the Joneses"
and, really, what good exists there for we the people?
one of us could cure cancer - but not given the chance
- Everyday Americans are not able to be extraordinary

You call us ordinary!
All I see are "everyday Americans" ...

7:15 a.m.
September 10th

Best of Extraordinary Roses (Blooming Everyday),
John French $$$$$$ $$$$$$

The Doors - "The Unknown Soldier" (the original promo clip)

"Give Peace a Chance" by John Lennon & Yoko Ono ...(and the Bed In)... (and Everyone = Really)...

"Give Peace a Chance" by John Lennon & Yoko Ono ...(and the Bed In)... (and Everyone = Really)...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

meiko: (american folk rock / indie / pop) _ meiko's big week ...


Sep 8, 2008 4:31 PM

This Is A Big Week For Me!!!

"Helloooooooo!!!!!!Soooo this is a pretty big week for me and I wanted to tell you aboutsome stuff that's goin on...Today (Monday Sept. 8), I'm performing on the premiere episode of "TheBonnie Hunt Show"! Bonnie saw some videos of me on YouTube andinvited me on her first show to cool!!! Robin Williams isthe other guest!!!Check out to see when it's on in your town(I know it's on NBC at Noon in L.A. and 2PM in New York...) -- Setyour TiVos if you'll be at work or school!...On Tuesday (Sept. 9), my CD is FINALLY in stores! This is the firsttime I've ever had a CD in stores and I'm sooo excited! Check yourlocal Best Buy or Borders for CDs..... if you don't have one close to you, you can get it on Here
If you live around Los Angeles, I'm doing a little in-storeperformance and CD signing at the Borders in Hollywood on Tuesday (theone on the corner of Sunset and Vine) - it starts at 7PM...I've never done a CD signing either so come see me!!! It's FREE and all ages!!!On Thursday (Sept. 11), I'll be in NY to perform on "Late Night withConan O'Brien" - holy shitballs!!!!Be sure to tune in and cheer me on - I will need your sweet vibes!)So that's it...... I hope to see yall on Tuesday at Borders - and ifyou can't make it, wish me luck!!!*meeeeeeks"

i can buy into this folk lore ...

Best of West Hollywood Roses,

John French

Am Lily Andorphin: French Folk w/ Punky Undertones = Very Fine European Chic (Indie/Folk/Pop - Alternative Rock)


sounds like... une tête de dimanche...

sexxy leg

Best of French Roses,
Giovanni French

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Zardari’s election as president widely hailed

Zardari’s election as president widely hailed

Sunday, September 07, 2008
ISLAMABAD: People from all walks of life, including politicians, on Saturday congratulated PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president of Pakistan with two-thirds majority.

Acting President of Pakistan Muhammadmian Soomro congratulated PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the country's next president.Soomro conveyed to Zardari his good wishes for the smooth functioning of his duties as the head of the state.

He commended Zardari's contribution towards the revival of democracy in the country and hoped that he would prove himself as the true symbol of federation.PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his success in the presidential election.

Nawaz said Asif Zardari's election to the office will promote democracy and strengthen the democratic system in the country.

He said the PML-N will fully support him for the promotion of democratic values in the country. Nawaz hoped that Asif Zardari will rise above political affiliations and act as a representative of the federation.

The speaker and the deputy speaker also hailed the election of the president.

In their messages to Asif Ali Zardari, they said his election as the president was evidence of the trust and confidence reposed by the people's representatives and leaders of the coalition parties in his dynamic leadership.

Acting Chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali felicitated Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president.PPP senior leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim conveyed his heartiest felicitation to President-elect Asif Ali Zardari on being elected the president with thumping majority.

Talking to a TV channel, he vehemently denied any brawl with Zardari and blamed the media for creating such baseless and unfounded assertions.

"There is no fight with Asif Ali Zardari."

I myself proposed Asif Zardari for the coveted office and extended my fullest support to him for winning the election," he said. Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Husain warmly felicitated PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president and expressed the hope that the new head of the state would now utilise all his energies in resolving the multitude problems facing Pakistan.

MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president.Talking to Geo TV, he said: "I congratulate Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president on behalf of my party and Quaid Altaf Husain."

He said it was due to the efforts of MQM leader Altaf Husain that Asif Ali Zardari got 100 per cent vote from the Sindh Assembly.

Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said it was a historic day as the country got rid of dictatorship finally and a democratic leader had entered the presidency. Minister for Sports and SAFRON Najmuddin Khan said the new president would change the flawed system of the country. He said this was another promise accomplished by the PPP as Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had promised a true democratic and people's government to the nation. Senator Babar Awan said it was a fresh vote of confidence to the government by the elected representatives of the people.

Attorney General of Pakistan Sardar Latif Khan Khosa said the election of Asif Ali Zardari would bring in political stability as now the president and the prime minister were from the same political party. MNA Farzana Raja termed the election of Asif Ali Zardari a triumph of political forces, democracy and the nation. She regretted that her leader Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was not around, who had sacrificed her life for the sake of the democratic process. PML-N Secretary Information Ahsan Iqbal the PML-N has showed its majority without the PPP in the Punjab province in the presidential election and offered congratulations to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on his success.PML-N Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra congratulated the nation over the election of the new head of the state. He said parliament was complete now as parliamentarians had elected their constitutional president after more than eight years.

PML-N presidential candidate Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqi also congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his election.Federal Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour termed the election of Asif Ali Zardari as President as success of democracy and democratic forces.Replying to a question, the minister said that the ANP would not abandon the coalition government and play its due role for the supremacy of parliament and democratic institutions.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has extended profound felicitations to Asif Zardari. "It is in fact the verdict of people and reflection of their aspirations and a victory of democracy and people," he said in his message.

PPP-S chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said the election of Asif Zardari to the office of the president would bring political stability in the country.

PML-F President Pir Sadruddin Shah congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on winning the election of the president. He said Zardari's election was a good omen in the history of Pakistan. He said the PML-F played major role in the success of Asif Zardari but it would not become part of the coalition government. He said:"We extended unconditional support for the cause of democracy." Former federal minister Dr Sher Afgan has congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president of Pakistan. Central President Tehrik-e-Istaqlal Rahmat Khan Vardag congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the president of Pakistan.

Best of ISLAMABAD Roses,
Giovanni French

One of the Hottest Female NEWS Anchors Ever ... watch Patricia Clarkson as a HOT dynamic & engaging big city/big market San Francisco, CA female NEWS anchor = click on this trailer title which is on YouTube:
Clint Eastwood : The Dead Pool [1988]

okay, and, in general, she's pretty SMOKING RED HOT
... and, dynamic and engaging

Patricia Clarkson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 29, 1959, daughter of Jackie Clarkson, a locally prominent member of the City Council. She studied drama at Yale University and worked in the theater before landing the part of Kevin Costner's wife in The Untouchables. 1988 saw her in a bevy of supporting roles: in Clint Eastwood's The Dead Pool, Everybody's All American and the family drama Rocket Gibraltar. During the early 1990s, Clarkson worked intensively in TV, appearing in the series "Law and Order" and in TV movies including "The Old Man and the Sea" (1990) and "Four Eyes and Six Guns" (1993).
In 1998 Clarkson put in a bitterly funny performance in High Art, playing Ally Sheedy's heroin-addict girlfriend. This marked the start of higher-profile roles for Clarkson. She appeared in 1999's The Green Mile, The Safety of Objects (2001) and actor-turned-writer/director Sean Penn's The Pledge (2001). She also appeared in Far From Heaven (2002) and director Lars von Trier's experimental Dogville (2003). In 2003, she won several film honors for her role of a grieving mother in the lauded independent film The Station Agent and received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar® nomination for her work in Pieces of April. In 2004 Clarkson appears in The Miracle, about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that beat the U.S.S.R. in one of sport's greatest upsets.

Best of Hollywood Hills Roses,
Giovanni French

"To accommodate Tinseltown’s growing interest in the area, an enormous 330,000 sq. ft. production studio is being built along the Allegheny River"

Only On 4: Inside Pittsburgh's Newest Movie, TV Production Studio
Channel 4 Gets Exclusive Tour Of New Facility

LAWRENCEVILLE, Pa. -- Pittsburgh has already been recognized as one of "America’s Most Livable Cities," now Hollywood is intensifying its love for the region.
To accommodate Tinseltown’s growing interest in the area, an enormous 330,000 sq. ft. production studio is being built along the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville.
The facility, large enough to hold about 8 football fields, was once an old Flatrol sheet metal plant.

Soon, Mogul Mind Studios will move in to the new location that’s the largest in the eastern U.S.

Workers have already begun sound-proofing the ceiling.

“There’s a huge influx of production companies that simply come here to shoot and say the city is beautiful, the workforce is fantastic, the union is fantastic, but where do I go?” said John Yost, owner of Mogul Mind Studios.
Yost, an actor and Penn Hills native, said the facility will allow production companies to shoot movies from beginning to end under one roof, and rival similar places in Los Angeles and New York.
“This is the amazing thing. About 85 percent of total dollars spent in production is spent in post production. And we're not getting a cent of it,” said Yost.
Yost added that the facility will house everything from post production to space for casting agencies, ad agencies and enough storage space to house tractor-trailers.
“I hate to use the term but it's a one-stop shop,” said Yost.
The Pittsburgh Film Office said the project represents the missing piece film companies have been craving while shooting in Pittsburgh.
“John's space would provide that state of the art facility so they can bring television series here,” said Jessica Connor of the Pittsburgh Film Office.
The movie industry has spent $150 million into the Pittsburgh region in the past 12 months, according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.

Video: Only On 4: Inside Pittsburgh's Newest Movie, TV Production Studio

Best of Hollywood Hills Roses,
Giovanni French