Covering the red carpet at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, we were happy to have the chance to talk to singing and songwriting legend Joan Baez as she made her way into the Staples Center.
Indeed, she was on her way over to talk to Anita Vogel and me when her publicist whisked her away shouting, "They're FOX. We don't talk to FOX."
We were a bit flabbergasted, but it is what it is. It's a shame, because of all the activists in the music industry who have something to say, particularly about the war in Iraq, Baez's is probably the most informed voice.
Given her storied history of activism, and the fact that she lived in Iraq as a young girl (her father was a noted physicist who moved often for work), it might have been nice to hear her point of view.
Apparently her publicist didn't think so.
What is it with people and their first cup of coffee in the morning?
I mean seriously, folks. Heading to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards, I couldn’t help but notice a long line at Newark International Airport for a cup of Seattle’s Best coffee.
For the life of me I can’t figure out why a cup of coffee in the morning is such a must-have that people will endure a 30 minute line to overpay for a cup of coffee that’s so hot you won’t be able to drink it for at least 15 more minutes.
And what’s with Seattle’s Best having just one clerk — or barista, whatever — during an apparently busy time on Saturday morning at the airport?
“They sent me down here,” the lady yelled at the American Airlines ticket agent at the check-in counter.
The problem was, whoever “they” were either sent this woman to a closed area where there were ropes indicating its closure, or she was just lying in order to skip the line.
Whatever the case may have been, nobody saved any time.
Have you ever been given bum instructions from a so-called authority? If someone sent me to a check-in counter that was obviously closed, I might deduce on my own that the person must have meant to send me to the open counter, or at the very least, that the person didn’t know what the heck she was talking about.
I don’t think I’d go stand at the closed counter for 10 minutes and then start yelling at the one agent who is open, and already helping others. But that’s just me. Grrr!
I have nothing against the elderly, but come on, folks, remember when you were not retired and you tried to run errands during your lunch break?
Remember how Grrr’d you got every time you ran in to the grocery store for one quick thing and, just your luck, a whole bus from the Holiday City retirement community just let out?
There you are, standing on a long line filled with Oblivions who look like they’re lost, and many, in fact, are.
Whose bright idea at the retirement center was it to have the group shopping trip fall right smack in the middle of the nation’s lunch break anyway?
Anyone who thinks Britney Spears “forgot” to remove the tags from her little black number she sported at New York Fashion Week is sorely mistaken.
Brit most likely left them on because she probably planned to return the dress after she got it all sweaty and disgusting.
You see, celebrities of her stature are so used to getting clothes, alcohol, dinner — just about everything — for free that the notion that she would have to shell out a few hundred bucks from her millions for a dress is probably beyond realistic.
Hosts as Celebrities
I’ve done many red carpets in my career, from the Grammys to the VMAs to the Oscars, and every time I’m there it’s for a purpose: to bring the viewer a perspective from the red carpet, featuring their favorite stars.
It’s not my job to try to act as if I'm one of the people I’m there to interview.
That’s why I can’t understand it when I’m setting up my spot on the red carpet with the crew, and I see reporters and hosts from the entertainment networks setting up beauty lights -- for themselves!
I’m not saying they should be standing in the dark, but when I watch a cameraman spend 20 minutes setting up so that his reporter can look as glamorous as his subject, I have to shake my head.
It reminds me of a story the venerable Walter Cronkite wrote in his memoir “A Reporter’s Life.” Covering World War II, a bunch of wire reporters, Cronkite included, decided to have dinner at a fancy restaurant in Paris.
When the bill came, they all started pointing fingers at one another, because it was so expensive that no one there could afford to pay it.
It was then that Ernest Hemingway, who was listening in at another table, walked over to pick up the tab.
But before he did, he left the table of reporters with a little sage advice.
“Just because you are here with us, doesn’t mean that you are one of us.”
And indeed, when I leave the red carpet and head home, I’m not getting into a limo and heading to my mansion in Bel Air. I’m heading to Jersey. I’m not hanging up my tux in a closet full of Armani. I’m sending it to the cleaner or asking Mrs. Grrr to make sure it's ready for the next red carpet assignment.
And when I take off my Jago Europe elevator shoes (the best on the market for all of us vertically challenged out there -- and I’ve tried them all), I’m not even as tall as I was on the red carpet. I’m back down to my 5’6” frame.
You see, just because I’m out there with them, doesn’t mean I’m one of them. And that’s quite all right with me.
I made an appearance on "FOX & Friends" over the weekend to talk about the book. Check it out...