Hi Wilson Watch fans! I'm taking a few days off and filling in as a guest blogger on the Wilson Watch is my FOX News office mate, James Rosen. In his first column, he is responding to my good-natured ribbing of him in the previous column, which you can read by clicking here. I have urged James to exercise restraint in what I am sure will be a colorful entry, but I know full well I'm about to get hammered. Enjoy — and I'll be back in time for the Sunday edition of “Weekend Live.” Now, here's.... that uh, big kidder, James Rosen! — Brian
That Brian Wilson! It’s a phrase that echoes constantly through the halls of Team FOX Washington, spoken through the clenched teeth of Brian’s fellow reporters, who good-naturedly tolerate his — how to put it? — eccentricities; and heard, too, from the mouths of the assignment managers, who assign Brian to stories he balks at covering; from the lips of the bureau managers, who try repeatedly and with only marginal success, to discipline him for his many infractions; and not least of all, in-between the resigned sighs of the bureau producers, talented, but accursed druids whose unenviable task it is to prod Brian, like a stubborn (rented) mule, to make his reports come in on time and under budget.
That Brian Wilson! He is, in all senses of the word, a Big man. And I mean big. For example, his appetite: In a single sitting, I’ve seen the guy put away two whole Southern fried chickens, a mail sack full of tater tots, three helpings of macaroni and cheese, and six Dr. Peppers (a staple of his beloved Lone Star state). About an hour later, the small office we share will start to rumble beneath our feet (tasteful wing tips: mine; impossibly gauche and ill-matching cowboy boots: Brian’s), and Brian will, like some woolly mastodon from the Paleozoic era, emit a roaring whine which, when translated, will sound something like: I need chocolate! Then it’s downstairs to the pathetic little five-and-dime in our steel-and-glass box of a building, from whence Brian invariably returns clutching five or six Hershey bars, and the occasional Kit-Kat (Big Kats, of course). By day’s end, he’ll be telling tales (of the tall variety) about how he’s been losing weight lately.
That Brian Wilson! He’s a big man, all right; case in point: His height. Six-four, six-five, whatever it is; it hardly matters when you’re five-eight and have a knack for getting on the man’s nerves. Best to learn not only how to skirt the line with him, but also to pull back when necessary. Recently, for example, after a group reporter’s meeting where Brian complained about another demand being placed on his day, I sought, gently, of course, to assuage his concerns (by pointing out in front of the others that he might perhaps find the requested time in his daily LBJ-tantrum and Big-Kat-Kit-Kat-hour). He looked at me so frightfully that after the meeting ended I purposely avoided our office for forty minutes and only returned under the watchful escort of Major Garrett.
That Wilson! He’s also a classic Big Texan: Texas is the biggest and the bestest of EHHHHVVV-ry’thang! He’s a storyteller, by golly, and why, he’s just gotta have that extra forty-six seconds to tell that story about Duke Cunningham’s yacht! Or about the fact that it gets hot in the summertime! Son, I tell ya, I tell ya, there just ain’t the kinda people in this business like there used ta be, who know how to tell a story and set it up rahhht!!! Brian thinks my impersonation of him is a derivation on Yosemite Sam (search), but it’s really a combination of the gun-toting Sam and oversized rooster Foghorn Leghorn (search).
But Brian is also a big man in the richest, and most rewarding, sense of the term. He’s big enough to laugh about his own foibles (unlike me, who simply has none); big enough to apologize to terrified colleagues when his Texas-sized passions get the best of him; big enough to share the credit when he beats the entire Washington press corps and breaks major news stories, as he recently did with the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (search); big enough to handle the awesome duties of his new, well-deserved, title, FOX News Capitol Hill correspondent.
He was big enough, six-and-a-half years ago, to welcome an awfully green New Yorker into his office, and to show him a thing or two about what it takes to get along, even to exceed, in Washington, and at the White House, where I inherited reporting duties from him in 2000. And he’s big enough to invite viewers into his carefully planned and brilliantly executed television home, every Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m. Eastern time, otherwise known as “Weekend Live.” Won’t you join him? The tater tots are on… that Brian Wilson!
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Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."