Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm playing a political celebrity on TV

Yesterday afternoon I sat for the taping of a segment on a new political talkshow called Midwest Talking Points on Charter Cable.

I'm the last person to sit still to watch such a thing, so why did I consent to appear on the show? A good friend of mine (also a rock-and-roll girlfriend, in a former life) does sales for Charter and twisted my arm. She also twisted the arm of her boss, a man with the enviable name of Bill Goodfriend. I thought, "If anything bad can come of helping a man named Goodfriend, that must be fate."

Then, there are the hosts. To the left, Mindy Mazur, whom I respect and admire dearly; and to the far ultra right, Ed Martin, who must be opposed aggressively at all times. I make a hobby of calling people in the Missouri Democratic Party and challenging them to listen to the flabby Democrat KMOX has lined up to "oppose" Ed Martin this time, so if I want to have either of my legs to stand on, I have to answer the bell to talk to Ed Martin when someone rings it, I guess.

That said, I deplore political chatter, and I'm sure my five minutes in makeup and lights did nothing to improve the woeful state of that rhetorical mill. I didn't get to see my friend Karianne, who was busy making sales calls keep the show on the air. It was nice to see Mindy. And I can confirm that the five minutes Ed Martin was in my direct sight he was not himself personally developing a new Swift Boatesque attack ad on Barack Obama.

"You've got one of the most dangerous right-wing people in Missouri politics as a host there, you know," I said to Bill Goodfriend, as I was leaving.

"He's trying to be more centrist on the show," Goodfriend said, "more non-partisan,"

I said, "Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace."

The good news is, while I was being treated like a political celebrity (that is, having makeup applied so I could talk about politics on the teevee), conditions conspired to make me almost act like one. I got a call from the Obama campaign. Did I want to talk to Michelle Obama on the phone tomorrow, just the two of us?

I did, I do, but that's the sort of opportunity to be given to a reporter. Our young staff reporter Jessica Bassett has spoken to Michelle before, and both thought they clicked. I called Jessica. She won't be available (she is going to grad. school part time, studying social work).

Alvin A. Reid went to Denver for us to cover the national convention. He deserves a chance to speak to the first black First Lady, just the two of them. He is available. They will speak this afternoon. Look for their interview on The St. Louis American website today and in Thursday's paper.

As for Midwest Talking Points, here is the show promo, and here is a teaser for the show that featured Tony Messenger, whose reporting on the apparently improper deletion of emails almost surely hastened Ed Martin's departure from the Governor's Office.

Doesn't Mindy Mazur look poised and beautiful? Doesn't Ed Martin look like a bad guy in a blue suit trying his mightiest to appear clean and calm?

The show premiered Tuesday, Sept.16 at 10:30 p.m. Each week’s show airs Tuesday through Saturday on Charter’s CCIN (Channel 3) at 10:30 p.m. in the St. Louis area. Viewers can also watch Midwest Talking Points anytime on CharterOn Demand. Midwest Talking Pointscan also be seen by Charter customers in Southeast Missouri, as well as Lake of the Ozarks, Warrensburg-Clinton and Sedalia.

If I make it off the cutting room floor, Mindy says my bit will air this week. Jeff Smith was in the studio just before me. Jeff always seems to be leaving the party just as I am on my way in.

If you think you should be on this show, even though you do not have a former rock and roll girlfriend mking sales call to keep it on the air, call Bill Goodfriend at (314) 394-2484. Tell him Confluence City sent ya. He'll say, "Who?"


Picture of Mexico City activist wearing a real political celebrity on her head from somebody's Flickr site.

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