Left Coast Bias: What They Said…and What They Meant

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Given that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, the default mechanism of every columnist is to write a piece about what they are thankful for.

Like how I am thankful to the Fox PR people for sending the Glee soundtrack because now my 3-year-old kid is addicted to Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'.” A father is never prouder than when he hears his pre-schooler belting out the words, “A smell of wine and cheap perfume…for a smile they can share the night…” Can't wait for the next parent-teacher conference.

But I am such an elite columnist that I would never sink to such a level. Instead, I am going to introduce a brand-new format this week, one that I'm sure has never been used.

I am going to list quotes from people in our beloved business, and then I am going to write what I think that person really wanted to say. Absolutely original idea on my part. Seriously, with fresh, non-derivative ideas like this, I should be creating reality TV shows.

What They Said: “Lou Dobbs is a valued founding member of the CNN family. All of us will miss his appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger-than-life presence he brought to our newsroom, and we're grateful to have known and worked with him over the years.”—CNN president Jon Klein on Dobbs' “resignation.”

What They Wanted to Say: “Here's $20 for the cab over to 1211 Avenue of the Americas. When you get to the Fox building, say hi to Roger for me. I'm really going to miss those media gatherings where my face would twist up like a Cirque du Soleil performer when I had to answer questions about keeping you on the air.”

What They Said: “Dollhouse got cancelled. F-ck you, Fox. F-ck you so hard—YET AGAIN for doing this to Joss and all of us!!!”—One of America's great thinkers (and the show's dozens of devoted fans), on Twitter.

What They Wanted to Say: “Hey ma! Can we get some meatloaf? The meatloaf! We want it now! The meatloaf! F-ck!”

What They Said: “It's sort of like when the NBA doesn't have the L.A. Lakers or Boston—a couple of their key historic franchises—in the race, that impacts the league. We're in the same boat.”—Nascar CEO and Chairman Brian France to the Charlotte Observer, on the struggles of supposed superstar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

What They Wanted to Say:“This bust makes Michelle Kwan look like a clutch performer. I have an idea, Dale, how about winning a race? Or maybe coming close once? Forget teaming up with Danica Patrick, how about dating her? Be nice to get some media coverage about you doing something to another driver other than losing.”

What They Said: “I'm disappointed that NBC no longer has the time periods available to support the kind of critically acclaimed series that was for so many years a hallmark of their success.”—John Wells to The Hollywood Reporter, on the cancellation of Southland.

What They Wanted to Say: …If you live in Los Angeles and want to find out, come to our Nov. 17 panel featuring Wells, NBC's Marc Graboff, CBS' Nancy Tellem and Warner Bros.' Bruce Rosenblum.

Wow—I am definitely going to win the award this year for the most pathetically shameless plug. I'd like to thank the Academy…which just so happens to be where the event will take place....


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ben.grossman@reedbusiness.com

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