Two Cents


"When you feel stupid and embarrassed, facing a ballroom full of the most distinguished people in your industry is just what the doctor ordered."

—West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin at an IRTS luncheon in New York on accepting an award a month after he was arrested on drug possession charges to which he pleaded not guilty.

"You're kidding me ... These people are from a methadone clinic down the street."
Jon Stewart, referring to The Daily Show audience in reply to 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt's remark that Stewart's audience was a "crowd that my bosses would kill for."

"2006: Threatened with a Screen Actors Guild strike, networks inform the FCC that in order to ensure the continued flow of high-quality entertainment to the American people, the networks need to own actors outright and to sell their vital organs after their shows are canceled."

John Carman of The San Francisco Chronicle prognosticating on the future power of the networks following the recent FCC decision to lift its ban on allowing one network to own another.

"If the smaller fish ate the bigger fish, wouldn't the smaller fish get a bellyache? In this particular case, taking such a big bite gave the little fish indigestion after dinner.

"About 400 of my co-workers at CNN and I were coughed up. We were the projectile vomit of the takeover.

"I was shown the door. So was Ted Turner."

Sol Levine, reflecting on about how recent changes at the news network have affected CNN for the worse. Levine was recently laid off after 18 years as a producer.

"Maybe it was just as well. No newspaper could have given him the national acclaim that television provided."

Clyde Haberman, The New York Times Sunday book review section, addressing the rejection of Daniel Schorr's bid for a position at The New York Times.

"He is an obnoxious, opinionated caped predator who leaves his coffin nightly to sink his fangs into a smorgasbord of guests. Yet he is not only a more fearless questioner, but infinitely more informed than the host of CNN's main interview show, Larry King Live. Guests facing O'Reilly get a real workout, not a sponging, and it will take a stake through the heart to stop him."

Howard Rosenberg, of The Los Angeles Times, on Bill O'Reilly and The O'Reilly Factor.

"Our big problem with the reality show is it does not use actors, it does not use writers. I don't know what the business would be coming to if it becomes all reality. ... That's not the way our business should be."

Aaron Spelling offering his two cents on reality television, as reported by Diane Snyder of

"Never again would TV networks (well, other than maybe CBS) even know I exist. As for Fox and The WB, well, I could count myself lucky if they didn't jam their signals to keep me from watching. It was time to face facts: I do not skew young and never will again."

Frazier Moore, Associated Press television reporter, reflecting on turning 50.

"If you're strong enough to endure that level of exposure, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, pick a different profession. The media is the campfire of our age, and like fire, it burns everyone who gets too close."

Matt Zoller Seitz, of New Jersey's The Star Ledger, writing on the intense and, at times, painful scrutiny to which members of Survivor: The Australian Outback were exposed for the duration of the show.