Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thursday Thirteen #231


How to rank something so incredibly subjective? By turning to the TV Bible, aka TV Guide, of course! It's been publishing regularly since April 1953. And here are their thirteen most frequent cover subjects.

1) Lucille Ball -- 31 covers

2) Mary Tyler Moore -- 24 covers

3) Johnny Carson -- 23 covers

4) Bill Cosby AND Oprah Winfrey -- tied at 19

5) Larry Hagman -- 18 covers

6) Carol Burnett -- 17 covers

7) Barbara Walters AND Carroll O'Connor -- tied at 16

8) Michael Landon AND Michael J. Fox -- tied at 15. These two Michaels grew up before our eyes on the cover of TV Guide 
•  Landon was 23 when he had his first cover, as Little Joe Cartwright of Bonanza, in 1960 and 54 when TV Guide ran a cover story memorializing him upon his death in 1991.
•  Fox was 21 when he appeared on his first cover as Alex P. Keaton of Family Ties in 1982, and 52 at the time of his most recent cover in 2013.

9) Cybill Shepherd -- 14 covers (I was surprised she was this popular)

10) Lawrence Welk AND Raymond Burr AND Jaclyn Smith (what an odd combination!) -- tied at 13

11) Richard Chamberlain AND Roseanne AND Ted Danson -- tied at 12

Tom Selleck in 1980 ....

... and 35 years later

12) Bob Hope AND Candice Bergen AND Mike Wallace AND Tom Selleck -- tied at 11 (Selleck was on the cover for the 11th time earlier this month)

13) Andy Griffith AND James Garner AND Jerry Seinfeld AND Hugh Laurie -- tied at 10

Please join us for The NEW THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.

Speaking of moving on and letting go ...

In the post immediately below, I write about a blogger whose unrelenting partisanship can make her posts very ugly (regardless of how many times she quotes Jesus). And it got me thinking about people who get so wrapped up in their hate, they are stuck.

This got me thinking about one of the coolest guys ever, Ben Bradlee, and one of the most uncomfortably formal guys ever, Richard Nixon. No two people could have been more at odds throughout their professional lives than these two. Ben Bradlee, after all, published Woodward and Bernstein. Next to Nixon himself, no one did more to bring down the 37th President than Ben Bradlee.

Yet they managed to be cordial whenever thrown together. One of my favorite stories about Ben Bradlee (whom I admit I was a little in love with) concerns the party he threw for one of his longtime reporters, a man who was retiring from the newspaper business because he was dying of cancer. Everyone who had worked with this reporter agreed he was a great guy, and they wanted this farewell party to be a big, important celebration of the man's life and work.

Throughout this reporter's long career, one of the people he had covered most often and most closely was Richard Nixon. By the time of this party in the mid-1980s, Nixon had long since resigned the Presidency. But two things are eternally true: 1) anyone who has held the Office inspires awe, regardless of how they left it and 2) Richard Nixon and Ben Bradlee are adversaries.

Because of #1, friends of the reporter's wanted Nixon to participate somehow in the party. It would mean so much to their dying comrade. Because of #2, no one thought it likely.

Everyone underestimated both Bradlee and Nixon. During the party at Ben's home, the Bradlee landline rang. When the call was put on speaker, a familiar and oft-imitated voice was heard by all. "They said I would never visit China, but I did," Nixon announced to the room. "And they said I'd never call Ben Bradlee's house, and I just have."

I love this story. The way Bradlee and Nixon got past their massive, historically consequential differences makes me believe anything is possible.

In the age of Google, there's no excuse

There's a blogger out there that I visit on occasion because she plays Saturday 9, and since I took that meme over from Bud, I try to be inclusive and check out everyone's responses. But this Floridian dipshit is not only a RWNJ, she's literally an ignorant one, and such people make me nuts.

Her most recent rant was about the Oscars, and how in her opinion it's not a place for politics. OK, it's her blog and naturally she's most certainly entitled to her opinion. But then everyone's friend in Florida went off on how Jane Fonda spoiled the Oscars by using them as her political platform.

Except Fonda didn't use Oscar night that way. Never. Not once. Proud daughter of Hollywood that she is, she wouldn't. After all, before she was Hanoi Jane, she was Henry's daughter.

When she won for Klute, this is her acceptance speech in its entirety. This is it. At the height of her Vietnam activism, these two sentences are all she said:
"There's a great deal to say, but I'm not going to say it tonight. I'd just like to thank you very much."

When she won for Coming Home, she didn't talk about Vietnam, even though she could have because returning Vietnam vets were the subject of the movie. Instead, she signed most of her speech because, well, I'll let her say it:
"I'm so happy. I wanted to win very much because I'm so proud of Coming Home and I want many people to see it. I'm signing part of what I'm saying because when we were making the movie, we all became more aware of the problems of the handicapped. Over 14 million people are deaf. They are the invisible handicapped and can't share this evening. This is my way of acknowledging them."

What a bitch that Hanoi Jane is, huh?

I understand people who object to many of Fonda's activities during the war. Hell, in retrospect she denounces some of those actions herself.

It's how sloppy some bloggers are with the facts. It's like this Floridian would rather slag Fonda, and hang onto her rage toward Fonda, than be accurate or, God forbid, move on. I mean, Coming Home was made in 1978, and Jane hasn't won an Oscar since.

Oh well, with this post I'm moving on. I'm never visiting "everyone's friend from Florida" again. Life is too short. (Sorry, Bud.)

While I'm oversharing ...

... I must remember to take my acid controller (generic Pepcid) before heavy meals AND whenever I have just a touch of alcohol. Tonight when I got home I had just a wee bit of brandy,* and guess what happened.

I worry about the long-term impact that acid can have (my mom suffered from Barrett's). Plus it's gross. So I must be more vigilant. My doctor tells me this doesn't have to turn into anything more if I work to control it.

So I have a zit on my lip and I throw up a little in my mouth. Yes, I feel like a prize package.

*I don't know why I'm suddenly channeling an old Irish sea captain, but really, it was less than a shot.