When's the last time you recall a prominent elected official being called a morning malt liquor drinker on live national TV? It just happened on the Today show.
Today was no doubt looking for a light touch when co-host Campbell Brown interviewed New Orleans magician, comic and eccentric extraordinaire Harry Anderson in a pre-Mardi Gras piece on "Life after Katrina." But the NBC show surely got more than it was bargaining for.
When Anderson took some shots at FEMA and the federal response to Katrina, Brown, in an apparent bid for balance, responded:
"Let me ask you about Mayor Nagin, because your mayor has come under a lot of crticism too for how he's handled the rebuilding effort. What do you think of the mayor?"
That's when Anderson leveled his alcohol allegation:
"I know the mayor, he's a decent man. He's said some wacky things lately. Maybe a Colt 45 isn't the best choice for breakfast."
If Brown was shocked, she hid it well, and continued the interview without skipping a beat. Still, don't expect to see Anderson turning up on a network show again any time soon.
Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts the local TV program "Right Angle." Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org