As an average viewer, I didn't feel that this story was worthy of being the whole show. Other news items could have been investigated or highlighted. And I know it was a repeat, but here's an example. A friend of mine in Long Island opened his home to a single mother and her child who were stricken homeless by Hurricane Sandy. He works with special needs children. That single mother has a special needs child. Disasters such as that hurricane also affect the disabled and physically challenged. People are still suffering on the East Coast in the wake of Sandy. There's a good story in there to cover. That feels more newsworthy to me. Think about it. The Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center was lit up before many residents of Long Island got their power restored days after the storm. This all happened during a brutal economic recession and right before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Later last night, after Rock Center with Brian Williams, former California governor-returned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was Jay Leno's guest on the Tonight Show. While Arnold was married to Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan, he had a child out of wedlock with another woman. The woman was the family housekeeper. So, when he was sworn into office, the family man had a secret son. On Leno's show, Schwarzenegger took a comedy poke at NJ Gov. Chris Christie with the gag that Christie "has a water retention problem." This week, the Republican top man of NJ took Congress to task for dragging its heels on getting help to his hurricane-ravaged state. I'm a Democrat and I feel Gov. Christie had a right to do that. I got the feeling Arnold's gag was scripted. Leno set him up for the punchline. I wouldn't have make that crack out of respect for Christie and the disaster victims in his state.
A couple of other things. Years ago, entertainment news buzzed that Arnold was considering a run at politics. A major press conference was scheduled. The news services were on alert online and they expected the actor to announce his gubernatorial intentions. Online came the bulletin that the expected press conference had been called off. This gave brief speculation that he had changed his mind. The Terminator action movie star and box office champ hadn't changed his mind. He announced that he was running for Governor of California. He made the announcement -- to Jay Leno on NBC's Tonight Show. Also years ago, there was a book out that had compiled love letters from Ronald Reagan written to Nancy Reagan during their marriage. When Katie Couric was the co-host on Today, there was a sentimental 2-part feature on the book. The first half aired one day, the second the next. If I recall correctly, actor Hal Linden did the voiceover reads for the letters from "Ronnie" to Nancy. In the intros to the segments, it was mentioned that their's was a long, long love affair that continued into the White House. But, at no time, was it ever mentioned that their love affair was his second marriage. Reagan's ex-wife wife wasn't exactly a nobody. Jane Wyman won a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Johnny Belinda (1949). In fact, two of her Oscar-nominated performances air today on TCM -- The Yearling and Johnny Belinda.
My question: IF someone wrote a memoir claiming that Ronald Reagan had been...indiscreet during his marriage to Nancy and before he was elected President, would the network have given that story the same kind of half-hour prime time coverage in a news program? Would historians have been asked how the revelations change their image of Reagan's legend? Or would it have been treated as a minor story? Let me know what you think. Have a good weekend.