Thursday, April 04, 2002

"A new phase in the legend"
Who does this remind you of?

Now more than ever in the entire lifetime of this most remarkable democratic experiment in the history of civilization have the instruments of our Constitution been more important to us.

Well, that sentence loses its way, I think. Perhaps he forgot and thought he'd started the sentence with "Never before...": I'm also not sure what's meant by "instruments of" the Constitution, a document that has provisions and sections, articles and amendments, but no "instruments". Obviously Constitutional thoughts do not come easily to the speaker.

But would you have guessed that it's Phil Donahue?

As you may have heard, MSNBC is continuing its remake from documentary programming to opinion programming, having lured Donahue out of retirement to host its prime-time flagship hour at 8pm, opposite Connie Chung and Bill O'Reilly. It seems obvious to me that, once this new schedule is in place, women will have a tough time deciding between Chung and Donahue, leaving the men all watching O'Reilly. But what do I know?

Taking advantage of the shuffle, MSNBC will also move Alan Keyes to 11pm, safely away from Greta van Susteren. Ashleigh Banfield takes his place at 10pm, a canny move given that Banfield is MSNBC's hottest new face these days and van Susteren is mopping the floor with Keyes. Chris Mathews will move to 9pm (and will no longer time-share with CNBC); Brian Williams will move to 7pm.

When it was mentioned that a 66-year-old host is an odd choice to target the 18-49 demographic, Donahue replied, "When you think Phil, you think hip-hop." When I think Phil, I think hip replacement.

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