- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2000

MNF's end run

"I wouldn't be surprised if the folks at ABC decided to officially change the company name to Anything But Conventional. This is, after all, the network that decided to push the journalistic envelope by having Leonardo DiCaprio interview President Clinton about Earth Day.

"And now the sports department has made an end run around standard practices by hiring comedian Dennis Miller for the "Monday Night Football" broadcast team.

"It's hard to step outside these days without bumping into a new media paradigm. ABC Sports President Howard Katz was quoted as saying the changes on Monday night were intended 'to remove some of the sameness. We wanted to reinvent a little bit.' That's no great revelation. TV viewers have known for years that in sportscasting, the presentation rather than the game is often the real product. Unfortunately for ABC, the presentation of "Monday Night Football" has been slowly deflating ever since Howard Cosell departed."

Jeffrey Shaffer, writing on "ABC: Anything But Conventional," in Friday's Christian Science Monitor

Here come the brides

"As but one small part of America's $33-billion bridal industry, Theo and Lisa Wheeler publish a pocket guide to wedding vendors in central New York. The latest edition of their 170-page booklet is packed with ads from bridal boutiques, caterers, florists and dozens of other merchants who help brides celebrate their big day.

" 'Business is phenomenal,' says Theo Wheeler. 'There are so many brides trying to plan for the year 2000 that they're beginning to spill over to the year 2001.' … Any sign of a wedding boom in fly-over country?

" 'That would be a definite yes,' says John Riddell, owner of Champagne Photography in Minneapolis. 'Normally at this time of year, I have six weddings booked. I have double that number now. I belong to a number of photographers' lists on the Internet. We're all finding the same thing.' …

"The winter issue of Conde Nast's Brides, the industry's leading magazine, boasted a hefty 1,270 pages the most ever. David's Bridal, a nationwide mass merchandiser of wedding gowns that went public last year, will soon boast 100 stores. And the De Beers Co., purveyor of diamonds used in engagement rings, is buying space on billboards asking men: 'What Are You Waiting For? The Year 3000?' No wonder Hallmark is telling stores to stock up on wedding invitations."

Don Harting, writing on "Everybody's Doing It (Getting Married, That Is)" in the June issue of Citizen

Chameleon Hillary

"If she is elected [to the Senate] and does indeed become, as many expect she would, the most visible Democrat in the country, what kind of influence would Mrs. Clinton exercise on the nation?

"She is trying very hard … to convince observers she would be a mild and centrist 'New Democrat' in the Senate. Judging how she'd actually behave is not easy… . Mrs. Clinton, like her husband, is a true chameleon. Throughout her career, Gail Sheehy and other biographers make clear, the first lady has quite consciously tried on different personas and changed positions to suit her political needs. Several times over the last decade she has transformed even her very name, beginning as Hillary Rodham, then becoming Hillary Rodham Clinton, then calling herself simply Hillary Clinton, and finally morphing, Madonna-like, to just 'Hillary' in her Senate campaign literature. One is tempted to refer to her as The Artist Formerly Known as Princess."

Karl Zinsmeister, writing on, "Can You Say Senator Clinton?" in the July/August issue of the American Enterprise

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