- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2002

New Dick Clark?
"Can Carson Daly, the eternally boyish MTV host, make people forget Bob Costas?
"Daly, 28, takes over as host of the on-again-off-again, late, late 'Last Call' on Monday night.
"It's a show and time of night most viewers with sleeping problems still identify with Costas, who hosted NBC's original insomniac fare, 'Later,' until 1994.
"It's a gamble for both the network and Daly who is seeking to break out of his straightjacket role as teen-TV host of MTV's 'Total Request Live.'
"Daly presented himself to network execs as someone who is modeling himself on TV legend Dick Clark.
"'Let's face it, Dick Clark is a guy who got his first recognition doing "American Bandstand" and it could be that [Dalys MTV show] is today's version of what "American Bandstand" was in the 1950s and 1960s,' [NBC senior vice president Rick] Ludwin says.
"'Dick Clark very astutely parlayed that success into a huge business and has obviously continued his career for 40 years. Carson said to us directly that he wants to expand what he does in television and have a long career both in front of and behind the camera.'"
Don Kaplan, writing on "Carson Daly the new Dick Clark?" Wednesday in the New York Post

Understanding war
"How often do we hear that 'understanding' brings peace? It's a staple of the liberal view of the world that peace comes with mutual understanding; when people get to know each other, they don't kill each other.
"The truth is that most of history's greatest conflicts have been between peoples who know each other very, very well. Pakistan and India may be new nations, but they were essentially the same country for most of their existence.
"Ethnically, culturally, historically, and geographically, Pakistan and India have far more in common than they have separating them. Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, was born in India. India's leading Hindu nationalist, Home Minister L.K. Advani, hails from what is now Pakistan. Like millions of Indians and Pakistanis, they understand both the grievances of their neighbors and their arguments. But these two countries are constantly flirting with armed conflict.
"It's not just them. Whatever you think of the differences between Palestinians and Israelis, you would be a fool to think they don't understand each other better than the average American diplomat understands either.
"Greeks and Turks, Serbs and Croats, Irish and British, Springfielders and Shelbyvillians: It is almost always the peoples who understand each other best who have the worst conflicts."
Jonah Goldberg, writing on "We Can See Clearly Now," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Wasted talent
"'Gosford Park' runs 137 minutes and spends two-thirds of that time introducing the many characters and providing a snippet of tease about each that is supposed to make him or her interesting. But during that long stretch all that really holds us is the bombardment by this high-powered cast so many distinguished actors as hosts and guests being served by other distinguished actors as staff. The very shine of the cast, more than the smart talk of the upstairs folk and the gritty talk of the staff, leads us to expect big doings. Such actors, we think, must have been assembled for something extraordinary. We wait and we wait. Then, after we have been around stately Gosford Park many times, as if we were searching for the beginning of the story, the huge star-studded contraption dwindles into a trite murder mystery.
"These actors and their colleagues are too good for this film. [Director Robert] Altman's cleverest touch was to engage them so that we would be misled."
Stanley Kauffman, writing on "Promises, Promises," in the Dec. 31 issue of the New Republic




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