Say what you want about this guy – and he deserves
most alot of it – but I defy you to read his piece in Vulture.com about how he’s planning on ditching New York City, and “quitting” public life and not find many things he writes funny, fascinating, or something you are shocked you can agree with him on.
MSNBC assigned a producer to me, Jonathan Larsen. Like Sullivan withOrphans, Larsen didn’t get me or the show and didn’t want to be there. When I told him I wanted to interview Debra Winger, Larsen looked like, We’re here on a set, with an expensive crew and studio time, and you want to talk to Debra Winger? There was nothing less interesting to him. Most of the guests I suggested—Ellen Barkin, Neal Barnard from PCRM, JFK-conspiracy icon Mark Lane—he couldn’t care less. As we went along, Larsen would simply stare at me after everything I’d suggest and say, “Well, let’s see what Phil says.” Larsen was sent there to babysit me.
Phil Griffin is the head of MSNBC, and when I saw that Griffin didn’t have a single piece of paper on his desk, meeting after meeting after meeting, that should have been my first indication there was going to be a problem. Phil is a veteran programmer who knows well the corridors and chambers of television programming—and couldn’t give a flying fuck about content. All he wanted to talk about was Giants tickets, Super Bowl tickets, restaurants, movies. The conversations about the set, about the physical production of the show, cameras, lighting—it seemed like he wanted to get those over with as quickly as possible. He didn’t care. He had four monitors on the wall. They were all on, muted. He never listened to them. He never watched them.
Oh, and read the nugget where Baldwin agrees that New York’s tax rate is outrageously usurious and harmful to the state keeping talent and revenue within its borders. That, plus a loathing for the most powerful of all NYC entities – the public schools union structure – and something makes me think there’s actually a conservative hearbeat, faint as it must be, beating somewhere deep inside.