E-day minus-12 and Sarah Palin's still not been on Larry King's show!
Can't someone do something?
Just a quick update on the ongoing one-way struggle by super-celeb Larry King to get another media star, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on his CNN TV program.
Larry knows a lot about on-air talk, ever since his rookie days late at night on a no-name Miami radio station where the future star perfected his trademark greeting, "Line 3, Sammie in Surfside, you're on the air!"
In August, even before he knew who the GOP VP would be, Larry got John McCain, the Republican nominee, to promise his pick would show up at Lar's table for a chat. Larry has a tradition, that apparently only he likes to follow, that the night after a VP is announced, he/she goes on his long-running cable program.
In fact, Larry's been doing his iconic conversations so long that he may well have been the television interviewer of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Joe Biden, Palin's VP competitor, remembered so clearly from the Great Depression of 1929.
It's not written in the Constitution or anything yet. But Larry likes first dibs on interviews. In 2000, it worked perfectly and there ...
... was Dick Cheney sitting with Larry King right after his surprise selection and talking away all friendly-like in the kind of casual public banter that Cheney absolutely abhors.
Truth be told, Larry got Cheney first because George W. Bush's campaign was concerned about public worries about Cheney's long-term heart condition.
And who better to initially interview a heart-attack survivor sympathetically than another heart-attack survivor such as King, who's had, like, seven heart attacks and the same number of wives? Or the other way around maybe. (Not counting Angie Dickinson.)
That's the kind of strategic communications thinking totally absent from McCain HQ where their idea of rolling out the popular Palin was to feed her to Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, neither notorious for their real Republican working mom leanings.
Anyway, Larry asked McCain if the VP choice would come on and McCain said he would never want to incur the wrath of Larry King. And that sealed the deal for the laughing namesake host of "Larry King Live," who really is a good listener.
But as we've seen in many campaigns this cycle, what seem like promises to take public campaign financing or journey to scattered town halls don't always end up happening.
So, oh-oh, here we are this morning just 12 days away from the presidential election and 55 days away from Palin's pick and she's still not been on. Even though she's also done chats with Brian Williams and Sean Hannity and Carl Cameron and "SNL" and People and CNN's Drew Griffin, of all people.
Believe it or not, Palin's now far exceeding Joe Biden in media access.
But still no Larry.
Not only that, but a few weeks ago McCain canceled a scheduled return to "LKL." And some people thought it had to do with the highly publicized on-air working-over that CNN's Campbell Brown gave to McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds (painful video here) because she wants Cooper Anderson's high profile but doesn't have the news chops and gray hairs yet.
McCain even made up with David "You know I make a lot more jokes on you than the Democrat guy" Letterman, which we sure provided line-by-line coverage of here. And yesterday McCain had a long chat with CNN's Wolfie.
Larry's accustomed to booking pretty much whomever he wants, especially if they're old show biz cronies or family members of every teenage blond girl kidnapped in modern times.
So, Larry's published a plaintive little post on his online blog: "We're still waiting for the senator to reschedule with us."
But since most everyone else knows by now that McCain doesn't spend a whole lot of time clicking around celebrity blogs online, chances of him actually reading the plea are less than the Republican's chances of taking California on Nov. 4.
Which is to say 0 with a margin of error of +/- 0.
Maybe Larry needs to have an on-air Letterman-like rant and hope that someone's watching.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo credit: Jake A. Herrle / Associated Press