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Ruckus over show was a lot of hot air
Last Updated: June 17, 2002
With all the talk radio squawking last week about country artist Toby Keith not getting to sing on ABC's July 4th special, it was easy to miss the fact that the network is giving over three hours of prime time to patriotism.
Keith claims he was bumped from the show because anchor Peter Jennings - who's hosting the extravaganza - didn't like his current single. "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," which is subtitled "The Angry American," contains lyrics like this:
"And you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A. 'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass. It's the American way."
ABC spokeswoman Cathie Levine says the real problem lies with the singer's schedule. Since he's performing that night in Utah, he had to be the opening act or he couldn't appear. And that particular song wasn't the way ABC wanted to open the show.
"Because, to use his words, it's an angry song, that was not the kind of tone the producers wanted to use to begin this three-hour celebration," Levine tells Inside TV & Radio.
The live show will feature a wide range of artists, including Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, India.Arie, Hank Williams Jr., Los Lobos, Gillian Welch, the Boston Pops, Wynton Marsalis, Sandi Patty and the U.S. Air Force Band.
Among the events from across the U.S. that ABC hopes to include for the show is a polka music festival in Whitewater, Wis.
As for the overblown Toby Keith ruckus, he likely sold a few CDs last week, and talk radio got a couple hours of material.
That's really all it was about.
OH, THAT LARA LOGAN:
If Lara Logan, the new "60 Minutes II" correspondent replacing hard news diva Carol Marin, sounds familiar, it's because her first-person dispatches from Afghanistan ran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The British tabloids dubbed her "34D Lara," and while she was filing stories for London's Daily Mirror (along with the Journal Sentinel), the Daily Mirror's rival Sun claimed she used her looks and "low-cut tops" to get exclusives from the war zone.
In the new TV Guide, Logan calls the hubbub about her looks "a lot of rubbish."
Time Warner has signed a national deal to carry the Tennis Channel, which launches later this year. . . . Former "Diff'rent Strokes" sitcom star Todd Bridges guests on CBS' "Young and the Restless." He could end up a regular. . . . That series repackaging David Frost's marathon interviews with Richard Nixon is airing on Discovery Civilization Channel, one of the Discovery Channel's digital cable offerings, not the main Discovery Channel as incorrectly reported here. If you missed the show, it re-airs today at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
BE THE WEAKEST LINK
The syndicated version of the game show - which airs at 1:05 Monday through Thursday nights and 1:30 a.m. Friday nights on Channel 4 - is in town Thursday looking for contestants.
It's an open casting call, so anybody over 18 who thinks he or she can make the cut should head to the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield, 375 S. Moorland Road, at 10 a.m. Get ready for a general information quiz. You won't find out that day if you make the show.
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