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Two Cents

"This is my first breakfast award..I was free for dinner. I don't know if any of you were ... but I would have been happy to come for lunch."

-Jerry Seinfeld, remarking on the 9 a.m. slot chosen to give him the 2001 NATPE Chairman's Award.

"I signed a book contract to write 'A-holes Don't Win.' Of course, that didn't work out."

-Mark Burnett, executive producer of Survivor, talking at NATPE about the proposed title of his book before Survivor actually aired.

"I will do my best to not get sent back to the factory,"
-Robert Downey Jr. after winning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in Ally McBeal, two months after his arrest on a cocaine charge and five months after his release from Los Angeles County Jail.

"If a brick could talk on television, it would sound like George W. Bush."

-Howard Rosenberg, The Los Angeles Times, on the 43rd president's front-of-camera weakness.

' 'Consolidation killed the onward march of minority ownership.''

-Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson, as quoted in a Boston Globe article on a Commerce Dept. report highlighting the impact of consolidation on minority ownership in the broadcast and cable industry.

" 'Imminent' in Washington means the same thing as 'The program is a go' at NATPE."

-Cox Television President Andrew Fisher speaking at the annual deal-making fête for syndicators.

"I'm guessing the Barbie aisle at Toys 'R' Us. So, Lara Flynn Boyle, where does one shop for a sparkly dress in size negative 2?"

-Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune, on the actress' appearance at the Golden Globe Awards.

" I have no idea.antimatter.something that doesn't matter?"

-"Porn crossover poster girl" and Sci-Fi Channel's First Wave actress, Traci Lords, in reply to Entertainment Weekly's Dan Snierson's quantum query.

"People who wish to think, listen to radio, talk radio. People who watch television are there because thinking is not relevant. Look at afternoon. What is that filled with, thinking? It's filled with the scummiest people talking about the scummiest things. It's just gross."

-Radio and daytime TV talk show host Dr. Laura, on her syndicated radio show.

"We've made America into one big green room, where everybody is waiting to go on stage."

-Stuart Fischoff, professor of media psychology at California State University, as quoted in a New York Times article on "reality TV."

"When Tiger Woods is not in an event, the ratings go up. When he's in an event, the ratings go up that much more."

-Donna Orender, senior vice president, TV production, for the PGA Tour, responding to a NATPE attendee's fear that Tiger-mania will damage pro golf's appeal.

"Long-form [news] television-the serious documentary-is disappearing rapidly. Nobody wants controversy, and celebrities are easier than issues. It is not a hostile government shutting down the traveling cameras; it is the bean counters at the mega-giants."

-Jerry Goodman, aka Adam Smith of Adam Smith's Money World, who is preparing a PBS special on the state of news media.