Trump brags he is the best deal-maker in the world. Has he talked to Megyn Kelly's attorney? NBC replaced Al Roker and his sidekicks for an extra hour of the "Today" show. Kelly, who came from Fox News, was hired to replace him. Lots of folks with star power nixed Kelly's show. Some of her comments were offensive. Her biggest flub was suggesting that minstrel shows were a good part of her childhood. The shows have been considered offensive for decades. Her comment led to "Did she really say that?" remarks. She got fired — but will keep her contracted $69 million.
In the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" category: Roker had excellent ratings, he was and is relatable and has that friendly face that viewers trust. If he says it is going to rain, grab your umbrella. He has little enough ego to own up to his mistakes. When Manhattan was slammed by a snowstorm, he did not call it. Next time he was on-air, he did a mea culpa.
Roker is more than just a nice guy — which he is. I worked with him in Cleveland for years. He's friendly, smart and great with the public. Whenever we would land on the same site for an assignment, he made sure to find me, say hello and ask how things were. I have relatives who would not do that.
Even more endearing, he is not afraid to take a stance. In the past week, he took two. When he was in Cleveland, he was grossly overweight. He lost the weight and kept it off for years. When he packed on a few extra pounds, he decided to go on a ketogenic diet. Jillian Michaels, the weight guru who was in charge of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," stated the diet was unsafe, ineffective, etc. Not agreeing, Roker said he did not understand why she would slam something that has helped so many people. He was not nasty and just used a calming voice.
He also stood up for an upstate New York weatherman who was fired due to an on-air gaffe. The guy meant to say "Martin Luther King Jr." Instead, out came "Martin Luther Coon." Roker took to social media. He explained how things happen on live TV. He suggested folks look him up on YouTube to see his own mistakes.
He is right about live TV. I did it for over a quarter of a century. People do not know what is going on around the smooth-looking and smooth-sounding talking heads. Here goes:
Someone is telling you to stretch or get out ASAP. Commercials have to air on time. Off to the side are people breaking down and putting up sets for other segments. The earpiece: Usually, a producer offering a tidbit he wants relayed to the audience. Anyone who has done live TV will tell you there is nothing more fun or more frightening.
Roker could have played hardball, but he did not. They gave him an offer that he could have refused, but he did not. What is most obvious is that he loves the job, and the more he is asked to do, the better — for him and for us.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.