7.16.7 : Larry King's UFO Special
The Larry King portion of this week's binnall report ...
If you missed it, Larry King had his once-every-three-years UFO special on Friday night. LK featured a bevy of esoteric talking heads, including Stan Friedman, Jesse Marcel Jr., James Fox, Michael Shermer, Buzz Aldrin, Fife Symington, and, drumroll please, George "The Noor" Noory. You can find a transcript of the festivus HERE. Be forewarned that the transcript is awful and riddled with quotes being attributed to "Unidentified Male", which is actually indicative of the episode, itself, as it was a total clusterfuck, full of crosstalk, especially after esoterica's resident douche bag Michael Shermer showed up.
Running through stuff I saw that stood out to me ... Friedman, Marcel Jr., and Julie Shuster, on location in Roswell, kicked off the show to talk about Roswell. I want to hope and believe that Shuster's placement was a decision on the part of the program, and not her, as she was seated in front of a prop alien being lit by a strobe light (seriously). Wow. Way to denigrate Walter Haut's deathbed confession. Whoever thought that alien prop was a good idea for a background piece ought to be swiftly kicked in the grundel.
Also, Larry couldn't seem to get his act together with the cameramen, as he'd hold up a picture or a newspaper headline for the camera and it would take a good 3 minutes or so for the shot to change. It was cable access bad.
I actually changed the channel for a while and when I came back, James Fox and Michael Shermer were on with Friedman and Marcel. Shermer brought some toy aliens to, ostensibly, shit all over Ufology. He and Friedman were really going at it a few times during the show, which served as the lone highlights of the evening. Shermer would ramble on and talk out of his ass and make bold proclamations and then when Friedman would try and rebut his nonsense, he'd talk all over Friedman's response. He also kept dropping the term "probe", as an additional little dig at the UFO folks (what a clown shoe).
I missed Noory's grand entrance, but it looks like he and Larry only really exchanged pleasantries and spoke for probably less than two minutes. Larry did ask the hilarious and pertinent question of "what percentage [of C2C callers] are Kookyville ?" Noory estimated it to be ten percent. I'd say it is more like 33 to 40 percent, though I'm also including outright morons in that equation. (And let's not even start discussing potential Kookyville residents amongst the guests, the "science advisor", and Dr. Morgus.) I was fortunate enough to watch the show with a friend of mine, who is not a harcore esoteric cretin like me. His reaction to Noory was, "Is he wearing a wig ?" I had to explain The Noor's unfortunate reliance on a strange combination of "Just for Men" and shoe polish for his hair coloring needs.
We flipped back over to the show for the final 15 minutes and it just resembled a disaster scene. For starters, they mashed Larry King, Buzz Aldrin, Marcel Jr., Friedman, Shermer, Fox, Symington, and Noory around one table. Poor Stanton was so squeezed out, it looked like he was seated in the coat room. Everything ground to a halt as Buzz Aldrin rambled on endlessly, complete with a cheesy model, to tell some story that never really went anywhere. No one seemed to have a clue what he was talking about, including the folks who put up the graphics, and it ate up the bulk of the time I was watching at the end.
At the close, the final verdict was that Buzz and Shermer were anti-UFO, Friedman and the rest were pro-UFO. James Fox also embarrassingly just pimped his movie non-stop throughout the show and was the picture perfect cliche of the UFO guy with something to sell. (I will give him subversive kudos for managing to get on both this show and Nightline in the past week to schill his movie.)
All in all, it was an interesting hour, more so for the interpersonal dynamics of the show than the actual content. Way too many guests were featured and they could have done without Marcel, Shuster, Fox, and Noory and made for a much better showcase of views. Hell, a straight up Friedman v. Shermer episode would have been boffo. The lack of focus really became a hindrance as they tried to cover Roswell, Phoenix Lights, UFOs in general, and Buzz Aldrin into a 40 minute show replete with 8 or so guests and their requisite intros, outros, and ass kissing.
For all the people who appreciate any mainstream publicity for Ufology that they can get, I suppose it was a good thing. But I've a feeling this was yet another lateral step and that in two or three years, half of these faces and some new ones will return to Larry King and rehash the same conversation once again. The UFO topic should be a monthly one on King (and other programs), but will, sadly, instead be relegated to mothballs until the next flap or anniversary of note.