Those of us who turned on CNN (a dwindling number of people, to be sure) needed to pinch ourselves on Thursday when we found Harvey Weinstein, in his signature black suit with white shirt and black tie, seated in the host’s chair.
What was Harvey Weinstein doing on our television? Piers Morgan put him there. Weinstein – movie mogul, distributor of “The Artist” and maker of “Pulp Fiction”– turned newsman in a gig for the absent Piers Morgan.
Even better: the guest was Bill Clinton.
This may make sense for Weinstein, a media junkie who has a deep-seated love-hate relationship with the press, if less so for CNN.
It stands to reason that Weinstein, the most media-sensitive mogul on the planet, would leap at the chance to be in the power position of TV host. That's the kind of role that usually only people with fancy-pants accents like Morgan and Martin Bashir get to do. For Weinstein, not even all those Oscars can compensate for the gravitas of news-hosting.
As for CNN – they’re already suffering their worst ratings since 1991 with a 20-year primetime ratings low in May – so how badly could it hurt?
It didn't make news. But it wasn’t a fiasco either. Clinton talked to the mogul as if he were an old pal, which he is. They talked the economy, they talked Syria, they talked diets (Harvey: “You ate cheeseburgers with me in Aspen. Now you’re a vegan. How did you get there? How do I get there?” Clinton: shy laughter)
Then it turned to pillow talk. Weinstein recounted taking Chelsea to a dance on Martha’s Vineyard some 20 years ago. He walked her all the way home. And then:
HW: Do you see a Clinton in the White House in 2016? Chelsea? Hillary?
BC: Hillary says she’s retiring. I’m very proud of her…
HW – She’s done an incredible job. She’ll go down in history as our greatest secretary of state. (Editor’s note: Do not tell Henry Kissinger or John Foster Dulles.)
BC – She’ll rank very high. She tries to build world cooperation. I’m proud of her.
HW- Me too.
Tomorrow? Bill Maher. Here's some video of Harvey, hosting: