OTB GMA Follies

So I get an email at 2:41 this afternoon from “frighteningly talented ‘Good Morning America’ producer Max Culhane” asking if I was available to do a “quick taped interview in DC” about the Coulter open letter. I noted to myself that there would be nothing “quick” about anything in DC that time of the day, but nonetheless telephoned him and we chatted a bit about the letter, the convention, and related issues.

Long story short, he agreed to send a car out to my secret, undisclosed location while I changed into suitable conservative television garb (I don’t blog in my pajamas but I don’t wear a suit, either). The car was to arrive at 4.

Around 4:15, I emailed noting said car had yet to arrive. Several back and forth emails and phone calls ensued, each with promises of new arrival times from new car companies. (Apparently, the original car company didn’t actually have an available car and pawned it off on another company without telling ABC and then the other company didn’t have a car and then didn’t bother letting the first company know.)

At 5:25, after I called to say I was backing out given that it appeared this was a giant waste of time, I’m told another car company was definitely going to have a car here within 25 minutes and that I could have the car the rest of the evening to do what I wished. Figuring I’d sell the car (well, actually, just take the wife to dinner), I agreed.

At 5:59, I get another email saying the car had just gotten off I-395, and would be here soon. I emailed to inquire, “How did they think they’d get here in 25 minutes 40 minutes ago and they’re still 20 minutes away?!” and note that, “assuming they’re not lying about their location–which is an assumption I’m no longer willing to make–I’m not going to be there before 7.”

This leads to another round of telephone calls at which point it is learned that the crew has a “hard deadline” of 7 o’clock before they’re dismissed.

Culhane was very apologetic about the whole thing and this speaks more to the unreliability of DC car services than ABC News, which is at their mercy. But it makes it easy to see why Larry Sabato is on television all the time. Most people aren’t willing to put up with this kind of thing and the eager ability to subject yourself to it any time, any place for a minute or two of air time is a valuable commodity.

As a consolation prize, we were told we could use the car for the evening anyway. I’ve fed the animals and written this post and they still ain’t here.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Well, here’s hopin’ they show up before you both starve to death.

  2. Triumph says:

    Damn liberal media.

    Im surprised you even engaged with their folly since the Coulter affair certainly isn’t newsworthy.

    Of course, maybe the “hard deadline” was an excuse so they can pick up the story of the state of emergency called by Xanana Gusmao in East Timor.

    Im sure that will be their lead in the morning.

  3. bains says:

    There are several good restaurants on the eastern shore, as well as a number of B&B’s. Given their concept of time, I’m sure you could have a chauffeur for several days.

  4. Jeff says:

    When I was on MSNBC summer before last the car service thing was a comedy of errors too. I was visiting Baltimore at the time, since I didn’t live here then, and was stuck at my then-fiancee’s condo without a car.

    By the time they finally got around to figuring out how to get me there it was too late to use their usual car service in DC to get all the way to NE Baltimore County and then get me to downtown in time (the show being on during rush hour didn’t help this.)

    They kept calling me back and telling me they were having trouble finding a car to pick me up and I was trying to make arrangements to get a ride from somebody and then they finally tell me they found a car service on my side of town but they only had one car available – a 10 passenger stretch (I found out later their other car were classic cars that probably cost more than the stretch to rent.)

    They picked me up and the driver used the print out his boss made him from some mapping site I’d never heard of – so we got to ride all the way downtown on Belair Rd (US 1) which is a fun trip with all the lights and not-so-great neigborhoods (driverdecided halfway there we were definitely going back 95.)

    The driver was a great guy, I sat up in the front of the back alot of the time to talk to him. (The cooler was well-stocked with Coke and bottled water too.)

    My car actually showed up, but it was a similar comedy of errors to yours before that.

  5. For the cost of the car, they probably could have got you a decent enough web cam to do the story remotely. Or a digital camera and a green screen would have let you be digitally edited into the studio. Perhaps someone at ABC should plan ahead a bit more.