Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simply '70s: The odd couple

No, not The Odd Couple, the odd couple -- Sally Quinn and Hughes Rudd on the CBS Morning News.

What were they thinking upon the debut of this . . . thing on Aug. 6, 1973? "They" being the people in charge of CBS News.

Was this a backdoor attempt at a precursor of the
Jerry Springer Show? Were the network producers thinking they could slip one by William Paley, taking on the mantle of plausible deniability and feigning total surprise when Rudd inevitably snapped and began to stub out Lucky Strikes on Quinn's forehead as she affected her way through the day's headlines?

Would she have name-dropped her way through the aftermath, saying she once had provoked the Great Man himself, Edward R. Murrow, to do the very same thing during a junior-high field trip?

Sadly, none of the nefarious plans for prematurely lowering the television IQ
(assuming there were any nefarious plans, as opposed to a plain-old screw up) came to fruition, and neither did the ratings that would have generated. The Quinn-Rudd era of the CBS Morning News ended -- mercifully -- in February 1974.

Notable appearances this day: Jay Silverheels' anti-litter PSA and a young Pat Buchanan, flacking for "Tricky Dick" Nixon.

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