Late Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann reportedly received the apology she thought NBC owed her after late-night house band the Roots performed the tune “Lyin’ A-- B----” to introduce her on Monday’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” show.
A Bachmann spokeswoman told the Associated Press late Wednesday that an NBC programming executive sent a personal letter to the Minnesota congresswoman. According to the AP, the letter said that the Roots had been “severely reprimanded.”
Up until then, the Peacock Network’s only strategy appeared to be appointing Fallon as in-house canary, sending him down the political coal-mine shaft to see exactly how toxic the air is.
After word of the band’s selection of the 1985 Fishbone song filtered out to the mainstream media Tuesday, Fallon first tweeted that the Roots’s drummer, Questlove — who’d taken credit for the tune — “is grounded.”
Oops! Air still not clear.
Fallon was sent in again. This time he tweeted: “I’m honored that Michele Bachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back.” The host added: “Actually it was a really fun interview. She helped me with my Minnesota accent. (I still sound Irish.)”
Bachmann spelled out her thoughts about the song choice on Fox News Channel’s morning show, “America’s Newsroom.”
“I don’t have anything against Jimmy Fallon,” she said. “I love him; he’s a kick. It was a great opportunity to be on the show. I’d love to go back again.”
But, she said, “the point” is that if it had been first lady Michelle Obama that the Roots were serenading, “I have no doubt that NBC would have apologized to her and likely they could have fired the drummer — at least suspended him.”
“None of that happened from NBC,” said Bachmann, concluding: “This is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite, but it’s also, I think, sexism as well.”
By “Hollywood,” she means Philadelphia, where NBCUniversal’s owner, Comcast, is based. Or maybe Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, where NBCUniversal is based and Fallon’s show is shot — “Hollywood” being, as we all know, more a state of mind than a geographic location.
After word of the tune choice got out, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) jumped in with both feet, issuing a statement to say that the song used to introduce Bachmann “was insulting and inappropriate.”
“I do not share Michele Bachmann’s politics, but she deserves to be treated with respect,” Lowey continued. “No female politician — no woman — should be subjected to sexist and offensive innuendo like she was. . . . The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and NBC should apologize.”
Meanwhile, Questlove, a.k.a. Ahmir Thompson, said after knickers began to become knotted that the tune choice was “tongue-in-cheek” and a “spur-of-the-moment decision.”
He also said that the show was not aware of the choice. “I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention,” he said.
And by “was not my intention,” he means (according to his tweet before the show aired): “aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. Ask around, cause I ain’t tweeting title.”
The company that signed a groundbreaking licensing deal with ABC in July — to revive canceled soaps “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” on a new Web network — officially threw in the towel Wednesday afternoon.
“After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children’ via online distribution,” Prospect Park principals Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz said Wednesday in a statement.
ABC announced in April that it was driving a stake into “Children” and “One Life,” but a deal to resuscitate the two decades-old soaps online — using the same cast, crew and talent — was brokered in July. The shows would find a new home on Online TV Network, which was first scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2012. “One Life” was scheduled to debut first.
The two said they had succeeded in settling on a financial model that would work to transfer the two shows from broadcast TV to the new Online TV Network. But, they said, “The contractual demands of the guilds, which regulate our industry, coupled with the program’s inherent economic challenges ultimately led to this final decision.”